Blog

How to Practice Maitri: Loving-Kindness to One’s Self

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Are you someone who has zero trouble accessing compassion for others, but when it comes to lending that same compassion to yourself, you fall short?  I know I have an easier time accepting other people’s mistakes (a.k.a. humanness) than I do my own; I freely forgive other people’s flaws while I beat myself up for mine. I readily feel empathy and compassion for the suffering of strangers but sometimes have a hard time comforting and being kind to myself.

Sound familiar? We’re not the only ones.

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The Power of Play

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“Play is a child’s work. 

It is through imaginative play that children process and integrate the social and cultural information they experience. The social learning that happens during play lays the foundation for social communication and emotional regulation skills that become important for getting and keeping a job, and maintaining close healthy relationships throughout life.

The imaginative games that children play equip them to read and intuit the feelings of others, laying the groundwork…

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Survival Skills: Eating Tree Bark

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Learning how to find food in the wild is a hobby for some, but it can mean the difference between life and death if you are ever caught in a survival situation. While foraging in your backyard or woods can be enjoyable, resourceful and a beautiful way to connect with the earth, knowing some basic information on how to eat should you ever need to find sustenance is an important skill to have. There are many plants that are edible, but one food source that is often overlooked is the bark of trees.…

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The Value of Direct Experience

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This article was written by Emily Bianco, one of our Guides in our youth programs at Through the Trees.

When did some of us stop listening to our body’s inherent and innate wisdom? When did we start feeling like strangers to nature? It usually starts early on in life when someone told us that we weren’t capable of something, that we would get in trouble if we didn’t listen to what we were told, that we would get hurt doing something, what to like, what to dislike, what to believe, that we shoul…

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Breathe on and Be Free

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This article was contributed by our Guide and member of our Board of Directors, Jewels Gordon.

I am Jewels. 39 years old with a backpack filled with my own issues, a heart full of love, some experiences that I wish I had not experienced and the grace and wisdom to find meaning and value in all of it. My childhood in one sense was typical and amazing - playing in the woods, laughing with friends, camping for days on end, homemade pizza every Friday night, and the freedom to explore and live …

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 65

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Local Natural Wonders Day 65 - Coos Canyon in Byron, Maine

Coos Canyon is located just off of Route 17 scenic highway in Byron. This beautiful canyon has been carved out by the Swift River and is easily accessed - park in the gravel parking lot to the right side of the road (heading north) and walk down to the river below. A short way down river there is a waterfall, and you can climb down below the falls and go for a swim in the calmer pools past the falls. Climb along the rocks or walk the tr…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 64

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Local Natural Wonders Day 64 - Powell Point Trail in Freeport, Maine

This 0.8 mile family-friendly, wooded trail has a couple of short, steep hills but ends with a spectacular view of Cousins River and Royal River before leading to Casco Bay. A side trail passes a salt marsh, which is also worth exploring. The beginning of the trail has a large amount of tree roots, which can be a fun obstacle for children to climb over. Wet or muddy areas are covered with planks.

TRAIL MAP

Directions from FC…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 63

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 63 - Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Arethusa Falls is New Hampshires tallest and most impressive waterfall. Estimated to be 200 feet tall, this waterfall is well worth the 1.5 mile hike to reach it. The trail gains about 900 feet in elevation and is manageable for families and unexperienced hikers.
Edward Tuckerman discovered Arethusa Falls in the late 1800s. The falls get their name from the poem, “Arethusa,” written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, about a…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 62

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Local Natural Wonders Day 62 - Flagstaff Lake in Carrabassett Valley, Maine

At 20,300 acres, Flagstaff Lake is the 4th largest lake in Maine and is man-made (so it is not a natural wonder, but it has an interesting story). Where this lake lies was once Flagstaff Village and Dead River Plantation, but in 1950 the towns were flooded, creating Flagstaff Lake - a product of the era of hydroelectric power in Maine. In 1950 the Long Falls Dam was completed, which became important for regulating water…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 61

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Local Natural Wonders Day 61 - Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine

Quoddy Head State Park is located on the easternmost point of land in the continental United States in the town of Lubec, Maine. With 541 acres and 4.5 miles of hiking trails, forests, bogs, incredible scenic views and a red-and-white striped lighthouse tower (West Quoddy Head Light), this state park is one not to miss.

From the Maine State Parks Website:

In 1808, West Quoddy Head Light became the easternmost lighthouse in …

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