Are you drawn to plants and/or animals for companionship and healing? Does the wildlife in your territory spark your curiosity? Do you long to connect authentically with the Life that surrounds you but aren’t sure how, or even if it’s possible?
You’re not alone. The craving to reclaim the wild within is blooming as our cultures veer deeper into technological fixes for what ails us. In 2005, Richard Louv published a book entitled The Last Child in the Woods. He postulated that the lack of contact with the natural world, so common in modern life, causes stress to build in the human system. People who lack regular exposure to the outdoors, plants and animals carry higher levels of stress hormones and inflammation, while their immunity is compromised. So is their ability to develop healthy cross-species relationships or even to perceive themselves as part of nature, instead as separate and superior.
Developing healthy bonds with wild and domestic plants and critters, that are free of our cultural bias toward Dominion over Nature, counteracts many of the deleterious effects of modern human life. When we look at the amount of time, money and devotion people invest in their companion animals and gardens, it’s clear that many are responsive to this deep calling to reclaim their connections with Life. I’m here to help guide folks beyond the dominion strategies so prevalent in modern animal training and gardening.
There are other ways to relate to our other-species companions and allies. Instead of dominion, I teach people how to cultivate authentic mutual trust in these encounters. Happily, plants and critters are consistently receptive to these ancient techniques. The side-effects include the development of greater resiliency toward stress, reduction of stress hormone levels, an increase in immune function and decreased inflammatory responses. This happens for the animals and humans involved. The psychological impacts include decreased depression, anxiety and reactivity, increased focus and improved sleep and social relationships. Many report that their spiritual selves are reawakened through this process too. Yes, all this is accessible to those willing to experiment with how they use their minds when relating to others, even if they can only do for a few minutes a day.
I’m Patricia Elliott Rothchild, MFT, a tour guide to realms of healing that have been relegated to obscurity. I’m an holistic psychotherapist with 37 years of practice under my belt. Before and during my professional career, I trained, handled and shared life with horses, cats, dogs and intermittently, chickens. Now, semi-retired, I live adjacent to a miles of protected wilderness in a tiny Northern California fishing village. I engage with wildlife daily and live with two domestic cats, who are my guiding lights.
My affinity with animals has morphed. It took a while for me to understand our cultural training around dominion. As a horse trainer early in life, I initially took that to be my job. Happily, the critters I lived and worked with disabused me of that delusion early, though it’s a constant practice to recognize and excise its many cultural permutations. I have made errors along the path. Shifting my perspective from trainer to student in relation to the critters was a hugely productive step, as was the journey from western medicine to holistic healing. I, like all humans, am a work in progress. Combining these passions by co-facilitating my professional practice with critters brought my practice into transcendental realms of healing.
You are invited to join me on a quest to heal our species’ Dominion Delusion. Why? It appears that it plays a huge part in the destruction we humans have wrought on this magnificent life-support system. We’re running out of time to fix this. Plants and animals seem to be stepping up to offer us paths toward healing this bizarre phenomena. They appear to get that their survival is on the line too. Their offerings work to the extent that we make ourselves available to learn and practice them. This is a forum for people called to the quest of healing themselves and their relationships with Life.
Your participation is welcome. The blog associated with this site will cover a variety of human-animal bonding strategies that dovetail with ancient spiritual practices that have been used for centuries by people across the globe to promote virtue and wisdom. As the catastrophic effects of industrialization and the information technology threaten to upend our environment, it has become imperative for us humans to relearn how to function in relation to Life. I hope to inspire you to feel and be healthier humans.
Reading and participating through comments on the blog is freely available to anyone who wants to engage. I will offer regular articles and short pieces modeling the steps necessary to transform your relationships with your companion animals, garden beings and wildlife.
I also offer professional consultations to those interested in improving their relations with their companion, sport and work animals. These consults usually are educationally based, but there’s always a therapeutic component involved. I don’t work in the standard fifty-minute hour in an office setting. Instead, I visit human clients and their critters, gardens in their natural settings. There, I teach ancient techniques of accessing Mindfulness in relation to their plants and animals. I support the development of regular practices that enhance safe communication between species. This has a lasting impact on personal and familial resilience, health and happiness.
If you’re from out of the area and wish to engage in an intensive opportunity to master these skills, we can arrange a visit. My community caters to tourism. There are a variety of overnight accommodations available. By early 2018, I hope to be ready to offer an AirBnB accommodation on my property that will accommodate your domestic companion critters. We can work with my garden, companion critters who in their earlier years worked as co-facilitators in my practice and the local wildlife. This option is also available to folks who live in the region and wish to commute to the coast for this work/play.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (email address associated with mailchimp) or call at 707 228-8823 to discuss your needs and the costs of various services. Your program will be tailored for your needs.