steps on the way
a way of seeing – discovering new ways of experiencing ourselves and the world around us – learning to flex our sensory, mental and emotional filters
a way of being – shifting the “place” we live from – cultivating a felt sense of presence – living from there rather than a constricted, isolated sense of self
a way of living – relating to others and the world around us, navigating our life’s journey, making sense of the world – from a different place of seeing and being
a way of seeing
“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
We experience the world in ways that are largely automatic and unconscious. We assume that what we see, is what is there. But we can learn to be far more flexible in how we experience both the world that surrounds us and our internal processes – our inner and outer landscapes. And when we do, a whole new world of experiences and possibilities opens up to us.
We all realise that being in nature is good for us in so many ways, but it’s easy to think that it’s only a passive process: “Go for a walk in nature and you will feel better”. The way of seeing introduces you to techniques for shifting your ways of being aware, changing how you use your senses, and even shifting out of your beliefs and familiar ways of thinking. They turn being in the wild into a whole different adventure.
The techniques are a portal into a much deeper experience of the world around us, and, at the same time, a foundation for enriching the way we live our lives. Try them and your world will never be the same again!
a way of being
“We join spokes together in a wheel
but it is the centre hole
that makes the wagon move”
In our current world, our attention moves quickly to “doing” and “having”. It’s easy to imagine that if we achieve certain things or possess certain things then life will feel good. But maybe “being” is the most healthy and successful foundation for life? The beginning and not the goal.
The oak tree or the blackbird doesn’t strive to be itself, it just is. How would it feel to live like that – for you?
“Being” is a tricky thing to pin down in words but it has something to do with being present. Not caught up in our past or lost in possible futures. Not telling ourselves stories about ourselves or the others. Just present – here, now, in this – with a felt sense of ease, openness and connection.
Maybe the thing we most desire is already here with us?
This could sound spiritual, but I tend not to think it that way. It’s just a natural way to live our lives with a greater sense of well-being and grace.
In fact it’s becoming clearer, in recent years, that the key to experiencing our lives well has a lot to do with learning to play our biology, and especially our neurology, in more elegant ways. And attuning ourselves to nature may be the best way of discovering how to do this.
So … a way of being is an approach, that grows from seeing differently, that allows our relationship with nature to ground us and connect us to richer experiences of presence, belonging and pleasure in our daily lives.
a way of living
“Nature is an incomparable guide if you know how to follow her”
“Hózhó″ is a Navajo (Native American) word that means “walking in beauty” or living in a manner that strives to create and maintain balance, harmony, beauty and order between individuals, communities and the natural world. It paints in a single word the way that I aspire to live – and maybe you too?
And those peoples live in barren and difficult landscapes – it’s not an idealistic solution. And, reassuringly, the same approach crops up in the old Chinese idea of Tao, and our own Northern European ancestors’ notion of Wyrd.
So are there are foundational ways of deepening our awareness and relating to the more-than-human world which lead to more natural, satisfying and harmonious ways of living?
And how can this work out in today’s very different world?
Because it is not an option to go back to any imagined “better past” even though our ancestors might be able to give us some useful clues.
The way of living takes everything that emerges from our encounters with the land, viewed through the lens of current neuroscience and psychology, to give some thought provoking approaches on how to live differently.
Including how we can:
Relate healthily with ourselves
Cultivate creative and supportive relationships
Move meaningfully through life in ways that aren’t all about goals and achievements
Live each day with more flow and less tension
Relate to our modern civilisation in authentic ways
Nature doesn’t offer “life hacks”. or “instant solutions”, but (says poet Mary Oliver), it “offers itself to your imagination” and asks you:
"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Hi. I am Alistair and I am deeply curious about how we humans can “live life well”. For me, that means to live with heart, presence and pleasure. And I believe we lack wisdom if we attempt to explore our human nature separate from a place of attunement with the more-than-human world. For the last 15 years, I have worked as a trainer, ecopsychologist and coach/therapist helping people explore ways of living their lives well with an evolving approach that I call “a way of natural being”.