Life goes on…

To protect ourselves and to contain the virus, most of us are indoors. Below are some ways we can keep occupied while we are indoors.

book on a white wooden table
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

1. Spend more time on yourself

Each of us must try to get active for 30-45 minutes each day. There are many ways to get active indoors. Some of the ways will be through qigong, tai chi, yoga, meditation, home exercise types of equipment such as the treadmill, etc.

From The Chopra Centre, free programs: https://chopra.com/free-programs

From The Box of Happiness, yoga and many more: http://theboxofhappiness.com/yoga-sequences/

From Live & Dare, free meditation and more: https://liveanddare.com/

From Flowing Zen, [COVID-19 Support] Learn Qigong Online from Me for Free During the Crisis: https://flowingzen.com/21150/learn-qigong-online-from-me-for-free-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

From Reiki Rays, on Reiki resources: https://reikirays.com/

2. Less Clutter, More Energy Flow

The lesser things you have, the more positive energy flows in. Are there things that need cleaning/clearing at your surroundings, closets, kitchen cabinets, etc.? When you are focused on cleaning/clearing, it will relieve you from the stress.

Clean & Happy Nest, Bright Ideas for Better Living: https://cleanandhappynest.org/wpd/category/bright-nest/

How To Make Your Home Totally Zen in 10 Steps: https://freshome.com/inspiration/how-to-make-your-home-totally-zen-in-10-steps/

3. Hobbies: Handicrafts / Sewing / Crochet / Knitting / Paint / Drawing / Colouring

Focus on hobbies that increase your creativity. When your creativity levels are high, there is no place for stress and negativity. There are many online options available.

Crochet Basic Stitches from Karen Costello Soltys: https://www.shopmartingale.com/images/marketing/how-to/pdf/BasicCrochetStitches.pdf

4. Gardening

Spend more time with the plants and feel connected and grounded to nature. Some things you can consider is to grow a new type of plant, repot an existing plant or redecorating your garden space.

The Micro Gardener: https://themicrogardener.com/ten-tips-for-creating-beautiful-gardens/

Good housekeeping: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g495/small-garden-ideas/

The Spruce, Apartment Gardening for Beginners: https://www.thespruce.com/apartment-gardening-for-beginners-4178600

5. Journal writing

Are you feeling angry and stressed? You can always write out your thoughts and feelings in a journal. By doing that, not only you are releasing all anxiety to the paper, you are lightening the load from yourself.

Tips to start a journal writing from wikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Journal

6. Scrapbooking

Heard of this? Get creative about this.

What Is Scrapbooking? by Rebecca Ludens: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/what-is-scrapbooking-2960505

Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners: 25 Inspiring Layouts by Megan Andersen: https://www.creativelive.com/blog/scrapbook-ideas-for-beginners/

7. Sing and Hum to yourself

Sing and hum to yourself…

Singing And Humming To Yourself Can Have A Huge Impact On Your Body’s Health: https://www.littlethings.com/singing-humming-benefits

8. Cooking / Baking

With all the panic buying and stockpiling, this can be a bit challenging. Let’s be creative and create simple dishes or bake new items to try.

9. House Improvement Works

You can consider repainting your home or doing some simple home improvement works. And if you are intending to paint walls, why not use the stencils and get creative?

How to Make Wall Stencils: https://www.toolnerds.com/how-to-make-wall-stencils/

10. Write a story

Have you ever wanted to be an author or write a story? There are many online tools available to create a story online.

Commaful: https://commaful.com/writers/

For Children: https://www.imagineforest.com/

My Storybook: https://www.mystorybook.com/

11. Reading Books / Inspirational Guides

Do you still have old books stored away? It will be a good time to get them to re-read. If your nearby library is closed, you can also consider reading the electronic version of books.

12. Origami

A standard size paper of 75 x 75mm and you can make amazing crafts. It is a fantastic activity for the whole family. But do take note that origami paper comes in several sizes.

From Origmi.me: https://origami.me/

13. Board Games / Card Games

Board and/or card games will bring the nostalgic feeling of the good old days! At the same time, it will provide a break from electronics.

