Women in the Wild: A 4 Month Journey
Dates & times: February 18th 11:00am- 4:30pm, March 18 2:00- 8:00 pm, April 15th 8:45- 3:00+pm, May 26-May 27 overnight all day Saturday to Sunday afternoon.
What to bring:
- Gathering April 15th 8:45 and 9:15 meet. See email for details on meeting place.
- What to bring: Most important for hiking several miles is to stay light, so think small & simple. You will need a small backpack to fit everything you bring in. Bring a water bottle, high caloric healthy snacks, a packed lunch. A small journal & writing instrument, and any medications you may need. You can leave a second water bottle in the car, and you can access it at the end of the day.
- Weather smart clothing. Check the weather at Lyndhurst or Roseland, Va. as they are close to our location. We will hike up a steep area. Shoes/boots are important. it is not necessary to have hiking boots, but having comfortable shoes with a tread and the amount of support your feet need is essential. If it rains you will need a raincoat and water resistant shoes or boots. You can spray your shoes with a water resistant spray, but I think having shoes for wet weather helps open us up to being outdoors more, and rain can be soothing and beautiful, so consider finding wet weather hiking shoes. You can email me for ideas about this.
- Create a way to leave phone in the car if possible. We may not have any reception, but I will carry mine for emergencies.
- Wear clothes you feel good in. Clothes that are really comfy and you feel YOU in. Have fun with it. Wild, pretty, fun, sweet, badass clothes, whatever your mood. or "I only wear these at home but I love em" clothes. Why be confined by dull clothing just because we're in the woods?
Why in the Wild?
· Our wild is entirely interconnected with nature, and with each other as animals in that system. We are nature. We are meant to spend time to connect deeply and comfortably with the never-ending supply of creativity, the flow of cycles, to access the medical benefits* that are so readily available to us if we just give them our time, attention, and intention. Being in a group brings us support, we grow together, we mirror each other for deeper growth than we can experience alone.
About me as your guide:
· I am an Ecotherapist, specializing in somatic, body based ecotherapy.
· I have created an 8-part series to bring us into deep connection with nature, and each other, embodying our true nature as women.
· Each part is based on a 5-part flow, inspired by the cycles in nature.
How it works:
· We will meet once a month on Sunday for 5-6 hours in the mountains over 4 months, February- May, exploring several of of the 8 parts of Nature as my Ally Program. In May, we will go on an overnight camping trip together. As a group, we will decide the ‘wildness” level of our camping and backpacking trip.
· I will bring you to my favorite places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will experience the forest moving from the reflective time of winter, into the blossoming of Spring, and at different times of the day and night. Each location has special and different qualities, but each has privacy, and is wild and natural… just as you are!
. Level of hiking /camping /fitness: Our focus is on connection with nature rather than exercise. We will walk on and off trails at a low to moderate level. During each experience, there are options for you to explore more strenuously or gently. We will walk to a location sometimes that is 1-2 miles each way. As a group, we will decide the "wildness” level of our camping and backpacking trip. The overnight camping trip will either be "car camping" meaning our cars are nearby, but we are tent camping along the ridge of a 100 acre private property, or as a group we may choose St. Mary's Wilderness, with a 5 mile out and back hike with backpacking.
Skills you will develop in your nature as my ally practice:
· My personally developed materials such as…. How to use the 5 part flow with individual guidance and support in creating a nature practice to change your life, The levels of nature connection & understanding why intention is a practice, my core belief that falling in love with nature requires intention and practice in the same way as our the other relationships in our lives; how to be comfortable in the woods; a checklist of nature features to create your own personal sit spot; finding your edges and working with them; finding your personal style in nature; I will teach the new research in the health benefits of spending direct & regular time in nature.
· Ecotherapy practices such as… the ancient practice of medicine walks, creating with intention and then mirroring with each other in a council style circle. Nature as a support for transitional times in your life, and more.
· Expressive arts in nature such as….. creating a mandala or Andy Goldsworthy- style art using objects carefully chosen in our natural setting. Writing poetry to a tree, or from a nature ally to yourself, and more.
· Shinrin Yoku (Japanese Forest Bathing practices) such as… sensory walks focusing on one sense at a time… moving slowly, sharing in the ancient council style, and more.
· Mindfulness practices such as…..meditation in nature is opening us to include the wisdom of the nature around us. Thich Nhat Hahn’s pebble meditation and each creating a meditation sack together, and more.
· Movement and Voice practices such as…. authentic movement with nature, sounding for healing and connection with humming and toning.
· Ancient practices that bring out our primal nature such as… making fires, drumming, getting muddy, yelling freely!
Changes you can expect in your life through this program:
· You will develop a deep nature connection practice, learning skills and a personal program to take into your own life and develop positive life changes and better health with nature as your ally. When we commit our time and intention, powerful changes happen.
· We will heal. We will grow. This will ripple out to our families, our relationships, our workplaces, and ultimately to the world, like ripples from a pebble thrown into the water.
· Your health will improve. It may help you in dedicating this time, energy and intention on yourself, to research the health benefits, and I will teach about these in more depth. Being in nature has proven benefits of lowering stress hormones and blood pressure, increasing our immune and cancer fighting cells, lowering anxiety and depression, bringing a mental feeling of belonging and fulfillment, and much more. *See the research tab on my web site to explore the fascinating science behind this.
· You will integrate the practices you learn into your daily life. You will create a deck of cards along the way of this journey, writing up and illustrating the practices that you have learned in our time together that match your character and lifestyle, and you begin to practice integrating them into your everyday life, supported and nurtured by our group along the way. You will also create a pebble meditation sack and a living journal, supporting your personal practice beyond these few months.
What will it be like? Can you give me an example?
As a group, we begin with a simple ritual to cross a threshold into intention, committing to leaving our past and future behind and focusing on the present for our time together. You are led in a nature meditation, opening to the wisdom of the trees above your head, the earth below you. You hold dirt in your hands, you are led through a sensory experience connecting you to the trees, the earth, the leaves, the small animals around you. The group gathers and creates a circle of women, an intention set, a song sung, and we part paths to go on a solo medicine walk, together and alone. This intention brings you to an old tree. You have been practicing hugging, listening, being with trees, so you settle and lean in and listen and connect. Back in the circle each woman shares of the medicine she received on her walk. Each one has something to offer, to add to your experience. You share and are heard. The circle of women support each speaker with rattles and drums as she finishes sharing her story. We make a fire, moving like the flames, feeling the heat, noticing how much you can feel your whole body, wild in the woodlands. You add your nature object to a mossy rock we use as our woodland altar/meaningful centerpiece.
During the last part, integration, you choose to write a poem, make your nature as my ally card, and then watch the stars.
Signing up, dates and prices:
· Set up a phone or in person chat about the program firstname.lastname@example.org
· Register at http://www.gointonature.com/pagere/
Dates and prices:
Price $500 includes full day February, March, April retreats and the May Women in the Wild “In Tents-ive” camping retreat, and all art materials.
Discounts: $40 off Hold my place nonrefundable deposit of $100 received by Nov 30th. Bring a friend to the journey for $40 off.
Monthly payment plans available for 5 months @ $100 per month, January- May. If using credit card there will be a 3% charge fee. All payments must be set up before program begins.
Checks made out to Go Into Nature and sent to Go Into Nature, 931 Hemlock Lane, Charlottesville, Va 22903. I also can use a charge card with a 3% fee to be paid in full or over 2-4 months.
We will meet at different times of the day to experience the forests in morning, afternoon, and at night (with campfire!).
I am happy to share a breakdown of the costs. Everyone deserves to feel clear and confident in their decision and spending.