I spent today at Woods Mill nature reserve doing a day of Mindfulness in Nature. It was run by Alistair Duncan who describes himself as an eco psychologist, a teacher, a coach, and a therapist. I’ve been interested in the concept of forest bathing for a few years and how nature feels like it’s one way to calm my brain down. When I spotted this course on the Sussex Wildlife Trust website I thought I’d give it a go.
It was fun and interesting. It was also challenging at times. I loved the exercises we did in the morning sessions, around walking, vision and sound. The session on touch and our relationship with the nature around us and how we affect it, and it affects us was good - though I did have a few moments of anxiety when I’d lost my bearings. The next session of embodying a tree, and being part of the tree, wasn’t natural for me, and I felt very self-conscious about using my body to mirror the movement of trees. The final session was a 20 minute sit in the woods. I found this hard as without movement my brain was hurtling through its normal whirlwind of thoughts. So a mixed bag, and with some things that I’ll try again.
I’d also forgotten how lovely it is to sit around a campfire. Though I do now smell of wood smoke.