The concepts upon which Sports and Safaris are based include:
1. It has been part of the genetic programming of the human species to live in an interconnected way with nature.
“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, 1992, The Diversity of Life.)
“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, p.30). (Brackets are words of writer).
2. The development of our brain and of thinking is rooted in nature.
“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. 1992 )
3. Observing animals with social behavior helps us to re-discover aspects about ourselves that facilitates better team connecting:
“…to discover that which is bedrock or cement in us: aggression, fear, insecurity, happiness or opportunity. Because they have the ability to read our involuntary tics and scents, we are transparent to them, and thus exposed – we are finally ourselves.” (Intimate Behavior, Hogan et. al., p.168).
4. As a human species we need two types of nurturing to develop the Emotional Intelligence that empowers and motivates us: from our own parents and from Mother Nature.
As we have become Eco-alientated (distanced from our natural adaptation to nature) we have lost connection with ourselves. When we find ways to reconnect not only with our unique abilities and who we are, we become purposeful and passionate, and we knit together better with those in our team.
“Human beings, especially those in westernized societies, experience a double sense of alienation and abandonment from themselves – primarily because they are separated too early from the safe place of their mothering person (male and female); and then additionally from a bonding with Mother Nature. For those of us who divide our lives between civilization and wilderness, even a brief experience of the silence that hums while we sit still or move quietly through it will bring us to ourselves, will bring us refreshment and renewal of enthusiasm for life. 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.” (Lynda Wheelwright Schmidt, 1995, The long Shore: Wilderness as Healing Power.)
5. Ecotherapy offers a process of self-discovery that enhances team connecting as we have the opportunity to return to ancient human wisdom and our interconnectedness within our own species and between species.
As wild animals and tribal people already know and live this interdependence they are good tutors for relationship building and survival in a competitive, ever changing environment.
Personal and Team Development is facilitated by EcoPsychologist, Mandy Young who recognizes the need for inner wellness as well as outer adaptiveness. Group processes encourage kinship bonds and Wilderness Therapy offers the opportunity for self-reflection using all our senses, even our intuition, in an integrated, balanced system that has been tried and tested over time.