This whole life report is Appendix D of the book Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature. It provides additional examples and love quotes in field reports that result from the application of an organic psychology tool. This social technology helps participants love friends and nature via activities that enable us to recognize that to love life is nature's way of relating and it improves health wellness and counseling. The activities enable our inborn thinking and feeling to find heart love by safely tapping into the nature's grace, balance and restorative powers. Participants benefit from and strengthen their love stories and about love in balance as they master alternative therapist coaching, stress release management and holistic spiritual psychology.
Educating Counseling and Healing With Nature
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Love and Life Activity Outcome Reports from Anonymous Project NatureConnect Participants
Her Million Senses
I went out with my daughter (she is 13) today to nature. We went down the mountain from our village to a nice place with two small springs and some ancient ruins next to it. It is a wonderful day, sunny, blue sky, a springy day in winter. The earth is covered with green fresh low grass. We walked to the springs. The dog swam in it and splashed some water.
We found a place to sit and relax and read the quote from Ecclesiastes where what happens to animals happens to us because we are the same. I asked my daughter her opinion about it. She laughed and said: why this quote tells exactly what I think and say. She always insists that animals are very smart, in some ways, even smarter than humans. I enjoyed listening to her and see her natural love, beauty, sincerity and wisdom. As we did the nature-connecting activity I realized that I often find myself using eating not only for relieving hunger but other emotional issues and I find myself spending hours reading and using the computer not relieving the vision tension developed - by looking far away in natural areas. I sit in the office for long hours, letting my body be stagnant and stiff; there is still too much tension in my life….
When I asked my daughter about her senses she mentioned that sitting at home playing in front of the computer and watching TV disconnects her many senses (except sight, hearing and touching). She didn't say "53 senses" as she does not know this number. She said my other "millions of senses". She agreed that in nature she is more alive using her million senses.
I see that I have many injured senses I would like to restore and I re-confirmed to myself that my communication with my daughter when we are in nature is just so wonderful. I want to be very patient with myself as I restore my senses, inner nature and my health, as now I sense that the familiar bonding to unnatural pacifiers triggers abandonment feelings, which are not easy to deal with.
Finding My Place
The magnificence of this sunset connected me to the love and harmony that lives naturally inside me, with my partner, and in the full bliss of natures loving arms.
Before the sunset I was caught up in thoughts of past and future, 'to do' lists running through my mind, and personal challenges niggling away at my soul - whether I had made the right decision to move our home from the city to this rural setting. I engaged further with the setting sun, stood still on the mosey knoll and became present, eyes softened, body relaxed and heart expanded. Sensations and fresh scent from the moss underneath my feet, pine trees swaying above me in the wind, and the smell of fresh cut wood dissolved into me and we became one. The stillness of nature's purity of balance wove its intricate patterns in and around me. I feasted on Earths extraordinary ability to weave intricate light patterns across the sky, a fire dance that reflected off the ocean, mountains and me. And as I stood in this flood of light, I felt the oneness of all the earth and my place in it. As a being of energy and a particle of light, I heard nature speak of her desire to be loved unconditionally and tears of understanding slipped down my face.
This moment taught me that with respect and humility for nature I can learn to see what is out of balance in my own life, and with the knowledge of that imbalance see its negative affects on the entire eco system. I noticed my 5 leg reasoning battled with the overwhelm of taking responsibility for my own inactions and I am began to learn that when my 4 leg knowing and my 5 leg reasoning are brought together for right action in the moment, then I am in flow and at ease.
From sharing this with my partner came the deeper realization that if I don't participate in taking care of the environment, how can I hope to expect it to take care of us? Embarrassingly I confessed that I had the thinking that "someone else" will take care of it; our elected officials, our environmentalists, advocates, etc., and finally I realized how naive, and irresponsible that was and that it was not my wish or desire to rely on someone else to present the solutions.
I understand that by not personally taking responsibility for our eco system, I was part of the problem and I was, unknowingly keeping the destructive cycle going. One person can make a difference. Today, I am part of the solution by taking responsible action in the way I live my life. I have chosen to live rurally, changed many of my shopping habits, taken a stand for conservation in my community, and continue to look for ways to support a healthy eco system where ever I travel. This all came about by integrating the activities here at PNC into my life in a conscious responsible manner.
