One of the career paths that I considered, as a teenager, was biomedical engineering. I was enthralled with medicine, science, infrastructure, and the creative process. I applied to a few undergraduate universities to learn more about their programs but, ultimately, I was turned off of the idea. Reflecting on this now, I think that there were a couple of reasons.
The first was an instinct that was pushing me in a different direction. I can see now that if I had chosen bioengineering, I probably would have headed down a much different road leading to the creation of conceptual products to “hack” biology from the perspective of human-intelligence-is-more-significant-than-nature, which stems from a belief that we have the capacity (and the right) to improve upon mother nature’s design. Not all biomedical engineers have this belief, but the modern scientific mind can be somewhat unforgiving and stuck in an old paradigm. Currently, engineers learn that nature is a resource which may be utilized and extracted for human benefit and thus our intelligence is leveraged for our comfort, profit and technological “advancement”.
I decided to study cell biology at Boston College. The study of biology taught me a lot about observations and discoveries of nature at the microscopic level with the same core belief that human intelligence is the elite source of “knowing”. Now, I am quite certain that there is no higher intelligence than nature itself. We must learn to respect this truth and re-establish a connection to our planet through regenerative practices that are cooperative and sustainable. We must move away from habits that are extractive and destructive to our environment.
This truth is what motivated me to launch into being an entrepreneur, to enable me to do work in the world that serves others through enlightening and facilitating a human/planet connection to support the divine intelligence of nature for a regenerative pathway towards wellness. My commitment to serving the planet and people through my work is at the very foundation of my self-expression. The vehicle that drives this motivation and commitment is community. Ecosystems thrive when plants and animals connect with each other. Earth will thrive when humans become a regenerative part of this living ecosystem, bringing our bodies into the web of nature’s connection. We must develop and nurture a network of collaborative humans who value our differences of opinion, perspective, and beliefs.
This brings me to the other reason why I did not study engineering. I am embarrassed to admit that I was afraid of “never meeting my future husband” based on my assumption and perception that engineers tend to be “unappealing dorks”. Please accept my sincere apologies for the superficiality and judgement of my teenage years. Trust me, I have come a long way in my own self-healing journey and I have adjusted my perspective (and ego) since then! In spite of this, I continued to love the idea of engineering as a field where science, art, and innovation intersect with an intentionality to solve problems in a way that is useful for people. I think that I have always been a “closet” engineer, and I was clearly an “unappealing dork”.
I share this personal story, as an example of how reflection leads to healing in the setting of community. By speaking my truth “out loud” my story is expressed with my felt experience for the community to witness. The witness, upon hearing my story, now has been given a gift which may present as a connection and/or an awakening of memory. This revealed memory enlivens a felt experience of that moment, which contains the secret ingredient to healing.
Let me get a little more clear on what I mean. For example, my story about judging the character of engineers could resonate for the witness to invoke a memory which serves the individual by reconnecting her/him/them with a life experience that contains a similar theme. In this case, let’s say the perception about other individuals who are different and were judged in an unfavorable way. Then the witness may become aware of a challenging feeling or sensation in the body, which naturally emerges when we feel a conflict in our emotional/mental “body”. It presents as a visceral (physical) response, in this case to judgement, because the heart and brain are dissonant.
In the setting of the safe container of my Earth-Body Community Healing Circles, the mindful witness (who has been introduced to somatosensory awareness at the start of the session) may now recognize that the feeling of dissonance is a gift to allow her/him/them to uncover the root cause that created the circumstances of the story. This is the essence of self (health) care. The healing unfolds in an organic way, by the simple magic of community and truth. There is no need to preach about how or why this experience happened. There is no need to correct a problem because there is nothing wrong. The witness and members of the healing circle are present and receiving, as well as holding each other as sacred and whole. To feel the powerful freedom in sharing and receiving is to find wellness with a felt-sense of love, compassion, and connection.
Typically, the old plot of the “story of judgement” ends with one of two outcomes; either avoidance (which was my path) or conflict (the alternative path). But by allowing a deep personal reflection in the setting of a safe container for social engagement, a new outcome becomes available: understanding and freedom! The Earth-Body Community Healing Circle allows for one’s personal truth to be witnessed, held and received without judgement or cognizing. I believe that this form of social engagement enables a primitive sense of “tribal” belonging which creates a physiological release of the fight-flight-or-freeze neuro-chemical circuitry. Thus, the poly-vagal nerve pathways become activated, humans come into their innate state of peace and relaxation, healing is possible, and we may return to thriving! EBC Community Group is an anti-dote to the anxiety and fear that is ever-present.
It is through NUSHU Group that I discovered this brilliant healing modality. I use the NUSHU Group construct and guidelines developed by Vanessa Cornell in my EBC Healing Circles. I also serve as a Mentor for NUSHU Group Facilitator Training. Visit the NUSHU homepage for more information at http://www.nushu.com
To wrap up my judgement story… Following deep reflection as a participant of NUSHU Group, I was led to acknowledge my own self-worth, to become aware of my limiting subconscious beliefs about relationships and to notice the controlled extent of how I was allowing myself to relate to others in a loving way. I can now choose self-love, I am reprograming my limiting beliefs, and I am opening to more loving relationships. I am grateful to have discovered these insights and enhance my awareness to dissolve the beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve me. I feel lucky to have had many opportunities to shine my light on others and now I am better at allowing the light of others to shine within me. I am fortunate to have spent a significant amount of time connecting with people from all walks of life, people of different ages, different genders, different upbringings, different political affiliations, different races, and different nationalities, which has brought me to appreciate that diversity and interconnectivity IS the pathway to healing and towards a life that is engineered with purpose. It is precisely why my offerings are all woven into a fabric of collective community. We will thrive as a society once we put away our egos and thoughtfully engage with each other.
When I sat down to write this, I had the intention that this musing would enhance your understanding of how Regenerative Eco-Fitness Training is designed as an infrastructure for your existing fitness program and how I came to engineer it. But instead, this entry meandered into a truth-out-loud and statement-of-purpose. We never really know where our paths will lead. Just start walking and see where you end up!
It is an honor to share this space with you, to allow my vulnerability to shine through as an invitation to open yourself up to someone new. In sharing a bit of myself with you, I hope that you might reflect on anything that comes up in resonance with your reading. This journaling moment also served me to deepen my own journey of embodying my own authentic identity. That is the very essence of co-healing! I hope that you might take a moment to reflect on these prompts: How might you reach out and connect with someone new? Is anything getting in your way of making new connections? Feel free to leave a comment or you may reflect in your own way.
I invite you to prioritize the co-healing of our planet and each other. Thank you for being a part of the Earth-Body Community. Please spread the word and follow me on Instagram. Here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/bodies_of_the_earth/