Washed in the Forest Air

This past weekend, I was invited on a “Sauntering Forest Walk” for relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. According to Thoreau, sauntering comes from the saints’  pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. Saunt= saint, Ter= Earth.

On this walk, we were instructed to saunter: to be a saint walking and observing the earth. It was not a fast paced walk; it was intensely restful and rejuvenating. It grounded me and helped me to reset my mind and soul to what’s really important.

During the walk, our guide also introduced the idea of Forest Bathing. Apparently in Japan in 1982, a study was done on the benefits of being in the forest. The guide claimed that breathing in the beautiful air that is naturally infused with “volitile elements” purifies the blood in our bodies. Honestly, it sounded a little too out there for me, so I thought I’d look into the research. Sure enough, I found numerous websites proclaiming the benefits of the practice of “Shinrin yoku.” Who knew?Actually, I think anyone who has stepped out of their car and into the woods knows there’s a big difference between city and forest air.Even just a short drive to the countryside transports us to a completely different environment! I just love the smell of the woods, and it’s delightful that science now backs the benefits we could have long since guessed!

I want to challenge you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even for just an hour or two, and take a sauntering walk. Take your journal and see what you notice. Find a place to sit, to ponder and to write. Allow your heart and mind to be refreshed. If you are interested in taking one of these walks with Paula Gamble-Grant at Refresh and you live in the Portland area, I encourage you to sign up for one of the upcoming walks with her. Or just get out into the woods and take a walk on your own–it is amazing what it can do for your soul!

Enjoy these last weeks of summer and beautiful weather!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Heath and well being during the COVID-19 Pandemic


PLEASE CALL 503-869-8108

During this time of uncertainty and the world feeling upside down, we want you to know we are here for you.

Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and relational triggers are at an all-time high!

Anxiety is out of control. When we hear so much bad news and we have no idea when this pandemic will begin to reverse, it can rattle even the calmest among us, but for people who already struggle with anxiety, it can be crippling. Whether you are new to the emotion or it is an old bedfellow, talking to someone and finding ways to cope and move forward can be incredibly helpful.

Depression is also something that is normal when we stop all normal activities, find ourselves homeschooling our kids, working from home, in isolation, or are grieving the loss of a job, loss of your health, or worse yet, loss of a loved one. Maybe you feel like you shouldn’t be depressed because you haven’t had a “major” loss, but instead, you are feeling low and out of sorts because you couldn’t go on your vacation, throw your child a birthday party, or attend Easter services. We’re here to tell you, if you are a human on planet earth, at this moment in time, you have a reason to be depressed.

If you suffer from PTSD in any form, you are probably being triggered a great deal right now. Many people are feeling triggers that are elusive. You may not even understand why you feel these triggers that cause any number of symptoms from anxiety, to panic attacks to physical issues. This is understandable. Everywhere you turn you hear of life-threatening illness, death, and loss of every kind.

Relationship distress is also a big issue right now. How could it not be? We are all working from home, navigating uncharted territory on every front and there is no end in sight.

You know you need help. You want to talk to someone, but how do you get these services when you are practicing social distancing? Online therapy, that is how we can help. Whether you need individual therapy, couples or help with your whole family, we are here for you.

We understand online therapy is different than seeing your therapist in person! However, there is some research that has found we are able to connect at a very deep level through online therapy. Not every problem is best served through online therapy. We will talk with you and assess if it is a viable option for you.

Please call us today. Whether you have insurance or not, we will do everything we can to get you the help you need.

We have several platforms to do online therapy.  Please reach out to us today.

We are here to ease your stress and give you tools to manage during this unprecedented time.