Born and raised in Belgium, but considered by many as a global nomad. I like to see myself as a person who has her roots in the wood wide world. I have lived, studied and/or worked in Czech Republic, Austria and Thailand. Since autumn 2017 I am pursuing a PhD in Environmental Studies in Japan.
Since many years I am very fascinated by the wisdom of trees, forest ecology and the relationship between nature and culture. Already since 2013, I read courses in environmental philosophy and politics and am especially interested in ecopsychology and ecofeminism. I integrate some creative ideas and insights in my art.
In September 2019 I start my training in Colorado (USA) to become a forest and nature therapy guide under the supervision of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT), who explain who is actually the therapist and who is the guide:
The forest itself is the therapist. We don’t train therapists; we train guides. By slowing people down and facilitating sensory experiencing, guides open the doorways through which the forest can accomplish its healing work.
My forest projects:
Forest bathing in Japan
In Japan, I organise group expeditions to the official certified forest therapy bases, where a professional will measure also your blood pressure and other stress indicators before and after a forest bath.
- Forest bathing and yoga in Motosu, Gifu, June 16, 2019: read my blog here
- Forest weekend retreat in Tsunago, Nagano, August 17-18, more information will follow
Forest therapy in Belgium
- Forest therapy session during a yoga and hike weekend in Belgian ardennes, 12-14 October 2019, more information will follow
Mindful walking and living in the outdoors of Belgium, Japan and the Nordic Countries
Forest bathing is about being in nature, but that is not the only thing I do there. I also enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking and camping, which are not always the most relaxing activities, but I try to take enough breaks and build space for silence and joy in these activities too. Forest bathing is not the same as jogging, walking, trekking or nordic walking. I love especially the Nordic countries, because since I am a child I am also very interested in the folklore, mythology and culture of the high north. After my Phd in Japan I plan to find -or better, create- my next job in Scotland, Norway or another mystical country.
My Training in Colorado, USA
I am very happy I was accepted to become a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. In September I will go to the home of the Rocky Mountains and learn how “to facilitate safe gentle walks, provide instructions for sensory opening activaties along the way”. From March 15th, 2020 I will have a certificate. From then I would be able to identify good trails, with eye for safety and high sensory experience, and guide people from over the wood wide world to connect deeper or again with the wild around and in us. If you are also interested in this training, I recommend to visit their website: https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/guide-training/training
I like to express myself through photographs, video and mostly creative writing.
My first novel (in Flemish) is expected to be published in autumn 2019. It is a mystical eco-thriller about broken family relationships and celebrating nature and strong female energy. The story takes place in Scotland, Japan, Cameroon and Pakistan. The title is “Berkensap”, which can be translated as “Birch juice”.
I am also working at a second novel, this time in English, which has the working title “the dark wood wide web“. The characters find themselves in Belgium, New Zealand, Japan and Thailand.