Now more than ever, we need birds and nature, and they need us. High demands on our time and attention, for both adults and youth, increase stress, complicate life, and distracts us from our true selves.
Relief from life's pressures, which provides opportunity to restore energy and selfhood, is critical for healthy functioning. While we may not be able to take vacations or escape our busy lives as much as we need or want, there is an opportunity for relief right outside our doors. The birds in our neighborhoods and local ecosystems offer an accessible gateway to more peace, joy, and relief from anxieties.
Ornitherapy (ornith-bird) is the mindful observation and personal reflection of birds which benefits our minds, moods, bodies, and spirits. Science-based research shows that watching, enjoying, and/or being in service to different aspects of nature physiologically reduces stress hormones and stress responses, offers life perspective, and creates optimism.
Who & What?
Ornitherapy (term coined by Richard Crossley) benefits everyone, yet can be especially nourishing for those who currently have or have survived life-threatening diagnoses, for people struggling with chronic nervous system hyperarousal or anxiety, and anyone experiencing current or repressed grief.
Ornitherapy begins with an intake session at our ranch or on the phone. Ongoing sessions often take place near water or at an environmental edge (space where two types of habitat meet). Each meeting includes:
personal check in
brief teaching about bird language, bird behavior, bird ecology, and/or how to get closer to birds
invitation to an observation and connection practice
personal reflection discussion or reflective creative process to integrate the experience into your current life
When applicable, stewardship service (ie: litter pick-up, fishing line collection, etc...)
Sessions for adults and youth (10+); Duration: 1.5-2 hours; $75/hr.
The beauty of bird song and plumage captures our attention and provides a hook into nature enchantment. Human interest in birds, however, is not rooted solely in aesthetics, but also survival. To our ancestors, communication and relationship with birds often determined life or death. Their vocalizations and behaviors radiate information about predators, skirmishes, potential dangers and where prey may be located. The feathered beings offer the same information to us today, in addition to reflecting our own state of mind.
Each morning I step outside my door and instantly my thoughts and quality of energy is reflected back to me. The songbirds in my yard move and make vocalizations in direct response to my presence. Sometimes they fly two branches up. Other times they feel the need to leave the property and fly across the neighborhood valley. The difference in response is not random; it is a reflection of my state of mind. My awareness of them is the best reminder to breathe and check-in with myself throughout the day. I am grateful for how they help me regulate and consciously move through the world.
These relational and responsive animals can do the same for you. Contact me for more information.