Ecopsychology Resources, by Corinna 

The Great Turning

July 18, 2012


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 based on economic expansion. Many of us have bought into this aggressively competitive myth whole heartedly and believe that more is better – we are obsessed with stuff. All of this has come at the expense of harmony, connectedness, balance, and meaning in our lives. We have taken so much that we are running out of resources, space, and food. The human race has grown so exponentially that the Earth can no longer keep up with our lifestyle. Our forests are being cut down at alarming rates, the air we breathe is polluted, our oceans and rivers are dying, the soil is eroding, and we are losing the rich diversity of species that inhabit this place. In our compulsion for economic wealth many of us ignore the well-being of the very thing that sustains us – our planet.

The irony of the situation is that humans are both creator and victims of this reality. My eyes are wide open to how precarious humanity’s situation has become and I feel scared, sad, and at times overwhelmed. I also feel inspired.

Joanna Macy refers to The Great Turning: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining culture that is occurring in Western civilization. Rather than simply ignore the situation or fall into depression or rage (which would be easy to do given the magnitude of the circumstances). The Great Turning asserts that many people are doing their best to continue living with courage and are actively engaged in life-sustaining activities.

I believe that the key to a regenerative future lies in developing an ecological identity that invites reconnection with Self, others, the land, and spirit. This in turn will allow the growth of mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy parents, teachers, mentors and leaders; the adults and elders that will shift Western civilization’s values from an unsustainable greed-based, competitive system to one that is steeped in sustainable growth and deep rooted meaning, connection, and inspiration. Through my life experience I have encountered many willing to embark on this journey by being the change they wish to inspire. This gives me great hope.

Contributing to The Great Turning requires constant attention to maintaining one’s own holistic health. Raising consciousness of the need for a paradigm shift from a culture that is steeped in a ‘power-over’ mentality to one that is centered on a ‘power-with’ approach requires that we be the shift. 

In a ‘power-with’ culture I see people living sacredly with each other and all their relations. I see a culture of gratitude and respect where everything is valued for its uniqueness and for its place within the whole, and where decisions are made with deep consideration for future generations.

Recently, I started re-reading some of Bill Plotkin’s work and encountered a powerful bit that captured my attention. Plotkin writes that caring for the soul of the more-than-human community has at least five components:  (1) defending and nurturing the innocence and wonder of children, (2) mentoring and initiating adolescents, (3) mentoring adults in their Soulwork, (4) guiding the evolution or transformation of the culture, and (5) maintaining the balance between human culture and the greater Earth community. This passage struck me partly, I think, because it expresses succinctly what my life has become about lately. I find this both remarkable and the most natural thing in the world.

I am inspired to build a network of people who have developed an awareness of their gifts and who are contributing to The Great Turning. I am curious to know how you are contributing. I am curious to know about the practices that help to keep you holistically healthy.





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 I have always loved nature. It's where I'm most at peace. For 10 amazing and intense years, I had the privilege of sharing my love for wild places with youth and families struggling to find their way in mainstream culture. We kayaked, hiked, spoke our truth at Council Fire, and formed uncommon bonds that to this day remain a source of inspiration. The place we did this work is called Ravenwood. It is a healing forest. In 2010, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare and incurable plasma cell cancer. I needed a stem cell transplant and a radical change of lifestyle. Along with a good medical team and a strong and loving circle of people supporting me, Ravenwood saved my life. 8 years later, I'm still here. Ravenwood is now home to my family. Although I can no longer do the physical work of a wilderness guide, it remains my calling to share the healing powers of nature. I still call myself a guide but the places I now navigate and explore are the wild terrains that live within the human soul. Nature is my co-guide. I work with the natural world to help make sense of inner emotions and life experiences. I believe that spending time in nature fosters awareness and interconnection to the world around us, providing the space for inward reflection and the potential for transformation. How we encounter and interpret the natural world creates a personal narrative that gives meaning to experiences and emotions allowing us to develop new ways of understanding ourselves and feeling fully integrated in our lives. Through connection with the natural world, we ultimately become connected to our ‘inner’ nature. Personal distress can be alleviated by developing the mutual connection between inside and outside. The process of change I foster involves restoring balance to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions, reconnecting to the Earth, and adopting life-long practices that help incorporate new behaviour and thought patterns into a congruent way of life. My work as guide is to help reveal and cultivate the health and sanity which is already there rather than manipulate or modify sick people to be better adjusted. This requires a focus on healing through a process of whole-ing (recognizing the wholeness that already exists within), rather than healing or fixing a problem by eliminating it; wholeness-centered (holistic) instead of pathology-centered I work with a range of practices including mindfulness and awareness, experiential activities, direct contact with nature, narrative therapy, environmental action, journaling, ritual, ceremony, and play. As an aboriginal woman of Métis descent, I weave cultural teachings into my work, inspiring personal growth and a love and respect for the natural world. Academically, I hold a Bachelor's in education, from McGill University and a Master’s of Arts in transpersonal psychology with a concentration in ecopsychology, from Naropa University. I have also completed masters level clinical counselling courses in counselling theory, family systems therapy, group therapy, and research methods, and have trained with the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy. I am a recognized facilitator of Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects and a Level 3 Reiki Usui Practitioner.


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