I work in the finance department of a national charity. I help implement change, with an emphasis on the human element. Understanding user needs, communicating in plain English and facilitating training.
I have felt a spiritual connection with nature my whole life. As a child, I watched the ants on the patio and wanted to be a vet. I spent holidays in Wales, flying kites and collecting eggs from the henhouse. I lived in a small Essex village, where my mum would take me to feed the ponies. I rediscovered my love of nature in my mid-twenties, after going back to Wales on a climbing course. I believe that life moves in cycles. Nature, the cycles of the moon, and of the seasons, inspires my own inner work. I try to have daily time in local green space.
Over the past decade, I have frequently spent time in the outdoors. This includes hiking 570 miles alone around the Welsh coast. I can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of occasions I have seen anyone else that “looks like me.” Brexit increased my awareness of structural racism and the legacy of colonialism. I long to experience community with other BAME women, heal together and take up our space in the outdoors.
I want to make new friends, listen to personal stories and learn from one another. I want to develop my outdoor skills and confidence, particularly in navigation. I want to be witnessed, and guided, to express and own my unique style of leadership.
I am a South Asian woman. I have experienced anxiety, low self-worth and disordered eating. My hunch is that I am not alone. I have experienced healing, self-confidence and personal growth in the outdoors. I dream of sharing the outdoors with other BAME women, such that they too may benefit. Tools, such as outdoor skills, creative practice and cocounselling, have build my resilience. I would like to share them with others.
We were lucky enough to have Hiranya share with us some writing about her summer this year and all that she got up to with nature being her anchor through it all.
Please read her story here.