Nature is more than just a product – Nigel Berman on The potential of Nature Connection.

Running a small company which focuses on nature connection and health (especially one that’s based in the countryside) can sometimes make me feel alone. A feeling that deepens when I read in the media about the still prevalent environmental destruction, human suffering and how as a species we seem to have evolved further and further away from our natural core. This can make me doubt what I’m doing, why I´m doing it and can sometimes send me down a “Whats the point, no one cares about nature anyway” spiral of negativity.

Inside of these moments however, I’m so grateful for the internet, since it’s helped me to find like-minded individuals and groups (check out the list of  Fb-groups at the end of this post) that gives me an incredible “Let’s keep on working!  You’re not alone!” kind of boost. Nigel Berman (founder of the School of the wild) is one of those individuals. Someone who gives out so much positive energy and is also extremely in tune with the profound potential that connecting / reconnecting with nature holds.

Do you want to know more? I sure did! As is such, when visiting my husbands family in the south of England, I decided to meet Nigel for a chat. Here’s a bit of his story! 

Nigel BermaN, Founder of school of the wild

Nigel BermaN, Founder of school of the wild

Even though Nigel Berman was brought up and spent several of his younger adult years living and working within the city of London, he’s always been drawn to nature, so much so that he regularly sought to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with excursions, activities and social events in the countryside. Upon discussing this with me, he began reflecting upon a day in particular when he went on a bike ride, cycling through an area called Pagham marshes. It was during this excursion that he felt an overwhelmingly strong and innate connection with the landscape, a sensation of resonance that he hadn't experienced for a while. Maybe you’ve also had a similar experience in nature that’s been overwhelming?  If so, please feel free to write to me about it, because I’d love to know more.

Becoming incredibly inspired by his experience, Nigel began excitedly trying to figure out what this feeling of connection was and if there was anyone else who’d experienced it. In doing so, he came across the work of cultural ecologist and philosopher David Abram and applying Abram´s information to his own experiences, he came to the realisation that not only was he not alone in what he’d felt that day in the marshes, but also that nature holds the potential to be and provide something so much more profound to humanity than solely being a product for our experiences in life.

Having moved to the city of Brighton and Hove, Nigel founded The School of the Wild in 2014 and has grown the business to a client base of around 2500 people. The School of the Wild offers unique nature-based team building activities for local organisations and businesses (as well as short-courses such as whittling and foraging to the public) in the woods and countryside surrounding the city. The companies vision is to encourage people to get themselves out of the urban jungle, to nourish and strengthen their connection to the land, to nature, to themselves and to each other. Through offering these courses it’s become increasingly clear to Nigel of the immense benefits of nature for people’s health and well-being.

Some participants stated that the feeling of calmness they gained from their experiences in nature,
lasted for longer than a week after being there.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Nigel also made an interesting observation about how at the end of an activity day, whilst participants were at rest and talking around the campfire, they seemed to have begun viewing nature as being something more than just a facilitator for their activity. That through being in and with nature for a short period of time, people appeared to become more observant and sensually immersed in their environment, noticing symbolic messages and metaphors in the details of their surroundings and connecting to nature as part of them selves.

This is fascinating since modern research seems to imply the same thing, providing evidence that after spending prolonged periods in nature, people start to change their perception of what they believe nature to really be and from this understanding, can experience profound shifts within.

We stop seeing nature as just a product for our utilization and instead gain the ability to identify our self both with and inside it at a much deeper level.  Therefore, natures ability to mirror us back to ourselves gives us a brilliant avenue of connection in our day-to-day lives.

This is exactly what Nigel and The School of the Wild are aiming for. He hopes to inspire people to look at nature in new ways and remember their innate connection to it for not only their individual well-being, but for that of collective humanity and for the earth itself.

Nigel berman, School of the wild

Therein lays the challenge!

Because in both the UK and Sweden the prevalence of people suffering with mental health problems is increasing, with more and more individuals suffering from depression, anxiety and loneliness. In a world of social media that we believe connects us, increasing numbers of people seem to be sensing a void in their lives appearing - an emptiness that no matter how hard they try cannot be filled by the short-term dopamine fixes of likes, hearts and comments, or the short-term gratification of consumerism, substance and indulgence. We must see this as feedback from ourselves telling us that what we’re doing right now (in the way that we’re doing it) isn’t working for us. That there’s a collective yearning for something more - for a simpler, yet somehow deeper connection.

For many, nature has a huge role to play in establishing this connection!

As is such, it’s the responsibility of individuals such as Nigel, myself and many others to find a way to bring nature back into the awareness of society, through creating platforms to help the modern human find their own individual way of connecting with nature. From the small amount of time I spent in Nigel’s company, I saw in his eyes that he’s more than up for the challenge and I feel so excited to know that more and more indiviudals are connecting in this way.

