Catalyzing personal empowerment, societal transformation, and environmental sustainability
"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth."
Mission & Vision
Experience Your Organic Self
Experience is the best teacher, because an experience consists of many different ways of knowing. On your next visit to a natural area, a park, your backyard, or even with your favorite potted plant, take a notepad with you. Walk quietly in this area, or be with this aspect of nature that is outside of yourself, and try to keep your rational, thinking, languaged mind quiet for a moment. Notice what you're attracted to in the moment, or what seems to call to you, and note the multitude of feelings, sensations, or emotions you experience.
Write down the variety of diverse signals, senses, and sensations you experience while in the moment with a part of nature: colors, sounds, motions, desires, forms, breathing, joy, images, temperature, appreciation, thirst, wind, exertion, etc. Then examine your list and note that our human ability to experience the world through so many senses is part of our biological inheritance that we too often take for granted. Also take note of the fact that all of the feelings and senses you experienced are just as real as your sense of sight or pain.
Over the aeons the human mind and body have developed and evolved as part of Nature's self-organizing, self-replicating regeneration system. Each natural sense is one way Nature has of speaking to us through an attraction relationship. Each sense evolved in us to keep us connected with our rejuvenating origins in Nature--they are Nature connecting with itself because we are part of Nature.
For instance, the water in our body is part of the replenishing waters of the planet; we sense our relationship to the water cycle as thirst, satiation, and excretion. The oxygen in our body is part of the replenishing air of the atmosphere; we sense this relationship through inhalation (which provides the oxygen we need) and exhalation (which provides the carbon dioxide needed by vegetation). Disconnection is sensed as suffocation.
Natural sensations are communicating attraction relationships that exist throughout our body and remain alive for our entire lives if constantly used. All of these senses are other ways of knowing that connect us to Nature. However, just like muscles, our various senses will atrophy if they are not exercised.
In the Euro-American educational system in which many of us were schooled, we were told not to trust our senses. They'll lead us astray or make us appear foolish--the senses are deceptive. The senses are even said by some to be illusory. But by ignoring the senses we are ignoring a major portion of who we truly are--the part that keeps us healthy without pharmaceuticals; naturally fulfilled without excess consumption; and integrated with the web of life instead of becoming reliant on addictive substitutes.
To overcome our separation from Nature we must also return to a sensory way of knowing that integrates with our rational and language senses. Our bodily senses bring us into contact with the breathing Earth around us in every moment. If we don't understand our interdependence and relationship to Nature, it is because we have disconnected our senses from their source. We dismiss our senses as irrelevant because we have forgotten their significance.
The senses, such as respiration and hunger, are our most intimate connection to our source of life. If we ignore our senses we imperil our own lives and the health of the Earth that supports our lives.
You can learn to trust your feelings, emotions, intuitions--the entire spectrum of your multiplicity of natural senses. You can validate that your senses work by validating that you can hunger, taste, thirst, touch, smell, hear, and see as well as feel suffocation, pain, temperature, pleasure, gravity, distress, community, and perhaps most importantly, love. Even those senses that we would label "negative" are natural attractions telling us that we don't have Nature's support in this moment and we should be seeking more positive attractions elsewhere.
Softly stroke your cheek and say, "Feeling is being."
When you laugh say, "This feeling is real."
Pinch yourself and say, "I feel, therefore I am."
Continue with these reality checks until you can honestly say, "Feelings are experiences; sensations and feelings are facts; sensation makes life worthwhile."
Write down what you think your life experience would be like if you didn't have feelings and sensations. Would you be a machine? A container of soul-less words? A mathematical equation?
You are a sentient being. All sentient beings deserve to have good feelings, for in Nature good feelings indicate ongoing survival. To gain these good feelings, sentient beings trust how they feel and they act to sustain those feelings that are most comfortable.
Your natural sensations and feelings are important to your survival because they call your attention to the entities or situations that aroused them. Learn to trust and understand your senses and feelings-- your natural attractions--in order to gain their guidance. They are Nature, too.
Neither scientists, politicians, religious leaders, nor educators invented sensations. Nature did. When you experience sensations and attractions you experience Nature in action. You also have the innate ability to enjoyably sense all of these attraction relationships, you didn't have to learn about this ability from a book, teacher, parent, or authority figure. All of your senses are an intimate part of the authentic you.
A vital way to more fully know any sense or feeling is to put it into words. When you discover a natural feeling or sensation, write it down and discuss it with someone else. This is a very important step. It connects your educated rationality and language senses with your other natural senses. In time, this enables Nature to speak through your heart, thoughts, and voice. It will heal the separation between your body, mind, and spirit as well as their connections to Nature. It will bring you back into the wholesome, healthy integration that Nature has meant for you to be in.
If you would like to schedule an introductory consultation session or arrange a presentation or workshop for your group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or give Dave or Allison, co-founders of Attraction Retreat, a call at (360) 756-7998.
"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to
its old dimensions."