Welcome to the heartbeat of Integrative Counsel, our blog where tranquility meets transformation. This is your sanctuary for insights and wisdom on nurturing a harmonious connection between mind, body, and spirit.
St. Petersburg is a great city to live in, but it’s a big place and it’s only getting bigger. The roads are getting busier, the beaches are getting crowded, and your landlord is going to add at least $200 a month to your expenses when you next renew your lease. A genuine sense of peace is something we’re all desperate for, but we don’t always know where to look. But part of what makes St. Petersburg, Florida such a nice place to live are all of the peaceful spots that can make finding your center all the more easy.
“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
What can I do here? The mind-body connection is real. Getting in touch with your physical body can have astounding effects on issues as serious as anxiety, and benefits as life changing as a newer, more positive perspective. One of the best ways to get in touch with the fine details of your experience in your body is to practice yoga. The Body Electric is our favorite place in town to do yoga.
Why should I go here? The two most important things in any yoga class are what you bring to it, and what the teacher brings to it. Only you have the power to be fully mindful and aware during your yoga practice, but going to the Body Electric can put you in touch with some of the best teachers around.
What can I do here? St. Pete Pier has, for my money, some of the most interesting architecture, art installations, and individuals in town. It’s a great place to take a walk, sit by the water, or even catch a concert if you go on the right night. If you’re looking for a nice spot to take in the sights of the city, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one.
Why should I go here? Where else could you see a dolphin, a plate of nachos, and a roller blading senior citizen in the span of about five minutes?
What can I do here? Fort De Soto is one of the biggest and most famous parks in Florida. It has gone from being a homestead for the Tocobaga, to a military fort, to a fishing destination, to a bombing range in World War II, and eventually into the park and beach we know today. Fort De Soto is an untouched piece of Florida’s history, and perhaps the most pristine enclave of Floridian nature outside of the Everglades. Pack plenty of cold drinks, your sandwich of choice, a comfortable swimming costume, and there will be a peaceful afternoon waiting for you there when you arrive.
Why should I go here? It can be a little out of the way from most of the other stuff in St. Petersburg, but that is part of what makes it so beautiful. You can drive just twenty or thirty minutes and get a glimpse of what Florida looked like before highways, cell towers, sidewalks, and skyscrapers paved over the beautiful ongoing process of nature that had been churning uninterrupted for millions of years.
What can I do here? The pitch for Lassing Park is simple. It’s a few benches, some palm trees, and a big field of grass with open beach access and as much ocean air as you can breathe. It’s just south of downtown, and there’s pretty much always parking. The water is kinda dirty (it is downtown St. Pete after all) and only really fun to swim in if you’re a dog, but if you happen to be walking your dog when you go to Lassing Park, then you can make your dog very happy.
Why should I go here? It’s a great place for when you want something pretty to look at. In my household, we like to eat takeout in the comfort of our own home, but we love to eat takeout beneath a friendly cloud in Lassing Park. The grass is soft, the air is clear, and whether the sun is shining or the moon is glowing, there is a beautiful sky to be seen in Lassing Park if you take the time to look up.
What can I do here? Weedon Island is just as historic and beautiful a piece of nature as Fort De Soto, but not quite as famous. It’s a great place to take a kayaking trip, nature walk, or cool off in their air conditioned and very educational visitor’s center. There is a 40ft canoe in that visitor’s center that is believed to be over 1,100 years old, and if you don’t think that’s cool, then I don’t know how to impress you.
Why should I go here? Let’s be real: it can be hard to be mindful when we’re locked up in the grid system of the big city. That’s why making a tactical escape out into nature can have such powerful effects on our mental health. This one is even a little further away than Fort De Soto, but it will give you a great excuse to stop by St. Pete Bagel Co. on the way home.
Sunny Ebsary is an educator, multi-modal artist, and writer specializing in the intersection of myth and mental health. Sunny’s writing walks the line between poetic and logical, giving readers a chance to interface with the mind and imagination. Sunny’s been putting pen to paper since he was a child, writing everything from albums, novels, and plays, to essays, interactive games, and of course, many articles! While studying both psychology and writing, he realized his real passion in life was helping others unlock their creative spark. Whether he’s leading a D&D game, directing a production, or diving deep into the brain, you can be sure Sunny will be ushering you toward finding meaning in your life.
February 1, 2024
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