Week 12 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
It's that time of year when the days get longer and the weather improves, a sure sign that Spring is on its way. So after months of feeling constantly cold and what seemed like a permanent state of darkness outside, there was no better time to head outdoors.
That's exactly what this weeks Great Wake Up experiment involved. It was all about embracing nature and spending ten minutes each day in a forest, a wood or a green space to 'soak up the vibes' as Chris put it in his video.
It was just what I needed. Like a hedgehog I tend to hibernate away during the winter months, only venturing outside when absolutely necessary. In fact, if I didn't need to go to work I'd be quite happy to spend most of my time indoors, staying warm and doing more of what I love most - reading and writing.
But this experiment took some control over that and got me out into the fresh air.
As with most of the experiments, I started off cautiously, taking a small step to begin with. I'm not sure why I do this because its not as if I'm doing anything particularly difficult. But it's a different way of doing things, and I suppose that in itself brings about a level of uncertainty and trepidation.
So on day one I went out and walked around the garden. It was a sunny day, so I put on my headphones, listened to some music and took myself outside.
It was nice to feel the fresh air on my face and to see the leaves and plants moving in the wind. It was certainly very different to my normal view of the world, which is taken from my daily commute into London and consists of traffic congestion and people hurrying from one place to the next.
It just felt as if, in those few moments, things slowed down a little bit. And it had been a while since I'd experienced that.
The following days were similar, but on a bigger scale. There is a park near my house which has a large green space and some wooded areas. I went for walks there, which I never do, and it reminded me of how lucky I am to have this so near to where I live.
This time I didn't have my headphones in, and I was able to hear the sounds of the birds singing, the children playing and the dogs barking. There were other people walking aswell and, like in some of the previous experiments, I felt a much deeper connection to my surroundings and to my neighbourhood.
In fact, I've realised the theme that runs through most of the experiments I've done so far is 'connection'. They are helping me find a deeper sense of connection - to myself, to the things I value, and to my surroundings.
I look forward to seeing if this theme continues to emerge over the coming weeks and months.