Your brain on nature

When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favour. So says National Geographic.
It explains how science is proving what we've always known intuitively: Nature does good things to the human brain. It makes us healthier, happier, and smarter.

“People underestimate the happiness effect” of being outdoors, a psychology professor says. “We don’t think of it as a way to increase happiness. We think other things will, like shopping or TV. We evolved in nature. It’s strange we’d be so disconnected.”

It reports findings of people awakening to the nature around them:

“On the third day my senses recalibrate—I smell things and hear things I didn’t before,”

This is similar to our experience at a Re-wild Yourself retreat:

“I'm feeling light of spirit, delighted, ever so slightly light in the head.... I loved the simple but powerful experience in slowing down to notice nature and oneself.... thanks Liana and co-wildees for a nuturing, adventurous weekend journey and treat.” T

And the conclusion:

“At the end of the day, we come out in nature not because the science says it does something to us, but because of how it makes us feel.”

I’ve learned the hard way that being in nature is essential to my happiness and wellbeing. What about you?


The little caravan of consultation

In January 2016 I worked with the Department of Conservation to design a community consultation installation. We “pimped” a cute Caravan to encourage and enable people to have their say about the management of the Paparoa National Park.  We created a feel of an old bush hut and a chat around a kitchen table with a cup of tea.  We won a Champion prize at the Ingangahua A&P show and even more importantly the engagement of many local people.

In the flow in wild water

In the flow in wild water

I really love swimming in wild water - the ocean, a cold river, a high mountain tarn.

I was interviewed recently for Radio New Zealand about it and you can listen here:

I also love the company of others - particularly in the wild surf or when stingrays or sharks are about.

Sure it keeps me fit, but I am never going to win any races.  The reason I do it is about the full body experience;  the tingle on your skin, the wakeup call to all your senses, the moment you start to relax into the flow of moving through the water.

I'm lucky to live where there is still water clean enough to swim in.  I know not enough of Aotearoa's waterways are.

Lets never let go of our love for wild swimming.  Lets get out in the water and lets speak out for cleaner rivers and seas. The folks at I choose clean water seem pretty cool to work with.