Fall is a wonderful time to spend outside, taking in the colours and the scents.
It’s interesting. Lately, I have become more aware of outdoor scents. Sometimes when I am with another person, I will remark on a light fragrance or an earthy smell. Most often, it was missed by the person.
If we are losing our awareness of nature, we are losing more than an enjoyable scent.
*the beautiful blonde in the photo is my sweetheart, Heidi.
Eileen Bona, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist, envisioned a place where animals and nature would be an integral part of a therapeutic program, helping a vast array of traumas and issues using both traditional and unique therapies. Her dream was to “help children, youth and adults find healing, balance, joy and personal growth”, and Dreamcatcher** was born (sort of . . . there was years of work between the vision and the reality).
Dreamcatcher is staffed with psychologists and social workers who pair with the client to do activities with the animals. In the process, people relax, lessons are learned and thoughts are shared. It’s an amazing place that is helping people, especially those who seem unresponsive to, or don’t have the skill to do, talk therapy.
When speaking with Eileen, she often came back to the topic of how nature, not just animals, is healing, and how we are losing our connection with nature, much to our detriment.
Her program connects people to themselves, to animals, to nature and to other people.
She gave several examples of our connection with nature and animals: even looking at photos of nature helps us to refocus our working memory (i.e. short term memory which is also necessary for long term memory); petting an animal decreases cortisol and blood pressure; and when time is spent with a horse, the hearts synchronize.
We intuitively know there is a connection between us and nature and/or animals. However, what do you do if you can’t access a program like Dreamcatcher and find the thought of adding another home-grown program stressful?
First, you don't need to do a whole program. The most important step is to go outside. Doing something different – that is the hardest part. There are lots of thing to do once outside, such as the 30x30 challenge (the official challenge is over but the info is still available). We forget how simple it can be until we think about it.
There are lots of websites about doing things outside. This one, for example, is for younger kids.
And there are ways to bring nature inside (the photos don’t describe most homes I’ve been in, but the principles still apply).
By the way, unstructured play, whether inside or outside, also has its benefits.
(*Dreamcatchers is located east of Edmonton but Eileen found other programs around the world.)
Congrats to Rachel! She wins 'It's Your Turn' by Seth Godin. Thanks for sharing, Rachel.
Another contest! Yowzah!
After considering it, pondering it, tossing the idea about, discussing it, and researching it, it has been decided: We are creating an interview-styled podcast - an easy way for you to hear info and recommendations from the experts in about 30 minutes.
But what to call it? Our working title has been Sensory Strategies.
Can you think of a short and snappy title for a podcast about sensory issues, solutions, research and triumphs?
Please share with us, immediately! I found out I need it asap! Either leave it here or email me personally.
And of course, we have a Thank You gift for the chosen title and gratitude for all who enter.
Loopy Launchers and Laughter
What a fun thing to do outdoors!
Loopy Launchers are great finger slingshots that can also be tossed like a ball.
But what if my coordination isn't very good and I get smacked in the face with a sling-shotted Loopy Launcher? Hopefully nothing but laughter. They are very soft.
Only 3 prototypes left to GIVE AWAY!
Introducing The Loop (maybe - if the feedback is good and so far it is VERY good).
This is where we got the idea. If you sew, they are super simple to make.
We are thinking of offering them but need to do a bit more testing first (best wide, best length, anything else we can do to improve them).
If you have a child that is about 75 cm / 30” tall who could use this or if you are a teacher that has many 75 cm / 30” kiddos, we would like to gift it to you to test. We only have a few left to give away.
Please let us know if you are interested.
Enjoy the crispness of fall. Soon it will be the coldness of winter.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
Founder & President