Participants were asked to
write a life quote statement that gave specific examples from
their life, or their observations, of any of the points in Section 2 or of
any other meaning of life areas where PNC had proven valuable.
A representative sampling of the wide-ranging, freely made life
quotes appears below:
of PNC to me is that it has led me to a direct personal relationship
with all my life. For the first time
I have the sense of being connected to the flow of living. Many
people talk about being in the here and now but PNC has enabled
me to DO it."
completing the PNC activities, I find that I tend to emphasize
my similarities with others rather than differences. I tend to
be less cynical about society and our future. I find myself picking
up any trash I might find while hiking and have become more outspoken
on issues relation to protection of the environment. I contribute
more or my time and money to causes which promote social welfare
and environmental sensitivity. I found in my life the PNC process to be truly surreal life-changing. My daily behaviors and attitudes now
reflect a larger faith and understanding, that I am not separate
from the world around me but an integral part of it. My life
quotes reflect that I have a unshakable faith in the process
of the good life and all its manifestations.
The PNC activities have helped me realize that I am a whole made
up of many parts which are themselves whole. They have helped
me realize that I, too, am a part of a whole greater than myself."
both the PNC list and two of the PNC courses, my life has been
greatly enriched. Where I was very depressed in regards to the
future of our planet and all life on it, I am now convinced that
with encouraging people to participate in the exercises of Reconnecting
With Nature....there is a very good chance we can heal the wounds
of abuse and neglect we have thrust upon the Great Mother. Both
my personal and professional lives have benefited from PNC...My
interactions with employees, family and friends have improved
greatly..My stress levels have dropped tremendously, migraines
have been non-existent for about 2 months and I am sleeping through
the night instead of waking 4 and 5 times.
The most important
meaning of life gift I was given with
the list and the courses, has been the ability to interact with
nature on a personal level....my inner child is being allowed
to grow and emerge as a valid and needed part of myself."
provided a number of important simple
for me, most of which I not only remember but also bear fruit
for me on a continual basis. It provides a life style tool for almost immediate grounding and centering
of my self, which is important to me and enables me to be part
of my social and professional community; a participant in surreal life and the human web of life.
PNC has value
to the business world in that it can provide centering or grounding
of a business team in pursuit of its goals. In my life it has value to the larger community in that PNC
teaches/develops realization of the web and interconnectedness
of our social structures, and as such can stimulate sustainability
by organizations learning and subsequently feeling in supporting
their community over the individual; cooperation over survival
of the fittest.
What I am trying
to say is that to exist as an individual, family, community or
nation, in my life I need to connect with
integrity with the larger picture. PNC activities enables me
to do that.
academic life quote rhetoric, I have taught PNC activities in
a business class with good results - students responding positively
to the outcome and coming back for more, similar experiences."
The PNC course
has given me a very important simple
to work with environmental problems; an effective practical link
between feelings and rational explanations of interactions with
nature and people. It gave me the necessary inspiration, the
will to share as an individual and a teacher my profound love
and respect for the good
a scientist I use it for a more ecological aspect in my research.
It has improved my health in ways I could not have foreseen.
It is easier, simpler and more effective than meditation for
me. Most important I have gained a very valuable gift from Michael
Cohen's ecopsychology course, one that I had lost a long time
ago about the tragic global planetary situation: HOPE...
in a supervisory role with a young woman, in a "back to
work" job training program. She was in continual conflict
with her peers and had just had a verbal match with a community
member. This had come to the attention of the top administrator,
who had full intentions of " firing" this young woman.
I requested 30 minutes with the woman in order to prepare her.
( I anticipated the result of the meeting with the administrator,
would leave this young woman with "nothing to loose"
and would then reinforce her unworthiness." I was given
only 10 minutes. I wondered what I could tell her that would
help her through what was to be a challenging meeting. My objective
was to get her to stay calm and leave with dignity. I had ten
minutes and not enough time. Instead of using words I decided
to try an exercise from Michael Cohen's course. In that very
short time the young women was able to receive some guidance
through her connection to a rock.Her awareness of he own nature
and her choices. I introduced the activity and we did it together..
