Slowing down your life the natural way is in. Our author Christine Korte has tips on how to do it best in and around Berlin
In addition to the new Spring/Summer 2018 trends hitting the runways during this year’s Paris Fashion Week, there was another topic weaving into conversations between the fashion pros and influencers: the healing power of nature, or the antithesis of the urban experience of the “fashion marathon,” New York to London, Milan and back to Paris. Today Fashion Week visitors don’t just rush through the capitals from one show to the next, but are also turning their smartphones into the designers’ digital mouthpieces. We can experience the latest trends along with the FROWers (that’s “front rowers”) on their Instagram accounts, as good as taken along to every VIP event via Instagram Stories. Digitization has changed our lives, and not just in the fashion industry. Yes, it’s democratic, transparent, and free. But it also seems to move as fast as sound. Progress is positive to begin with, but it also brings an uncertainty about the future along with it. Work, dating, and the exchange of information – digitization is redefining established social norms and we have to adapt to them.
In a world that almost completely ignores time and regional borders, the desire to feel in harmony with nature – or, to say it another way, to feel a sense of the here and now in your own body – seems reasonable. It’s a phenomenon that’s nothing new in the course of social upheavals. That’s how the Romantic era was born, not least as an answer to industrialization. With an attitude of basic individualism, the Romantics opposed a system that reduced people to their efficiency in the workplace. They found the highest form of recognition of the self in harmony between man and nature.
Today, we are again intensifying this search for insight. An example from England is the so-called sisterhood. Its leader, Chloe Isidora, regularly invites like-minded people to meet her in the forests outside London where they practice shamanic rituals, meditation, singing, community cooking, and pottery. The idea is to bring us back to our own selves – one way of doing this are the so-called “womb circles.” This ritual is intended to help women establish a connection to their uterus through meditation. “We are born into a masculine world that is about achieving things and being goal-oriented,” Chloe Isidora said to Zeit Online, calling for the rediscovery of divine femininity.
The return to nature and our own femininity is also being propagated by actress Gwyneth Paltrow on her blog. It offers not only the right spirit, but also the right tools for sale, be it the jade egg with which to train our pelvic floor or the wool mat with which we go barefoot and protected in urban parks, or even the office. According to Clinton Ober, CEO of EarthFX, this is supposed to have a positive effect on our circulation, help with sleep disorders, and generally relieve us of everyday anxiety.
The shamanism of the sisterhood and commerce at Goop: We don’t have to associate ourselves with the belief that determination is a solely masculine quality or go out and buy an expensive mattress to recognize that nature has healing properties. That thought is as old as the history of humankind itself.
Sebastian Kneipp, to whom we owe strutting through icy water and walking through snow, already put it very succinctly: “Nature is the best pharmacy.” It can restore us and give us the strength to face the march of progress with a brave face.
The fall season offers plenty of opportunities. The only requirement: Go unplugged and leave the smartphone at home!
Here are our best tips for getting back to nature:
- Gathering Mushrooms in Schorfheide
Mushrooms can be gathered in the forests of Schorfheide until late fall. You can find chanterelles, penny bun, and bay bolete as well as birch bolete and sticky bun mushrooms here. If you don’t want to rely on your own nose, you can join a guided mushroom tour on November 4th.
- Crane and Goose Migration in Linum
The crane season in Linum will continue until November 5th. This is where the birds gather and prepare for their flight south. The Storchenschmiede nature preserve in Linum offers guided tours so you can take part in the natural spectacle without disturbing the animals.
- Barefoot Park Beelitz
Treat your feet to a break and experience the power of running barefoot. In Beelitz’s barefoot park, it’s possible without a protective wool mat. You can cover a distance of more than three kilometers on a day trip and reunite with the soil. From soft to bumpy, it’s all there – your soles will be ensnared and challenged.
- Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum in Berlin-Steglitz
Botany, a stone’s throw from the S-Bahn. The Botanical Garden in Berlin-Steglitz is one of the largest and most species-rich in the world with 43 hectares of land and about 22,000 different plants. It was completed in 1910 according to plans by architect Alfred Körner.
- Treehouse on Schlachtensee
Time to get a different perspective on things? That will surely be possible at this urban treehouse in Zehlendorf. The garden, the nearby Schlachtensee, and the forest will take you away from the stress of everyday life on a (long) weekend.
Translation: Melissa Frost
Born in Cologne, Christine Korte is a truly a cheerful soul from the Rhineland. After studying German language and literature in Marburg, she gained her first experience in fashion in Milan and Paris in the correspondence offices of German Vogue and the Women's Wear Daily. After going on to work at Glamour, Grazia, and Flair, she now lives as a freelance journalist in Berlin and writes for online magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Refinery29. Aside from fashion, theater, and film, her passion lies in long walks with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Udo.