Finding Strength in Mother Nature with Kate Culver | UYGW049

Join Kate and Amanda as they discuss:

  • How to create a connection to nature
  • How a connection with nature can create a feeling of groundedness that will serv you year-round
  • How indigenous people greet a new year


Do you want 2023 to be the year you finally get to your Great Work? Join me on January 17th for Unleashing YOUR Great Work 2023, an online jumpstart to doing the work that matters the most to you without sacrificing everything else.

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Listen, my passion for Great Work (and the encouragement of Great Work) is limitless beyond compare. Although, I will admit, taking a moment for oneself and stepping away from one’s Great Work is sometimes necessary. That could mean taking an hour to read a few chapters in a book, unwinding with a good television program, or even spending time with Mother Nature herself. Kate Culver, founder of “Song to Gaia” and lifelong lover of Gaia (Greek Goddess of the Planet/Mother Earth), fully believes that HER great work is deeply rooted in her intimate connection with nature. In this world, right now, there is so much chaos and unsureness, and Katie’s perspective is that tomorrow will never be the same as today. We must prepare ourselves for each new day to throw something new at us. How can we best prepare for these moments? Katie suggests three different methods to find a true embodiment with the wild nature surrounding us: find a “sit-spot” (a place in nature to reflect, reconnect, and renew your openness), Embodiment Meditation (getting out of our minds and back home into our center, for a sense of fullness), and Path of Renewal (a deep reflection of our lives and how we have gotten to where we are today). With these special practices, we can allow Gaia to take full control and return us to our paths of resilience in our Great Work.

About the Guest:

Kate Culver, founder of Song to Gaia, is a life-long lover of Gaia and is devoted to her care and feeding. After many years as an activist fighting injustices, saying “No!”, she learned the power of “Yes”. First through Permaculture-The Art of Beneficial Relationships, then through personal, deep transformational work.

She healed herself from a chronic health issue that had left her unable to use her hands, through a combination of nature connection and deep self exploration. Kate has developed her own unique system for Finding Your Path Home to Self.

Kate inspires hope and possibilities in her audiences and deep emotional and psychological shifts in her clients, where they uncover their super-strengths, divine gifts and life purpose.

About the Host:

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author of Great Work, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk: Three Reasons You Aren’t Doing What You Say You Will Do has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and TED Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Amanda lives in New Jersey with her husband, two adorable kids, and a remarkable newfiepoo named Ruthie. She spends her days educating future teachers, coaching accidental entrepreneurs, and speaking about how to make progress on Great Work to colleges and corporate teams. To book Dr. Crowell to speak or inquire about coaching, check out or email





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Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work on this special 10 episode series we are focused on resilience. What is it? How do we get it? And if we've lost it, how do we get it back? So listen in, because we know that great work is so much more dependent on your resilience than it is on your hustle.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work. On this special holiday episode. We are so excited to have Katie Culver. She is the founder of song to Gaia, and is a lifelong lover of Gaia. After many years as an activist fighting in justices and saying no, she learned the power of saying yes, Katie has healed herself from a chronic health issue that left her unable to use her hands through a combination of nature connection, and deep self exploration. Thank you, and welcome to the podcast, Katie.

Katie Culver:

Thank you, Amanda, I'm really happy to be here.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

I'm happy you're here too. So we would love to start where we always do, which is if you could just tell us a little bit about your great work. Well,

Katie Culver:

like it said, in my bio nature connection is at the heart of what I do. I love the planet. And I want to support her. And one of the ways that I did that for years was to go out and look where there were problems and see if I could find a solution for them and work on those. And it dawned on me that I could reach a lot more people and do more great work for the planet. If I were helping individuals to be their best selves and to be their fully lived spirit. And in that way, that ripple effect going out to support the planet. I feel like that was going to be a better way for me to help. Help Gaia.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Yeah, and Gaia is the goddess of the planet. Yeah,

Katie Culver:

it is a it is a Greek goddess. And it she was the goddess of she's Mother Earth. Okay. And then there was also a professor that James Lovelock that came up with the Gaia theory, which basically says that the planet we live on is a living being, ah, you know, she is integrated with us, right? We are just like we have little mites and things that live in our eyelashes or whatever to keep our eyes clean. We've got bacteria in our gut, we are a part of this planet. And we are a symbiotic relationship with her. Yeah,

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

absolutely. Yes. You know, it's one of those things that it feels like both extremely obvious, and also totally unknown to people. It's like they live as though they are not. They are not part of it, that the problems with the planet are not the problems of the person. And yet, of course, we are all of this planet. We are in the same way that the bacteria and the animals that live in the Serengeti, so are we of this planet. And I think that what you're pointing to is a really interesting, almost denialism that people have themselves sort of locked in, and what is the work tell me just a little bit, and then we'll talk about resilience. But tell me just a little bit about the kind of work you do with other people. What's What does that look like?

