By going to Botswana, Africa this March, I will study with, and bring back nature connection wisdom of the San Bushmen of the Kalahari. I am asking you to be part of this project, which I sincerely believe will make our world a better place.
Why is nature connection so powerful, and what can it mean for you and our modern world? Because nature heals - and science, as well as our own experience, tells us so. Nature’s beauty, peace and mystery returns us to our original state of feeling whole and belonging as we de-stress, energize, find equanimity, humor, clarity, inspiration, and connection with ourselves, others and our purpose. Nature is medicine for our bodies, minds and spirits - and it is free!
The Nature Wisdom Kit™ will be a powerful little handbook that can change lives for the better quickly. I will design and create both print and digital editions in the next six months to accompany a workshop for families, communities, healers, leaders, children and grandparents.
Why these people?
Families - Our fundamental social group, harmony in families nourishes the community.
Communities - Coming together, sharing stories, having fun, and learning together brings people into one-mindedness as problem-solvers.
Healers - When our healers are more deeply nature connected, they are more effective in supporting their community’s resilience.
Leaders - Nature embodied leaders allow natural curiosity, empathy, reciprocity and creativity to flourish in their organizations, promising sustainability.
Children - As the future, children are now most threatened by nature disconnection, as too much screen time inside robs them of simple sensory awareness, cognitive and social problem-solving skills, and confidence. Children benefit quickly from time in nature.
Grandparents - Cross-generational mentoring and contact are a powerful combination. The best outcome of sharing powerful ancestral wisdom for a community is to entrust it to the elders, who already hold the big picture and who the younger generations already feel a natural affinity for.
If you are a musician or composer, and you could hold a little handbook in your hand that contained the essential elements of music distilled from your personal notes from having studied directly with Beethoven himself, how valuable would that be to you; how valuable do you imagine it would be for you to share it with the world? If you are a writer, imagine your handbook written from your notes from studying with Shakespeare - pick your ancestral master for your passion, and imagine...
The San Bushmen are our ancestral masters of nature connection. Having survived for over 100,000 years as an intact, indigenous hunter-gatherer culture, their refined landscape adaptation and social wisdoms have been passed down to all other indigenous peoples through time - genetics shows us that the Bushmen are the original humans. They are your and my ancestors, and they are, remarkably, unlike Beethoven or Shakespeare, also our contemporaries!
Imagine yourself going for a walk in nature, a camping trip, or simply time in your own backyard experiencing the deep sensory immersion benefits that these aware, smart, humble, peaceful, lively, sturdy and wise Bushmen embody in their every fiber 24/7, by having in your hand a little handbook of how to do that! And you and others get to share this wisdom with your children, family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues as you learn to embody those qualities more yourself.
I grew up in the wilds of rural Alaska. I didn’t know what a fence was until my family drove into town. Even then, I didn’t understand it. I had to learn what a fresh moose or bear track was if I was to walk to school and get back home safe (we still had to be aware while even on the playground!). Though my mother took my brother and I camping and taught us how to make (and effectively put out!) a campfire and set up a tent, I had no human mentors for animal tracking or nature connection skills. I just knew that I felt a joy and freedom the awareness of my outdoor surroundings gave me, like nothing else.
It was the animals and seasons which taught me - sometimes harshly (yes, I ran or climbed a tree!) who was where, what they were doing when, and why. It was during that time that I learned of the vast African wilderness and the Bushmen’s remarkable sense of ease living nomadic among wild animals in a harsh environment. I have dreamed of visiting them ever since.
Later, as a young man, I learned that nature connection was actually an intentional craft and I have been studying it as one ever since, applying these skills in my day-to-day life while working at my desk, walking down the street, hanging out with friends, as well as when climbing a mountain, trekking in the wilderness, or scuba diving in the ocean.
(Me in the Grand Canyon in October of 2017)
Nature connection and its healing power has become my work. I’ve developed transformative programs that accelerate and deepen nature connection experience by turbo-charging the process with principles from human evolutionary science and neuroscience, Ecopsychology, and linguistics with high marks from participants, like Stanford University, Presidio Graduate School, on my Vive! Nature Wanders™ , and backcountry treks. I offer reflectons on nature connection as healing experience in my monthly, online newsletter, Fast Wisdom™ . I will include these nature connection, complementary science-based principles in The Nature Wisdom Kit™, Workshop and Booklet.
(Stanford University staff retreat- "Just Listening.")
As a cultural immersion experience, this trip is unique. I will be with a small group actually being mentored by the San Bushmen in their lifeways out in the African Bush. We will go animal tracking, forage for edible and medicinal plants, participate in their social customs, like storytelling and healing ceremony.
Yes, the cost of this trip is high (expenses itemized below). The cost of nature tourism in Botswana is unusually high for Africa. As a Restorative Ecotourism trip, a significant portion of the cost of the trip also goes to supporting the Bushmen to continue their culture, and protect them from the development and marginalization which threatens their dignity and future.
If the Bushmen’s culture is threatened, so is ours. They hold key wisdoms which can help shift us away from the negative consequences of our discontented modern society’s nature disconnected trajectory.
So please contribute to my journey to the San Bushmen of Botswana, Africa today. The money commitments are happening now. Add your donation to the fire. What you do for this trip, you do for yourself, for others, and for the Bushmen.
As the official trip photographer, I will reward your donation with an online photo album of the journey showcasing wild Africa, the bushmen, and us learning from them. Donate more and receive more as my thank you.
Please share this project with your social network communities for others to have the chance to participate. We can all go together, and together bring back the fire of Bushmen nature wisdom for everyone.
I really appreciate your donation and will keep you current with progress reports towards the fund-raising goal of the trip, and of the development of The Nature Wisdom Kit™, Workshop and Booklet.
Remember, it takes a village!
TRIP COST $ 8882
AIRFARE $ 2205
TRAVEL INSURANCE $ 600
COUNTRY ENTRY/EXIT FEES $ 50
SHUTTLES $ 85
TRAVEL MEALS $ 100
LODGING (en route) $ 160
VACCINATIONS/FIRST AID $ 200
GUIDE TIPS $ 200
GIFTS FOR THE BUSHMEN $ 100
SOLAR CHARGER FOR CAMERA, ETC. $ 175
SUBTOTAL: $ 275
GO FUND ME 4% FEE $ 510
FUNDRAISING TOTAL: $13,267
- Peter Johnson
- Tressa Berman
- Mark Johnson
- steven riedel
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