Ecotherapy means 'healing in nature.' Since choosing this path, I have interwoven what I know to create my own specialised type of ecotherapy.
A 'wound' is a sore, sensitive soft spot internally that remains from experiences that were painful for us.
'Emotional and psychological traumas are the result of extremely stressful events that leave us feeling unsafe and disconnected from everyone around us. They leave us feeling helpless, powerless, and overwhelmed. Many people also experience painful feelings and memories as well as anxiety that won't go away.
What is emotional trauma?
It can come as a result from losing a job, losing a loved one, being neglected or experiencing abandonment, financial difficulty, a breakup, public humiliation - and the list goes on.
"So often we walk around carrying pains we don’t even remember picking up. We carry them with us through life. Sometimes, this pain begins in early childhood and stays with us as we navigate adulthood. Other times, sudden shifts or unexpected life changes throw us into a crisis of identity that leaves us feeling lost." - Dr Logan Jones
"Mother Wounding" are core wounds we inherited from our mothers: the feminine line.
Because our mothers or stepmothers are most likely the first template of a 'woman' we experience in our lifetime, we learn about love, nourishment, safety and femininity through her.
Although our relationship with our mothers may have seemed nice and lovely on the outside - there may be undercurrents of shame, grief, loss of self, people pleasing, a loss of boundaries, being a 'nice girl', blame, comparison, and the list goes on.
The core aspect of the mother wound is worthiness/unworthiness.
"If you suffer from the Mother Wound you will experience the following problems:
(For females) constantly comparing yourself with, and competing against, other females
Sabotaging yourself when you experience happiness or success
Possessing weak boundaries and an inability to say “no”
Self-blaming and low self-esteem that manifests itself as the core belief: “There is something wrong with me”
Co-dependency in relationships
Minimizing yourself to be likable and accepted
The inability to speak up authentically and express your emotions fully
Sacrificing your dreams and desires for other people unnecessarily
Waiting for your mother’s permission on an unconscious level to truly live life
Mother Wounds are developed at a young age and are bound by the belief that “I was responsible for my mother’s pain,” and “I can make my mother happy if I’m a good girl/boy.” - Lonerwolf
When we look at the history of earth, we see that men have been in powerful roles for quite some time. There is nothing wrong with this whatsoever, but it has not been safe for women to step up and share their voice, and be seen, and heard - safely.
"Some scholars point to about six thousand years ago (4000 BCE), when the concept of fatherhood took root, as the beginning of the spread of patriarchy."
"There is a school of thought that believes human society was originally matriarchal. From around 1.5 million years ago, women were revered as priestesses and honoured for their ability to bear children."
I love and value men and masculinity and I personally believe that we must erect the healthy masculine within ourselves first and foremost, to be able to access and flow in our feminine radiance. This means creating internal safety and exalting qualities such as protection and provision.
But - women are equally as important.
Each gender brings unique qualities to the trine of creation, and creation would not happen without the egg and sperm. They are equal, in their own beautiful ways.
The reparenting process happens when we change the internal voice of the inner mother and inner father. This means shifting from a voice of internal criticism, to a voice of our own - our true authentic voice. Whose voice is really inside you?
Epigenetics is the study of inherited genetics from our parents - to our ancestors.
If our ancestors experienced war, difficulty, hardship, famine, witch hunts, rape, and more - then it's likely that our biological DNA carries the remnants of these events.
For instance, if 200 years ago your ancestors experienced drought and no food - then it could be related to a need to hoard items and have lots of food in the cupboards and eat when you're not hungry - because you're unconsciously holding onto the fear and beliefs that were passed down your family line.
Here we also start to understand that all things are multi-layered and existing on the macro and the micro. The tree of life is physically represented in the amniotic sac that carries a child. When we delve into Universal Fractal Coherence (Research Adam Apollo), we see that there is connectedness in all things that exist: from our very cells - to the largest planets and beyond - not only that, but there is a Fibonacci spiral occurring throughout all of life.
