This sample experience will give you a good introduction to the Heartwood Path. Along this pathway of learning, you will encounter numerous courses, with topics such as the structure of integrity, how living in accordance with universal principles can keep you from always fighting against pre-established long-term natural and cultural patterns, anchoring the unique gifts of your individuality, working well with others during social or environmental advocacy, and persevering. Each course is set up as if you are proceeding down a path and encountering numerous learning stations we call “waypoints.” Thanks to online and print technologies, these waypoints do not have to occur in stuffy classrooms. They occur whenever you are ready and wherever in nature you like. Each waypoint has thought-provoking text followed by a related and engaging activity. By both reading the subject matter—indoors or outdoors—and by doing the activities outdoors, in a natural area of your choosing, you will be able to become happier while also contributing more effectively to the beauty and sustainability of the world. You will see how becoming more effective in improving the beauty and the sustainability of the natural world makes you happier. As you use the Heartwood Path to flourish you will naturally become an eco-centric elder. You may even choose to become an eco-centric life coach. Such elders and life coaches seek to overcome the biggest problem humanity has not adequately addressed:
Too many of us are not maturing psychologically or spiritually.
Along with merely growing into physical maturity––the kind of old age we can visibly see in the outer world––we need to also grow and develop within the invisible inner world; that is, we need to become comprehensively mature (both inside and out) to the point that will be necessary if we are to become what the world truly needs and the Heartwood Path develops: eco-centric volunteers or eco-centric life coaches capable of helping others with their comprehensive development.
Often in life, it's easier done than said. So let's dive right in. Great happiness comes to those who find that place where their own happiness meets the world’s hunger for natural beauty and environmental sustainability, and that place begins with this Introductory Experience at the beginning of the Heartwood Path.
To A Revelatory Activity That Is Worth Repeating Over And Over Again…
Throughout the Heartwood Path you will learn why it is so important—to both yourself and to nature—to do the following steps of the Start-up Protocol during each of the activities that follow.
Start-up Protocol For Heartwood Path Activities (With Introductory Remarks)
Read The Text — Use your literary sense, your mind sense, and your reason sense to move towards happiness and sustainability by reading the Heartwood Path text but also go outdoors to the backyard or to the backwoods, where the higher levels of negative ions in the air will improve your mood and well-being. Determine how the topic of the waypoint affects you and your world.
Attention Restoration —With a pen and journal in hand, go to a natural area that is attractive, has a variety of plants and animals, and is tranquil enough to leave room for reflection.
Source — Spend time wandering without an agenda in nature or, if you don’t have time to receive nature’s magic in this way, follow the instructions in the text at each waypoint—the learning stations along the Heartwood Path. Not doing the activity will let unencumbered nature work its spell on you. Doing the activity will most likely be a faster route to greater happiness and environmental sustainability—the inseparable purposes of the Heartwood Path.
Attractive Natural Being — Once you are in a natural area (the wilder, the better), look to find a natural being that is attractive to you and remain near that being until the end of the activity. Along the Heartwood Path, to halt the further objectivization of nature, natural objects, big or small, are called “natural beings—” as a way to acknowledge their ability to feel and to perceive things.
Appreciation And Gratitude — While communing with the natural being, appreciate its beauty and how it’s attractiveness makes you feel as you inhale; and, as you exhale, be grateful for its presence and its sharing of a great trustable truth. The more appreciative and grateful you are, the more you will be open to receiving information, guidance, and healing from the natural being.
Consent — Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, think of your continued attraction as your consent to have a connection experience that will help you function optimally; receive information, guidance, and healing; and establish in your mind a more helpful egalitarian relationship with the natural being.
The Natural Senses — Beyond seeing, hearing, and the three other commonly recognized senses, use as many of the fifty-four Natural Senses as you see fit and prepare to document the ones that you use in your journal. In your mind, form a bridge of awareness that spans from the reality of the natural scene you are visiting for this activity to the inner world of your own mind space. Use any or all of your natural senses—those that you share with beings in nature, such as the sense of thirst, the sense of gravity, the sense of color, or the sense of spiritual oneness (for a complete list go to Waypoint 1.27). This commonality in the ways of feeling and perceiving is why the natural senses are useful for building rapport with nature, to greatly expand upon your ability to perceive holistically, to commune with your chosen natural being, and to get the most out of the prescribed activities. During my guidance sessions for those doing the following activity, for example, I may suggest that my client work on using any or all of the following: the natural sense of play, the natural sense of creativity, or the natural sense of moods.
