About the Blog
This blog began with the idea of offering ideas and strategies that could help us to rekindle our wild joy and sense of deep belonging to this earth.
It centers around spiritual ecology and the arts, with facets including bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, and low/no-tech DIY fun. But being a free blog, there is also poetry, humor, sharing of life stories, rants, songs, my contradance calling calendar, random nature nuggets, and a few terrible puns.
Why the name “Indigenize”?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “indigenous” as “(Adjective). 1. produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment; 2: innate, inborn.”
This blog’s title, “Indigenize,” is intentionally provocative. It is not intended to to dismiss or co-opt First Nations cultures or Indigenous peoples – in fact, quite the opposite. It is intended to help support and create allies. The word is presented in verb form to foment action; to help all people in the modern industrial growth society to come to feel a deep physical, mental, and spiritual belonging to the earth overall, our ancestral heritages, and the specific places we live. This is vital for everyone, IMO, and particularly important nuanced work for non-Native folx living on colonized lands.
Ask yourself this: you may live here, but how much do you really inhabit the place as home?
From the experience of belonging as opposed to perceived ownership, people will be more likely to feel ourselves to be a beloved and important part of life here in this planet, able to take a deep breath of relaxation. Acting as adults, we will also be more likely to care for our home places and other-than-human neighbors like beloved relatives rather than lifeless possessions to use, waste, ruin, or discard at will. We can open once more to mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships that allow beings of all species to thrive.
I hope the contents here inspire and help you to come to feel and enjoy more depth of belonging.
About the Author
Tina R. Fields, Ph.D., has taught about the cultural & spiritual sides of environmental issues at the college level since 1999 at four institutions. This includes 5 years of living outdoors in tents with the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University, traveling in the wild with her students for over 200 days per year. Before that, she lived with a part-wolf for 13 years, a relationship that taught her a great deal about interspecies communication and respect.
Tina now dwells with her partner, another dog, and chickens in Boulder, Colorado. There, she serves as full Professor in the M.A. program in Ecopsychology at Naropa University, a unique accredited institution dedicated to contemplative education. She has served on the executive board of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness. As of 2019, she is one of two chosen USA representatives to the International Ecopsychology Society.
Her work ties together ecopsychology, earth-based spiritual wisdom, bioregional literacy, art and storytelling to help westerners become indigenous to these lands and waters we now live with. This work can be done wherever you are living, from rural to extremely urban environments. When approached from a consciousness state of belonging, environmental behavior change can more easily shift in our minds from being a perceived burden to being a chosen joy.
Dr. Fields is available for individual support in spiritual ecopsychology, rewilding the soul, and practical ways to “green” your life. In addition to her knowledge of environmental issues and strategies, she is certified in Forest Medicine through the Japan-based International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM), an ACISTE-certified Spiritual Guidance Counselor, a pagan/interfaith minister, long-term student/practitioner of shamanism and druidry, lay herbalist, CMT, and wilderness rites-of passage leader with current WFR medical training. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Her office space features a full-scale Chartres style labyrinth in the back yard.
In addition to ecopsychological work, Tina is an accomplished visual and performance artist. Her current artistic passion is building community joy through calling contra and barn dances (see calendar), and crafting implements for sacred ceremony such as drums and masks. She has also served as visual Artist-In-Residence in rural California and Nevada, shown visual art in numerous venues across the west, worked as an actor, storyteller, and singer, facilitated many seasonal and life-change ceremonies, employed myth-telling in much of her work with groups in the outdoors, and led singing through the open (and perfection-free) group EnChantMent.
On the side, Tina is a gleeful DIYer who delights in making useful things out of “junk” and “weeds,” living history buff, voracious reader of mythopoeic fiction, and incorrigible punster.
For more yet, check out the pages and links on this site.