In industrial society our excessively nature-separated lives mold us to betray the natural psychic pulse. We learn to block from our thinking over 98 percent of the wise sensory callings and fulfillments we normally share with natural systems and their eons of experience. Our subconscious hurt and frustration from the severed disconnection of these senses underlies our greatest troubles.
-Michael J. Cohen
NAE Axiom 3
We know, learn and relate to nature, in and around us, through 53 natural attraction senses that we inherit and that, when reasonably fulfilled, produce good feelings.
We only fully know facts and truths when they register and make sense through our 53 or more inherent natural attraction senses.
These senses include our unique literacy, consisting of our combined senses of consciousness, reason and language.
We are attracted to make sense because this gratifies our sense of reason and because our natural senses are attractive. Their fulfillment releases Endorphins, Dopamine and other neurotransmitters or hormones that produce good feelings. They are natural, loving rewards for us making good sensory connections and for being supportive participants in the global life community .
“I feel so much better since I have been freed of the guilt, shame and craziness I’ve felt about myself since childhood. I discovered that I have simply been experiencing and wisely holding on to the truth of my inherent 53 natural attraction senses that our nature-conquering Society tries to demean and control. I thought I only had five senses and the rest of what I experienced was something wrong that I must control or hide.”
– Anonymous NAE Participant
“From atoms and molecules to human beings with developed consciousness, all entities feel attraction for one another. . . . attraction is the law of nature.”
– P.R. Sarkar
NAE Axiom 4
Nature, including our 53 natural senses, only exists in the present, in the “now” of life. Our senses are not in stories about the past or future for real nature is not a story, it is an ongoing, immediate, attraction relationship process.
“An actually existing fly is more important than a possibly existing angel.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
For example, “The sun will rise tomorrow,” is not necessarily a true statement in NAE, for although the statement is based on our natural senses of reason, literacy, deduction and past experiences, it does not contain immediate sensible input from most of our other natural senses. Since tomorrow’s sun has not yet risen, our other natural senses can’t register or relate to the event.
When only our abstract-story type of “sun-absent” knowing occurs, we often learn to think and believe non-sense. We and Earth suffer accordingly.
This is a key axiom because change can only occur in the immediate moment. What we sense in the “now” is also the greatest trustable truth that we can experience. Only in the now is nature available and are our natural senses active, including our senses of reason and consciousness. In addition, only in the now can we make changes. Now is an “N” in NNIAL
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NAE Axiom 5
Natural senses are nameless, intelligent, motivating attractions that we experience in the moment as forms of love or spirit.
Even if it had no given name, our natural sense/sensation of thirst, in the “now,” intelligently “turns on” to attract us to drink water. This attracts the global water cycle and its ways to flow through us and sustain us. In addition, when we have had enough water, thirst reasonably “turns-off.” In balanced natural ways, its intelligence attracts us to stop drinking.
In conjunction with each other, each of our additional 52 natural senses is a similar, naturally nameless, life-guiding, natural attraction intelligence love (NNIAL) that we feel. In congress, they support us as well as the global ecosystem. For example, our sense of thirst brings us to water for our health. And, for our health, our sense of excretion attracts us to remove water in us that “miraculously” contains appropriate edible waste, and feeds that “waste” to the ecosystem’s plant, animal and mineral community.
Besides our sense of thirst, our love for water, our other natural senses include our love of, or for, community, reason and trust; aroma, place and consciousness; color, taste and motion; language, belonging, beauty, music and gravity along with 39 additional natural sensory attractions and their spirit.
Many of our dysfunctions are simply symptoms of our sensory separation and deprivation from nature. This blocks its vital flow.
“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”
*see ECHN Page 101
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NAE Axiom 6
Nature’s web-of-life, including all materials and humanity, consists of natural attractions.
What are we and the world made of? Factually, we consist of atoms and they are 99.999999999 percent “space.” However, neither we nor atoms are empty space. All that “space” consists of, or contains, attraction, the energies and forces that draw, tug and hold the atom’s electrons to its nucleus. These and other attractions also attract and attach one atom to another as well as hold all materials, the Earth and the solar system together.
We can empirically observe, experience and sense that things are attracted to stay together by sensitively trying to move or part them. Their attraction to be in relationship and belong in the moment, offers resistance. We register it by sensing and feeling it.
Even an atom’s nucleus and electrons are subatomic packets of attraction energy, as demonstrated by the explosive power of a nuclear bomb when that energy is released.
That all things are connected through attraction is also recognized by Newton’s Laws of Dynamics and by the Buddhist Law of Karma that indicates all acts have consequences. It could truly be said, “We are treated by the plant animal and mineral community, including people, as we have learned to treat them.”
Until proven otherwise,
Think about it. Do you know any exceptions to the above?
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
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NAE Axiom 7
Planet Earth acts like, or is, a living organism.
Our sensing and feeling about various attraction connections between ourselves and our planet can make us aware that there is nothing that we do with respect to being alive, that Earth does not also do.
Our pulsating natural senses help us discover that we and our planet survive identically, that we are a seamless continuum of each other. This gives our senses of reason, logic and deduction (#42) the opportunity to conclude that since people are living organisms and, with respect to life processes, we and Earth are identical, Earth is also a living organism (Gaia), or at least it acts like one. This is no surprise when we recognize that natural attraction contains, and is, an essence of aliveness.
“The Earth is a functionally integrated system -as much an organic being as you and I- that exists not simply for man’s benefit but for it’s own.
– David Laing, The Earth System
Life has not adapted to an inert world determined by the dead hand of chemistry and physics. We live in a world that has been built by our biological ancestors, ancient and modern, and which is continuously maintained by all things alive today.
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NAE Axiom 8
NAE Axiom 9
Together, nature and humanity are a dance in the flowing, pulsating river of natural attraction as it diversely grows more attractive and mutually supportive.
It is reasonable to respect that we and nature consist of, and cooperatively share, intelligent natural attractions. For example,
We are attracted/motivated to breathe in oxygen for our life and attracted to exhale carbon dioxide as food for plant life.
We are attracted/motivated to eat food to support our life and attracted to excrete our waste, and it is food that supports the web-of-life.
We are attracted/motivated to be more attractive and to seek and enjoy more attractions, as does the natural environment.
Scientists find, by using radioactive tagged atoms, that atoms from the environment are attracted to replace 98 percent of the atoms of our body and mind every year. Every seven years or so, every atom in our body returns to the environment and is replaced by a new atom from the environment. We continually become the environment and it becomes us.
Our body and mind consist of ten times more “foreign” cells than human cells.
Some of our human DNA is the DNA of plants and animals. DNA consists of mineral molecules and elements held together by natural attraction.
The human embryo goes through growth stages that include it having gills and a tail.
The words “humus” and “human” and “humility” have the same origin.
Biologically we and nature are one. We are the dance of a prime flowing, pulsating and pristine river of natural attraction life that intelligently manifests itself as us and the rest of nature.
The river consists of a ceaseless, satisfying balance of resonating attraction relationships within and between all of its currents, including us as one of these currents. The acronym “NNIAL” helps us remember, identify and connect with this massive relationship flow. (Remember, however, that “NNIAL” is not its name for the river and its eons are/were nameless.)
With respect to the flow of natural attraction being the essence of all things,each of us is kin to all members of the web of life. The web of life is akinship, not just a source of raw materials.
NAE Axiom 10
Nature has a perfection of its own.
It makes sense to recognize that nature’s perfection consists of the ability of its natural attractions to: correct, organize, renew,regenerate, recycle, transform, compost, perpetuate, purify and preserve nature, in and around us.
Natural attractions achieve the above in balanced ways that produce nature’s optimums of grace, life, diversity, cooperation and beauty. In addition natural attractions create optimums of balance, purity, community, wellness, sensitivity, renewal, spirit, self-organization, restoration, unification and love.
Nature achieves its valuable optimums without producing garbage or pollution or our excessive destruction, abusiveness, disorders,stress, isolation and insanity.
Our natural senses of reason, consciousness, community, emotional place, trust, companionship, appreciation, survival and sublime love, along with other natural senses, help us recognize that it is sensible to acknowledge that the above-mentioned qualities of the natural world make nature perfect in its own way.
Our natural sense of deduction informs us that since we are biologically, psychologically and spiritually a seamless continuum of nature, our natural self is as perfect as is nature.
