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planning

later today we're going into a wood and exploring a forest bathing inspired walk.  this morning i have a little bit of pre-walk nerves.  i've fixed the broadband, emptied the dishwasher and waiting for coffee to brew.  i need something to do to keep my nerves focussed and in check ... time to write a blog post about the planing i've done for this afternoon.

this afternoons walk is for 4 of us, my friend and his partner, me and my partner.  my partner is also interesting in forest bathing and we've had a brief discussion about me leading this walk to build my confidence.  i note i didn't say out loud that it's also about finding some answers to questions myself and friend posed a few weeks ago.

we're going to drive about 5 miles to a large ancient woodland.  we have two options for beginning the walk based on where we can park.  we're going in one car.  forest bathing is about taking time in the wood to listen, feel, experience the wood.  my plan when we arrive is to set a time boundary of up to a couple of hours, invite phones onto silent and explain that we'll meander through the wood and at times i'll invite them to try things.

in the preceding few weeks i've done some online research and investigation into forest bathing.  there are many possibilities of things to try while in the wood.  today i'm going into the session with an open mind. 

i plan to invite some walking in silence with a "how was that for you " catch up at the end.  there's an incline i know of.  again not large but long enough to become interesting.  we're going to a section of the wood that is away from a busy main road.

between you and me today is my chance to demonstrate to my friend what i've been talking about doing for a few months.  i'm managing my fear of not coming up to his expectations by thinking about what have i led him to expect.  i hope he's expecting to go into the wood, to walk and experience things he didn't expect too.  my friend is very supportive and this is playing a big part in my confidence pre event.

part of this afternoon is to explore the "slowing down" thing.  i like the notion of slow tv, my favourite being the norwegain slow train ride and slow ferry ride.

 

during this afternoon i want to explore the slow realisation that there is nothing to do  other than look, listen and experience the wood.  our group is small and all are on my side so my plan is to go in with a plan to do little or nothing until the wood prompts me to do something.

i know my partner is interested in sit spots and the research i've done has shown that some guides will run sit spots for up to 30 minutes.  my plan today is to dip into the invitations as i'm aware that i'm taking a social situation into an experience that might if not managed carefully start to feel a little awkward.  this is originating in my own feeling at the moment.

my reaerch has shown that some guides will take tea with them into the wood and have a ceremony where tea is drunk.  i'm considering taking some provisions with me and have to admit i have a sense of how embarressing it potentially might be making tea in the wood.  this is based on an historical feeling of those times as a child where i was out and the flask appeared with luke warm overly milky tea.  tea of choice today is red bush.

i'm reminded that forest bathing has a mindfullness component.  i practice this myself and this week i made a mindful mediatation while out with the puppy.  i laid on the grass and went through the mediatation.  i managed a new level of mediation not attained before and i only crashed out of it when in the distance i focussed on the sound of a train and this triggered something i needed to do.  despite this external punctuation i felt better for my time laid on the grass.  it's also good for the puppy as she gets to find things to amuse herself and realise that at times we will stop and not do to much.

it's now about 75 minutes before our friends arrive to pick us up.  i have my mobile phone on charge and a plan to put a flask of hot water together with some tea bags, container and tea spoons.  i'll pack a small bag.  in it i'll put a first aid box.  i'm drawing on my forest school practice here.  i think i'll take some string and a pair of scissors too.

i pause and sit up from my laptop.  the puppy comes over and snuggles into my neck.  it's her method of communicating it's time to go out.  i'll do this after the forest bath walk.  we decided that the walk will be best taken without puppy so the dynamic of the group can be about us in the wood.  maybe there's a whole other version of a forest bath walk with dogs ...

i leave the post to go and physically prepare ...