How can we inspire a culture of Nature Connection? that was the question posed at a gathering I attended in a swanky gallery in London last week. Not the usual setting for nature connection activities and not the usual people actually. There was a wonderfully diverse array of participants, ranging from bankers and business men to teachers, youth workers, festival organisers and yogis. It’s not uncommon for me to be surrounded by people passionate about nature connection, but they are usually always directly involved in the business in some way. This was different. The organisers at Way of Nature had reached outside the bubble and created some interesting possibilities.
Way of Nature is an exciting organisation that was established around 4 years ago. They have been successfully running a range of retreats and programmes to inspire connection and purpose as a response to the challenges of modern day life. No wonder they have been popular. Working with businesses to inspire transformation and unity, working with groups of men to create evolution of purpose and awareness, family camps, day courses; you name it they have been doing it and now they are hoping to expand the possibilities.
My first encounter with their work came a few months ago when a friend posted a link to an ‘Open evolution; joining in the future of way of nature’. I love big ideas. I also love what I do and I have a deep passion for sharing it and working towards a nature connected future. .Since I started my journey learning about the fields of ecopsychology, traditional cultures and other contemporary approaches, my fears and knowledge about the dire straights of our current industrial growth society have had to give way to my hopes for a life sustaining culture. There is so much potential for change and I truly feel that now is the time. I sense that Way of Nature, inspired and connected individuals that they are, are aware of the huge need for societal change but also have the skills to really think differently about how we reach the masses. It’s ambitious and bold and yet it seems that when a diverse range of people with an equally diverse set of skills come together, some magic can really happen.
I was only part of a portion of what was discussed, I heard talk of lobby groups, corporate interventions, tackling accessibility, education and media presence, the need for grass roots action, working with healthcare systems, it was vast and yet the power of the possible was present in the room. The post evaluation results and responses from the discussions and workshops that took place have not been released yet. The brave format of the open source structure of this call out are risky, the potential for rapid loss of momentum with nobody to call to account and motivate the members. However, if it works, if people rise to the challenge, use their power of personal entrepreneurship, agency, self motivation and collaboration then we are on to a winner. Using the metaphor of mycelium webs – self organising of connections beneath the forest – we are being invited to get connected, build strength in numbers, in knowledge and emerge together to become much greater than the sum of our parts.
If any of this excites you then do make contact. In the spirit of abundance, I am hoping to start a directory of research bodies and organisations that deliver nature connection opportunities and I would love you to make this possible by forwarding contact details, emails, or websites that you are aware of in that fit this category. Way of Nature will also be happy to hear from anyone who feels inspired and available to get involved. Watch this space.
by Leona (Live Wild Outdoor Leader)