We don’t need to learn how to be perfect. Education means “To bring out from within.” What we need to do is apply NAE because itenables us, through hands-on, sensory education activities, to respectfully bring out, think, feel and relate with, as well as support, celebrate, love and relate to the unifying natural attraction perfection of our natural self in ourselves, in others and in the web-of-life.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
– John Burroughs
“What we are looking for is what is doing the looking”
-St. Francis of Assisi
*see ECHN Page 26
NAE Axiom 11
NAE motivates us to unify with, rather than conquer and exploit, human life and the web-of-life.
As a natural area brings our psyche into contact with nature’s wholeness, our natural reasoning, senses and sensitivities convey that the fittest survive in nature, but not because they are the best competitors. Rather, it is because they are the best builders of cooperative, mutually beneficial natural attraction relationships with their environment.
The fittest are those “things” that are the best in attracting support from their surroundings. The fittest accomplish this by attractively supporting their surroundings locally and globally. The “fittest” are fit because they are the most cooperatively attractive.
“This world – the shadow of the soul, or ‘other’ me – lies wide around. Its attractions are the keys which unlock my thought and make me acquainted with myself.”
*see ECHN Page 12
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NAE Axiom 12
NAE Axiom 13
An NAE Vehicle: The Webstring Natural Attraction Model.
Our experiences with NAE show us that when the web-of-life is represented by an accurate web of life model of how nature’s perfection works, we can choose to use the model and have the model’s activities help us balance our thinking and increase our well being.
The activities accomplish this by enabling us to interlace our consciousness, intelligence and senses with the singular dancing flow of web-of-life attraction connections (webstrings) in a natural area, backyard or backcountry.
The webstring model helps us update our scientific reasoning and technology since they are often excessively disconnected from how nature works via natural attraction relationships.Because nature consists of ever-changing dancing and resonating natural attraction relationships within and between all of its elements, including us, our static scientific facts are usually warped.Scientific facts are usually based on standard conditions of light, motion, temperature, sound and pressure while in nature there are few, if any, standard conditions of anything.In the natural world, the major standard condition is the constant change and flow of its natural attraction river. For this reason, the webstring model’s 53 sense activities help us connect with the restorative power of authentic nature in the moment it is happening, flowing and changing in, around and to the benefit of all things.
see ECHN Page 12
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NAE Axiom 14
NAE Axiom 15
Members of Industrial Society suffer because it is unduly prejudiced against nature.
NAE identifies prejudice as
Industrial Society is prejudiced against nature due to our unfounded “tropicmaker” belief and fear, from nature-disconnecting stories, that nature is hostile to us and that nature is not conscious or intelligent.
NAE recognizes that most nature-centered societies neither cause nor display our excessive and detrimental ways.
Our Ego’s misguided and fear-inducing prejudice against nature story has us habitually learn to believe that it and we are superior to nature, that, for our survival and profit, we must take dominion over, exploit and improve nature, in and around us.
We are not born to be excessively separated from, suspicious and fearful of nature. Rather, Industrial Society educates us to this condition. It is so successful that we spend, on average less than 12 hours of our total lifetime thinking, feeling or building relationships while we are in tune with the singularity of nature’s attraction dance.
We seldom change the way we think because we are bonded to it by the age of seven. Society pays us, and in other ways rewards us, to not understand things that we need to know in order to live in balance.
“We have these prejudices and as long as we think that these prejudices are valid we exclude huge subjects of thinking. And that exclusion is what is really blinding.”
NAE Axiom 16
Our excessive disconnection from nature deprives us from knowing the fundamental reason that each of us deserves to have good feelings.
“Do you deserve to have good feelings? Why?” Most of us do not answer this question correctly. Too often it triggers hurtful feelings of guilt, conflict or shame for things we’ve done “wrong.”
We often learn to think that we deserve to have good feelings because we have thought or acted in a socially acceptable way. Many parent-like authorities reward us for this with love, with their attraction to us “being good.”
We are seldom taught that we inherently deserve to have good feelings. As indicated in Axiom 3A, they are naturally attractive, chemically triggered (endorphin-dopamine-oxytocin) rewards from Mother Earth and the universe for us fulfilling three or more our natural attraction senses, including our senses of consciousness and reason. They are rewards for, through our senses, making contact with the web of life “NNIAL” so we can participate in it a good way.
As an example, when we drink water to fulfill our sense of thirst, we not only feel satisfied, quenched and happier. We also can become aware that we feel this and that it makes sense, it rewards us for participating in and contributing to the nurturing water cycle of the web-of-life.
Again, in the final analysis, no matter what they be, the needs, goals and wants that we experience or construct are a means to satisfy one or more of our natural senses. Fulfilling them directly through sensory connections to natural attractions located in people and natural places produces the most balanced, organic and inexpensive fulfillments. This is intelligent. Fulfilling them with artificialities usually produces questionable side effects.
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Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripend grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken to the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932
“In a closed system (such as the universe,) energy can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another.”
– First Law of Thermodynamics.
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The NAE Whole-Life Iceberg Analogy
Point of Information:
An iceberg simulates our contemporary mind in that
-10 percent of it, its tip, floats in the air above sea (“see”) level and
-90 percent of its great mass lies below sea level, out of sight.
Similarly, in humanity
– 10 percent of our mentality, our “new brain,” knows and communicates by “floating” as our story world. It is our mediated conscious “light” and reason that is conveyed by our abstract, literate words, symbols and stories, verbally and via books, films and other media.
– 90 percent bulk of our mentality, our “old brain” is a seamless, multiple-sensory connection to and registration of the world, including natural attraction and its eons. Our nature-conquering new brain story, however, buries most of our senses “out of sight” in our subconscious (below “see” level).
Two floating icebergs that broke away from a glacier could see each other and were attracted to the reasonable idea that, to best survive the sun’s heat, they would join together, as of old, and help each other stay cold, as well as heal their glacier-separated disconnection, frailty and loneliness. But, try as they might, they could not join together. They could not understand why because their intentions made so much sense to them.
What the Bergs could not see was that their huge, unseen, underwater bulks bumped into each other. This collision prevented the tops from connecting.
To accomplish their goal, the tops would have to help the underwater parts of them find a way to interlace or meld together in mutually supportive“NNIAAL” ways, as they were when part of the glacier. Helpless to make this happen or to even be aware of what had to be done, (because it was below “see” level), nature’s flow took its course. Over time, the Bergs were naturally attracted to the warmth of the sun and sea as it transformed them into water.
As water, the Bergs became part of the water cycle and supported all other forms of life including the glaciers and the birth of new icebergs.
For our conscious thinking and its intelligence to actualize our reasonable intentions, our thoughts and feelings must include the unifying wisdom of our “below sea level” natural attraction sensitivities and their eons.
When we help our sensory self connect with natural areas via “NNIAALactivities,” the under-see ways of these areas register in us. Then, our thinking and sensibilities are connected to nature’s powers to transform and this helps us make things happen to the benefit of all.
We are similar to the icebergs and their separation from a glacier because, from womb to tomb Industrial Society excessively separates our psyche from nature’s flow. However, we are part of nature’s cyclic dance. As a photograph of us at the top of this page portrays, our natural selves and origins are beautifully unified.
Our challenge is for each of us to make conscious sensory contact with authentic nature (NNIAL,) the source of the picture, above. Only then can its powers help us heal and release from the jail in our subconscious mind, the pure sensory congress of intelligent delight and spirit that we really are. That is when we consciously have available to us the resources that our thinking needs to transform and reverse our dilemmas.
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NAE Axiom 20
Where Are You Now?
Certain shades of the color violet can appear to be blue against a red background, and appear to be red against a blue one. However, each shade of violet also has its own integrity. This is also true of orange with respect to red and yellow backgrounds.
Similarly, with the conquer-nature bias of Industrial Society’s story as our “background,” our thinking sees nature as a resource that we must increasingly exploit/consume” for profit and economic growth if we are to survive.
NAE helps us sense and reason based on a different background. That background is nature’s sensory callings. It demonstrates and certifies that for our survival and balance, the “NNIAL” integrity of nature is a powerful and supportive friend.
Our survival benefits from it’s nurturing of natural attraction relationships as they create their own self-correcting perfection around and within us.
