3 Nature Therapy Exercises to Help You Live in the Now

“Nature is the best medicine for serenity. Peace. Calmness. Stillness. It’s good for the heart.” ~Karen Madwell

I was looking for a way to stop obsessing over the future. I’d spent my adult life as an underground musician, and it had been wonderful for the large part. The thing is, it wasn’t good for me anymore.

I felt anxious onstage. I felt really uncomfortable with so many people looking at me. I had changed as a person, and yet I continued putting myself through performing even though I hated it.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever continued to do things that you hate because you identify so strongly with what you are doing? If I wasn’t “a musician,” which I had been all of my adult life, then what would I be? It felt as if I would be nothing at all.

Through dabbling with various new musical projects, I became increasingly aware that whatever was going to be creatively fulfilling (if anything), would inevitably lead my mind to obsess over it, sending me into a dreamworld of scenarios where I was the center of everything. Perhaps this is why I continued singing: I wanted to “be something special.”

In my imagination (which was extremely active), singing always seemed so important, and after each gig I would only remember the fun parts (of which there were many too, don’t get me wrong). Then I’d get onstage the next time and think, “What am I doing here?”

The awareness that I was letting dreams and fantasies dictate my life wasn’t profound, it was just a product of getting a little older and thinking, do I really want to live like this for the rest of my life? I looked into ways that I could enjoy the here and now a bit more; ways of appreciating life as it was actually happening, rather than several years later through filtered, distorted, and romanticized memories.

I’d never meditated or done anything that I would have previously disregarded as “hippy rubbish.” I had read something about mindful breathing somewhere.

I didn’t know anything about mindfulness, but I had an impression that it was something that middle-class people did a lot alongside their yoga. I didn’t relate to that image at all. I didn’t realize that it was simply a tool for paying attention to what is happening.

Then one day I focused on my breath while I was on a walk in the local park with my dog, Euro. Suddenly, everything was alive. The world was just beautiful.

At that moment, focusing only on what I could see and sense, my mind went right back to basics, to where I remember it being when I was a very small child. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck (and all over my body) and I couldn’t stop grinning.

Several blackbirds popped their jerky, judgmental eyes out from under some shrubs, bobbing forward for worms and eyeing me up cautiously as I walked past. I didn’t just see a bird and move on. I saw strange, beaked, winged creatures who fly about this land—singing, to boot! (If birds existed only in myth and folklore, they would make elves and unicorns seem positively dull.)

Walking around the park, I was in a calm ecstasy, grinning at everything around me, occasionally wondering if I looked to others like I was on some serious happy pills (but not much caring what other people thought).

I didn’t see trees and move on. I saw wooden beings, some of them hundreds of years older than me, growing out of the ground and displaying leaves and petals reaching up into the sky. Why we were there together, swapping gases, was a beautiful mystery.

A year or so after this experience, and others like it, I realized that what I was practicing that day was “ecotherapy” or “nature therapy,” although I didn’t know about those terms at the time. I’ve since trained to become an ecotherapist to help other people find this amazing connection to nature, and this is honestly something I would never have seen myself doing five years ago.

Somehow, when I became an adult, I had forgotten what nature meant to me as a child. I think most of us are connected to nature deeply as children, and yet we get easily distracted from it as we get older. I don’t think I am unique in that respect at all.

One day, back when I was seven or eight years of age, I was allowed to set my alarm clock for the early morning hours. I went to the local park with a notebook and pen to see what animals I could find.

I saw my first ever hedgehog, and it felt like meeting a visitor from another dimension. I just couldn’t believe that there was this unique spiky creature in front of me, living completely independently, getting on with its weird little life in shrubs and muck. I still get a feeling of awe when I recall that moment, watching it curl up in the early morning dew.

I grew up as a proper city boy in the suburbs of Liverpool, England. Somehow, when I became a teenager, I did what many of us do and I got so caught up with ‘finding out who I was’ that I neglected what was happening on the earth around me for decades! I had fun for the most part, but I spent so much of my life lost in fantasy and living in honor of some so-called ‘identity’ that I forgot how important nature was to me.

