Walking and Wellbeing

When did you last feel the wind on your face or listen to the rustle of leaves or enjoy the smell of damp moss

waterfall stand and stare

Walking allows you space to be yourself, to reflect and to dream. With the many demands that life puts on us we can at times feel lost and cut off from who we really are. The act of gentle walking with someone who is prepare to listen and to accept you as you are may help you become more aware of how life is for you. This can be a difficult process at first. However becoming more aware of how you are really feeling may be the start of a journey towards feeling fully present and alive, so that you are able to have more space for joy and creativity in your life.

The possible health benefits of being outdoors are discussed in a report by MIND. Natural England, WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust have also published reports about the benefits of time spent in “natural” landscapes. Writers who influence my work are Rebecca Solnit who has written eloquently in her book, “Wanderlust”, about the spiritual aspects of walking. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts in their book, “Edgelands”, have written about diverse landscapes which are immediately accessible to all of us, but ones we often dismiss or overlook. Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’s beautifully illustrated book ,”The Lost Words”, is a timely reminder of how with our fast paced modern life we may be losing touch with the immediate natural world around us. They point out that even the words we have to describe once commonplace species are being lost from our vocabulary, such as bluebell, blackbird or conker.

The way I work outdoors is discussed further in “What will we do together?”.