We learn to see and relate to the world through the color or warp of the nature-disconnected glasses Industrial Society trains us to wear. This makes us create and be responsible for most of the disorders that we suffer. The glasses also warp the wisdom of the inherent natural attraction sensory powers that nature gives us to remedy our problems and to strengthen individual and global wellness
To survive in a balanced and ethical way with the whole of life, it is rational for us to learn how to use and teach NAE activities. They help us think and feel while in conscious sensory contact with NNIAL, the eons of power and integrity of our natural attractions in natural areas. This organic process lets nature help us compost, recycle and correct the warp in our glasses. The effectiveness of this process is documented by personal experiences, results of studies, and professionally reviewed research.
“Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal, merely personal feeling.
This is what is the matter with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the Earth and sun and stars.
Love has become a grinning mockery because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.”
“We cannot win the battle to increase the well-being of the web of life, that includes our life, without strengthening our natural senses, our attraction bonds with nature – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.”
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We, along with all other people, places and things, are equally born as an expression and manifestation of natural attraction. We are it, it is us. However, the unwarranted prejudice against nature in tropicmaker thinking motivates us to conquer that expression.
We are normally born with naturally-satisfied minds and hearts. Industrial Society educates/socializes us through desensitizing processes that irritate our psyche. Our dissatisfaction motivates us to excessively purchase artificial, less adequate than nature products to meet our discontents. Desensitized, we often ignore the detrimental effects of the artificial on nature’s renewing flow in and around us.
Most therapies help us deal with the stress and disorders that result from our destructive socialization. However, they are usually indoor oriented, not organic and unaware of our indoctrinated prejudiced against nature origins or how to remedy them.
We can no longer afford to endure the consequences of being habitually bonded and shaped into consumers who are excessively sliced away from the balanced-life authenticity and satisfactions of our planetary home.
To counteract the prejudice of our unbalanced bonding, each of us needs, or may learn, to shamelessly feel and declare anywhere, “I love nature,” or “I love Planet Earth,” and, in this glow, be motivated to design and build naturally attractive and sustainable relationships with humanity, the environment and creation. NAE courses, books and degrees are offered that help any individual or institution achieve this goal.
Project NatureConnect supports individuals whose consciousness appreciates the contribution of NAE. Any interested person can be funded to help increase well-being by using NAE to beneficially green their psyche, life and profession while helping others do the same.
There is a heartfelt essence that helps us achieve peaceful balance with Earth and each other. It is to use NAE to register, trust and consciously think with our natural senses and the wisdom they, in congress, convey to us while we are in contact with nature, in and around us.
NAE enables us to gain a recuperative, stress releasing fulfillment of our 53 senses by enabling us to freely interlace our psyche with nature instead of, to this end, purchasing and bonding to excessive and often destructive technologies.
“The Smokies always reminds me of coming home. From the top of the hills you look down into a slow meandering stream that loops all through the mountains. I was attracted to become the interconnecting flow of this stream, thinking how strange and wonderful is our home and Mother Earth’s natural attraction to produce its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing frozen liquids, its plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings, the rocks, the grasses. As I sensed an attractive connection to these things I became one of the grains of sand that helped form these mountains. This strengthened my senses and I enjoyed an intense, fulfilling awareness of the rocks and all things around me. I thought, ‘This must be the high that people get from drugs’ “
Perhaps the most practical and applicable conclusion about NAE has been stated above, including in Axiom 16, and bears repeating here:
In the final analysis, no matter what they be, the needs, goals and wants that we feel or that we design, are always signals to satisfy one or more of our natural senses.
Fulfilling these senses through direct sensory contact with nature, in people and/or places:
- is most direct.
- is the least expensive.
- is organic.
- produces the lowest negative environmental and social impact.
- is a choice that provides sustainable nurturing rewards to the benefit of all.
As the words you now read here attract you, you are engaged in part of the NAE process. The goal is to use ECHN to engage yourself and your community in all of it, in the joy of supporting authentic nature in a natural area, as it is attracted to supporting you.
“Our troubles begin when we bond to sensory fulfillments obtained from flawed substitutes for nature. Our remedy is to reason in ways that include the “now” and the intelligence of our natural attractions while they are genuinely connected to their source in the web of life, backyard or backcountry.”
“I thank God for beginning this world with a natural attraction seed and empowering it to independently grow attractive relationships.”
Online, learn and teach NAE nature-connection activities to yourself and your community. Participate now. The benefits speak for themselves. Call 360-378-6313 to implement your participation or a degree program.
Natural Attraction Ecology ECHN is a profound tool and hope for the future. You can help make it happen. Please sign our Petition to the United Nations to implement it.
You may read or distribute a press release about this page.
- Overview Article<http://www.ecopsych.com/hallucinatearticle.html>
- Process Synopsis<http://www.ecopsych.com/transformation.html>
- Fundamentals <http://www.ecopsych.com/mjcohen22.html>
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The Source of the NAE Axioms
Below are field reports taken from the journals of anonymous Project NatureConnect participants who used Natural Attraction Ecology activities to gain consent to make 53-sense contact with nature in themselves, others and the environment. Their results are confirmed by published scientific studies.
Additional reports are available via the survey of participants and its links
“Slatic’s Lake is a very special place to me. When I got there I was already on a high from life. I have had a good last couple days and am just feeling healthy and alive. While asking permission to be at this place, the seagull flying above seemed to say to me, “Yes, you are one of us.” Almost as if I was supposed to know that already.
Immediately some geese soared by and I rejoiced in the sound they made. I wanted to skip or do a dance because I was feeling so alive! Things just seem to be coming together in my life, I am feeling the flow of life, not even so much feeling as I AM the flow of life. I’m flowin’…….
“I am attracted to this flock of geese because they make a beautiful sound as they whoosh by in flight and show me life. I like this sound because it fills me with happiness. I feel alive! I feel vibrant life!”
The NAE course helps me recognize that, like the geese, I am part of nature and that I can honestly say I am naturally attracted to myself in exactly the same way that I am naturally attracted to the wild geese.
Things that don’t feel right, relationships that don’t feel right, I am moving away from. I feel now as if I am attracting the stuff in my life that is supposed to be there because I am open and trusting, because I am being authentic, because I am being true to myself, because I LOVE myself. Yay! I dance and giggle at that!
The geese have taught me that I love myself because I have a vibrant, happy life that flows and that I make a beautiful sound!
On my walk around the lake I watched the community of birds around the lone open spot of water…ravens, mallards, geese, seagulls….living in harmony. Absolutely gorgeous…why are we humans not living like that???????
I learned that I am a vibrant, flowing, life-being and I am welcome and loved in nature
I choose to keep trusting and believing in NAE nature connections because things are a coming together…there is balance on the horizon. I would be sad to have the web-of-life attraction strands taken away from me that I am experiencing every day of my life. Definitely this activity enhanced my sense of self-worth and my trustfulness of nature. It help me identify that it’s OK to be happy, to trust in each moment, in what is happening in your life, and to listen to your authentic voice.”
Support along the way
“Needless to say, the way in which this group and the NAE classes have enhanced my life has given me so much more balance than I’ve had in a very long time. I quit my ADHD and anti-depressants, stabilized my weight, and am just smiling a lot more. Thank you for all of the love and support along the way.”
“The above is from one of my peers in my ECO 501 class. NNIAL in action. Not to mention my own adrenals and thyroid have at least stabilized and I am also stabilizing cyclical fluid gain. Nice… thank you and nature! ”
We know what we are doing
“I stopped at the little woodland, asked for permission and sensed in my body a welcome back from the trees. Coming frequently to this place, we start to know each other better and the connection got a quality of visiting good friends. My immediate attraction was air and the breathing cycle of give and take. I always enjoy how deeper breathings slows me down and relaxes my body and mind. After a few breaths I became playful and experimental, so I used the next minutes to change my breathing and sensed the impact to my body and feelings. I was breathing shallow and fast, deep and fast, shallow and slow, through my mouth, through my nose, with open eyes, with closed eyes, held my breath, breathed in my lungs, in my stomach, in both, was breathing while looking up in the sky and crouched down, was circling my hands and breathed in rhythm of the swings and a-rhythmic. It’s amazing how fast and simple our body reacts and how feelings are changing. What a powerful instrument nature gave us here. After this exercise I enjoyed that all my breathings are a give and take between the trees and me. Suddenly I wondered how my friends are breathing in winter? Don’t they need leaves? My story type of thinking was getting ready to explore and search for answers to this questions. And my sensory thinking simply asked them, and they replied with a smile: don’t worry, we know what we are doing.”