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Board Games: https://howgameareyou.com/health-benefits-board-games/

14. Other Ideas

Coronavirus Keeping You Home? These Fun STEAM DIY Kids Activities are Parenting Rescues! by SassyMama: https://www.sassymamasg.com/parenting-coronavirus-stay-home-kids-activities/

In short, all I can say,
Be positive! Be creative!

Blessings,
Esther

 

TOP 25 THIS TOO SHALL PASS QUOTES | A-Z Quotes

From The Chopra Centre: The Immeasurable Value of Meditation for Coping During the COVID-19 Crisis

Want to know the benefits of meditation in this difficult time?

Refer to the below link for more details:

https://chopra.com/articles/the-immeasurable-value-of-meditation-for-coping-during-the-covid-19-crisis?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

For free 21 day meditation, refer to this link from Chopra Centre:

https://chopracentermeditation.com/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

aquatic bloom blooming blossom
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Graduation in Our Daily Life

My workplace is located at a University Campus. During late June and July, the scene of the University grounds changes to that of graduation, plenty of posing for photos in the graduation gowns, with friends and family, happy moments, etc. Graduation or other words, upgrading to the next level is not only restricted to students who are studying. It is also applicable to all of us too. In our daily life, we are always learning – learning from experiences, relationships, emotions, feelings and more. Therefore, should we not be graduating too? Yes! Definitely.

Just like how a student goes through his difficulties in his education term, we too experience that in our daily life. Each day, we become newer and wiser with our experiences. We also must celebrate our graduation from our good old self to our better self. Past mistakes, regrets and negative attributes – who does not have it? On and off we need to reflect upon our past self and congratulate our new self…

If we do this regularly, we would have plenty of reasons to love our new self and embrace new beginnings (or openings) in our life…

Happy daily graduation everyone!

photography of people graduating
Photo by Emily Ranquist on Pexels.com

Inspirational and Motivational Monthly Downloadable & Printable Calendars

If you are looking for a different way to motivate and inspire yourself on a monthly basis, you can see whether monthly downloadable calendars will do the work for you. I have found the monthly calendars recently and am sharing with all. I do like it as each month there is a different theme.

For non-Reiki practitioners and wants general motivation, try this site, Action for Happiness:
https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars
Personal remarks: Suitable for all.

I came across “Action for Happiness” website by chance and like the fact that they have monthly motivational calendars plus other interesting things.

For Reiki practitioners and believers, here is the link to the Reiki Rays site:
https://reikirays.com/68595/chillax-reiki-calendar-july-2019/
Personal remarks: This will be more useful for people who have knowledge of Reiki and the terms.

I use both calendars and it just adds more dose of inspiration and motivation to my daily activities.

Look and see whether it can benefit you too…Have an inspiring day! 🙂

pexels-photo-843266.jpeg
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Website: Reiki Rays, 2019 Reflection & Intention Workbook

If you are into Reiki, Self-healing or a Reiki practitioner, this is a useful website of free articles, downloads and more.

To know more about this website, visit this link: https://reikirays.com/about-reiki-rays/

In addition, they have a free download for welcoming 2019 with reflection and intention: https://reikirays.com/thank-you-newsletter/create-your-year-reiki-workbook.php

There are also many other articles by various Reiki Masters and Teachers. I am sure you can find something useful here.

Blessings,
Esther

close up photo of person holding crystal stone
Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

Manage Stress

stress

Ayurveda offers simple and easy to follow ways to reduce stress at any time. It is important to do regular self-checks for stress. If we ignore the stress symptoms, our body slowly develops illness and/or other negativity. The more we delay self-checks and self-management of stress, the harder and longer it becomes to achieve a balanced and calm state of mind and body.

Banyan Botanicals has shared an article telling ways to control stress. Do take time to read…to benefit your body and its systems.

An Ayurvedic Guide to Stress Management by Banyan Botanicals
Click here to go the article

In addition, Banyan Botanicals also has a page where you can take quiz to know your Ayurvedic compositions, etc. Feel free to visit the other pages for information on herbs, yoga and more.

