Sitting in my office; It’s nighttime and quiet here. I hear the donkey bray, “Time to bring me in!” I thought I could leave him and his mini-pony pal out in the meadow tonight- it’s warm and the weather is fair. The mini-pony snorts as if to say “I’m cool. I don’t need a stall to chill”. I love being attuned to my hearing senses when I am calm.  God knows there are times when it can be overwhelming.
The creek babbles down below the meadow; I can hear it through the open window . We don’t often hear that sound during sessions- so much to say.  So many of the people who come to Horses and Healing tell me how much they appreciate the view from my office. We assume that my current office space used to be a back porch on this log structure. Windows look out onto the meadow and the pasture. When the horses are out in the fields the view can be entertaining. The myriad of birds that visit Walnut Hallow Farm are always flitting about, and the resident cats are usually stalking something in the tall grass. So much to take in!
What’s to be said about being exposed to nature as part of healing, even when you choose to be inside? Spending time in nature has been shown to decrease stress levels, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. It decreases blood pressure and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies. Images and sounds of a natural environment have been shown to decrease stress in people who are exposed to negative stimuli (Ulrich, Zelson (1991). At Horses and Healing the option is available to immerse oneself in the natural environment, but for some folks that isn’t possible for distinct reasons. Nature is still accessible indoors through various methods of exposure. Let’s start with the windows. 🙂