This painting of a vision of nature therapy from the workshop has really helped me move forwards in understanding how Nature Therapy CIC can develop. Thanks to Dave Ward for help with processing this. I certainly need to adjust my old ways of thinking and embrace new ways of working.
Vision boarding as part of the nature therapy workshop - love this picture as there is so much more to it. Overturn those stones and see what lays beneath, get over that fence and climb up the hill to see what spreads out beyond......
An animal communicator in the US connects with horses through using dowsing rods. Bill Northern says he leaves his physical body to communicate on a subconscious level. All interesting stuff, but the scientist in me wants to know the evidence base for dowsing with animals.
I first encountered horse dowsing in the US where I learned that horses have two energy fields surrounding them, the inner and the outer field. On encountering the first energy field when approaching a free horse, you have to subconsciously ask permission to enter their second field. I was amazed that if I did not ask permission the horse would move away from me. If I did ask permission then I would be allowed to enter this space and progress to the level of the second energy field where again I had to ask permission to approach and touch. I would love to know more about the science behind this.
For years, there was a belief that when dowsing, the 'awake' part of your mind shut down and that you just went over to the other part. But in the last few years, it has been discovered that by putting brainwave sensors on dowsers, that the whole mind becomes active. Instead of going to sleep it goes wild. We just don't know what is behind this mass of neural activity.
Meanwhile, dowsing is incorporated into our equine therapy work as it demonstrates respect for the horse/donkey if nothing else. They have the freedom of choice to move away or to stay and it also helps individual understand body space and boundaries.
If you struggle with mental distress and want a boost of happy contentment then try and get outside. I know all too well it's often a challenge to find space in a busy day, especially when you are feeling a bit low. But really, get up, get outside and breathe in that air - you won't regret it. I am going to post ideas to inspire you (and myself). Let me know if you do get out and what it was like. Would love to hear what you have been up to, or if you have ideas to inspire others to get out in the great outdoors.
The first idea, courtesy of the Japanese, is called Shinrin-yoku - or the ancient art of Forest Bathing. According to world renowned expert Dr Li, walking in forests may
prevent the onset of chronic illnesses like cancers and heart disease, obesity and diabetes. According to Dr Li, Forest Bathing reduces anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue and feelings of emotional confusion. So, worth a try - you never know who, or what, you might come across (see picture).
I will never look at trees the same again, but will resist the urge to hug one. Happy wanderings.
Have been doing some research this week into empaths. For many years I have pondered on the autistic spectrum -- if individuals on the autistic spectrum are reportedly unable to express empathy than maybe there is another end of the scale where individuals are overwhelmed by empathy. This is how I discovered work taking place on Empaths (or sensitive's is another term). Empaths can be so overwhelmed by other's feelings they can become socially isolated and take refuge in nature. Hence my interest.
The flip side to this was revealed in a recent report by Henry and Kamilla Markram. They suggest that individuals who are diagnosed as 'on the spectrum', are so hypersensitive they feel other's fear and emotions acutely. Just like Empaths then. Seems the difference might be in how the distress they experience is expressed. Interestingly, those who are hypersensitive generally connect well with horses.
I have done several inspirational courses through the rather wonderful Lili organisation over the years. The first was on straw bale building and the last was on Leechworts by the amazing Penny Oddy. I could not be more delighted that Lili have now accepted my How to do Nature Therapy course onto their listings so will be posting. Will post up dates soon.
Lili is about low impact living in harmony with nature. They can be found at https://www.facebook.com/lowimpactorg.
Thanks Lili x
Great excitement here - gone through to the second stage of a bid to Unltd for the nature therapy and dementia care programme. Big smiles.
One family with a relative with dementia are planning to take part in a John Muir Award as a pilot approach to how this would work for many more families. The family needed to select a wild place and the gentleman with dementia chose Firestone Copse on the Isle of Wight. This copse is rich in red squirrels and also includes the rare Bechstein bat. The older member of the family recalled details of the copse from his visits over an 80 year period. The family are returning with him to see once again his memorable wild place and how they can work together to conserve the copse for others to continue to enjoy over the next 80 years. I will keep you posted on how they get on.
Photo courtesy of Red Funnel
Dr Kim Brown