A Question for You

With this mytho-poetic reflection, A Question for You, Larry Glover continues exploring the heart, soul and science of what it is to say “Yes!” to life.

I am a man.Resilient Pines
Or so they tell me.
But I ask you:
What is a man?

Who is man?
Or Woman?
In the scheme of things
I mean, and in the particulars.

Who are we, I and you?
Us and them?

Have you ever stopped
long enough to ask
such questions of the soul?
Of your soul?
Of the world soul?

Resilient AspenDoes the world have a soul?
Do you?

How about the 80,000 year old Aspen Grove,
Pando, living in Utah?
Does it have a soul? A spirit?

Is there an innate essence
an inherent presence within its being?

Might this Being be touched or felt or sensed
with a love carried in one’s heart?
Seen with eyes wiling to see?

And if you might so caressResilient deer
such an other with your care
that she breathes with life
pulsing inside your chest

if a man’s eyes
can so open to beauty
as to be transformed by it

make love to a tree, let’s say,
or a wild stag leaping silently
through the forest trembling green

then I ask you:
What is a man?
And who pray tell, am I?

And who or what then, are you?

Larry's resilent smilePlease Like or Share this post if it’s spirit resonates with you. Leave a comment: How does nature inform and inspire your identity, of being who you most deeply are?

Also please subscribe to stay informed of new posts, book release, soul renewal retreats, free teleseminars and more. Join the growing Wild Resiliency Network community!

Larry Glover is an inspirational speaker, resiliency coach for evolutionary leaders and creators, retreat facilitator, hiking and wilderness guide and author. Larry helps visionary lovers of nature consciously use this love to struggle less and more fully love themselves, uttering that deep “Yes!” to life, through aligning with the natural flow and currents in the River of Live for increased joy and freedom of being.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 3 The Power of Arrival, Cosmology, Deep Ecology, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Poetry of Resiliency | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Answer Me, Please

Answer Me, Please —

Resilienent Art

When a human spirit
falls in despair and desperation
into a deep and still silence
looking, searching
for purpose and meaning in Life—

Where, pray tell me, where exactly
can such an answer be found?

When a human soul
asks of itself,
“Who am I?”
Who, please tell me, who is it that answers?

When the soul inquires of itself,
“What is it, in all the world
my heart craves most dearly?
Who, or what for that matter, is it that knows?

And where, exactly, I wonder too,
do answers to such questions live?

Who is it that knows these things, anyway?

Are meaning and purpose and joy in life
found through the stirrings
an alchemical creation inside
or discovered outside oneself through divine revelation,

or can they be inherited
the way we pass on
shame and insecurity or love and peace
religion and politics?

Might it be possible, I wonder, for purpose and meaning
to blossom forth in each moment of living
the way springtime opens into flower
the delicate bud of the wild iris thriving
rooted into the rocky soil on a mountain’s side?

Might I carry such a wild intelligence
within the vulnerable bud of my own being?

And which, I wonder,
is the more important:
The answers to these sacred questions
or the living hunger
of such questions nourished
on the altar of your heart?

Some part of me apparently feels a need to append a comment to the bottom of this post. Yet in trying to do so I find myself flailing for words and attempts at what feel like simplistic starts that want to appear as wisdom. They also have no end in sight… as though each start would lead on to interminable words or a long story or…

Yet I also love the simple simplicity of the prosaic reflection above, as is. It is as though it asks of us not answers but for more questions. Questions like: What questions keep you alive? What questions bring vigor into your life? What questions invite you into a larger and more expansive place of being? What questions are living in you?

I’d love to hear your comments on what questions most pressingly stir your heart, mind and soul these days.