Earth is a wonderland. The diversity of life that we encounter each and every day (and often ignore) is mind-boggling. Creatures that crawl, fly, and speak are everywhere. The vivid colors present in giant plants that grow from tiny seeds is just awesome (in the traditional ‘awe-some’ sense of the word)!

It took me years to comfortably move away from a life in music to be doing the things in life that I am doing now. I think changing our callings in life always comes with a sense of grief to some degree; we attach and identify with the things we do quite naturally.

Nature has taught me to enjoy not being the center of attention, to simply enjoy feeling that I’m a part of this beautiful world, and it’s such a relief! We are tiny and yet we are miraculous at the same time. I don’t need to do things that make me anxious if I have the control to stop doing them.

More About Ecotherapy/Nature Therapy

The term “nature therapy” is used interchangeably with the term “ecotherapy,” but they are referring to the same thing. In a nutshell, ecotherapy refers to therapies and activities that deliberately aim to improve our mental health and well-being through connecting with nature. It is a broad, umbrella term.

Some ecotherapists may be qualified psychotherapists who offer “walk and talk” outdoor counseling sessions, whereas others may focus on helping people to create art or poetry inspired by nature. Some ecotherapists run gardening groups, and there are many more approaches still! Ecotherapy is totally, 100 percent something that you can do for yourself; it’s actually very simple!

For me personally, the most powerful ecotherapy exercises are based on mindfulness (it was this kind of work that changed my life, and so I’m bound to feel like that)! Here are three simple exercises to try that have been amazing for me personally, and I hope that they help you to find a deeper connection to nature.

1. Look toward the new.

Take a walk somewhere you go often and give attention to your regular habits. Notice your walking habits closely: how you often pay attention to the same things in your environment without conscious awareness. Deliberately shift your attention elsewhere every time you notice you notice your attention going to a habitual place. What new things do you notice around you?

2. Use your senses.

Find an outdoor space where you feel comfortable and safe. With your eyes closed, focus on your senses, especially tuning into sounds, smells, and the feeling of the air against your skin. Open your eyes after a few minutes and take in the color and sights all around you. How does it feel? (Please note, if you have any sensory impairments, simply adjust the task to work in the best way for you; this exercise can be effective with whatever senses you use.)

3. Notice nature reclaiming space.

Take a city/town walk where there is lots of concrete and look for the weeds and wildflowers popping up through the pavement and walls. How often can you spot nature appearing through the cracks? How does it feel to notice it?

Nature is not separate from us. We are a part of nature too, and I hope that these simple exercises help you to feel that connection. If all else fails, simply spend a little time outdoors, or even open a window if there are restrictions on you going outside. Just remember to pay attention to what’s going on out there!

Duet Song Melody “Beauty Beauty”

The song “Who is beautiful, beautiful” loved by Armenians is one of the beautiful works that we always listen to with pleasure and great love. Over the years, this song based on Levon Mirijanyan’s words has been developed by various Armenian artists and presented in a unique way (recently the song was also presented in reggae style), but now it is also performed in Armenian by members of the famous American band Pink Martini.

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Mihran Kalaydjian and Emma Singing Beauty, beauty ( Ով Սիրուն, Սիրուն (Ov Sirun Sirun)

 

 

Lyrics for Beauty, beauty ( Ով Սիրուն, Սիրուն (Ov Sirun Sirun)

Beauty, beauty, whenever I
Meet you again on my way
I burn the nonflammable memories of mine once again
My sleep and rest are lost again

Beauty, beauty, why did you come closer
Why did you know the secret of my heart
I loved you with an innocent love,
But you, unfair girl, why did you leave me?

Ah, if I see you one day
Sad and careless
I’ll be your friend and will share your pain
Won’t leave my love.

