Deep down, underneath the built up layers of our overly busy lives, we remember our ancient relationship with the vast expanse of stars above and the great winds of change. We ache for the chance to blossom, just as plants struggle to resist gravity’s pull and grow ever sun-wards. We live for the days when we can bear fruit, and finally, to return our seeds to earth’s fertile darkness in support of life’s renewal. Deep down we remember that we are not separate from these rhythms of life, we are part of it all.
The rapid spread of technological advancement is keeping us comfortable, yet almost entirely within walls. We have so much of what we think we need; yet we are wired, overly mental and externally driven. We are anxious to keep up the pace, and depressed when we cannot. When we feel chronically separated from our own bodies and from the natural rhythms of the earth, we can become dissociated, neurotic, scared, and isolated. A sense of meaninglessness can take root. There might even be a disquieting feeling like we don’t really matter.
For many, nature has become a wild and frightening place to be avoided. We have largely forgotten our original nature. Ecotherapy is a practice of healing that aligns our human selves with the natural world. It is a way of returning to our roots, as earth-based cultures have done for thousands of years. The intent of ecotherapy is to restore our human nature towards a more grounded, vital, soulful relationship with ourselves, the earth, and our people. As a staff member of EarthWays, I offer outdoor programs that support people in connecting with their own whole-hearted and awakened wisdom, and to bring the gifts of that wisdom into their lives.
And now, the idea of solitude in wilderness becomes the seminal gift at a time when we are on the verge of letting the noise of our own technologies drown out the sound of life itself.
–Terry Tempest Williams