Nature Coaching/Wilderness Quests
Welcome! I am so glad you are visiting this website. Being active in and learning from our natural world are my passions: nature feeds my soul. I hope that you, too, may find such experiences deeply meaningful. If you are curious, feel called to know more, or are ready to jump right into these offerings, please email me. We can set up a call or Skype to explore the possibilities and answer questions.
- Nature coaching
- Rites of Passage/ Vision fasts
Nature coaching utilizes a natural or wilderness setting to provide a space for reflection and introspection. By removing yourself from our hectic, everyday world and connecting with nature, you will be able to slow down and encourage a more meditative energy. Entering this space can lead to deep insights, an understanding of your state of being (emotional, physical, logistical), and can help you determine what actions you are able to take given your current situation.
Being in nature allows us to deeply experience and know our mental and emotional states. Nature acts as a mirror for our inner feelings, moods and questions.
Can you imagine:
- Feeling lost and wanting to find your path again?
- Standing at a crossroads and needing to make a decision of where to go and how to get there?
- Finding yourself in a dark or dry place in your life and seeking light and energy?
- A desire to scale new heights and rediscover awe in your life.
Nature provides these very experiences, allowing you to internalize them and discover new ways of responding to life.
As your coach and guide, I support you in clarifying your questions and intentions as you walk, sit, swim, perhaps even sing and dance in nature. I help you understand what space you need to explore in the outer and your inner world you, and I offer ways to do it.
Different places will evoke specific feelings. I provide a developmental framework to guide your inner work. I support you to create personal rituals (symbolic acts) that signal your intentions. Nature coaching includes solo time with nature, time with me, and time in community.
People come for many reasons such as:
- To celebrate,
- To search for meaning,
- To grieve
- To let go,
- To embrace,
- To decide what to begin.
I am your safety net as you spend some time alone, available to provide assistance if need be. I welcome you back and we jointly process your experience through reflective story telling and other integrative exercises. Together we identify new intentions, practices, and actions that have emerged, and determine how to incorporate them into your future life.
Rituals will form the backbone of making your new intentions a reality as they provide regular, disciplined, meaningful reminders, thus creating new habits and mental pathways.
Nature coaching takes place in blocks or in a series of hours or days.
Rites of Passage/Vision Fasts
Rites of Passage and Vision Fasts take place in nature. They are intentional processes that usually span 10-14 days; they can also be customized for shorter durations. They include preparation time, a 3-4 day solo experience in nature, and time to process what has taken place during the solo experience.
Many cultures used to have practices in which the community would accompany the individual moving through those passages. Elders would be present to share their wisdom and guide those who embarked on the vision fast. Important milestones in people’s life paths would be marked with ceremonies, some of which still exist today such as marriage, confirmation, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, communion, funerals, retirements, etc. However, many have lost their power or disappeared altogether. Where can young adolescents safely learn how to take risks, push their own boundaries, learn about what it means to be an adult, find their gifts to contribute to the community, learn to be with their emotions, and be witnessed in their transition? Where can adults learn to become elders and witness themselves and the next generation? Where can we go to embrace childhood wounds or find ourselves when we need to reconnect with our creativity and the core of whom we are? Where do we allow ourselves to be witnessed; where can we be witnesses?
The components of a rite of passage or vision fast are:
- A community to support each other throughout the process
- Guides who mentor and facilitate throughout the process of discovery
- A wilderness setting
- Listening to and telling stories, mirroring and coaching
- Council meetings where the community sits in a circle and shares the space while attempting to set aside blame or judgment to process experiences and sharpen both intentions and questions.
- Witnessing each other: embracing both our gifts and wounds
- A framework to understand our human development process
A group of people will travel to a wilderness spot, set up their sleeping bag and tarp there and jointly prepare their intentions for their solo time. Solo time is spent by sitting, walking, journaling, singing, dancing, in self-created ceremonies, including fasting, and without any other connections to the outside world. Vision fasters will leave cameras, electronic devices, books, etc. at base camp. Fasting or abstaining from inputs and attachments is a way to reduce the “noise” that we are usually subjected to. It allows the persons on their solo to dive deeply into their emotions, body, mind and spirit and reconnect with their inner longings, self, and gifts. Vision fasts usually take place in more remote locations that are less disturbed by human impact.
Many times during our lives, we go through major transitions: moving from adolescence to adulthood, getting married, divorced, losing loved ones, starting a business, changing careers, becoming parents, moving to elder-hood, coming to forks in our lives. During those times we need ways to make meaning and gather new resolve and commitment, understand the forces holding us back and those moving us forward. Transitions can be both scary and deeply creative times in life. They cause us to reexamine our life stories. They may force us to let go of what we held as true and stable; they open new opportunities and paths. Having support can enable us to: be curious, face old fears which are often rooted in old childhood wounds, rediscover our gifts, move to action, and understand the questions still before us. Vision fasts help us to realize what to let go of, what to embrace, and how to deal with the not-knowing and uncertainty that transition entails.
While participants will be encouraged and supported to embrace the full process, no one is forced to do anything beyond capacity. The process is adapted to each particular person and moment.
Couples or families might also consider this process.
A whole team (leaders, operational teams, managers, etc.) can use nature coaching to:
- Enhance their well-being,
- Deepen joint reflection and learning
- Build trust to implement future actions.
- Provide experiential tools to manage stress,
- Work collaboratively and have meaningful relationships at work.
Some of the tools utilized are deep listening, innovation and creativity, joint meaning-making, mutual support, accessing all parts of the brain, and, honoring each person’s innate gifts and skills, no matter their role, position or experience at work.
Organizational Development Through Rites of Passage/Vision Fast Work (see a fuller description under For Individuals)
A whole team or organization can experience rites of passage/vision fasts as well as individuals. The process includes:
- Settling in
- Building support and community
- Setting intentions
- Understanding the process
- Preparing for the solo time in nature (safety, ceremonies, awareness)
- Solo time in nature
- Reflecting, sharing stories, integrating the experience into future actions
Having a community or a team that shares the process, listens to each other’s stories, celebrates and welcomes each other back from the solo experience, creates a safe and empowering space for everybody.
In a team setting, the team might have a joint intention, such as setting a new vision, healing from a bad experience or conflict, needing to find a way forward, wanting renewal, finding clarity on their strategy, perhaps even questioning their purpose and whether to continue or not in their present form.
The nature coaching and rites of passage/vision fast processes contain elements of organization development such as
- Dialogue (Bohm) and deep listening,
- Learning together and understanding current reality,
- Shaping a vision and committing to it.
- Understanding each other’s gifts and challenges.
A new framework that is taking hold in the organizational and change field is Theory U. It takes teams from really understanding current reality to their new vision while prototyping and learning how to implement their vision. A core aspect is to “listen” deeply to the organizations’ gift, niche, passion, or life giving energy. Spending time in nature individually and as a team is one of the most impactful ways to find, listen deeply, and commit to that core.
While participants will be encouraged and supported to embrace the full process, no one is forced to do anything they feel is beyond their capacity. The process is always adapted to each particular person/team and moment. The location is chosen to best suit the reality and capacity of the team/organization.