Month: July 2022

A life that saves the World

Try to live a life that saves the Earth

You might be interested in Charles Eisenstein.

“When I understand that my very existence at its core is part of the existence of each ecosystem and species around the world, then I know that whatever happens to them is in a way happening to me.”

A client introduced me to this philosopher, author, and historian by recommending the documentary The Music Played the Band. I highly recommend you watch it.


Charles Eisenstein’s message in The Music Played the Band, parallels my belief that the natural order of the world is survival of the kindest.

In this documentary, he goes beyond belief and into doing.

How to Live your Life

As Charles tells it, there is…

“The old story” of how to live your life — one of separation where might makes right.

A world where we maximize our self-interest by taking what we need and want to prove our dominance. It’s a world of — us versus them, me versus you, and so on.

It’s a world that we take depression, despair, and resignation for granted. Even if we have an epiphany of abundance – our money system screams SCARCITY.

We’re stuck and we can’t get out. Or can we?

The new story, according to Charles Eisenstein, is actually billions of years older than this old story of “separate self in the world of others.” As each species developed through the billions of years it took to get to the human species – the world became alive, more abundant.

Each being – from atom to butterfly — contributed to the life of the cosmos since the beginning of time.

They weren’t here to conquer nature like human beings have believed for centuries. Every species developed to become a part of the collective good. They gave in order to receive.

This approach brings an understanding of yourself as a “gift.”

What is yours to do? What is yours to give? That’s how we can live our lives.

Everyone is an artist

Charles encourages us to become divine artists and make as much good and beauty in the world as we can.

We can devote our lives to goodness. This is who we are. This is why we’re here. This is us – to bring our gifts to the world.

Every Act is a Prayer

“The way you are with your two-year old, sets the template to the future.”

No matter how big or how small, each act is important to be in a state devoted to goodness. Your life will unfold like peeling an onion. Each layer brings a greater understanding of the role you are here to play.

It could be you have a gift for politics, moving the community into the greater good mindset. Or it could be you comfort those in need of help. Your every act is a prayer spreading beauty and goodness in the world.

Whatever your gift is, once you start giving it away, you will receive benefits.

          • Joy
          • Connection
          • Fulfillment

Find your community

“How do you hold on to a reality that contradicts the reality everyone is holding on to you? We need other people to hold our reality with us – we need a community.”

Recognize that you have Hope

With hope, you can move out of your paralysis and set your gifts in motion to bring beauty and goodness to our world.

Take care.


P.S. This article originally appeared in my April 2022 issue of my e-newsletter. We forgot to post it on my website. Enjoy. ~~ Ellen

How we say things are important

How we say things are important

The Irish phrase sadness in a way that I think we need to adopt.

Freepix Photo: Farm home by the sea in Ireland

The Irish people say, “Sadness is on me.” The implication is that the feeling of sadness is able to move away.

We say, “I am sad.” This implies “ownership” and something we want to keep. By owning our feelings — they own us.

I am encouraging you, and everyone, to rethink how we address feelings. Our statements on how we feel need to recognize feelings as temporary.

With practice and awareness, I now say “sadness is on me.”

May happiness surround you today,


Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

Two years ago, in my newsletter I encouraged you to live in harmony with nature in Survival of the Kindest and mentioned the health benefits of Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese Art of Forest Bathing. In the January issue of 2022, I once again encouraged you to practice forest bathing in my article about Finland, On Becoming the Happiest Country in the World.

Now when a friend mentioned I should write about forest bathing last month, I decided it was time to dedicate some real effort to sharing with you about the importance of this incredible, and free, health practice.

Why Forest Bathing?

In the 19080s, the Japanese began Shinrin-Yoku in response to the growing demands of technology on humans. Needless to say, the practice of forest bathing continues to gain in popularity with people of all ages as does technology.

If you Google “forest bathing,” you’ll find countless articles and videos online. I’ve read many and watched a few videos. Lifehacker produced Why You Should Try the Japanese Art of Forest Bathing. They explore the benefits of forest bathing using the backdrop of their meandering through the forest. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, a Grand Fellow at Chiba University who studies the connections between nature and humans, joins writer Nick Douglas for a scientific discussion on this art of bathing. Check out their discussion. (Do not have on the closed caption, because it just gets in the way.)

An Experience of the Mind versus the Body

I decided I wanted more information and chose to read:

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness
by Dr. Qing Li, published April 17, 2018, Penguin Life

Book Cover: Forest Bathing

The book, Forest Bathing, is an easy read with beautiful photos to illustrate the art. Dr. Qing Li explains that forest bathing is opening up your mind to the beauty of nature around you. This practice is mental verses physical. You’re not going on a hike to move through nature. You’re going on a walk to observe and feel nature.

It’s a walk-in nature where you smell the leaves, touch the bark, and look up to see the tree limbs sway in the breeze. This single act of awareness could take five minutes to thirty minutes or more until you meander to the next place you want to rest and connect. You want to be present in the moment — to relax and observe with all your senses.

Dr. Li’s research findings supports that just two-hours of forest bathing releases high blood pressure in almost everyone. There’s lots of research on the benefits of forest bathing. In addition to reducing blood pressure, research has found that it:

          • Lowers stress
          • Improves cardiovascular health
          • Lowers blood sugar level
          • Improves concentration and memory
          • Lifts depression
          • Improves pain thresholds
          • Improves energy
          • Boosts the immune system with an increase in the count of the body’s natural killer cells
          • Increases anti-cancer protein production
          • Helps you lose weight

Dr. Li also discusses the different kinds of trees and how they offer different kinds of healing. The book is an easy read and I highly recommend it.

Find a piece of Nature to find Shinrin-Yoku

If you do not live near a forest, find a park, your backyard, or anywhere trees grow, or anywhere you can connect with nature. Even your plants in your home can help you experience the calming effects of nature. Touch, feel, smell, watch, and taste — if you know what you’re eating.

Photo: leaves and twigs as a frame for soil

This photo shows a natural art sculpture found on the forest bathing trail at Rouge Valley Park in Markham, Canada.

Shinrin-Yoku in Toronto

We are fortunate in Toronto. Our Botanical Gardens has a certified Forest Bathing Therapy Guide who leads tours throughout the year. Their trails provide many opportunities for you to connect with nature.

The City of Markham has self-guided forest bathing trails in four of their parks. You will find them at:

        • Pomona Mills Park (200 John Street, John Street and Bayview Avenue)
        • Rouge Valley Trail (120 Rouge Bank Drive, 14th Avenue and Legacy Drive)
        • Springdale Park and Valley (45 Norwich Drive, 16th Avenue and Markham Road).
        • Toogood Pond Park (280 Unionville Main Street, Carlton Avenue and Main Street Unionville)
Photo: Group of people walking on trail

People walking on the Forest Bathing Trail at Toogood Park in Markham, Canada.

The Global Institute of Forest Therapy and Nature Connection, which trains people to become forest therapy guides, is based in Ontario. They are a non-profit and hold classes in Canada and throughout the world. The Institute worked with the City of Markham to designate their trails. Find out more about how you can become a certified guide on their website at GIFT of the Forest.

Health and Happiness

According to Yoshifumi Miyazaki, Shinrin-Yoku is not about curing an illness, it’s about “creating a body that’s strong against becoming ill.” Getting your energy in balance through bioenergy therapy is also about improving your body, mind, and spirit to protect you from illness.

Forest bathing and bioenergy therapy are two natural ways to improve your health and wellbeing.

When you feel good, you’re just happier.

Take care,