Separation from nature is a myth. Nature is physical, neurological, energetic, emotional, spiritual, mysterious. Nature is everywhere. It is in us, it is all around us, It IS us. Our thoughts, our beliefs, our behaviors – all are part of nature.
We need direct contact with the natural world to maintain health and vitality. The research on the qualitative benefits of interaction with the natural world as well as on the deeper chemical and neurological benefits is just beginning to emerge. It is profound.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NATURE-CONNECTED?
To be nature-connected means to be connected to Self: to be in tune with our body, our mind, our soul, our spirit.
To be nature-connected also implies a connection to the natural world, to the environment, to the people around us.
Becoming more connected is irrevocably linked to a growing and more profound awareness – an awareness of nature, an awareness of Self, an awareness of other.
Nature-awareness opens our being to the natural world and to the environment around us. As we reach out and connect with the external world through our senses, a shift occurs deep within us. It’s as though reaching out externally in awareness creates equally profound internal awareness. Likewise, as we turn inward in intentional self-reflection, we become increasingly aware of the external world.
Self-awareness, through healthy, productive self-reflection and observation, allows us to understand how we can improve our life experience, and connect to what feels most natural and right within us. This opens the door for us to be in a conscious and intentional relationship with a core part of us that is wise, grounded and responsive, rather than reactive and impulsive.
Awareness, then, is the doorway to deeper and more connected relationships.
We tend to insulate ourselves nowadays from the natural world of which we are irrevocably a part. Nature-Connection implies developing a strong and healthy relationship with Nature, which again encompasses more than just the natural world to include our body, our mind, our soul, our spirit, our environment, and the people around us.
While a portion of the Nature-Connected Coaching (NCC) training is about allowing the environment around us in, an even bigger part of the training is remembering how profoundly we are already connected. Connection to the natural world (the elements, animals, etc.) is part of the unique and dynamic concept we refer to as nature-connected.
Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Even McGown in The Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature describe eight indicators of awareness. Indicators are signs, clues, and attributes that can be objectively witnessed in ourselves and others as we become more connected to nature. We can almost use these indicators as a diagnostic tool to encourage greater self-reflection and inspire action in ways that promote profound connection.
The Coyote’s Guide is one of the tools we use in our Nature-Connected Coaching training. We start with the premise that Nature plays an active and supportive role in our the developmental process of our clients.
Instead of holding the belief that as coaches we have all the answers, we look to Nature within our clients, ourselves, and the environment around us for guidance, clarity, and direction. We teach people to coach in collaboration with Nature in all its forms.
Each individual has a unique purpose, voice, or role to play that is driven by his or her connection to Nature. At Earth-Based Institute, we believe that learning to connect with and listen to Nature has a direct impact on our nervous systems, on our minds, and on our bodies.
AWAKENING TO OURSELVES
A powerful feedback loop exists between nature and ourselves: the more we quiet ourselves to resonate with the speed of Nature, the more we awaken; the more we awaken, the more we slow down to listen to Nature, and ultimately to ourselves.
Is it time to plug into the feedback loop? Check out our intro course called Applying Nature Connection to your Life and Career.
The next course starts in February.