Forest Bathing. fall trees. . When we forest bathe, do we leave a ring? Fall trees in woods.

When We Forest Bathe, Do We Leave A Ring? Walk Better

When We Forest Bathe, Do We Leave A Ring?

It’s lovely that nature-based practices are becoming much more popular today. And it’s a little disappointing that we are often still so egocentric in how we approach them. There are some good suggestions in this article from CNN: Forest bathing could be the key to feeling better – and you can even do it at work. There are some accessible, straightforward ways to connect to nature to help us feel better. Some echo how we engage in the Enatured® method, like seeing and appreciating nature anywhere, not only in the forest or wild places. But in substantive ecotherapy, as in relationships of all kinds, we want to go a little deeper, to move out of ourselves. That shift pays off.

In many instances, especially in the self-help and wellness genre, we seemed to have become over-fixated on our own needs and practices. What is the thing that will help me feel better, heal, get calm, be organized, successful, peaceful, spiritual, etc. etc. I empathize. With nature especially, we have gotten into a lot of trouble with this focus. Taking what we want rather than seeing how we fit into a complex system of living beings is killing our world. Which, of course, is making us all more anxious! It is in our power to change that, even in small ways. When we become more ecocentric we all benefit.

What are we bringing in?

Every meaningful relationship involves a give and take, genuine connection, and engagement. When we think about using nature as we would a supplement or an exercise class, it is a one-way interaction, but nature is a living being comprised of many individual living beings. When we forest bathe, what are we bringing in, and what are we leaving? As part of nature, we add ourselves to the mix; we affect the environments we enter as they affect us.

By all means, let’s take that bath! But maybe we can think of it as stepping into a communal tub, one where we would take a few preliminary steps not to muddy the water with our own literal or energetic grime, not to flail around and splash our fellow bathers, maybe to lower our voices and be aware of how we position our bodies and our gazes in relationship to those who are already soaking.

Walking with the forest

With a woods walk, it might look something like this: before stepping onto the trail, we pause and silently say hello rather than barging right in. If we are feeling very intense emotions, perhaps we take a few moments to breathe or gather ourselves before entering the peaceful forest space. While walking, maybe we turn off our podcasts and our music, lower our voices, and turn our attention to the animals, plants, and land around us in a way that acknowledges not only their existence but recognizes that we have something to contribute to this mixture. What can you give back today or later? When we leave, we say goodbye and thank you for the visit.

Rather than taking a forest bath, maybe we have a forest conversation, or at least we don’t leave a “ring” of our grunge in the forest itself. Who knows, perhaps we will pick up a new language, feel less lonely, meet a new friend, or discover something new about ourselves or someone else?


Learn more about Enatured®

One woman’s surprising discoveries during her Enatured® experience

Forest Bathing. fall trees. . When we forest bathe, do we leave a ring? Fall trees in woods.

When We Forest Bathe, Do We Leave A Ring?

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