Unlocking Personal Wellbeing: The Transformative Power of Land-Based Healing Continue to article
The times long before restrictions of the adult world, responsibilities, and the ever-growing gnaw of NEEDING more. These were times when my main allies were the forest floor, a sky that knew no bounds, a babbling brook, and an ever-vibrant garden. My friends were always growing as I became closer to the lilies of the valley, fluffy clouds that could always put a smile on my face, and chickadees whose cheer infected me even beyond when they were near. Tiny mushrooms would bring such excitement to my face, amidst the soft grass, perched on the sandy soil of what to me was sanctuary.
I thought that I would forever be connected to this unique and magical world, that this is my fortress of solitude, and that here I was superhuman. Society had a different plan, as school became more of a reality, complexities within family and friendships blossomed and expounded, and it became more and more difficult to remain rooted, solid, and grounded. Often there are thoughts, wanderings, and exaltings, usually late at night. How can we become so removed? How can we allow ourselves to become so disconnected from the world that once felt like the real home? The space where it is that we are most free to be ourselves. To exist.
As with all things, sooner or later, we have a shift. The only constant is change. This one arose in the quieter days of living, one that I have since heard echoed through many friends and acquaintances. Slowly beginning to recognize the cycles of life, to begin to see that the plants around me grow, blossom, and ultimately die. To see such a clear illustration of life and death is uniquely tied in with my own decisions or indecisions. It began to water something very deep inside of me.
A part that had long been lying dormant, however, neglected, always willing to continue to grow and slowly come into the light of the day. This brought me to a deep space of awareness toward how disconnected from the natural world, my world, I had become. I began to see the threads of connection within my suffering and this greater disconnect. Ultimately it is only by learning to water these deep spaces of self, that I would learn to be at peace with the world. Only then would I come to see and be a part of the beauty that is existence? I honestly didn’t really know, but I felt that this would be a way forward.
When I first had an experience with psychedelic substances, I became integrally aware of just how beautiful this existence is, that I could get more in touch with it, by allowing myself to feel the truth of life. That much of this truth was hidden ever so slightly, behind a layer of uncertainty, discomfort, and fear, the proverbial suffering and trauma understating my life. All the questions of why me, what did I do wrong or any of the countless other justifying perspectives that one may take toward this experience. Only by coming back to remembering nature, that all of these experiences and unfoldings, just are, in simplicity and purity, did I begin to remember a practice, to sit and feel. Without attachment.
Trust humans to take something many of our indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations have done since time immemorial, and give it the name “land-based healing”, understand it, even explore it, yet we still are only really beginning to remember the truth of this. I say remember because when we give something a name, we oft think that we may be a discover of it, yet this is a concept that is truly as old as the land itself. No one needs to tell the river how to flow, or the mountain how to grow. We are the oddity, we slowly begin to remember what our cells have known all along. To be at peace and a part of this space we inhabit.
Yet it is by far a core integral part of this world and existence. A deep gratitude is felt toward psychedelics as they continue to allow us to remember and wake up to the healing that is always available. So we now once more see a massive resurgence, as both those in, and outside, this realm join their voices. People are taking to nature like never before, this could be linked to having been kept away from nature. Either way, people are going into nature, now with more intention than ever before. Furthermore, we are seeing how this is leading to a massive change in people. As many practices which were ridiculed, are now being embraced. The question now arises, what is the most essential part of this to follow? How do I make sure I am doing this right? Is there a right?
A root, right at the base of this journey of understanding and expression, is one of reciprocity. That what you give is also what you receive. Learning to slowly remember and wake up to this paradigm. Awakening really is the idea here, as so long we have given simply for what we can take, but here there is a more complex experience. It is through the process of being present, with ourselves, as well as life and the land, that we are able to begin to see. To see the connection we are always in.
This speaks to our cells, in a way that we truly are in communication with ourselves. As we begin to work together in this way, we will continue to feel deep harmony with our environment. This is an amazing turning point as we see a massive shift toward land regen, with barriers to entry in helping with these spaces becoming less than ever before. This really goes beyond personal enrichment and begins to allow us to move toward a space of true upliftment, for all.
The truth at this moment, which I believe many of us are facing and echoing, is that how can we truly contribute to this shift. We may be remembering all of this. This is the connection we have with nature. What now? Are we meant to just stop everything we are doing and elope into the mountains? While this sounds incredible, from a purely pragmatic point of view, this also sounds incredibly imbalanced and like it may cause as many problems as it seeks to solve.
So now the conundrum surfaces, how can we be of benefit to ourselves and to those around us? How can we remember the process that we live through? I have found in my own journey that the number one way I can do this is to process. Not to seek to create some elaborate plan, elongated shift, or massive movement. These are all beautiful, and if you get the opportunity, take them by the horns and ride them fully. However, also be grateful for the small ways that are available to you. To the little garden, you can go and sit in.
That little bit of sunlight you can bask in. The little weed growing in the crack of the concrete jungle, and to once more revel. Revel in the way that life finds a way. To once more be in awe of this natural world. To remove the barriers to healing, the idea this needs to be some extravagant retreat where you are shocked back into health. Rather seek to begin a compounding effect of health within yourself. To even remove that attachment we so naturally create toward the outcome and let the practice simply be for yourself.
What I have found is that in allowing myself, to exist, as a step one, to not know all the answers, I have space and openness within myself to turn towards the parts of me, that do know. The parts that have been whispering from the beginning, that things like reconnecting with nature, or embarking on a psychedelic journey, begin to point us toward. Back to the intuitional being, the one that is aware, that is wise, that is whole. To then from this space of surrender begin to allow. To accept. Ultimately to once more trust. So let yourself return to the roots of self, to feel the transformational power of land-based healing, even on the smaller side, and ultimately be blown away.