Some things cannot be forced, some things cannot be rushed. Watching these wild flowers grow steadily over the past few months, practicing patience and curiosity with every visiting glance, feeling joy at each bud and awe at each bloom, I’m reminded of the power of patience and steadiness. Each flower, bee, butterfly and hoverfly takes its turn, has its entrance and exit, it’s pauses and rests. 🌸 🐝
And so I’m taking a couple of months break from guiding sessions, hoping to reassess and announce new dates later in the year. I’ll keep you posted, and if you’d like to be added to my mailing list then get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Any gift vouchers and pending bookings (there’s only a couple of you now) will be honoured for the remainder of 2021 and for all of 2022 💚
(All is well. It’s simply a decision based on various personal circumstances within the context of our current times to make the best possible choice to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy. I’ll be reassessing at the end of August, see how things have shifted and I’ll also be double vaccinated by then too! ☺️)
Thanks to Michael for inviting me to chat on his brilliant "Awaken to Nature" Podcast.
Listen to our conversation here:
"COMMUNITY, CONNECTION and COMPASSION are important values that she brings to the work she
does. They are also strong themes in our wide ranging conversation, which starts off with Ruth sharing a
story about how she landed up in ICU a few years ago.
She shares her story of recovery which included visits to a woodland she explored as a child. You will hear
how that woodland rekindled her connection to nature and how it helped give her a new found appreciation
for its healing power.
Ruth's journey to becoming a Forest Therapy Guide included her own healing experience, which included
learning to manage PTSD symptoms through nature connection.
We talk about the various experiences of lockdown and the impact it has had, we talk about Polarisation, a
term we hear a lot more these days. One of the antidotes to this state in society is Reciprocity, a core
principle in Shinrin Yoku, Ruth shares her thoughts on what it means and how to go about developing a
reciprocal relationship with nature.
She also shares some great tips on how to go about maintaining human and nature connection and why it is
important for us to do so.
Ruth believes that through community and the human connection it creates, we can find more meaning and
purpose which ultimately leads to a more fulfilled life."
In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, Nature and Therapy UK are holding free Shinrin Yoku Walks around the country.
Find your local walk here.
The wonderful Charlotte from Oat Kitchen has curated a beautiful new e-book, with all profits going to
FareShare UK who redistribute food, that would otherwise have gone to waste, to vulnerable groups and those in need around the UK.
Living Well in Lockdown 2.0 is a collection of wellbeing practices and 40 incredible mouthwatering recipes.
I'm very excited to have donated some words and photos, alongside many inspiring contributors.
You can download it via the link below, and all donations will help Fareshare UK.
Almost accidentally, I started a project curating voices and stories of nature connection and meaning via the medium of Instagram Live!
Titled "What Does Nature Mean to You?" and asking each person 3 key questions, I've enjoyed some wonderful conversations with conservationists, authors, writers, artists, therapists, chefs, coaches, adventurers, well-being practitioners and more, from the UK and further afield such as the USA and India. Conversations full of inspiration and common themes, each told in their own way.
It's been nourishing and grounding, during our second lockdown here in the UK, to be connecting to other humans whilst reminding ourselves of the important of connecting to nature in various ways and paths.
I've yet to work out what I'll do with this beautiful collection of voices, yet to see where this chorus leads me... but in the meantime you can catch up on the conversations over on Youtube or at @forestcloudsnaturetherapy on Instagram.
With a huge thanks to Tommy at Mindful Walks in Wales connecting to me Jane Dunford at the Guardian, I was lucky enough to be listed in the Observer magazine article "20 outdoor adventures for autumn".
A wonderful opportunity, that has now lead to quite a few email enquiries so please do forgive me if I am a little slower to reply to you this week!
I’m definitely not always calm and “zen” like, as sometimes people ask me... not at all. In fact often quite the opposite, which is why I’m lucky I know what helps me and what tactics might give me some breathing room to find that headspace to invite calm in if only for a moment.
I’m very grateful to have learnt that time spent in nature and particularly doing forest bathing & mindful activities can help soothe my busy mind and stressed out body. I don’t always do it, I don’t always make time for it, but I’m getting better at forgiving myself and sending myself compassion and kindness... then inviting myself to do the things that help when things get tough. Day by day, it’s all we can do don’t you think?
I'm really excited to be bringing you my next 4 week long nature experience ... cultivating connection and compassion.
£90 per person
Payment can be made via paypal or bank transfer
ONLY 5 SPACES AVAILABLE
Nature sessions will be 5.30pm - 7.30pm: Mon 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Sept in Leigh On Sea
Contact me for more information and to book your place
Week 1 - we'll look at introductions to the practice and each other, before exploring grounding with and connecting to nature through the senses, with a focus on sound
Week 2. - diving further into grounding in nature, exploring touch and vision using practices including forest art creation
Week 3 - continuing our journey, working together with the trees, and exploring words, stories, poetry & haiku as a way to connect and express
Week 4 - exploring smells, exploring energy and our relationships to nature whilst looking at compassion practices, and ending with a final tea ceremony
Every day throughout the course you will receive daily emails with invites and suggestions for your daily practice, including some short recordings of meditation practices.
It's been a while since I've updated the blog, I confess to not really using it and instead using Instagram and Facebook for updates. However I wanted to pop on here and update you on the measures I am taking in order to support participants in feeling safe on sessions during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Whilst all sessions are outdoors and therefore relatively easy to maintain social distancing guidelines whilst enjoying the fresh forest air, it is important that as a guide I stay up to date with current advice, and do my best to let you know what things will look like.
- For now all group sessions will have no more than 5 participants, with me guiding that makes a maximum of 6 people at an event.
- I will include in my introduction a health & safety talk that sets out social distancing of 2m between every one, ensuring we all know what that looks like.
- We will agree a simple safe signal we can all use to communicate we need more space. Although being outside it is easy just to take a step back, it is important we agree a common language to empower us and give us permission to communicate our needs in this situation.
- Invitations and exercises will all be solo activities, no pair or partner work.
- The final tea ceremony will also be simplified, with clients asked to bring their own cups should they wish to participate.
- We won't be sharing any equipment, and all activities will remain optional and therefore clients can judge their own comfort levels and choices too.
- I'll also carry hand sanitiser with me at all times.
- I'm also offering private group and one-to-one sessions if that feels more suitable to you.
- I've updated my risk assessments, and ensured to have studied the latest Covid Awareness Course as advised for Holistic Therapists and Practitioners. I'll endeavour to keep up to date with latest guidelines and measures to be taken.
- You are very welcome to message me with any questions or queries regarding the above or any other concerns.