About Joy Fitzgerald
Natural Connections began with Joy Fitzgerald’s love for nature and her personal experience with trauma. Joy is an elder Appalachian female from rural Eastern Ohio – a Buckeye by birth, a Rocky Mountain Coloradoan at heart, and a Kentuckian by choice!
Her instructional content includes Indigenous spiritual wisdom from Celtic and Native American cultures combined with her professional field experiences as a restoration biologist. Joy has worked with threatened and endangered species and their habitats in North America for 50 years.
Natural Connections evolved from Joy’s personal experiences with betrayal, loss, grief, and recovery from life-altering health issues. In short, she has “worn the moccasins and walked the winding path of life”.
What we Believe
At Natural Connections, we believe that “Life is a circle not a line.” We are all interconnected with one another and with nature. That’s why we believe in the importance of being present in order to heal.
Our purpose is to facilitate personal connections with nature in life-affirming ways that promote wellness and happiness with a sense of awe. It is our belief that all humans desire intimate connections with other life forms—whether it be other humans, animals, or plants– in both tactile and sensing ways.
How We Work
It all starts with a dialogue. Joy leads individuals and small groups on nature walks based on the physical abilities of those present. As you walk, Joy will help you experience nature using music, art, poetry, storytelling, mindful meditation, and nature exploration.
Natural Connections practices two somewhat new types of wellness intervention processes called psychoneuroimmunology and ecopsychology. Basically, we practice helping people become well in their immune systems and minds through seeing beautiful sights, smelling natural fragrances, touching earthy textures, and interacting with life outdoors.
We use no “cookie cutter” approaches. Rather, we set individualized, realistic, goals and outline the incremental progressive steps to achieve total wellness. Often, we work in consultation and collaboration with your other professional wellness and medical practitioners.
Pursue Your Outdoor Interests
What interests YOU in nature? Incorporate that into your plan of healing! Joy will help you learn how to enjoy nature in whatever capacity interests you. All activities are environmentally sustainable and can be modified based on your physical abilities:
- Cross-country skiing
- Nature photography
- Tent camping
- Native flute playing
- Equine therapy
- K-9 interactions
- Growing organic foods and native flora
- Creating personal sacred spaces and places for fun and creativity
- Wildcrafting skills, including hiking staffs and talking sticks for personal use