PETS offers non-licensed, unprofessional action oriented suggestions that might help some people. PETS therapists are volunteers and receive no specialized psychological training and essentially make it up.
PETS: Prescribed Engagement Therapies
Scientific studies reveal that the human body is sentient, able to independently feel and respond to environmental conditions. What does it mean that the patterns present in the biology of our bodies mirror patterns present in Nature’s systems from the planetary to the cellular? Could the body be more intelligent than the brain?
(Re) Placement therapy functions to heal the mind-body-nature connection through exercises that provide opportunities to (re) place our physical bodies back into the natural environment.
Please begin in a seated position. Remove your shoes and sit comfortably.
First, bring your focus back to your breathing. Our individual breaths as we inhale and exhale are part of an endless feedback loop that regulates the planet’s temperature and atmosphere. The trees and plants around us produce the oxygen we take in through our skin, mouths and lungs.
Our bodies produce carbon dioxide and as we exhale the trees and plants absorb the gas, releasing, returning, rising, falling, our bodies, the plants and trees, regulating gases, synthesizing new life, growing, dying, decomposing,
If you are near a plant or a tree, try to hear it breath. Imagine the plant exhaling has you inhale, and inhaling as you exhale. Breath with it for a while.
If you are near the ocean, sit facing the waves. Listen to the waves. Breath in time with the waves. As the waves rush in fill your lungs, as the waves recede, let it out. In and out. Breath in, breath out, breath in – time-
For thousands or years, our bodies have maintained a committed, mutually beneficial relationship with nature, despite our minds’ destructive tendencies. Imagine what the body knows.
Now is about listening. Listening is about being present and open to the moment.
Can you hear the waves along the shoreline?
Can you hear the leaves and the trees?
Do you hear the grass whisper above insect highways, the soft flap of fledgling wings?
Can you hear the wind?
Can you hear voices the wind carries across bodies of water still calm at dawn?
Human language and music is said to originate from animal sounds. Ages ago, as our species struggled to survive we were relatively silent in comparison to the natural soundscape. Seeking shelter in caves, huddled together by fire, we heard the howl of the wind, the wolves and coyote. We learned to recognize intonations that expressed valuable information and or feelings like sorrow and joy. We formed sounds and then words and as our world grew more complex, so did our means of communication.
Verbal language does not always equate to deep understanding. Deep understanding comes from our bodies. Sometimes non verbal sounds are the best means of expressing feelings, like alarm, affection, wonder, surprise, anger and fear. Perhaps a more direct means of communication than verbal language, non-verbal-vocalizations can relieve stress and elevate mood. It’s a safe means of communicating in that in the end, know one really knows what your saying. They can only understand what you are feeling.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and listen to the natural soundscape.
Begin to hear your body’s voice, starting from your toes, traveling up your legs, circulating around your groin, warming your stomach, rising into your chest, through your throat, out your mouth.
At first you can hum or whistle, but it’s more effective to make open mouth sounds, responding to the sounds around you.
Your mind will try to prevent a full response. Feelings of awkwardness and shame are just the brain acting in fear. Don’t be afraid. Like the birds in the trees, your voice, is part of the natural soundscape. Relax and have fun.
I will begin and then we can all follow after one another. Once we’ve all made our sound, we’ll all sound together.
4.Rocks can appear stoic, solid and inanimate. But they are constantly changing. Rocks are moving through us. It’s the carbon cycle. Carbon combines with rainwater to form carbonic acid, rocks dissolve and the run-off is carried out to the sea. Creatures like coral and clam extract carbon from the water to form exoskeletons and shells. Some creatures are eaten by bigger and bigger creatures, climbing higher and higher up the food chain.
Some creatures die on the seafloor and their shells sink to the bottom where they’re compressed to form limestone. Eventually the limestone undergoes subduction, as it grows heavy and moves under the earth’s crust. When the limestone nears the earth’s core the carbon is released as volcanic gas, traveling up through the continental plate and back out into the atmosphere to begin the cycle again.
Like the humans, animals and trees, rocks are part of the feedback loop that sustains the planet’s atmosphere. Only rocks move at a geologic pace. They are still in their movement.
Find a rock home.
1. Find a safe place where you can sit with a rock for 10 – 20 minutes.
2. Try to find a rock that is equal to or larger than your body.
3. Climb onto the rock and find a place where you can comfortably rest your body.
4. Once you can rest your head, relax you shoulders, your hands, your pelvis, your legs, your feet and your toes, allow your body to sink into the rock.
5. Now that you have (Re)Placed your body into the natural landscape let your body nest.
6. Relax your mind.
7. Let your body recall its place in the landscape.
8. Close your eyes.