Whilst out walking I realise that in many ways I'm seeking a romaticised view of the natural world.  Yearning for the green to counter the urban, the harmony to balance the horror.

I see the cities as swollen effigies to neo-libral capitalism.  The military industrial complex feeding on the modern day workhouses of offices, sweatshops and factories.

From this privileged position of being in the UK I look to the woods and meadows for comfort, as if therein lies an answer to all the decadent consumption of humanity.  So I become a consumer of wildness, my steps imprinting on the ground ivy, insects and wild flowers that yearn to grow beneath.

And so to do I receive gifts of inspiration and insight, a slow burning realisation that yes, I have lost my way, one wandering the deserts of modern day isolation and technological addiction.

The Romantic Movement bestows a legacy of hope, of a path that can be self determined and walked by those who feel the stirring for more wholeness, connection and integration in life.

The devil is in the detail.  Sweeping vistas of perfection painted across landscapes will fail us if we don't take a deep dive into our bodies first and begin listening to the subtle ways we push away the unpleasant, uncomfortable and unavoidable realities of humanness.

The reach for something to placate the pain of being lonely, sad or bereft will continue and appropriate the natural world as our latest commodity, geared to fix the pain.

So there is a sense of a new space opening up wherein the body is the new wilderness, the last stand. Until we can step lovingly into our own arms and hold with care the wounds of this life, we will find but hollow truths that ring out, waiting to be answered by a deeper introspection.

Ecotherapy/ecopsychology do offer a way into this self reflection, peeling back the layers of ego, of suffering, of trauma and numbness so a new wave of life can sweep the chambers of the heart clean. They echo the longing of connection - inter-relatedness - ecology in a tangible way that can deliver therapeutic benefits to bring about lasting change, renewal and meaning in the often brutal storm of conditioned mind.

The power of this work is amplified when ones own actions begin to change and affect the world around us, like the proverbial drop in the ocean, waves being carried for miles around as we set to work compassionately with ourselves, communities and the Planet we call Earth.


Tom Cowan offers yoga classes, workshops, retreats, massage therapy, event facilitation and Ecotherapy in London & Brighton.

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