Then she went in to face the "fire" and came out smiling
and still holding her job. I asked her how she managed to keep
her temper and her job. She pulled the rock from her pocket showing
me, one side was rough the other smooth. She told me "I
kept the rough side hidden."
moving a great distance from my 15 year old son. I was very concerned
that I was mistaken in my decision to leave him with his father
(we were separated some years before) I did an activity to determine
where my son was "at", with this circumstance. I discovered
so much in the 1/2 hour we shared. It was about me as a mother.
I became aware as we progressed through the activity, how ready
he was for this separation and how tightly I clung to my role
of mother. My son was ready for the next phase, a phase his father
was ready and able to provide. I had to let go. I am glad I did."
workshops has allowed my 13 year old son to be part of a community
of people who actively care about and value the natural world.
Through PNC workshop monies, he got to help raise money for a
wildlife crisis center which I feel was empowering for him. Similarly,
through organizing these RWN workshops I became closer to my
own family and made new friends who live nearby me but I had
never met before. Many of us stay in contact now on a semi-weekly
basis, continuing that feeling of community and further modeling
community building and nature-connecting life style for my son. Additionally, I felt a feeling of
happiness that I could be giving back to Nature and supporting
the Earth in by making PNC methods available to others. This
gives me good feelings because the Earth is so generous with
me all the time (for example by providing air, water, sunlight,
food as well as unconditional acceptance, etc.). These meaning of life methods allow people to receive
and to give back to Nature and thus reestablish the web of connections
we were designed to function optimally within.
been using PNC in my personal and surreal life as well as with
students at risk in an alternative high school for over 5 years.
I have obtained over $30,000 in grants and have obtained very
positive and sound results using PNC with these students.
I have just
completed an exhaustive review of the literature in the ecology,
environmental science and ecopsychology fields. I am dismayed
by the fact that so few writers have any concept of specific
solutions to our societies' disconnection from nature and the
resultant destruction of our biosphere. Michael Cohen is one
of the few who has a simple
that works. It appears simple, but it is not. It requires some
major shifts in perception. I have spent over a year studying
with Michael in an in person small group structure and I have
taken and continue to take Michael's internet PNC courses. Both
have been invaluable. Although the internet course is in a individual
and written format, my group members have also become my teachers.
Michael answers all calls and is always available if we stray
or need help.
As shown by life quotes from his students, the NatureConnect
model is revolutionary and what the planet needs. Michael also
walks his talk. He continually opens his 53 senses as he sleeps
outside year-round surrounded by the natural sounds and senses
of the night."
PNC has helped
me take responsibility for my all
my life and
the choices I make in a way the makes sense. I experience profound
well-being and security I never thought would be available to
me. It quite literally has changed my life by bringing me to
the good life.
shared many of the points and experiences with others. I believe
that as this world grows towards a total technological world
there must be a counter balance. A natural world that is not
forgotten. With the many moves towards interactive TV., computers
and soft ware, Mother Nature is the greatest interactive life style action we will ever take.
learned is that, Balance and Harmony are not only a place to
be, but also an action to take."
I have been
a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic for 38 years. Every 3 months
I have an A1C test which tells me what my overall diabetic control
has been like for the previous 3 to 4 months. During the period
between March and June 1994, I was very much involved in doing
the activities created by Mike Cohen to help us re-connect with
nature, and I was also working hard to co-ordinate an Ecopsychology
workshop in the San Francisco area. Although organizing the workshop
was stressful, each day I would go to a park, or just into my
little backyard, and for a short time I would just connect with
the trees, birds, clouds, flowers, and my own internal peace,
and I would end up giggling, or singing, or relaxing,. and definitely
feeling refreshed and wonderfully alive. Because I was not doing
my normal diabetic routine of exercising as much as I should,
I was worried about the A1C test results in July. To my delight,
the test results showed a significant drop in my overall blood
sugar levels over the previous 3 months!! I attribute this to
the major increase in my sense of peace, relaxation, well-being,
and even support that I get from connecting with the natural
in my life I combine exercise,
healthy eating, and most importantly, daily reconnecting with
nature to keep my diabetes in very good control, and thereby
greatly reducing my risks for serious complications in the future.