Let us spread love and joy not only this holiday season, but all the time! And let us begin with ourselves…

Peace and Blessings.

peace

Be gentle and loving to your own good self

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
~ Margo Anand ~

Many times, I am the worst critic of myself. At times I get so hard on myself that I find it impossible to believe that I am doing it!

In the past, it has always taken much effort to love myself. Often, I was critical and even annoyed with myself over many aspects of my life and its happenings. Often, I took on the blame for other people failures. It took me a while or should say many years to realise that I do not need to carry all the burdens of everyone around me. It also took me awhile to love the person as I am. I lacked confidence in a number of aspects, for example in the way I look, dress, speak and more. While it does not need anyone to say anything negative to me, I could instantly, in a snap be very critical of myself that it brought me down in terms of emotions to negative thoughts and feelings. Often, it took plenty of courage on my part just to love myself. Afraid that I might look like a failure, I kept all of these to myself not wanting to discuss these aspects with anyone.

I am in my 40s now. Looking back, I could see many moments of life wasted just by being a critic of myself. That not only brought more bitterness to me but it also did not let me enjoy life and its moments. Spiritual knowledge or just to love myself is what I needed. While it is easy to go out to the world and proclaim, “I am the worse critic and I lack self-confidence,” I did not want to do it as society had its own expectations of me and most importantly, I had my own expectations of myself. I was afraid to talk about it to humans. Nevertheless, I turned inwards many times to my inner self and to God and his guides for direction and assistance. I am quite sure I received some kind of help from the inner self. At the same time, my self-critical voice was too loud to hear the inner voices. I wasted my life moments going around like a self-negative bomb, ready to burst on anyone that triggered it unknowingly.

The good thing to know is that your inner self NEVER gives up on you. My inner self made me search – search endlessly wanting to put an end to this very negative and dark areas. My inner self lead me to music, books and poems. The music piece that triggered in me a positive self-change and wanting to love myself more was “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. One day many years back in my dark negative self, I just played the CD (I had purchased the inspiration moments 1 collection of music), “Adiemus” piece came. I just closed my eyes and drifted away – in peace, in love and in bliss. I was so peaceful that it is now impossible to explain in words. As of now, I play that piece of music and I can get goosebumps! Another music piece that will offer me peace and love anytime will be “Nightingale” by Yanni. This music piece brought about a closer connection to Nature or Mother Earth. It was as if it was erasing my negativity and replacing it with pure love (like a mother cradling a child with love). I wanted these peaceful and positive feelings to persists and wanted to carry it with me always and forever. I was silly not to realise that those wonderful positive feelings was always there – in me and in everyone too. We put a mask over it – by our expectations and societal expectations. Once the mask is up, we forget our true beautiful and lovely selves.

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

My search went on and then I stumbled upon Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)” and I was just so inspired and felt more loved and worthy by reading this book. It seemed that Parahamansa Yogananda was speaking directly to me on all my issues.

(The links to the music pieces and books are at the end of this post)

Another great mystic whom I love and respect is Rumi. He changes the reader with his beautiful poems. Rumi woke me from my negative sleep. He together with other Masters and Teachers made me see the positive value of my life. As Rumi puts,
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”

Slowly, but surely I made progress. Now, my critical self is quieter these days as I spend by being in Zen (by conscious living and living in the moments). However, my critical self is not totally “dead” or gone. It comes on and off making me think negatively over something or someone. I suppress the negative self-talk by focusing on my breath, nature (if I am outside), mantra, meditation, prayer, writing, coloring, drawing and more. I gently “kick” my negative thoughts and feelings away, replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.

Often, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making ourselves look vulnerable and self-pitiable for so many negative and unhappy happenings in our life. The first step of remedy is to realise that we brought upon ourselves these negativity. In addition, we also need to realise that we are the Masters of our own life. Therefore, it is right that we erase it and replace it with positivity by our own efforts. It is not the responsibility of the world, society and family to get it done for us. We need to act like a Master and correct it.

These days there are many options out there to get it right. Books and music are easily available in electronic versions. Music is one way to find peace and unity with your own self. The only thing is that you just need to search for the right one to lift your spirits. Written works or books allow us to get in touch or connected with Ancient Masters. If you rather have people comfort, there are many support groups out there. If you are determined to get things right and / or sorted, the options will be available to you in many forms and ways.

