Living a Deeply Connected Life

San_rock_artA Nature Connection Journey that Awakens our Deepest Gifts and Unique Genius

Ancient Practices for a Modern Lifestyle:

Wherever we come from around the world, our ancestors at one point in time lived close to the earth, in tune with the cycles of nature. Our human sensory inheritance developed through the need to pay attention to nature in order to survive. Over hundreds of thousands of years, human biology and cultural capacity was honed and strengthened as we adapted to countless environments and landscapes, each place requiring a unique survival strategy, yet each place also drawing out the genius inherent within us.

While today’s modern landscape opens out unique aspects of our consciousness, our inherited sensory systems are suffering from lack of use in the increasingly technologically oriented era. Less people are getting outside, and the sophisticated knowledge of place that developed over thousands of years in various indigenous cultures is rapidly being lost. With this lack of outdoor time, comes a documented host of problems for health and well-being, problems that can be transformed through establishing a basic connection with the world of nature. Over the years, we have seen how the nature based practices supported in this program awaken people’s’ unique gifts and transform their lives. Through connecting with nature we can unlock our full potential and power as well as greater enjoyment and depth in all our relationships.

What you will learn:

This series guides participants through the Core Routines of deep nature connection. These routines are drawn from universal ways that have connected people with the larger world of nature for countless generations. Connecting to nature in this way brings a fresh perspective into one’s life, as the senses are activated and challenged, and a sense of place develops through direct experience with the landscape. Through the senses, one’s awareness becomes engaged with the moment, bringing a deeper sense of peace and well-being.

These tools also build a deep relationship with the landscape and sense of place. Our focus is to embody connection with place through getting outside and exploring, being part of the landscape, and engaging directly with nature. This direct experience is guided and strengthened through the ancient arts of storytelling and asking questions. Each participant’s journey is unique and based on their own curiosities, passions, and focus. Participants report feeling:

  • More fully alive and living the life they want with a deep sense of gratitude
  • A deep connection with stillness, a feeling of belongingness and interconnectedness with all things  and a quieter mind
  • Greater empathy for people and the natural world– the plants and animals, and through experiencing a sense of timelessness and they experience more presence in each moment
  • An ability to listen deeply and a feeling of responsibility to be in service and helpful to others
  • A greater ability to let go of trying to control things out of fear and a feeling of trust in their bodies and minds
  • An ability to forgive more quickly and love more openly
  • Vitality and electricity in their body and more comfortability and less fear outdoors
  • A deep sense of happiness and well being and childlike joyful playfulness

About the Mentors:

Jon Young and Josh Lane are your guides for this journey. Jon and Josh work together with the group cohort to share ancient practices of connection that build relationship with nature, place and enhance creativity.

jy larger photoJon Young has been a pioneer in the field of nature connection for the last 36 years, having been immersed in nature as a child through his family mentors and from the long-term guidance of his next door neighbor, Tom Brown Jr, who himself was mentored in the arts of wilderness survival and tracking in a native scout lineage. These scout skills required deep attention to the landscape and to the subtle patterns of animal behavior. Jon went on in college to explore the universal principles of nature connection and the ways that indigenous cultures have traditionally passed knowledge of place through the generations. His collaboration with cultural elders and experts from many walks of life, led to the development of the 8 Shields mentoring model.

Josh bio photo edited

Josh Lane, longtime mentor at 8 Shields, brings forward this lineage of Coyote Mentoring that was shared with him since he was a teenager. For the past 18 years, Josh has delved deeply into the arts of holistic tracking, bird language and mentoring, and loves sharing these skills with others who seek to touch the earth. This quest has also led Josh to incorporate a spectrum of nature-wisdom pathways into his mentoring practice, including qi gong and other wellness tools. Josh works with each participant’s vision and passions to unfold a journey of connection that is unique for each person, using the Art of Questioning, Storytelling, and other Coyote Mentoring tools.

Program Structure:

Activities in between calls provide pathways to get outside and build your personal relationship with the earth; these personal experiences are deepened through guided conversation and mentoring on our group and personal calls depending on the track you choose. Activities include outdoor nature practices, readings, digital media, and also regular posting on our group forum, and focus on ways to connect outdoors with each season through your senses.