Great Trustable Truth — Experience what is happening at the present moment in nature, paying particular attention to the role of both beauty and balance; remember that impressions you form about attractive natural beings and natural areas, coming from your experiencing of them in the Now, are trustable; and recognize that the natural processes and features witnessed are a source of special, substantial, and irreplaceable truthfulness about both nature and yourself. To find a great trustable truth, look around the natural area to see what clues are available to your senses—from natural beings and not from yourself—regarding overcoming obstacles, what it means to be successful, and what traits help the natural being be successful. Let a great trustable truth come to you by being aware of your present moment with an attractive natural being. Having recognized certain positive traits in your chosen natural being, write down how you would like to possess these same or similar qualities yourself. Verify the revealed great trustable truth by writing in your journal: “I know (write-in this moment’s great trustable truth) is true because I am experiencing it.”
Recall — Place the great trustable truth and any other insights that you discover in a mental lock-box so you can later record them in your journal.
If you do the Start-up Protocol—and not just read them—you will likely feel much better than you do when you are isolated from nature. So let’s get the good feelings flowing! It is now time to do the prescribed HumaNatureConnect Activity, presented here because of its popularity as a real eye-opener for each participant.
Comparing Nature To Self
Find a pleasing spot in Nature. Look around and determine which of all of the natural beings you find to be most attractive. Study this being for a few minutes. Appreciate it’s attractive qualities. Make a mental or written list of reasons why you picked this particular natural being. Pinpoint not only the being’s favorable qualities but also why, for you, such qualities add to this being’s attractiveness. Create a sentence that reads:
"I love this (insert the words that identify your chosen attractive natural being) because it is (insert words that refer to the qualities you like about the natural being).”
Then, create a parallel sentence that reads:
"I love (insert the word "myself") because I am—(insert the same qualities as before).”
Typically, the preferred natural being has the same attributes that the participants has not yet seen emerging in themselves but would like to help bring forth in the themselves. For this reason, this activity is a remarkably good way to reveal often subconscious positive attributes you would like to see develop in yourself. The attractive attributes of the natural being that are appreciated by the participants are usually qualities that the participants do not know they would like to see emerge in themselves. In this way, this activity is a very good way to learn about hither-to unrecognized and unappreciated aspects of your emerging sense of self that, now that these attractions are brought to light, you can develop further. Let us say, for example, that you are attracted to kelp (a prevalent seaweed), especially the way it is both anchored to the seabed and the way it is free to move in the ocean currents. This attraction may tell you that, until this moment, you did not recognize that you seek to be married to a spouse that, at once, gives you the anchor of a safe and secure household but also does not substantially limit your freedom of movement, your attitudes, or your activities. Knowing this, you now have a better chance of finding a suitable mate by looking for someone who can allow you to have both your required security and ample freedom.
In this activity, always state “I am ____” rather than “I would like to be ___”. “I am___” makes the sentence an affirmation, which is best stated in the present tense. Stating what you want to be in the present tense is a powerful motivator. Example: “Just as the coconut is hard, I am willing to face hard facts.”
Follow-up Protocol Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal, using as many of the following components as you see fit. Afterwards, share your interpretations with others. For this Introductory Experience, do not be too concerned if questions arise about the following Journal Components or the Heartwood Path Exchange. It is best to take the Heartwood Path one step at a time. Our Follow-up Protocol (our post-activity suggested actions) will be explained next.
Date — Write down the date of your outdoor nature-communing experience.
Activity — Write down the waypoint title and number each time each you do an activity.
Location— Write down the location of your outdoor nature-communing experience.
Natural Being Indicator — Draw a picture or write down in your journal a nameless way to remember your chosen attractive Natural Being; for example, call it your “____ ____ Connection Experience.”
General Description — Write a general description of how you did the activity and what happened.
Freeform — Write, in freeform, what you found attractive about your natural being.
Three Qualities — Write down three qualities you found attractive about your natural being.
Three Learnings — Write down three things you learned from this activity.
Self-esteem & Trust — Write down how, if at all, this activity changed your self-esteem or trustfulness of NNIAAL (Namelessness, Now, Intelligence, Alive, Attraction, and Love).
Changes To Self — Write down what aspects of your Self, if any, were changed by this activity.
Honor Yourself — Praise yourself and your commitment to making another stop along the Heartwood Path good for yourself and the world.
I’m A Person Who. . . — Write down three different so-called “G/G Statements” using the following format: “This connection experience tells me that I am a person who__________.”
Feelings If Activity Taken — Write down a sentence about how you would feel if you lost your ability to experience this connection.
Nature Compared To Self — Create a sentence that reads: “I love this (insert words that identify the attractive natural being) because it is (insert words that refer to the qualities you like about the natural being); then, create a parallel sentence that reads: “I love (insert the word “myself”) because I am (insert the same qualities as before).”