The other major
thing that my connection with nature has done, over the past
2 years, is completely alleviate my use of drugs for the control
of anxiety disorder. I am forwarding here a copy of part of a
letter I wrote in regards to this.
I was diagnosed with panic disorder, a severe form of endogenous
anxiety. For 2 years I suffered extremely bizarre and disconcerting
physical and emotional symptoms, including depersonalization,
agoraphobia, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and a disabling fear
of impending death. My treatment consisted of addictive medication,
psychotherapy, and a hard-line approach called voice fighting.
While I no longer suffer from constant attacks, I am occasionally
bothered by some of these same unpleasant feelings. In the nature
connecting activities offered through Applied Ecopsychology,
I have made an astounding discovery. For me, connecting with
nature within and around me definitely dissolves the more mild
forms of panic/anxiety attack symptoms and fears. By enabling
me to fully sense my natural affinities toward stability and
peace, the connecting experience endows me with feelings of wholeness,
wisdom, and a sense of my rightful flow towards profound well-being.
indicate that 10 million Americans suffer from some form of endogenous
anxiety, with recent studies revealing that more children in
the teenage years are now affected by this disease. 100,000 of
these people are severely disabled, unable to leave their homes,
unable to walk to their mailboxes, unable to fully live. In my
experience, panic/anxiety attacks disconnect me from support,
safety, love, and peace; using the Applied Ecopsychology nature
connecting activities positively reconnects me with these senses
and feelings, as well as the senses of nurturing calmness, emotional
stability and well-being, trust, empowerment, and self-esteem.
The very senses and feelings that are stripped from panic attack
sufferers are re-awakened and re-inforced by using these nature
to the above, my connections with nature have also given me 2
very precious gifts: The gift of trustable supportive friendships,
and the simple life gift of laughter!!!
My sense of fun and playfulness has increased tenfold, and I
have discovered what many have said before, that laughter is
a most powerful tool for healing just about anything. Reconnecting
with nature has awakened in me the feelings of fun, peace, love,
joy, support, and vibrant good
I believe we all deserve."
with PNC has brought meaning
of life hope
that something (The exercises in PNC) CAN be done by ordinary
people, in ordinary circumstances that can and will help turn
around our behavior toward the ecological sustainability issue
that we are facing. It is a way to sensitize without criticizing
people's relationships with themselves, each other, and all life
forms with which we share the resources on this planet. I believe
that as we let down more of our barriers to feeling how we feel
in regard to the current ecological situation, we will make the
changes we need to make. PNC activities enable a person to allow
those barriers to gently dissolve as they connect with the forms
of nature around them.
important help I have received in
my life is
in my practice of quieting my mind enough when I am outdoors
to be receptive to what in nature is calling to me at that moment.
As I follow the attraction and attune myself to the energy, the
energy within my body becomes more balanced, my emotions become
more tranquil, and a feeling of thankfulness flows from my heart.
This practice has become an essential ingredient in my meditation
practices that put me in touch with the consciousness of healing
have influenced every aspect of all
in a very postive way. I feel more confident, more relaxed, more
healthy and happy. I feel I have found a greater capacity to
love myself and others. In the past I was often very pessimistic
and depressed and fond of complaining. Now, I feel more empowered
and optimistic. I find joy and many simple attractive life style pleasures each day. I have let go of
a dismal, materialistic downward spiral, and have spread my wings
to fly up on a wonderfully positive natural thermal. I feel high
on life. I gain new insights and challenges as I climb. I am
now able to let nature's infinite wisdom flow through me to share
with others who are attracted to it.
about others' experiences reinforces my view that the environment
has a strong influence on defining who we are as individuals
and as a people. Positive environmental experiences produce positive-minded
people. PNC appears to bring individuals into positive relationships.
Research printed in environmental education journals I have read
indicate that programs like PNC are the best way for individuals
to adopt good life styles that reduce
our impact on the environment."
PNC is unique
in that it offers guidelines to live by that have not been interpreted
(or mis-interpreted) by humankind. What I see in nature is also
within me, and I KNOW and TRUST that totally.
