Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide To Wellness In The Digital Age, by Sebastian Slovin & Sonya Mohamed (Nature Unplugged, Encinitas, California, 2021, 240 pages).
Book Review by Dennis Moore
March 30, 2021 (San Diego) - Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohamed has written a thought provoking book that resonates with me, and may very well change the trajectory of my life going forward, Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide To Wellness In The Digital Age.
Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohamed founded Nature Unplugged in 2012 with the mission of inspiring wellness in the digital age. Basically, this book is about nature and improving on mental health. As a matter of fact, throughout this well written book the central theme seems to be about mental health, and how to optimize it. It should be noted that the authors are actually husband and wife.
Sebastian holds an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. He is the author of The Adventures of Enu and Ashes in the Ocean. Sonya holds an Med from UCLA and an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. They have developed a unique curriculum to help individuals, families, educators, and organizations break free from the clutches of technology overuse, reconnect with nature, and engage with life and work in a whole new way.
In their newest book, Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide to Wellness in the Digital Age, they not only detail the problem – why we are so obsessed with our screens and devices – but more importantly, focus on how to find solutions that work. Breaking free from the clutches of technology overuse isn’t just a nice idea; it’s something that is absolutely achievable. This book is for anyone looking to navigate today’s noisy digital world with more intention. It’s a step-by-step journey toward wellness and balance in the digital age.
It seems as if the authors had me in mind when they wrote this book. I find myself addicted to technology, but it ends today with this review! Every day I routinely open up my laptop, then my Apple iPad, and repeat it throughout the day and sometimes during the night. Just last night I engaged in a video chat with a therapist, and I habitually play and download music and movies.
There is actually an Experience Nature Unplugged (ENU) Contract in the appendix of this book that is helpful and informative.
At a young age, Sebastian lost his father to suicide. This experience challenged him and changed him in many ways. One thing that came out of his loss was a renewed and deeper connection with nature, which lives on in his work today. One could easily say that it was the loss of his father that was the impetus towards his collaboration with Sonya on this book.
Sonya spent much of her youth on track to become a soccer superstar. Her days were filled with practice, games, tournaments, and travel. Significant knee injuries before entering college and losing her father during her sophomore year changed her path, which is a commonality that she has with Sebastian, and she found a renewed sense of play and creative inspiration It has been their backgrounds, as well as their research, that has shaped the work they do at Nature Unplugged.
Sonya is pictured here with her sister at an early age in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. She describes herself; “I was a cute little monster. There was a light in me that shone brightly, and my spirit was wild and free. I suffered no confusion over what I liked and what I didn’t. I drew on walls, I took things apart that I had no hope or intention of putting back together, I rolled around in the mud and climbed trees, I shouted in grocery stores that I was She-Ra the Princess of Power, and tore through the house like a tornado until I eventually fell asleep sitting upright in a corner.” This says a lot about Sonya, and the author that she has evolved in to enable her to contribute writing this book!
Sebastian speaks of having some of his fondest memories of his dad of swimming with him at the La Jolla Cove.He further states in this well written book that sometimes his father would the butterfly stroke with him on his back.
In a poignant reflection on his father, Sebastian states: “Everything in my world was going wonderfully, but from my parents’ perspective, things weren’t quite as carefree. In particular, my dad was struggling with mental health issues. Over the course of a few years my dad’s mental state deteriorated greatly. When I was six years old he took his own life, leaving my mom, sister, and me in his wake.” I can relate to that!
Sebastian further states: “My experience of living through and learning from my father’s suicide became my fuel and passion behind creating Nature Unplugged.My early connection with nature after my dad’s suicide has stayed with me and inspired me.”
He further states, which is noteworthy: “This is really the core of my passion for Nature Unplugged and the work we do. I see this as proactive mental health work to help keep individuals balanced and well so they don’t ever need to experience what my dad experienced.”
Perhaps the most endearing and profound lessen that Sebastian has learned from his father is him stating: “My experience has also greatly inspired me to work on suicide prevention and mental health advocacy. I speak regularly on these topics to a wide variety of audiences – K-12 and college students, mental health professionals, educators, and corporate employees.”
Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide To Wellness In The Digital Age, is a book that opens the door to a lot of mental issues and states of mind, one in which I highly recommend.
Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. Mr. Moore can be contacted at email@example.com or you can reach him at: @DennisMoore8.