“Although the air was cool, the sun was shining so I experienced the chill of air passing into my nose while feeling the warmth of the sun on my cheeks. I sensed the damp earth soft for sitting, the earthy, pleasing, surprisingly aromatic and green smells of the abundant surrounding plants, the warmth of the sun, the grounding energy of the oaks and madrones and the view to the hills across a narrow valley. I felt welcome, nurtured, at peace and one with my surroundings. I also felt grateful, a wonderful, too often absent, way to feel. This was such a welcome experience. It was extremely enjoyable and even instructive to pay attention to everything I was experiencing. Paying more attention increased the enjoyment, increased my appreciation and happiness, partly by moving into the background the thoughts and concerns that occupied my day before I got there but mostly from connecting to the softness and widespread beauty. It was a warm experience, perfectly balanced. It was also extremely enjoyable to replace the bird in the drawing with different elements of my environment and this felt very true and beautiful as I sensed into each one: large oak, soft green plants, blue sky, sun, gentle breeze, damp earth. It was very grounding and affirming to do this exercise…I felt so happy to bring the awareness of all these things into my sensory fields. It was like an exchange of love and I felt completely transformed compared to my state of mind and being before I started it.Spending enough time in nature so that significant impressions, insights, comforts, peace, etc. can occur is extremely important, otherwise those things and their connection will barely register, if at all. And the more time that is spent in nature, the less likely an inaccurate or superficial story about it will be formed.”
On any given day
The effect of NAE is immediate and specific. I step out in nature, begin using fifty-three senses and then the slow down in heart rate, the deeper breathing, the slow down in racing, anxious thoughts, the realignment of slumped posture, the renewed warmth of increased circulation, the sheer, physical pleasure moving all through my body are strong and present. This pleasure creates a reservoir of good feelings that I then take in to my daily life and apply as needed; maybe as fuel to be more patient with my kids, as strength to focus on my own creative weaving tapestries more often – instead of just putting my own process aside for family duty, as the inspiration which energized me to move to a smaller, simpler house in a walkable part of the city and also start growing food.
So for me, that is the ‘global’ as it is translated into shifting cultural, gender, personal, familial and eco systemic choices on any given day.
It just gave
I lost my brother four years ago and my entering into PNC not long after was a saving grace……..My Mother is in the dying process now and again it is my strength and comfort…it is life, the same life in everyone and every living thing and it comforts me daily to bathe in it, to breathe the truth of it, to trust it. I was having a particularly difficult day not long ago and I felt a spontaneous attraction to take a long hike…….not in too good shape physically right now so that was strange it seemed. It was a very cold day and yet I hiked way down the valley and up the other side to the very top of a bluff….I felt a strong pull to make it to that top ridge that I could always see from my kitchen window. And so, hours later, I did………the perspective looking back, way back, at my window, that tiny window I look out of……..sitting there in the cold and vibrant wind blowing, the scent of winter ground-fall all around and under me, the trees whispering something beyond my straining to hear and yet of an ancient and cavernous wisdom….something just gave way. I wept for 10 minutes non-stop, then I buried my face in the ground and smelled the richness of it………I scooped some leaves all around me and fell asleep. I awoke at dark….and wobbled the long trek back exhausted and cleaned by an unseen but clearly sensed ubiquitous life……When I re-entered the house everything looked different, and somehow it was, and I was OK…….now I can look out the kitchen window at that ridge and something sweeps through me, like a witnessing wind that has more power and strength and mystery than I could ever know or exhaust in a million lifetimes. The day before I was floundering and now I was being upheld by an invisible force that never asked for anything, it just gave.
The love of trees
It is raining and windy, which made me want to stay indoors where it was snug and cozy rather than brave the elements. However, when I bundled up and went outside I was reminded once again about how invigorating and uplifting it is to go outdoors even when (and perhaps especially when) the elements are heightened. My nose was cold and my cheeks stung with the chill of the rain and the wind blew against me. I leaned against the tree and was filled with gratitude over its shelter and protection. I imagined its strength being draw from its roots in the earth surging upward and was also strengthened.
I love the trees because they are deeply rooted and filled with strength.
I love myself because I am deeply rooted and filled with strength.
Classmate: This is a really great sensory image and easy for me to accept from what you have shared about yourself in this class.
Writer: It does describe me: I draw my strength from my natural attractions of my family, my dear friends and my connections to the earth, all of which sustain me. Like the trees who sheltered me from the elements, I also shelter and protect my family, my friends, my community and give them my strength in return.
Classmate: No wonder you love trees! I did the activity and was attracted to a little flower growing under a bush. I discovered “I like this small flowering plant because it is in constant upward motion and means no harm. This translated into: “I like myself because i am in constant upward motion, and mean no harm,” and that felt right to me. I recognized that I have more in common with nature than I previously noticed and that ways of life that are not in accordance with nature have desensitizing effects.
You can participate in NAE now.
I could not be separated
When I was in college a friend of mine let me know about a trail that followed a small river that led to a waterfall in the forest next to our college campus. I am from NY the metro area, and I never took a hike in the forest with creeks and various different types of terrain. I set out to the walk because it was not optional my spirit demanded that I go. When I arrived at my destination, I not only had a deeper appreciation for water; I fell in love with the trees the sky the animals the ground and the rocks for I experienced all of it. I listened to the red and blue birds sing and the wind touch green leaves of the trees and watched the clear water flow down the fall. My thinking became clearer my spirit became more profound within me. I was urged to pray to my maker and thank the Almighty for the creation, which he had made. I began to notice that water was imperative to my sanity and that if I kept myself from experiencing nature I would loose all mental glue and begin to dwindle down a path of self -destruction. I knew then that I could not be separated from my holistic family.
I like the quote ” If however, we are to be true to ourselves and trust our senses, rationality and experiences, it becomes reasonable to consider that our universe may be constructed of God’s attraction energies and that to know God while bypassing nature creates disorders.” I completely agree that YAHWEH (God) made the universe from his attraction energies.
I walked out with permission into the nature of a cloudy day. The feeling was damp and cold feeling more like a New England morning than Arizona. The feeling of moisture driving the cold deep into my being felt different than the crisp dry Arizona cold of most days here. As I walked along, I began to say unity –unity– I noticed the extreme peaceful feeling of no movement, no wind, the feeling as if time itself stood still.
The human community, not yet awakened, usually consists of the bustle and movement of vehicles and sounds of a town waking. Instead a feeling of peace, absence of noise and wind presides.
The ravens with their winter calls then started up-I was just thinking the day prior that I had not heard them this year. Perhaps it was due to my business responsibilities and the disconnect they bring about.
I sensed total peace as I walked along- with the awareness of unity and support. It was as if the ravens were ushering me to work. As I approached a large tree there were a flock of birds roosting at the top of its twisted, mature branches. I felt a oneness as the solstice light began warming the day. I entered the building and as I sat at my desk I saw that the flock of birds, now visible, were taking off from the tree top, also starting their day. What a profound sense of belonging I was at in that moment in time.
Addendum: At the end of the day as the nurse and I sit by my desk recounting the day and sharing support and healing for ourselves, the birds returned to the tree top. What a sense of unity this day.
Belonging in Christmas
I did not grow up in a family that celebrated Christmas or Hanukkah (by birth I am Jewish, and was raised Christian) and the holidays are painful for me. Although I’m not consciously reflecting on negative memories, the past insidiously creeps in and puts a pall on what should be a joy-filled time for me and my family. I formally coped with this by feverishly throwing myself holiday preparations and rituals to the extreme. The house was bursting with homemade gifts, we participated in every holiday activity imaginable and there wasn’t a spare moment to even sit down. People would delight in my gifts, charmed by my professional looking holiday newsletter of our family complete with humorous and touching stories and photos and make references to Martha Stewart. But year after year, after our children would unwrap their gifts from under our perfectly decorated tree I would crash in absolute exhaustion and/or would be physically ill. The last couple of years have increasingly been more challenging due to life circumstances added with a string of devastating events. I’ve barely been able to muster the energy to even acknowledge the holidays, much less truly celebrate them. I’ve felt guilty and conflicted about this, unable to overcome my inner turmoil to try to find a middle ground.
