I’m Changing — Stay Connected and Program Opportunities!

Hello Family, Friends and Colleagues. This is the web version of an email you may have recently received.

I bring the greetings of our changing season and notice of a personal change as well.

The time has come for me to transition to an official Newsletter!

So many people request I keep them abreast of opportunities for engagement that I’m Resilient butterfly on handunable to do efficiently do so on an informal basis. And frankly,  I don’t want to send emails to friends or colleagues who have not specifically chosen to opt-in so…. Beyond this point, if you’d like to know about such opportunities or just stay abreast of what’s happening in the world of Wild Resiliency or receive occasional inspirations from me, it’s time to Opt-in!

You can do so from any of my websites, including this blog.

And while I might still have your attention, here are three quick temptations for camping out and intentionally enriching your life, all of which I am co-hosting or sponsoring with my partner Cheryl Slover-Linett of Leadfeather.org:

  • Vitalize your creative life with a four-day program co-sponsored with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Inspired by Nature: A Journey Into Creativity (May 11-15).  We’ll explore her home with a private tour and spend time at the White Place where she painted.  We’ll hike to newly discovered petroglyphs and enjoy the spiritual work of cave artist, Ra Paulette.  An afternoon at the famed Ojo Caliente spa caps our journey.
  • Lead Feather is also hosting its first Women’s Soul Renewal Journey (July 14-17), based on the model Cheryl and I have honed over the last few years of working together. I’m honored to play a background role of support for this opportunity for women to dive deeper into the renewal of their purpose and meaning in life.
  • Canyon de Chelly, (October 8-12) is an incredible opportunity to join a small group of like minded folks exploring “the heart and soul of Navajoland” while enriching your own spirit and renewing your belonging in the world.

Now is the time when the soul of the world and of our own being are inviting us to show up in the wholeness of who we are. If you are at all inclined, I hope you are able to join us in one of these opportunities for deepening your creative capacities for living in the joy of that wholeness—through being inspired by nature.

Other offerings will be forthcoming so remember to sign-up for the Newsletter to be notified of these. You can also follow my professional Facebook page if you’ve not done so but would like to support this work of connecting people more deeply to themselves through their love of nature.

Remember to sign-up for the Newsletter to stay abreast of opportunities.

THANKS dear family, friends and colleagues…for being in my life.
larry

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, education, Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Creating Ourselves, Creating Joy

This is a guest post from my partner in creativity andCreative Cheryl Slover-Linett
learning and adventure,
Cheryl Slover-Linett. Her original blog post can be found here.

Until recently I felt I wasn’t a terribly creative person. Somehow, the message I got as a kid was that being creative was the pinnacle of being human, and it just seemed that I got the short end of the stick. One of my earliest memories is of “cheating” on a 6-year old birthday party activity that involved drawing a rabbit with our eyes closed – I was already stressed out about not being artistic enough! In college, I fell in love with (and later married) a music major, who also is an amazing writer, and I tended to let him be the “creative” side of our partnership.

On a Soul Renewal journey a few years ago, however, one of the participants said something that has made me rethink what creativity is. She said the most creative act any of us can do is to look at something in a new way. It seems basic – almost too simple – but when I really fully change the lens I’m using, it “creates” a new reality, perspective or story. As I’ve put it into practice, it’s become one of the most powerful tools I have when I need to shift something in my life.

Around the same time, I started to actively look for other aspects of creativity. In my mind, creative = artistic, and since I didn’t see that I had much artistic talent (as I defined it, at least), I had never really looked at other sides of it. But what about creating a company…and then recreating it over time? Or creating wilderness journeys? Or creating two children?

And so, I’ve come to think of myself as more creative these days, but I know I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of exploring what creativity is – and how it can Resilient and creative Georgia O'Keeffeinfluence our lives. That’s a big part of why Larry Glover and I “created” our spring journey this year, “Inspired by Nature: A Journey into Creativity,” co-hosted with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. It runs from May 11-15 and will be held in the land that O’Keeffe loved so much. Click here or email me to learn more: cheryl@leadfeather.org.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, education, Events, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Charitable Gifting—How to Do More Good & Reap More Rewards

“I was afraid we might starve, you dad gave back so much of his salary to the Church. If he was going to ask the members to tithe, he figured he had to give back twice that, and on his little salary….”