Katie Culver:

So a lot of what I do is transformational guide with women, but I also work with men too. And there are a series of nature connection kinds of activities that we do, there's one that I like a lot called a sit spot. And basically it's about getting into nature in a place that you know, that you can go to regularly day after day. You know, not someplace far away that that takes an effort, it's like your backyard, your porch, whatever, where you begin to have an intimate relationship with whatever is wild around you, the tree, the squirrel, the butterfly that Flitz by and the more often we go and visit these place this place and stay there sit there in silence, the more that wild entity will kind of show itself to us and talk to us and help us find who we really are. And that was how I you know, my my childhood was saved because of that communication with the wild.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Wow. So what happens like it can you break down a little bit the transformation that is possible when you sit there and become intimate with that spot? Like, what does it unlock for you? What does it reveal to you and how does that help to heal?

Katie Culver:

You know, I think in this The world right now we're so there's so much chaos, and there's so much unsureness, right where we're not even, we can't even count on tomorrow being the same as today, right, every day seems to throw something new at us. So one of the things that happens with a sweet spot is that, that sense of a connection that will never leave of a, of a wildness of a purity, that, that you can tap into at any time, and you don't have to be at your spirit sit spot to do it. You know, once you have that connection with the wild, you know, you're able to tap into that. Now we do a lot of meditation practices, and there's tapping and, and all kinds of other modalities that get used to support this. But it's really about just coming home to yourself, feeling solid in who you are. And having that put that practice in that process, that whenever you get knocked off your feet, you can bring yourself right back to center again.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Wow, that's such a such a great description. And it is such a great sort of transition to the question I wanted to ask you, which is, you know, one of the core values for unleashing your great work as a podcast and in my book, great work, is that the kind of work we're trying to do here, the work that matters the most to you, that lights you up and creates your legacy and puts you in contact with cool people doing awesome things, that it is just so much more dependent on our resilience and our ability to bounce back and feel good than it is on anything like hard work or willpower discipline. And I'm curious, when you find yourself having gone a little too far or having lost your center, like, obviously, it's going to be related to coming back into connection with Gaia. But what are other like what are some really great tips for doing that, to restore that resilience to bring you back in contact and, and get your wiggle back as it were?

Katie Culver:

For me, it's a lot of it is meditation. And I have several practices I do one is an embodiment meditation, that actually puts your body in emotion and gives you that sense of being embodied is so different than when we're just up in our head. And that's where we can be so worried. And so caught up in what isn't working. And so the first key for me for resilience, it's come back home, come back down into my center, and be with with that sense of fullness, right? There's something when you come and you feel your feet on the ground, and you feel your heart expanding your chest, and you're holding that opened, that kind of just allows you to be a duck, you know, like the water goes right off your back. So that's one of my big resilience tools.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Yeah, I love that. I love that. And you so we have embodied meditation, which I love and the sit spot, which I'm just captivated by the idea of and I'm like ready to do it right now. Is there one more connection to nature, sort of tip or trick or activity that people could do? Especially over the holidays, when we actually have some time? And we we never have any time? Like what could we do to really deeply feel while we have this moment? Well, there

Katie Culver:

is a process that I guide my clients through and it's called the path of renewal. And, and this is a play, and this is the perfect time of year to do it. And it's something that indigenous cultures around the world do. It's like universal, no matter where they are on the planet. Many, many indigenous cultures have this practice of at the end of the year, we take a reflection of our life of where we've been. And even though we did it last year, we're still going to go back to the beginning, right? We're gonna go back to five years old or whatever our earliest memories are gonna catalogue. What are those stepping stones that kept happening? And how do they relate to each other and when you can kind of see, look back on your life and go, Oh my gosh, there has been a path that I've been on and these themes have continued to arise. And, and so we do that with ourselves. And then we go with our intimate, most intimate partner, whether that's a lover or a child or a parent, or you know, a bestie and go through that process with them. Like what has been our Are, are stepping stones through our relationship and how is it that we have grown? And what are the recurring themes of our life? And it's just this when we review where we have been and who we are. It's like that. Whoa, I just did this a year ago, I totally forgot about that piece of me.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Yeah. Oh my gosh, Katie, I love that so much. And one of the things I really like about it is, often people come to me and they say, like, oh, I don't know if I have any great work. I, you know, some people do, I just don't think I do. I never have, I'm just not that kind of person. And this, what you just described as a big, like, one of the main things I'll tell them to do is look back at your life and really look for what I would call like the golden thread that has tied your interest and efforts together. I think that your process is a great way to do that. I'm really excited about the way that you described it. Because I think not only would you really realize who you've been and what you've done, and who you hope to be, I think it would also reveal your great work. If you were struggling to know what that was.

Katie Culver:

Exactly. Yeah.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

So good. I love it. And I want to be sure because I don't know about everybody else listening to this, but I'm like, How do I know more about this? I need to hear all about Katie colver. So tell me Katie, how if people are wanting to know more about you, what can you do?

Katie Culver:

My website is song to That's SONGTO ga i You can reach me there I am on social media, Facebook, Instagram. I'm not a big social media person. So you're not going to find a lot.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Right? Awesome. So we'll put we'll put the link to your website for sure in the show notes so that people don't even have to spell it they can just click it. And any social media you want to share will definitely come and check it out. So you know, Katie, I just want to thank you again, because this was very illuminating. And I I actually feel a little more grounded, just from talking to you and listening to hear what you say. So thank you so much for bringing that.

Katie Culver:

Thank you Amanda, and have a wonderful holiday season.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Yes, for sure.


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