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Lyrics translated in Armenian

Ով Սիրուն, Սիրուն (Ov Sirun Sirun)
Ով սիրուն, սիրուն, երբ որ ես կրկին,
Հանդիպում եմ քեզ իմ ճանապարհին,
Նորից այրում են հուշերս անմար,
Նորից կորչում են և՜ քուն, և՜ դադար:

Ով սիրուն, սիրուն, ինչո՞ւ մոտեցար,
Սրտիս գաղտնիքը ինչո՞ւ իմացար.
Մի անմեղ սիրով ես քեզ սիրեցի,
Բայց դու, անիրավ, ինչո՞ւ լքեցիր:

Ա՜խ, եթե տեսնեմ օրերից մի օր.
Դու ման ես գալիս տխուր ու մոլոր,
Ընկեր կդառնամ ես քո վշտերին,
Մենակ չեմ թողնի իմ կարոտ յարին

A Million Scarlet Roses – Most beautiful melody

This piano instrumental of A Million Scarlet Roses is a journey “Your heart is the compass, Your soul is the journey…”

Eyes Of The Scarlet Rose – “Should you see the light of your future, within the shadows of your present, The resilience of life dancing over vast deserts of death, Witness if you so shall, the majesty of Creation. The contentedness of All was and always will be.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ==

Title: A Million Scarlet Roses

 

Lyrics:

Once upon the time there was a painter

He had a little house and canvas

But he loved an actress

who loved flowers

He then sold his home

Sold his paintings and his shelter

And with all the money he bought

a whole sea of flowers

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

In the morning, you stand at the window

Maybe you’ve gone crazy

As in a continuation of a dream

The plaza is full of flowers

Your soul grows cold

What rich man is making fun by here?

But under the window, almost breathless,

the poor painter stands

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

The encounter was short

At night, the train carried her away

But in her life remained

the mad song of roses k

The painter kept living alone

Many troubles he beard

But in his life remained

the whole plaza of flowers

 

I love you and I miss you – Melody

How plans change in the blink of an eye.  Forever doesn’t quite mean as much when your forever is taken from you.  Memories haunt your dreams and places spark memories. 

There is nowhere to hide from the pain.  The hurt eventually fades but the heartache will linger forever.  Life moves on and loves come again but your forever was changed, and that can never be taken back.

Mihran Kalaydjian Playing I love you and I miss you

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Music Arrangements: Edward Khoury & Elias Rishmawi Lyrics: Earnest Lawrence Record Labels: Paramount Studios

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I miss you

I miss your arms around my shoulders

As we danced there, until all the lights came on

Then you looked, me in the eyes, and said you loved me

Now I can’t hear you, say you love me, anymore

 

Yeah I miss you

I miss your head upon my pillow

And those late nights, that we lay talking until dawn

I can’t help, but dream about, our time together

Just to wake up, once again, and find you’re gone

I miss your eyes

I miss your smile

I miss the way you brought me comfort

As you wiped teardrops from my eyes

Life’s not the same, at all, since you were taken, from me

And I thank God, that you’re not here, to see me cry

 

I miss you

I miss the way you said I love you

I miss your warmth, as I came walking through the door

Our hopes, our plans, our dreams, they all left with you

And our forever’s, not forever, anymore

I miss your eyes

I miss you smile

I miss the way you brought me comfort

As you wiped teardrops from my eyes

Life’s not the same, at all, since you were taken from me

And I thank God, that you’re not here, to see me cry

 

Life’s not the same, at all, since you were taken, from me

And I thank God, that you’re not here, to see me cry

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use

The Music Played – Matt Monro

The Music Played – Matt Monro

 

An angry silence stayed where love had been
And in your eyes a look I’ve never seen
If I had found the words you might have stayed
But as I turned to speak the music played

As lovers danced their way around the floor
I suddenly watched you walk towards the door
I heard a friend of yours suggest you stay
And as you took his hand the music played

Across the darkened room the fatal signs I saw
We’d been something more than friends before
Well, I was hurting you by clinging to my pride
He had been waiting and I drove him to your side
I couldn’t say the things I should have said
Refused to let my heart control my head
But I was made to see the price I paid
And as he held you close
The music played
And as I lost your love
The music played.

