ABOUT HAIDAIt's All About Heart
WHY I DO THIS WORK…
It’s all about the heart.
My passion is to assist in healing the world one heart at a time.
When we connect to the forest with all of our senses in a slow, sensory way, we create more calm, more joy and better health in our bodies. Our heart sense, the centre of our emotions, feels nurtured. Our heart is the root to our happiness and health. To nurture it is to expand our happiness and health, not just for ourselves, but it ripples outwards to our friends, family and eventually covers the whole planet.
What I love about the way I guide is that there are opportunities sprinkled throughout the forest therapy experience in which everyone has the opportunity to share from their heart with any way they choose, and to listen to others from their heart. This strengthens the world’s ability to share and listen with care.
Can you imagine a world more capable of sharing and listening with care? Can you imagine how much more supported and valued children would feel if they experienced a more heart centred world? I can. I do.
And this is why I do this work. It gives me hope because it empowers everyone equally.
“When we connect to the forest, we connect to our heart, the root of our happiness and health. The time has come to connect to our hearts and make our health and happiness a priority.”
— Haida Bolton
All my life I have found great peace and healing in the forest, often transforming anger, frustration and sadness into joy, acceptance and love. Nature often facilitated healthy problem solving whether I was alone or solving issues with others.
As a child, my happiest memories were created in nature. So, as an adult, I connected children to nature for over 30 years through Youth Camps in British Columbia and Africa, Roots & Shoots Clubs and Eco-Kidz Forest Parties.
In 2015, I lost my marriage, my father, my community and my beloved home. As I grieved these losses among the towering trees, cascading creeks and beautiful bays of Pender Harbour, I learned about a growing practice called Shinrin Yoku (Japanese for Forest Bathing), also known as Forest Therapy in North America. I decided then I wanted to connect all ages with nature to create a happier and healthier world for everyone.Today, I have come to acknowledge that my purpose is to help heal the world one heart at a time. In a world affected by billions of heartaches every day, this practice of restoring peace and joy to our deepest hearts is deeply needed.
BC’s First Certified Forest Therapy Guide
In November 2016, I was honoured to become British Columbia’s first Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Forest Therapy is also known as Forest Bathing.
“The earth is what we all have in common.”
— Wendell Berry
My Time With Jane Goodall
Having met Jane Goodall first by coincidence at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania and again on Salt Spring Island, BC, and then through 10 planned events thereafter, I’ve always been in awe of Jane’s magical serene aura. Often people would comment to her about it. This aura gives her a saint like appearance when in her presence.
Only after I began weekly forest therapy experiences did I come to understand that Jane is carrying the magic calming energy of the forest with her wherever she travels in the world. 28 years of forest immersion has had an amazing effect – No wonder she is the United Nations Messenger of Peace!
Knowing this, it is easy to understand how numerous scientific studies, such as that in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology (26: 123-128, 2007), show that stress hormones decrease significantly with watching and being in forested environments. The longer the forest experience, the lower the stress hormones.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
– John Muir