Forest Bathing for Inspiration

Gravel dust swirls in the warm air, stirring more with each step I take. To my left are rows of flowers, with colors spanning the rainbow, smelling like a perfumery of floral and wood. To my right is a border of trees, protecting a wetland and habitat to rabbits, ducks, frogs, and many varieties of birds. Up ahead the crows call out, beckoning me to move deeper into the forest. Two butterflies dance in the sky, moving from one side of the pathway to the other, reminding me to be spontaneous and playful.

I have been an avid forest bather long before I even knew what it was. Nature’s cathedral of treetops has always been my place of peace, where I can turn off and allow everything else to fall away. The Japanese have coined the term “forest bathing”, and it has recently made a surge into our American lexicon, but for those of us living in the Seattle area, forest bathing has already been a part of life.

Forest bathing is not simply being outside, it is about immersion in the natural beauty that surrounds you. It is a break from devices, signals, and busyness. While there will be some people who tell you how to take a forest bath, it is more about embracing a being-ness that cannot be defined by another person. Forest bathing creates a daily escape from our workweek routine, and forges connection with nature, as well as our innermost thoughts.

When you emerge from your time in nature, you come out with renewed priorities, perspectives and focus on what really matters, instead of what you think should matter. You can walk, jog, sit, meditate, practice tai chi, do yoga, read, color, take photos, sing, laugh, or simply be. The more you allow each moment in the forest to lead and guide you, the better experience you will have.

I enjoy using this time for walking meditation, contemplation, connecting with the animals I encounter, tai chi on occasion, and taking photos. Each day is a different experience, even if I go back to the exact same place. The forest is my place for inspiration to jolt me to my next adventure.

Whether, I am sun gazing though the canopy, or pondering on the ripples in a pond, the forest reminds me of what is important for me in my life today. It is my therapist, my guide, and my theater, showing me all that I need to see.

Unity Transcends All Destruction

In the world today, it can be easy to look at the forces of destruction, anger and hatred, however in every single moment you have a choice as to the energy you feed. Are you going to feed unity, cooperation and harmony, or are you going to feed the other forces mentioned above? This choice comes up every time there is a news story about humans taking the lives of other humans. This unfortunately is not new news. This is currently a part of the human experience, at least until humanity is able to transcend it. And, yes it can be transcended, not by the few, but by the many.

Transcending destruction happens both individually and collectively; it is accomplished by making the choice to feed the forces of unity, love, forgiveness and compassion. Are you going to continue to give into the energy of destruction by adding your two cents to the judgment or hatred or fear that the media continues to stir up? Or, are you going to find a way to discover a peace within yourself, to see beyond labels to move into a space where you can connect with the humanness of each and every fellow person on the planet?

The path to Unity (Universal) consciousness is all about viewing another individual as a Soul on a path, just like you are. What does that mean? It means that no matter how you agree or disagree with the choices and actions of another person, that you are able to reach deep down and to recognize they too are on their journey to Soul sovereignty, to view the role they are playing on the stage of life, and to understand that it is the part they have been programmed to play. Every individual is programmed; programmed by upbringing, belief systems, past life patterns and daily conditioning from various outside influences. You can choose in any moment to accept your programming as your truth, or to discover the truth of who you are as a Soul.

I create unity within myself, my home, and my community by viewing each individual from the Soul perspective.

When you discover the truth of your Soul, you will find that you can much more easily connect with the journey of other individuals. All paths lead to the same destination, and so when you are seeing another person who is sharing beliefs of anger, hatred and fear, your own path to understanding requires that you look beyond their emotional expression, and gain understanding that they are another individual on their path to discover their Soul. Just because their path is different from you own, does not indicate that they will not arrive at the same destination as you will one day.

Much of humanity has been programmed to understand the world through judgment and separation; looking at the ways in which you are different from others around you. This is something that is learned very early on, as it is highly encouraged to embrace your individuality. Yes, individuality is a valuable learning experience, but the path to peace, unity, and true freedom is forged by obtaining a balance of individuality and collectiveness. Collectiveness is accepting your connection with all others, even those whom you have a challenging time seeing any similarity with.

Back in September of this year, a message on Unity was written, and one of the suggestions was to practice being in Unity at least one day per week; Unity Shift Thursdays. Each week, practice looking at the commonalities you have with everyone else you encounter. Are they motivated to keep a roof over their head? Probably so. Do they strive for Self-Confidence? Most likely. Move beyond looking at physical attributes, and into emotional qualities, there will be more commonalities emerge than even you expected.

The only way to change the energy of destruction is to eradicate the energy of hatred, fear and anger. And, the only way to eradicate such energy is through the processes of creation and re-creation. Creating new bonds and connections, re-creating unity within your home and community, sending love, healing and forgiveness outward to all others, and to yourself. Look within and boost up your own forces of creation, love, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. What you are able to boost up within yourself, you also contribute to the greater whole. It has been said so many times before; “violence begets more violence,” and, “only love conquers all.” These are true statements. Destruction leads to more destruction, and only the forces of creation can neutralize it.

So what can you do to help neutralize the forces of destruction? Find time to look at the creative forces of love, forgiveness, and compassion within yourself. Find time to contemplate, sit quietly or meditate on discovering more of these qualities within you. If you find yourself feeling hatred, fear, anger or similar energies, write about them in your journal, talk about them with a trusted friend, teacher or confidant, but then let them go. Do not publish them or share them publicly, as that public display of fear will only lead to more fear. You do not have to qualify yourself or defend your viewpoint, by doing so you are in assumption that others are against you. This assumption is backed by a subconscious belief of separation.

You can be in truth without being in judgment. You can understand that there are differences in the world, without having those difference be the central focus of your thoughts. Learn to move beyond focusing on differences and bring others together for common goals and causes. Accept that there is more than enough resources to go around; you are not in competition with anyone else for your resources. Stop looking at anyone outside of you as taking away from you; whether that be in taxes, social programs, food or jobs. You are not a victim of other people’s choices, you are only a victim of your decision to feel like a victim.

You can rise above any tough time, you can create a movement of positivity, you can incite wonderful change, and you can be a participant in bringing about equality, peace, joy and love. Do not give up, do not give in. You are capable of great things! Find groups to participate with, use your discernment to join positive meditations for planetary change.

And, most of all, forgive yourself, forgive others and NEVER stop believing in your power to be a catalyst for positive change. We are crossing the finish line, you wouldn’t want to stop short of a great accomplishment, now is the time to dig in deep and KNOW without any doubt that you have arrived, because you are the Creator of your arrival.

By placing unity and peace at the center of you meditation practice,  you contribute to giving back to the world in a positive way. View these meditation packages aligned with unity consciousness.

Meditation for Connecting with Nature

Below is Karen’s meditation to assist you in connecting with nature and feeling the peace within you. You are guided to a forest with a large Moss Agate crystal inside. Then you journey with the butterflies to discover your own place of personal peace and contentment.

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