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Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Truth About Cancer Featuring: Can a Walk Through the Forest Help Prevent Cancer? And Pack Up Your Troubles and Take Them for a Walk

Tune in to this cancer-fighting video on 6 reasons why forest bathing may change your life! Get the full article + sources here:

For generations, mankind has struggled to find a cure for cancer. We’ve spent billions on research and development as thousands of therapies have been used to treat different forms of the disease.

Once the pharmaceutical industry got involved, those therapies quickly narrowed to expensive drugs and harmful treatments that have become the standard of care in Western medicine.

 In Japan, they have a different approach that’s been scientifically proven to increase the body’s anti-cancer ability: forest bathing.

 Did you know that by 2050, nearly 2/3 of the world’s population is projected to live in urban centers? Or that the EPA estimates that the average American spends 87% of their time indoors, and another 6% in their vehicles? 

The absolute best way to treat and beat cancer is to stop it from developing in the first place. And it turns out that keeping our immune system strong may be as simple as getting out into nature. 

Pack Up Your Troubles and Take Them for a Walk

By: Julia Fabris Mcbride

I walked out of our backdoor last Fall with a troubled mind, two hours of free time, and a thirty pound toddler on my back.

Four miles later, my shoulders were sagging, but my heart was lighter, my mind was clear, and I knew what I needed to do.

I guess you could say that I went looking for God and found a Red Tail Hawk.

It is October, almost November. The prairie air is crisp and cool, and the tall grass blankets the hills in golden-brown. Seeds and sumac leaves tumble in the wind. The vultures of summer have departed, and the bold Northern Harriers have returned to perform their graceful, gliding dances in the sky. Autumn is a deceptively potent time of year. The killing frost on the ground this morning looks bleak from my bedroom window, but get out in it, and life is singing and scurrying everywhere. 

Photo by Andrea Blair. 

 Schedule a 90-minute meeting with Mother Nature.

If you need permission to get out and take a walk, I’m giving it to you. If your mind is in a jumble, or your heart is aching with questions that you don’t quite understand, a mini-break in nature is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Allow me to paint a picture of how your mini-break might unfold.

You plan your outing ahead of time, picking a place that you love, or one that you’ve been interested in exploring. It is a place where you are not likely to be disturbed by other people, a place with a trail and one or two spots where you can stop and sit for a while.

You wear your favorite walking shoes, and a warm coat with deep pockets. Maybe you’ll even want a hood.

Take a favorite book of poetry – anything by Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry will surely fit the bill. If you have a little knapsack, pack your journal or a thermos of ginger tea.

This does not have to be a solitary journey. Invite a friend, or your children, if you wish, but make sure that everyone agrees to honor at least one full hour of shared silence.

If there is a question or decision weighing on your mind, it is welcome to tag along. But try not to hold on to your question too tightly. Just write it on a scrap of paper and stuff it in your pocket. Be open to the idea that in an hour or two the question won’t feel quite as important any more.

What is a team if not a group of people who must learn to trust each other enough to get the job done? What is leadership if not the ability to help a group develop the trust that is necessary to achieve important and difficult things together?

It is worth remembering what it was like to be eighteen – totally inexperienced in the work of civic leadership, but courageous enough to ask hard questions of ourselves and others. Let nature take its course. Walk slowly. Fill the whole hour with silence. It’s exercise for your soul as much as for your body. Listen to the wind in the leaves and the sound of your footsteps. Stop and touch a tree. Feel its heartbeat. 

 Pick up a rock and carry it with you for awhile. Put an acorn in your pocket. Let the cool water of a creek wash over your fingertips. Catch a grasshopper loosely in your hands and let it hop away. Finding a quiet spot, flip open your book of poetry, and read whatever poem your eyes fall on first. Close your eyes and listen to the world around you. Breathe and listen to the soul inside you. Open your eyes and look for as many different colors as you can find.

This is easy. Don’t make it hard.

Don’t talk yourself out of doing this because you don’t have the two or three days necessary to drive or fly to some perfect place.

There is solace and sustenance in the tiniest city park.

I’ve reconnected with my own autumnal wisdom amidst the wind and the waves along Lake Michigan in Chicago, in the company squirrels and birds and dog walkers, under the falling red leaves around Lake Phalen in Saint Paul, in mile after mile of solitude on the towpaths of Northern Ohio, on a windswept peak in Scotland, and cloaked in the dramatic damp of California’s Lost Coast.

It’s not about the altitude. It’s about your attitude.

Where will you rediscover yourself this fall?

 Julia is a certified coach, and skilled teacher and facilitator, Julia Fabris McBride is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations know themselves deeply, and then use that knowledge to align actions with values, forge powerful connections, and do good work in the world.

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