I am a ministerial
student, and PNC has become such a deeply ingrained part of me
that in my life it will surely be a
large part of my ministry. PNC teaches that all of nature is
based upon attraction (love); it teaches there is no judgment
in nature; it teaches connections with the total of our senses
rather than in some limited intellectual way; it teaches that
nature exists in the moment; and it teaches that there are no
negatives in nature. These, and many more simple life facts, are parallel to spiritual principles,
and I trust them.
PNC for anyone, and I will be sharing it with others throughout
me to pause and reflect on the world around me. To slow down,listen
and feel when before I would only look. It solidified certain
ideas I had learned intellectually about interconnectedness of
all life. I feel I have become more sensitive to certain practical
things around the house,like recycling, water usage, habitat
destruction on my own property and use of electricity.. I had
done much personal self-work before doing PNC so I felt good
about myself already -- but not as connected to nature. I can
see how this would help others to do the same work, especially
in groups. I also have more desire to be outside and enjoy the
outdoors than ever, particularly at night -- which seems to be
prohibited by many things in our culture.
interest was kindled by both a professional interest in nature-based
therapeutic methods but more importantly by my personal interest
in spiritual matters particularly those related to nature and
the spirit of nature.
my interest was driven by a crisis in my personal recovery from
the addictive use of various chemical substances. As a direct
result of my application of PNC methods to my daily life, I find
my personal recovery has become significantly more stable. Also
my recovery is more sustainable now because it is less dependent
on any particular model of recovery. In essense my ongoing recovery
was made possible through the reliable and trustable methods
of PNC that on a moment-to-moment basis allowed me to be in conscious
contact with the nameless intelligence and wisdom of nature.
I have used variants of these methods in my work as a mental
health nurse with people of all ages to focus more on the here
and now of the moment and less on often destructive stories that
reside in their minds. It helps these people to become aware
that these stories are not actually present in nature unless
they decide to actualize those stories by acting them out. I
also use PNC methods in the marketing of my professional services.
I often talk of my marketing efforts as "growth through
the course validated my precious experiences of connection with
nature which has helped to make them a more frequent and influential
part of my life. I also learned a lot about people, both good
news and bad news, and how to relate to them and which ones to
avoid. This latter was learned through the correspondence. One
can learn something useful about the meaning
of life even
from negative people.
My strong positive
connection with nature helped me turn sarcasm into a learning
experience, i.e. turn it into a G-G. experience: How to spot
non-G.G. people on line early and avoid/defuse them.
The PNC experience
helped me improve:
-my personal good life by being conscious
of my personal sensory functioning
-my relationship with the environment.by being aware of it as
a community not as a resource
-my professional life by specifically looking for natural area
to practice my job.
The PNC experience
motivated me to help others build responsible relationships and
life styles because it's a pleasant,
constructive and peaceful experience. It enabled me to bring
environmental concepts into my consciousness that I have always
felt but could not verbalize by learning first to love Nature.
I had a a true and personal experience that helped me to be aware
of my true deep and fundamental nature. It's a way of living
and thinking that brings wellness and peace. Now I know what
I want and I don't feel aggravated by people anymore. Nature
is now my personal guide. When I want to take a decision I go
into nature and it helps me to find the best. New respect for
the living global community is a by-product of the PNC program.
myself so messed up by being disconnected from something I never
even knew I was supposed to be connected to. I literally almost
died twice from buying into the world's stories. I truly feel
that PNC is my road back to health, sanity and living a life
of joy. I was filling the nature-separated void in my life with
all the wrong fixes, but PNC has given me the key to real life
consciousness interacts with surroundings in a responsible
way---from the heart--and always with Hope. In moving (through
PNC) to a deeper understanding of the pure potential we can create
for others in a world clearly in need of an understanding of
responsible action, we can become catalysts, through education,
for the support and nurturance of Nature, the living global community
and Earth Mother herself. With even just a thimbleful of courage
we can reconnect with our innate capacity to heal ourselves and
honor life and 'all of our relations' including the great forests
the rivers and seas: the mountains and eagles and whales and
deer and little lichens and four-leaf clover... and rejoice in
rainbows and dance in moonlight and sing together by campfires
as we seep out under the stars and as a human species finally
come into our wisdom phase---"
PNC is awesome!!