The biggest mistake anyone can make is to waste his / her life precious moments in self-pity and negativity. To counter that, one need to love himself and be gentle at the same time. In fact it is so very easy to start loving our own self. We can start immediately without having to getting any clearance, approval or not doing much. After all, it is about us and life.

My friends, the year is ending soon. 2019 will be here soon. Take this opportunity to do a “self-check” and get rid of any mental clutter and negativity. It is now or never. You might not make great progress at a start. A small step is what one needs. Indeed, it is a big favor one will be doing for himself.

Imagine yourself as a positive bubble. There will be no one out there who will be able burst that bubble if you do not let them do it. If they try to burst your bubble, you can always tape it up with self-worth and self-love. I have done it and I am still doing it. Many others, who have experienced similar or different ways of negativity, have overcome it.

Let us all welcome 2019 with a big hug and wave a big bye to 2018, with gratitude…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the various music pieces that made a difference to my life

Link to Adiemus by Karl Jenkins
Video (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLjDAxHiDQ4
Audio (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX__4aHwYzM

Link to Nightingale by Yanni
Video1 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPc5kMrStkY
Video2 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inWzjwLmiPo

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the books that has made a difference to me and is continuing to make a difference to many others in the world…

Link to the Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)”
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6604259-journey-to-self-realization

Link to Man’s Eternal Quest (Collected Talks & Essays 1) by by Paramahansa Yogananda
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/648109.Man_s_Eternal_Quest?from_search=true

Link to Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit by Rumi, Maryam Mafi (Translator), Azima Melita Kolin (Translator)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14343182-rumi-s-little-book-of-life

Link to Dancing Into the Light: An Inner Journey Guided by Rumi by Rumi, Omid Arabian (Translation), Shilla Shakoori (Illustrations)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32165751-dancing-into-the-light?from_search=true

and more…

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

 

Drinking Water from Copper Cups

You will know the benefits of copper vessels if you happen to be in the Yoga and / or Ayurveda line. Alternatively, if you have had Indian traditional upbringing, you will also be aware that drinking water from copper vessels is important.

I spent my younger days with my great grandmother, grandmother and all the elders. In those days (that is in late 1970s), silver ware and copper ware were the most used by Indian families. The elders in my family taught me the benefits of drinking water from copper vessels and eating from either copper or silver wares. Come to think about it right now, those days glass wares were not common and so was plastic wares too. The most common types of plates and utensils were usually made of copper, silver or wood.

As days passed and modernization took place, Pyrex glassware were the trend and so was forgotten the copper and silver wares. Nowadays, I try to make changes to my daily life based on what I learnt in my younger days. One of the many things that my elders taught was to drink water early in the morning out of a copper cup/mug. I re-started with that practice and I should say it rather makes a slight difference to my body systems. Benefits are not major and visible immediately. As with any healthy changes to food and lifestyle, the results will be visible or experienced slowly. The results I experienced was a better “feel” of the inner systems mainly in the digestive system. Other results are not visible to me, but I do believe it does well for my body systems one way or another.

While Indian elders and traditions tells of benefits of drinking water from copper, there are always reports contradicting that. I am not here to debate which theory is correct. I am sharing what I have learnt in my younger days and a practice I am putting back into my life and influencing my family members at the same time too. Moreover, drinking water once in the morning from a copper cup is not much work or something to debate about. It all comes down to how much you believe and trust what has been said (or learnt) or passed down from generations.

