In 1988 there was a commercial where a woman wearing a fluffy pink robe is chaotically running around her house and as the tensions rise, she utters the phrase “Calgon, take me away!” The next scene then shows her relaxing in a bathtub supposedly stress free. Maybe you remember that advertisement. For years I have been taking baths to try and wash away the stress in my life, but now I have recently discovered a new way of bathing that isn’t focused on cleaning your body but rather healing your body, mind and soul.

It’s called Shinrin-yoku, which means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was created in the 1980’s in Japan and individuals who have implemented this practice have seen tremendous benefits. They have experienced reduced blood pressure and stress, improved mood and sleep and increased energy. All of which has helped them achieve deeper clarity, happiness and connections. Now who doesn’t want all that goodness?

The idea for this practice is fairly simple, you visit a forest and walk around in a relaxed way, using your senses to pay attention to what you hear, see, feel and smell. You can do in this in small chunks of time or larger chunks of time. This past weekend at my Chicago RefresHer Retreat we (my retreat attendees and I) actually visited a 1,700 acre arboretum and spent 2 hours silently walking around and letting nature restore and rejuvenate us.

We enjoyed strolling along the Joy path in this breathtaking arboretum and letting our senses come to life. Whether it was through seeing wildlife, hearing the rush of water and kids playing or sitting on the benches along the journey to take a well needed break and being reminded to think about what kind of legacy we are leaving behind. After our 2 hours we gathered together to discuss how we felt and what we learned during our forest therapy.

Now why did I incorporate this into a retreat? Because I have discovered that as you take leaps of faith in life, you must intentionally include time to refresh and renew your weary spirit. If you don’t your joy can easily disappear and what at first gave you a sense freedom can easily start to frustrate you, if you don’t take time to wash away your stress.

Shinrin-yoku is a down-to-earth practice that almost anyone can do, anywhere. Just go one weekend a month to a natural area or visit a park once a week or garden or go to nearby water and just sit. Soak in what nature has to give you and let it take you away from the craziness you have let seep into your life, your career or your relationships.

Today I encourage you to take 2 hours of forest therapy and call me in the morning! And if you are ready to leave your stress behind and leap into a life you love, sign up today for a 45 minute coaching call with me as we chart your course into a life of joy, success and abundance. Space is limited, so don’t miss out, sign up today because your joy is waiting for you on the other side of your leap of faith.