Authored by Andy Shipley
Today we have a guest news piece, written by Andy Shipley, our Nature Narratives collaborator and founder of Natural Inclusion – a brilliant enterprise offering nature connection and sensory immersion activities, workshops and group facilitation.
Andy has been visually impaired for most of his life, and has channelled this experience into his work as a consultant, campaigner, speaker, facilitator and coach. His work is fuelled by his twin passions for an inclusive society and the natural world. He works with individuals, groups and organisations, collaborating on a range of innovative projects to expand understanding and practice of inclusion.
Andy recently wrote a great blog piece after hearing about ‘The Three-Day Effect’, and has kindly shared it with Sensing Nature.
So in Andy’s words…
“I’ve just been listening to an Audible Originals podcast, ‘The Three-Day Effect’. Created by journalist and author Florence Williams, The Three-Day Effect examines the science behind the apparent wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature.
Florence joins men and women who have undergone extreme trauma in their lives, to spend three days in nature, hiking, rafting and sharing adventures. It reveals how this can open us up to a process of inner transition, with the potential to release the effects of our trauma.
Listening to the participants describing Nature’s transformative effects on their relationships with their trauma and themselves, I was led to reflect upon my life with sight-loss, and how being able to connect with the natural world has affected me.
My immediate observation is that Nature meets me where I am. What I mean by this is, contrasted with the human world, with its prejudices and exclusionary design of physical and digital environments, the natural world is always available in ways that are accessible to me. I don’t need adaptive computer software to hear a bird sing or to feel the breeze ruffle my hair. Or what’s left of it at least!
The grass holds no assumptions about who I am, or my capabilities, as it allows me to sink my toes into its midst. The sun warms my face even though I’m not able to see it shining above me. The scent of the ivy, climbing the wall near my flat, meets me on my doorstep, without any need for me to ask for its help to do so.
These are all experiences that allow my attention to focus on something that is real and not a product of human attitude or artifice. In these moments, I am released into a realm within which I feel both held and free. Unencumbered, with licence to be my true self, feeling unjudged, unconstrained, alive and present. It is this experience I want to share with others through natural-inclusion.org.”
We’ll be posting more of Andy’s work in the coming weeks so do check back to find out more!