go forest bathing
Spiritual / physical
Unexpected and beautiful. These two words summarize yesterday’s act of self-care.
But let’s start with the beginning.
Well, she and her three dogs, Holly, Roni and Lily walk at the Cabin John Park in Bethesda every day for 2 hours.
This place holds a special place in Amanda’s heart and a couple days ago, she offered to take me there for a walk: “oh yes, I would love to. This is definitely self-care”
I didn’t know about it but in Japan, there is actually a whole concept called Forest Bathing.
The idea is to go walk in the woods to cleanse stress away and induce a natural meditative state. On the long term, forest bathing reduces anxiety and helps build stronger immune systems.
The purpose of my self-care was to walk mindfully in the forest with Amanda and meet with Calmness and Flow.
The two of them were there, right where expected.
Flow was sitting on a stone, in front of a stream, listening to the murmur of the water and the rocks.
And Calmness was quietly watching the trees talk to each other.
But I didn’t stay with them.
Because yesterday, I wasn’t Forest Bathing.
I was Amanda Bathing.
As soon as we stepped into the woods, Amanda started talking.
Introducing me to every rock, every tree, every leaf and every bird she knew.
The more we were getting into the forest, the deeper we were diving into her.
My friends, I will keep the beauty of her genuine, loving and generous person to myself.
But there is something I want to share with you.
I think I made a huge discovery yesterday: in everyone of us, there is a place that is pure, innocent and untouched by time.
If you want to get there, ask someone to take you somewhere that is very special to them: the neighborhood they grew up in, the childhood beach they used to go to, the school in which they met with their first love…
And tell them to show you around.
Look with their eyes.
And listen with your heart.
If you’re extremely lucky, like I was yesterday, you will find yourself in front of something precious, humbling and as fragile as the the wings of a butterfly.
This thing is called the soul.
Thank you for sharing your forest with me, Amanda.
WHY IS IT SELF-CARE? Forest bathing -or Shirin-Yoku– is used as a preventive health care and healing medicine in Japan. It has scientifically proven benefits on both the body and the mind, including but not limited to: stronger immune system, reduced blood pressure, increased focus, improved sleep, etc.
Forest bathing can also help you develop a deeper and cleerer intuition and increase your overall sense of happiness.
Here is a World Economic Forum Video with scientitific evidence that supports Forest Bathing.
MORE ABOUT THIS
If you want to go forest bathing, take your time.
I’ recommended that you go on a day where you have plenty of time and can stay in the woods as long as you want.
For your first time, I suggest that you walk on a familiar trail : you will feel more comfortable to let go and just be there.
You will also have a better feel of the time you need to complete the trail. You don’t want to be in the middle of a”bath” and have to hurry to leave it, wet and soapy (or something close).
If you want to walk with someone, know that you don’t have to talk all the time. Don’t fear silence and focus on the sounds of the forest. You will feel the person who’s with you differently and it’s cool too.
Love to all my friends and enjoy your walk!