Stories from my personal journey learning about and delivering Nature-rooted programs across three different countries

Guest Blog: What if being outside didn't equate surviving?

Stefany Pagé-Douville
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Written by Stefany Pagé-Douville, certified Forest Bathing Therapy Guide and creator of Your Healing Circle
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What if being outside didn't equate surviving?
What if it meant resourcing?
What if instead of being scary and overwhelming, it actually felt like home and safety?

I see a whole lot of invitations and talk around 'surviving in the outdoors', or activities that are around protecting yourself; or knowing how to handle being out there. But what if you went out there just to be? What if nature was your therapy? What if by stepping out, you were to thrive instead of survive?

There are benefits and major empowerment when learning skills to survive, feed, and shelter yourself. AND, there's equal empowerment and benefits to our nervous system and mental health when we actually look at doing the opposite.
I'm sharing these thoughts because here's the thing: The more I spend time outside with people of all ages, the more I see the impacts and benefits there are with encouraging body awareness; emotional awareness; and connection to land, animals and other humans. We are constantly put in situations - in our everyday life - where our body goes into an active state of resilience, movement, problem solving and protection. Some, in fact, are still trying to manage/calm the fear, anxieties and that sympathetic nervous system following the pandemic and regularly fearing getting Covid still. The last thing they want to do is go outside and feel like it's a place they need to learn how to survive in. That's overwhelming, exhausting and completely counter intuitive to what they need. What we all need. You should want go out there knowing that there's a form of resourcing, calm, grounding; there to care for you and your whole body, mind, spirit. It should feel like home, safety, and belonging. Like the trees, plants, grass, soil, birds, sun, shadows embrace you in this gigantic soft, warm and loving blanket; and whisper in your heart: "You. Are. Home. Breathe. Release. Let go."
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To experience Stef's grounding guidance alongside the natural world, take a look at this free resource she created:
FREE Nature Connections - Your Personal Guide

It's a self-paced, step-by-step, Forest Bathing personal guide, filled with simple & intuitive ways for you to deepen your connection with nature & self. Plus, you can follow along using the audio as well.
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About the Author:
Stefany Pagé-Douville (Stef) is a Mom to humans & animals alike; Reiki practitioner; Meditation teacher; and certified Forest Bathing Therapy Guide. Her pronouns are she/her/elle. Stefany is a mental health & belonging advocate. She is passionate about the power of community, connection, and holding space for every living being. Her primary work focuses on inviting people of all ages to find solace & belonging in nature, whilst sharing & learning about its resources together.

Stef has been facilitating gatherings and nature experiences on the unceded, unsurrendered & stolen lands of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people through her own business, Your Healing Circle, since 2018. Stef has worked alongside numerous Ottawa organizations & communities. She continues to deepen her connection with Land through learning opportunities of Land Stewardship with these organizations, with an open-heart & a listening ear.

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