I was happy to have remembered to ask permission. I got back from a lovely time in a nearby park where I had done the reading and asked the tree right outside my door if I could visit. The attraction remained so, I walked up to the tree and stopped breathing and found myself right away panicking, although I can swim and hold my breath fine…I actually was holding my breath like I do when I swim, trying to exhale gradually….it was kind of funny.
I held by breath a few times, eventually feeling the love connection, knowing my release of carbon dioxide was vital to the tree's survival and its release of oxygen vital to mine. When I touched the tree as I exhaled and inhaled breath back in, I felt our vital connection and need for one another - it was like a surge of electricity through my arm.
When I went inside, I grabbed our air freshener and did the same activity. Thinking of breathing that in gave me a feeling of suffocation…….This activity demonstrated that by validating the global unity that results from natural attraction forces interconnecting, it becomes reasonable for us to trust that we, and nature, are one.”
Soaring While Grounded
This book has softened and intimately engaged my soul and body in a deeper exploration of our truest nature. With Nature as our teacher and each other as wise mentors, this process of recognizing our G/G connections plus the gentle encouragement to communicate what I experience, has given me now the courage to bring this opportunity forward for others to discover their own relationship with nature, self and others. This book has allowed me to answer the questions of the ages: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? My mind is quieter, my body calmer, my spirit is happy and my soul is peaceful. I will continue to draw from this well and walk gently on this earth sharing with others about PNC, NSTP and NIAL. I'm so grateful to Susan Chernoff and the synchronicity of events that brought me to this place. As I sit here with tears streaming down my face feeling such gratitude that I'm alive, feeling my feelings and at peace with the flow, I give credit to Reconnecting with Nature which has grounded me so I can soar.
The clouds drifted away and I ventured outside…yay! It was a cloudy day today but the sun peeked out just as I was about to head out the door to do activity #13.
Nameless, nameless, nameless……I found such peace and centeredness at the park as I connected and felt the love of each attraction. My favorite was the song of the woodpeckers (I think that was the bird…you know it doesn't matter…nameless…..) as they called to each other - beautiful! I thanked the birds. I thanked the gorgeous, intricate tree trunks and the emerging sun which warmed my face. And contradicting that warm sun, I thanked the cool breeze on my face. Hot and cold…both vital senses!
I began to feel better as everything I connected with made me feel so good! Even when I returned home I took joy looking out my kitchen window to see the emerging buds on the tree just outside. My heart leapt for joy and I couldn't help but smile at the sure sign of spring!
“In nature pain is nature's love trying to support us.” I never thought of it that way….interesting….or thinking about it like this….”the sound of thunder may discomfort us enough to be attracted to a safe area and let senses of place, nurturing, sound, and temperature fulfill us.” Thunder makes so much more sense to me now, although I always did simply enjoy its rumble, but then I am usually inside when I hear that sound.
I can see how negative people frustrate my natural attractions to them. They have to repel me because their story is that if I get too close, I will hurt their attractions to me, as has happened to them with others in the past. This idea was really powerful to me as I know I have a history of doing just this. It hit home even more as I was typing it because I realized that a friend of mine does exactly that. This is a very powerful statement to me.
I would really benefit from observing as if everything is nameless around me and that pain is nature's love trying to support us as with the rumble of thunder was meant to tell us to seek shelter. I think subconsciously I knew that, but growing up in a nature disconnected society, I never spent much time thinking about it…I just ran inside. I always knew to seek shelter when I heard the thunder, but I had lost touch with that connection. It makes me wonder if I have some other hidden knowledge of certain senses and the logic in using them. I'm sure I do!
I first attempted to do this activity about 4 weeks ago. I went for a walk along the boardwalk trail. I had been quite tense for several weeks for various reasons, the biggest one being that our lease negotiations with the city for our new bakery space in the downtown Farmers Market building had already taken two months longer than expected and it seemed like it might take another 2 months.
