Like most ideas in life, people have various viewpoints on what terms mean and entail.
Eco-Coaching will be one of those too.
From my perspective eco-coaching can be utilised out in nature and if possible, should be for 4 reasons:
- Whilst walking side-by-side in nature we begin to feel a level of connection, and as we exercise our legs and our lungs, we begin to release beneficial neurotransmitters. One in particular is Anandamide. Anandamide derives from the Sanskrit word for bliss and it opens our blood vessels allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow more easily around our body and brain. It also makes us more creative.
- The natural world has 3.8 billion years of evolutionary wisdom embedded. Being amongst it allows a skilled coach to utilise examples of the natural world as a metaphor during the conversation.
- We were designed to look over wide vistas, when we look at small screens and live in cubicles, it narrows our perspective and as a result our options.
- It’s just an enjoyable and rejuvenating experience.
But that’s not the fundamental principle of eco-coaching in my view. At the moment humanity is out of balance with its own eco-system. This is because we’ve been using egological systems and ideologies at the expense of ecological ones.
In summary, the personal development field has been dominated by ‘What I think’ & ‘What I want’ over ‘What we think’ ‘What will the impacts be?’ & ‘What else could we do?’
We’ve built systems based on the mechanistic, linear and hierarchical ever since technological gave some bloke and advantage at the beginning of the agrarian revolution 13k years ago.
But in order to realise that, the winners of the simplistic paradigm have had to externalise all the messy costs onto the rest of society and the natural systems which support us.
It’s like some people have climbed a tree and are now cutting the tree behind themselves because they don’t want to share the fruits of the tree.
On the Joseph Campbell called this:
‘The Refusal of the Return’
Using an ecology check in your coaching and decision-making means putting in a CRAP filter in the process:
Consequences: What are the other effects downstream of this decision?
Real costs: If you do this, what will be the real costs other than just financial?
Assumptions: What are you assuming to be true? What are the unexamined beliefs that require testing?
People & Planet: Do people really want to go to Mars? Does Mother Nature want us to destroy what’s left of the ecosystem and exploit children, just so that a small minority of the world’s population can travel in EVs?