Mom, ever the preacher’s wife, continued. “The hobos had us marked too. I don’t know how they did it but they always knew we’d give them some food. Course they had to listen to your father preach to them but….”

This is the tangled spirit of martyrdom and generosity I grew up in. I’m still sorting out my relationship with money; I am grateful to my folks however for helping me learn early that it feels good to help other folks out.

Any of us with sensitive hearts wish we could be doing ‘more good in today’s world. Yet I’ve Children in need in Kenyadiscovered (through personal research!) our very approach to giving and receiving often sets us up for a guilt-of-insufficiency and a disappointment in personal potency. Who of us, after all, feels like we’re doing enough for a world in need?

Yet, “Tis the Season” as I write this, with the calendar approaching the turn of the year and various religious holy days upon us. And indeed it tis a season for gifting and receiving beyond just the boundaries of family and friends. My mailbox, like your’s I expect, is overflowing with requests for charitable donations, with worthy needs for financial support.

There’s the local volunteer fire department, the Food Depot that gathers food for those in need, shelters for the homeless, children’s homes and animal sanctuaries and conservation groups and international service organizations of every strip and hue imaginable. Thank Goodness!

I say, “Thank Goodness” because without these pleas, granting us the opportunity to share from our own abundance, we would become ‘less human.’ Indeed our humanity is in some ways defined by our generosity to those with less than ourselves.

“The simplest acts of kindness are far more powerful
than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Sharing and kindness and generosity have become inextricably linked in the research Acts of kindness inspire kindnessliterature with the topics of happiness and generosity and well-being, thanks to the rise of interest in the ‘what works’ variety of psychology, i.e. positive psychology and the science of happiness. I suspect most of us can use all the positivity we can get; I certainly can.

That’s the personal need and urge that launched me on this thread of thinking and research: one was a realization that I (we) don’t allow ourselves to actually receive the full benefit of our giving; and secondly, by more fully engaging in this gifting/receiving dynamic we could more consciously contribute to nurturing a culture of kindness on the planet. (Yes, I’ve always dreamed big when not crashing with despair!)

But I mean it: we can nourish a culture of kindness while also boosting our own happiness and health and well-being. Following are a few simple tips how.

  1. Give with a spirit of gratitude. If you’re going to give something, $5 or $3 or $300… do so consciously. Mindfully. The attitude with which you give is far more important than the quantity. Even if the amount feel small, you and the recipient can still receive the rewards of your thoughtful kindness, particularly if your own gratitude is activated.
  2. Feel into the tangled web of the giver-and-receiver relationship and explore, without judgment, whatever attitudes arise for you. Do you perceive a one-up—one-down relationship or are you able to sense into an exchange between equals? Can you sense into the gift received by giver any time we are able to attend to another’s need?
  3. If you’re the giver, in the act of your gifting allow yourself to actually feel and allow in the openness of your heart impelling you to offer this gift. What is the itch? What does it feel like in there? What you’re looking to let in here are two things, at least. One is to take a moment and savor the difference you are making in someone’s life, be it a warm meal or smile or a look from your eyes that says, “I see you.” Secondly, acknowledge to yourself you do not know how big this $3 may actually be—for one-act of kindness breeds another we now know. And a major trick to nurturing this culture of kindness is to begin with yourself: savor in your heart the warmth that comes from a generous and kind act. Now turn that kindness around and offer it to yourself. (Helping others reduces our stress.)
  4. When on the receiving end, let’s say, “Thank you,” while also not allowing ourselves to feel diminished in any way by our state of need. The need of any one of us is also the gift of an opportunity for another of us to reciprocate in honoring the cycle of giving and receiving that underlies all life.

Truth is, we are all receivers and the more conscious we can become of this, the kinder we will become to ourselves and others. Who among us deserves for the sun to rise tomorrow, to grace us with its light and warmth? Who among us has earned the grace of the rain that allows our gardens to grow. We are woven by the nature of life into this relationship of breathing out what the plants breathe in, leaving us the gift of breathing in what the plants breath out. This is life.

