Being in nature - an antidote to suffering on all levels. By Gaynor Quilter 
When I decided on 18th December 2019 I was going to take a "being in nature" picture on my daily walks. I had absolutely no idea of what was going to unfold. Taking Jaya and Bankei (our 2 Border Collies) for their daily walk was non negotiable, so it was easy to say I am taking a mindful moment. So I set the intention, walked, stopped, paused, clicked and posted. That’s how my “being in nature” postings everyday for over a year began. 
I had no idea how much of my own emotional language is shaped by the weather, although like most Brits I am obsessed by it’s impact on our lives, so perhaps I should not be surprised. It’s been interesting reviewing what was written in the moment and how it reflects my internal emotional weather. Calm, foggy, unsettled, dull, deep, bright, turbulent, wispy, glorious, stormy, breezy, raining tears and stillness. 
None of us really knew the impact the virus would have on our lives. For me it was my opportunity to be joined by many more striding out locally on their one walk a day. We, Jaya mainly, has made many new friends all socially distanced of course. We have Mindfully stood and observed the seasons change around us. 
Being in nature, has always been a pleasure for me, what I had not fully realised was what balm or antidote to my own internal turmoil it would become. Taking time each day to be absorbed by the weather and away from my own thoughts. 
Like everyone one else there has been so much to process as life has required major adjustments, My niece’s cancelled wedding; the death of my beloved little brother and the new responsibilities of care for my nephews; the change to the community interest company of providing mindfulness and meditation courses the death of a good friend and Surya’s own recent health scare. 
On so many levels the list could go on and on. We have all had to adapt to the many daily changes that occur as we respond to the impact of the virus on our lives. For me it’s been essential to mindfully be with my own losses, to acknowledge their impact on my heart and my body to avoid my default of over rationalising. 
More than anything else I remember my Grandma’s own mantra always “Count your Blessings”. Some days it’s easy and other days you need to dig down a bit deeper. But they are always here. 
Being in nature gives you immediate access to all your senses. It grounds you whether you stand, sit or keep moving. It is not going to stop what is happening but it gives you a connection to a solid foundation - the earth. 
I feel very blessed even in the midst of family suffering that new life comes in the form of Isla and Eleni born in September. Wonderful bundles of joy, seen only on Zoom, these are reminders that “life is king” and keeps moving on. 
2021 is already upon us, along with the next wave of Corona lockdown. When and where you can I suggest you get outside or stand in the doorway and watch nature. Breath into her weather and celebrate life just as it is in this moment. 
News flash 
Being and doing are like my two hands, both essential for living. The doing part was to use the being in nature photos to produce a calendar. We would like to thank all of you of brought one. 
We raised £1,200 for the British Heart Foundation. This was donated in memory of Glyn Quilter who would have been 53 on 1st January 2021. 
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