Kinship with Nature is a Family Affair

With Sharifa Oppenheimer
Your Child’s Healthy, Heartfelt Kinship with Nature Begins with You!

Classes will be LIVE Wednesdays beginning July 3, 6:30-8pm Central

Research shows intimate connections with nature improve our health, mood and sense of purpose. Science affirms that the child’s love of nature, and its many health benefits, depends upon their adult’s depth of connection with the natural world. Are you not quite sure how to deepen and express your own love of nature? Would you love to know how to “pass the torch” of nature connection to the children in your care?

Join our five week Kinship with Nature course and discover your inherent relationship with the Elements and Realms of Nature!

Zoom session dates with release of new supplemental material on Ruzuku each Wednesday: July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

**Childcare providers and early childhood teachers can earn a certificate for 15 CE hours through engagement with Deepening Practices and active discussions in Ruzuku by Aug 7th. **

How Will This Course Work

Each week on Zoom, you will take a deep dive into one of the Elements (earth, water, fire, air or ether) and one of the Realms of Nature (mineral, plant, animal, human or unseen beings.) Through song, movement, story, breathwork, visualization and deep internal inquiry, your innate connection to the natural world will flourish.

You will also explore the interplay of these very same beings within your own inner-sphere, within your heart, psyche, soul and spirit. In Ruzuku online, Weekly Deepening Practices will take you and your family or class out into the green world where, in your own neighborhood and at your own pace, you can put into practice what is learned in class.

These weekly resources offer you links to videos, lectures, stories and websites that will broaden and more profoundly inform your understanding of the class material.

Can’t make the live class? All registered students will receive a recording of the live workshop! The video recording of each session will be available for viewing by students for 30 DAYS.

Details of the Course Content

July 3~ Module One: Earth Element and Mineral Realm

We explore the grounding, steadying influence of the Earth Element. We’ll discover ways to find earth as a touchstone in our daily lives, as well as ways to honor our Mother in the natural world. We also live-into the foundational nature of minerals ~ within our own bones and bloodstream, as well as in the world of the Stone People. Deepening Practices throughout the week engage yours and the children’s bodies, hearts and minds.

July 10~ Module Two: Water Element and Plant Realm

We experience the essential nature of Water and her qualities of purification, revivification, accommodation, flow…the magic of water within the living systems of earth and within our own bodies and souls. We’ll inquire how to foster a balanced water element both within and without. We’ll also explore the Realm of Plants: recognizing plants as integral participants in earth’s hydraulic cycle and as the creators of the air we breathe ~ we will honor our symbiotic relationship. We will discover ways the plant world lives within our bodies and souls. Deepening Practices throughout the week engage ours and the children’s whole being in relationship with Water and Plants.

July 17~ Module 3: Fire Element and the Realm of Animals

We will embrace our relationship with the Fire element, exploring fire’s qualities of purification, warmth, enthusiasm, creativity and more. We will learn how to create an inner “hearth” and “container” in order to work in dynamic relationship with fire…that we not be consumed by its brilliance. We will also explore ancient systems within the living earth, that are being practiced today, that create outer containers for the intensity and creativity of fire. We’ll also step into the intelligence and agency of the animal realm, discovering how our furred, feathered and finned cousins live directly inside our brains and bodies. We’ll explore ways to live more closely into our “soft animal bodies.” Deepening Practices encourage ours and the children’s gratitude to Fire and to our older cousins, the Animals.

July 24~ Module 4: Air Element and the Realm of Human Beings

We will breathe into the Air element, discovering vast spaciousness within our being and experiencing the “breath of Gaia” that moves through us. We will learn ways of using our breath as a rudder for our ship of self. We will discover ways to listen to the wisdom that is carried on the wind, as our earth-ancestors speak to us. We will breathe in symbiosis with all our plant mothers and our four-legged cousins. We will also look into the complex and often divergent capacities of the human being. What ideals do we carry? Who models these Qualities for us? Deepening Practices bring us again and again throughout the week, to awareness of our breath and how we choose to “use” it to benefit all. Deepening Practices for the children are filled with the joy of windy days.

July 31~ Module 5: Ether Element and the Realm of the Unseen Beings

We will explore Ether as the integrative force ~ that miraculous gathering-together of all Elements, Realms, and Beings into the coherent interdependent living being that we call Gaia. We will look within, as well, and make relationship with this integrative force within our body, heart, mind, soul and spirit. We’ll look into the world of nature and, with the eye of the heart, see and honor the unseen beings that are always teeming in the living atmosphere of our home, our mother, the Earth. Deepening Practices throughout the week help us remember the miracle of Earth and the One Being we call Gaia. The children will deepen into the sensory wonder of childhood on our emerald planet.

About the Instructor

Sharifa Oppenheimer is the author of the best-selling Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children and its companion workbook How To Create The Star of your Family Culture. She recently wrote With Stars in Their Eyes: Brain Science and Your Child’s Journey Toward the Self.  She was the founding teacher of the Charlottesville Waldorf School as well as The Rose Garden, a Waldorf early childhood home-program.  She now teaches collaboratively with LifeWays and continues to explore and write about other aspects of profound connection, particularly the family’s need for deep connection to Nature.

Sharifa has been a student of Sufism for many decades and has deep respect for other indigenous wisdom traditions which point humanity toward the sacred nature of the living earth.  She offers Sacred Earth ~ Sacred Self gatherings that explore humanity’s biological and spiritual inter-being with our other-than-human relations.  Her new book A Litany of Wild Graces: Meditations on Sacred Ecology (Red Elixir Press)   explores these themes through essays, poetry, dreams and litany. Sharifa also hosts a website by that name, Wild Graces.

Register for This Course

$140 each; $110 each for groups of five or more

**Paying for the course is just the first step. After purchasing, you will see a “Thank You” page that will give you a link to register in Ruzuku for the course. This step must be completed in order to begin receiving notifications and engaging in lessons.

Refund Policy: Fees will be refunded in full up to 7 days prior to the start of the course, and at 50% if student cancels enrollment less than a week in advance. Fees are nonrefundable after the start of the course.

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