When we met, we instantly connected on a mutual dream we shared – to offer Forest Bathing services as part of a healing center/retreat. We would buy acres of land and build our own trails throughout. We would learn about all the plant life on our land so that we could forage teas and identify all the trees upon which we would draw patience, resolve, solace, love, motivation, shade, or permission to release. We have both found resolve from our time in the forest. Whether if that was needing a break from the world, or desperately seeking answers to big questions or challenges in our lives – we found those answers within ourselves and it was with the help of our home base forests that helped us get there.
Nature is a manifestation of God. And that manifestation is Love, all the way.Ram Dass
We recognize the healing properties of nature, we have felt them for ourselves. We have felt the extent of her reach and her power so strongly within our own lives that we have dedicated ourselves to living off-the-grid: solely in her embrace. As close to her, without distraction, as we can possibly get.
We don’t expect that all humans on earth can ditch their lives, buy a piece of land, and start living self-sustainably, or off-grid, or in earth ships.. we understand that commitment isn’t for everyone, nor is that lifestyle. We respect that, as any alternative lifestyle to the one we have chosen, certainly does not suit us (as far as we have tried, anyway). But what we can’t agree to disagree upon, is the importance of Mother Nature in each of our lives. If you cannot live within the arms of her consistent presence, if you find yourself out of reach as if Nature is a vacation – than it is you who would benefit from practices such as Forest Bathing. If nothing else, it brings you home to yourself, to your roots, and allows you to ground yourself to presence – to what is organic – to pure love.
I grew up as the kid who disliked gym class and physical activity / sports. I always preferred art rooms, music rooms, or later on, computer class. I never felt very confident in my body which translated also into being anxious of drawing attention towards my body/self. I did not want to participate and would often try to find a way out if I could. After school, the extent of my physical activity would be biking around the city when I did not have a vehicle, and walking around town when I did not have a bicycle. I did not feel strong and I didn’t feel like I could accomplish much on my own (physically) without a good push.
When I met Curt, I had just started hiking in the back-country (within 4 months) but still had little experience. In the three years that we have been together, I have completely altered my beliefs which I can affirm were holding me back this entire time. I always believed I was weak and incapable until Curt helped me prove to myself just the opposite. Since we have met, I have hiked over 500km (mainly throughout late 2018-early 2020). The benefits of hiking for me have not only been an improvement in physical health but certainly, if not moreso, in my mental and emotional well-being. During my hikes, my mental chatter is of support and encouragement, opposed to doubt and fear. I am excited and motivated to get outside and hike, instead of being stopped by my doubt. Halted and tormented by fear. I hike into the back country where I am intimately discovering the hidden landscapes of the rocky mountains.
Of course, the practice of Forest Bathing and mountain hiking offer completely different benefits and experiences as a whole. We are opting for both and a mixture of the two if possible.
When we do eventually offer trails on our own land, it will be for both practices. We dream to bring people up to hike in places they never thought possible – we want to pamper campers in the back country after their hard work by cooking them a spectacular meal – we want to help encourage people to get comfortable to hike in the back-country. We want to help people return to the forest – to silence, to peace, to calamity within themselves. The forest helps us achieve this. It helps us to finally take that full, deep breath. There is also so much to learn and be discovered along the way, no matter which path calls to you.