I felt frustration that there wasn't anything I could do to speed up the process and hoped that a reconnecting with nature activity would help me to release some of my pent up tension and allow me to feel less agitated. I walked to a viewpoint overlooking the bay and the islands and tried to relax enough to register a natural attraction, but it really just wasn't happening. I experimented with connecting with a tree, but that wasn't quite right, I was attracted to feeling the ocean's chilly wetness, but that was down a steep cliff and not accessible. I saw a green leafy plant in the soil and played around with being closer and then being farther away, but no strong connection there. I looked up at the sky, at the dark fluffy clouds and the glimpse of blue here and there. I felt the breeze on my face. I asked the webstrings, "Is there anything you would like to mirror for me?" Suddenly, I heard a deep powerful tone begin. I felt the light breeze becoming stronger and the sound becoming louder, a strong gust of wind engulfed me and shook the trees and the wind literally roared. It reminded me of a lion, roaring with wide open mouth as loud as it can. I said to myself, "I am attracted to the wind because it roars when it wants to." Then I thought to myself, "I would love myself better if I allowed myself to roar when I want to." I thanked the webstrings for this experience and insightful lesson into self and walked home. I didn't want to scare any passing folks (this is a popular trail) by roaring all of my frustration out, so I took deep breaths and focused on exhaling forcefully and fully (and quietly.) I did this for about 10 minutes, and I started feeling the tension of my muscles relaxing. I remember reading somewhere at sometime that physical tension is partially caused by a build up of carbon dioxide in the body from breathing in normally but not exhaling fully.
I found that Nature is my ever-present teacher and mirror and trusting in my connection with webstrings to show me the way. Actively connecting with webstrings, to be shown the way, gives me feelings of appreciation and thankfulness for this guiding power in my life. This re-educated the authority in me that says I need to keep it all inside of me, to always put on the pleasant, polite face. Sometimes I need to just roar, let it out, preferably into my pillow and in the form of a yodel during hiking. Sing it out loud! This activity increased my trust in both webstrings and my self.
The webstrings of my “inner child” were trained to be in artificial man-made environment that was made by family and society with my safety and welfare in mind.
Some training included:
- Snakes are dangerous.
- Poison oak is in every bush so avoid interacting with wild‚ nature.
- To get to know more about nature, watch the discovery channel or animal planet.
Based on my previous training and “brainwashing” I, to some extent, transferred some of these old habits to my children until I was introduced to the Webstring Attraction Model. Nowadays I am transferring my old fear of nature into a new gained love. More and more I am asking for permission to interact with natural systems in people and places. I am applying webstring techniques and rediscovering my 53 “tools” for safe cruising into nature.
Guess what? It is working. As a result, my experience in nature shows me that I am a person who gets good feelings from smelling wild flowers. As a matter of fact if I were to write a nature connected statement it would be: When I am in nature smelling the beautiful scent of Jasmine, I feel as if this scent hits my brain with feeling no other pleasures could come close to, and that experience is not to be given away, its only be shared.
In earlier days my escape was watching movies. Now, that is dramatically decreasing after realizing that there is no substitute for practicing my new earned freedom. And I don't fear snakes any more since they are part of the ecosystem community, just like my-self.
Hanging In There
From this assignment I found the value of all systems of my body and those systems' connection to our natural world. It was powerful, and I felt I could love myself more as a result. I am glad to have waited to do this chapter until today, for I had a gloriously sunny day. I also am happy to say that I finally EXPERIENCED “Invited to Be”. I biked down to the river and had decided on a certain spot before I got there. Lo and behold, someone else was there!!!! I just calmly told myself “that is not where you were meant to be today” and biked on. I then found the most magnificently peaceful spot on the river, and that is definitely where I was meant to be today. It was the perfect spot to read this chapter with its perfect title of Self, Meet Yourself.
After doing the reading activity, I walked my bike along the river and let myself be called to whatever was calling me. The first call came from a bright evergreen…I thanked her and moved on. This continued with my attractions to the grasshopper chirps, the cool breezes of air, the beautiful mallard couple, the bubbling water, the curves of the river, the glistening sparkle of sun on the stream, the mystical pool of water where the river quieted and thus calmed me - I stopped here for a while. This was a calm, centered love activity for me and FELT really the joy of my natural self. Feeling as one with nature is a lovely feeling I can get when I find the most perfect spot to hide, nestled next to the river and use all my senses to fully connect with natural life. This is one of the activities that most enhanced my self-worth and definitely, most definitely trustfulness of nature's ways. If you keep hanging on and doing things you can be brought to the light, you can finally get it, you can finally experience it.
