Nature and Mental Health

aces sensory processing Aug 05, 2022
I used to hide it. 

I almost hid it this time. 

It's revealing to be honest that self doubt, shame and wanting people to like me are a few reasons I hid it.

Success. I hid success because my brain was always bracing for the worst. My brain was waiting for disappointment. Brain patterning is strong.

I've worked hard to build new, healthy brain patterns over the last twenty years, but the old patterns lurk in the background.

If you have read about or experienced ACES — Adverse Childhood Experiences — then you understand. If you haven't yet heard of ACES and your work involves reconnecting people with nature, then it's vital that you learn about them.

If you are a parent who is raising a child with nature-connection, you are providing them a protective experience that can help compensate for challenges beyond your control. I'm talking about PACES. Protective and Compensatory Experiences. 

I have worked with nature as my primary PACE my whole life. I've been studying how this works for over twenty years. In the past, I've only shared parts of my story, but I'm ready to share my whole story so others can benefit.

For years, I thought being professional meant not telling my story.

Have you ever quieted a voice within you that wanted to speak? 

This past June I learned that the voice I concealed for so many years won an award. The memoir manuscript (I wrote from the quiet of my treehouse) to bring that voice forward received first place in the International Chanticleer Journey Competition for Overcoming Adversity. 

It's a helpful story. A hopeful story. A vulnerable story.

It's a story that may seem extreme to some, but to others it will feel familiar. Twelve percent of the US population has an ACE score of four or more. When your ACE score is above four, statistics show you are headed for an adult life fraught with physical, mental, and economic challenges. 

For those with ACE scores below four, you are likely to have gained more skill in childhood, have more resources and more ease in adulthood. But, life has many circumstances beyond your control and having strong PACE's can help you thrive when life gets tough.

Writing my book helped me clarify why I do what I do — advocate for placing nature at the core of child development and healing for all ages. 

My writing coach who is a voracious reader and well published author read the completed draft and revealed, "Your book helped me get out of bed today." I didn't even know she was having a difficult time. That is the exact reason I wrote such a vulnerable story. 

What is it your voice needs to share?

My voice wants to let people know that there is an accessible way to mitigate the effects of hardship and give yourself, and the people you love, a chance at thriving after adversity.

Studies say a childhood like mine, one with a high number of ACES — Adverse Childhood Experiences — should have made me a yucky statistic. I'm not. 

You see, I had a powerful PACE in my life — my relationship with nature. It saved me more times than I can count. My nature connection is why I thrive. I've seen it do the same for many others:  Adults, teens, and children.

In the world's current craziness, nature continues to be my primary calming and healing modality, and it's right outside my door.

Having a PACE like nature connection will help you and the people you care about in times of unforeseen challenges, like an injury, divorce, job loss, move, death or a global pandemic. 

If you want to learn more about nature to grow healthy brain structure, or as a healing modality, click the button below. 

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