Now should you care to either experiment or simply dive straight in to raising your own sense of well-being and significance, you can gain an immediate hit of the feel-good oxytocin hormone. Here is a crowd funding site I’ve created for the Magarini Children Center, in Kenya, serving orphans and children in need, so they may have a Holiday Season to Remember — receiving kindness from strangers choosing to ‘feel good,’ knowing the light of smiles they will bring to the some child on the other side of the planet.

It is a small and shrinking world, after all. I for one happen to believe that kindness is our best National Defense strategy. “Kindness is contagious,” just as hate and anger can be.

So whether you choose to give to this cause I’m sharing or somewhere else, choose to give somewhere, to someone, consciously, and allow yourself to fully receive the gift of Life craving expression within. Your own health and well-being will appreciate you for it!

Resources: The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist

Larry Glover aspires to discover what being human truly is, particularly in a paradoxical world woven of Larry's resilent smilemystery and consciousness and fire and water and air and earth and spirit and soul too. He struggled from an early age with a madness that would destroy himself, which he came to recognize as a cultural story of separation and unworthiness for life. Larry now leans into our shared love of nature to inspire and deepen what it is to truly love your self, through his writing, speaking, coaching, workshops and wilderness retreats. Learn more of how to engage with Larry at larryglover.com

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 4 The Ecological Self, Community Resilience, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Science | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reporting in from a Santa Fe Sunrise

Reporting in from a Santa Fe Sunrise:

I have touched the Life Force withinSanta Fe Sunrise
It is not mine
Belongs to no one but itself
Owned by no ideology nation or race
Can not be described as an object
But more as a presence, a flow of energy
A current – like a River
Movement held within stillness
Creation itself—re-birthing
Time and again
In this body and yours
For but a moment of years
Free energy and love for everyone
At last.

Reporting out.

Reflections:

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.” — Gregory Bateson, Systems Theorist

The first prime directive of any living system is survival. The sustainable success of this directive is hinged to an accurate or realistic mapping or understanding of the environment the system finds itself embedded within.

Civilization, as we know it, is threatening to unravel and I believe these questions are hinged to our mapping of our environment: Who are we? And what does it mean, this being human, anyway? And how shall we live together at this time on the planet? Who will I be? How shall I show up? Is life safe?

These are questions that move me as we face challenges of terrorism and demagoguery promising salvation from fear amidst growing global climatic instability while most of us are just doing our best to meet the daily challenges of housing and feeding our families.

I have no answers but do know we are each the explorers and map-makers of our world-view and life story; this piece carries for me a bit of both of these elements, i.e. the explorer discovering new territory who is reporting in to share something of a landscape found deep within. Learning to touch and recognize and rest in the Life Force, losing the thread and finding and picking it up again and again… this is a good description of the journey of my life.

This is also a good description of our shared challenge on this journey of discovering what it really is, being human, and of how to survive and thrive in our chaotic times. This turning in and the discovery of a magnificence, mystery and beauty that mirrors the natural world of our womb is also the revealing of a human no longer trapped by ideology, nation or race. This is humanity on the horizon of a new sunrise.

Larry Glover aspires to discover what being human truly is, particularly in a paradoxical world woven of Larry's resilent smilemystery and consciousness and fire and water and air and earth and spirit and soul too. He struggled from an early age with a madness that would destroy himself, which he came to recognize as a cultural story of separation and unworthiness for life. Larry now leans into our shared love of nature to inspire and deepen what it is to truly love your self, through his writing, speaking, coaching, workshops and wilderness retreats. Learn more of how to engage with Larry at larryglover.com

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Climate Destabalization, Cosmology, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Religion, Spirituality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

What should I be doing to change the world today?

What should I be doingResilient Sunrise
to change the world today,
you know,
at least make it better?

That is the question
knocking around inside
my skull this morning.
It is another morning
of never being enough however,
good or worthy enough that is,
in a world that itself always
seems to need more fixing:
more food for some;
more social justice;
more economic equality;
more eco-awareness of our impact…
more significance and power too
for a little child within.

