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An invite from Tim Smit

'Why don't you come and join us and change your life forever?’

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Experience Hothouse

Hear from some of the people who've been on the programme.

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Connecting with nature has countless benefits, particularly for our health, happiness, and creativity – and it's core to our HotHouse leadership programme. Barely a day goes by without a new study emerging that reinforces the positive impact nature has on our mental health, and therapeutic practices such as the Japanese art of ‘forest bathing’ (Shinrin-yoku) are becoming increasingly popular. 

While mental health is often seen as a taboo, and can be a very personal subject, we know how valuable it is to hear others’ experiences of coping with everyday life. So we asked the HotHouse team for their favourite ways to take their (nature) medicine. 

Our favourite ‘nature cures’

Charlotte, HotHouse manager

My recipe for clearing my head, maintaining perspective and boosting energy? Getting into the sea whenever possible – no wetsuit – and then sitting on the rocks with a flask of tea. It’s been a year of intense pressure for me; life-changing illness in the family, a lot of caring, coupled with a small and busy team at work– but there’s nothing like swimming in an empty sea with a gull gliding beside you to empty your mind of everything but the moment. I swim until at least November – and then am back in again by March.

Dan, HotHouse facilitator

I’ve wrestled with my mental health over the past decade, and when the bad times come I nearly always crave some time alone. I like to lose myself on our nearest ‘wilderness’, Bodmin Moor. There, I try to re-centre myself by walking a long, slow route that connects my favourite rocks, trees, streams, and paths.  

'Reconnecting to the earth helps me feel grounded'

Richard, HotHouse facilitator 

I have the gift of belonging to a small group of men who live in the South West and meet in nature four times a year. In the darker months we sit around a fire and share our dreams for the year to come. This spring we frolicked in the snow and laughed that winter wasn’t quite done with us. In the summer we camped by a babbling brook in Dartmoor and enjoyed the extraordinary sunshine. This autumn, we went to one of our favourite beaches and although it was rather cold, we dived into the ocean, returning to the shore re-energised and revitalised. Each time, we are taken out of our heads, we let go of regrets from the past or worries for the future and embrace the brilliant beauty and power of being in nature. 

Arran, HotHouse coordinator

My main cure involves going back to the earth and growing flowers on a small patch of land. We are just about to say goodbye to a fantastic three-month long display of dahlias, so I will be nurturing the ground and preparing it for the winter garden and the narcissus, irises and tulips of the spring. Experiencing the loss of my grandad meant that my mental health has suffered and each day I’m learning new ways to cope. Reconnecting to the earth helps me feel grounded, aware and peaceful in what can sometimes be a rather hectic world, and it’s a huge part of my personal mindfulness journey.

Join us at HotHouse 

Our HotHouse programmes, set within the stunning landscapes of the Eden Project, provide a remarkable setting in which to connect deeply with yourself and nature. It is an unrivalled place to learn, from the treetop canopy of the vast indoor rainforest and the citrus groves of the Mediterranean, to the mining shelters and drying caves of the outer estate – you’ll be immersed in a unique global and cultural venue. Find out about our next Nature of Leadership programme in March 2019, or our Women’s Leadership Retreat in May 2019.

You might also enjoy our resource on how nature can unlock the creative process.