Assessment & Personal Mentoring Calls. For those of you choosing Track 1, your journey begins with a depth questionnaire and a personal Assessment Call with an 8 Shields mentor. This process helps participants to clarify or set goals, opens a doorway to tracking one’s inner landscape, and helps us discover where you are at and chart where you would like to go as we begin our journey together. In Track 1, You’ll also have two personal mentoring calls with Josh and three personal calls with Jon throughout the six month series, designed to hone and amplify your own unique nature connection journey.

Group Calls. Group calls occur one to two times a month throughout the program for participants in both Tracks. Group calls are a chance to connect with other participants on this journey. These calls are primarily designed to provide a space for sharing and processing your experiences and to set a pace for the group as we move through self-guided activities in between calls. You’ll have a chance to share stories in small groups, and also experience mentoring through large group circles. This combination greatly increases learning.

Village Talk. Participants in both Tracks also receive access to the weekly Village Talk call series, which is designed to complement the learning journey. Village Talk is held every Tuesday, and you can choose the best time for you from three different times each week. The Fall to Spring Series will look in depth at the Core Routines of Nature Connection, including a powerful toolset called the Renewal of Creative Path, a visionary training which enhances creativity, helps you create the life you want and activates greater well being and happiness.

This program is for you if:

  • You want to connect deeply with the earth
  • You are seeking ways to nourish yourself in a busy life and slow down to a natural rhythm
  • You want to experience a lineage of mentoring in deep nature connection that stretches back into the generations
  • You are willing to get out and explore nature in between each call through guided practices

No previous nature connection experience is required to participate. This program is for anyone interested in going on a nature connection journey and awakening their full potential and deepest gifts. These practices support a variety of pathways, and are helpful tools for Educators, Parents, Therapists, Coaches, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers as well as a first step to supporting others with nature based practices.

This is an experiential-based program, so we do seek those who are motivated or open to getting outside in nature and exploring the practices shared on the calls.

Participants will need long distance telephone access and internet access.

Program Components:

Track 1:

red check markMentoring Questionnaire & Personal Assessment Call with an 8 Shields mentor (November)

red check markWritten feedback via email from an 8 Shields mentor on your Nature Toolkit assignments

red check markSix 1-to-1 calls with Jon Young and Josh Lane

Call 1 Josh (November to early December)

Call 2 Jon (Early December)

Call 3 and 4 Josh (January, March)

Call 5 and 6 Jon  (April, May)

red check markSix monthly Foundations of Nature Connection group calls (November to May)

Dec. 17, January 14, Feb 18, March 17, April 7, last call TBA

All calls are from 11am-1230pm Pacific Time

red check markVillage Talk weekly mentoring with Jon Young

Tuesdays; pick from 11am-1230pm, 4pm-530pm, or 7pm-830pm Pacific time call options

Recordings are provided to participants of all the calls listed above.

Track 2:

red check markSix monthly Foundations of Nature Connection group calls (November to May)

 Dec. 17, January 14, Feb 18, March 17, April 7, and last call TBA

All calls are from 11am-1230pm Pacific Time

red check markVillage Talk weekly mentoring with Jon Young

Tuesdays; pick from 11am-1230pm, 4pm-530pm, or 7pm-830pm Pacific time call options

Recordings are provided to participants of all the calls listed above.

red check markWritten feedback via email from an 8 Shields mentor on your Nature Toolkit assignments

Required Resources:

(included in the cost of the program for both Tracks)

Embodying Nature Webinar series,

Kamana Naturalist Training Program 1 & 2 Digital Edition (note: does NOT include optional Wilderness Awareness School Kamana feedback & certification – options available through at additional cost),

Shikari Digital Learning Materials,

Backyard Bird Language Online Course,

Coyotes Guide Digital Edition,

Nature Connection Toolkit



To register, please fill out our Mentoring Information Form and register via one of the options below (if you have questions and would like more information, please e-mail us at [email protected]) :

Track 1:

Single Payment Option: $5900 

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Payment Plan Option: $1,500 down and 6 payments of $800 (Total $6300)

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Track 2:

Payment in Full $2800

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Payment Plan Option: $800 down and 6 payments of $400 (Total $3200)

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