You have totally changed my life, as I think there may be a place
for me in this Universe now. Before I learned of your project,
I thought my life was doomed to bureaucratic meanderings...looking
for something real. Well, it is real, and I have found it. I
have always been very connected to the earth and nature, and
now know that this is a simple
and that I can teach others about this incredible relationship.
Thank you, thank you , thank you , thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have struggled
for years with the apparent arbitrary baseline I've found in
most helping disciplines. PNC offers a dependable counselor,
Nature, which applies the same qualitative perspective at all
times, and is always available.
years ago I had a roller-skating accident which left me with
daily headaches. I had to give up my (well paid) job since I
could no longer concentrate for longer periods of time. In addition
I have short term memory problems. The final diagnoses was whiplash/
nerve damage in the neck. I have had several operations to severe
(?) blocked nerves. (the nerves are heated with a long needle
to about 90 degrees (Celsius) which kills them) The operation
was somewhat successful, the pain became bearable. The years
following the operation I found it difficult to cope with pain
and my limitations. Work had always given me a sense of fulfillment
and self-esteem, without it, I felt disoriented.
There's a saying
among people with frequent pain that states: one third of the
pain is real pain, one third is the fear of tomorrow's pain one
third is depression caused by your new limitations and loss of
dreams is something that happens to everyone at one time or another.
You have to give up you dream of becoming a pop star if you over
thirty. The same with becoming a top athlete. When you suffer
from chronic pain you have to go through this process in just
a few years. You become aware of a pile of dreams you had stashed
away in you subconscious. The same with me, in my life I became or made myself socially isolated, because
I felt no longer part of "the healthy world".
to Nature has pulled me out of this negative spiral. It didn't
make any sense to me at first, but somehow I kept rereading it.
I decided to partake in the course and became very involved.
After several weeks of doing PNC activities I noticed that my
headaches were becoming less intense.
of Connecting to Nature came as a great relief after reading
dozens of self improvement books. Somehow all of these books
left me dissatisfied. The insights you get from reading alone
do not create a lasting change. Reading and doing exercises simultaneously
is much more effective for me. I now have a storehouse of wonderful
memories to go back to. Being an indoor person I experienced
the beauty of nature almost as a shock. I had spend time in nature
before but had never before communicated with its beauty and
variety. I now have great fun discovering new life style ways to perceive new aspects of what I see. I
have learned that there hundreds of ways to recognize and appreciate
my natural origins.
to nature has a profound simple
effect on me in my life
. The PNC
activities have taught me that I do not have to hold a prestigious
job to be a person of value. Value is something that life created
in me, I don't have to earn it. All I have to do is perceive
it, connect to it and celebrate it. Breath is an exchange of
internal and external value. Walking is an encounter with my
origin and home. Seeing is perceiving and reflecting what created
to nature also made me aware of how fragile my life is and how
important it is to nurture my environment; my family, my friends
and how everything I do for them reflects back on myself. The
more I learn, the stronger the feeling that all life is one becomes
a tangible reality.
Thanks to the
nature connect exercises I have developed a stronger sense of
responsibility for my own health. The inter relatedness of all
life outside myself has made very clear to me that a loving and
nuturing attitude towards my own body is vital. To put it less
abstract; it feels good to take care of myself and my body responds
with vitality to the attention I give it.
taught me how relatively unimportant my place is in the whole
of life. My education has equipped me with an over inflated ego.
I am supposed to be superior to other life forms, I am not. Spending
time in nature has taught me that I am relatively unimportant
and that I have every reason to be modest. I can only live in
very protected circumstances: 21% oxygen, a limited temperature
range, enough sunlight, regular food intake with just the right
amount of minerals and vitamins, not to much noise, etc. If you
add the psychological requirement like safety, a feeling of belonging
identity then the list would easily become two pages long. Much
of the pain in my relationships to other people starts when I
forget how fragile the other person really is. Much of the pain
in our culture is the result of acting as if we, as a species,
are independent and all important.