Early Christmas Eve I chose to do my assignment and seek Nature’s wisdom. The weather has been intermittently stormy, snowy, wet, sleeting and so forth, not just on any given day but at any moment it could shift without warning. Around the time I stepped outdoors the sky had cleared. I stopped and simply let myself breathe, in and out, in and out. I let my mind go free and think of anything for awhile. My anxiety rose up and unexpectedly so did my tears. Although I did not cry hard, it seemed to have risen up from a low deep place within me. I felt the air chill my hot tears as they sprang from my eyes. I stayed in that feeling for awhile and then as my heart, mind and emotions quieted down in the calm of nature I began to think of my assignment. I followed my attraction and was drawn by the deep emerald green of the fields that spread out in every direction. I began to free-form hum, then little phrases of music began to creep up and spill from my mouth. The green was like balm to my eyes and the music soothed the jangled cords and began to form into song. Perhaps cliché, I began to sing the Christmas songs my little girl had been singing earlier while playing quietly by herself. I felt a strong sense of harmony with what I saw in nature and what I felt inside, as the two were intertwined. Singing required a different kind of breathing and this action regulated it. I suddenly trailed off no longer feeling like singing. I simply listened to the wind in the tall grasses and blowing the branches, to the creeping crackle of a cat walking across the fallen leaves and to the sound of our two ducks swishing their bills around in the water to drink. It was a perfect disjointed and yet perfectly harmonious symphony of it’s own kind and I felt myself a part of it. I thought about how I was a part of it, it was a part of me, a whole community resonating together consciously and unconsciously. I felt calm, quiet and at peace.
I didn’t want to interrupt this feeling to go through the natural senses in the book, so I tried to simply sort of generalize from memory what they were. I thought of sense of community (all around me), the sense of feel (the air touching my skin), sight/color (the soothing green fields), but what most stuck out to me was that the longer I stood there, the more I felt like I was part of a larger whole—a community. I felt that as nature resonated with me and me with it that there was no “me” or “it”. I felt accepted, as though I belonged.
I carried this feeling of belonging and calm with me into the house as I interacted with my family. I found myself humming and filled with the holiday spirit as I prepared our Christmas meal of fondue. We literally sat and broke bread together, I laughed with them and we enjoyed ourselves.
My husband prefers chilly sleeping so he’s been happily enjoying the solitude of sleeping alone. However, this night, apparently drawn by my quiet contemplative calm spirit, he came out and “spooned” me, sort of cocooning me as I nestled against him. We didn’t speak. We merely lay quietly breathing together, completely filled with peace as we gazed with love at our sleeping little children who appeared to be angelic while they slumbered. I felt nature’s gifts to me, which I carried indoors and into my family. It is the best Christmas present I could receive.
A good place to be
Well, as usual this was a pleasantly surprising activity. With a perceived lack of time, I was a bit disgruntled about doing it and wondered what I could do quickly and not have to put too much of myself into it. Funny, huh? Short story even shorter, I walked into the yard, obtained permission, mustered up some gratitude, scooped up a bit of snow onto my finger and felt it — deeply. I felt the sting of cold, the contrast of temperature with other fingers. I observed the response of cold snow on warm finger, the sensation of water dripping down the finger and onto the back of my hand. I even let out a spontaneous musical sigh as it dripped. The water all around and inside of me and evaporating off of my index finger and frozen in tiny ice designs and somehow making its way through cold air to make water clouds was all at once very much in my awareness. The sense of feeling was amplified. My body heat and the cold snow resonated.
Later, I played a game of scrabble with Marty. He set me off once or twice by waiting what seemed an inordinate amount of time to take his turn, making high scoring plays, and otherwise being a true opponent. Each time these feelings arose, I put my hand on him — touched his arm, rested my hand on his knee. This immediately settled me and I didn’t feel the distance between us any longer.
I was so happy to have done this activity, and learned that the sense of feeling and touch was a way to resonate with and to create a non-language way of feeling within me, not just on my finger! By connecting with the cold snow through the sense of touch, I got outside of my head which was a good place to be since it hadn’t been working too well all day!
You can participate in NAE now.
As usual, I went to the two small parks two blocks from where I live. The Stuyvesant Parks have been my “saving grace” in maintaining a sense of balance and getting in touch with my feelings. When I come home after one of my walks I always feel good. I am filled with a renewed sense of hope and have a deeper connection with myself and with others.
As I began my walk around the park, I noticed the stark bare tree branches of elm and oak, the color of dark gray, of diverse width, shape and length spread sideways and up to the sky, inspiring the image of a Japanese painting. This image brought up a melancholy feeling so I asked the question, “What webstrings do I most desire to surface from my subconscious to conscious that would make me feel good Was it validation? Recognition? I heard a voice say, “dig a little deeper.” Belonging? “Community,” that felt right.
As soon as the word community came into my head I saw a flock of pigeons flying overhead, then a gathering of squirrels eating from the same patch of land, then sparrows sharing the same rose bush. I was witnessing a good feeling of connection from the trees, pigeons, squirrels and sparrows.
Then I saw 2 squirrels playing together, chasing each other up and down trees and on the benches — they made me laugh out loud.
Several park employees were cleaning up the leaves and I had a deep desire to tell them how grateful I was. So I went over to one of the men and one of the women, and I thanked them for keeping the parks so clean. I let them know how much they are appreciated and how good it feels to come here. One man said he doesn’t hear that very often and it felt good to see his smile of pride.
A few minutes later I felt something hit my shoulder and at first I thought, “Oh no, it’s pigeon s–t.” No, it was a snowflake. The most extraordinary thing happened, millions of snowflakes as big as cotton balls fell from the sky. The color of the sky was an off white and it made the park translucent. A few people walked along with their tongues out trying to catch a snowflake, so I started to do this too and we all laughed.
Suddenly adults were transformed into children. People began to smile at each other and laugh at the magic that was happening. A man stopped, put his briefcase on the ground and started doing tai chi. For the next 10 minutes I happily stood smiling as I watched him and the snow falling in the park. We were by then the only 2 left in the park, except for 2 park employees who kept looking up at the sky in disbelief.
There is something about snow in the city that brings everyone together –for me it brings out the natural attractions of community. The snow that fell from the sky today wasn’t your typical snow, it was a phenomenon in its size, shape, the way it fell from the sky and it lasted a good half-hour. I thanked the snow for being there.
The whole experience was breathtaking. Good feelings of being childlike, playful, connected, and loved filled my heart. It felt so good to be there. There are no words to express the joy I felt.
My experience in nature shows me that I am a person who gets good feelings when I am in the moment, being still and silent, outside connecting to natural attractions of life, for being grateful and giving heartfelt thanks to the trees, wildlife and the people who take care of the park — for creating the opportunity of making possible a connection to the natural attractions that bind community.
I discovered that connecting with strangers through laughter caused by the unexpected phenomena of millions of snowflakes, the size of large cotton balls, rapidly falling from the sky–transformed adults into playful children sticking their tongues out trying to catch a snowflake.
Oh beautiful sentient being Mother Nature, I have just begun to appreciate your presence, beauty and love… How did I live all these years without this connection is beyond my comprehension. I am so glad I have arrived!
The Self, Meet Yourself activity was so beautiful and eye opening that I had to re-do it and be in it till each aspect of my being felt like a part of Mother Earth and her atmosphere… I must say it was an awakening experience… Such profound love which I always thought is rare and felt occasionally when meditating, is actually present in every ounce of Nature and can be accessed by simply allowing and following Nature’s attractions…
As I walked in Nature away from my backyard to an open space… allowing spontaneous attractions to call me… I was mesmerized by a loving embrace of two trees with branches running through the other tree… Love is not just between two people it is present in Nature everywhere.
What I learned from this activity is the abundance of love and that Nature nurtures through natural Love ever present supporting all of existence.
