Let’s Go to the Woods When Life Feels Overwhelming and Impossible
- Kamran Mofid
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‘Healing power of nature – it was once the preserve of tree hugging hippies. Today, nature’s powerful potential to heal mind, body and spirit is recognised by science. Being in nature makes you feel good. And, surprisingly, nature’s powers extend beyond wellbeing to the healing of social and economic problems too.
‘Humans have long been deeply moved by a still expanse of water, a deep forest, a mountain peak. After all, nature is where we find our soul and come into contact with our spirituality. Yet, most of people today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than the populations of only a few generations ago.’-Amy Garner
These days, in this so-called modern world, so much psychotherapy takes place within the confines of a consulting room. But what happens when therapy takes place in a natural setting – or when the natural world is invited into the narrative of self and other? Moreover, what can happen when we begin seeing ourselves as part of the biosphere, rather than above or beyond it, and return to a relationship with the natural conditions that once provided us with the core of our psychological, spiritual and cultural sustenance?
I suggest that our rapid withdrawal from nature is the source of damaging alienation from a part of ourselves and the inherent context of our lives, and propose that the biological and ecological field of being is always somewhere present in the relationship and, when embraced through ecologically-aware therapeutic modalities, profound transformation of emotional states can occur.
The use of spiritual techniques like meditation, prayer, chanting, sound, or movement including yoga, dance, connecting with nature are all important tools all the times, but especially significant at times of spiritual crisis. The less an individual does for themselves during this time, the longer this crisis/phase will last. Furthermore, if you have been given a gift to re-examine your life, don’t stop there, implement the changes you are being urged to do from the inside and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Too many people get the awareness but don’t carry through to make the changes to reap the rewards.
Following up on the unsettling climate we are living in and being exposed to, we need to continue to see the role of nature, spirituality and the higher levels of consciousness, and their interplay in the world of politics, economics, business, international relations and more.
To highlight all these, I wish to share with you the story of Henry David Thoreau’s engagement with nature, when he went to the woods to live deliberately. He wrote: "I learned this, at least, by my experiment, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Henry David Thoreau Walden Pond Cabin
Now please continue to read Thoreau’s story, very meaningfull and powerful account of the healing power of nature: