The Rural We: Marlow Shami
Photographer, artist and writer Marlow Shami, who lives in Goshen, Conn., conducts Nature as Healer workshops and talks. She specializes in the healing connection between humans and the natural world. Earlier in her career, she was the first female videographer at Channel 3, Hartford’s CBS affiliate, where she and Gayle King were nominated for a New England Emmy for a series they created together. She also co-produced an award-winning (and the first) documentary on battered women. Shami later began focusing on inner health and after studying yoga at an ashram, went back to school to get a master’s degree in ecopsychology. She will be leading a Mindful Eating Meditation and Nature Ramble at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield on Feb. 10.
I’ve been presenting nature and healing workshops for about 20 years. This upcoming presentation will focus on mindful eating, because that seems to be on the mind of lots of folks this time of year. It’s a great way to think about our eating habits and integrate meditation and nature, and what better place to do it than the White Memorial Conservation Center?
All of the presentations I give, no matter what kind, mix meditation along with experiential activities in nature. I’ve found that mindful stress reduction, ecopsychology and the science of energy medicine form the foundation of all of my workshops. I structure these talks to help people pull off the layers we acquire that sort of numb us to our life, the environment and our own inner wisdom. We are such a head-dominant culture. The brain is a blessing and a curse when it comes to memory. I like to say that we are a part of nature, not apart from nature. We can tap into its restorative power, but it is a challenge to do it intentionally.
Guided meditation helps to quiet the mind. What I ask people to do is go outside and follow their positive attraction. That might be a pool of light, a stream, a tree — anything in nature — and ask the entity for counseling on some issue in their lives. Then notice what comes up. Often it’s a metaphor that comes to us. There is such power in connecting with nature. But unless we’re really present, we miss so many opportunities to follow our path.
My original degree was a BFA from the University of Hartford, with a focus on video and photography. I’m now fusing those skills along with my ecopsychology and meditative background into art. I have two bodies of work: the Restoration series and Visual Memoir series. When I’m out in nature I take photos and during the cold months I work on them digitally, which is in itself a meditative process.
My partner and I live in a log cabin with a wraparound porch, on five acres of land. When we were looking for a home, we wanted something that gave us the feeling we’re on vacation, and that’s what we have. I can just walk down my driveway and hike right from here.
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