Image by Jason Sung
TO THE FOREST I GO,
TO LOSE MY MIND AND FIND MY SOUL.
ECOTHERAPY IS A WELLNESS MODALITY BASED ON THE HUMAN NATURE CONNECTION.
TAHA TINANA, TAHA HINENGARO, TAHA WHANAU, TAHA WAIRUA

 
"it's so much more than just a walk in the bush."

Through ecotherapy, we find safety to open, connect and discover ourselves, as well as deepen the connection to nature - that is alive and all around us. We notice the beauty in the outside world, and this helps us to notice the beauty inside us too.

These ecotherapy immersions are an opportunity to have a deeply healing, transformational and 'wellness focused' experience, one on one, or with a group, with Wellness Coach and Nature Guide, Steph MacDonald. Steph is a wellness expert when it comes to emotions, deepening into who we truly are and listening to our hearts.

Steph is a qualified Life Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Nature Wellness Guide, Reiki Healer, Artist and Author of three books. Steph works in the realm of reconnection, rediscovery, emotions, heart, body and mind. Her approach considers Hauora, Spirituality, Alchemy, and deeply and profoundly respects Mother Earth and the natural world.

See an epic spot of New Zealand, listen to birds, notice the things you would ordinarily miss, see the signs - and have space held for what's coming up in your life, work through and process and integrate the teachings, and come out lighter, and feeling more 'whole' with life.

2022/23 DATES AND LOCATIONS

SPRING

  • 10 September 2022: Group Session (Max 5 people) Mores Reserve, Riverton/Aparima

  • 15 October 2022: Individual Session, The Catlins - BOOKED

  • 12 November 2022: Individual Session, Omaui, Southland

SUMMER

  • 10 December 2022: Individual Session, Totara Forest, Rowallan

  • 21 January 2023: Individual Session, The Catlins

  • 11 February 2023: Individual Session, Forest Hill, Makarewa

AUTUMN

  • 11 March 2023: Individual Session, Mores Reserve, Riverton/Aparima

  • 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 April 2023: Individual and Group overnight experiences. Contact me for more information.

  • 20 May 2023: Individual Session, Waituna, Awarua

WINTER

  • 17 June 2023: Individual Session, Tihaka, Riverton/Aparima

  • 23 July 2023: Individual Session, Mores Reserve, Riverton/Aparima

OPEN, CONNECT AND DISCOVER
TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE AND TO UNDERSTAND WHY YOU FEEL THE WAY YOU DO
When we become aware of ourselves, we can cultivate more self-love and self-respect for our unique life experiences, what they have taught us, and where they have led us.

INCLUDED IN THESE IMMERSIONS: 

  • Your immersion begins with a pre-ecotherapy questionnaire.

  • You'll then have a 30 minute coaching call to discuss what's coming up and what you need most. We will come up with a guideline for our session.

  • We'll spend 2-3 hours at your chosen location.

  • I'll have tea/coffee, snacks, chocolate, cards, hand warmers. Youll hold a piece of pounamu for protection.

  • You'll then receive a coaching workbook to journal your experience, learn processes for dealing with triggers/fears/difficult emotions, and to use as a tool in everyday life.

  • We then have a check in 1-2 weeks later.

Sea air is charged with negative ions which stimulate the 'reticuloendothelial system' - a group of defense cells in our bodies marshalling our resistance to disease.

 

These negative ions promote alpha brain waves (8 - 12 hertz) and increase brain wave amplitude, resulting in a higher awareness level.

 

An increase in alpha brain waves through electrical stimulation or meditation has the ability to reduce depressive symptoms and increase creativity. Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical and architectural environment of the brain. Increasing alpha brain waves has the capacity to alter the brain structure, connectivity and neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of the mind. 

 

Thanks to the negative ions, the body is also more able to absorb oxygen into the blood cells, oxidising serotonin and filtering airborne contaminants. 

 

A French doctor discovered that saltwater and blood plasma are 98% identical (humans have an extra molecule of iron and saltwater has an extra molecule of magnesium) and walking barefoot on the sand neutralises free radicals, due to the mineral content in sand itself. 

 

The ocean typically has 2000 negative ions and 1000 positive. The force or energy of the falling or splashing water causes splitting of neutral particles of the air, freeing electrons which attach to other air molecules, causing a negative charge.

 

Therefore, the beach has the ability to heal emotional and physical ailments; by boosting our immune system, enhancing circulation, improving elasticity of the skin, promoting cognitive development and relaxing our minds. 

