I just watched a beautiful documentary, “my octopus teacher.”
A story about a free diver’s relationship with an octopus and how he grew to understand more about himself through his very emotional relationship with this creature. It takes place off the coast of South Africa in a kelp forest. The photography is superb. He filmed the odyssey and wrote his story.
Experiences while out in nature can be life changing as this diver found or it can be simply experiencing the now moments relieving stress and healing.
When I lived in Lake Tahoe for years I would often take a journal and hike to a stream and write. Often I would draw a rock or flower or trail and write how I felt in the moment. I would reflect on how much my life was reflected in the ebb and flow of the seasons around me, these nature journals were very healing and brought me much joy and peace during trying times. Much of the artwork inspired my later silk painting projects.
If life seems to be too much at times, take a walk alone to a place in a park or along the coast at the beach or by a stream. Bring a journal and a good writing, drawing pen, pencil. Sit quietly and simply breathe for a bit drinking in the natural light, the smells, the sounds, the visuals. Then write about how you are feeling right now. Perhaps reflect on your relationship with the natural world. How is nature part of your wellbeing.
There are many places to write it down.
Sometimes writing in a coffee shop is fun and rewarding. I’ve met friends for coffee and we write in our journals and sometimes talk and sometimes just write in silence. I really like finding a corner in the cafe’ by myself, buy a muffin and tea and write in my journal.
Lately I find writing on my iPad in bed late at night helps me clear my mind.
I mix up writing in a journal with a favorite pen with writing on my iPad. Somehow sitting in front of my computer feels like work so I’m not inclined to journal there. Pen, pencil and a sturdy sketchbook is still my go to place for recording my inner thoughts and emotions. There is a visceral pleasure in watching the pen as it draws and writes.
I often sit by myself by the fireplace in a favorite chair and reflect on my world. Meditation and journal writing go hand in hand.
My garden has many sitting places where I can take my journal. Travel stories abound when I am on a plane or sitting waiting to take off. I often find when travelling in the world I see beautiful spaces to write. I have written about my experiences as I sit and observe such sites as the towers in Italy, the Cairns in Ireland, the rough coastlines and peaceful beaches. The architecture always evokes a sense of wonder and desire to write about the designers and the culture when it was built. I particularly like the outdoor café’s and fountains.
Where are your favorite places to write?
Many of my students preferred to write their daily reflections in the same spot and time every day. Others tried various options. I remember one student who wrote while soaking in a tub. I think I’d get everything wet if I tried that!
Where ever you choose to write bring a sense of anticipation of what might emerge. Enjoy being out in nature. If the weather is harsh and prevents you from going outside, use your imagination. Take an imaginary walk and describe in detail all the sights and smells, textures, sounds. Be in the moment. Write it down.