A Human Journey of Re-Connection: Venturing Through the Depths of Nature
Wilderness education and mindfulness practices are excellent ways to reconnect with nature and oneself. Through spending time in nature in a mindful way, one is able to become more aware of all parts of their being, as well as seeing the world beyond themselves, and develop an awareness of a dynamic interaction. As one focuses on deepening their self-connection, or their connection with nature, they are thereby increasing a level of inner and planetary peace. As one becomes more aware of their connection with nature, they can more easily interact with nature in a peaceful way.
In answer to the research question, “how does spending time in nature affect individual feelings of connection?”, it has been found that spending time in nature affects individual feelings of connection through the five phenomena of restoration, the here and now, mirroring, facing the unknown, and unity. This conclusion has been drawn from a compilation of four storytelling interviews, together with a reflective personal journey into nature, and draws literary support from the fields of psychology, ecopsychology and spirituality.
The thesis process has been an enlightening chapter in my journey towards re-connection. I have learned a lot about myself, my issues with connection, my shadows, and my nature-self. I have been transformed through the research I have done on my own (one week in the wilderness), and with others (storytelling). The thesis research was highly personal and endowed with constant reflection and a struggle for integration. The research made clear that a bridge between the world of nature-connection/self-connection and city-life is necessary to fortify and traverse in order to stay connected. For me, the journey doesn’t end here, and may well continue for the rest of my life. But this is, of course, a journey towards greater connection, to myself, to the world, and to others.