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Get Outside For Some Quality Time With Your Honey
Written By: Mark Smith

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Spring is in the air! Doesn't it seem like it has been a brutally long, cold, and oppressive winter? I write about whatever comes to me and this week what I've got is very simple, but yet profound - no deep, complicated psychological theories this week. I just want to pontificate a bit about the healing power of nature both for individuals and for couples.

A walk in a park hand in hand with your significant other has incredible benefits. It offers touch, emotional bonding, exercise, invigoration, fresh air, sunshine, the joy of observing animals and an opportunity to connect with God. A therapy session will set you back at least a hundred bucks, but you can have all the above for free. Well, it isn't really free; you have to spend a very precious commodity - your time. I'm writing this column from one of my favorite places - a little park with a pond, a fountain and some ducks. I can see the Monon trail from my picnic table - what an awesome community treasure that is. A young couple just got off their bikes and they are hugging by the pond - they are touching and it looks very intimate. A family is fishing in the little pond. Those kids will always remember fishing with their grandparents. A duck or I guess it is a goose looks like he is eating grass, could that be right? All is right with the world, I have a cool breeze, the sun is warming me and I would rather be here than any place in the world.

One of my favorite poets, David Whyte, in his book "Mid Life And The Great Unknown" wrote "when things get to a point of sterility or staleness then often the best thing to do is to go out the door, into the natural world to go for a walk to set yourself straight with the world again into right relationship so you can walk back into the house in a healthier way." He shared a line in a poem about the healing properties of nature in relationship that reads "sometimes the truth depends upon a walk around the lake". A walk around the lake can clear the head and help us to get refocused on who we are, what we need and how to communicate those things to our loved one. We are leaving soon for our yearly pilgrimage to beach - THE most healing environment for me that nature has to offer. The waves, the seagulls, the sand, the sun, the cold water on your feet - it is like a trip to the spa. It is my best place to pray and to reflect.

I want to tell you about one of my clients - we'll call her Susie. She was a very troubled woman who just couldn't do the traditional 50 minute hour on the therapist's couch. She didn't have the words or the safety. She needed to be re-parented. She needed the safety of the environment that a caring therapist could provide for her. For 4 years now when the weather permitted our therapy office has been the little park behind my office. Those walks served as a safe, consistent stabilizing factor in her life. We even made friends with a very healthy, caring; nurturing man retired named Bill and his cool golden retriever Casey. You should see how Susie lights up with Bill and Casey drive up. They became almost like group therapy members for her. The pond, the geese, the flowers, the air and Bill and Casey became key elements that helped nurse Susie back to health.

That type of healing is available for all of us in nature. I guess it is going to rain a lot this week, but just as soon as nature permits - get out there. Ride a bike, take a walk, take up jugging, get some roller blades, visit a park, hike a trail, be with the ones you love and take in the healing properties of all that nature has to offer. You don't have to wait until your trip to the beach or our vacation. Find a woods near your home, slip away, sit, read a book, breathe deeply. Thank God, Spring is here - enjoy! See you next week.

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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