Below are some articles on drinking water from copper cups:

From YogaDigest.com: 6 REASONS TO TRY A COPPER WATER VESSEL
https://yogadigest.com/copper-water-vessel/

From OneWorldAyurveda.com: Health Benefits of Drinking Water in Copper Vessel
https://blog.oneworldayurveda.com/health-benefits-drinking-water-copper-vessel/

From Wholesome Ayurveda.com: Correct Way To Drink Water From Copper Vessels And Its Health Benefits
http://www.wholesomeayurveda.com/2017/02/27/correct-way-to-drink-water-copper-vessels-health-benefits/

From Vasantihealth.com: Are You Using Your Ayurveda Copper Water Vessel Correctly?
https://vasantihealth.com/blogs/news/are-you-using-your-ayurveda-copper-water-vessel-correctly

From Today.com: Drinking from a copper cup: Good for health or the latest health fad?
https://www.today.com/health/drinking-copper-cup-good-health-or-latest-health-fad-t86946

From DrCopper.in: Various Information such as cleaning, benefits, etc
https://www.drcopper.in/

copper cups esther neela blog

 

Dim Sum

One my favourite “light” dishes to fill tummy will be Dim Sum. For those who are not familiar with Dim Sum – it is actually “small bites” of dumplings, pao (steamed buns), spring rolls and more.
While some Dim Sum items tends to be steamed, some will be deep fried. As with any food, over indulgence is not advisable. Always eat light…not eat till you are full!

Check out some articles that can open your eyes to the world of Dim Sum:

From HerWorld: These are the healthiest dim sum to order
https://www.herworld.com/lifestyle/food/these-are-healthiest-dim-sum-order

From SmooDiaries: Dim Sum guide for beginners
https://thesmoodiaries.com/dim-sum-guide-beginners/

From TheSpruceEats: Chinese Dim Sum Menu Translator
https://www.thespruceeats.com/dim-sum-menu-translator-694589

Happy Dim Sum!

dim sum esther neela blog

Nudo: Adopt an Olive Tree in Italy

I just received my first set of olive oil tins from the olive tree farm that I adopted from Italy. The farm, Il Fico is owned by Nicola who is dedicating his time and efforts to take care of his family lands producing olive oil. 
 
Taken from NudoAdopt website,
 
“Nudo Adopt is a collaboration of small scale, artisanal producers. The programme is a platform for these micro-producers to bring high-quality, speciality food to a wider audience. Each farmer keeps responsibility for the care of their olive grove and Nudo helps give security to the farmers by making the link with the customer. This in turn helps to keep traditional farming practices alive and protects the countryside from intensive and destructive modern farming methods.”
 
More details on Nudo can be found in the below links:
 
Happy to do my small part in supporting a family small scale business of Nicola in Italy. 🙂

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My Tree Friend, “Joy”

Riitta took some amazing pictures of my Tree Friend, “Joy” in March adorned with peanut “necklace”. Wanted to post those pictures then. But was busy with my new job and settling in that job. Now is the time.

Isn’t Joy a beauty? 🙂 🙂

cofIMG_20180223_103422_6652IMG_3889

Other links:

Program called “Halipuu” (https://www.halipuu.com/)

General Information of the “Halipuu” initiative…https://www.halipuu.com/what-is-halipuu/
Who is behind this whole program? https://www.halipuu.com/who-we-are/
Terms and Conditions: https://www.halipuu.com/terms-and-conditions/
Tree as a gift: https://www.halipuu.com/gift-trees/
Tree Selection Process: https://www.halipuu.com/how-to-select-your-tree/
Visit Your Tree: https://www.halipuu.com/visit-your-tree/

 

*Not only that, we humans tend to fuss or worry about this and that. Trees do provide a “listening ear” to all our worries. Huolipuu (the worry tree) takes care of this. Head to this link: https://www.halipuu.com/worry-tree/ and write down your worries. No one reads your worries, but your worries will be brought into the Halipuu forest and they get burnt on the Seita-stone. The burned ashes are then scattered to the roots of the Worry tree. You have now brought your worries down to our earthy friend….nothing to worry about!!

 

Read and Reflect: Embrace the wounds and “scars”…

e3403-read2b25262breflect

pottery

All of us at one stage of our life will be “broken” and tested to the extremes that it can give us wounds or “scars” that can be temporary or permanent.

Instead of “masking” those wounds or scars, why not try to embrace it with an open mind and a new thought?

The Japanese believe in repairing broken things with gold – embracing the flaws and acknowledging it in a beautiful way. They call this Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi. You could have seen many potteries being adorned with gold lines, in order to repair it or give new meaning to it. Why don’t we do the same too to our life?

