A Sense of Place E-Course Giveaway!

January 16, 2013

Today we bring you a guest post from Liz, of A Natural Nester. Liz is a frequent contributor to the Rhythm of the Home magazine, and is beginning a new e-course through her blog.  Read on for more information about the course and to enter a special giveaway just for Rhythm of the Home readers!

Nurturing a Sense of Place

When was the last time you stopped and noticed your natural environment? I mean really observed it closely… the smell of the cold air, the crunch of the earth beneath your feet, the song of that bird who visits the tree in your backyard every day. When was the last time you felt truly connected to the natural world around you? If you’re like most, the days often pass by with only a dim awareness of the landscape you inhabit.

What if you were to awaken your senses and really explore the world around you, engaging in it in a new way… forming a real connection? As you discovered your environments’ sounds, smells, and sights, you’d begin to develop a “sense of place” and your role in that place. You might feel more grounded, more peaceful, more spiritually supported. Your feelings of identity and belonging might shift or broaden.

Keeping a seasonal nature journal helps to nurture a healthy sense of place. Through regular observation and recording of the natural world right outside your door, you gain a familiarity with the land, its natural resources, its native plants and animals, and its natural beauty. You develop a deeper understanding, and form a more meaningful kinship with your own place in the world.

No matter where you are, no matter the season, there is nature all around you just waiting to be discovered. Are you ready to connect to your place? Pick up a blank book and a pen or pencil and step outside your door! Use your senses, as suggested in the exercise below, to begin enjoying the rewards of keeping a seasonal nature journal.

Coming to Your Senses – A Nature Journaling Exercise

Materials needed: blank book or blank paper, pen and/or pencil, colored pencils if desired.


  1. Go to place in nature close to home, a place you encounter regularly. It can be your backyard, a nearby park, the beach, the woods near your home…anywhere.
  2. Record the date, time, and place in your journal.
  3. Sit quietly and use all your senses to observe what’s going on around you. What do you see (trees, plants, sand, water)? What do you smell (a sea breeze, earthy odors, something blooming)? What do you hear (waves crashing, birds singing, wind howling)? What can you touch (fluffy snow, rough tree bark, smooth stones)? Is there anything you can taste?
  4. Record your sensory observations with words and/or simple drawings.
  5. Now consider how your observations make you feel about this place. What memories can you associate with those feelings? What feelings do you associate with the senses you experienced? Record how your senses and feelings connect you to this place.
  6. Consider how this particular place supports you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How does it contribute to your sense of place, or belonging? Record your thoughts with prose, poetry, drawings, a list… whatever feels natural to you.
  7. Repeat this exercise as often as you can, returning to the same place on different days, at different times, through different seasons. Observe how the place changes and how it stays the same. Record how this impacts your sense of place.


Elizabeth Sniegocki writes about creating a natural and mindful environment around you and within at A Natural Nester. She offers everyday inspiration and informative feature articles on seasonal living, community building, conscious parenting, organic gardening, wholesome cooking, and more from her nest in Sarasota, Florida.

Want more? Join Elizabeth of A Natural Nester for a 6-week online course that will guide you through the basics of keeping a seasonal nature journal. Learn to record your observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you with: themed lessons on nature journaling ~ creative & seasonal writing prompts ~ exercises to connect you to the natural world ~ a supportive online community ~ resources, tips, and more!


“A Sense of Place ~ Keeping a Seasonal Nature Journal”

E-Course begins January 21st!

*Flexible pricing

* Work at your own pace

Get more details and register here.

Thanks to all those who entered! Congratulations to Pamela, Bridget and Jen. Liz will be in touch with details about the course.  You can still register for the course (and Liz is accepting registrations on a “pay what you are able” basis!).  To register, click the button below:

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Pamela January 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

I have been so busy living my biography as a single parent and then, as grandparent actively nurturing my little girlies, that I often have not stopped to look around and ponder my geography and the natural world. I am home bound but on an acre of a friend’s land that is richly green with potential. I’d love to be one of the lucky three to have an opportunity to join your course … and then ,pass the gifts of my experience along through being a worthy model for them, and others, to imitate.

Jen aka The Mad House January 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

My aim for this year is to learn more and also find joy. This would really help me on my way. Is this open to UK readers?

Liz ~ A Natural Nester January 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

Yes – anyone, anywhere can join in!

JennP January 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

what a beautiful idea! thanks for the giveaway!

Marina January 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

I want to incorporate more nature walks and such for my boys this year. This would be amazing to win! I know the boys will be curious, and will need a book of their own!

Emily January 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

This looks wonderful. I would love to take this course.

Marieke January 16, 2013 at 10:58 am

What a lovely idea! This would be just the thing to help me focus my writing – something I would like to do more off, but lacking direction. Fingers crossed!

