The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Dates: Spring 2018
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
• Rediscover your passion or 'thing'?
• Unblock some of the barriers you have around doing it?
• Begin a new chapter
• Participate in a personal and collective adventure in transformation
• Explore Re-Wilding and the Arts in nature
Locations: We'll meet at outdoor locations nearby Brighton and Lewes with lift sharing opportunities.
ReWild, v: to return to a more natural or wild state; the process of undoing domestication. Synonyms: undomesticated, uncivilize.
Re-Wilding, usually associated with place, ecosystems or species, is a relatively recent addition to the dictionary and may seem somewhat abstract in relation to ourselves. Humans, along with other creatures, have invariably lived in intimate physical contact with the land, their life source. You could say we have evolved to live meaningful lives, even if we feel out of touch with this. In order to do re-wild ourselves, I believe we need to cultivate healthy, authentic, deep interactions with both humans and the ‘more-than-human’ realms. This means tending the fires of our authentic selves and human nature, building community and relationship with the natural world that has evolved us and sustains us.
Re-Wild Yourself, led by Daniel Ford and Natasha Lythgoe, is a course that focuses on just that - how to Re-wild ourselves, and draws upon our experience in guiding groups within the Arts, Mindfulness and Nature Connection for the last decade.
At the heart of this process is a personal and collective journey in transformation. Within this way of working there are qualities that express our values such as relationship, connection, relaxed embodiment, authenticity, presence, purpose and balance.
The course will meet as a community at a variety of outdoor locations near to Brighton and Lewes. Through connecting with our nature and the nature of our local landscapes, we will cultivate a sense of being indigenous to here - our home, inner and outer. Here, we will also explore creativity as an attitude – understood less in terms of object or outcome – rather as a whole body activity, an experiential participatory-led practice, in and with nature.
This course spans a period of one month and includes two non-residential weekend workshops - one at the beginning of the month and one at the end. During the month personal practice will be deepened through action-research projects, group work and online seminars. This format has the advantage over shorter residential intensives in that it offers the chance to form lasting kinship with the people from your locality, and to build connections with your local landscape. The relationship between what surfaces on the course and how this meets everyday life will be tended to. Our approach seeks to prioritise the integration of the treasures that will surface and enable participants to digest their experiences into their 'lived' lives, as opposed to shorter intense courses which can sometimes become just a pop-up peak experience.
This programme includes both lightness and depth. We need take ourselves so seriously that we get in the way of our spontaneity, playfulness and risk taking. However we need to take the parts of ourselves seriously that long for depth, meaningful connections and meaningful work.
Natasha and Dan first met when she was fortunate enough to shadow him during her PGCE training in 2008. They have remained firm friends and keen collaborators ever since.
Daniel Ford is a doctoral research student and the recipient of a Freedom to Learn scholarship from the University of Hull. He has predominantly worked in publishing, the entertainment industry and arts education. Having contributed graphic narrative 'The Lesson' to the first Dark Mountain anthology he has recently had papers published by Other Education and Forum.
He is currently working on an enquiry into Wild Pedagogy and what happens when people have wild experiences within education. Daniel is also currently working as a Media teacher at Sussex Downs Lewes College.
Natasha Lythgoe is a professionally trained teacher, a Post Graduate Fine Artist and a Mindfulness teacher. She has taught in prisons, the NHS and has co-led many retreats. Natasha has been guiding groups and individuals in arts/mindfulness since 2004, and in the great outdoors since 2013.
She has a passion for workshops that explore deepening relationships and authenticity – with our selves and each other in response to the landscape: transforming our understanding of community and the places where we live (sometimes resulting in radically shifting how we choose to walk through this world, whether that is to live and work quietly in small arenas or very publicly on grand stages). She loves to do this outdoors through experiencing play, engaging the deep imagination, mindfulness and embodiment practices.
Underpinning this diversity is a strong thread influenced by a care for deep ecology, community and a desire to live a meaningful and connected life.
"Re-wilding the Artist's Way" has been fundamentally the most soul nourishing thing I have ever done for myself. It has led me on a journey of self-discovery, self-appreciation and courage. I long for being in the wilderness like never before, and notice the peace and feeling of being alive that it brings me. Natasha is patient, encouraging and very human in the way she leads this course and I am forever grateful to her.
It's great to have quality teaching which is accessible and close to home. Natasha is obviously a gifted facilitator. She ran the session creatively with a varied tempo which held my attention and seemed to draw from a wide range of teachings. In just a few hours, I feel re-inspired with my own practice and wanting more of this kind of thing.
Thank you for a wonderful evening. The part with the trees in the darkness was amazing! It which gave me a much needed nature boost, and a new relationship - with tree. Natasha was knowledgeable, but also relaxed, caring and playful. She held the space and the group with a good mix of strength and flexibility. I have learnt to appreciate Stanmer Park (my local wild space) in a new and deeper way. The feeling and new awareness from this event will stay with me. Thank you
Natasha's incredible skills in transformative learning, using a gentle-and-yet-strong approach are so rare, I feel very lucky to have experienced this.
It's completely different to anything I have ever done - and I can't believe it. Nature, I feel is an integral place to creativity and with so much busyness around and everywhere, it is amazing and vital to restore myself through being out and exploring creativity outdoors in the wild.
There's a peace and openness that you get from studying outdoors that I haven't experienced before. Thanks Natasha
I know that participating in this course is me being in exactly the right place at the right time
Natasha is amazing at what she does. She manages to combine fun with all kinds of ways of seeing into you and getting you to keep your feet on the ground, your head in the clouds, and follow your dreams.
Thanks for this evening. Even though it was freezing cold, it was a magical evening.
Natasha brings a light touch and embodied wisdom to the serious work of transformation.
Thanks for EVERYTHING. You've been a truly inspiring, loving, and supportive mentor. Don't ever stop doing what you do so well.
Natasha is an absolute mistress of holding space. She holds space really really well. She’s very intuitive in the sense of not having a rigid structure for what we are going to do but just feels what everybody needs in the groups session and comes up with the most perfect exercises just when they are needed.
About the course - ABSOLUTELY BLOODY NECESSARY
Natasha's course is a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with our creative selves and our natural surroundings at the same time. Being outside gave the space, for self-expansion needed, to be able to reconnect with my creativity.