This compact handbook of nature practices can be used by anyone who wants to deepen their connection with the rest of nature. It is also designed to be used by people who work with others in personal development and healing - for example, coaches, therapists, ecotherapists and outdoor educators.
We are a part of nature and our relationship with the Earth is reciprocal. We cannot exist separately, and what we do as humans has powerful consequences for the ecosystems we are part of.
Experiencing ourselves as part of nature tends to an underlying wound we all carry - a subtle, ever-present feeling of disconnectedness that is clearly visible in our current lives and culture. Experiencing ourselves as part of nature opens up a larger community of life, unconditional acceptance and a deep feeling of belonging. The consequence of this journey is that it can motivate us to start tending the Earth's ecological wounds and rebalancing our part in the web of life.
The book's exercises fall into five categories:
Ecological Self, Embodiment, Personal Journey, Mindfulness and Inviting Mystery.
Some exercises concentrate on empathising with natural elements or a living being and feeling into their innate intrinsic value. These are categorised as focusing on the Ecological Self. The notion of the Ecological Self comes from the writings of the Norwegian ecophilosopher, Arne Naess and suggests an experience of deeper interconnectedness and being part of nature, where all parts of the whole have an inalienable right to their own existence.
Embodiment focuses on bringing awareness to the body and exploring movement in an ecological context and as part of the Ecological Self.
Exercises that invite readers to reflect on their Personal Journey are useful when looking at personal development issues or in therapeutic or coaching processes with clients.
Exercises in the Mindfulness category emphasise exploring the senses, observing the mind and experiencing the present moment.
Finally, Inviting Mystery describes exercises that invoke playfulness and creativity, expanding beyond the rational everyday world. These experiences may go beyond easy description and invite a taste of mystery into life.