It's been a tough few weeks in the UK… but if you’re looking for a way to feel better about it all, a sit spot can help.
I first came across the idea of a sit spot on a Meetup walk run by Mark Sears - just before he landed a job as head of The Wild Network.
Mark led us up Hollingbury Hill to a spot near the fort and quietly told me he'd been going there every day to sit for half an hour, for a year, come rain or shine.
He'd got to know the birds and the plants, and it'd helped him to find some calm, and decompress after hectic days.
It's an idea that I read more about in Jon Young's excellent book What the Robin Knows.
If you haven't heard of it, a sit spot is somewhere you go regularly on your own to sit quietly and look, listen, smell and feel the surrounding landscape.
It could be in your back garden, or a park, or somewhere a bit wilder.
If you do this regularly, you get to know the place over different seasons and build a relationship with it... and feel better about everything!
Mine is in Stanmer Park, but according to the Wilderness Awareness School, there are only two basic requirements that every sit spot should have:
If you haven't tried a sit spot or 'soaked' in nature this way, it really does make a difference
It’s great if your sit spot is wild, has water, has lots of wildlife, a view, and a whole host of other things… but these are not essential. The best sit spot is the one that you go to!
If you haven't tried a sit spot or 'soaked' in nature this way, it really does make a difference - even science is rediscovering that nature has the power to heal us in mind, body and spirit.
Time spent sitting quietly in your garden or a park for a few minutes like this can make the difference between a tough day and a great day because the sit spot connects your senses with nature.
And that helps you relax and get the energy you need, which benefits your outlook, your relationships, your family, and your work.
If you make some time for a sit spot, you'll carry the peace of nature with you wherever you go.
By the way, it can help to practice owl vision while you’re sitting there (if you don’t know what that is - come on one of our courses!)
I published this article on Medium, and Karen posted the following comment in response, which I totally agree with so am re-posting it here:
"If everyone participated in this simple practice, not only would it reconnect us to nature — and to ourselves — but, by learning to see with these new eyes, one of the by-products would undoubtedly be to come to deeper insight and understanding of some of the complex problems we’re facing as a world community. And from there, I believe it could help us to re-imagine solutions for much of what ails us. At the very least, it would calm everyone down enough to have more productive, civil conversations."
If you have anything to add, please post it below!
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.