This blog is the inspiration of my explorations into the importance of story to ecopsychology. My lived experiences demonstrated that it is normal for people to share their stories after an ‘earth shaking event’ and those stories “eventually become the myths that redefine our relationship to Earth” (Meeker, 1993, p. 151). The story that redefined my relationship to earth involved an adventure tour from Alice Springs to Uluru in which the tour guide challenged me to not do Uluru as just another item on my tourist checklist, but to “let it do you.” He meant for me to take the time to experience the breeze on my face. He proceeded to hike us around the abnormal land formation in the middle of the Australian outback in the stifling heat of summer. At the end of the hike we rested as he told us aboriginal dreamtime stories. When we traveled back and forth to and from basecamp the music he played was also nativeto the land. I came away wanting to facilitate the same kind of personal transformative experiences he created for me.
It has taken me nearly two years of reflection and study but I have come to realize that experience was created by the combination of three elements: story, people, and place. These three elements would be the heart of a narrative ecopsychology practice for me. While ecopsychology is the study of people and their relationship with their environment, narrative ecopsychology could be the study of the how story can connect the two. In particular narrative ecopsychology could be the study of how recounting events could help make sense of, reveal, and even change the human/nature relationship.
In particular this blog will mark my journey into keeping the earth as an intentional part of the conversation. While I am interested private mythology or worldview my intent is to consider a planetary mythology, a true world view that “will identify he individual not with his local group but with the planet” (Campbell & Moyers, 1988, p. 30). I am also just beginning to look at narrative psychology and the ways in which psychologists and ecopsychologists already are using stories to understand human and ecological behavior as well as the world view.
Campbell, J., & Moyers, B. D. (1988). The power of myth. (B. S. Flowers, Ed.) Anchor Books.
Meeker, J. W. (1993). Practical environmental mythology. In F. Hull (Ed.), Earth and spirit: The spiritual dimension of the environmental crisis (pp. 150-155). New York, NY: The Continuum Publishing Company.