What can we learn from winter? Tuning into the intelligence of the natural world through listening to how it moves, adapts and expresses itself is one-way to live a more life-attuned life and tap into the wisdom of billions of years of evolution.
Imagine the power of education, when we foster a deep awareness of the wisdom of the natural world and facilitate a deeply embodied connection to that wisdom by helping our students see and feel the patterns of nature alive in their being.
Where do the patterns and cyclical nature of winter show up in your life?
For the natural world, winter is a time of retreat and hibernation- a process which invites our bodies and souls to rest, conserve energy and prepare for the outward expansion of new life come spring. Western culture often demands we stay in a ‘summer’ state, always producing, always moving, always working at the same or greater and greater levels of energy. In that sense, the dominant culture around how we work disconnects us from nature’s way- the way nature regenerates and evolves through cycles.
Like nature, we too go through seasons and cycles- we experience ‘wintering.’ The sign of a need for wintering may include a lack of energy, heightened stress, a sense of burnout or feeling of loss and desire for reflection and clarification in your life. Sound familiar? ‘Wintering’ can be needed, even when it's 30 degrees outside.
It’s ok to rest, it’s ok to slow down and it’s ok to let go of things for a while and lessen the load on your plate to prioritize your wellbeing. In fact, it’s nature’s way. Our ability to embrace and adapt to periods of rest, reflection and slowing down increase our resilience and capacity to regenerate, renew and spring back to life.
Much of Be the Change’s work aims to help students discover their connection to the natural world, as part of the natural world. Check out how a few of our Action Packs from our Connection Module, help students develop a stronger connection with nature and consider what happiness means to them.
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ACTION PACK: THE BIG PICTURE
Inquiry: Do we feel happier and more fulfilled when we engage in life beyond meeting the material needs of existence?
Students will explore ‘happiness’ and learn about compassion, authentic experience with self, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and why some people pursue certain meaning in their work. Then, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, students will examine how they categorize and currently meet their own needs. They will also consider what future needs they may have, how they would like to meet them, and how they are likely to re-prioritize their needs at various times in their lives.
ACTION PACK: NATURE NURTURE
Inquiry: How does developing a stronger connection with the natural world help create personal resilience to address climate change and global sustainability?
Students will learn about deep and shallow ecology, benefits of natural space, the Gaia Hypothesis and Biophilia. Students will then spend 30 minutes in a quiet spot outdoors to connect with nature, during which time, they will reflect and record what they hear, feel and experience.
Action Pack has BC Ministry of Education course correlations in the following courses: Grade 11 Human Geography, Grade 12 Physical Geography, Grade 10 Science, Grade 11 Environmental Science, Grade 11 Science for Citizens.
Thank you for your continued support!
With a nod to the seasons of you,
of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.