Walk slowly, mindfully and listen to the trees.
These last few days have been challenging on so many levels. Previous to the latest aggressive action from Trump to Iran, I had struggled with what to do when overwhelmed with the fire hose effect of the daily news. Do I focus on climate change, impeachment, immigrant children kept in cages at the border, or any number of corrupt decisions made in this current government? I find myself feeling despair with my anger & frustration.
When I’m overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, or despairing, I like to take action. These are times when my house is cleaned, laundry is done, and floors are mopped. I’ll even take on projects that have been left on the back burner, like sorting through boxes of yarn.
Now that I’ve scrubbed and cleaned, I find myself focusing on a cause I hold close to my heart — restoring the climate. I have been directing my attention to the climate through reading and researching and considering actions with the greatest impact for change. I’ve read Terry Tempest Williams latest book, “Erosions”. I’ve also discovered a woman, Dianna Beresford – Kroeger, who is a medical botanist living in Canada. Her latest book, “To Speak for the Trees”, has been an inspiration. Her movie, “The Call of The Forest” (available through Amazon Prime), a deeper inspiration.
My daily work is about health and helping people recover their health. When I read about the realities of climate change, I wonder if there is more I can do to engage in my own health and the health of those who come to me for health solutions.
Our environment is in trouble. We must engage and take actions to restore our climate to a healthy life-giving balance.
Dianna Beresford-Kroeger has a suggestion for action that I can do! Ms. Beresford-Kroeger’s focus has been on the health of our forests across the globe. She speaks of trees as the lungs of the Earth. Forests, through their cascade of actions underground and above ground, clean our air, contribute to the health of our waterways, and provide peaceful environments that decrease the daily effects of stress.
Clear cutting and wildfires dramatically affect our clean air and clean oceans. When forests are cut for lumber, what is left is a lifeless desert. When forests are burned by wildfires, what is left is a crisis. When forests are ‘replanted’ with trees, too often those forests create a monoculture which is only good for creating lumber. Monocultures (acres of the same type of tree) do not positively affect our forests and health. It is through planting varieties of native trees within native areas that creates biodiversity and restores forests to their work of cleaning our environment.
So, let’s get out and plant trees! What are the trees that are native to the area you live in? Do a little research. Here in New England, I plan on planting oaks, maples, hickory trees, and evergreens that are indigenous to the Northeast.
When this Spring begins, my actions will be planting trees. Now, in Winter, I am talking to everyone I know about the benefits of planting trees and being in the forests. Who doesn’t feel better when walking in the woods?
When I engage and seek positive actions to take, I find myself better able to take a deep breath and relax.
I created a deck of cards for positive mindfulness and forest bathing. (See my last blog post) As I lead people into the woods to experience a slow mindful walk listening and witnessing the life of the forest, people come out feeling better, more peaceful, and caring about their woodlands. They are all on board to planting trees in the Spring! Consider joining me. Let’s plant trees!