Marta Grabowska has a degree in Social Sciences at Warsaw University and a postgraduate in Coaching and Mentoring. She is a certified Breathworker, Holistic Trainer and FTHub Forest Bathing Guide.
Her professional path from corporations and working with international teams, to the deep world of Breathwork, indoors and outdoors. Her most peace-transmitting voice says a lot about her journey, and the depth of her approach to forest bathing speaks volumes about how much she is cherished as a trainer and mentor in FTHub.
“My relationship with nature is both pragmatic and spiritual. Nature is everything. Its’ a space to think and breathe. Forest gives me a feeling of unconditional acceptance and love. Feeling of belonging and being a part of something greater than me. In the forest I can be myself, as the forest does not judge. I do not have to prove anything and at the same time the forest is sensitive to lies and cheating. As if he was saying ‘be yourself, leave illusions and lies aside before you come to me. This is the only ‘condition’ of my love’ – and I definitely can agree to such a condition.
“It was because of health reasons -in the city where we lived I was constantly sick, driving mad all neighbors crying and coughing- that my mum took me to her family in the mountains. The life conditions there were pretty rough, no running water nor electricity, so not easy to manage with a small child. But I loved that. Mostly – the freedom to explore.
“I remember the touch of grass, the tingling on the skin when jumping into the cold mountain river. The density of forests where we were picking up blueberries. The never ending roads we would wander around. And the smell of warm soil. One of the sweetest memories is the haymaking and jumping on the bundles of hay. And that unique smell of burdock leaves along the river…”
Traveling the world of breath
“I studied language and social sciences. Started my professional career in a public relations agency, grew into head of marketing for Europe. I had worked in business organizations for twenty years and had the pleasure to work with international teams from all over the world. I value that time a lot, not only because of work experience but because of people I got to know and cultures I could learn about.
“Still, I felt that strange void – as something was missing. A friend of mine introduced me to breathing practices – as he said: it will do you good to manage all that stress, exposure, travels and long hours. And it did. It did something else as well. It made me question some areas of my life, some of my decisions. But I got into that “super cool” work and forgot about those questions. Some years later they came back.
“I decided to pick up coaching studies, even though one of my ex-bosses said I shall never ever work with people. And it felt good, that whole coaching experience but still something was missing.
“I moved for work to Switzerland, working Monday-Friday and during weekends studying and facilitating breathwork. Until one day, I felt that was it. Still remember that beautiful hill in Zurich where I used to sit and breathe in a forest. And that whole-body-yes feeling I had. That all is in the right place, nothing is missing. Was I scared? Surely, like never before. I believe that is a quote from Alexander Lowen – the difference between fear and excitement is breath.
“Since then breathwork is my whole world and most of my professional interests are around it. I keep on studying and learning more about the power of breath and different modalities which support that work. The main ones I’m super into now are shadow-work and voice dialogue. And of course, my deepest dream is to immerse all of that into the forest”.
Forest Bathing training
“Nature was my hide-away place, when it was too much to handle in the human world. When a friend Kasia – now a forest bathing guide as well – spoke about the training, I felt this sweet warm sensation in my heart and a whole body curiosity. I didn’t think much and enrolled.
“Forest Bathing influenced my professional life. Once I felt I can feel even more when breathing in Nature than I feel during an indoor session, I felt I wanted to combine walks in Nature and Breathwork. I started to include the walks to the breathwork retreats I organize – to connect with senses, with the body, with Higher Self and the Higher Force.
“So imagine a day, which you start with gentle meditation, yummy and nutritious breakfast, then we go to the forest to dive into the beauty and gentleness of that green body – and after all those sensual experiences you start breathing and integrating all in your physical body.
“For me that is a profound experience which changes not only how we perceive and connect with Nature around us, but how we respect, acknowledge and love the Inner Nature that lives in our Bodies”.
Retreats in nature and corporate well-being in nature
“Currently, together with a friend of mine who is coming here soon from India, we are working on several workshops and retreats where we combine nature connection with breathwork and shadow work.
“We want people to reconnect with themselves on a deeper level, integrate their shadows for a better, happier life.
“And I’m working on a development project which will combine breathwork and forest bathing to reconnect with themselves through senses. Second project I’m working on is forest bathing for business organizations as part of stress-reduction and well-being plans for their employees”.
The changes witnessed
“I believe it’s a privilege to witness changes in people, I value that a lot when guiding. The most surprising and profound experience I witnessed was a young woman entering the forest for the first time in her life. Someone who spent her whole life in the city concrete houses, because the forest was a dangerous place for girls according to her parents, enters a completely new universe – and feels like home.
“I have witnessed busy business people joining a short online walk – stopping in their fast paced life and enjoying connection with a tree or a lake, saying ‘I never paid attention to trees, and they are such good listeners!’.
“I have witnessed a deeply wounded woman sharing her pain with a tree, hugging and crying – feeling safe to express her pain and being received by the being of nature. I have seen people changing their attitude to cutting their lawn, as during the walk they noticed the life happening in the grass – and felt that by cutting it they take away something from nature and themselves. Every walk brings a surprise, a change, an amazing experience and great teaching”.
Ph: Courtesy Marta Grabowska and Iza Sawicka