The idea for YOUR NEW NATURE came from my own experience of being diagnosed with cancer, going through treatment and then trying to figure "what now" after. Do I return to life as "usual" ? Why do I feel changed? How do I view life? What is really important? How do I heal from the cancer and all the side effects of the treatments? I kept thinking of how to combine my passions, to help heal myself and also how to apply my Horticultural therapy practice along with art. Bringing all the aspects of nature, natural healing, self healing, gardening, art making and combing my love of connecting with people helped develop YOUR NEW NATURE. I offer Horticultural Therapy programs to wellness centers, hospitals, community gardens, schools and private homes.
In conjunction with YNN, my goal is to create the YOUR NEW NATURE Center. This will be a non-profit organization, helping women who have completed treatment or living with Cancer. As a breast cancer thriver this is especially close to heart and I feel that there is a real need for what comes after treatment or living with cancer...a time for deep healing.
I have graduated the Horticultural Therapy Program at the New York Botanical Garden in NY and completed my internship at Ann's Place in Danbury, CT. As well, have studied Whole Plant based Nutrition and the Art and Science of Herbalism. As an artist, I am working on a project to create large outdoor public sculpture. These combine my love of plants, healing, and art.
This site is about Horticultural Therapy and Biophilia and how it can be implemented into many settings, schools, wellness centers, assisted care facilities, community gardens, hospitals and medical centers. It contains links to resources, articles, papers on HT and related fields, as well as images of nature, natural settings, landscaping and gardens.
Donna Soszynski HT
art website: http://www.donnasoszynska.com/
Donna Soszynski HT
"In daily life, our steps are burdened with anxieties and fears. Life itself seems to be a continuous chain for insecure feelings, and so our steps lose their natural easiness. Our earth is truly beautiful. There is so much graceful, natural scenery along the paths and roads around the earth! Do you know how many forest paths there are, paved with colorful leaves, offering cool and shade? They are all available to us, yet we cannot enjoy them because our hearts are not trouble-free, and our steps are not at ease. Walking meditation is learning to walk again with ease."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Snapshot of my life at the time of diagnosis
I was in taking classes to be Certified in Horticultural Therapist, studying Herbal Science, creating art, doing art shows, working part time at a pottery studio...I was busy. Married to an amazing supportive husband and mom to 2 awesome grown "kids". Life was good...Life was great. Like so many (unfortunately) breast cancer came expectedly and changed my whole world. Thrown into multiple tests, surgery, chemo, radiation...that became my life. Everything else stopped.
My garden was my sanctuary, my "distraction" from my cancer world. In fact, I ended up having the most successful garden I ever planted. One of the final projects for a class in Horticultural Therapy was to design a Retreat Center. We had to pick a population to be our focus. Some choices were assisted care seniors with dementia, children with autism or people with brain trauma. I chose Breast Cancer. After my presentation I told the class "you might be wondering why I was so detailed and knowledgable about subject..."I am the population". They were shocked that I was able present my project a week after surgery. When I started the program I did not know which population I wanted to work with. It was apparent at that point where my concentration would be.