‘Imagine what the first music of the wind was like when the earth was born out of nothing. Imagine the wind being released for the first time and finding itself running into silver mountains, dark mountains, skimming over boiling seas… Are you walking into a living universe? If you believe so, your walk becomes a different thing.’
As an Ecotherapist my orientation to life and work as a Mindfulness-based Psychotherapist, Craniosacral Therapist, and Mentor is a Wholearth Approach. A Wholearth Approach recognises that we are nature, we humans are of the same Body as the wider than human world, of plants, water, animals, trees, insects, sky, rock. We are of the same Body, and in all cycles in which Earth moves, so does our human-earth body. The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or ‘essential qualities’ and in ancient times, literally meant "birth". To take birth, a creature, human or otherwise comes into form, a body. We were conceived into our mother’s watery womb, then birthed into a particular place, with particular trees, weather patterns, sounds, geology, plants, animals, all of which started to shape us, condition us from the time of our conception, through our birth process, then early years and beyond. Usually when we reflect on or inquire into our conditioning, and the significant relationships in our lives, or our client’s life, we explore the human relationships that shaped us. We often leave out our significant relationships with place, the landscapes we were born into. The way the geology and weather of place physically shapes our bones and posture as we learn to crawl, walk, and run. We may overlook the foods we ate and the soil they were grown in, significant animals in our life and the air we breathed, the oxygen infused by the particular trees, plants, herbs, and pollution of that place and those landscapes.
Having developed from the ‘seed’ implanted into the dark fleshy garden of our mother’s womb, we, like all our kinfolk of plants, animals, insects, and trees, move through a cycle of growth, maturing, aging, death, and rebirth. Our seeds finding fertile soil in our children, in the memories people have of us, in the imprint we make on the places we have loved and lived in. We move through a variation of this cycle each day as we wake (growth) then fall into sleep (a little death) and awaken the following day (rebirth). Our astonishing, elemental human body, birthed into and from the web of life, as the mystery that we are, moves through all cycles which our vaster body – Earth moves.
So take a moment just now whilst reading this piece and place the soles of your feet in contact with the ground beneath you. Place a hand lightly over your moving, breathing belly and place your other hand over your beating heart. Perhaps you notice the texture of your clothing… the warmth or coolness of your body… and perhaps beneath your upper hand you can feel the gentle rhythm of your beating heart. With loving attention notice how it is for you to feel the intimacy of your living, breathing body. And as you touch the intimacy of life through your breathing body, (if it feels possible for you) open to the lives of other humans near and far as they breathe…then include other animals as they breathe…the insects…the birds… those living in water… and the living water itself.
This Wholearth Approach is a way of being and perceiving - a deep listening, not a technique to be applied. It is present when I sit in the same room with a client, when working via Zoom or by phone and when working outside in our broader nature. Since the start of the year, more of my clients are exploring what matters to them outside in our broader nature. As they do so there is often a realisation that their animal body, personal history, pain, suffering, joy, and perplexities are all part of a continuum of movement of earth – sky – trees – sun – moon – weather - people. This often stirs a sense of ‘coming home’, feelings of isolation or separation can soften or melt away, and a new (or remembered) sense of wellbeing and belonging is known.
Article link – A Wholearth Approach
Ally Stott - www.allystott.co.uk