brave new world
Maybe brave and new are the wrong adjectives to use here, but it's certainly a different world we're living in at the moment, and for many people the experience of living here right now is a lot worse than they could ever have imagined. But instead of heading down the path of misery towards despair I'd like to signpost a way towards a new (and maybe even brave) way of looking at our planet henceforth.
It will take courage and determination and more than a little creative imagining, but our brains have been designed with these, alongside the ability to feel optimism and positivity despite adversity.
Since I've been studying Ecopsychology (with the Natural Academy based near Bristol, since you ask) my whole way of looking at the world has changed. It is literally as though scales have fallen from my eyes and every chance I get to wander out in nature, whether it's to brave the cold sea for some winter swimming, a walk up through the woods at the back of my house to gaze at the fantastic view over all of Brighton, or a quick diversion through my local park on my way to the Post Office, is now an opportunity to embrace the aliveness of nature all around.
The other day I noticed a weed had sprouted up through a tiny crack in the asphalt of a car park at the base of some high-rise flats and it made me smile, the insistence, the force of nature everywhere you look. The smell of the sea air, the crunch of the frosty grass underfoot, the colour of the berries in Queen's park all now fill me with a joy and wonder so intense I often catch myself laughing out loud.
I would like to share insights and resources from some of the many, many people writing about nature (and the centuries of writers and philosophers and poets and thinkers who have written about nature until now); and it will also hopefully become a landing place for people who would like to join me for Nature Connection and Eco Art Therapy sessions.
I believe art and nature go hand in hand when it comes to improving wellbeing. The way I see it, learning to fully enjoy nature is 'une art' (see what I did there) which can be more profound with the right guidance. Going out for a walk is all very well but if you've got your phone in your pocket and your mind on emails or why your latest Facebook status 'only got 23 likes' you are missing out, big time. So put it away. Switch it off, if you can bear it. Technology is useful but...even just a few hours without checking your phone makes you feel calmer and less stressed, seriously.
So... have a look around the site/get in touch/book a workshop/get some ideas... and above all, GET OUTSIDE!
Reconnect, Recover, Restore, Revitalise: Rewild your soul.