30 Jul The Forest is my New Sea
When anyone asks me what do you miss most about Dublin, I don’t miss a beat before replying ‘the sea, I really miss the sea’.
I pine for the sound of the sea, the early morning walks watching the sunrise from Monkstown, the feeling of dampness in the winter when I
walk close to the spray, sitting on my own bunch of rocks where I’ve made some big decisions looking out on to the sea all of this I miss
because of my deep love and connection with the sea.
I miss the energy the sea gives me, the grounding, the instant reality check. I most definitely come away each and every time,
unquestionably the better for the experience.
Now, I do know being based outside Galway now, means of course that I’m not a million miles away from the sea here, but it is not
immediately close by and therefore not as convenient.
So, I started going for my 6am walks with the dog, to Kilcronan Woods, located literally 5 minutes from my house.
What I didn’t know when I started with my new ritual, that while to look at, the woods could not be more removed from the sea in their
sense of closed-ness, shelter, protection and that feeling of being ‘covered in’, that the benefits would be
EXACTLY the same. Identical.
Only two weeks ago, I read for the first time that Forest Therapy is an actual thing. Forest Therapy also known as Shinrin Yoku in Japan, or
Forest Bathing, is fast gaining recognition as being suitable treatment for Stress and promoting positive mental health and well-being.
As I read this, I couldn’t help but shout ‘I knew it!’ because I had felt these benefits, remembered how I used to feel the very same feelings
after my walks by the sea, but couldn’t quite articulate why those feelings were happening for me again. It turns out that instead of bathing
in the sound of the sea I was now just bathing in the sound of the forest.
When I look at these photos below, I see my favourite stretch, where the sunlight dips in and out, where I know if it’s raining I might get wet.
I see the trees that I actually stop and hug.
I have one favourite. I wonder can you spot it? It’s the one I believe has a face on it. I get so much incredible energy from this particular tree.
In the last few weeks, when it has been so hot and dry, I’ve been known to walk barefoot so that I can connect further with the earth. And
yes, I know that a few years back me doing this, let alone writing about it, would cause great explosions of laughter not least from myself.
But frankly, I don’t care.
I walk through the woods some mornings practicing conversations I know I will never have, as well as those I will have. I use that time to
practice my breathing work. I ask the trees to fill me with creativity and to inspire with me great ideas.
Some mornings, like today, I see little visitors. Today’s was this white butterfly, that was very persistent in getting my attention and was in
no hurry to move on. I knew who it was as soon as I saw him.
Those 45 minutes of magic are mine every day. I achieve so much in that time. I get the dog walked, I do my breathing meditations, I
problem solve, I visualise my dreams, I practice gratitude and above all else I come home having started the day feeling so much more
Scoff all you want, but this little tree hugger is very happy she branched out! (sorry I couldn’t resist just the one pun!)
So open up your mind to finding what might work it’s magic on you. It may not be what you think it will be, but you’ll know once you find it.
To find out more about what will light you up insde … click here ww.niamhennis.com/createyourbestlife
And try it…go bathe in the forest.
If you go down in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise!
Niamh xx ?
PS Let me know if you find the Face in the tree?