Answer Me, Please— is an excerpt from an upcoming ebook release: The Once and Future Human: Wild Resiliency Reflections, Confessions, Aspirations and Invitations. Please contact me if your interested in personal or organizational support or speaking on the nourishment of your wild resiliency.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Poetry of Resiliency | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Bundle Up and Watch the Birds

The times we live in are challenging for humans and for many of EartRio San Juan Raven4h’s  creatures who are likewise required to adapt to the rapidly changing world of our creation. We can learn much about such adaptation strategies by watching our kin. Indeed, cultivating in ourselves and our children the love of life, the biognosis of the natural world, is essential for human resilience and thrivability on the planet. Below, guest author Ernie Allison introduces us to some of these skills and touches on why they are of value to us.

Bundle Up and Watch the Birds
Winter is sneaking up on us, quicker than we may think, so we should be ready for it. Though it’s beautiful right now, with the changing of the leaves, this is going to change very quickly. The backyard and garden are going to become dreary, lifeless places and they don’t look like they could be much fun. But that’s where I know Beings that can help change that. Let me tell you a bit about them;

dressed resilliently for weather

Invite our Feathered Friends to Dinner
In winter our local birds have a hard time procuring food and water, which they need to survive. Once the ground is frozen, the trees are barren and the crops are gone, there’s not a whole lot to eat for our little friends. This is why they need our help and we should be happy to give it. Setting up a decorative bird feeder not only helps the birds it beautifies our yard or garden. Before setting up the feeder, make sure you find the right spot. Best positioning would be in site of one of your windows, so you can enjoy the chirpy bunch from the cozy warmth of your house, all day long. Have the children help filling the feeder with seeds, nuts, dried fruits or ready mixed birdfeed to make them part of the adventure.

What’s Dinner without Drink?
Just like us humans, birds need water to survive and thrive. In winter when their water sources are frozen shut, it can be a real challenge for them to get enough liquids. Make sure you renew the water frequently, because once frozen it won’t serve its purpose. You can find out how to make water more readily available and avoid freezing by reading this “birdscape” article. Both you and the birds will be enchanted by how much a winter garden still has to offer. An opportunity to bathe will definitely earn you gratitude from the birds and free, family friendly entertainment.

Resilient Steller Jay

Do You Know Your Birds?
How many of us, through environment and busy work schedules, have lost touch with nature and our surroundings? Not all, but quite a few.  Helping our local birds to survive the winter can be, among other things, an educational experience for young and old. It can also be the magnet that draws your children away from the PC/TV that has become so overpowering. Bird feeders attract more than one kind of bird and it can be very exciting to discover which ones come to visit. If you don’t know them, look them up. If you don’t have books picturing them, go online or to the library to quench your thirst for knowledge.  It’s fun getting to know your local fowl and it’s a game you can carry into summer. Have your children see how many of the winter fed birds they recognize on your next hike. It definitely beats “Are we there yet?”

Tame Your Visitors
It’s easy to get birds accustomed to your presence. The important thing is to move slowly. If you hold a few crumbs of bread or some raisins in the palm of your hand and hold it out for the birds, you might get them used to eating out of your hand. It takes time and patience, but it’s a process that is worth it. Your children can try too. The quieter they are, the easier it will be to lure the bird onto your hand. The important thing is, once it lands, don’t reach for it. Let it check out the situation. Most likely, it will take a few times before your new friend is trusting enough, to perch on your hand to eat. With patience and time it will happen.

See, it’s worth bundling up and getting out into the garden to watch, feed and water the birds that need our help in winter. They will thank you with cheerful chirping and fluttering wings and bring your winter garden back to life. Enjoy and stay warm!

About the author: Ernie Allison sometimes wishes he were a bird so he could fly and get a real birds-eye view. Alas, he still hasn’t grown wings so he’s enjoying watching them instead.

Posted in Community Resilience, Ecology, education, Personal Resiliency, Resiliency, Thrivability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

To See Your Face in a Forest

Resilient Aspen

To see your face in the Forest
and know it as your own
you must let go
of who you think you are
of what you know
of all you were taught
in school of a world
of this and that
separating parts from wholes
and believing you might know
the man by his skin
or believing that naming
is the same as knowing.

