I’ve had a particularly busy couple of weeks involving quite a lot of office based work, not to mention a few hundred miles spent on motorways.

This afternoon I spent some time in the woodland and I have to say the experience was transformational, demonstrating very clearly how experiencing nature is essential to our wellbeing

Just being in a tranquil place, away from the demands of work and family, my mind was able to tune into the wild wood environment.

I wandered along the paths made by the animals that live there, noticing the Oxlips, Bluebells, Cowslips, Primroses and even some Orchids all coming into or already in full flower.

I sat on a bench and listened to the birds, trying to distinguish one song from another and where they were actually sitting and singing. I sat on a stump and just let the tranquility of the place bathe my senses.

I walked slowly and breathed in the scents of the woodland, then delighted in noticing some wild garlic leaves. I picked some right there and then with an idea I’d combine them into a simple pasta dish later on.

Connecting with nature helps us connect better with ourselves

I was so taken with the vibrancy of the flowers and the new, fresh green springing up all around me that I collected a few flowers and leaves with an idea of seeing if I could transform them into natural paints.

Using one of the pestle and mortar sets I have collected for visitors to use, mostly from my forays into charity shops, I had a go at grinding down some bluebell flowers (no colour to paint with at all), some purple Violets (light blue/purple colour), some Dandelions and some Dog’s Mercury.

I’m not much of an artist but I really enjoyed just focussing on my little creative venture for half an hour or so.

Over a period of a couple of hours I’d well and truly connected with nature and now I’m back home I’m still experiencing the inner calm from doing so, a wellbeing benefit delivered to both my mind and body.

Mindful Moments In Nature

Saturday 12th or Sunday 20th May

Mindful Moments In Nature

Saturday 12th or Sunday 20th May

Once I got back home and the hunger pangs kicked in I did some creative cooking and knocked up a simple pasta dish combining onion, wild garlic leaves, some left over chicken and some parmesan cheese.

I have to say my creative cooking outcome was delicious. Wild garlic leaves provide a very delicate flavour when used in cooking, but enough to provide a distinctive flavour.

Up at the wood we’ve made pesto from wild garlic leaves and then cooked pasta over a camp fire and enjoyed sharing the outcome. This year we’ll be doing the same on our ‘Mindful moments in nature’ sessions.

Cooking and sharing food, especially when you’ve gathered some of the ingredients, is a very rewarding thing to be involved with.

Spending time in woodlands or forests has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels and blood pressure. In Japan Forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku) is part of their national health service and people go to spend time in the forests, walking or just being, to benefit their wellbeing.

We may not have a forest, but we do have 20 acres of ancient woodland that’s surrounded by fields; an oasis of tranquility.

As a Level 3 Mindfulness in woodlands practitioner I like to help people deepen their connection with nature to benefit their wellbeing.

During the next few months I shall be running regular ‘Mindful moments in nature’ sessions and hope that you will come along and experience the benefits for yourself.

No experience of practising mindfulness is necessary as what we do is about developing greater sensory awareness, through  experiences that provide immersion in nature.

Sessions  last 2 hours and cost £15 that includes refreshments and all resources used in the session.

We usually have a camp fire and some people like to stay longer than the 2 hours, whilst others have commitments elsewhere they need to attend to.

 

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