Journal of Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology (OP/NAE)

Project NatureConnect  Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology
VOLUME 1,  NUMBER 2011-2012                                                      Dr.  Michael J. Cohen, Editor

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Aboriginal Wilderness Climbing: Indigenous Rhythm and Forest Dance Spirit

- Journaled Course Evaluation by Anonymous Participant  
Applied Ecopsychology education, counseling and healing article. 

During my outing I gave free reign to associations with the Mimbres design image...a powerful expression of humanity in harmony with the earth and its life forms. I chose to hike with a male friend who is a fellow nature spirit and skilled in wilderness survival. We went to a small mountain that is blessedly undeveloped. We walked through a lowland of salal that gave way in the marshes to the more ancient horsetail and skunk cabbage. There we began our ascent into the world of the forest that climbed the mountainside. I stopped at a clearing that had erupted into a field of riotous daisies in profuse bloom, their heads bobbing and swaying. I felt welcomed, and thanked them for it. The sun that warmed my skin, brightened their white petals. The buzz of katydids and the song and call of the birds wafted into my consciousness. This rhythm that vibrated through the land and sky into me, is my life blood. I placed myself and a daisy into the design.
Thinking more about the design, I thought how it acts as an icon of the critical connection we have with our planet. I feel the power and beauty that are embodied in indigenous people and uncivilized land resonating deep inside me; I've been teased for being a "wild child" or "aboriginal," and can easily see that characteristic in pictures from my childhood, although a veil seems to obscure this essence as I developed into a young woman. A lot could be written about that, but another time.
After climbing by using numerous tree friends for help, we came to enormous boulders, two of which acted as our gateway to the top of the mountain. The rocks with their mosses, tree roots and trunks, were a beautiful center in the Mimbres design. I felt flushed with achievement by gaining entrance by careful, respectful climbing. Soon I could move freely through colorful pinks of foxgloves and blonde grasses, coming to a view of ocean water sparkling, and other land masses flattened, their colors muted and tinted blue by distance. From this perspective, lying there on the mountainside grass, I could see watercraft dotting the immense straights, and a village with its homes clustered along the shoreline. I thought of all the human activity and dramas being played out, and although it has its place, the grandeur of the natural world made it all seem to me like insects flitting over a field of daisies.

I am feeling so blessed by this experience of writing and sharing our sacred experiences. Thank you for being such awesome women! My learning through these weeks is very valuable to me, its importance will, I'm sure, continue to reveal itself to me and grow!
I learned that I share in the dance of life with all things manifested in the universe,
to own the connection humbly and proudly, at once; and to give respect to all of nature by seeking consent and giving thanks. It is becoming increasingly true that I need to be outside, involved in the spirit of nature. If this were taken away, I would lose my mental, physical and spiritual health. I trust nature absolutely, but know that it is my responsibility to learn of its powerful ways, so that I may be in nature safely.

I awoke with a slow-growing optimistic "let's meet this special day" state of mind!
I am reconnecting with myself as I connect with nature. I am re-educating myself to let nature flow healthfully through me. By my actions and attitude, I can act as an emissary for the beauty and truth of the natural world.  

I have discovered the value in respecting and trusting myself as a worthy, valued being who is rightfully connected in the webstrings of nature.

It suddenly rained last week and I took shelter under a small tree. After some time, the sky cleared and the sun came out. I was about to leave when I a leaf caught my attention. There were small tiny droplets on the leaf. A small breeze came along which started swirling the leaves. And to my amazement, the droplets moved along the leaf but did not fell down. Above all, when the sun started shinning, the sun rays got reflected through the droplets and it seemed like small pearls were resting on the leaf.

This made me think about the geological cycle of water in the environment. It was a perfect combination of balance as well as beauty. It was one of the most memorable experiences I had in my entire life.

Their tiny little movements when the wind was gushing around gave me a great joy. I felt like a child who is lost in his small world. I am still amazed by the fact that how those tiny droplets stuck to the leaves even when the wind came along. Further, when the sun rays were reflected, it gave me a feeling like I was a small child playing with Kaleidoscope. I was completely lost and felt great relief as my childhood memories came back. The nature indeed taught me a great lesson and welcomed me back with open arms. I felt rejuvenated as I started walking back to my class.


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