You must let go of all
you were taught in church
of a God who lives Out There
some where else but here.
inside your own chest
in your own heart
in your own direct perception
of the un-namable mystery
right in front of you
that you swim in
that you are.

Note: We still have space of the upcoming Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat. Please contact me if you’re interested in this or in help simply learning ‘to see your face in the forest,’ to see within your own self — the beauty you see and love in a forest.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 4 The Ecological Self, Deep Ecology, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Events, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Religion, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Discovering a Literacy of Meaning & Wholeness Through Nature

“God! Why am I here? Please! Just tell me. Show me! God! H-e-l-p m-e! Please! Why am I here?”

The pleading scream erupted out of the deep high mountain stillness from about 20′ above us. It pierced the silence. Dotty and I, my backpacking partner, both levitated with a startle off our butts about 6 inches, landing back on the soil of the little rocky overhang we sat under, completely unseen by the solo man standing on the cliff top above us.

The three of us were at about 10,000′ elevation in the Colorado Rockies. The man standing above us, along with a group of 7 others we later met, were on a vision quest program sponsored by a popular ‘new age’ teacher of the time.

They had come here, to this ‘mountain top’, for reasons of their own and yet all surely were bound together by the common thread of hunger contained in the plea cast into the thin mountain air by the man standing at the cliff’s edge above us. They were on a search for meaning, for belonging, for knowing their place in the wholeness of things.

Dotty and I looked at each other now as we wondered what our place ought to be in relationship to the man above us, obviously believing himself alone in this remote wilderness. Should we disturb his private conversation with God, now? Might he discover us after revealing intimacies only his God should hear and then discover himself not alone, becoming the more embarrassed?

Yet my backpacking partner and I were also completely enthralled and engaged and in awe, sitting in an ancient silence and  watching big horn sheep butt heads and twirl and dance on the high cirque above, perhaps 500′ higher above us and all highlighted and silhouetted in an alpine sunset with reds and oranges mirroring off the mountain lake below. Talk about Magic!

Yet the man above us seemed completely oblivious to the primal dance above and the delayed and distant crack of horns. The meaning he sought apparently lay somewhere other than in the mystery and beauty and wild nature Dotty I were swimming in.

Such it seems is often the human condition: to search for meaning in some place that is other than where we are, some where other even than inside our selves.

I spent a youth struggling with suicidal fantasies and so became an early student of meaning. It was through a love of nature that I began to discover both a sense of wholeness, of my place in the universe and of an inherent meaning also.

And then it was through the ecology and soul medicine of the Aspen Grove that I discovered a potent image of human wholeness, of what it is in fact to be human. And then in the psychological research of Self Determination Theory I found the specificity of scientific grounding for much of what I had been attempting to express through the idea of wild resiliency.

I was thus delighted and honored when chosen to present at the 2012 International Network on Personal Meaning Conference: A Positive Global Vision of Healing and Flourishing Through Meaning. This video is a synopsis of that workshop presentation; it is also presents a global vision of human healing and flourishing through the discovery of human belonging and wholeness—revealed to us through the ecology of an Aspen grove.

This theme makes for a great inspirational keynote and/or an inspirational and provocative deep dive workshop into personal and collective human flourishing. Enjoy, and contact me if you’re interested in presentation information for your group.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 4 The Ecological Self, Aspen-Body Wisdom, Deep Ecology, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Ecology, education, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Resiliency | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Mexico Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat — Oct. 3-6, 2013

Awakening Nature's Resilience Within

Awakening Nature’s Resilience Within

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” — John Muir

How’s your soul doing these days? Finding the joy in life you crave? Living true to the truth of your inner knowing?

Is it perhaps time for an alignment tune-up  of soul and spirit? Time for remembering what matters most to you in life and renewing your sense of purpose and meaning? Are you a lover of nature? Would you like to gain more skills for bringing the beauty of nature yet more alive in your life?

