Connect with Nature on Earth Day: Return Home to Your Senses
Apr 01, 2012 01:08PM
● By Yvette Lyn
In this month’s Fit Body, forest bathing—experiencing the revitalizing benefits of fresh air and exercise in a quiet setting—is highly recommended for good health. Southwest Floridians that want to learn more about the healing power of nature will be delighted to participate in Project NatureConnect (PNC) activities, which are a special part of the Earth Day events at Koreshan State Historic Site on April 22.
In preparation for Earth Day activities, Kevin Piotrowicz, Ivette Gomez and 10 other participants eagerly enrolled in PNC training at the Happehatchee Center, in Estero. Upon completion, each noted a palpable, heartfelt sense of oneness with nature and everyone in the group.
“Project NatureConnect opened a place in my mind that has always been there,” advises Piotrowicz, a PNC guide. “The experiences I participated in renewed the ever-present connection that I have with nature and others. I want to share what I’ve learned with others so that they can share in the peace and joy that is present all around us.”
Gomez, a licensed mental health counselor and fellow PNC guide, agrees: “My connection to nature is the first step to an intersubjective and interpersonal biology of love, peace and cooperation with all that is. As human beings, we are wired to be in relationships. The ‘separation syndrome’ has rendered us disconnected, unbalanced, fearful and ‘home’-sick.”
“Experiential PNC exercises, such as New Brain Connecting, Natural Consensus, and Natural Systems Thinking, as well as others, gently assist our reconnection to our sensory knowing called self-evidence,” says PNC Facilitator and Educator Janet Weisberg, who is also a certified traumatologist. “It has been my experience that people are starved for this sense of oneness with others and everything around them, because their lives are so fragmented and compartmentalized,” she advises.
Through her own PNC practices, Weisberg has learned that being removed from direct experiences with nature, as well as mostly intellectualizing life and living in either the past or the future, separates humans from nature. Yet, nature is essential to our being and can restore self-evidence-sensing powers. “When people have PNC experiences, they stop living their life in their head and learn to appreciate nonverbal understanding. They move into experiencing life through their bodily senses, many of which they notice for the first time through experiential, nonverbal exercises,” she explains. “The language center in our brain interferes with our ability to feel our experiences instead of interpreting them. We don’t need words to listen to and connect with nature.”
Project NatureConnect activities are by pre-registration only, which begins on March 26 at Food and Thought, For Goodness Sake, Happehatchee Center, House of Gaia and Unity of Naples. For more information, call Janet Weisberg at 239-280-8229 or email [email protected].