Do you also want to get inspired by Nigel’s work, contact him on info@schoolofthewild  or click into the School of the Wild’s website!

Also, if you want to connect with like minded people working with nature and health, here’s some Facebook groups that I´m interacting with right now! Please let me know if you have any more groups or interesting websites.

Nordic Nature Health Hub

Skogsbadets Vänner

Nature- based Business NetWork

Nature & Forest Therapy Europe

We Are Wildness University

Forest Bathing Central

Nature connection World

Shinrin-yoku Sweden

Just de, glöm inte att signa upp för mitt nyhetsbrev.
Inget spam utan extra material för dig som är intresserad av Natur och Hälsa!

Gillade du det här inlägget? Det värmer mitt hjärta att veta  det!
Kommentera eller Gilla inlägget genom att trycka på hjärta  symbolen <3

Naturkänsla- Ger ökad livskvalitet och hälsa

Hur mycket skulle du säga att du själv, din kropp och din tanke, är en del av naturen? 

Tung fråga en söndagsmorgon, men orsaken till min fundering är att jag under dagar av snö, lite vår, mer snö, NU äntligen vår, har hittat en metod som intresserar sig för just vår upplevda samhörighet med naturen vilket bekräftar att

Naturkänslan är en enormt viktigt del av vår hälsa.

naturkänsla nature connection

The connectedness to nature scale (CNS) skapad av forskarna Frantz & Mayer är ett  frågemall med syfte att mäta individers inre upplevelser av att känna sig emotionellt sammanlänkande med naturen. 

Mallen innehåller  olika påståenden.
- Exempelvis: Jag upplever att jag är en del av en större livsväv.

Sedan är det upp till oss att göra en egen bedömning.

Går att testa HÄR. Formuläret är på engelska men jag tror inte de ska vara så svårt att följa. Du får också scrolla ner på sidan och gå in på länken run the demo.

naturkänsla. nature connection

Testet är viktigt då forskare hoppas att genom att mäta individers nature connection (naturkänsla), förstå mer om människors relation till naturen. Tanken är att det sedan ska utvecklas program som jobbar med positiva upplevelser och reflektioner kring naturen och därmed öka både både vår och planetens hälsa. I Finland jobbar de ex, med naturkänsla inom olika projekt, går att läsa om HÄR.

På denna hemsida beskrivs inte  naturkänsla bara utifrån samhörighet utan som

En inre röst som ständigt berättar för oss vad som är bäst för oss själva och vår miljö.

Enligt mig är tankesättet inspirerande då jag tidigare ifrågasatt grunderna och värderingarna som ligger bakom vår relation till naturen. Skrev en krönika om detta HÄR.

nature connection, naturkänsla

För om begreppet natur endast blir något som existerar utanför oss, så förlorar vi kontakten med oss själva och våra kroppar. Detta påverkar i sin tur vår förmåga att fatta mer hållbara och inre förankrade hälsoval. 

Att träna upp sin naturkänsla kommer inte med ett "färdigutvecklat paket", utan handlar om att ge sig själv tid att ta in känslan av naturen och öka förståelsen för hur all natur vi upplever är en liten del av oss själva. Genom att gå in i dessa känslor av förbindelse och samhörighet ökar vi vårt välbefinnande och flertalet

Vetenskapliga studier visar hur psykisk hälsa, glädje och livskvalitet ökar genom just ökad naturkänsla.

För mig handlar naturkänsla om att reflektera över mina naturupplevelser och hitta stunder i vardagen, där jag är observerar vad som händer i min kropp i relation till min miljö. Genom att lyssna innåt och tydliggöra dessa processer så upplever jag allt mer hur min kropp är i ett ständigt flöde av samvaro, vilket i sin tur ger mig ett välbehövligt inre lugn.

Eftersom det inte finns några klara riktlinjer kring arbetet med naturkänsla, är detta mina egna personliga tankar. Jag vill därför gärna höra era åsikter, tips och funderingar kring detta tema ❤️ Har ni egna definitioner av begreppet naturkänsla eller känns det bara flummigt och obegripligt 😁? 

 OBS! För er som gör CNS-testet så ta resultatet med en nypa salt. Bara de faktum att de använder ordet ”feel”  i åtta av fjorton frågor skapar enligt mig en diskrepans och skeptikern i mig är tveksam till själva verktyget, men ändå så peppad på konceptet.

Liknande Inlägg:
Äkta Natur. Vs. Vår fantasi
Låt Naturen väcka din kropp till liv.
Att Aktivt närvara med månens reflekterande ljus.

Gillade du också det här inlägget? Det värmer mitt hjärta att veta det!  Gilla inlägget genom att trycka på hjärta symbolen <3