But instead of fixing the world this morning
as though I were someone separate,
I surrender to the selfish nakedness of my heroic ambitions.
The one thing I find left to do is offer gratitude
for the blessed life I live
for the love that moves my heart
for eyes that adore beauty
for deep friendships
that sustain me in these
times of transformational change
while the sun today yet appears to rise and set
though in truth it is we who are turning.

And I—Sunset
I am alive
and full of appreciation too
for the grace of compassion
for self and the world, and
for the simple wonder and awe
of this—I am.

In this place I discover
today what the world needs
from me is love—
same as I.

Reflections: I often find the complexities of the world and my thinking and being such that these short reflective pieces feel more accessible and carry a power that longer essays would not. Yet there is much hinted at in this piece that invites inquiry, such as why I choose the phrase, ‘change the world’ in the opening.

Who among us cares for someone else to seek changing us? Yet those of other religious and political persuasions who would change us abound.

There are many hidden and dangerous dimensions to this idea of ‘helping’, as I still discover over the years. Most fundamentally is the unconscious worldview of separation often inherent in such efforts, thus dooming them to sustaining the ‘problems’ they seek to remedy.

I grew up in a worldview of separation (fundamentalist Christianity), one which sees the world as elementally flawed and in need not only of change but even more so of saving. Same as I did.

This is a painful place to live in. Such early conditioning is viral however and can continue to infect our living in unconscious little and large ways long after we have initially identified the original pattern and source.

I continued trying to save the world long after I gave up on a literal God living in a literal Heaven located high above a literal Hell below.

Significant shifts occur in my heart and soul and spirit as I increasingly live from a place of innate worthiness, where neither I nor the world need saving or improving. There can also be a dangerous and fine line between saving the world or even trying to change it…and allowing ourselves to ‘be the change’, the energy, we would see more of in the world.

One arises from a place of separation and insufficiency of Being while the later honors and recognizes the wholeness and inter-being of All that is. It is into the nooks and crannies and shadows of my psyche, where Separation yet lives in hiding, that this piece attempts to ‘enlighten’, to bring into the light. This piece is also reflects my curiosity about what it is for each of us to live in and out of our essential gift: our love of life.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman

Note: Thanks to my friend Brian Tracy for the Canyonlands photo.

Larry Glover aspires to discover what being human truly is, particularly in a paradoxical world woven of Larry's resilent smilemystery and consciousness and fire and water and air and earth and spirit and soul too. He struggled from an early age with a madness that would destroy himself, which he came to recognize as a cultural story of separation and unworthiness for life. Larry now leans into our shared love of nature to inspire and deepen what it is to truly love your self, through his writing, speaking, coaching, workshops and wilderness retreats. Learn more of how to engage with Larry at larryglover.com

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 7 The Shadow Realms, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Questions That Matter

The Face in the Mirror

Seven days have I not looked.
No mirror has graced this face of stubble.

Resilient Chapel Lake

Chapel Lake, UP of MI

And not until the airport men’s room
will I gaze to see how I appear to others,
though I confess
to a life haunted by such concerns.

And so my driven need and hunger
to share breathing with the trees
and rocks and moss and granddaddy
long-legged spiders and occasional mosquitoes
as bed mates under my tarp
and a primeval looking-glass forest lake
for gazing at the rising mist of dawn
while a lone Loon calls
the same eerie song
unchanged by two million years
of humankind peering
into the mirror of naked sky stars
to answer two questions that matter:

Who am I? and
What do I look like anyway,
in the eyes of all my relations?

I am freshly returned from a moving and inspiring Family Journey adventure in the UP Resilient Group Participantsof Michigan, hosted in partnership with friends and colleagues from leadfeather.org. It is to all the staff and participants from this learning journey adventure that I extend a rich “Thank You,” to. And it is to you the above reflections, written while being graciously chauffeured to the airport by the Slover-Linett family, are dedicated.

Our shared time in the beautiful natural surroundings, combined with intentions of renewing and exploring ourselves through play and reflection, story telling and drumming and talking circle and late night fire conversations and canoeing the Au Sable river and hiking in the Pictured Rocks National Park and copper bowl making with stone tools and a sweat lodge… all contributed to a deep experience of community and even an expanded sense of family. The love and fun flowed freely.

