Ecopsychology Resources, by Corinna 

Sit Spot Blues

September 30, 2013



In contemplating what to post this week, my thoughts kept returning to a conversation I recently had with a good friend of mine. It went something like this:

Me: I went to my sit spot tree this morning. It's been a couple of days. Since then, the raccoons have turned it into their latrine and there's a dead Yellow Rumped Warbler. 6 piles of shit and a bird carcass at my sit spot... What does it mean!!!!! (LOL). I will proceed cautiously with the rest of my day (anxiously giggling), but first I shall meditate (laughing). Hope your day starts off better than mine. Grateful to see Coyote is alive and well,

Friend: I think yes, my day started better than yours.  But grasshopper, many lessons are to be found in dead bird carcasses and piles of shit, he said unconvincingly.  I wonder if the raccoons are trying to mark the spot as theirs.  It will be interesting to observe over the next few weeks.

Me: You make me laugh:) I get the distinct impression it is territorial. I'm not talking little poops either. This is one well fed coon. That's all I need, a rabid coon fighting me for my sit spot. They can be vicious little buggers! I wonder if it killed the bird or if it was a random coincidence. It didn't look like it was attacked but maybe the little Zorro wannabe just swatted it right off its perch and it fell to its demise. Seriously though, I'll take the next tree over and see what happens. Could be dangerous... I'll have to cloak myself and if that doesn't work, I'll activate my primal strength trigger. It'll be a while before I can sit under that Forest Guardian again. Yip!

Friend: If it's any consolation, I've never heard of a raccoon attacking a human.  They will growl and snarl, but they back off and retreat after letting you know that they'll fight if attacked.  You could also bring up Wolf energy inside and spread that around.

Me: Or, I could urinate in a ring around its poop and see what happens. I always carry a little wolf with me; maybe that's what did it in the first place. You can bet that if I get snarled or growled at my shackles will come up. Either that or I'll pee my pants laughing at the little guy. In any case, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how my relationship with Cujo, I mean Zorro evolves. P.S. What if it’s not a racoon...

Friend: Maybe it really isn't a raccoon.  The behaviour of pooping to mark territory is more coyote- or wolf-like. Just pee right beside, on your side of the marking.  That'll save trying to walk… Tee hee.

Me: Laughing!!! Hold on a sec, I'll go take a picture and send it to you.

When I reflect on this dialogue I keep coming back to two main things: First, I am so very grateful for my dear friend, Wes.  Our friendship is like those of childhood when you have someone with whom you share a secret language that no one else understands. Secondly, what comes to mind is the importance of connection to the natural world in supporting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. In my life, the Sit Spot is a practice that helps keep me grounded in my authentic Self. It’s a simple practice, really. All it involves is finding a place in nature where I can go to regularly and sit. What emerges as a result of this act is remarkably powerful. Go ahead, try it and you’ll see what I mean. If you do and think nothing happened, have faith, keep going, and write about in a special journal. If you’re willing, share your story with us.

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow:

1) Going to your Sit Spot should be something that you try and do often, even if it is only for ten minutes.

2) Find one place that you can get to know really, really well. Know it by day, know it by night. Know it in the rain and in the snow, in the depth of winter and in the heat of summer. Know the stars and where the four directions are there. Know the birds that live there, know the trees they live in. Get to know these things as if they were your relatives. Take the time to listen to the wind, to check in with your heart and allow yourself to just be.

3) Make sure that your Sit Spot is close to where you live. If it is more than ten minutes away, you will tend not to go.

4) Your Sit Spot has to be outdoors

5) While at your Sit Spot, you have to be able to observe some wildlife. If you live in a city this is still possible. There are many creatures that inhabit the city. Just think outside of the box.

 

Fall

September 16, 2013

The Maples are starting to show their colours, the geese are gathering, the air is cooler, and the daylight shorter. I smell the odour of dying leaves and damp earth, and am keenly aware of the transition in seasons; fall is here.  Life is readying itself for the long winter, turning inward, toward hibernation and self preservation.

