It was a beautiful spring day at Kiplin today and I was struck by how working outdoors really activates all your senses.
There were lots of things to see - two geese and their goslings swimming on the lake, the spring lambs running to their mums as they saw me in the distance, the bluebells emerging in the woodland.
Sitting on a bench in the orchard I could hear a chorus of birdsong. I am not a birdsong expert but could definitely make out the distinctive coo of a wood pigeon above the chatter of all the smaller birds. Sadly there was no evidence of my favourite spring bird noise - a woodpecker boring into a tree to make its nest.
It was the warmest day of the year so far, so I could feel the sun on my arms and was glad I'd left my big coat behind.
Connecting to your senses is a really important aspect of therapy. Oftentimes people are caught up in their thoughts, worrying about what they need to do, concerned about their perceived shortcomings and ruminating on the stresses in their lives. By slowing down and connecting to what you are perceiving here and now, you can focus on what is important to you in that moment. Sometimes that connection will allow you to let go of the things that have been overwhelming you and sometimes that process can help you understand more about why things are staying with you and how what's happening in the here and now connects to previous experiences that you are struggling to let go of.
As a therapist a big part of my role is helping people recognise the connections they automatically make and helping to highlight other choices. It would have been easy not to stop in the orchard today as it was the end of my day and I was heading home, but without making that choice I'd have missed hearing that pigeon!
You can hear the orchard birdsong in the audio clip below