Indeed, it is through such intentional renewal time in nature that we can come to see more fully who we are and what it means even, to be human. And as we come to again see ourselves through the eyes of ‘all our relations’ on the Tree of Life, we will find ourselves coming home and discovering what a re-genesis of Life on Earth might be.

As Gregory Bateson put it:

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how Resilient Butterflynature works and the way people think.”

And Thomas Berry here:

“Until the human is understood as a dimension of the earth, we have no secure basis for understanding any aspect of the human. We can understand the human only through the earth.” — The Cosmology of Peace

When is the last time you looked in the mirror and saw there the same wonder and mystery and beauty you see in a sunset or in a butterfly alighting on a sunflower? You are that!

Ask yourself the two questions that matter.

Larry Glover aspires to discover what it is to be truly human in a world that is woven of Larry's resilent smilemystery and consciousness and fire and water and air and earth and spirit and soul too. He struggled from an early age with a madness that would destroy himself, which he came to recognize as a cultural story of separation and unworthiness for life. Larry now leans into our shared love of nature to inspire and deepen what it is to truly love your self, through his writing, speaking, coaching, workshops and wilderness retreats. Learn more of how to engage with Larry at larryglover.com

NOTE: If you would like support in learning to see nature’s beauty within, we still have space in the upcoming Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat and in a Canyon de Chelly cultural immersion journey.

Posted in Ecology, education, Events, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Poetry of Resiliency, Quotes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching this video will move and inspire you

Watching this video will move and inspire you

“The wind shapes the trees and the trees shape the wind,” my new friend said to me as we sipped our coffee and ate breakfast. Emmanuel Karisa Baya and I were attending The Art and Science of Helping Self+World program, hosted by Amy and Arnold Mindell.

Emmanuel continued; “At the Magarini Children Center, in Kenya, we teach the children that if they take care of nature, nature will take care of them. We teach them how to farm organically and to love nature and so they learn to love themselves and each other too. We have about 150 children that we feed and educate.”

“They are mostly orphans or children at risk, due to poverty and hunger. I lost my father and mother when I was young, about 6 years old, and I had to work on farms to have something to eat, for myself and my brothers and sisters. Then I had to work hard to be able to go to school too. I did not want to see these children go hungry like I did.”

“So we educate them in how to take care of the land so they will always have something to eat. And we give them an education too so they will know how to live in this world and can take care of themselves and their families.”

“Many people there now cut the trees so they can make and sell charcoal. It is the only way they know. But we are teaching the people how to farm organically and we are planting trees, because the wind shapes the trees and the trees shape the wind. They are one,” Emmanuel says in closing.

A friend and colleague, Robyn Benson, DOM, recently said to me, “Every time I see you, Larry, I think about trees. Aspen trees.” I doubt Robyn actually knew she could not have paid me a higher compliment since I seriously take Aspen trees to be soul medicine for our time and deliver retreats and programs around such. And from the moment I saw Emmanuel standing in the driveway of the cottage I was pulling into, his large welcoming smile and eyes unafraid of looking openly into mine, I knew I was meeting a brother.

It was as though each of our spirits smiled into the welcoming of another, whom we innately sensed also shared an intimate knowledge of our common rooting: Like the Aspen, the trees and the wind, we too are one.

Emmanuel and I dreamed that day of these videos. And now he and the Magarni Children Center are putting three new videos up on you-tube in an effort to spread the word of their work and of their need for financial support. As I write this, they have started to build a dormitory for the children, so they may have safe and secure places to sleep. They need the help of people like you to be able to complete this dormitory for young girls.

Future needs will include electricity and a well for water, which they currently harvest from the rains or must haul in at expense.

There are a multitude of places one can focus their attention on in today’s world that strengthen our despair and sense of hopelessness, our sense of powerlessness. The tree planting and organic farmer and visionary Emmanuel Karisa Baya however, did not let a challenging childhood, of becoming an orphan at an early age, the physical hunger or challenges of walking long distances to get an education shut down the heart and spirit of compassion that now wells up within him.

It is this wildly resilient leadership of people like Emmanuel that give me hope for the future. And it is the practices and visions of a future of sustainable thrivability and human caring and loving, demonstrated by the Magarini Children Center, that point toward a future worth leaving to our children, a future we can create together. There, they are literally “redefining how people should live together.”