I enjoy doing
the exercises with my son. I remember an early spring morning
we spend in the woods together: I asked him to find a tree that
attracted him. After a few moments he came back all excited:
"Look daddy I found two trees that are just like you and
me". He had found a small tree his size and a bigger tree
my size. I then suggested we should imitate the trees to see
what it would be like to be a tree. So together we stood there
with our arms outstretched enjoyed the warm sun. At first only
the two of us were there but very soon somehow the trees joined
in and the four of us enjoyed being alive and being nurtured
by the sun. This and other memories have become very precious
to me. Most everything outdoors has a strong living presence,
a meaning of life that's very contagious.
indoors life style mutes my senses; habits
take the fun and challenge out of life. Outdoors everything changes
continually with amazing grace and strength. That is something
that inspires me deeply. It's much like befriending a very enthusiastic
person. The friendship intensifies your own aliveness and communication
skills. Befriending nature to me is an even more rewarding experience,
it also creates a feeling of belonging and a new sense of knowledge
about my origins: my eyes developed as a response to the existence
of light, my lungs respond to the oxygen the trees and plant
to me is a dance for two. Music means nothing when I am unable
to open up to it. If I I'm blind, colors don't exist. As my senses
open up wider to nature, the scoop of what I see and feel widens,
the intensity of life outside infuses my own aliveness.
I think it
is a miracle that a development process of 5 billion years has
equipped me with all the senses I need to perceive this world
and a strong sense of survival that enables me to have children
that will be able to enjoy our world in the future. That is ,
if I leave them something to live in.
I've feel I
just started on a long an very interesting simple life journey. I think the insight that connecting
to nature has to offer are of great importance to many people.
I also understand that the ideas of PNC will be difficult to
understand for many people as they point in a direction which
is radically different from the mainstream thinking in our society.
But to quote Victor Hugo; "Nothing is stronger than an idea
who's time has come".
In March 1997
seventeen NatureConnectors met at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island,
Washington. Though some had met in person previously, I had met
most of the people only by correspondence on-line in PNC courses.
The attractions among us were instantaneous. Not only did we
think beautifully, we were physically beautiful as well. The
instantaneous connection we made was a memorable occasion I will
Kini Jane J.
I have changed from a victim to, not only a survivor, but to
fullness. I don't know how to put this exactly. This fullness
is a feeling of connectedness with all, which brings contentment.
I was so unsure of who I was, I now feel a confidence in my being
that I have been through psychotherapy for years trying to find.
I was fearful of many, many things, but people more than anything
else, in my life I now am able to feel
a more solid, yet joyful pleasure in the community I find myself
a part of. Not that I never fear anymore, but, I am able to hold
fear rather than having it engulf me.
marriage was unsteady, I now can deal with the differences between
us with trust and love, and I find that my husband has been able
to express himself in more insightful ways to this "new"
partner I've become.
I was a reclusive personality when not at work, I now am more
interested in the world around me. I am more able to see the
good that I thought was nonexistent.
I had meager trust issues, I now seem to be more able to trust
my attractions and repulsions as basic sense awareness. Leaving
judgment of others and myself out of my decision-making process
sure lightens the load.
This may sound
too good to be true. I can hardly believe what has happened in
my life in only a few short weeks. Not that I have become "that
perfection" I have so exhaustingly striven for, because
I have much more to learn and, even more, to apply, but my life style and living is just easier and more fun
when I don't feel the pressures I once put on myself and everyone
around me. Besides that, I am now more aware of my perfection
in the flow of what is.
concept of helping people connect with nature within and around
themselves is beyond monetary value. A conscious connection with
all creation will change the world. PNC is one way to do that."
Linda and Jake
I think our
society's disconnection is both in people's personal relationships
and how they react to the environment is devastating. PNC acts
as a tool to mend both. It is unique in that it addresses human
psychology as a part of nature that needs mending. It has helped
me release stress and I find that it teaches me much that helps
me in my dealings with other people and understanding aspects
of myself. It is very powerful work and I have seen it help people
appreciate more. We can't do enough of this kind of work, it
is is so badly needed. We need to teach it to people in all disciplines
to effect social change through personal change.
that I apply may of the things I have learned from Dr. Cohen's
Reconnecting With Nature program on a daily basis with my wife,
children, friends, associates, clients public and private organizations;
not to mention how often I use what I have learned to maintain
my own health.
