Corporate Wildlife Team Building Adventures
Wilderness Wisdom & Nature Nurturing
whilst observing and interacting with endangered african wild dogs, wise elephants, playful dolphins & wild Meerkats! Learning to be a Team from the most longlasting clans still surviving in our modern world – the bushmen & the Maasai Tribes
Mandy Young, Ecotherapist, with extensive knowledge of human & animal behavior, translates your observations, adventures & interactions with wild animals & tribal people in wilderness spaces, into life-enriching, personally transforming, teambuilidng experiences.
Principles & Passions for Corporate Wildlife Team Building Adventures
PASSION : Healing ourselves & healing the world are interlinked
1. Genetically, soulfully & spiritually we evolved in adaptation to nature and we are not best adapted to the stresses & strains of city life and many aspects of our westernized lifestyles.
The human species has had some 3 million years of survival programming in how to interact constructively with nature…love and connectedness with the natural world is rooted in our genes – as much a part of our history as love and bonding and having children. We know at a deep body-mind level, however dimly, that if we continue to reject this programming and do not establish a respectful interaction with nature, we will lose not only a vital dimension of our humanness, but eventually our planet home as a self-renewing, life-nurturing organism. (Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life.1992)
2. Modern Man is the dominant Predator on this earth because of his intellectual ability. It is this ability that distinguishes man from animals, but also gives him greater responsibility to live in a healthy co-existence with nature that sustains us.
Healthy bonding with nature is not merging with it, as this is impossible for modern man, who has the capacity of species’ self awareness, intelligence and spiritual capacities…man experiences the paradox of being in nature, but also set apart from it, to be a creature of both dust and destiny. (Clinebell, H; Healing Yourself: Healing the World, 1992)
‘If we cannot use our reason to hold ourselves in humility and accept with grace our partnership with all the earth (and each other), then we will not be able to perceive that man, like the dinosaur, is expendable. Ultimately in the vastness of time, man is on trial here, not only as a species, but also as a vehicle to determine whether reason was an advance or a tragic evolutionary mistake?’ (Brochert, P.; Africa Environment and Wildlife, Vol.7, No.3, May/June, 1999). (Brackets are my own emphasis).
HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?
Richard Leakey, a world renown leading anthropologist, identifies two ways in which species become extinct:
‘…they either fail to adapt over time to the demands of their changing environment or they disappear en masse…because of some cataclysmic evolutionary event like a geological eruption, climatic shift, or some space junk slamming into the earth. This time…Leakey marshals a growing body of evidence that another mass extinction of species is currently under way, and he says that this time…human fingerprints are on the trigger!
Richard Swift, a journalist who writes for a magazine called ‘Endangered Species’ (July 2000), also lets us know the horrifying facts that:
…we are pushing 100 species a day, 4 species an hour into evolutionary oblivion! Some are mega-fauna we know so well, the poster-children of endangered species: the elephant, the tiger, the rhino, (wild dogs), and the blue crane. Most are plant, insects, microbes and reptiles we haven’t even figured out names for.’
‘The death of wildness would be an incomprehensible experience beyond cycles and rhythms of birth and death. It would be a sterilization, a one-sidedness as shocking as prison…The reason human-made, human sized phenomenon (like a garden or a park) can work for us is that it is a reference to something greater, something infinite…A garden without a wilderness to refer to would no longer connect us to the infinite. The call to save the wilderness is a call to save us all…Because we emerged from the wilderness, we need to re-emerge with it to heal our feeling of abandonment. (Schmidt, L; Healing Ourselves: Healing the Earth, 1992)
1. Historically we have increasingly disconnected from our God-Designed Species-Specific way of Living & Relating
The consequence has been DISCONNECTION
from ourselves – less self awareness & appropriate self care
from others & healthy ways of relating
from the earth – we are destroying that which sustains us
from God – inauthentic spirituality
The answer is to RECONNECT
…with ourselves – self-reflection – best facilitated in wilderness places, aided by animals with social behavior.
