Alison Vooris, MA, MEd.
For as long as I can remember, the outdoor environment, nature and the woods have been my sanctuary. A sanctuary of peace and belonging. When I step into the world of nature, it is like a plug is opened and out flows all the stress and anxiety that has accumulated in my body. It is in this place that I am filled with energy instead of being zapped of energy and it is in this place that I discovered the world of birding. The world of birds has opened my eyes to the fine details that surround all of us and I found that I began noticing and paying attention to sounds, colors, textures and sensations that I did not realize were there. All of this was happening as I looked for the smallest movement or quietest sound trying to locate a bird. Without realizing it I had found Mindfulness. I came to realize that the bird is my anchor and the woods for me is my sense of place and mindfulness. The anchor allows me to be present in the moment and empties my mind of all my worries and fears. It’s funny how it has taken so long to put a name to my practice, other than birding.
Birding could be your mindfulness practice too. Why don’t you give it a try? Take a walk in the woods. That could take all your worries away.