You can support this global movement of redefining how people should live together by opening to the power of even little acts arising out of your own caring. You can consciously choose to move closer to that future of a more beautiful world now by opening your heart and sending care and love to someone you know in need. It’s that simple.

And share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter or… and/or send even a small donation to the Magarini Children Center, or where else your heart may call you to; you’ll feel the Resilient Leadersricher for it and enrich someone else’s spirit too.

Be wildly resilient: Enjoy your self…and your day! Spread the joy.

Larry Glover aspires to discover what it is to be truly human in a world that is woven of mystery and consciousness and fire and water and air and earth and spirit and soul too. He struggled from an early age with a madness that would destroy himself, which he came to recognize as a cultural story of separation and unworthiness for life. Larry now leans into our shared love of nature to inspire and deepen what it is to truly love your self, through writing, speaking, coaching, workshops and wilderness retreats. Learn more of how to engage with Larry at larryglover.com

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 4 The Ecological Self, Beyond Sustainability, Community Resilience, education, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Leadership, People, Personal Stories, Resources, Self-Change | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh my soul

Oh my soulresilient nature
I love you like the day-shy stars
visible only in darkness
the absence of light itself
making holy space
a sacred container
for light to shine forth
its beauty all the more radiant
like a soul ablaze
longed for
revealed and
remembered at last

 

learning resiliency in natureThe call of the soul for the remembering of who we are in our deep nature is a hallmark of our human era. It is a call for our waking up and remembering our wholeness and innate belonging.

Paul Hawkins, quoting the essence of Emerson, spoke of it this way:

“Ralph Waldo asked what we would do if the stars came out once in a thousand years. No one would sleep that night, obviously. The world would create religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch TV.”

That we live in continuous presence with spirit and soul can make us drowsy to their presence, in the way we only pay attention to the water if it tastes bad or the air when it is polluted.

Why wait for your soul to ache or suffer to listen to it’s calling however. Give it some attention now. A simple remembering may change your moment and day. A gratitude can help call you home.

What is it your soul is asking you to remember?

Larry Glover is a speaker, writer, retreat facilitator, resiliency coach and wilderness guide. You can learn more about opportunities to engage with him at larryglover.com and at leadfeather.org. We still have space in the upcoming Wilderness Soul Renewal Retreat and in a Canyon de Chelly cultural immersion journey.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, 4 The Ecological Self, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Resiliency, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat!

OK, I’ve been taking what feels like a lot of personal risks lately as I try to step yet more fully into unbridling and being Larry Glover, an aspiring human, living on the North American continent of planet Earth, a small planet circling a smallish star we call Sun, somewhere in the outer reaches of the Milky Way Galaxy, but one of uncountable such systems in the Universe, which we now suspect might actually be but one expression of a yet larger Multiverse. Whatever that is, or isn’t.

It is a BIG world. And the challenges of showing up, of being real and authentic and true to one’s self are not lessening. Political candidates and corporations and…everyone seems to want a piece of your attention. Increasingly too, the neurological science arrayed by interests who would direct if not control your beliefs, emotional moods and buying behaviors, are beyond our common imagination.

Then there are the pressures of daily living. Too many people ‘trying to make a living,’ as if that is our highest purpose in this Mystery we live in. What ever happened to that deep joy that brings you alive in this moment? That gratitude practice you promised yourself to cultivate? The fundamental values you swore yourself to live your life by? And how about your vision of who you desire to be and how you crave to show up in the world?

Sometime we just need to call in our soul and spirit and remember who we really are. Nature feeds our resiliencyWhat matters to us. Reclaim purpose and meaning from a culture that has lost it way and desperately needs the aliveness and vibrancy that comes from intimacy with the root and source of our life inspiration.

We need your joy and fun and laughter and play and sweat and work and creativity and community. It might be a BIG world but we’re a tiny planet in an era of great challenge and great opportunity. Claiming time to renew and regather and resource our deep identity is vital to our self-care in such times; and a beautiful setting in nature with a supportive, structured and intentional environment can provide just the nourishment your soul desires at this time.

