EcoSoul: Ecotherapy for Health

EcoSoul: Ecotherapy for Health EcoSoul
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J. Phoenix Smith, MSW Founder of EcoSoul is an Ecotherapist, Teacher, Public Health Leader, and Published Author. Through her company EcoSoul she provides ecotherapy through teaching, community engagement, and ceremonies designed to support health and wellness in diverse communities.

Preparing to teach Intro to Ecotherapy to Staff from the City of Oakland.
09/25/2019

Preparing to teach Intro to Ecotherapy to Staff from the City of Oakland.

Yesterday, I joined my friend Micah Lubensky who invited me to attend an advocacy visit he organized at Senator Feinstei...
09/05/2019
Tell Congress to Declare a Climate Emergency Now

Yesterday, I joined my friend Micah Lubensky who invited me to attend an advocacy visit he organized at Senator Feinstein's office in San Francisco. This is what we went to talk to her staff about as she hasn't signed on to this resolution to Declare a Climate Emergency Now.
What is IT?
Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Earl Blumenauer, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are backing a National Climate Emergency Declaration resolution to put the U.S. Congress on record, naming the climate breakdown as a national emergency which demands an emergency response. An updated list of cosponsors is here.
The resolution calls for a mobilization in alignment with the core solution of The Climate Mobilization, an organization that has been fighting for a World War II-scale response to the climate emergency since 2014. If you or your organization want to sign on in support of this resolution, please visit ClimateEmergency.US.
Kamala Harris has Signed It
Elizabeth Warren has Signed It
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has Signed It
Among Many Others
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you live in California call Senator Feinstein's Office
• Call Feinstein’s San Francisco office: (415) 393-0707. No matter when you call, it always goes ONLY to voicemail. Leave this message:
• “My name is , and I live at .
• My friend Phoenix came to the San Francisco office on Wednesday Sept 4 to ask Senator Feinstein to sign on to the Resolution to Declare a Climate Emergency. I support the resolution. Has the Senator signed on yet?”
IF YOU LIVE IN OTHER STATES:
CALL YOUR SENATORS AND SHARE THIS INFO WITH THEM AND ASK THEM TO SIGN IT
Every call like this that the office receives helps reinforce the visit. Please like this post - it will make Facebook's algorithm show on more of my friends' feeds. And feel free to comment below once you've made your 60 second call to Senator Feinstein's office.
https://climateemergency.us/?fbclid=IwAR2x0fevPP2tPJMpjjttg205wTW7aFaRvwuF3G_USLLghUA-cIej5yKeg0A

The planet is in crisis, and our leaders are asleep at the wheel. #ClimateEmergency

04/18/2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A beautiful vision for our future
The New Green Deal

What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? Watch a film narrated and co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple to find out.

For the Green New Deal to become a reality we must be able to close our eyes and imagine it. Thanks to Naomi Klein Molly Crabapple, Kate Aronoff and Avi Lewis for helping to illustrate our vision of the future.

Thanks to Jim Batt and Kim Boekbinder for their awesome sound design and Lauren Feeney for helping to make this happen.

We can be whatever we have the courage to see.

https://interc.pt/2UktTeE

Voices of L.A. Nature: An Interview with Lynell George
02/19/2019
Voices of L.A. Nature: An Interview with Lynell George

Voices of L.A. Nature: An Interview with Lynell George

Welcome to our new series, "Voices of L.A. Nature," where we'll hear stories from a diverse range of Angelenos about their relationships with nature in L.A. The project kicks off this month, with a series of interviews to celebrate Black History Month. Stay tuned throughout the year, for more "Voice...

Gardening is a great Ecotherapy healing intervention that’s less expensive than traditional psychotherapy and good for y...
02/08/2019
5 Black-Owned Urban Farms Across the United States

Gardening is a great Ecotherapy healing intervention that’s less expensive than traditional psychotherapy and good for your mind, body and spirit. And most importantly accessible for communities of color.

Urban agriculture is an important aspect to self-sustenance in large communities. Check out these five Black-owned urban farms from across the U.S.

11/21/2018
World Economic Forum

Some doctor's in the US are already "prescribing" nature, however Ecotherapists focus on more than just physical health, we focus on mental, and spiritual health as well as care for the Earth.

Step outside. Learn more about nature and mental health: https://wef.ch/2k7vNzF

ECOTHERAPY HEALSAND IT'S GOOD TO READ A STORY OF A BLACK PERSON GOING ON THIS HIKE Not surprisingly, given that it start...
11/20/2018
The Healing Power of Thru-Hiking

