Stressed Execs Seek Nature
"Landscapes have qualities that influence the process of thought and facilitate more effective and efficient action within business." ~ Jai Cheswick
Navigating ones way through the day is becoming increasingly stressful, with increased work pressure demanding much of us. When you’re running a successful business or working within one its highly likely that you find your day full of emails, phone calls, texts, twit feeds and if you live in Melbourne, coffee. Then, of course, there’s the actual work you’re supposed to be doing.
Amid the hectic pace you can forget yourself.
If you live in a country area an immediate natural antidote to this ever increasing stress burden is nature and the time spent in it. The rhythm and gentleness of a short walk in a country area or simply sitting by a natural pool and watching the wildlife can start the process of coming back to yourself. Similarly a surf at the beach or a cycle through the forests can do the same.
Yet, for those of us living in urban environments this connection with nature is becoming increasingly tenuous. We urbanites are told by marketing experts that all we need to feel good about ourselves again is an outdoor bbq with friends, to switch the TV on and watch a favourite movie, spend more time on Facebook reading other peoples opinions, or go shopping for ‘stuff’.
In an Australian urban environment increasingly influenced by our Asian neighbours, the simple backyard, office courtyard, hospital waiting room, or train station present ideal opportunities to create places that not only look good but also help us to think more clearly and act with more focus.
The ancient landscape masters of Asia knew well that time spent in a landscape, specifically in a landscape designed for contemplative practices, allowed individuals to practice the mindful act of coming back to themselves. They knew, as did their clients, that the qualities of a place can influence the process of thought and facilitate more effective and efficient action within business.
Landscapes and gardens designed for contemplation have certain elements in common.
They are well situated in regards to prevailing environmental conditions.
They take on a distinct form, unique in its simple beauty.
The enclosure they create points to a natural contained presence within all things.
They are defined and organized to help the user leave daily life behind.
A gateway might serve as a place to leave fear, busyness + confusion behind. Focus begins to develop within guided, directed movement.
They have an intentional form that begins to faciliate focus within the user. The pattern language of nature begins unfold.
They have a simple format to cultivate concentration and insight which points to less, in order to see more perhaps with unwavering attention to just one thing,
They allow the artistic expression of contemplation in helping the user refine their focus, see more clearly the subtleties of their actions and become more self-compassionate and creative in their workplace.
Jai Cheswick, Director of Cheswick Consultants, has been researching the design and development of contemplative landscapes for over 25yrs and runs a small boutique landscape architecture firm in Melbourne Australia.
He works with select clients to design and develop residential, commerical and industrial landscapes with qualities that influence the process of thought and facilitate more effective and efficient action within business.