What happens when we combine mindfulness in nature with somatic therapy? That’s the theme of my conversation with Rochelle Calvert for The Embodiment Podcast. It’s very timely too, as one of the topics we discuss is “living an ethical, embodied life” in a time of ecological crisis. Rochelle is passionate about her work and deeply committed to environmental healing. No wonder we got on!
I’ve often talked about why mindfulness works so well in a natural environment, and we explore that together. Rochelle then provides a very clear introduction to Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing and explains how she combines it with mindfulness in nature.
Rochelle recognises the powerful way that nature “calls us into presence”. By helping us to awaken to our senses, nature can enhance our embodied awareness. This allows us to access the wisdom of the body, awakening our inner sense of safety, well-being, and connection. Western approaches tend to exaggerate the importance of the thinking mind and forget the wisdom of the body, but it’s “the innate intuitive healing of this body” that brings healing from trauma.
Rochelle then shares her version of a classic somatic experiencing practice, pendulation: It’s one of her favourite practices and is both simple and very powerful. There are full details in her book, but you’ll get a good sense of it in the podcast.
Reciprocity is a word Rochelle uses a lot, and the question of how we can give back to nature is key for her. One of the most important topics we discuss is living an embodied ethical life. How can I be an ally to nature? How can we live in integrity with our planet? This is a recurring theme of this blog, and Rochelle’s work beautifully deepens the field of embodied ecology.
- Rochelle Calvert’s book: Healing with Nature: Mindfulness and Somatic Practices to Heal from Trauma