Reciprocal Relationships with Earth

What is your vision for the future of our lives here on Earth? This is a question I have been asking others and myself for the past several years. Recently I came across a response that felt like an 'aha' moment for me. Rather than our current using the earth to meet human's consumption, we can participate in symbiotic - or mutually beneficial - relationships with nature. We can relate with other living beings, the elements, and systems of the earth in ways that promote our wellbeing and theirs. 

In my work with groups or individuals outdoors I often include a piece of intentionally shifting into reciprocal relationships with nature. What I have found is that we tend to relate more on an intellectual level at first. We focus on breathing out carbon dioxide to a plant who breathes out oxygen to us. We contemplate whether we should pour water on the roots of a tree. After taking time to sink into this experience, what I find is that we shift more into emotional or spiritual ways of relating with nature. As we deepen ways of relating with earth that are mutually beneficial, we seem to tune into what feels like natures’ desire to receive our awe, our gratitude, our attention. And we feeling rejuvenated.

Today I went for a cold winter's cross country ski through forests, past farm fields, and around a quiet frozen lake. The trail crosses over a marshland on a board walk blanketed in snow. I paused to appreciate the cattails and their role of filtering the water. The mostly frozen creek flowing through the marsh appeared so clear and crisp. The winter sun held low in the sky and sparkled off the moving water. As I stood in awe of the cleansing cattails and the vibrant water, the tension within my body dissipated, heavy emotions released, and my gratitude for these beings was amplified. Experiencing this marsh as a transformative place raised in me an attunement for water’s life force and a heightened desire to protect this vital element. I wondered if perhaps this was an example of a symbiotic relationship.

What are ways each of us individually and collectively might open more into symbiotic relationships with earth? How might the earth be impacted if we tuned into and shared moments of awe with nature? Perhaps in cherishing the natural world we are then more incline to behave with respect. I wonder if by extension of loving the earth we can participate in healing with the earth?

Blessings this winter.




I recently was honoured to interview Linda Buzzell, a leading Ecotherapist and Ecopsychologist, on our reciprocity with nature.


Come join a community event I will be facilitating to participate in reciprocity with earth. At the Guelph Resilience Festival Thursday March 22, 6:00-7:00

 Ecotherapy: Healing Our Relationship with Earth.

Ecotherapy is a much needed response in this era to bring light and intention to our relationship with earth. This workshop offers experiential opportunities to settle into a sense of how the earth heals us and ways we in turn can participate in the earth’s healing. Intended for those who are looking to further deepen a sense of connection with nature and to step into new meaning for ways of relating with our earth.


 “We cannot protect something we do not love, we cannot love what we do not know, and we cannot know what we do not see. And touch. And hear.” – Richard Louv.