Let us support you in creating a sacred and secure space in the wilds of nature so you can put the resiliency of nature back into your life! The Wild Resiliency Institute and the nonprofit Lead Feather Foundation are partnering to offer this life-time opportunity for those who would learn to see within themselves the beauty they see in nature, for those who would tenderly hold themselves with the same wholehearted love they hold for nature.

We’ll be convening in Santa Fe, NM the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 2, for dinner and logistical planning, and heading out Thursday AM; returning Sunday with souls, bodies and spirits renewed. You can download the retreat flyer from the link below.

CEUs are available for NM Counselors, Therapists and Social Workers. Some scholarship help is available.

New Mexico Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat Oct 3-6pdf

And The Wild Resiliency Institute pdf Brochure

Here’s a typical client testimony, and you can see photos and read what other clients have to say here:

“Thanks for a challenging and growth filled wilderness weekend. Your guidance, encouragement, and words of wisdom gave me the courage I needed to enter fully into the experience. I learned many lessons for life and more will unfold as I continue to process the weekend. It’s an adventure I won’t forget.” — Rosemary

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Re-Storying Our Future Through Water

It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The old story, the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned the new story.

— Thomas Berry, The Great Work

If there is a crux to any of our personal or collective challenges these days it undoubtedly hinges in some fashion of questions of identity: Who am I? Who are we? Who are they? Am I enough? Worthy of life? Worthy of a good life?

What is it to be a human being, anyway? And what of these stories of who we tell ourselves we are?

What if, just what if we are far more wondrous and mysterious and grander beings that we have grown to believe we are? What if, in fact, we are the Earth herself waking up to herself? To her own beauty and wonder?

Oh my god! Perhaps the mystic poet Kabir, of India, is right:

Everybody understands the single drop

merging into the ocean.

One in a million understands the ocean

merging into a single drop.

This video is my play with your personal and our collective identity. It is a recording from a presentation given in a Presbyterian Church and is my attempt to remind me of who, indeed, I am also. For upon this question of identity our future rests. The video closes with an invitation into a daily practice I call One Glass. It is a simple practice that, I believe, will enrich your life and indeed help change the world. And finally, the video shows how your small pocket change can indeed save a human life: small-change.org.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 2 Our Ground of Being, 4 The Ecological Self, Cosmology, Deep Ecology, education, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Navigating the Narrows, Resiliency Videos, Resources, Science, Story | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wild Mind Book Review, Part 2 — Exploring the Map of the Human Psyche

Who are you? And what is it to be a human being anyway? What would it be like to actually have a map to “optimal human development” that you could use to help track your own journey into wholeness?

Author Bill Plotkin is careful to warn the reader of his new book, Wild Mind, that his Map is not the territory, in his exploration of the mapping of the human psyche and Soul. He also informs the reader early in the book, while defining terminology (Soul, Spirit, Self and Ego, 3-D Ego, Subpersonalitites…), “that I’m using these common words to refer to aspects of psyche defined in specific and not necessarily common ways.”

I’ve not seen other reviewers mention this, however on several occasions I did find myself reading a sentence and shaking my head and going, “Huh?” These points of confusion on my part always had to do with a need to further clarify, in my thinking, the author’s specific use of language and terminology and modeling.

Part 2 of this Wild Mind Book Review seeks to share this ‘mapping of the map’ of the psyche as I resolved it. It highlights the nature of the three-dimensional map of the psyche presented in the book, in concert with its seven directions and four aspects or facets of the Self, briefly distinguishing also between the horizontal and vertical axises of the psyche and Self. (Note: The book maps the Self in the horizontal plane of the psyche. Also, psyche is never capitalized, nor defined; only its components are.)

The casual reader can move through the book and benefit without close attention to such detail. For the reader willing to digest and be digested by this book however, it will change how you see yourself and how you perceive the world. Your psyche, Soul, Self and Ego will grow larger and more whole. Enjoy!

Wild Mind is now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound,
New World Library,and your local bookstores!

