By Rochelle Calvert, author of Healing with Nature
If you have experienced a very distressing event, that was unexpected, caused you to feel out of control and you didn’t have the resources at that time to cope and restore balance after the event- it is likely that this was a traumatic event. The residual of the traumatic event, if left unsupported or unhealed, can become stuck in your body and nervous system. If we are unable to establish a sense of restoration after the traumatic event, we may go on to have difficulty with our physical or mental well-being, relationships, work or other aspects of life.
As time passes, and trauma is unhealed, it’s likely that your inner ecosystems (body, mind and heart) become more disrupted and dys-regulated and create patterns that are difficult to shift and change. No matter what your experience of trauma has been or the challenges you face in your life as a result of trauma, the practices of Healing with Nature can help you to resolve and change your relationship to trauma. You can learn to see how the trauma you experienced itself can be a source of wisdom, strength and resilience as you learn to heal.
Nature, mindfulness and somatic healing themselves are respective ecosystems to aid in resolving and transforming trauma. Mindfulness in nature is the doorway to relaxing the body and nervous system, becoming more aware of our inner terrain, reducing our reactivity and learning to feel kindness and acceptance of our experiences. Somatic healing in nature helps us to reinhabit the body in a way that feels safe and restores balance to our brain, body, psyche and relationships. And nature herself is the container for this support in healing.
It can be hard to find a sense of ease, relaxation or calm when meditating or learning somatic practices to heal trauma. Being in relationship with nature to support our ability to practice mindfulness and somatic healing threads the potential to resolve trauma with more ease and restores the health of our inner-ecosystems. Nature’s impulse is to thrive, to adapt, to be resilient, heal and transform. We are made of nature. We have this capacity to. By weaving together these ecosystems of healing into our inner ecosystems we can establish the same capacity to heal, adapt, become more resilient and resolve our experiences of trauma.
As the practices in the book are cultivated you can begin to experience a sense of calm, relaxation and restoration in the body and nervous system. There will also grow an increasing ability to sense more deeply the connection to nature and the reciprocity available in healing. As trauma is healing, the transformation of trauma will occur where you can learn to see the beauty, intelligence and unique gifts that arise from trauma. The resolution of trauma will leave you feeling more alive, embodied, in balance, open, curious, compassionate, caring, experiencing gratitude and love towards oneself, others and the planet.
The healing practices in the book will support you on your journey to establish clear and kind awareness within and with the natural world. You will cultivate the capacity to explore the difficult terrain of trauma within with the support of nature and learn to experience more deeply your wholeness and unique beautiful expression of life.
There is a theory in the understanding of trauma, that unhealed trauma begets more trauma. So it stands that healing will beget more healing. My deepest hope is that by healing your own trauma with nature that it begets more healing of the traumas within your life, the communities and collectives you are connected to and ultimately to the Earth herself.
Rochelle Calvert, PhD., is the author of Healing with Nature: Mindfulness and Somatic Practices to Heal from Trauma. She has studied and taught mindfulness for the past 18 years and knows personally the transformational potential. As a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of New Mindful Life, she supports her clients taking them into nature with the aid of Bertha Grace, a Sprinter van that serves as a mobile therapy office. You can find more about her work at www.newmindfullife.com and @newmindfullife on Instagram.
Based on the book Healing with Nature. Copyright © 2021 by Rochelle Calvert. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.