It is a given
among leading environmental educators, sociologists and anthropologists
that many, if not most, of our personal, social and environmental
problems are directly related to modern society's disconnection
from nature. Virtually all agree that Reconnecting With Nature
is fundamental, if not critical, to correcting the problems that
seriously threaten our very survival.
Dr. Steve Van
Metre and many other prominent environmental educators have eloquently
pointed out that most environmental programs are not accomplishing
what is needed because they lack the fundamental elements to
achieve this critical objective. While other programs may recognize
the need for man: to reconnect with nature, ' Dr. Cohen's program
is the only one I have found in 10 years of searching that actually
show you how. It is not something schools and universities should
be thinking about offering...it should be an absolute requirement."
always in my life had hope because I
have never lost my natural connections. PNC has allowed me to
refine the concepts, communicate them to others and commune with
others who share my feelings.
that natural connections were the sustaining forces of all my life led me to leave a career as a practicing
psychologist over 10 years ago and become a landscape contractor.
This allows me the simple
to work and live out of doors."
outside and touching a tree or plant relieves anxiety. Touching
the oak outside my house gives me an astonishing feeling of friendship.
Being outside in a lovely spot (my back yard) helped me overcome
along-seated caffeine addiction."
at a time in my personal and surreal life where I was totally
stressed out, unhappy, depressed and basically "sick and
tired of being sick and tired". Being involved in PNC and
the exercises allowed me the opportunity to be out in nature
and renew-new my interest in a good
became and remained calm, balanced and happy once more. I was
able to deal with problematic situations much more effectively
than previously. This was no small feat as I also was diagnosed
as having moderately severe pulmonary emphysema at that time.
I highly endorse and encourage everyone to learn these meaning of life techniques."
I first found PNC I was suffering from a stress related disorder.
It has been the motivation behind my finding peace. Everyday
now I wake up and notice things in the world I had been blind
to. I say good morning to the trees and bird.
I also find
that I am much more responsible in the way that I use the earth.
I am more focused on recycling, reusing and watching the way
I walk on the earth. As a teacher I am motivated to use these
life style principles in my teaching.
My long term goal is to complete more course and eventually open
an elementary school based primarily on the ideas of PNC.
I used some
PNC activities racing this summer and it truly helped me. I could
see that as a great tool in Sport Psychology. ...It gives me
emotional support to continue my own efforts in increasing people's
awareness of the existing environmental crisis in our society.
PNC has made me more aware of my self as a consumer and how I
spend my leisure time.
never motivated to continue graduate studies because I never
liked the approach the programs had, (psychology & sociology)
because it never took in consideration our severe alienation
with the natural world."
guts! It takes a stand and I do believe that is what our society
needs...a wake up call...PNC truly gave me the courage to move
ahead. I am a two time National Team Member (mountain biking
& in-lining) and I am far than being a new-ager. I truly
believe it is time to moved BEYOND the new age movement and support
programs like PNC."
practical...you go out there and you connect with nature. So
many of my clients feel uncomfortable connecting with nature
which emphasizes the importance of programs like PNC. PNC is
a tool that you can use anywhere...even when stuck in a shopping
me a way to verbalize and conceptualize something that I'd felt
in Nature for some time. Unfortunately, given the "norms"
of most of our society, I was afraid to share those experiences...
thinking I must be absolutely crazy. Knowing that connecting
with Nature was not only NOT crazy but actually BENEFICIAL changed
my view of myself and the world around me."
PNC had and
continues to have an impact on my life. Although I did complete
the course I have continued to pursue the concepts thru the independent
training materials. I am now in the process of looking for a
career in something that integrates the principles unity and
sacredness of all life and living in a green/green mode. I don't
feel qualified to teach anyone else but whenever the opportunity
presents itself I try to promote PNC. I intend to continue to
practice and live thses concepts to the best of my abiltiyfor
the rest of my life.
with PNC was extremely valuable to me. The exercises and areas
that we examined gave me an increased sense of our place in the
natural world, as an integral part of it, rather than separate
from it or dominant over it. My sense of the world as an intricately
connected organism, in which the various aspects must all work
together was strengthened and my desire to live accordingly as
well. The power of the natural world to heal the individual was
very well demonstrated by the exercises. On a more experiential
level, they just made me feel wonderful, in a way that nothing
else ever has. I believe that in our culture our life style traumatically separates us from nature
in our early years, because of societal emphasis on individuality,
the intellect and technology. The reconnection effected by the
PNC experience heals that breach, brings our missing world back
to us. "
PNC activities expands my perceptions allowing me to be more
aware of my outer (nature) and inner (thoughts, feelings and
senses) environments. This increased simple
allows me to be more reasonable, creative and confident in conflict
proven valuable for reducing the stress that occurs during my
working day. Since I discovered PNC, I go every day in Paris,
at lunch time, in the woods , and connect with the natural elements.
