Updated: May 1, 2021
Nature-based coaching draws on my observations of how nature grows plants (and other beings), rather than how the modern world assumes that people grow.
Any gardener knows that in order to thrive plants need good conditions: the right soil, nutrients, water and sunlight. We can draw on these principles, perfectly designed by nature, to grow our own thriving life, beginning from the ground by building our ‘soil’.
As well as countless living nutrients and organisms, soil is built from dead and decaying matter, which adds to its richness and life-giving properties. In nature-based coaching, we begin by looking at what you most need to ‘compost’, or let go of: which habits, behaviour patterns, situations, roles, or relationships need to go, so that you can start planting new seeds of change?
This ‘letting go’ and building compost is essential for any of us who would like our lives to flourish in a way that’s more sustainable, satisfying and successful.
Applying this to your own personal growth some questions to consider are:
What are you ready, or willing, to let go of in your life?
What do you need to leave behind?
What needs to be allowed to die, to create the best 'soil' conditions for your new seeds of opportunity to germinate and grow?
This might include:
old habits, or behaviour patterns, that no longer serve you
a relationship, or friendship, that's draining, toxic, or has simply run its course
a job that's unfulfilling, or dead-end
habitual ways of thinking that cause anxiety, misery, or dis-ease
a home, or location that you’re ready to move on from
a feeling of emptiness, lostness, or confusion about your direction, or purpose in life
When we’ve built our ‘soil’ by ‘composting’ what no longer serves us, we’ll need strong roots to ground us, keeping us steady as we nurture the seeds of our new hopes, dreams, and intentions. So, next we look at the ‘mycelial networks’ that provide information and support to the roots, exploring questions like: who and what is there around you that might support you in your journey?
We’re each an integral element of the natural world, as well as being part of a human community or society, so this support may come from the more-than-human world, as well as the human realm.
Next, we spend some time observing and listening to our situation, sensing into what’s blowing on the wind, what wants to be grown here at this time? This is quite different from using your mind to decide on a goal, then choosing the steps needed to get there.
After some time observing and sensing, we can begin to choose what we want to achieve, or harvest: which seeds may do well in this soil, in these conditions, with this support network?
Now, we’re ready to explore how best to water and tend the young shoots of our vision, intention or dream, so that it may grow organically and sustainably (without chemicals!). Here, we consider what skills, qualities, knowledge and experience you already have that you can draw on to support your growth, as well as any new ones you need to acquire or practice.
Finally, we can harvest and celebrate the fruits of our love and labour. This last stage of marking and celebrating your achievements and successes is essential to continuing the positive cycle of growth. It has echoes of ancient pagan traditions of ‘harvest festivals’ and the ceremonies of giving thanks and reciprocity that are found across the world, in indigenous cultures.
This nature-based coaching process isn’t linear, but follows a spiral path. As we review and celebrate what we’re harvesting, we can give back to earth and compost any elements that are no longer needed or beneficial.
Who benefits from this nature-based approach to coaching?
Whether or not you’ve experienced coaching before, you may notice how different this is from the standard approach that begins with setting a goal, outcome, or target to aim for, then following up with action steps to meet that goal. That approach, like many frameworks developed in the corporate world, is based on a military strategic way of seeing and describing the world, using language like aims, targets, objectives, action plans and performance indicators.
Nature-based coaching is a softer, more receptive and holistic approach that draws on the principles and language of organic growth in nature. Nothing is forced, driven, or pushed here, but gently encouraged, tended and nurtured.
This is for you if you want to make changes in your life by sensing into and leading from your heart and body, rather than leading with your ever busy thinking mind, or being led or pushed by someone else’s agenda..
It’s for you if you love the natural world and would enjoy exploring your own life in a way that’s in harmony with nature, honouring its wisdom.
It’s for you if you feel out of tune with the language and frameworks of the military industrial complex that dominate so many of our mainstream institutions, including our education systems and workplaces.
This is for you if you’re looking for support and encouragement from a compassionate, intuitive coach who’ll walk alongside you, holding a safe space in which you can explore (rather than a drill sergeant, or cheerleader, who might push you to go at their pace rather than your own)
If this sounds good and you’d like to explore whether I’m the right coach for you, please get in touch.
I offer complimentary coaching sessions to people who want to experience nature-based coaching, with absolutely no sales pitch or pressure to continue (which wouldn’t be natural, of course!). Only then, if you feel that my approach is a good fit for you, we can arrange another call to explore walking on together for as long as you choose.
I also invite you to look around my website to see what else Being in Nature offers that may appeal to you..
With warm wishes,