Updated: Feb 21
Dear EC Facebook Community,
I’m writing you today because I feel you are entitled to an explanation of why we/I (Frances) have been kinda MIA these past few months. I feel it’s owed you in case you’ve been wondering (or have even noticed) that our posts are few and far between lately, and because you’ve been such a very supportive community. I think you all came “here” because you share the love of Earth that I do and resonate with the desire to heal, in whatever way, through deeper connections, with Nature and each other.
If you didn’t already know, Earth Connect was born out of a concept and some projects I worked on in grad school. This Facebook (“FB”) page was just a way for me to share the research and knowledge I’d been gaining for my projects and master’s thesis. It was very much rooted in a concept that was fairly new in the Western world at that time – shinrin-yoku, aka “forest bathing.” I’d learned that forest bathing is highly effective for anxiety disorders. In my thesis, I equated anxiety disorders, especially depression, with what the Indigenous Peoples call “soul loss.” My paper concluded that deep ecology – a deep connection to the natural world – is a way to “retrieve your soul,” or, heal from anxiety disorders.
If you’ve been a part of our FB community since its beginning, you’ll have noticed that most of our posts are articles on research and how-to’s to connect nature in order to heal from anxiety disorders. We’re trying to encourage you to connect to the natural world to de-stress, de-compress, and alleviate your anxiety and/or depression. And, as you do, we hope that you’ll find a deeper connection that leads to deep ecology or eco-spirituality.
So, now that I’ve explained that, why haven’t I been posting? Simple. One big reason I’ve done this research and wrote my thesis on this is because, most of my life, I’ve suffered from chronic depression. It’s partly genetic (my dad has depressive states) and, lately, largely environmental (caused by what’s going on around me). And, the feelings of eco-anxiety and eco-grief are NOT helping. Now, I never share my personal shizz with people, much less to hundreds of internet strangers, but I feel it’s important to share with you now because … you truly are my community. Yet, I feel that I’ve been inauthentic to you, and myself, these past several months. So, between that and managing my depression and coming out of this deeply reflective state of where EC is headed, I’ve been lax in posting. Also, frankly, I’m tired of posting about the health benefits of forest bathing. I mean … it’s got 40 years of research showing its efficacy. (If you’re not convinced by now, then you’re in the wrong place. Hehe) As a transpersonal psychologist, I’d like to get beyond the research and explore, and share, what and how ancient and indigenous cultures and peoples honor and work with the Earth. Most of the time, there’s no research to back this, and a lot of it sounds pretty “woo-woo.”
Anyway, this is already a super long post for what I really want to say: my ho’oponopono to you.
I’m sorry for being absent from this page; for neglecting to share what has uplifted me these dark (external and internal), winter months. Maybe, my sharing would have helped you, too?
Please forgive me and know that I will do better now, and in the future, to boost this community by reaching out to those who have offered to help. They, like you and me, share a vision of Wholeness for Earth and each other.
Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and, most of all, your presence in this community. The energy and attention you put here, in this virtual space, helps to increase the vibration of our world. Our efforts will, together, manifest that beautiful vision of a loving, connected world I know we all share!
I love you, my Earth Connect community. Knowing that the egregore that is Earth Connect has kept my head above water because, deep in my heart, I know that I’m not alone in my experiences, in my eco-anxiety and eco-grief, and that we will get through dark times together in our connection through this community and through the Natural World and heal to wholeness – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Thank you everyone! I hope you’ll like the changes you’ll begin to see on this page, on our website, and in what we will begin to offer. As always, please PM with any ideas or questions. We love to connect. And, we know others (maybe even I) share your challenges and concerns.
With much gratitude and love,
Frances, Founder, Earth Connect