Chances are you’ve never heard of Shinrin Yoku before, so let me break it down in three easily digestible pieces.
- It’s about SLOWING DOWN. We’re going to take a break from the hustle-bustle-high octane- cybernetic world and just breathe. We’re going to watch a butterfly wander lazily past a sage bush. We’re going to feel the breeze sweep through the canyon. We’re going to notice the swaying grass in a way that makes us relax. Slowing down reduces stress, improves mood, and increases focus. And when we slow down, it presents the opportunity to witness ourselves and everything around us with intention and an open curiosity.
- It’s about BECOMING PRESENT. Because we’re used to moving so fast, we’re often not even witnessing what’s present in the moment; instead, we tend to focus on the future, on all the things that haven’t been accomplished yet. But when we do this, we often fail to appreciate the incredible beauty of the world around us. Presence is about listening and about being listened to, knowing that what’s going on for us in the moment is important and that the forest is generous and wants to help. Being present allows us to deepen our relationships, to create bonds with the more-than-human world, and increases our awareness of the bigger picture.
- It’s about EXPERIENCING JOY. When we’re relaxed, we can easily become aware of the blessings of every day, from the sunlight, to the color of the moss, to the company of new and old friends. As we walk down the path, we laugh, we play, and we learn together. This sense of connection is the gateway to joy. There’s no pressure to be someone you’re not, just come, be yourself, and feel how liberating that can be. When we open our hearts to the world, we are filled with beauty and gratitude.
I hope you will join us!