LOVE is natural attraction, it cannot be taken away as that is our true Nature… We sustain and create through LOVE… we even die through love merging back into what we were born from…
The seed of my interest in Natural Attraction Ecology and Ecopsychology based on it, was sown with my gradual awareness of the unsustainability, destructiveness, and unhealthiness of our way of life. By “our,” I mean several institutions whose shared values have changed this planet in unprecedented ways: Western civilization, America’s (and many other like-minded countries) death-culture, the objectification of nature as “resources” to be exploited, cheap oil, etc. Through this series of realizations, I decided that I wanted to find a way to become a more responsible being on this planet — more profoundly than buying organic/free trade food. By “responsible being,” I mean I want to find my place in the Natural World and help others do the same. With my educational background and interests, ecopsychology made the most sense. What I like about this program in particular is that it’s got a grass-roots (organic!) drive behind it. Even though it’s Internet- and email-based, students get an experiential education. The activities I’ve done so far — and their lasting effects — have confirmed for me that this program resonates with ideas I hold dear and sacred, and simply just makes sense for me.
My background is in psychology, child development, and family support. My realizations about the direction that civilization is headed have also influenced the way I look at my “career field.” So many of the systems I’ve worked in and with, while they are counter-cultural in some ways, are still grounded in and dependent upon the injustices and destruction and separation-from-nature that inform so much of our existence. Put bluntly, I began to get the feeling that I was empowering and supporting these people only to feed them back into the Machine Culture. Through this course/program and the supportive nature-connected relationships it reinforces, I intend to forge a more sustainable and proactive career in light of the current state of our society and environment.
Professionally, I want to find a way to do good, sustainable, productive work that truly empowers and supports people by connecting them with their real Natural Selves. Personally, I anticipate going through deep realizations about some of the nature-disconnected stories that are still operating in my life, and opening up to all the other ways I have available of interacting responsibly with myself, this world, and its inhabitants.
It is a blustery day. The wind and snow are swirling around outside my window. And the temperatures are cold. Feels like a day to enjoy the day- but from inside looking out.
I went to my family room window where Don recently hung a bird feeder. And, there they were out in the storm a several junkos and a finch. How do they do it? I found myself asking.
And, so I asked them. First for permission to ask them and then by expressing my gratitude for whatever they were about to teach me.
I called to mind some of my stressed thoughts and feeling. “I don’t know how to do the financial world. There is too much to learn, that I can’t understand. I won’t have the opportunity to retire if I don’t make the right decisions, now. I may not survive today, if I don’t do it right. But, I don’t know how to make the right decisions!” Stress-out! Life feels like one big never ending anxiety trip- when I approach it with these thoughts.
So, I matched my body with the bird’s movements as the activity suggests. The finch sat munching the seeds from the bird feeder. I chomped and moved my neck in swallowing motions. He seemed unfazed by thoughts of the future. He just seemed grateful and content to be eating now. I noticed as I matched his movements that I somehow began to feel more grateful and content. Wow!
I began to sense a message.”Opportunities have been and always will be available. No need to stress. There is no such thing as a missed opportunity. When one disappears another arises.” There was no bird feeder there last week- but this week there is.
Don came in the room singing a happy holiday song. The finch sensed that it was time to move on. He simply flew off the bird feeder and away. Non-attachment was his message as it was attracted to a safer setting. Be grateful for what you are receiving now and trust that what you need will be provided. The next opportunity awaits. And, the next.
Feels like a much lovelier way to live.
I would be so devastated if the finch and my experience with him were taken away from me.
I wrote: “I like the finch because it weathers the storms of life with its contentment and gratitude. It trusts this moment and gives its focus and love to it. Its life matters to it. It gives itself to what it senses that it needs. It is willing to look for opportunities and trust that when that opportunity has passed that another one will present itself in perfect time. He knows and trusts his place in the moment and in all of nature.”
Then I wrote the same thing about nature in me:
“I like myself because, I weather the storms of life with my contentment and gratitude. I trust this moment and give my focus and love to it. My life matters to me. I give myself to what I sense that my spirit needs. I am willing to look for opportunities and trust that when that opportunity has passed that another one will present itself in perfect time. I know and trust my place in this moment and in all of nature.”
My self esteem and trustfulness of nature were very much enhanced through doing this activity. Thank you little finch.
I did this same activity with a person to note the effects.
When I asked Don for permission to match his movements. He said, “Sure! Match this!” and gave me a big smooch!
I did this, this morning, so I haven’t slept on it, yet. But, I do notice I am facing the day with a sense of calm- as if I had just woken up from a good nights sleep.
A tree-dance response
I ran in from the cold approaching storm with groceries in hand, shook off the chill and moved the mouse around to see if I had any new mail. There you were, reminding me that Friday did come. And so after reading your wonderful post — so full of life and connection and essential learning from Finch the Teacher — I sat at the front window and asked the pine if we could play. Bobbing and reaching in the cold wind, I reached my limbs outward and did the dance of the tree. Energy coursed through me and the connecting tingle was thick and pure.
A cloud bank in the west moved like a wall, unflinching in it’s form except for the steady movement north and east. So I moved, solid, slow, with snow filled density. A darker cloud moved in the opposite direction and so did I. I loved it! In my wildest dream of what today would hold, I didn’t imagine I would take the time to dance with a tree! No one was home to match movements with, but Maggie is always willing to wag when I talk to her, so I matched her, I wagged my tail and twitched my eyes without moving my head, lifted my ears in anticipation and giggled at the sight of me!
What I learned is that a mere waltz with a tree or cloud can push aside the clutter of a to do list, the worries of the day, the undone housework, the anticipation of any event –and bring me powerfully to the NOW of what is beautiful, what is deeply and profoundly HERE as teacher, as dance partner. I like myself because I bend with the wind and move solidly through the atmosphere of life. Both of these are qualities are powerful ways to manage the unpredictable weather I encounter.
Thanks to all of you who support me on this shared email list. Thanks to Dr. Cohen for bringing this work to us. Thanks to the wind and the trees and the clouds and the birds who hang in the wind until it shifts.
Making the connection
I find hope in people like my sister who went on a walk with me one day and I asked her to tell me what she was attracted to. At first she told me that she wasn’t finding herself attracted to anything….that really she is just attracted to people. I asked her to think of something in nature that she was attracted to, even if she was not seeing it on our walk. She told me she loves a beautiful sunset. I asked her what she would feel like if that sunset was taken away from her. She told me that it would not affect her life, she would still be able to survive. I asked her if her life would be as fulfilling without the sunset, would she enjoy her life as much? The wheels began turning….she was able to tell me some things she was attracted to on the second half of the walk.
About a week later I asked my sister to read my posting from Chapter 6. After reading it she asked me if this course was supposed to help strengthen our relationships with people. It was like a light bulb went on in her head when I answered yes, and she responded, “Well, I can see us working together someday.” My sister is in school to be a counselor and she loves helping people with their problems. She made the connection!
No prescription needed
I am enjoying everyone’s introduction and their feelings and thoughts about this course. I already “feel” different since I started. I feel so lucky to be taking this online class. I have been a nurse for many years and get to see on a daily basis what being disconnected from nature can do to a person. I have taken many classes on holistic nursing and studied vibrational medicine, healing touch, for many years. It seems more and more of society is numbed, overwhelmed, helpless, desensitized, and in pain. I feel this is the class for everyone. I have always been attracted to nature, rivers, rocks, trees, etc.I find myself growing vegetables and making compost and love every minute of it.
I have a small place on the lake in the woods and it seems when I am there it is the only time I feel truly happy and content. As I watch my grandchildren sit in the house and play video games sun up till sundown I am concerned. I have seen how this class will help me to help them and others to understand just how disconnected we have become and that we can be healed!! A walk in the wood fights depression and is better than anything that does not require a prescription!!
For this exercise, I sat outside and watched the snow fall for this first time this year. While doing so, I came to the awareness that, “I am attracted to this snowfall because it reminds me of how pure, all-knowing, and beautiful nature truly is.”
Substituting “myself” in this statement was a little awkward, took some time for me to contemplate, but ultimately agreed with the intentions of nature: “I like myself because I remind me of how pure, all-knowing, and beautiful I truly am.”
