I just read Debbie Tuttle’s new book, Wealthy in the Woods. I love the how she connects the woods -- nature -- with wealth! She reminds us that there are many aspects of wealth beyond an accumulation of money – health, emotional and mental wellbeing, rich connections with others, for example. Her book reminds us that nature is a great resource for connecting to the other definitions of wealthy.
For me, that meant walking to the stream and discovering what pollywogs, frogs, crayfish and small fish were hanging out. And riding my bike, feeling the wind and noticing the clouds. Looking for what’s in bloom. Playing kickball in the street with other kids in the neighborhood.
What memories do you cherish about playing outside as a kid?
When I was a kid, we had fewer electronic gadgets to play with. We listened to AM radio, vinyl records and enjoyed three channels on the TV -- which turned off at midnight!
In this age of electronic play toys, my Dad’s advice seems even more relevant.
Dad was an ecopsychologist
I learned about ecopsychology when I read Wealthy in the Woods. Ecopsychology merges ecology and psychology. It studies how nature enhances our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Dad clearly realized that outside playtime was important for our wellbeing.
Have you heard the term coined by the Japanese forest service to express ecopsychology – forest bathing? Forest bathing encourages people to spend time in nature because it improves physical and mental health. If you’ve meditated, you might even think of it as moving meditation. We can feel calm, centered and grounded. Many times, we reawake to the goodness of life.
Our pets can connect us to nature
As an animal communicator, I see our pets as our immediate, personal connection to nature even when we’re not in the forest or on a trail somewhere. I remember that humans aren’t the only species on the planet. As we see or touch our pets and they acknowledge us, we know we’re loved.
Pets need nature, too!
The joy my animals find in nature is priceless; I see how good it is for them. I’d go even farther to say that they need to experience nature first hand to feel fulfilled. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Being able to see outside or even better, through an open, screened window or porch if they’re indoor animals, is good for them.
And it’s good for us to tune into their appreciation of nature. When I remember to walk with my dogs as a team, as a family, I feel the connection to nature even more clearly. When I watch my cats Mac and Shadow focus on what’s going on with the insect life in our backyard, I get out of my head and feel more grounded.
Essential oils are also an experience of nature
Debbie explained that the use of essential oils is a great way to bring nature into our homes and lives. That’s because essential oils come from plants, the “main ingredient” of woods.
Essential oils for pets
Because of Debbie, I started researching essential oils for my pets. Here are a few ways I use them. (Always make sure you’re using organic essential oils made through a safe process that doesn’t add non-beneficial chemicals.)
- I find lavender on a neckerchief great for calming Tibor, my dog when thunderstorms hit.
- And I started using essential oil products to clean the house because our animals run around the house in bare feet. Their bodies will absorb whatever we use to clean our floors and bathrooms.
- I diffuse a respiratory blend into the air during the winter to keep everyone breathing easier.
- And with the newest member of the family, I diffuse some calming blends to help everyone adjust to this high-energy personality.
If you’re still not connecting to wealth in the woods
In case you forget Debbie’s advice, remember what my Dad, Irv said – “Go outside and get the stink blown off you!”
Watch Debbie Tuttle and I talk about essential oils for animals.