Celebrate your connection with the natural world with time in the garden.
The interest in, and access to nature is a very modern phenomenon, as our leisure time and technology increase.
It has been proven that there are numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits from being in nature. It calms your nervous system, reduces stress, and boosts your immune system.
Being in nature is a wonderful place to connect to your present moment experience in an expansive mindful way. The beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of nature provide many opportunities to practice mindfulness. It is a real gift to appreciate these in a mindful peaceful way.
You find yourself going beyond a focus on economics and the ethos of capitalism, individualism, and the profit motive, and adjusting your social preferences for ever-increasing material wealth to something more like improved welfare and wellbeing. Proactive relationships, conversation, and experience with the natural world are truly transforming and healing.
Increased sensory contact with diverse natural environments leads to new modes of behaviour that seem much more important than new moral principles. Here are some ways to mindfully enhance your mental wellness by focusing on the present in a multisensory way…
There is always so much below the ground as there is above it. Walk through the garden, and pick and gently rub the fragrant leaves of some aromatics between your fingers and enjoy the fragrances. Rosemary, lavender, thyme, parsley, pineapple sage, several varieties of mint, coriander, Lilly Pillys, and even weeds such as Camphor Laurels can be appreciated for their aromatics. The leaves decorate the forest ground. Something in the earth’s scents commands the air.
What hovers right above you? What floats over your head right now?
Take the time to notice the life in the forest canopy, the butterflies dancing, the vines intricately laced up among the branches and cobwebs, the way the sunlight trickles through the leaves, the birds… and the trees watching you.
Be silent. Sit still, close your eyes and listen to the chorus of living wood singing, bird calls, cicadas, the wind’s gossip, and forest talk which runs far afield. Don’t try to identify anything, just enjoy the changes in pitch, volume, and tones. Trees even further away join in. They listen to you. They hear you.
Enjoy the love that is emitted by the tactile sensations of touching the different textures of native leaves that vary in their leatheriness, roughness, velvetiness, moisture, and so on. The air rains messages. Obviously stinging plants are excluded here for good reason.
Turn off. Instead of noticing weeds that need to be pulled out, garden beds that need to be planted, and evidence of erosion and damage, take a step back and appreciate the beauty of nature without a critical eye.
Take some photos that you can sketch later on in the evening.
Eco-Therapy And Forest Bathing: It is a wonderful place to focus on healing, wellbeing, peace of mind, and personal growth.
Forest exposure can be used as part of a holistic and rounded approach to wellbeing. It is one of many ecosystem services that the environment provides for us.
Urban living and contemporary lifestyles are associated with reduced contact with nature. Although not causal, this coincides with increasing rates of mental illness in the world. In addition, mid-pandemic, being cooped up at home, increases the problem.
There is an increasing body of research showing evidence that nature can be used, nay ‘prescribed’, to treat mental illness. Research continues to investigate the relationship between nature experiences and enhanced mental health. Exposure to nature is indicted in reducing risk factors and the intensity of some mental illnesses.
To counter the extinction of experience, it makes sense to proactively design and live a life that will foster an attraction and attachment to nature. Exposure to nature has been shown to strengthen personal resilience and evoke positive emotions. Time in nature is comforting beyond words and has been linked with positive effects on creativity, learning, concentration, and critical thinking. Immersing yourself in nature has many benefits from improving cognitive function, to reducing stress, improved sleep, and a reduction in physiological measures and biomarkers for stress.
First, there was nothing.
Then there was everything.
Life runs alongside us,
Creating the soil.
Trading in nutrients.
hums in the heart of the forest
feeding, curing, sheltering
more kinds of life than we can count.
The Earth is alive,
not as a sentient Goddess,
as the ancients saw her,
but alive, like a tree,
conversing with the sunlight and the soil,
using the light and water
and nutrient minerals
to grow and change,
keeping the beauty, history, science,
and mystery of life alive,
saying things in words before words.
endlessly worth answering,
There is something you need to hear.
Old trees are our parents
and our parents’ parents.
To learn the secrets of nature
we must practice more humility.
The solo constitutional up the steep drive is aerobic, even when you dawdle. It’s also lovely to walk with a friend.
Our garden stroll is where you can walk and talk, and be educated in herbs growing around you as you taste the herbs, vegetables, and fruit that are used for your meals.
The rainforest walk is challenging. It is recommended to go with a leader.
There are also Binnaburra walks, which we organise in small groups.