Becoming More Conscious
I live in Denver, Colorado where we just got dumped on with snow yesterday. I currently work as a dietitian at a nursing home and a children's home. I also coordinate a tennis league and coach a tennis team in that league. Is this work my passion? Not really. I left a 5 year career teaching second grade a year ago because I was burnt out. This past year has been a year of lots of change and discovery of this wonderful program. I have so much enjoyed taking these classes and it is my dream to one day return to my love and passion of working with kids, but outside classroom academics, in the most logical place to teach - nature!!! These classes are helping me work toward that dream and I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this program one day as I perused the internet looking for outdoor education programs. When I read about this program, I knew I was "home.”
I feel I am attracted to connecting to nature because I am living this and experiencing this more and more every day. There is a beautiful tree, a blossoming lime green tree, that I pass by frequently going various places. I get good feelings looking at that tree…that used to be all I needed. But now, I feel guilty driving by in my car, polluting the air that it oxygenates for us. This is because of these classes I have been taking, this is because I am CONNECTING with nature. I am thankful to have become more conscious, and I am grateful to be able to change for that tree, and so slowly I am starting to walk to work more, and just thought today how I could really ride my bike to the place where I swim.
My sense of defining Intelligence has shifted the ability to learn from books and process information seems so tedious to what the experience with nature Intelligence is. I believe Intelligence is that which knows itself as one with all. So when I go to the place of attraction and sit in her comforting space, I too feel the union and the expansiveness of the Self. So the intelligence within and around the tree provides a sense of home, comfort, energy, beauty, shade, rest, space, wisdom, healing, transformation, courage, rhythm, union, vision, freedom, relief, awareness, support, and power. The tree can give so much because there is no separation between the tree and me... By giving to me, the tree is giving back to her self. I have opened my heart to embrace the oneness and I too am effortlessly slipping into her presence without holding back.
The statement that caught my attention in the chapter was worshiping a God that lives in Heaven, not on Earth, spiritually detaches us from the environment. It leads us to believe humanity is divinely superior to all other forms of life and that creation lies elsewhere. I was struck with emotions of love and awe as I sat outdoors on my swing reading the passage. The tree worships everyone and everything and now I am beginning to worship everyone and everything.
No Longer Separate
Tony is someone who works at the pool and we were chatting after my swim. We talked about what he was going to school for. He talks of his frustration with the typical school environment. He doesn't know what he wants to do yet, but he wishes he could be outside working, something with biology or wildlife. Also a bit surprised by this…I am EXPERIENCING more and more truth that we are all inherently attracted to nature, and with Tony, a direct witness to his need for a different type of schooling, which attracts me to this statement what Alice said in her email, “My teacher here has mainly been the global ecosystem as its love expresses itself in natural areas.”
My point is that even those you least expect can surprise you with their connection to nature and there are many opportunities to “teach”, to spread the word on webstring ecology. And there are SOOOOOOO many people who love nature, who want that connection, but there are so many people who know nothing about this program. If you were to ask me why I am in this program, why I want to teach others about this, it's all because of that….I deeply, deeply care for our earth and its inhabitants. I no longer see myself as separate…there is a connection to each and every living thing and thus I feel it only makes sense to change how I live and to teach others about the natural systems thinking process.
I was walking on the beach looking for a place of attraction and I have been attracted to these rows of rock formation that leads you 10 to 12 feet further into the ocean than where the shore is I have walked on the rocks, but was not able to go past the last 3 rocks as the gap was big and I was scared of heights. This time, I wanted to get past my fear and trust So I asked for consent from this area and began to walk from one big rock to the other and then I came upon the rock with a gap and a slanting side to the rock facing me I asked permission of the rock if I could step on it and if it would support my leaping forward and the waves jumped higher as though calling me forward so I took a deep breath and made it to across the slanting rock and on to the last rock that stands before the ocean I sat down by the water, it was as though I was moving with the water It was beautiful indeed. Since this exercise early last week, I have been back to the spot three times and brought my husband with me, and he loved it.
