Sometimes life throws unimaginable things our way, the kind of stuff that can leave you desperate to be anywhere but here. Loss, traumatic events, and stress can often present challenges we never saw coming. Sometimes the best medicine is to step away, find fresh surroundings and some distance. At times like that, nature can be an incredibly supportive ally, as can someone who understands grief, stress and trauma, and offers a completely non-judgemental ear.
Burn out, Grief & Loss
We had our own experience with soul shaking grief, following the loss of our first baby during pregnancy in the Spring of 2021. Our own recovery quickly became the priority. Finding ourselves at the mercy of both external and internal processes that would leave us forever changed, losing a dearly wanted and loved child was a complete collapse of the life we’d so confidently imagined. Through the darkest of days and nights, we found nature to be a comfort, a safe place in which to allow our grief to surface more fully. Our pets offered a solace like no other, and standing under wide open skies, or back to back with moss covered trees, helped to quiet the buzzing noise of complex and sometimes scary thoughts racing through our minds. Anchoring in the multi-sensory surroundings of our forest garden was essential to managing the symptoms that accompany PTSD and nervous system overwhelm brought on by the circumstances of our experience. On the odd occassion where being immersed in the full magnificence of nature became too much, we learned that connecting with nature can take many forms, and discovered that the healing relationship extends into the home – the herbs and foods in the kitchen, the decorated mantelpiece in the living room, the shells and stones next to the computer.
It wasn’t the first time this had happened though. We both endured severe burn out in our previous lives in the city, and had felt similarly drawn to nature then too, although access had looked very different. I wish I’d known about the ways to connect with nature even when I was in a small Copenhagen cental apartment, or a hospital ward where there’s very little contact with “nature”.
With time, we realised we wanted the healing magic of Gaia Retreat to reach other folks in need of extra safe and compassionate holding. Surrounded by the calm presence and quiet strength of the oak trees, and the ancient lands and ways, it’s possible to come back up for air and see a way forwards. If you’re moving through something very difficult and are looking for a place to retreat while you hold and gather yourself for a future you hadn’t envisaged, please get in touch to talk with us about a recovery stay.