course »Urban Nature: Creative Strategies to Increase Resiliency – 2 Days

Date: 6/2/2017, 9:30 am—3:30 pm
County: Alameda County
Location: Oakland
Sponsor: A Better Way, Inc.
Phone: 510-601-0203
In this 2-day outdoor training, we will deepen our connection to the natural world, to each other, and to ourselves so that we are able to mentor young people to do the same.

Physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing are directly related to our connection with the natural world. Learning, attention, resiliency, and overall health are all supported by time outdoors. Yet many modern urban dwellers do not experience connection with the natural world. Contributing factors include limited access to safe outdoor spaces; lack of familiarity with natural environments; individual and collective trauma; and our relationship with technology. For many people, a lack of familiarity with their own minds and hearts impedes deep connection with self as well as with others, leading to apathy, despair and destruction. When we feel disconnected from something, we don’t love it, and we don’t take care of it. This applies to both our internal worlds (self), and the world around us (others, nature).

In our training, we will intentionally develop connection through mindful awareness, focusing our attention on present moment sensations in an intentional, non-judgmental way. Information will be based on years of experience, neurobiology, research, and traditional and indigenous wisdom and practices.

This workshop will utilize mindfulness, creative arts activities, movement, play, conversation and nature awareness activities to enable participants to connect deeply with themselves, each other, and the natural world around them. These tools will be applicable to mentoring youth to engage in practices of connection to enhance meaning, wellbeing, resilience, and access to positive emotions.

  • Learn 8 hallmarks of connection.
  • Discuss 3 keys differences between educational modelling (conceptual/ intellectual) versus connection modelling (experiential/ relational).
  • Understand 3 characteristics of mindful awareness, or quiet mind, as an experiential tool for fostering connection.
  • Experience two outdoor art activities that support sensory awareness and connection.
  • Create and play one game using found materials and the immediate environment.
  • Identify 6 different plants and animals, and discuss strategies for how to help youth get more familiar with their environment.