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  • Colleen M. Doumeng

Take a forest bath

I AM nearing the end of a 21 day challenge (led by Ryan Holiday from the Daily Stoic) and today’s challenge is to get outdoors (if I can).

I AM blessed to have perfect health this morning and I live a mere five minutes away from a breath giving view of the Long Island Sound. I can certainly do this! I just need to not pay attention to the negative voice of resistance, bundle up, climb a small hill and climb maybe another 50 stairs to look down on this wonder of wonders. To get down I need to descend another 300 steps. Let me just get there - to the beautiful landing with benches.


I’ll take on this challenge because I CAN - and - I AM in total agreement with Seneca's philosophy as well as that of one of my heroes, Ann Frank:

“We should take wandering outdoor walks, so that the mind might be nourished and refreshed by the open air and deep breathing.” — Seneca

In 1944, as the world was at war and Anne Frank hid in an attic, she looked out of the window and thought to herself, “As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?” Here she was, stuck in unending cycle of unimaginable terror and uncertainty, choosing to see the beauty in the world.

She believed that nature was a cure-all for suffering. Ryan Holiday.


Thank you Ryan for this challenge (I did it!), and thank you Seneca and Anne Frank for the motivation.. As I took each step and felt my breath in dynamic exchange with this incredible Universe it was easy to relax my shoulders, breathe more deeply and feel deep gratitude welling up inside of me that I could do this walk. And, at the same time, I found myself praying for those of you who could not do this walk. God bless you!




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