'Earthing' or 'Grounding' is extraordinarily powerful.
 “A natural and gentle electric energy field circulates throughout the crust of the Earth. It’s part of the ground and feeds both the living plants and animals that have their roots and feet in contact with the Earth”  
It balances humans with the field of earth, giving a true point of connection - considering our shoes are made of rubbers and plastics and our feet don't usually touch the actual ground most of the time these days.
Grounding gives:
  • A sense of physical and emotional balance and stability

  • A more profound sense of connection to your immediate and extended environments

  • The ability to focus on problems to solve them and not to worry about them

Different areas have different energy and offer unique perspectives.

MOUNTAINS
A feeling of stillness, gives a large perspective, a sense of permanency.


LAKES
A sense of 'edges', containment and being 'surrounded'. A feeling of calmness. An emotional perspective.


RIVERS
A sense of 'flow', of letting go, of surrender. A more focused perspective.


OCEAN
A sense of broad openness, of expansiveness, of being able to breathe freely and see as far as the eye can see. A broadened perspective.


BUSH AND FOREST
A sense of being cradled, nourished and nurtured. Being able to sit in your own space and thoughts. A narrowed, internal perspective. High trees give more horizon, lower trees give more containment.


WATERFALLS
A sense of recharging, of letting go of what isn't important, of washing away emotions and thoughts. Coming home to ourselves. A cleansed perspective.
Nature is a template for life.


Deciduous trees lose their leaves during the time of less daylight, not necessarily from a temperature drop. They drop their leaves in order to conserve themselves to make it through the darkness. Deciduous trees are more likely to flower and blossom. They have weaker cell structures within the leaves, if to freeze they would explode. The leaves fall to the ground, in a way of keeping the roots of the tree warm.
 
We then have the Evergreen tree that is steady, centered, grounded and balanced all year round. They are generally slower growing, but steadier, staying green all year round. Their leaves are usually shiner and glossier than deciduous trees. 

It teaches us that nature is a system that mirrors what is within us. Just like a tree loses its leaves, so do we, as humans, shed the old layers and walk into wintery coldness, to remove what no longer serves us. Just as everything has a cycle, the tree then blossoms, and 'grows' just as we do, as it enters back into the 'light'. 

 

"Grow through what you go through." 

 

– Tyrese Gibson

 

We can think of deciduous and evergreen trees as a template and incorporate both of these into our own lives.  We can be stable and enduring, and let go when we need to let go. We can absorb goodness and still stand strong during the rain. We can grow, and learn, and let ourselves be nourished, and we can stand beside others and accept those that may ‘seem’ different to us. 

 

All of life is cyclical. The seasons have a lot to teach us.


SUMMER: Reaping what we have sown, the fruit appears and the harvest ripens

AUTUMN: Letting go

WINTER: Going within

SPRING: Renewal and rejuvenation
Nature connects us to our menstrual cycle.

When a woman in connected to nature, her menstrual cycle synchronizes with the moon.

There is a goddess bleed: White moon cycle. Bleeding during new moon, fertile during full moon.

Or medicine woman bleed: Red moon cycle.  Bleeding during full moon, fertile during new moon.
Nature just is.


Being connected to the earth feels like nothing, because it is so natural.

It is not a magic feeling that overwhelms us. It is a deep acceptance of how nature is, naturally. I look across the landscape, beyond the houses and connect with the mountains the sea, and I perceive the environment just as it is; without the layer of society that we are all part of.

Nature is everywhere. When we look at nature, we can see patterns and the truth that plants and animals do not try to change themselves – yes, they evolve over time to survive, but flowers do not try and make their flowers brighter to please the other flowers standing beside them. The sun just shines. Nature is powerful, and grounds us, and lets our small worldly problems float away because they no longer exist in a place of pureness. There is no judgment within it. It isn’t somewhere we go to, or a destination, or a place - it's a part of us.
Honoring our ancestors

"People, plants and animals are all descendants of Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and their children, which means humans are therefore, intrinsically linked with biodiversity."

Maori believe they are one with the natural world. The people, the land, the sea, the forest, and all living creatures are members of the same family.

For Native peoples the earth was special, the dwelling place of manitous and spirits and the repository of the bones of generations of ancestors.
Honoring our earth mother

"Gaia was the Greek goddess of Earth, mother of all life, similar to the Roman Terra Mater (mother Earth) reclining with a cornucopia, or the Andean Pachamama, the Hindu, Prithvi, “the Vast One,” or the Hopi Kokyangwuti, Spider Grandmother, who with Sun god Tawa created Earth and its creatures."
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