Today is the 50th Anniversary of ‘Earth Day.’ Be sure to spend some time in nature today, in gratitude, as you celebrate this wondrous planet where we all live. We are the earth’s caregivers and protectors, and that was never more evident and important than now. As Astronaut Carl Sagan’s photo demonstrated and spoke of, the earth is but a tiny speck of dust in the Universe. “Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives,” Sagan later wrote. “On a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”Candy Hansen, a planetary scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who worked on the Voyager imaging team noted, “It also made me think about how vulnerable our tiny planet is.”
‘Shinrin yoku’ – Japanese ‘Forest Bathing.’ Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yokumeans “bath.” Shinrin-yoku means ‘bathing in’ or ‘taking in’ the forest atmosphere through all of your senses.
We all know how being in nature can make us feel good. The practice of ‘Shinrin yoku’ means ‘being in’ and ‘connecting with’ nature through your all of your senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Enjoying the sounds of the forest, birds singing, insects and animals moving through the woods, the wind rustling through the leaves, the scent of the earth, leaves, flowers and trees, the sunlight filtering through the leaves, the clean fresh air. Enjoying flora and fauna in nature, while escaping the sounds and routines of everyday life. These experiences in nature, and the time you take away fromthe ‘hustle and bustle,’ provides a sense of peace, comfort and calm. Being in nature can reenergize, refresh and rejuvenate you, improving your overall health and sense of wellbeing.