My rant on facebook…By Andrea on February 06, 2016 — Leave a comment
I’ll start with an excerpt from the article:
The Japanese have a name for the experience of well-being in nature: shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”. We do know that a diverse ecosystem supports a varied and beneficial microbial community living around and inside us. We also know that exposure to green space, even within urban environments, increases our physical and mental well-being. But what are the mechanisms?
The Japanese researchers suggested that we are taking in beneficial substances when we breathe forest air. Research has identified three major inhaled factors that can make us feel healthier. These factors are beneficial bacteria, plant-derived essential oils and negatively-charged ions.
From birth to the grave, beneficial bacteria surround us; they live in the environment and, importantly, in the air we breathe. We also share almost our entire body with them. The more interaction we have with them, the happier and healthier we are. This is in part due to our gut-dwelling bacteria, which break down the food we cannot digest and produce substances that benefit us both physically and mentally.
I used to share this type of article as a scientific affirmation of what we know in our bones, that spending time in nature is good for us. Body, soul and even our guts are positively affected by breathing in a forest or ocean air…
Now comes my rant…
Once more this article is focused primarily on us as human beings! While I appreciate scientific studies that reveal Nature’s abilities to heal, nurture and sustain us, in these times when the earth is so depleted, this premise feels increasingly myopic and self-serving…
Ever since I began making flower flower essences in 1995, I saw the inherent limitations in the green-allopathic health industry. Nature is not here merely to serve and heal us! Flower essences are TEACHERS as much as healers. While seeking healing remedies from the natural world is a good alternative to drugs, the attitude that Nature is here to heal and provide for us allows us to pillage our beautiful home while reinforcing our projections on Nature as all-serving ‘Mother’.
While I respect the indigenous teachings that honourably revere Mother Earth, they never focus solely on ‘taking’ from the earth. Deep reciprocity lies at the heart of all their teachings… The healing power of this essential reciprocity between human beings and all creation has largely been forgotten and ignored.
Science can give us volumes of interesting information about the beneficial effects of walking and breathing in a nature-setting on our bodies, minds, and spirits, but we are still missing the big picture.
In these eco-challenged times, it is our sacred responsibility to give-back to the world, to remember we have a part in hearing and healing the Earth’s wounded soul as well as tending Her broken body.
While most of us have a great deal of anxious concern for the earth, we have forgotten the simple power of our loving. We have so much to give, and our gift is natural, easy to express, and very potent in the moment…
When we walk in the woods, drinking in the rich blessings of the natural world, let us be conscious of our healing presence — our breath a gentle blessing… our touch on the cool earth or the bark of a tree, full of wonder and appreciation.
For me, the work is not about learning more about how Nature can help us, but how we can restore our reciprocal communion with the Soul of the World, one walk at a time.
Now that, to me, is what healing is all about!