Sacred Landscapes: The Expanse That Can Be Seen

Sacred Landscapes: The Expanse That Can Be Seen

I have been perusing this year’s Sacred Landscapes conference schedule that is under construction, and all I can say is WOW!

What a fantastic and eclectic group of presenters, not to mention thoughtfully curated material and experiences!! This is a lineup not to be missed.

Something really stood out to me as I was exploring the different presentations we have on the schedule – our theme of Sacred Landscapes has really drawn out presentations that use a wider lens to understand healing work.

It makes sense. The idea of landscape encompasses SO much.


It is the scenery that surrounds us, the view we see no matter where we are, the terrain we travel from one place to the next.


Even the definition of the word landscape – “The expanse that can be seen” – taps into a felt sense of what we are trying to offer. I love that word – EXPANSE. Can you feel your lungs fill with air when you read it? EXPANSE. To expand. To grow and stretch and ultimately, to CONNECT.


When we expand, we come into contact with all of life


What is so exciting about our Sacred Landscapes conference is that our lineup of presenters heard “landscape” and immediately understood the assignment.  We are talking about Space. Views. Presence. Experience. And we are hopefully expanding your view of what it means to do relational healing work.

Because of course, above all, connection and interconnectedness makes all the difference.

So what, exactly, do I mean when I say we are taking a landscape perspective when it comes to continuing education with Natural Lifemanship?


Spaces & Places


Of course, it means land, literally…the relationship we have with spaces and places where we do this work. Like my keynote, Healing Relationships with Space and Place: Engaging with the environment to foster transformation; and Jane Faulkner’s Exploring a Relationship to Self, Country, and Other. As well as Nature Connected Play Therapy: The Implementation of Play while Honoring the Power of a Natural Setting with Animal Connections by Emily Schmidt.


Inner Landscape


But also we will have presentations that explore inner landscapes – who you are and how you show up. Like this presentation by Jenn Pagone, Expanding our Internal Landscapes through Relational Consciousness with IFS Equine Engaged Psychotherapy, and this one by NL trainers Kathleen Choe and Laura McFarland, Exploring the Inner Landscape with Embodied Practices: Discernment and the Enneagram.

And then, we will explore how our bodies are a part of our internal landscape, like our keynote from Mark Taylor, Moving Through Space: What Can We Learn from Observing Movement in Session? and this presentation by Kathy Taylor (no relation!), Moving in Three Dimensions: A simple framework for using your body to establish, maintain and nurture connection while working with clients and horses. As well as this delicious presentation, Connected Nutrition:  The Gut is our “Second Brain” with NL Trainer Gabby Remole.

And, how do we impact the landscape of healing work, particularly through our horses? Here is a great one by NL Trainers Rebecca Hubbard and Reccia Jobe, The Human-Equine Relational Landscape: How practitioner treatment and interactions with equines impact the healing landscape, and another by Tim and Tanner Jobe, called Getting Along: Facilitating Healthy Relationships Within Your (Horse) Herd!

What I’ve mentioned here are just a few of the many, many speakers and topics we are so thrilled to share with you. Can you tell I am excited?

Sacred Landscapes aims to be a nourishing, grounding, collective experience that will shift you on both a higher and deeper level. We’re growing roots and spreading our branches.

This conference is not about task. It is about our internal and external connections – and we cannot wait to share it with you!

To register for Sacred Landscapes and view all themes, speakers and topics (32 topics thus far!), visit www.naturallifemanship.com/sacred-landscapes.



NL Member Spotlight: Cathy Champ

NL Member Spotlight: Cathy Champ

We have an exciting new monthly feature, our Member Spotlight, where we take a moment to recognize one of our members who’s made an impact in our beloved community.

This month we’re focusing on Cathy Champ, MA, LPC-S, LSOTP. Cathy is an incredible Natural Lifemanship Member and a longtime leader in our community of healers and helpers.

Learn more about Cathy’s background as a Licensed Professional Counselor and her vision for helping those struggling to improve their relationships with themselves and others.

Where Cathy got her start

During her 30-year career, Cathy Champ has counseled at elementary and middle schools, with justice-involved populations and at-risk youth, and worked as the Clinical Director of the Denton County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Inspired by her experiences with these organizations and schools, she opened up two counseling practices to further her lifelong passion for helping those in need. It was through this new chapter in her career that she was introduced to Natural Lifemanship and our principles.

A love for animals becomes a new career path

Her journey with Natural Lifemanship began the same way it does for most of our community members, with a deep love of people and animals.

For over a decade Cathy volunteered at the Denton Animal Shelter, and in 2011 she was named Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to protecting animals and fostering everything from dogs to bunnies.

This commitment, along with her desire to heal others led her to develop a curiosity in equine-assisted therapy.

Embarking on a new chapter with NL

Like many NL members, Cathay went to her first NL training knowing very little about horses but with a determination to take in everything. She was discouraged at first, given how much there is to learn about equine-assisted therapy, but she could see the healing power of the principles and how important it was to carry on. Pretty soon, things started to click. She formed a deep and lasting connection with the practice. At this point, she has experienced just about every training Natural Lifemanship offers.

Because of her work with Natural Lifemanship, Cathy has built a tremendous skill set and a thriving practice.

“I have confidence as a therapist as I lend my regulated nervous system and am present with my clients. I have so many tools to help them from the bottom of their brain stem up to their neocortex,” she said. “I have incorporated rhythm and walking EMDR and even a little mounted work. I work with clients in partnership with the animals or with nature and always with God.”

Cathy’s dedication to helping animals and her desire to connect with nature, two common characteristics many NL members share, led her and her husband to purchase a farm and open up Rockhill Counseling in Texas.

Opening up any business can be overwhelming. But fortunately for Cathy, she used the NL principles as a guide to navigate building up the foundation of her new counseling practice.

“Relationships mean everything,” she said. “We started building relationships with people and animals who could partner with us and who we would be a blessing to as well. We wanted all the workers, counselors, and animal partners to feel at home and to thrive here as well as help us create an amazing place for our clients to experience healing and to deepen their relationships with themselves and with others.”

Cathy’s counseling practice now includes six counselors, five horses, goats, chickens peacocks, miniature donkeys, a llama, and an alpaca. A diverse team to say the least!

Learning now and forever

Cathy continues to learn the NL way through webinars, online training, and in-person training. She’s grateful for the principles that guide her interactions with her clients, her husband, and even the little turtles in her pond. And we are grateful for her dedication to the principles of NL and our community.

Thank you, Cathy, for being such an active member and a leader within NL!