ECOTHERAPY HEALS
AND IT'S GOOD TO READ A STORY OF A BLACK PERSON GOING ON THIS HIKE
Not surprisingly, given that it starts just a day’s drive from his home, the Appalachian Trail called to Robinson next. His memories of his days on the PCT had proven more effective than any therapy in relieving anxiety and depression. Able to focus on the accomplishments and the people he’d met, he was applying what he’d learned on the trail to his everyday life, feeling more confident and at ease in the world. And he wanted more. But now, on the AT, he wasn't a newbie—he had expertise. Other hikers sought out his advice and companionship. “The PCT taught me how to make friends again,” says Robinson. “The AT”—which he finished this past summer—“showed me that I was a strong leader. That was something I was once. I was an athlete growing up. I was a soldier. I had the ability to make sure the people around me were safe and on the right path. I’d let that part of my life fade, but the AT brought it back.”
https://www.outsideonline.com/2363361/healing-power-thru-hiking?fbclid=IwAR1aVjyS8_80A-SJO8ImXXDNw-6S1zclNDVIyKXDd3Fj_digwJRDmA0Gf-w

Iraq War veteran Will Robinson had to do something drastic to save his own life. So he started hiking…and he hasn’t stopped since.

today walking home with a mask on my face from the wildfire smoke here in Oakland and texting with a friend about our wo...
11/10/2018
Getting Woke to Eco-Anxiety – EcoSoul

today walking home with a mask on my face from the wildfire smoke here in Oakland and texting with a friend about our worries about the fires and smoke I got inspired to write a blog post.
Linda Buzzell-Saltzman I cited you...thanks for your many years of work on these issues and for inspiring me.
http://www.ecosoulwisdom.org/getting-woke-to-eco-anxiety/

Getting Woke to Eco-Anxiety Today, I woke up to a cloudy sky with a red sun and a deep smoky haze over the Oakland skyline. We’ve had many wildfires in California this year. The smoke penetrates your lungs and burns your eyes even when you live hundreds of miles away from the center of the fires. ...

10/11/2018
KQED

KQED

Stepping into nature can sometimes be like pushing a life reset button – reestablishing a connection with our deepest needs. #WorldMentalHealthDay

Contemplative Monk
10/10/2018

Contemplative Monk

May we surrender to the turn to Fall and enjoy the light and smell and sounds of the Earth as she shifts.
09/22/2018

May we surrender to the turn to Fall and enjoy the light and smell and sounds of the Earth as she shifts.

The word "equinox" derives from the Latin, meaning “equal night.” As we enter the Fall here in the Northern Hemisphere, we reflect on the seeds we planted in Spring and prepare for the dark months ahead. We remember to bring our interior world into balance now, paying attention to dreams, honouring creativity and deepening relationship. Let us consider what wants to fall away & what still needs nurturing, and celebrate the bounty of our yields.

Blessed Equinox, dear friends,
Toko-pa

Artwork by Julie Dillon (www.juliedillonart.com)

"We need Joy as we need Air We need Love as we need Water We need Each Other as we need the Earth" Maya Angelou
09/17/2018

"We need Joy as we need Air
We need Love as we need Water
We need Each Other as we need the Earth" Maya Angelou

Ecotherapy includes animal assisted therapy such as these dogs.
09/15/2018
Making Comfort Dogs an Everyday Part of School

Ecotherapy includes animal assisted therapy such as these dogs.

Some schools, including a public high school in New York City, are embracing a program that allows comfort dogs on campus. Educators say the dogs' regular presence helps soothe students and lighten the mood.

Gratitude to Esperanza Magazine for Anxiety and Depression for including me in their May2018 issue: : Deepen Your Connec...
06/12/2018
Deepen Your Connection to Nature and Enjoy Benefits to Your Mind and Body | Esperanza - Hope To Cope

Gratitude to Esperanza Magazine for Anxiety and Depression for including me in their May2018 issue: : Deepen Your Connection to Nature and Enjoy Benefits to your Mind and Body.
Here is a little quote from me in the article:
In short, nature can be healing. “We’re deeply connected to our environment and it greatly affects our health,” says J. Phoenix Smith, an ecotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. “It’s something that Native American and indigenous communities have been trying to teach us for ages.”



A dose of fresh air
A walk along the beach or a hike in the forest is a full body experience. Not only do you move through the natural environment, your eyes take in varied textures and patterns of spider webs and tree bark, your ears tune into waves crashing or birds chirping, and you smell the earthy dirt. Your body subtly shifts too. Your heart rate slows, your breath deepens, and your shoulders relax.

Smith and other experts argue that nature time is particularly necessary these days. Not only are more people living in urban environments than ever before, we also spend more time on devices. According to the Nielson Company audience report, adults in the United States spent more than 11 hours in front of screens during the first quarter of 2017.

https://www.hopetocope.com/deepen-your-connection-to-nature-and-enjoy-benefits-to-your-mind-and-body/

The newest principles of wellness science tells us that more time in and connecting with nature can lead to a greater well-being mentally and physically. By Christine Yu "Take a hike." It's often what you say when you need to blow off some steam or change your perspective. It turns out spending time...

"It's a healing space, and it's a space for folks to enjoy nature," Sexton says. "But it's also a learning space and a c...
04/17/2018
Their neighborhood was in poor health. These amazing teens changed that.

"It's a healing space, and it's a space for folks to enjoy nature," Sexton says. "But it's also a learning space and a civic engagement space, where people are getting activated in being part of the solution for addressing the food inequity."
http://www.upworthy.com/their-neighborhood-was-in-poor-health-these-amazing-teens-changed-that?c=kyw1&s=p&kwp_0=755598&kwp_4=2639396&kwp_1=1119649

Poor neighborhoods too often are forgotten. But these high schoolers aren't letting that happen.

