It’s amazing how much the world has changed in the past 12 months. Around this time last year, I was on top of the world. ‘Abundance’ was my word for 2020. I was hopeful, optimistic and downright joyful. In March, everything shut down; I shelved my professional endeavors and began quarantine. It felt as though 2020 was ushering in an abundance of crap. Raise your hand if you feel me!
Then I went outside. Nature is where I go to feel grounded, to shake off the blues and clear my head. It worked like a charm. Not only did I feel better, I was inspired. I saw that nature was flourishing while humans stayed at home. It felt as though Mother Earth was exhaling a long sigh of relief. The air smelled sweeter with less traffic. It was quiet. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere. Perhaps the abundance I envisioned for 2020 was a different type of richness.
By getting out of my funk and breaking the cycle of negativity, I was able to find a silver lining in the pandemic. I shifted my focus from a state of lack, to a state of abundance. Instead of thinking about what was missing from my life, I thought about what I was grateful for. Once I felt better, my creativity and resiliency flourished. I began leading my forest therapy walks via Zoom and connected with people in 8 different countries around the world and 26 U.S. states.
The moral of the story: Greet each day with gratitude and watch how it transforms your mindset. Grab your morning coffee, tea, or a tall glass of water and sit outside if the weather permits - or find a cozy spot on your porch, or by a window. Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Think of three things you’re grateful for – big or small, it doesn’t matter. Visualize each of these three things individually for a moment. What do you notice? How does it make you feel?
Spend 5 or 10 minutes cultivating your gratitude practice each day. You might even consider starting a gratitude journal so you can look back on the things that fill your life with joy.
About the Author
Kelly Bruce is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide/Trail Consultant and the founder of Natural Wanders. She leads forest bathing and nature therapy walks in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. Subscribe to her e-newsletter for more inspiration from nature and to learn about upcoming walks, workshops and retreats. Each Wednesday, she’ll provide inspiration to help you wander into wellness, naturally. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
Photography by @zailaffitte.
Welcome! I'm Kelly Bruce, a certified nature and forest therapy guide. Join me each week for Wander and Wellness Wednesdays, where I provide inspiration to help you improve your overall wellbeing, naturally!