I am not going to lie. When my second statement didn’t sound perfectly flowing in grammatical correctness to me, I was tempted to cheat a bit and go back and change my first statement. Rather, I chose to ponder why I thought of myself so separately from nature, considering that is from where I was biologically created. I am definitely not “all-knowing,” but nature sure is. It was in its all-knowing ability that nature created me. I never really thought to think of myself in the sense of purity, but when nature created me, I was as pure as possible. So I modified and improved the statement about myself. This whole process, to me, is beautiful…and amazing.
I learned that:
It is the parts of ourselves that are most similar, and thus connected, to nature that find different natural elements so attractive.
We are psychological indoor addicts because of our excessive indoor-oriented upbringings.
Though it is often difficult to do so, we must acknowledge that we are creations of nature, and in this creation we inherit nature’s great qualities.
This activity absolutely enhanced my self-worth. It forced me to recognize that I must question the times when I disrespect nature by not trusting in its “all-knowingness.” While participating in this activity, I was able to identify myself as more a part of nature, rather than simply an organism living within nature.
Thought storiesI remembered the time I spent living in London, England. I was out one day, and a squirrel that was walking on the ground suddenly ran over, up my leg, further up my torso and arm, and then sat on my shoulder. It all happened so quickly, and caught me completely by surprise. I did not respond favorably to the squirrel. I began to shake myself, trying to get him off of me. Everybody was looking at me like I was crazy. Then an old man who worked nearby came over, yelled at me for treating the squirrel poorly, and handed me a peanut. He actually wanted me to feed the squirrel while it was relaxing on my shoulder! He put his arm out, and allowed the squirrel to run up it. Once the initial shock and trauma wore off, I laughed at the societal differences. I would never think to feed a squirrel. I thought he, a fraction of my size, was going to eat me! It shows the way we frequently respond to nature based on our thought-stories, rather than our natural attractions.
Living with all beingsAs I read the questions I started thinking and feeling things that I could not verbalize. This also gave me hope for the future that I did not have before. We are all a part of the earth community, interconnected with trees, rocks, birds, animals and other beings. Many mystics, world views, and modern forms of science have realized that there are actually no points where one being ends and another begins, but a “flow” of life. PNC strives to help people to feel this connection.PNC is a path of healing, one that can bring a great sense of purpose and place in modern day lives. There are many, many, values to PNC. Stress release, anxieties, addictions. It is a personal and professional tool. Another reason I am taking this advanced class is to help myself and others feel this connection with the rest of life and live with the interconnectedness with all beings and the earth.You can participate in NAE now.
Relationships between things
During a beautiful snow, I went out to refill the bird feeder. I was then attracted to stand a few feet away and watch the feeder while reciting the word, “unity.” While concentrating on this word, like a koan in a meditation, I became aware of unified themes all around me. It began with the attraction of the chickadees flying back and forth from the feeder. I connected their paths with invisible lines, making a diagram in my imagination of all the strings that the chickadees were tying together. The trees, shrubs, and ground became tied to the feeder.
I then began to think of the chickadees as a whole due to their similarities, then birds as a category adding in the tufted titmouses, mourning doves, and cardinals also visiting the feeder, then animals as a category, now including the squirrels and myself, then biosphere, then planet, cosmos.
I also became attracted to the snow. It indiscriminately covered everything, regardless of category, trees, grass, rocks, me, all were subjected to the same conditions. This brought me to thought of global situations such as climate change, that also affect everything.
When I didn’t concentrate on unity, I noticed that my mind was more occupied with individual thoughts, not necessary related to anything else. When thinking of “unity” I was thinking of relationships between things.
You can participate in NAE now.
Natural Attraction Resonation
I was in for some surprises while doing the resonating activity.
We had just received one of the biggest snowfalls that I have seen since living in this valley. It was pretty magical and pretty wild. And, it made for wonderful natural attraction resonating connections.
First, I looked at the snow crystals that frosted my window pane. Thanking them and asking permission I began to feel my resonance with them by singing a tone that I felt represented them. They were so glorious especially as the evening light peeked out from a cloud illuminating their facets. I felt grateful for this program, without which I wouldn’t have bothered to notice them, perhaps at all, that day.
Then, I walked across the street to return the snow shovels that I had borrowed from my neighbor. The sunset was bouncing light from pink cloud to blue shadow against a crystal clear blue sky. The light shown off the freshly fallen snow. Needless to say, I did not find this difficult to resonate with. My heart was full of gratitude for the moment.
As I walked back into the house I thought of the part of the assignment that asks us to resonate with a person that we like and a person that we don’t. I noticed that I thought myself, “I don’t know how I am going to do that part of the assignment because, I can’t think of anyone I don’t like!”
The moment I thought that I think I genuinely felt it, but I also sensed a little bit of superiority on my part in thinking it. I was in for a little humbling almost immediately.
When I got back in the house, I asked my son to take a break from his computer and then went to get changed. About a half hour later, my daughter came in to tell me that my son was still on the computer and then she proceeded to lecture me on my parenting skills. Hmmm? It seemed I had found someone not to like. I wasn’t sure if it was my son for not respecting and obeying me, or if it was my daughter for trying to manipulate me by pushing my inadequate parenting buttons so that she could get on the computer, or if it was me for my lousy parenting.
I breathed and remembered that I told you all yesterday that I would do my resonating activity with my kids. O.K. well this was a little different than what I had imagined- but the ice crystals and sunset were still resonating in my body strengthening me. So, I imagined my children in my mind and breathing said “resonate” in a low tone to myself.
Something hard to describe began to happen. My feelings of hurt and anger were still there- but less painful. I think my ego was loosing its grip slightly. “Resonate, resonate,” I repeated. Carlie’s words drifted into my consciousness, “If I didn’t have to judge this- could I love it?” “If I didn’t have to judge them or myself, could I love them and myself.” “If I didn’t have to l prove myself as a worthy parent- could I be at peace….and could simply respond to what I felt love prompting me to do.”
A quiet settled over me. I realized I had entered into unexplored territory. I scarcely knew what to do, or how to be without my judgments of them or myself. My ego asserted a few more attempts to win my peace. “How dare he disobey you! How dare she lecture you! You need to tell them off! How dare you try to be a parent!”
“Resonate….Resonate…Resonate.” The natural attractions within me repeated.
“There is nothing to do.” Carlie’s words came again. “What is the truth about this?”
The truth is, “I am the power and presence of God in this world….and…”
Resonate… Resonate….Resonate… “So are they.”
“Appreciate yourself for creating this situation. It is the perfect situation for you to discover who you are.” the natural attractions whispered. “Appreciate yourself….Appreciate yourself….Appreciate yourself….and be Gentle with yourself”
A guitar string was struck in my heart space. Its resonance reverberated into my body. Res……o……..nance……………………..
How can I describe this. Somehow, I felt strangely at peace with no need to fix anyone or even fix myself. Bizarre.
What came out of my mouth next surprised me.
“It’s time for dinner, everybody! Come join me.”
The course guidebook notes that each time we resonate with a natural attraction through a different sense, we get to know the attraction and ourselves in a new, more fulfilling and holistic way.
I learned that my judgments about myself and others are one and the same thing. When I appreciate myself and am willing to be gentle with myself I can respond with a clearer mind. I also learned that resonating with someone else helps me to see them anew and helps me to see myself anew as well. This new perspective helps to free myself of my old pattern of self hatred and victim, and my ego’s need to be right about them. It helps me to appreciate myself and them again.
I realize that this situation would probably have gone a whole different direction without my awareness of my natural attractions and the resonance activity. And not such a good direction. I am thankful that I had to do the assignment before this happened.
My self esteem was strengthened as I resonated with my natural attractions and as I appreciated myself. I discovered that when I resonate with someone, I can’t dislike them.
When I awoke today, I felt at peace with myself and looked forward to being with my kids.
I will place in my consciousness an image of a guitar string sounding in my heart, its vibrations resonating out to fill my body and extending out to those I am with.
I found that am a person who enjoys resonating with snow crystals and who feels alive when I resonate with the sunset.
I let go of judgments of myself when I resonate with others.
You can participate in NAE now.
I was attracted to the rainbow, the kids counted its colors loudly. I looked at it as the bridge I could walk across to search my inner nature.
This was not the first time I saw the rainbow. In Portland, it’s easier to see one. I felt so content to watch into the sky, the soft white clouds covered the sunlight of the sun, the rainbow had so many colors, the colors of life.