Probably one of the first text books to look at nature and public health. I've worked in public health for 20 years let'...
11/29/2017
Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

Probably one of the first text books to look at nature and public health. I've worked in public health for 20 years let's see where this goes.

Human beings have always been affected by their surroundings. There are various health benefits linked to being able to access to nature; including increased physical activity, stress recovery, and the stimulation of child cognitive development. The Oxford Textbook of Nature and Health provides a br...

The number of young teenagers who play outside has dropped dramatically according to a new survey which suggests the you...
09/30/2017
Less than half of young teens play outdoors, survey shows

The number of young teenagers who play outside has dropped dramatically according to a new survey which suggests the youngsters of today are far more sedentary than their parents were at the same age.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/less-than-half-of-young-teens-play-outdoors-survey-shows-1-4564673

The number of young teenagers who play outside has dropped dramatically according to a new survey which suggests the youngsters of today are far more sedentary than their parents were at the same age.

Psychologists at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia found that users, particularly children, who plug the...
09/30/2017
Too much Facebook causes 'virtual autism' claim experts

Psychologists at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia found that users, particularly children, who plug themselves into social media, browsing the likes of Twitter and Facebook showed an inability to read facial emotions and had poor friendships as a result.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/too-much-facebook-causes-virtual-autism-claim-experts-1641051

Spending hours on social media affects ability in children to read emotions.

08/15/2017

Racism, white supremacy, anti-semitism, genocide of Native Americans is also rooted in the history of the Parks Systems here in the United States. We can't escape the fact that these places, the National Parks Systems, perhaps your local parks that we now advocate as places of healing also have a long history of white supremacy. But, as we repair and restore our relationship to the earth, each other and ourselves on these same lands we can find healing and peace. As a Black Queer woman who founded EcoSoul and has been practicing Ecotherapy for 8 years I'm standing up against hate, racism and bigotry of all kinds. And so can you--call the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Managers and demand they deny a permit for a Neo-Nazi rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco.

PLEASE SHARE. No credit needed.

The National Park Service denied summer of love events permits for being “too dangerous.” But NAZIS are OKAY?

DEMAND the national park service deny “patriot prayer” a permit for the planned NAZI RALLY at Crissy Field on August 26.

Laura Joss, Pacific West Regional Director, (415) 623-2100, [email protected]

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Superintendent's Office: Cicely Muldoon, General Superintendent, Carey Feierabend, Deputy Superintendent, Sonja Hanson, Director of Communications and External Affairs, (415) 561-4720, [email protected]

Please emphasis the fear of violence when you call. Here's a sample script:
"Neo-Nazi have applied for a permit to host a "Patriot Prayer" Rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco on August 26. As a long-term sf (bay area) resident, I'm calling to request your department to deny this permit. We do not want a repeat of the violence and the violent rhetoric that happened in Charlottesville in the Bay Area. This is a group who blatantly displays their white supremacist, nazi views at their rallies by waving nazi flags, throwing the nazi solute, and inciting lethal violence. They have clear agenda to eradicate anyone who is not white, christian, and straight and they are disguising it as a prayer rally. You’ll be receiving a lot of phone calls like this. We hope you respond by denying permits to these groups."

Note: there was some info going around earlier about contacting local managers whose voicemails are all full. These are the higher ups.

[image description: photo of Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with beach in foreground. On beach is a tattered nazi flag with a high heeled boot stepping on it. On the boot is a sticker that reads "F**k Fascism." Overlaid over the image is text. Main text reads "Nazis in SF? Hell no." In a black box is text that reads "No hate in SF!" and follows with text that informs people about the coming nazi rally and gives contact info for the National Park Service. Latter text also appears above in this post (starts with "The National Park Service denied summer of love...")]

Great interview to learn about some of the issues and experiences of a Black woman hiking the Appalachian Trail. We must...
04/18/2017
Black Bodies, Green Spaces

Great interview to learn about some of the issues and experiences of a Black woman hiking the Appalachian Trail. We must understand that when the conversation and dialogue about access to nature, experiences in nature, context matters a lot. Psychological safety is just as or more important than physical safety. Check it out and let me know your thoughts and experiences if you've hiked the Appalachian Trail.

When a young African-American woman headed out solo along the Appalachian Trail, she learned a lot about the politics of race in the great outdoors.

Come learn about  Ecotherapy at the only Free Ecotherapy Training in the Bay Area
09/23/2016
Nature is my Therapy: Join us September 29th Free Ecotherapy Training

Come learn about Ecotherapy at the only Free Ecotherapy Training in the Bay Area

I created this training and have been teaching it for  5 years. This Ecotherapy training  is specifically useful for licensed- and non-licensed health and wellness professionals working with youth, elders, families, and diverse communities impacted by institutional, ecological and political trauma.…

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Link to a very useful new article by Dr. Craig Chalquist!