A still mind, reflects the universe. Let us introduce you to the beautiful idea of a reflections walk. A walk that reconnects you to a few important moments from the past. These reflections will help you unwind the year that was and prepare you for the year that will be.
You can do the reflections walk alone or with people who are close to you. All you need is a pen and a notebook to collect your thoughts. Find a peaceful nature space near you and go for a gentle walk. Follow the principles of the Japanese concept of mindful nature walks, also known as ‘Forest Bathing‘. The aim is to be silent, go slow. Open your senses to absorb the calm of nature, and carry it within you.
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have you received–only what you have given.”~ Francis of Assisi
The reflections walk consists of 7 writing prompts. The prompts have been carefully chosen to light up parts of your mind that trigger positivity. These memories and insights foster the core emotions that make happiness grow: Compassion. Awe. Gratitude. Creativity.
Give yourself 10 minutes for each writing activity and in case you have others with you, follow it up with a sharing circle. For larger groups, it is recommended you break up into smaller groups of 3~5 for sharing. After each sharing session do a short 10 minute walk in nature. Combining reflections with a nature walk, helps us recharge our inner reservoir. It also helps in assimilating the learning and deepens your experience.
Here are the writing prompts for the reflections walk. Gather your memories from the last 12 months and pen down:
One thing you are grateful for.
One moment of awe
One act of kindness you received.
One act of kindness you gave.
One person who inspired you.
One lesson you learnt.
One thing you wish to create.
TIP: Doing the reflection walk on your own is wonderful, but sharing it with others is amazing. Creating a shared experience not only grows our collective learning, but also forms a special bond based on a deeper understanding of each other. An interesting idea is to email this post to friends who may be in different cities and schedule a WhatsApp / Zoom session to share insights from their reflection walk.
“The great secret of morals is love, and a going out of our own nature and an identification of the beautiful that exists in thought, action, or person not our own.”~ Percy Shelly
Dacher Keltner, renowned psychologist and founder of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley says, “The emotions of compassion and gratitude and awe, I think they really tell us that human nervous system isn’t just fight or flight. Sigmund Freud gave us a great legacy: the two great instincts of sex and death. We would say there’s a little bit more than that, right? Then, they also tell us that a lot of the great delights in life come from serving others, that the human mind is wired up to do so. When you express compassion, you’re getting this big rush of vagus nerve activation and oxytocin. This feels great. When you show gratitude to somebody or sharing, similar studies show you get activation in rewards circuits in the brain. We’ll find that happens with awe as well. Human beings are wired to care and give and it’s probably our best route to happiness.“
12 Beautiful Lakes to Reflect upon
Lakes serve as a metaphor for the complexities of our mind. As the year draws to a close, here’s a short film to reflect upon some beautiful lakes from different corners of our planet.
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A Gift For The New Year
We hope your new year is filled with calm, clarity and good health. Here’s a collection of 12 Forest Wallpapers + reflections walk poster to inspire you to go out for more nature walks. And when you do, don’t forget to share the treasures you find with others.
Healing Forest is a volunteer driven project. Our goal is to bring people and forests closer to each other through creativity and mindfulness. The aim is simple. Helping people heal. Helping forests heal.