I raised my arms upwards, as if I was touching the rainbow, seeing its beauty and integrity through myself. How much I desired to find that pure soul inside me. I looked at the kids, they all looked up and smiled, enjoyed what the rainbow brought to them. I then felt very proud of myself, I had the feeling that I wanted to be the rainbow, I wanted be the bridge connecting the kids with their inner nature, though I knew the inner child inside the kids have already been wakened. The joy of the kids was so impressive, I really felt content by just standing there, watching the rainbow, sharing that moment, that peace and tranquility with the kids.
When I looked at the rainbow, I believed there was a rainbow inside me. I felt its gentle and colorful spirit, that cheerful spirit, encouraged me to stick to my belief…
Yes, I believe as a teacher, I have more power than I can see. I gain this power from my connection with the kids, nature and all the species in nature
Given the extreme cold temps (way below zero even without the wind chill) and the blizzard conditions this past week, I went to the local pet store hoping to find something creaturely and nature-filled to connect with. From the moment I walked through the door, I was acutely aware that it was clearly nothing like being immersed in nature. However, I enjoyed the fish, rabbits and assorted rodents, but was most attracted to the birds, particularly the canaries. I enjoyed watching the two little birds interact and listening to their sweet song. I felt a twinge of sadness – knowing that these little birds were taken from their natural home to be held captive for the pleasure of us, human-beings. I admire their adaptability.
I love these little birds because they are is playful, curious, tender, resilient.
I love myself because I am playful, curious, tender, resilient.
Initially, I hesitate as I read the statement and wondered if this really describes some aspect of me (now). For the most part I know that I am resilient and adaptable. Although I truly believe that it is my nature to be playful, curious, and tender, (and is how I would have described myself a few years ago), I think that adjusting to the losses and life challenges presented by Parkinson’s disease, has caused me to be more serious, less inquisitive and maybe a little dispassionate in some ways. It makes me wonder if the natural systems within us shift, adjust or adapt in someway, too, when we experience chronic illness, trauma, etc. or if those attractions/characteristics just get buried underneath the stuff we have to do to cope/survive.
An Email group member’s response to the above:
(Before I begin, note that I am writing this because I know Debby, and meet with her, usually once a week, in a professional and friendship manner). I found this so interesting, Debby, that you see yourself as less playful, tender, and curious (and ones you wouldn’t normally associate with yourself now after the Parkinson) because those would be words you think would not describe you now. As I was reading this I thought, wow if she thinks she isn’t like this anymore what WAS she like??? She must have been through the roof!!!
Playful? The woman who is cutting up in class and gives her buddy a bad time?
Tender? The woman who came to me in prayer when I was feeling the weight of the world?.
Curious? The woman that researches everything on the Internet and comes with arm loads of info. about grants? What about you starting an art therapy program?
Dispassionate? The woman who took a canoe trip this last summer who wasn’t sure her physical body could withstand it but did it to support Parkinson’s research and our program???
I think the natural attractions are more accurate than perhaps you want to believe. They celebrate your innateness—your inner beauty. This is what I see Debby, just what you saw in the birds!
Perhaps the disease makes you focus on different ways to use your playfulness, or curiosity or passion or the energy level you would give to it, but all those senses that you picked up on in the birds are vividly displayed! In friendship, JuneYou can participate in NAE now.
Deeper sensitivity message
I decided to make a walk bare footed so that I could feel the earth! I slowly followed a path in undeveloped piece of land in the outskirts of the City of Kampala. I moved while observing different plants and insects. When I asked for permission to be connected the natural attractions of this environment, I was quickly attracted to a small plant (whose name I don’t know). I was attracted to it because it folded its leaves when I accidentally rubbed against it with my leg. The leaves moved upwards and folded like the hands of a human being raised upwards. The plant I am talking about is about 20 centimeters tall and the trunk is about the size of a needle of a sewing machine and purplish in color. I watched it closely and realized that after about 15 minutes, it started putting its leaves back to their original posture. But this was very difficult to notice. I could tell by seeing that the gap between the leaves was widening till all leaves lay almost in a straight line but opposite of one another. I almost uprooted to take it to the “botanist” for identification, but then quickly realized, I was going to harm a friendly plant that had revealed a lot about itself and I left it. May be I will carry a camera next time I visit this place so that friends can help me to get its botanical identification.
I was attracted to this small plant because it had a deeper message to me! I was able to learn that very often, we look at plants and think they are insensitive to things like touch stimulus! But this plant disapproved it. It quickly showed to me that they too, have senses and they respond to disturbances as a way of protection. I thanked this part of nature to have revealed more to me about itself. And I have a feeling that, this small plant could have represented other higher plants which may have low levels of responses to stimuli that are ignored by human beings and therefore, have continued to be destroyed since their tears can never be noticed!
I am happy to see that every time I visit nature, there is something new to learn about.
I am sad to notice that very few people appreciate nature.
A sustainable relationship
I was slowly walking through the snow. I became immediately attracted to the ice frozen to the branches of a nearby leafy bush tree (of which I don?t know the name of). As I was walking closer to it, the ice on top of the snow began to crack and my feet sunk in about 10 inches. I proceeded to get close enough to the bush to touch it.
With my gloved hand I caressed a few of the leaves and stroked the stems. I could hear the ice begin to crack and the branches and leaves seemed so fragile between my fingers I knew if I kept touching them my desire to caress them would break off their natural attraction and I would have hurt the bush. I stopped immediately and instead bent down to examine the bush from a different angle, from underneath.
As I lay there in the snow I gazed up at the wonderful oval shaped leaves. No longer did the bush appear white and lifeless, but instead I was greeted with its calming color green with only a small layer of ice over its surface, and the white outline of ice a fourth of an inch around each leaf. As I looked up the snow was falling gently on my face melting as it made contact and all around I could hear the snow falling to the ground. It was so peaceful and quiet, the movement of the snow towards me was so relaxing, my whole body felt numb and it was as if I could not move.
With a smile on my face I closed my eyes and took in all that was around me. The soft touch of the snow on my face melting upon contact, seeping into my skin and into the many other objects around, the continual sound of the snow making contact, the smell of burning firewood, the cracking of ice from the trees and plants all around, and the fragile ground beneath me as I lay on top of the ice and snow. It was breathless, especially the hidden beauty of this plant that was revealed simply from the shift in the angle at which it was seen.
I, perhaps, was the only one to have taken the time to appreciate the plants beauty. Although a part of me wishes for it to stay that way, so as for the plant not to be disturbed by too many people and their carelessness, the other part of me hopes someone saw me and has now discovered the amazing beauty of this plant, that would have otherwise gone unnoticed if it had not been for my attraction to nature.
In this activity I replaced the bird in the Mimbres design button first with an ice covered leaf, then with a snow covered tree, then with a snowflake. In all three occasions, the sensory attraction of water and its life sustaining qualities along with the cycle at which it accomplishes such a task was alive and well in my senses and thoughts. After wearing this pin for a few days the number one comment I received was, “What is this?” Aperfect way, asThe Web of Life Imperative book describes, to begin a conversation about our need to connect with nature. More specifically it usually began a brief discussion of the importance of recognizing and honoring Mother Nature and our connection to her, to recognize our self-destructive habits brought on by our dominate ways of thinking and being, and to find ways to reconnect with and relate to nature that do not strive to dominate and control, but rather to sustainably cooperate and coexist interdependently with her.
NOTE: You may read or download this source book online, or obtain a complementary copy of it, athttp://www.ecopsych.com/ksanity.html
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
Think of at least one good experience that you have had in nature: backyard or backcountry; mountain, forest or field; brook, ocean or shoreline; pet, garden or aquarium. In the present tense:
-Does your contact with nature contain comforting motions or attractive feelings of community, trust or place?
-Is it supportive, peaceful or both? Does it help you clear your mind?
Contact us at 360-378-6313 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
http://www.ecopsych.comAchieve a Degree or Certificate to strengthen your professional interests, or your hobbies or pastimes, by connecting them with nature. Implement your strongest hopes as you increase personal and global well being.
“Human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature’s intentions and desire. The rhythms of nature underlie all of human interaction: religious traditions, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened.”
Topics, subjects or leisure pursuits can include those listed below or other areas of interest:
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“Truth is what stands the test of experience.”
– Albert Einstein
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