Jennet January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

This course looks wonderful! What a delight it would be to get to take it. Thanks for the chance to win.

Elizabeth January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

I have never thought of keeping a nature journal. It sounds so delightful.

Jesse January 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

This looks wonderful!

Cinnamon January 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

I would love this e-course. I already feel like I’m part of my natural habitat, but I could use help including my kiddos, and I wouldn’t mind deepening my connection as well!

Kerri January 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

Sounds like a lovely course!!

Ashley P January 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

This would be a great opportunity, Thanks!

natali deckmyn January 16, 2013 at 11:10 am

This sounds like a wonderful course, as a family we try to incorporate nature and the seasons in our routine but I would love to take it a step further!

Bridget January 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the chance to win, this sounds great!

Abby January 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

Sounds fantastic! Please enter me! Thanks!

Debra January 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I’d love to be a part of this.

Alicia B. January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Oh, I could really use this at this point in my life. Would love to win – thank you so much for the chance!

Lauren Kindle January 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I would love to do something like this. I think it would give me clarity of mind and a sense of connection with others and the city in which I live.

Jeanette January 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I love the idea of keeping a nature journal and thank you for the exercise to get us started. We have summer here in the southern hemisphere (Aus) and there is plenty to notice in the great outdoors. I like the way you have decorated your notebook too.

Heather January 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm

This lines up so beautifully with some of the desired areas of growth I had identified for this coming year. I am feeling so tapped out lately though that I would honestly welcome an excuse to focus on filling my own cup. :)

Daphne January 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm

I tried starting a nature journal and didn’t get very far. I would love some guidance!!

Heather January 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

What a great course. Sometimes I feel left out living somewhere the seasons are far more subtle. This is a great way to notice the small changes.

Kate L January 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This sounds like a great thing to do, I’d love the chance to take part.

Amber January 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Thank you, thank you! A good reminder to take nature walks, even in the winter! Thanks for the generous giveaway.

Liz ~ A Natural Nester January 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I’m loving all the great feedback, and hoping all of you will participate in the e-course! If you don’t win a spot… it’s a pay-what- you can program, so please consider joining in no matter! Warmly – Liz

Dawna January 16, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I have three kids who LOVE nature. This would guide me in getting us all more involved in our own backyard.

Thank you so much!

Nicola January 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

We have been trying to nature journal for some time in our homeschool, but it can be hard to keep momentum and focus. This course looks so inspiring!

Claire January 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm

sounds fantastic!

Nupur January 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Nature calms, inspires and heals. I loved the outline of your course. It would be great to participate, thanks!

shannon January 17, 2013 at 12:41 am

how inspiring. i need some motivation to slow down, breathe the fresh air, and notice. i would love to take this course to help me do just that!

Jennifer MacDonald January 17, 2013 at 3:16 am

Remembering to Notice!

Kate January 17, 2013 at 4:24 am

Would so love this opportunity. It would so complement my nature walks with my two kiddos.

PamJWM January 17, 2013 at 6:16 am

What a wonderful sounding e-course!

Michelle January 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

Now this is an ecourse I could use. Sounds so interesting.

Catherine January 17, 2013 at 8:37 am

Just registered for the course, this should be really great!

Kathleen Lester January 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

What a wonderful sounding course! Thank you for the chance.

Suzanne Terry January 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

This sounds so lovely. Could be just what I need to gain some inspiration and perspective in this new year.

Melanie January 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Oh this looks lovely. A great way to start a new year!

tracy alverson January 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Would love the chance to win!

Erin January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

This is something I’ve been meaning to do — I even bought a blank book! The ecourse sounds lovely.

Caroline January 18, 2013 at 3:00 am

This looks wonderful – I have just bought a journal to start my own, and have been stuck to know where to begin!!

SKing January 18, 2013 at 5:24 am

Lovely idea :) Would really enjoy this

Shereen January 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

This sounds lovely! I would love to take the course.

jen January 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

what a wonderful way to expand through journalling

Meghan Stufflebeem January 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

This sounds amazing! What a wonderful and generous opportunity. Thank you so much!

Heather White January 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

What an amazing give-away! I would love to win… and in fact, just received a blank journal this week and have been wondering how to bring it to life. <3 This would be perfect! :)

Jennifer January 19, 2013 at 6:29 am

This sounds amazing! And with 5 girls I never seem to take that moment for myself…this would be a nice jumpstart!

Sara R. January 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

I’ve been looking for a change of pace…or a project to open things up. This sounds GREAT!

Melanie January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

What a lovely idea… I have been yearning for this kind of connection to the natural world for a long time, but finding the time and the focus needs some prompting!

melissa January 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Sounds like a lovely e-course to take part in. Thank you for the opportunity to be apart of it.

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