The Fibonacci spiral, consisting of the golden ratio - is found in all of nature. It is a naturally occurring pattern.
"In the natural world, we find spirals in the DNA double helix, sunflowers, the path of draining water, weather patterns (including hurricanes), vine tendrils, phyllotaxis (the arrangement of leaves on a plant stem), galaxies, the horns of various animals, mollusc shells, the nautilus shell, snail shells, whirlpools, and more."
So, nature is pretty magic then huh?
We now know that everything is connected, that mother wounding pertains to our worthiness and accommodating ourselves for other people. We know that things are passed epigenetically that we can't control and weren't even aware of. We know that we carry wounding which is mostly from childhood (which stops us from shining and being our true selves) - and we've dabbled a tiny bit into the patriarchy.
NOW THE FUN PART.
So, ecotherapy. (WELL, the ecotherapy modality that I have created and work with.)
We see that Mother Earth is the highest physical template of the mother.
She is, on the large scale, the feminine aspect.
Reflecting and relating to our own inner mother.
Through the process of reparenting ourselves, we can heal our mother wounds through nature-connection - because, the earth and the natural world is a 'macro' physical template for femininity / and, an energetic template.
Am I making sense? :)
So, we can re-wire our early painful experiences from our actual mother, to the voice of the inner mother, which is, the original 'mother.'
Healing ourselves with nature to heal the core mother wounds, by creating and harnessing a positive relationship with mother earth: through creating safety, and becoming a place of nurturing and nourishment for ourselves.
Through ecotherapy, we find safety to open, connect and discover ourselves, as well as deepen our 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 - the true authentic beauty.
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. Being in nature helps us to regulate our nervous system, helping us to feel calm and relaxed - making it safer for us to visit the places and parts of us that perhaps may have been too difficult to look at before. These negative ions promote alpha brain waves (8 - 12 hertz) and increase brain wave amplitude, resulting in a higher awareness level. This means we can look more bravely at ourselves, with more honesty - and make profound shifts. 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.
Creativity and creative expression; dancing in the abstract and unseen waters of our psyche - is deeply linked to our femininity. Thanks to these negative ions, the body is also more able to absorb oxygen into the blood cells, oxidising serotonin and filtering airborne contaminants. As we learned earlier, there are several coherences across nature. A French doctor also 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 and natural spaces have the ability to heal emotional and physical ailments; by boosting our immune system, enhancing circulation, improving elasticity of the skin, promoting cognitive development, relaxing our minds, making it safe for us to see ourselves, find our true inner voice - and feel nurtured and nourished in a place that feels safe. '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 us with the earth's field and it gives a true point of connection. Grounding gives:
A sense of physical and emotional balance and stability (balanced masculine and feminine principles)
A more profound sense of connection to your immediate and extended environments (internal and external connection)
The ability to focus on problems to solve them and not to worry about them (regulation of emotions) Different areas of nature have different energies and offer unique perspectives: MOUNTAINS A feeling of stillness, gives a large perspective, a sense of permanency. Makes things seem 'small'. Makes the problem 'do-able' and 'solve-able'. LAKES A sense of 'edges', a feeling of 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. More prominent sounds of flow and 'trickles'. 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. Feeling as though the earth can hold all of us and our 'large emotional' outbursts / the feminine chaos. 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. Bird song and sounds of trees in the wind - gives a sense of 'temporary/this too shall pass.' 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. Energising, balancing of chi/life force energy. Purification of the mind. A sense of being able to enter the heart.
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'. 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. When we reach this point, we are seeing the reflection of our own 'natural' goodness. It is not a magic feeling that overwhelms us. It is a deep acceptance of how nature is, naturally. This allows us to clear through mother wounding, by finding deep 'acceptance' for what was, and for what is. 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. Flowers don't compare themselves to other flowers - they just bloom, regardless. This helps us to see passed the comparison trap.
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 the 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."
So we know that our earth is an important place and within it, and inside us, we have everything we need to heal, transform, and grow.