Participants from the Diploma of Ecotherapy residential, May 2019 taste honeydew from the beech trees on the shores of Lake Roititi, Nelson Lakes Aotearoa NZ
I had accompanied my husband to a local beach.. There was a mountain of seaweed that had been washed up, and I just set about making a ‘piece’ of beach art. As I was doing this,a group of three people walked past and one of the women stopped and chatted with me about what I was doing, and she said, “You’ve inspired me to do one” .. She beckoned me over later to come and have a look at what she had done,and when I went to have a look at it, she said it was a heart and inside it were 50 pieces of bunched up seaweed to represent each of the 50 people who lost their lives in the Christchurch Mosque shooting last week.
I felt hugely touched that my humble picture inspired someone to do a memorial like that. I was amazed at how this all came about. We talked about how her ‘piece’ was a way of processing and expressing something that has shaken our nation to the core. It somehow felt healing for us both.
Jennie Gill, Counselor and Diploma of Ecotherapy Student, Aotearoa NZ
DIPLOMA OF ECOTHERAPY RESIDENTIAL MAY 2019 LAKE ROTOITI, Aotearoa/NZ
Wayapa @ Yerrabingin
Clarence Slockee of ABC's Gardening Australia, and co-founder of Yerrabingin, sang and danced the book "Nature Heals" into the world, in a most unique and profound launching on April 12.2019. He is also the co-founder of Yerrabingin; the first Indigenous permaculture rooftop garden, "interweaving Indigenous tacit knowledge and collaborative design thinking."
Clarence facilitating a smoking ceremony for the launch of Nature Heals.
I visited Yerrabingin at the beginning of NAIDOC Week in Australia, and enjoyed its curving design overlooking, but apart from, a roaring inner-city of Sydney. I tasted some refreshing river mint, and joined a Wayapa workshop. Wayapa is a form of meditation using traditional Aboriginal movement and wisdom, that focuses on taking care of the earth as a starting point for healing ourselves. Wayapa is "a narrative mediation to slow us right down to the stillness of nature."
Ecotherapy Great Reads
Ecopsychology Teacher and Coach David Key's blog "How to be an Ecotherapist" in 4 parts, is some of the most engaged, considered, current and clear/insightful thinking I have read on the practice of Ecotherapy. From Part 2
"Your work as an ecotherapist must be based on your own experience of yourself as an ecological being - your own self as part of the rest of nature. For me, a lifetime of professional practice is only possible with one of personal practice. The work is fundamentally embodied and to practice it, the facilitator or therapist must embody it too."
“..how we squander our hours of pain. how we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration
to see if they have an end. Though they are really
our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
our season in our inner year- not only a season
in time- but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus
E C O T H E R A P Y WINTER 2019
Ecopoesis Zine - call for submissions
eco/oikos Greek: home or dwelling
poiesis - Greek; to create/bring forth
in searching for my own definition of ecopoesis... (an unfurling word,) "into unity /singularity of life/love on this planet — a recognition of and a dwelling place for the role of poets , lovers, therapists, healers, catalysts, change-makers in the collective evolutionary ecopoesis"
Call for submissions of ecopoetry, photo-poetry, earthart, photo stories of jubilation, lament and unfurling.
Email email@example.com for more info.
Zine published online December 2019
Print option with recycled/handmade paper cover - a meaningful and unique gift
1/2 PRICE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP
The first round of the Diploma of Ecotherapy scholarship has been awarded to Oliva Roseberry. Olivia carries earth in her voice and sound healing workshops. Listen to the beautiful earthy resonance of depths and whales ( now fully/urgently in their migration for warmer waters) in "Spirit is Calling" at https://www.oliviarosebery.com/
Hard to return to clock time
"a lifechanging retreat " Rachel, Blenheim NZ
Ecotherapy @ Adventure Therapy Aotearoa's 2019 Conference, Waitakere, Auckland
Working with Nature as co-therapist, means working with the nervous/endocrine systems of each of our participants. “One is very chemical, really” said Irish philosopher Iris Murdoch.
A fun and accessible way of facilitating this embodied self knowledge in quick facts I present to an Ecotherapy group just before going into nature. Doing this at the beginning of a walk, engages their awareness more intentionally, inviting more presence when in Nature. They can be divided into some fun facts: what goes up and what goes down, when in nature.
5 things that go down:
1. Stress response levels of cortisol, adrenaline and noraephadrine
(These produced from our sympathetic nervous system, or “fight/flight/freeze response.) Heart rate
Inflammation ( especially walking barefoot on the earth – called “earthing” ) Obsessive thoughts
5 things that go up:
2. Serotonin Levels ( the happy hormone) Para-sympathetic nervous system response (calming hormones like oxytocin/dopamine)
3. Cognitive Function/Creativity
4. Vitality (feeling of aliveness)
5. f the state of AWE is reached by any of the participants, even for brief periods, then current research suggests a pathway between boosting the immune system and increased levels of empathy.
Excerpt from workshop facilitated by Kellly Jarvis and Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis May 3-5 2019
· https://www.bpowl.com/nature_lower_bloo d_pressure/
Newsletter produced seasonally by Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis founder/facilitator Diploma of Ecotherapy