“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like tree.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Our Eco-Nature Mission
At Bold Soul Life, we believe that finding sanctuary and connection in the natural world is essential to our wholeness and wellness as individuals and as a community. Through direct, embodied, meaningful contact with wild Nature, our rites of passage, education and training programs foster personal and professional transformation for teens, adults, professionals and organizations. This work is a part of our effort to make vibrant and essential contributions toward a more reciprocal and balanced relationship between the human community and the natural world.
How we work
Left untended, the hectic pace of 21st century life leads most people away from connection—to self, community and Nature. At BOLD SOUL Life we have learned what many of our ancestors have known for thousands of years, that if we connect with Nature and turn to Nature for healing, growth or guidance, we inevitably return with valuable lessons—both for ourselves and for the people in our communities. We return having encountered ourselves within Nature, having experienced ourselves through the mirror of the natural world and human community. We go to Nature to remember that we are part of Nature.
We base our work on a combination of the wisdom and practices of both ancient, Earth-based cultures and modern body-oriented, mindfulness-based positive and somatic psychology.
We find that the learning and growth that happens through the body, through our own felt experience, is deeper, richer and longer lasting. Additionally, with advances in modern neuroscience research, we now know that this approach is the most effective at facilitating lasting personal growth… And, it’s juicy, alive and fun to know yourself as embodied spirit and soul—as the miraculous, fragile, resilient and sometimes ecstatic being that you were born to be. Hence, each of our programs includes creative and body-oriented approaches to self-knowledge and self-expression.
- Collaboratively with Nature and the elements
- Indoors and out on the land
- In reciprocity with Nature, offering our gratitude and seeking means to give back to Nature for what we’ve received
- To facilitate a direct experience of being an integral part of the Natural world
Some elements of our programs are…
- Body-oriented practices
- Mindfulness practices
- Council practice
- Rites of Passage, the three stages: preparation, threshold, incorporation
Our Individual, Couple and Family Coaching and Mentoring work are …
- Mindfulness-based and body-oriented
- Focusing on relationship to self, others and Nature
- Co-creating an approach with clients to meet their goals
- Informed in part by these psychological models/approaches:
- The Hakomi Method™
- The Four Desires
- Somatic Experiencing™
- The Four Shields- an Earth-based Psychology of Human Nature
- CG Jung and Embodied Dreamwork
- Expressive Arts Therapy
- Reiki Drumming
- Vision Quest
Nature and Positive Psychology EQUALS EcoNature Therapy
Psychology needs ecology; ecology needs psychology. From this partnership eco-nature psychology is born. It combines the deepest intuitive compassion and sensitivity of the guide, coach, or therapist with the expertise of the ecologist and naturalist. The value of of ecopsychology reaches well beyond individual healing. Eco-nature psychology has a greater cultural intention: to redefine the relationship of the natural environment to sanity in our time. Eco-nature therapists wish to heal the soul while engaging the whole. We wish to speak for the planet and its imperiled species. We wish to recall the long forgotten Anima Mundi and honor it in our relations and work. We wish to converse with primary people to foster healing and build common cause. The planetary environment is the context for healing the soul because the two are inextricably bound by bonds that are sacred: life and consciousness. Implicit in this project is the need for a scientific paradigm that gives life and consciousness a new central status in the universe. Based upon such a paradigm, eco-nature psychology is part of an ongoing and practical healing mission that recognizes and honors that the health of the individual human psyche depends upon the collective health of all the kingdoms of life on Earth.
Eco-Nature Psychology Defined
The deep and enduring psychological questions–who we are, how we grow, why we suffer, how we heal–are inseparable from our relationships with the physical world. Similarly, the over-riding environmental questions–the sources of, consequences of, and solutions to environmental problems–are deeply rooted in the psyche, our images of self and nature, and our behaviors. Eco-nature psychology integrates ecology and psychology in responding to both sets of questions. Among its aims are:
- shifting environmental action from anxiety, blame, and coercion to invitation, joy, devotion, and love;
- fostering ecological thinking and direct contact with the natural world in psychotherapy and personal growth;
- and supporting lifestyles which are both ecologically and psychologically healthy and sustainable.
Eco-Nature Tsychology offers three insights
1. There is a deeply bonded and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature. Eco-nature psychology draws on two metaphors for this relationship:
(a) nature as home and family (e.g., Earth as mother, animals as siblings) and
(b) nature as Self, in which self-identifications are broadened to include the “greater-than-human” world and Gaia.
2. The illusion of a separation of humans and nature leads to suffering both for the environment (as ecological devastation) and for humans (as grief, despair, and alienation).
3. Realizing the connection between humans and nature is healing for both. This reconnection includes the healing potential of contact with nature, work on grief and despair about environmental destruction, eco-nature therapy, and psychoemotional bonding with the world as a source of environmental action and sustainable lifestyles. A specifically eco-nature psychological approach would include both the psychological and the environmental in such reconnection. It is this inclusion of both the “eco” and the “psyche” which distinguishes eco-nature psychology from both environmentalism and psychology.