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Becky Traptow, EcoSpiritual Direction Guide

"The earth mirrors our deepest selves back to us, as well as the places where we are deeply wounded and in need of healing, and our mutual healing and the expression of our deepest selves are tied to each other."

Brief Bio. I am a Therapeutic Bodyworker and Parts Therapist who uses body focused (somatic) parts therapy (IFS and Wild Mind) as well as nature based practices to help people turn toward, befriend and heal their inner worlds. I bring over 10 years of experience in nature-based wholing and healing practices with Animas Valley Institute, Internal Family Systems Therapy(IFS), Rosen Method Bodywork, Craniosacral Therapy, am a Human Development Guide, Eco Spiritual Director, Dreamwork Guide and a student of Jungian Depth Psychology. I am a mother to 6 grown kids and 3 grandkids and live with her 3 youngest in the majestic coastal forests of Vancouver Island, Canada. I currently see clients in person, online, and sometimes in the forest. I also lead re-wilding retreats, create and teach courses on parts-work, dream-work, and on re-storying our lives, living our personal myths. I look forward to connecting.

Tell us a bit about who you are and how you came to this work.

My name is Becky Traptow. I came to this work through my love of growth, through my belief that more is possible for us and for the world when we live in mutual connection and reciprocity, and through my love of nature-based spirituality.

I am a Therapeutic Bodyworker and Parts Therapist who weaves hands-on bodywork with training in Bill Plotkin’s Wild Mind Nature Based Map of the Psyche, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) as well as connection in wild nature, to help people heal from their childhood survival story so they can live into their deeper sacred story, their soul story. I am a mom of 6 adult children and 3 grandchildren. I grew up in the Mennonite church, leaving in my teenage years for the Baptist and then Vineyard Denominations. I was deeply impacted by the purity culture which really fed the beliefs of my own ‘good girl’ part who didn’t want to get in trouble or do things wrong but I also felt the thread I have always followed — my love of the divine.

As my journey unfolded, I found my way to the Christian Mystics and then to the work of the Jungians followed by the work of Richard Rohr. Their work expanded me and taught me that the story was much bigger than I had been led to believe. I then found the work of Bill Plotkin and the rest, as they say, is history. I unraveled my 30-year marriage in order to line my life up with the journey of my own soul and the larger story I was feeling called to live. I believe you can only take people as far as you have gone yourself so I have been committed to living my own life as fully as I can, which has involved the continued healing of my own childhood survival story and following the deeper threads of my soul story.

What are the lands that raised you, and how has your own connection with the natural world influenced your path?

The lands that raised me were the Canadian prairies, the traditional lands of the Blackfoot People. My birth family, however, comes from the land of the Celtic people, the Irish people. My curiosity about the spiritual traditions of the Celtic people has been one of the threads I have currently been following. I have always felt a connection to nature but it wasn’t until my 40th year that I understood how connected I was to the world around me and that I actually didn’t need to escape this world and aim for heaven, I could actually belong more fully TO it. The encounters I have had with the more than human world, as well as the images from my dreams, have shaped my last decade like no other. I would not be on the path I am on if it weren’t for these experiences.

Why do you believe a practice of spiritual connection with the earth is important for our time?

I believe that this deep, spiritual connection with the earth is vital for our future as well as the future of the Earth for a few reasons. One, we won’t protect something we don’t feel connected to and we will continue to see her as a resource for us to extract what we need, killing both her and ourselves in the process. We will also miss out on the reciprocity of relationship with her that exists when we realize she is as alive as we are and wants to participate in our unfolding. The earth mirrors our deepest selves back to us, as well as the places where we are deeply wounded and in need of healing, and our mutual healing and the expression of our deepest selves are tied to each other.

In your experience, what are some of the barriers or challenges individuals or communities face in developing a deeper connection with nature?

We can’t unfold if Earth doesn’t also unfold. One of the barriers to this unfolding that we need to experience in ourselves and our communities is that we are under-developed as people and are what Bill Plotkin calls ‘patho-adolescents’, concerned with just our own survival or that of the people we consider ‘ours’, but not the people we consider to be ‘other’. We also see Earth as ‘other’, and not as a part of us, whose future is tied to ours, and therefore assume she is here to serve our survival needs at the expense of hers. We are also living in our ‘parts’ and not our whole selves, unable to access our own deeper soul story and the story of the world.

Perhaps another barrier to this spiritual connection is just not knowing where to begin. How do we reconnect to ourselves and to the world around us? How do we live from our wholeness?

A practice to get us started: Wander to a place that is wild or semi-wild. Begin just with this question. What if the world is as aware of me as I am of it? What would change for me if I lived as if this were true? Now begin your walk/wander. Look around. What do you see? What do you imagine is seeing you? Who do you imagine is seeing you? How is it to be ‘seen’ by the world in this way? What is it like to see and be seen? What if the world notices YOUR beauty just like you notice the beauty of the world? Even just changing our perception of the aliveness of the world can change how we show up in it.

What are you looking forward to offering as a guide in Seminary of the Wild Earth?

I am looking forward to continuing to offer one on one sessions to participants as well as guiding my small group or hive. I love getting to know the participants, tracking their journey, and helping them dive deeper into themselves as well as into the world around them. I am also looking forward to continuing to help participants deepen into their own bodily experiences, their many parts, their soul, and offering insight into how they might deepen their connection to themselves and to the world around them.



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