10 spring Poppies for Approaching Ecotherapy

When invited to teach an upcoming Ecotherapy course, I realized that something beyond more knowledge or even skills, as commonly understood, is required. Something in me balked at overly-academicizing it, and felt that all-too-familiar intellect taking over, alienating my body, heart, and soul. So these are some spring wild poppies and prickly cacti that emerged through the soil:

1)Deepen your own soul and intimacy with wild nature. Carve sacred pauses in order to practice deep listening and cultivate wholeness.

2)Practice presence.

3)Hone your skills of belonging. Finding that belonging is not only a place but a skill honed with a fierce heart. It is as much a ‘How’ as a ‘Where’, steeped in relationality and stalked by the sacred.

4)Shape your sacred why and wild purpose. Your truth is a medicine for a world that needs it. Your gifts are both a belonging and a deep responsibility. Trust. Trust what you hear when you practice 1-3. Let what needs to be visible become visible, what needs to become invisible become invisible. The joyful gravity of you enacting you ripples out infinitely.

5)Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. )Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. “Where your soul’s gift and your positionality (dynamic social location of power + privilege) meet is your ecological niche for a hungry world.” (This beautiful & dangerous framing is from Pinar Sinopoulus-Lloyd (@queerquechua) of @queernature)

Use your privilege towards co-liberation. Become comfortable with uncomfortability. Relinquish power-over. Examine Extractivism in all its forms. Embark on the pilgrimage of Decolonization.

6)Experiment and dance on your growing edge. Shapeshifting is not only allowed, but a basic operating instructions of the cosmos.

7)Live the cycles. Become an apprentice to moon and sun and with river take your counsel. Hitch a ride with a wild wind and honor the seasons, internal and external.

8)Let your animal body be pulled by the scents, shapes, and tastes of the world. Resurrect pleasure, flow grief, surrender to awe. Embody your values. Align thought-feel-flow-movement. Calibrate your body to your heart.

9)Become defeated by the other-than-human.

10)Let all the lies die.

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