Animals …hold us to what is present, to who we are at the time. What is obvious to an animal is not the embellishment that fattens our emotional resumes, but what is bedrock or cement in us: aggression, fear, insecurity, happiness or opportunity. Because they have the ability to read our involuntary tics or scents, we are transparent to them, and thus exposed – we are finally ourselves. (Hogan, Intimate Behavior, 1988).
…with others – creating community / team building through the development of social & emotional intelligence. – best illustrated by animals with social behavior & tribal people with ancient wisdom
(My work with animals) … offered me peace, and healing, a kind of knowledge that is still finding its way into words. I knew I was in the presence of intelligence, and I had to learn new kinds of behavior to be with them, a slowness, a stillness and inner silence that is no longer common in our fast-moving lives, a careful watching to see if their health had improved or lessened. But mostly what I learned turned me back toward the traditions of my ancestors and those of other tribal people to help me define the possibilities of the future and of the relationship between animals and ourselves.’ (Hogan, L. Intimate Behavior, 1998)
…with the earth – in wilderness places natural harmonious, interceonnected, well-balanced systems have been tried & tested, are adaptative & have stood the test of time.
‘…human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature’s intentions…The rhythms of nature underlie all human interaction, religious tradition, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited, and entire species are threatened.’ (Steven Aizenstat, Healing Yourself: Healing the World, Clinebell, 1992)
…with God – nature is a great leveler, here we can experience God’s unconditional love & acceptance as well as his intended species-specific processes.
The whole mind comes out of nature and does not function apart from nature. The new brain (or neocortex) distinguishes man from most animals, but it is an extension of the old brain (the limbic system). The limbic system of the old brain is at the biological root of human bonding with nature. We need to move from the new brain’s prominence and domination back into the old brain’s primacy and purpose. (Ashbrook, B., Healing Yourself: Healing the World, 1992 )
2. There is a need for greater emotional intelligence
Lynda Wheelwright Schmidt, a Jungian analyst, adds that human interaction with nature is not only important for our intellectual development, but for our emotional wellbeing as well.:
‘… much of Western psychology today focuses on the pain and anxiety of abandonment caused by children being separated too early from the ‘safe place’ with their mothering person (female or male)…Psychotherapy and other forms of psychic healing have moved into this breach, with their methods of providing a safe place, a re-creation of the original ‘safe place’ with the mother person (male or female). From this safe place clients can explore and find healing for not only the wound particular to their own life, but also the abandonment wound everyone shares.’
‘Alone in the wilderness we also experience fear and isolation, but we have a history of millions of years of relating to wilderness literally and bodily…. Entering the wilderness and its microcosms – (even) gardens and parks – gives us an opportunity to reconnect with this instinct and rest our fragile psyches from the exhaustion of trying to stay intact in the civilized world, which is so alien to many of us…Merger with a therapist can heal our abandonment wound, but merger with nature can reconnect us to the ancient roots of the Self as well.’ (Schmidt, Healing Yourself: Healing the World, 1992)
3. Ecotherapy offers us a process of healing, restoration & a return to ancient wisdom by offering participants in corporate wildlife team building adventures the opportunity for self-reflection & confidence as they re-experience their interconnectedness with other species and with each other. Each team member participating in these adventures gains greater Self-Awareness & Emotional Intelligence to not only fulfil their unique role and individual potential but also the knowledge to know how to fit together as a Team in an intuitive, well-functioning Corporate Community.
‘The foundational grounding from the inner and outer connectedness with nature is weak or missing in many people today, especially those who live most of their lives distanced from nature’s power and nurturance in industrialized, high-tech, polluted mega-cities. Preventing this alienation by enhancing ecobonding through ecotherapy programs is an essential but often neglected goal of holistic education, including parenting. Healing this alienation should be one of the essential goals of whole-person counseling, psychotherapy and other forms of healing practise. Many if not most Western healers still need to become aware of this vital need. (Paul Shephard, Healing Ourselves: Healing the World, 1992)