Let’s rejoice and be happy – Hava Nagila הבה נגילה

Hava Nagila is a Hebrew folk song, the title meaning “Let us rejoice”. Though the melody is an ancient one of folk origin, the commonly used lyrics were written by the Jewish Latvian musicologist, Abraham Zevi ldelsohn, in 1918, to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during World War I as well as the Balfour Declaration (on the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, and British government support for a Jewish national home in Palestine, with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there).

Perhaps the non-Jewish musician who did the most to populariseHava Nagila around the world was Harry Belafonte. In his live performances, he used Hava Nagila as his regular closing number because of its uplifting melody and hopeful, brotherly lyrics. His 1959 Carnegie Hall live concert recording became a best-selling record (and one I grew up hearing).

Let’s rejoice
Let’s rejoice
Let’s rejoice and be happy

Let’s sing
Let’s sing
Let’s sing and be happy

Awake, awake, brothers!
Awake, awake, brothers!
Awake brothers with a happy heart

Awake, brothers!
Awake, brothers!
With a happy heart

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בואו נשמח
בואו נשמח
בואו נשמח ונהיה מאושרים

בוא נשיר
בוא נשיר
בואו נשיר ונשמח

ער, ער, אחים!
ער, ער, אחים!
להעיר אחים עם לב שמח

ערים, אחים!
ערים, אחים!
עם לב שמח

 

Secrets silence

Mihran Kalaydjian Beethoven’s 5 Secrets silence

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

“Ludwig van Beethoven”

Sway Medley Classical

Mihran Kalaydjian Sway Medley Live

Location: San Francisco, CA

Honor Guest: Armenian Guitarist Aram

Mino Element Band Members

Aram Kasabian – Lead Guitar
Sevan Manoukian – Drummer
Hratch Panossian – Bass
Samer Khoury – Violin
Tony Amer – Saxophone
Haim Cohen – KeyBoard
Albert Panikian – Trumpet
Nicole Del Sol – Percussion
Dana Debos – Trombone

“Sway”

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more

Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me, sway with me

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more

Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me, sway with me

When marimbas start to play
Hold me close, make me sway
Like an ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more

Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me, sway with me

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use

© 2015 Paramount Studios& Element Band All Rights Reserved

The Real Neat Blog Award

 

Once again I’m humbled to have been honored with a nomination for The Real Neat Blog Award  by not just one, but two awesome blogs!  Every blog award I receive means so much to me, it really does!

I have been presented with a wonderful little blog award by the incomparable Ritu Bhathal, a talented author of smexy historical romances,a  raconteur and all round fabulous gal. She has passed the baton over to me to be another  keeper of the Real Neat Blog Award.

– Huge Thanks to the awesome Ritu Bhathal-

Well, anyway…
Here are the rules:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

 

To Ritu Bhathal – I am deeply grateful and humbled by this honor.

https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/the-real-neat-blog-award-2/

 

 

Mihran Kalaydjian Performing She Left Me Alone

Melody: She Left Me Alone
Lyrics: Edward Khoury & Elias Bandak
Music Arrangements: Edward Khoury
Pianist: Mihran Kalaydjian ” Mino”
Record Labels: Paramount Studios
Location: San Fransisco

She left me and left me alone, she forgot the man she loved; she hurt me and hurt my life.

She left me, she forgot the man she loved, and she hurt me and hurt my life

The love is in my heart for you
It was found there, unconditional and true,
I flutter in the seventh heavens clouds
The lands of pink roses and sugar mounds,

The key to my heart has rested there,
Bursts of heat and sticky sweat love fill the air,
My lungs filled with the scent of love,
And you giving soul lifting me above.