It gives sense to my everyday life and helps to clear my mind.
The more I connect, the more I want to go further into involvement
with nature. It's such an exciting goal and such and adventure.
It's now a whole life project for me."
mate's online life quotes allowed a much greater awareness/appreciation/knowledge
of the interactions between humans, the species, and the natural
environment of which we humans are a member. It also helped me
through healing as a part of professional therapy that I have
PNC techniques, I've been able to verbally express my emotions
that I may not have been able to in the past. Theses techniques
provide positive reinforcement and have provided insight to my
inner being. when I use connecting with nature activities, I
have a real sense of empowerment."
I experienced while participating in this course resulted in
an extremely significant improvement in my self-esteem and in
my coping skills. My self-esteem continues to deepen and my practice
of PNC skills continues to improve the quality of my life on
a daily basis. During this course, I began to experience the
meaning of the words "trustable and responsible relationships
produce a good life."
course I completed in 1996-97 was Educating and Counseling With
Nature, in which we used the book Reconnecting With Nature. During
this course, I found my "self work" continued to be
enhanced and supported. I also delved deeper into the subject
of relationships, to myself, to other people, and to nature.
I experienced many learnings which have made my relationship
with nature (by that I mean all of planet earth - all creatures,
all plant life, the mountains, prairies, and waters, the wind
and sun and weather, all
my life, etc.)
strong, enjoyable and a constant source of support, inspiration,
comfort and wisdom. I experienced my own ability to relate to
people in a safe, trustable, responsible way. This occurred in
the beginning within our e-mail course group, and extended into
my inner nature so that I began to apply my skills in my relationship
to myself, to my family, to my classmates and teachers, and to
my co-workers in my workplace.
The title of
my thesis is "Connecting With Nature As A Method For Counseling:
A Participant Observation Study of Project NatureConnect"
My research questions were: 1) What is the impact upon participants
of these Project NatureConnect concepts and activities; 2) how
does Cohen's definition of the human-nature relationship function
in these activities and what impact does this have on participants,
and 3) what can be learned about the relationship between this
method of "connecting with nature" and counseling.
led to the following conclusions (briefly summarized here, delineated
in the thesis itself): 1) participants reacted to the verbal
explanations of the concepts and ideas, to sharing their experiences
with the group, and to their experiences with the activities
themselves.2) Cohen's definition of the human-nature relationship
was an integral part of the information and activities presented
and that it was largely responsible for the impact upon participants.
This is discussed by pointing out how the results illustrate
the process of "connecting with nature" and how the
role that nature plays in this process is specific and essential.
It was found that the role that language plays is also significant,
and it is the interaction between the role of nature and the
role of language in these particular activities that results
in a experience of connection with nature. 3) A viable and significant
relationship between "connecting with nature" and counseling
was revealed in two ways. One, with respect to the subject of
coping skills, activities designed to improve self-esteem and
to release and manage feelings were presented and positive an
potential effects upon the participants were noted. Second, "connecting
with nature" activities demonstrated a means to bring deep
issues of concern into participants' consciousness and offered
a comfortable and supportive way for people to work toward resolution
of their concerns.
I believe that
it is absolutely essential to provide PNC learnings and skills
to the teachers and students in the fields of education and of
counseling. An essential way to accomplish this is to insert
this program as part of all teacher and counselor education at
the university level. I am working within the educational system
to further this objective.
I also believe
that PNC provides a unique and essential means for improving
the quality of personal and surreal life for all life on our
planet and that all ways of making it available to all ages of
the general public are valuable. I am working in my life to further
Results of other studies and educational programs
Results of education programs based on reconnecting with nature.