When I was a child I loved climbing up trees. (And I guess you did too ?)
There is a small park behind my house in Japan and in the edge of this park was my favourite tree, a beautiful oak tree. The tree is still there today and it brings back wonderful memories as it was my favourite place to be and to play.
The tree branches spread in a many different directions and this seemingly imperfection was the perfect support for my feet to enable me to climb up higher and higher.
It was if the tree was encouraging me to do so with exquisitely placed branches like a stair case !
I loved the feeling of looking down on everything from a height. I loved sitting on a stable branch and have my back against the tree. I simply felt wonderful. Lost in thought by just being with this amazing tree.
And I loved collecting fallen petals from my favourite cherry blossom tree in that park as well. These petals were so fragile and delicate, I had to be very careful not to damage them when picking them up.
My mum taught me how to make a flower crown. My friends and I squeezed purple flower petals in water to make it look like a berry juice and we played house.
My dad taught me how to catch dragon flies from behind as they were resting on a leaf. Nature was always around us and nature was the most full of toys to play and learn when I was a child.
All these childhood experiences helped build a strong unbreakable connection between myself and nature, and the connection was embedded in my heart.
We as human beings need a sense of connection with something. We feel safe, happy, comfortable and supported. The healing power of connecting with something is strong and true.
In Forest Bathing, "you and nature" are the activity, the oneness the connection, nothing else. The challenge or epiphany is just to realise this without too much thinking. Observe your feelings as a bird sees the surroundings from it's height.
From my experience, just by looking up a large tall tree makes one feel calm.
Touching its bark, feeling the temperature of the tree and listening the rustling sounds of tree branches and watching the light stream through the branches makes is soothing and gentle on the mind.
These gentle, calming and comfortable feelings gifted by nature contributes to our wellness and are natural healing tonics specifically designed for the mind body and of course, the soul.