By combining outdoor experiences, transformative activities, and holistic counseling, Nelson Eulálio aims to guide individuals toward self-development, awareness, and a deeper connection with nature. He is the founder of the Wild & Wise Tribe, and today he was kind enough to sit down with MysticMag and provide insight into his spiritual journey, the 5 elements Wild & Wise Tribe’s programs are based on, the history of the region he resides at, and more. If you’re a nature-lover, this is an ideal read for you!
Can you share a few details about yourself and your professional journey?
I was born in Brazil and moved to Australia in 2011. My spiritual journey started very early in life, and by 12 years old I was already reading authors such as F. Nietzsche, C. G. Jung, H. P. Blavatsky, G. I. Gurdjieff, and others. (I was lucky to find all of that and more in my father’s library.) When I was 14 years old, I had my first experience with mother Ayahuasca, which opened my mind to extraordinary reality. From there, I became even more interested in the mysteries of life, human nature, and the spirit. Chasing the realms of archetypes and the soul of things, in my early 20s I eventually started my professional journey in creative and marketing, running a design studio, as a graphic designer and branding specialist, while still chasing the meanings behind the mysteries of life.
My journey into spirituality led me to join and study different schools of mystery (Gnosticism, Sufism, Shintoism, Indigenous metaphysics, etc.) and the Budo (martial arts). A few years ago, after coming back from a sabbatical in India where I did a Yoga Teaching Training, I decided to change my creative profession into formally working with outdoor education and refine it into nature-based therapy. Since then, I have earned a degree in counselling and have also pursued further qualifications/studies in rites of passage, survival skills, indigenous wisdom, regenerative leadership, and youth mentoring.
What’s the main idea behind the Wild & Wise Tribe and how did you start it?
I always had the vision of working with education and mentoring and reconnection with nature (rewilding), but procrastination and busyness took me away from that for a long time. I had a good career as a creative and marketing but it was lacking real meaning in life and one day it became unbearable to not see my energy focused on the real transformation of the world, nature, and people. That was when I quit my job and went to India for a sabbatical. When I came back, I did a qualification in Outdoor Leadership and started to work with youth and adults with centre-based activities (high ropes, canoeing, rock climbing, archery, etc) and expedition-based activities (multi-day camping and hiking). With the youth work, I realised how effective my work could be by un-triggering psychological issues in kids that would evolve into years of counselling/therapy when adults, just by being a good (male) role model and mentor. I also realised how much of my personal inner-child healing can be done by working with kids. It is a lifelong journey into my own healing from a complex trauma in childhood that before was done only through therapy, transformational workshops, vision quests, vipassana retreats, men’s circles, etc.
With the expedition work experience, I realised that when people were out of their comfort zone, screen-free and vulnerable in nature, a real and deep change was possible. That made me want to promote that transformation using my own standards, which are less focused on outdoor recreation (and even outdoor education) but instead on outdoor transformation. Wild and Wise Tribe goes beyond recreational and educational outcomes by focusing on the wholesome development of the learner, connecting to nature by following a spiritually grounded approach, with plenty of moments to question and receive feedback on their journey to awareness and soul connection. I call that journey “outdoor transformation” or, most specifically, “nature-based transformation”.
Wild & Wise Tribe’s programs are based on 5 elements: Earth (focused on working on the physical body, grounding, minerals, and nutrition, building shelters and bushcraft), Fire (e.g.: making of fire, chi/prana energy exercises), Water (e.g.: water harvesting, flow, emotional regulation), Air (e.g.: breathwork and mindfulness), and Silence (the ultimate connection with the Source), which each combine physical and practical learnings and the more subtle and subjective developmental training, catered for youth and adults.
Another important focus of the Wild & Wise Tribe programs is kinship, by building a healthy community of families that are on the same page regarding ethics, healthy lifestyle, rewilding, nature connection and protection, inner work, etc. Therefore the transformation may reach the society.
Wild & Wise Tribe stands on the land of the Kabi Kabi people. Can you tell us a bit about the history of that location?
Despite being “colonised” by the English empire, Australia is made up of a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, each with their own culture, language, beliefs, and practices. These first people have been here for over 60,000 years as custodians of the land. There are over 500 different “nations” on the Australian continent. As a way of showing respect and gratitude for the traditional custodians, we do the “acknowledgment of country”.
