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Empath Ana's Blog

Stressed? A sensory bush walk just might help you out

Dharawal National Park trees

"You need to be outside more!!" says my meditation teacher after we had a discussion about bees appearing around me lately. Of course I agreed with her and being stuck indoors too much was not good for the soul. Walking the dog to the local park was not enough it seems. A holiday somewhere would be great but not doable right now. Need to do something close-by and easy.

Universe works in funny ways because in a matter of days, a newsletter pops into my emails highlighting what to do near Sydney. The one that stood out was a Sensory Walk at Dharawal National Park. Looking up the map I discovered it was only an hour drive south west from my home. Perfect! Booked my ticket and locked myself in before I changed my mind.

The day had come and I was feeling rather drained from a slightly stressful week. So easy to make an excuse and not go at all, especially since it had been raining the last few days. Too many of us procrastinate and not end up doing what might actually be good for us. Are you guilty of this too? So I kicked my own butt, and got into the car before I regretted not going!

Music blaring down the motorway, I found my way to Dharawal National Park. Being a little early in the carpark, I was greeted by the most beautiful little birds that appeared next to my car door and on the bonnet. Turning off my car music my heart sang with joy being in a peaceful bush surrounding along with the tweets of the birds. Being a city gal, this was a treat indeed. Those of you that live near the bush are very lucky indeed!!

Australian native flowers

The Sensory tour was a grade one walk with a 2.8km return. Track was friendly for both adults, kids and people in wheelchairs. The Park Ranger helped us experience our five senses by tasting bush foods,

touching and smelling the diverse native vegetation. Hearing the surroundings had already started way before the Ranger turned up. It was a joy disconnecting from a busy life and experiencing nature not far from home. Tasting specific berries brought refreshing sourness to our mouths (including lots of vitamin C!) and learning how some foliage can be used as natural soap when rubbed with water brought wonder to the whole group. Watch out for the beauty companies that get a hold of this one!

Walking along the trail we had the freedom to stop and ask questions and hear some stories of the indigenious knowledge of the area. Being born in Australia I realised I knew very little about some of their historical customs and knowledge. So much more to learn.

At times, we had to just slow down and take in the surrounding beauty. It is not just a five sensory walk - it definitely includes the 6th one (extrasensory perception). Putting my own guard down, I put my feelers out and in return I got a crispness of energy back. Felt like I was washed over with an refreshing and gentle cleanse. Realised then that there was a spring to my step and my body was standing taller. Now I understand what they mean when trees and nature can rejuvenate you. Could not help it but smile right back at the surrounding vegetation and birdlife that followed us all the way.

Being Autumn there were not many Australian Native flowers in bloom but the ones we saw, were amazing in texture and colour. First time I have ever seen a yellow Banksia flower along with an orange looking one. The kids in the group were in awe and made me realise that sometimes we need see through their eyes at what we adults miss. The Park Ranger was fantastic with answering all their eager questions and wonder at everything they discovered.

Our final destination was the O'Hare Creek Lookout. During sunset it is totally breathtaking that some of us did not care that the tempreture had dropped a little (misty breath happening). So good to walk back to the car at our own leisure. No rush, no car noises and no phone buzzing. Dharawal was declared a national park only recently - 2012. It was originally going to be developed but the locals assisted to stopping it progressing any further. Grateful it never went down that road.

One of the major points of conversations during my client sessions is getting out and about more often. It is an action you can take to help clear the mind and declutter your energy which is equivalent to de-stressing. If the bush is not your thing, even after you have tried it then walking near the ocean or sea is just as brilliant. Either way, it is nature and our bodies respond positively to the exposure. Is is also okay to take time out for yourself. These group guided walks are great when you do not have someone to come with you. So do not wait for someone else to kick your butt!

For further information about Dharawal National Park -

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Client sessions are available by appointment by calling 0467 660 611 or via email


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