Nature is a powerful and ancient teacher. The more we look at nature the more we see our own lives reflected back to us. In nature there are no straight lines, o...


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Bonding to Place

September 9, 2013

Bonding To Place

My recent move from Vancouver Island to Quebec has given me some interesting food for thought. As someone who is bonded to the giant trees, grey ocean mists, and wildness of the West Coast, coming home to the gentle slopes, hardwood forests, and fields of the Eastern Townships of Quebec was disorienting.  I felt lonely and missed my soul community of humans and other-than human relations. I found myself wondering deeply about my role in this new community and how to stay tru...


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Spring Equinox: Singing the Seeds Awake

March 20, 2013

It has been a long, cold, grey winter. Sometimes, it feels as if I am wading through a thick fog, unable to see the horizon. In these moments, tending the fire takes on deeper meaning. Beyond keeping me and my family physically comfortable, entering into relationship with fire reminds me that with death there is rebirth. Fire is a transformer and the spark of life. These teachings contain the wisdom that darkness is not a permanent state and the fire of my heart is rekindled.

The seasons ar...


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Waste

January 10, 2013

Last week I had the delightful experience of helping my son prepare for a science test on ecology. One of his tasks was to explain what composting is. As he shared his theory with me, he reminded me of an important lesson: There is no waste.

As I shared this thought with my son he agreed and then explained that some things though, like plastic bags, take an awful long time to compost. So, even though there is no waste, some things are harder to break down – mostly the stuff that we humans...


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Change

September 24, 2012

As part of the autumnal Equinox Vision Quest, I facilitated a discussion on the Anishinabe teachings of the 4 Gifts of the Woman. As we sat beneath Grandmother Cedar, we discussed the light and the shadow side of each gift and how the medicine that we carry is related to life and to our responsibilities toward self, families, communities, and the land. At the same time, in a different location, the men were discussing their gifts. In the end we came together and talked about the importance of...


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Science and Spirit

August 1, 2012

Yesterday I was forwarded a blog post by Hank Campbell in which he expressed concern regarding the watering down of rigorous scientific inquiry by fields like ecopsychology. The author slams ecopsychology labeling its practitioners as quacks. I hear his concerns and do not think that the world is well served by anyone claiming to deliver a cure.  As far as our psychological healing goes, I do not believe there is a cure; only a healing journey. From my perspective the difficulty with Campbell...


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The Great Turning

July 18, 2012
 

Greetings,

As I sit at my desk writing this entry I see and hear the wind in the trees. I am aware of the breeze on my skin and feel gratitude for her cleansing power. Her breathe lifts my spirits and reminds me of my strength. To the Four Winds I send my finest words of gratitude.

We are living in a time of great uncertainty. Every day we hear about environmental, social, political, and economic crises. Western civilization has created a reality where comfort, safety, and happiness are...


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biodiversity

July 10, 2012

This morning I awoke to the sound of birds, one of which I hadn’t heard before. I send my finest words of gratitude to these winged ones. Their songs open my awareness and allow for a softening of my spirit to occur.

I am grateful to live in an area that is teeming with life. When I think of the ecological diversity that surrounds me, I see a system that is comprised of many different parts. There is a forest with various types of trees, plants, flowers, bushes, grasses, fungi, animals, bugs...


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Dragonfly Blog


Corinna Stevenson Corinna is the creator of Dragonfly and co-founder of CanAdventure Education. For over a decade she has been guiding people through personal transformation in wilderness settings. A gifted guide and teacher, Corinna brings much heart and humour to her work. As an aboriginal woman of Métis descent, she weaves traditional cultural teachings into her workshops inspiring personal growth and a love and respect for the great outdoors. Corinna’s immense respect for the natural world and her well-founded belief in the unlimited potential of humans are themes that characterize all of her teaching. Corinna holds a Bachelor's in education from McGill and a Master’s of Arts in transpersonal psychology with a focus on ecopsychology from Naropa University.

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