'Whenever I am in the Forest, I feel a renewed sense of purpose, as if the answers were always there, all along.'

This is an interview with George, based in Genval, Belgium. George is sharing about his gradual process of remembering being part of nature and how this has changed the way he relates to others, finds more clarity about his life's purpose, and can navigate life's challenges. 

George, who are you? How would you describe who or what you are right now?

I feel I'm many things at the moment - partner, brother, son, Forest Therapy guide, budding peacebuilder, writer, curious student, another being in the Forest.

Do you recall the moment when you remembered how connected you are with nature? Would you like to share about it?

Rather than a specific moment, I suppose it's been more a gradual process of remembering. I always feel a particularly strong sense of connection after spending time in the Forest near where I grew up. It's more than connection, it's a profound sense of belonging, a certainty that I've come home.

What has changed since then?

I have a clearer sense of who - and what - I am. And of my mission in life.

When was the last time you realized you needed to slow down and/or rest more?

It was during a Forest Therapy training immersion in the Czech Republic. The guide had just offered an invitation to slow down and notice "What's in Motion". Rather than walk slowly, my body was asking to just be still. It was something of a cathartic moment, a combination of grief and release.

What messages did your body or soul send to you (or is still sending you) when going through challenging times?

The More-Than-Human World has become something of a refuge for me, a place where I go to seek belonging and to find clarity. Whenever I am in the Forest, I feel a renewed sense of purpose, as if the answers were always there, all along.

Did you change anything about your life, work, lifestyle, way of thinking, approach to life, relationships...?

One of the most profound changes has been the way I relate to others, and noticing how others relate to each other. I feel more able to listen deeply, to nurture a greater presence and awareness. I also feel a greater capacity to treat what comes to me in my life more lightly and loosely, with a greater sense of trust.

What tips would you like to give to those who experience similar challenging life situations, on physical, mental or emotional level?

I would simply invite them to spend time in the more-than-human world, to slow down and notice. I think that when faced with life's challenges, one of the simplest and yet most powerful things we can do as humans is to return to where we belong, to nature. There, I feel we can all find nourishment and meaning.

Thank you so much George!

If you know someone who might get inspired by George's words, please don't hesitate to share this interview with them.