Integral Immersion — Improve your journal writing by addressing what is, what could be, and what ought to be.
Love Letter — Write a letter of gratitude to and from a natural being.
Two-word Summary — Write down two words that summarize your response to this activity.
The Heartwood Path Exchange: Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Comment — Post your impressions and photos in the Comments section of this waypoint—the place for on-going discussion regarding this waypoint.
Join — Engage with others in a Heartwood Path course or salon.
Create — Start your own Heartwood Path salon that meets regularly online, by phone, or in person.
Talk — Share your impressions with trusted family members and friends.
Network — Post your impressions and photos on our EartHeart Networking Forum.
Post — To see what conversations you can ignite, upload on social media your photos and impressions about anything pertaining to your journey down the Heartwood Path.
Heartwood Path Axioms: Key Assertions From Waypoint 1.1
i. Read the thought-provoking Heartwood Path text, but don’t stop there.
ii. Improve your optimal functioning by communing with nature as you are instructed to do at each learning station of the Heartwood Path.
iii. Find guidance, information, and healing by always completing the Follow-up Protocol after each of the activities found along the Heartwood Path.
iv. Great happiness comes to those who find that place where their own happiness meets the world’s hunger for sustainability and that place begins with this Introductory Experience at the beginning of the Heartwood Path.
v. Along the Heartwood Path, to halt the further objectivization of nature, natural objects, big or small, are called “natural beings—” as a way to acknowledge their ability to feel and perceive things.
Dreaming Time Activity
For best results, write down your impressions of each night’s dreams in your journal, a vital part of your EartHeart Chronicles. Make your Dream Tending elaborate (so you get the most out of it) but do not make it cumbersome (as this could prevent you from continuing). Use as many of the following components as you see fit. Afterwards, where appropriate, share your Dream Tending with others.
Before Dreaming Protocol
Dream Prep — Prepare yourself for productive dreaming by decluttering your mind before sleeping.
Journal Ready — Prepare to record your dream impressions by placing your journal so that you can make initial recordings in it without changing your dreamtime sleeping position.
Remember This — Look to your dreams to tell you what you need to remember.
Open To Dream — Be receptive, fluid, interactive, and grounded as you dream.
Nocturnal Pilgrimage 1.1
As often as you possibly can, sleep well before moving from one waypoint to the next. Sleep long (preferably eight hours) so that you are amply refreshed before pondering the text and doing the activity at each waypoint along the Heartwood Path. Pay attention to your dreams. They are full of fruitful discoveries. For this reason, begin now to record your dreams in a journal. Help with your journal entries and additional techniques for reaping benefits from your dreams will unfold in the Nocturnal Pilgrimage sections of each waypoint. There you have it: your first of hundreds of experiences—all aimed at making you happier in a sustainable world. From the start, get in the habit of doing the activities while you are outside, even if you read the waypoint text while you are inside.
If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to contact us. The easiest way to get started is to give us a call. We will guide you through the next steps or answer any questions that may arise. Besides our free help to beginners, we also provide a complimentary session of what we call “Guidance.” Without any obligation, first-time participants and those contemplating signing up for ongoing Guidance can receive free help from an experienced staff person, including, for matters regarding technique or content, Heartwood Path creator Don Pierce; and, for administrative and technical matters, Heartwood Path CEO Courtney Pierce. By asking for help, you will be taking an important first step towards greater happiness, greater effectiveness, and improved environmental sustainability.
It is best to go down the Heartwood Path with a guide who can answer questions, show you how to discover more, help you solve problems, offer inspiration, and encourage you to dig deeper and keep going. Perhaps you may wonder how a piece of information discovered along the Heartwood Path applies to you. If so, a Guide can help. Perhaps you would like to share your own experiences and perspectives with someone who listens well and does not judge. If so, sign-up for Guidance. It happens in person, on the phone, and online. The fees are very reasonable. Go to our Guidance section or Store, both online, for more information, for prices, and for easy ordering. So confident that our Guidance will be inspiring and helpful, we offer a money-back, no questions asked guarantee if you are not, in any way, satisfied. The most economical way to receive Guidance is to purchase the printed courses and receive, along with the books, unlimited Guidance. It may not be a requirement, but we are sure that you will gain greatly from your Guidance sessions.
Start off right. Use the following contact information for ways you can receive orientation help (about getting started on the Path initially), Heartwood Path Guidance (about your own on-going spiritual growth), or other assistance:
Text or call.
Courtney Pierce (805) 689-7042 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.