Acknowledge all those hurts and broken times. Be prepared to face it, with “gold”. There will be lessons we could have learnt from it that will make us stronger and wiser.

In other words, embrace the wounds and “scars”, not hide it!

kintsugi

kitsugi

Halipuu and My Tree Friend : Adopt and / or Hug a Tree

I wrote some days back that I shall write more about the tree I have adopted. I have adopted a young birch tree in Finland and I have given her the name “Joy”.

This adoption was made possible by Pappas and his family via a program called “Halipuu” (https://www.halipuu.com/) in Finland. The whole family gets involved in various ways. Pappas daughter, Riitta does the maintenance of the internet site and takes care of the practical operations. The person who is communicating to me with regards my tree friend is Riitta.

General Information of the “Halipuu” initiative…https://www.halipuu.com/what-is-halipuu/
“Halipuu” is in Finnish for hugging tree. One can adopt his own hugging tree from forest in Finnish Lapland for a period of five years from wherever you are….

You are also free to visit the tree and of course hug it! 🙂

Not only that, from wherever we are, we can choose the accessories we wish to decorate our adopted tree and it will be done.

Once adopted a tree, we will be sent information on the tree (such as the exact location), image of the tree, certificate of adoption and the tree gets marked with our preferred name.

Other links:
Who is behind this whole program? https://www.halipuu.com/who-we-are/
Terms and Conditions: https://www.halipuu.com/terms-and-conditions/
Tree as a gift: https://www.halipuu.com/gift-trees/
Tree Selection Process: https://www.halipuu.com/how-to-select-your-tree/
Visit Your Tree: https://www.halipuu.com/visit-your-tree/

Despite the winter season, Riitta took amazing pictures of Joy and sent it over to me…..

Joy in wintersleep
My tree friend, Joy – in winter sleep. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/
Joy from close by
My tree friend, Joy – close up. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/
Marking Joy
My tree friend, Joy – getting marked. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/

When I decided to adopt a tree via Halipuu, I had to go through the list of trees that was put for adoption (https://www.halipuu.com/trees.html). There were big trees, but the young birch tree immediately captured my heart and I went for it. No second thoughts for this, it was a long distance love for me! 🙂

Trees ground me…in fact it is important for me to be “grounded”. When I feel “grounded” or rooted, I can thrive and perform better in my daily duties. Trees offer me that and the distance or the place where my tree friend is does not matter. And if you are well versed with chakras or energy points in our body, the root chakra (located at the base of the spine) is the first chakra and its energy is based on the earth element. It is the foundation and is responsible for our sense of safety and security. The tree spirit or earth elements such as trees help us to stay firm to our grounds. Will discuss in detail on this in some other blog post….

I did look up on many other tree adoption programs but Halipuu is what I liked the best. While reading the adoption program offered via Halipuu, I had already established a connection….Perhaps it is the energy of my tree friend, Joy that has pulled me into this…. 🙂

As a regular meditator myself and a former meditation teacher, I instantly can connect to Joy wherever I am when I am in meditation mode. It is such a wonderful feeling of being surrounded by the forest energy and to connect with the tree energy.

In a blog by Jocelyn Mercado, she writes more of “People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages”.
https://www.pachamama.org/blog/people-and-trees-intimately-connected-through-the-ages

There are many articles such as this….Many have realised the tremendous benefits of connecting to Mother Nature beatiful creation, trees. Does it really matter the location where you wish to be connected to your tree friend? Not necessary….

I am truly full of deep appreciation to be given the opportunity to adopt a tree friend in Finland even though I am in Singapore. All of this will not have been possible if not for Pappas and his lovely family.

*Not only that, we humans tend to fuss or worry about this and that. Trees do provide a “listening ear” to all our worries. Huolipuu (the worry tree) takes care of this. Head to this link: https://www.halipuu.com/worry-tree/ and write down your worries. No one reads your worries, but your worries will be brought into the Halipuu forest and they get burnt on the Seita-stone. The burned ashes are then scattered to the roots of the Worry tree. You have now brought your worries down to our earthy friend….nothing to worry about!!