Where I live and where my business is based, we pay respect to the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people who are the traditional custodians and have held detailed botanical knowledge of the forests, woodlands, heathlands, and wetlands of this country, known now as the Sunshine Coast. That “acknowledgment of country” is also done in any other country/land within the territory of Australia where we might run activities.
What are the differences between the Adult, Children, and Family programs that you offer?
There are special programs for adults, children, families, and businesses: half-day or full-day introductory workshops, and multi-day programs with a variety of activities centred on self-development and nature/spiritual awareness. Some of these programs are building blocks for the following programs, which will explore in-depth other subjects and layers of awareness.
Adults programs are created to meet people where they are in their quest for a connection to nature and/or healing and they will find a program that suits their needs, whether a transformational challenge or just beginning to develop an interest in the outdoors. We cater also to corporate groups, with activities focusing on team bonding and challenges.
Children’s programs offer transformative experiences that awaken a child’s special talents, improve their relationship with nature, and empower an enhanced community through nature connection and mentoring.
Family programs are an opportunity to develop bonding between a parent and their child in a natural setting by sharing meaningful conversations and activities. These programs are designed to be short and fun; focused on quality time, unplugging from technology and our daily routines, and slowing down-to-earth time. As for examples of those activities, there is a canoeing day for fathers and sons and a 24hrs camping (noon to noon) for a parent and a child to bond through cooking, sleeping in a tent, and doing transformational activities together. Those opportunities are provided to families time-poor or with no opportunity to do it supervised.
How do Yoga & breathwork fit into your programs?
I learned the Raja Yoga type when I studied my Yoga Teacher Training at the Pushkar Meditation Temple in Rajasthan, with Swamiji Capra. That school of yoga is mainly focused on mindfulness. At that time, we were just 6 students in a fully immersive experience (similar to Vipassana), which allowed us to experience the depths of yoga connection to oneself, and the subtle but powerful effect of bandhas, mudras, and mantras. For me, it was clear that the element of “Silence” (as mentioned previously) was very necessary for a wholesome transformational program, and that could come by incorporating asanas (which provide physical strength, flexibility, and balance) and pranayamas (breathwork) which create the path to transcendence. Nature is the ultimate teacher and everything is just facilitated. Some asana and pranayama sessions are incorporated into children’s and adult programs when they are related.
What can people expect from one-on-one mentoring sessions with you?
A fully dedicated, personalised, and direct experience, as a counselling/coaching session for a nature-based transformation. Even if the sessions are delivered online, there is a clear pathway and suggested exercises to connect to nature wherever is the client.
As a “trauma survivor”, I can totally relate and empathise with the hardship of healing many emotional and somatic layers. As a holistic counsellor, there are many processes to facilitate nature-based therapy, such as mindfulness-guided practices in the outdoors; taking up natural obstacles such as rock climbing, canoeing, or ascending a mountain peak; teaching how to have dialogues with the natural world; helping to create and carry out a personalised ceremony or ritual outdoors; martial arts and yoga one-on-one sessions; etc.
For instance, I have clients learning bushcraft and survival skills. Those one-on-one sessions are an excellent opportunity to go deeper into life coaching, too. To be clear, there are many survival skills workshops facilitated by ex-army teachers, focusing on the control of nature and based on the fear of shortages, or with that “prepper” mindset (stocking food, etc) to survive an “apocalypse”. There are good intentions behind it, but my approach is to focus on the nature connection and indigenous knowledge, and once we are united with nature, we’ll know the power of surrendering. In other words, I believe we should act always out of Love and integration, instead of Fear and separation. If we are truly aligned with our purpose, the rest will flow naturally. That is a big focus of my mentoring.
I also have been very cautious in calling myself a “spiritual” person and using “stoic” instead. There is too much bypassing or “glamorous spirituality” nowadays and much of it is, unfortunately, related to multilevel marketing programs, new-age “puffery”, or pseudo-sciences. The word spirituality has been quite misused. There are many unnecessary rabbit holes that drain our energy and ultimately contribute to the fear-mongering on both sides of the spectrum. Of course, there are some controversial world agendas going on, but we can become powerless if we don’t tune into our inner wisdom through the connection with the source: Mother Nature is the ultimate teacher!
If you want to find out more about Nelson and the Wild & Wise Tribe, you can visit their website at wildandwisetribe.com.au