“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”
– John Muir
The Care Sector, paid and unpaid, can be incredibly stressful and exhausting.
When I was a carer for my great-grandmother, I remember when we treated ourselves and received massages for the first time at a high-end Spa.
It was so wonderful! Bliss...I was in Bliss!
'Tess' did not enjoy it as much, mainly due to accessibility. Tess was not a sweatpants and flip-flops kind of gal. She never left the house without being dressed to the nines, and undressing in a low-lit massage room proved challenging. Why not turn up the lights?
Tess was stubborn, and swallowing her pride was not her strong suit.
At the time, I was finishing up my undergrad program and had a side hustle providing
Color Bright Chakra Toning Sound Massage at a nearby holistic center. Body massage brought it full circle- this one massage birthed a new path.
After graduation, I immediately enrolled in the Healing Arts Institute, a two-year program. The timing was fortunate, as the same month my program began, my best friend, my grandmother, had 'The Fall.'
Massage school was a blessing during this time; Tess was admitted into skilled nursing, the beginning of a long and traumatic road for both of us.
I dreamed of working at a Spa someday.
I imagined it would be the most relaxing and peaceful place to work. Hired at my dream job a few months after I passed the State Medical Board exam, it was not long before I realized the Spa's focus was purely economic, not health promotion.
After six weeks of averaging 7-8 massages per day, back to back-body to body-
I burst from exhaustion. I could not do it anymore.
My health, mental, physical, and spiritual, was suffering.
I eventually did find a wonderful environment to practice the Healing Arts, where I was able to balance my schedule with self-healing, walks in Nature, meditation, rest, nutrient-rich meals, all while earning nearly five times more money.
Fast-forward to another dream job.
I became the Director of Volunteers and Activities at a renowned senior living company. I loved the residents and had so much fun co-creating meaningful programs, but I soon realized the company's focus was purely economic, not health promotion.
Personnel and residents were all suffering- staff and leadership were exhausted, and residents lacked the quality of care the company promises in their dreamy marketing.
I burst from exhaustion- I could no longer do the job of two or three with no end in sight. My health, mental, physical, and spiritual, was suffering.
It does not have to be this way.
When companies/organizations shift from a purely economic focus to a health promotion focus, money is not lost; financial, human, and environmental health accelerates!
Eco Gerontology: Our environments matter for Aging Well.
Our connection with Nature matters for aging well- we are Nature.
When we reconnect with Nature, the core of our very essence, we heal, thrive,
and generate Vitality.
Numerous studies have shown the healing power of our connectedness to Nature.
"People who feel more connected to Nature have greater eudaemonic well-being—a type of contentment that goes beyond just feeling good and includes having meaningful purpose in life."
Our connectedness to Nature is essential not only for human health but also for environmental health. Research suggests that disconnection from Nature develops behaviors and attitudes that damage our physical and mental health and
The very planet that sustains and nurtures all of us.
Fast-forward to my current dream job.
I am an eco gerontologist committed to health promotion and disease prevention for people and the planet. I am on a mission to ensure all ages and all professionals- caregivers and receivers- people aging in place and people living with dementia:
Have access to Nature and knowledge to maximize the health promotion potential of their environments, inspiring simple and powerful green care practice and eco self-care.
The care we provide is only as good as the care we give ourselves.
All the juicy benefits of the Healing Art's exponentially increase when practiced outdoors, immersed in Nature. Nature is the most potent healing environment on Earth, from stress reduction to attention restoration- Nature Nurtures body, mind, and Spirit.
Ready to immerse your senses with a simple and powerful practice?
Enjoy this 1 min. Video below.
You can practice reciting this poem, gifted by Thich Nhat Hanh, whenever you are worried, stressed, angry, or sad.
Gazing out a window with a view of Nature or sitting/strolling at a beach, river, forest, or park, you can connect with your breath and connect with Nature.
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.
In, Out means that when I breathe in, I know I'm breathing in, and when I breathe out, I know I am breathing out. You are 100% with your in-breath and out-breath. Don't think of anything else. That's the secret of success."
Unearth the 5 A's
Eco Conscious Baby-Steps Toward a Healthy Planet=Healthy Aging
AWARENESS: Immerse in Nature
AWE: Feel Sensations of boundless wonderment
APPRECIATION: Love and deep gratitude
ACTIVATES: Connection, Calm and Care
ACTION: Building Accessibility, Preserving and Restoring Nature