Ever since this experience last week I am realizing how little I trust Nature to provide for me. I have created a massive burden in my mind that I must work hard to support myself. Perhaps this comes from being a single mother for 7 years before I remarried 8 years ago, the wrangled part of my brain put the entire burden on me. Furthermore, after I completed this exercise, I was informed that part of my job had been cancelled. I became angry and then afraid and then vulnerable. Even though I was afraid, I had started to see the simplicity love and fullness spending time in nature. Fortunately I have been connecting everyday and have been enjoying so much that I don't want to go back to a hectic life style of travel and too much work. So I spoke with my husband and asked him if we will be able to manage if I let go of the burden to work too much. He smiled and said we will make do with what we have and even opened up to the idea of moving to a less costly place to live and simplifying life.
In May we will be going to Ashville to see what that place is like for starting a simplified life rich with Nature connections. I have been having so much fun that my husband has noticed my inner child come out. I love to play and I have had more clarity to write and support my fascinating part time venture on the Internet.
My work in the The Web of Life Imperative book was just that for me - IMPERATIVE! It took some of the elements that I have already learned and added and wove them together with new strings into a network of experiential learning that words cannot describe. It allowed me to have an Experience of myself inside of nature not seeing or connecting with nature from the outside.
My Experience of life, while being present to the Webstrings present in nature, altered my view of everything over the past 2 months. I wrote about how my partner had asked me what was happening inside me because it seemed more peaceful in our household. Being present to my own feelings and attempting to share them with others in my course was a stretch for me. They generously gave positive feedback to continue and shared wonderful love feelings and experiences themselves. I recognized that it was I who had stopped listening to the messages from nature and although had a “knowing” about those messages had “turned up” the impulses from our culture to the point of ignoring the natural world I so loved. I saw some of this through a bias that I had when labeling some plants “weeds” and other plants useful or beneficial.
"NTSP (Natural Thinking Systems Process) is the tool I have searched for to bring validation, connectivity and balance to my life. The course has changed my destructive way of thinking toward my self, others and the environment. It has also begun to heal my depression and addictions that are a result of stresses in my life. I have learned to re-connect with nature and sustain good feelings by meditating on positive nature experiences not 'medicating' due to pain brought on by negative experiences. I am also feeling creative again as a result."
Gaining trust in the healing powers of the NIAL enhances my experience of the same. Even though we have not been asked to report back this exercise, I feel so drawn to sharing a beautiful experience I had while attempting to draw a picture of my webstring. I walked a while before I came to a junction where there were two benches facing each other, I thought of sitting on the bench as they were at the bottom of a small hill. Next I looked up the hill and the trees were so tall that they were reaching the sky. I started walking up the hill and as I approached the trees, I noticed that the roots of the trees were spread close to 3 feet covering the area around the tree. The roots were exposed appearing to be a web connecting other roots of surrounding trees. As I walked following the roots, there were roots of 2 other trees that were forming a triangle and the roots of all three trees were coming together forming a small circle within a large circle. As I looked up, the sun was shining behind the tree, energizing the outer and inner circles of the trees. The energy within and around the trees was immaculate, dancing all around like little particles of light.
The picture I drew was of the three trees with the sun shining behind the trees. What was amazing was when I started to draw the roots, as the roots created the inner circle of the drawing, I automatically equated the scene to love of Mother Nature‚ and at the center of the circle I wrote the world LOVE in a circular fashion covering the inner roots. Thus my drawing was complete and an attraction in itself. I am not an artist yet I feel in love with the drawing.
The Life of a Rock
Thank You Cindy for sharing and I think the first line says it all, "We are born with the inherited ability from nature to sense, feel, think, and learn through web-strings". This lesson has sparked my curiosity, thirst for knowledge, & my excitement just seems to flow. Discovering that the Earth is a living organism has enriched me personally on many different levels. I am happy to report that my daughter who carelessly threw the candy wrapper to the wind has had a sudden change in her sense of community, belonging, and responsibility.
"Identifying the Earth as a wisely balanced living organism totally changes how I think, feel, and react in a number of ways including an increased sensitivity to every particle." I too have a deepened awareness of the natural as if I have returned home (to the place of knowing). I sense the Loving, regenerative, healing power of nature moving through me like an ever flowing wave of energy and reaching even beyond my self to those I am connected to. I have to giggle a little when I think of how the life of a rock has led me to a path that is truly amazing and beautiful. Thank You all for sharing this journey with me and stopping to teach me along the way.
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