Catalyzing personal empowerment, societal transformation, and environmental sustainability


"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."
Gregory Bateson

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Nature As Life Coach

Dave Ewoldt, Fall 2004

   Are you concerned about environmental and social justice issues? When you're looking at the state of the world today, or noticing how those who have managed to assume positions of power tend to treat the world and humanity at large... do you experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, or fear? Would you like to turn feelings of anger or rage into a healthier and more effective righteous indignation which can engender positive actions that are lasting? Are you willing to invest time, money, or other forms of energy in a solution, but see few true or long-lasting solutions being offered?

   Would you like to be at ease with yourself, others, and the natural world without resorting to drugs? Would you like to play an active role in helping to create a just, peaceful, and sustainable world?

   Do you realize an affirmative answer to the latter two questions is an innate part of who you are and reflects natural human potential?

   Many of the unhealthy feelings and disorders we suffer from today, from physical disease to emotional dis-ease--which can manifest as ulcers, stress, depression, spiritual angst, feeling lost or like we don't belong--are not the result of a biological disease or of not being able to adapt to social expectations. In fact, just the opposite is true. These unhealthy symptoms and conditions are actually lifestyle disorders that spring from constantly trying to adapt to an unnatural and disconnected system. Many of the personal, social, and environmental ills that face the world today also spring from this same root cause--a continual forced separation from our life giving roots in the natural world.

   A large percentage of the individuals that Western society considers to be normal, well-adjusted citizens are suffering from chronic stress, depression, anxiety, and addictions. These disorders are the result of the demands of our fast paced, non-stop urban lifestyles. This Western-based lifestyle is in direct conflict with our true human biological, psychological and spiritual nature. Just because we have the ability to think differently than the way Nature actually works, doesn't mean we should.

   The rapid increase in the above disorders also partially accounts for the rapid rise of the life-coaching industry. People realize that they aren't sick or mentally ill in the traditional sense, so rather than turning to traditional therapists and mental health practitioners, they turn to lay coaches to help them do a better job of doing even more of what they're doing now that is making them sick. They do this without realizing this is pretty much what traditionally trained therapists also do--make us feel sane about living in an insane world. The title of James Hillman and Michael Ventura's book pretty well sums it up, "We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse."

   Quite often these motivationally inspired coaching 'solutions' only make our problem worse--because the problem isn't that we're not good enough at our hectic and frantically paced lives. The problem is actually our schedule driven, deadline enforced modern lifestyle itself. Our very way of life is making us sick, and the better we get at it, the more at risk we are.

   To heal these chronic conditions, we need to reconnect with our own inner nature and natural senses--the innate non-verbal wisdom that is our true biological heritage. Remembering how to think and act the way nature works--by reconnecting to the natural systems processes of attraction relationships, mutual support and reciprocity--will guide us to more life-supportive decisions and choices. The best way to do this is to reconnect with the natural environment from which we evolved, overcome our separation from nature itself, and re-embrace and heal the very real bonds we are intimately intertwined with and dependent upon for our own health and well-being.

   The ecoeducation and ecotherapy that is at the heart of the field of ecopsychology is one quick and direct way to effect this healing. Also known as organic psychology, methods from this field can provide personal and planetary benefits and return us to a more natural and healthier way of living. We can safely and enjoyably rediscover who we are at heart, and remember how to use our connections to nature to create the healthier and sustainable lifestyles, and the mutually supportive relationships, which, as self-organizing living systems, we all naturally seek.

   Living simply and sustainably is not a matter of focusing on what we have to give up, but rather is a process of focusing on what really matters to us. Our modern lives make us busier and busier and we receive less positive tangible results. All of our frenetic activity gives us even less time to enjoy life and find the natural fulfillments that living simply and in harmony with nature, and with our own and each other's inner nature, provides. The simple life is anything but a drab routine. It gives us both the time and space to pay attention to and enjoy what is most important to us.

   As products of modern society, we all actually could use a life coach. So--go outside. Nature has 14 billion years of experience in creating sustainable systems of mutual support and reciprocity, and one lesson we can all stand to relearn is that we evolved to move along the Earth at walking speed.

   If you would like to schedule an introductory consultation session or arrange a presentation or workshop for your group, please contact or give Dave or Allison, co-founders of Attraction Retreat, a call at (520) 887-2502.


"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."
Alan Watts


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