 

Tree: Adopt and/or Hug

In 2018, that is this year, I wanted to “Adopt a Tree”. I am sure many of us would have heard of programs such as “Adopt a Tree” or “Hug a Tree”. While some countries are very active in promoting such programs, not all countries have the same kind of programs. So, I went around searching. The logical thing for anyone to do is to search for programs such as these wherever one is located. I searched for this kind of possible programs where I am (in Singapore). I was not totally satisfied with what is being offered here. Therefore, I went and searched for programs offered by and in other countries. 

Before I go onto discuss about the programs offered in other countries, let me briefly touch on the kind of program Singapore has. 

Singapore does not have “Adopt a Tree” kind of program. But it has a different kind of approach as featured in “Garden City Fund” website. There are many initiatives such as…donating for a certain need (such as orchid conservation, plant-a-coral, seed-a-reef and more) or to “Plant-A-Tree”.


Plant-A-Tree Programme is an opportunity for individuals to get involved caring for the trees and environment. There is also Tree Planting Schedule and you can check out the areas where it is taking place and the time too. One tree costs $200 (in Singapore Dollars) and your donation is for a sapling – a young tree. The person who plants it does not get a permanent acknowledge signs for the trees he planted. He will be given a certificate after the planting session.


Details:

Garden City Fund
https://www.gardencityfund.org/index.html

Plant-A-Tree Programme
https://www.gardencityfund.org/pat/index.html

Donate for a cause – such as orchid conservation, plant-a-coral…
https://www.gardencityfund.org/donate-now/index.html

I shall reveal about the tree that I “adopted” and on the program soon….. 🙂

Happy Browsing!


Want to know more about Forest Bathing / Forest Therapy / Shinrin-yoku
Visit the blog post that I discussed on this…..

Adopt a Tree or Hug a Tree - Esther Neela Blog

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku

In my younger days, when I was introduced to the basic elements present on earth such as wind fire, earth, sea and sky, I tend to favour the earth element more than the others. Whenever I think of earth, the trees come to my mind. I love trees or greenery. Back in my younger days, there was always an opportunity to be close by frangipani trees, casuarina trees and more. These days the varieties of trees found in Singapore differs. Of course, we do have the “common” trees that can be found along the roadside.

Trees are great healers too! In Japan, there is something known as shinrin-yoku or forest therapy. Forest therapy or forest bathing (as some may call it) is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest. Walking through a forest or to a place of greenery does provide someone with health benefits. There are many articles on this and below are two of those articles.

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku - Esther Neela Blog

 

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood

The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health
The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health

Spending time with trees or plants not only improves our overall health, but it just allows us to be in the moment. Quite often in our life, we are occupied with many matters that we may at times feel disconnected to our own self. Forest Therapy / Bathing is a good idea to get ourselves connected and unified – with the help of the energy and vibrations of the trees.

For those of us who are city dwellers and do not have access to “forest” or a place near us that provides us greenery that much, there are many ways we can experience “forest therapy / bathing” too.

Some ways:
a) have some greenery around us such as green plants around our work desk or our homes
b) If work requires you to be desk bound, one way is to have a desktop wallpaper or screensaver of greenery or forest. At regular intervals, close your eyes, and keep that visual forest in your mind. As each moment passes, imagine yourself being in the premise and enjoying the “green” moments.
c) build a Zen garden or invest where you can “draw” your own Zen garden, such as can be found here in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SG&v=MNH9jpwvc7Q&hl=en-GB
d) If you are the type who prefers fish and aquarium, you also can have that in your indoor space to have an “escape” or feel “closer” to nature.
e) neighborhood parks also gives a form of relaxation. Look for parks nearby you and make a point to go for walking around that place.
f) If you have a Koi pond or any pond, spending time near it, also can give you a form of relaxation. I find this works for me well. Spending time near a Koi pond provides me with some “fresh” vibrations.

There are many ways where one can always reconnect to nature on a daily basis. It is a matter of effort and discipline on our part to do that.

Make sure you have a “date” with nature daily! 🙂

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku - Esther Neela Blog