There is growing consensus that individuals in the Western world need to change their behaviour and consumption patterns in profound ways to create an environmentally sustainable society. And while interventions aimed at specific environmental issues have been shown to be effective, increasingly it is also becoming apparent that the magnitude of the environmental problems we face necessitate a broader intervention aimed at changing our cultural worldview.
Increasing the contact of children or adults with nature actually increases their sense of feeling connected to nature. Architectural factors, such as windows looking out onto natural settings, will improve connection to nature. All these are important but if the meme that drives thinking stays as it is, then creating a connection to nature will not end up driving a change in action. To change action, to improve the quality of ones life and of the environment around us, we need to change thinking.
The Universal Laws of Nature.
Must we live in the jungle in order to reconnect with nature? Do we all need to become Steve Irwin or an Attenborough to have a profound connection to nature? The answer, unless we have an understanding of the laws of nature, is yes. We do need to get our hands wet and dirty.
In an office, 40 floors above the concrete street, surrounded by similar buildings, in a room lit with fluorescent light, with air pumped in through ceiling vents, sitting behind plate glass, working on a computer screen, arguing about cost of funds for a project in Botswana, one could be forgiven for feeling separated from nature.
Sitting in a house, watching TV, exhausted from the day, argueing with your spouse, worried about tomorrow, wishing the kids would go to sleep, scheduling school sports tomorrow one could be forgiven for feeling disconnected from nature.
This disconnection can become justified and habitual. We must be wise and protective of our connection with nature without sacrificing the experience of being in a high rise 40th floor office nor sitting down watching TV. One solution is to bring nature to us.
It is not only an environmental connection to nature but a mental one. We can think in tune with nature and in the same way as a holiday might refresh our spirit and energy, so, thinking like nature means we are rarely separated from nature. We feel the connectedness and this in itself is a reflection of nature.
The five Universal Laws of Nature step us up and out, away from the isolation and into reconnection. The objective of this concept is to transfer the experience of connection to nature from purely an environmental immersion or witnessing to also include the internal environment of thinking and feeling.
The need is conspicuously obvious. Just as there are some religious people who are holier than now during a church service but then go to work and commit some serious abuses of both environmental and social responsibility, there are those who, in spite of being immersed in nature on the weekend, do not transcribe this connectedness into their work or family life. The human condition is seen to have the capacity to embrace a connectedness in one environment and completely isolate into “I” ness in another. It is not the fault of the individual but of competing systems and cultures that, for one reason or another, do not recognise the value of nature connectedness and moreover, celebrate the “I” – individualisation by rewarding individual results rather than community or group.
Three situations reflection connection and disconnection from nature
- The Sherpa communities of Nepal have a small minority of individuals where, in spite of living in the pristine mountains of the Himalayas, religion, western ideals and television have bought confusion. Renowned for their commitment in the mountains to help others, to carry responsibility and to put their life on the line to help foreign climbers, Sherpa people are a true reflection of the power of connection to nature. But there has been trouble. The connection to nature does not translate back into all family and personal life and some drug and alcohol problems threaten these remote, tight knit communities.
- First Nation People of Canada. Living in harmony and balance with nature was the pride of First Nation People and yet, now, on the banks of a lake, surrounded by forests and traditional art the youth, and some of the more disenfranchised individuals, have become confused and disconnected. Self has risen, “I” ness has create separation and with this a significant minority have come to struggle with drug, alcohol and domestic violence issues.
- Retreats, Spa resorts and Ashrams. People are different in nature. Those who attend these deep immersions in nature experience the difference in their attitudes, feelings and experiences while out in nature. But the retention of change values, so deeply embraced in retreat has a retention, measured by accurate study, of around 10% after only 3-4 weeks. In other words, it does not translate back into city life as a means of life improvement. Undoubtedly the immersion does serve its purpose however, any change programme would not be satisfied with an investment of this much time, money and energy for such an insignificant retention.
- Creating a work and life culture where nature is included.
- Bringing the harmony of nature to work and home life
- Understanding what it is that causes people to be different in nature and replicating this in city life.
Hence, the Universal Laws of Nature are an opportunity for those who undertake change and turnaround at individual, business or community levels to make a retainable impact on both the environment and the productivity – quality of life for individuals and groups, at work and at home.
This is an opportunity for:
- Management consultants looking for business turnaround
- Counsellors and therapists looking for faster resolutions
- Life Coaches looking for simpler models in human development
- High profile individuals looking to handle stress better
- People in the public eye wanting a grounded approach to recovery
- Addicts looking to stay on track
- Families hoping to provide a nurturing home
- Emergency services personal dealing with post traumatic stress
- Those with mental challenges, depression etc looking for non chemical intervention.
- Communities banding together to deal with addictions and violence trends
- Business leaders wanting results without conflict