Larry Glover is a transformational focus learning partner with individuals and organizations, speaker, retreat facilitator and wilderness guide. He is author of the forthcoming resource book, Wild Resiliency: Discovering a Literacy of Deep Identity, Purpose and Meaning Through Nature.

Posted in Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Ecology, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Resources | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche – Review Part 1

What if the map to the human psyche that we each have inherited from culture, the map to what it is to be a human being, is fundamentally flawed? Might not such a fundamental error in the cartography of being human explain the dire circumstances we find ourselves in collectively?

Gregory Bateson suggests as much when he says: “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”

Author Bill Plotkin once again, with his new book, takes on the challenges of helping us discovery a coherence between how nature works and who we see ourselves as. And in Plotkin’s new and third book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, Plotkin looks to nature for inspiration and validation of his mapping of the human psyche.

He begins his mapping process with a call for a “rewilding of psychology.” The author notes the plethora of ills and crisis, personal and global, that arise out of a psychology that is historically geared toward diagnosis and illness, disease and fragmentation rather than envisioning an innate natural wholeness awaiting our discovery and development.

Indeed, without diverting from his goal of pointing us toward the resource of our own wholeness, Plotkin presents a searing critique of Western Civilization’s propensity for developing what he calls ‘immature’ or “pathoadolescent” human beings.

It is not enough to be able to ‘hold one’s own’ in the human world of our modern creation, Plotkin argues. Optimal human development, and the development of a healthy civilization, “necessitates a mature and reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human world of which we are members.”

The path forward for such development lies in what Plotkin describes as ‘wholing.’ “By wholing I mean the cultivation of the Self, including all four of its facets. Wholing… enables us to understand both the limitations and the gifts of our wounded or fragmented subpersonalities…. Deep psychological healing is the result of learning how to embrace our woundedness and fragmentedness from the cultivated perspective and consciousness of the Self. We must to some degree cultivate our wholeness before we can truly be healed. Wholing comes first and is foremost.”

This perspective is in accord with the emerging science of restoration ecology in which, to help an ecosystem heal, you help it reconnect to its wholeness in some way. i.e. It is much more effective to nurture the growth of native plants than it is to pull weeds; to support the health of pollinators like honey bees than to do the pollination yourself with a cotton swab….

This perspective leads Plotkin to focus on developing our potential for magnificence rather than excavating our pathologies, in contrast to disease oriented models of Western psychotherapy. Wild Mind presents a Nature Based Map of the Human Psyche as a tool for cultivating this innate potential. It also offers four category/sets of practices for the cultivating the four aspects or facets of the Self, each aspect being associated with archetypical figures and energies often associated in indigenous traditions with a respective direction: North, South, East, West, Up, Down, and Center.

Interestingly, in Plotkin’s map of the psyche it is the Ego that resides in the Center, not the Self as some (I for one) might presuppose. I address the map itself more specifically in the Wild Mind Book Review Part 2.

Wild Mind is now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound,
New World Library,and your local bookstores!

Larry Glover is a transformational learning partner with individuals and organizations. He is author of the forthcoming book, Wild Resiliency: Discovering a Literacy of Deep Identity, Purpose and Meaning Through Nature.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Ecology, education, Emotional Intelligence, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Resources, Self-Change, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Knowing ourselves as water

To know our dimensional self and nature is also to know ourselves as water, something I’ve written of often here. I came across this video today, on the Colorado River, which vividly describes the state of our current relationship with water. For all water and river lovers…this is a must watch.

It is well worth the time to let the experience and knowledge embedded in the video into your being.

And here is a “Thank You!”, to The Elephant Journal (with photos) and Living Green Magazine for bringing it to my attention.

“After flowing to meet the Gulf for six million years, the Colorado River no longer reaches its delta. It hasn’t since 1998.  The veins are drying up, and it’s leaving a strong battle in its wake.”

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 6 The Winds of Change | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments