Suzanne De Benedittis
Getting Down to Earth
My love of family and community well being is what brings me to Greener Way Associates. What I learned early on, perhaps at age 3 or 4, that has stayed with me throughout my life was a secret to peace of mind and tranquility.
I came from an immigrant, working class family filled with strife. Inside the house was all too often like a war zone.
Out in the back was a little patch of earth. This became my secret garden, a place where I would go smell the fresh earth, delight in its little, crawling creatures and adore the irises in bloom. I would help plant vegetables and wondered what magic made little seeds become beautiful flowers and then turn into food like the zucchini and tomato blossoms did.
I always found after a little time spent working in the garden, that I no longer felt confused, anxious, or upset as I had when I went into the garden. I often wonder if some of my siblings who had turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with our family’s stresses, would have taken a different route if they too had spent some time getting down to earth.
Fast forward into my adult years. The same magic still occurs each time I get down to earth in a garden. I became conscious of this therapeutic effect gardening has on the nervous system about 25 years ago. An older youth who needed some help, but had no funds tore out my lawn and put in a vegetable garden. He found this getting down to earth was often more therapeutic than the coaching I offered.
I began to do some research and found the same effect discussed in the literature. In fact, I recommend your reading about what Catherine Sneed (a former high school drop out who put herself through law school) has done to transform the lives of thousands in jail through gardening. (Gardening Conquers All – How to cut your jail recidivism rates
Dec 18, 2002 … In 1982, Catherine Sneed was lying in a hospital bed, so ill with kidney disease that her San Francisco County Jail co-workers were coming)
Although I have a Phd from USC in Social Analysis, Ethics and Social Change, an MS from CSULA in Counseling Psych, all but four units for another MA from NYU in Ed Psych, have done post graduate work at six universities, plus every two years go beyond the 36 units requirement and complete well over 50, and often near 100 hours of Continuing Education to maintain my LMFT license, what brings me to founding Greener Way Associates a therapeutic transformation that occurs from getting down to earth.
If you are concerned about your well-being, that of one another and of this Earth, may I invite you to join in and let’s all get down to earth together to transform it for the greater good of all! It will bring you tranquility and peace of mind! Guaranteed!!
Proprietor of Professional Coaching,Counseling & Consulting Services, Suzanne De Benedittis has a PhD in Religion, Ethics and Social Justice from USC and practices as a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT) specializing in couples and executive counseling. Greener Way Associates Mentor, She is an advocate of The Earth Charter Initiative On the GWA Board of Trustees — and founder of GWA.