Learn how Sharing Nature removes barriers between colleagues and how it is differs from other outdoor activities.
“Some of our most alienating work environments, in the sense of separating us from nature, are often in the modern office building, where people are in these very bland, hostile environments with no access to windows or any experience of the outside or natural environments. Ironically, if you tried to do that to a caged animal in a zoo, you would violate law, and would be prevented from doing so.”
– Stephen Kellert, Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology at Yale University
With such severe nature deficit, leaders and managers are perhaps one group that will gain the most from Nature immersion experience of Sharing Nature training. When you are surrounded by astounding beauty and everyone around is happy and joyous, something unexpected happens.
For the moment, the past is forgotten and participants view each other with a completely fresh outlook. The black & white picture of their relationships with their colleagues, is now filled in with colour and vibrancy. During interactions at the end of the day, you really get to know one another for the first time. We call this experience team bonding.
Sharing Nature training is quite unlike any other outdoor programme. Traditional outdoor programmes for corporate executives are usually made up of activities that are centred around only two themes: competition or cooperation. Nature has little significance other than providing a pleasant venue. Sharing Nature is different.
You will find no props, no races, no paint balls, no puzzles, and no obstacles to overcome. At Sharing Nature training, the beauty of pristine Nature, a sense of attunement with it through play, and the outpouring of emotions that follows, are the central attractions.
Find Yourself Rejuvenated and Inspired
There is now overwhelming research to show that spending time in Nature brings physiological and psychological benefits. A recent meta-study from University of East Anglia involving more than 290 million people, compared 140 past studies to state that spending time in Nature reduces the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth while also reducing blood pressure, heart rate and stress and increasing sleep duration.
Sharing Nature training, however, goes much further than just spending time in Nature, as it involves deep nature play. The key distinguishing factor is the quality and level of engagement that makes you feel one with Nature and brings out those positive emotional reactions. Leaving you with a deeply memorable experience that you can tap at any time just by closing your eyes and recalling it at will.
Discover Feelings You Didn’t Know Exist In You
Sharing Nature allows participants to emotionally bond with Nature. In various activities, a player sometimes acts out an animal, interviews a river, pretends to be part of a tree, and captures an image of a beautiful landscape through her inner lens – one she will remember for years. Other activities allow the player to reflect upon and express in writing some of the emotions she experienced.
Acting out in ways dictated not by logic but according to feelings, she finds that her inner child is not just acknowledged, but is encouraged. As the player experiences, acts out, reflects upon and shares these emotions – a previously unrecognised aspect of the individual finds expression for the first time and remains with her long after the training has culminated.
Have Fun, Touch Your Inner Child Through Play
If you’re like most adults, you’re probably play-deprived. In Deep Nature Play Joseph Cornell writes about how adults benefit from play:
Some adults feel that sensory awareness games are solely for children. I’ve been amused to see how parents, at the beginning of family programs, will gently push their children toward me, then themselves stand at the back, their arms folded across their chests. When I tell the parents that I need them to partner with their children to play a game, they are more than eager to help. Immediately, the adults are playing just as enthusiastically as the children. All of us, no matter our age, can benefit from joyful, living contact with the earth. Playful nature games help teens and adults experience life with a child’s natural exuberance, and reconnect us with the innocence and joy of our own childhoods.
Learn to Nurture Your Right Brain
While the left side of the brain views the world as separate, fragmented, in an abstract and narrow manner, the right side sees the interconnections, the holistic view, the big picture, and things laden with meaning. Where left brain is analytical, acquisitive, literal and detached; the right is engaged, empathetic, receptive, and intuitive. Control and manipulation is associated with the left while opening up to the possibilities is associated with the right brain.
As we describe in the section titled “The Shift”, human society and economy has been built on left brain skills but increasingly those skills are not sufficient for success and there is a clear societal trend towards right brain values. Sharing Nature activities can help you prepare for this new recognition by developing right brain qualities.
As the training emphasises emotions and generates a feeling of oneness with Nature, we naturally tend to gravitate from the fragmented towards the whole. All games and activities are non-competitive, and there is no analysis or study involved so left brain application is kept to the minimum. But there is a lot of beauty, sensory stimulation and a feeling of love and appreciation, all of which nurture the right brain aspects of player’s personality.
Improve Relationship With Your Child or Loved One
In his book Deep Nature Play, Joseph Cornell describes how a simple sensory awareness game allowed his friend to help her 73-year-old grandmother ailing from Alzheimer’s disease find relief for the first time in several years. Because Sharing Nature games are fun and engaging, they provide an opportunity to improve strained relationships between parent-child and between loved ones. Once you’re able to overcome initial reluctance on your part on part of the person you wish to involve, both parties will discover creation of a joyful new bond as they engage in play.
Discover a Completely New Way of Relating with Nature
We have all experienced Nature in various ways such as, hikes, walks, adventure activities and perhaps more. While all of these experiences can be enjoyable, the relationship they foster with Nature is one between observer and the object being observed. There is a clear separation between the two. At Sharing Nature we try to bridge this gap through play that makes the player become one with Nature.
“If you want to motivate people, first touch their hearts, because it is their feelings that will inspire their thoughts and behavior,”
– Legendary naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
While in traditional activities such as river rafting Nature serves as a source of thrill and gives one a sense of exhilaration through a feeling of domination, Sharing Nature considers Nature as a living entity. Our activities focus on emotions or feelings of the participant. All tasks or challenges in our games are designed to help adults and children deepen their relationship with Nature through unique ways of emotionally connecting with Nature.
Enhance Learning, Make it Fun, Experiential and Memorable
Sharing Nature training offers inspired and joyful learning experiences that makes ecology—not just a concept—but a life-changing awareness. It gives participants inspiration as explained above, as well as the tools and techniques to make learning fun, experiential and memorable. Many of the benefits to participants – such as impact on imagination and creativity, memory and cognition, increase in attention span and much more – are described in section: Why Attend.
Our workshops will train participants in a teaching method that can be adapted to teach any subject using experiential learning. It is essentially a sequence of activities discovered by Sharing Nature founder Joseph Cornell that accelerates flow of inspiration.
This highly effective outdoor learning strategy called Flow Learning™, was featured by the U.S. National Park Service as one of five recommended learning theories, along with the work of Maria Montessori, Howard Gardner, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Flow Learning is described here in greater detail.