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

Join us for a Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat, September 16-20, 2015, Santa Fe, NM. As co-hosts, Lead Feather and the Wild Resiliency Institute are into our third year sponsoring this engaging event. I’ve hosted such events for over twenty years with folks from over twenty nationalities.

My hosting partner, Cheryl Slover-Linett, is a successful entrepreneur, has a deep background as a social science researcher and in business leadership, and likewise in outdoor leadership. Plus, you won’t find a more heart connected guide to help you navigate your customized nature-inspired soul retreat.

We’ll also be joined by our friend and Native American Oneida elder, Van Archiquette, who travels with his delightful presence, sparkling eyes, quick smile and deep wisdom.

You can contact Cheryl or myself, when we’re not out and about wandering through some forest or down some river or….leading some other group of beautiful folks on a learning journey adventure into nature and our Selves. You can also learn about other opportunities for engagement here, including a cultural immersion and exploration into Canyon de Chelly.

We look forward to hearing from you if you’d like to explore this opportunity for calling into your life the renewal of soul and spirit we all need to remember.

And that’s why I took the risk of stepping in front of the camera and posting this video. It’s challenging being a camera-shy guy in the age of social media, plus being a recovering perfectionist, a part-time judgmentalist and fundamentalist. I am however, a man whose life is saved and inspired by a love of Nature… and that too, is why I took the risk of making and sharing this video.

The gift of taking appropriate risk is that it brings us more alive. So however you do it, take the risk of calling in your soul and spirit. Your joy will thank you for it.

Soul Renewal Journey 2015 brochure

Larry Glover is a permitted service provider with the Santa Fe National Forest.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, education, Events, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Resiliency, Poetry of Resiliency, Self-Change | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Risking Your Life to Save it

Time in nature feeds our resiliency“Do you carry a gun…or something to protect yourself?,” I am often asked when “less nature experienced” folks discover my love for spending time alone in the wild. Never, until this very moment, have I thought to follow up my, “No,” response with this: “I carry skills, awareness and presence—grounded in listening.”

“Well, do you…aren’t you ever scared?,” they’ll often ask next. “Isn’t it dangerous?”

Willing to risk whatever perceived or real danger is there, with and without skills…people are increasingly flocking to nature for a refresh of their renewal and resilience. And according to this recent Outdoor Industry Association report, “Everything grows outside, including jobs and the economy.”

We seem to inherently know, there is nothing for renewing and growing body, mind, soul and spirit quite like getting outdoors into nature. The scientific research for this phenomena, of renewal through nature, continues to pour in as researchers probe both the causes of the growing intensity of stress in our modern lives and where and how we might find relief.

And unfortunately, for some lovers of nature, we’ve had something of an intense year here in my Northern New Mexico. Here’s a list of what I know of:

One 75 year old woman wandered off the trail last fall, while mushroom hunting with her husband, never to regain orientation and was found deceased, days later.

A young man wandered into the forest near the ski basin last December and his remains were not found until this May, by a hiker.

And just under a month ago as I write this, in June of 2015, a former White House Chef, was found dead after going for a hike and subsequently reported missing for several days in the Taos area.

And yet more recently, a 13 year old boy attending Philmont Scout Ranch died after being caught in a flash flood while camping, during early morning hours. Others fortunately escaped.

Resilient Black BearsNow this bizarre bit in today’s morning’s news: A young girl was bitten on the arm during the night by a black bear while sleeping in her tent with others, in her back yard outside Raton, NM. The bear was apparently ravaging through garbage and…there is no mention of whether food in the tent itself might have been a factor.

This last story got me to researching bear attacks in NM which revealed at least one more attack earlier this summer: Surprised bear in dense brush attacks antler hunter, near Ruidosa, NM.

I didn’t and don’t intend for this post to be gloomy or morbid but have you Googled a NOAA weather site lately?

Resilient Nature

NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL

“As of July 8, 2015, 17 people have died from lightning strikes in the US. This is double the average number of year-to-date lightning fatalities over the past five years. Summer is the most dangerous season for lightning. It is NEVER safe to be outside during a thunderstorm. When thunder roars, go indoors!”

NOAA also says, at this lightning safety resource site: “There is little you can do to substantially reduce your risk if you are outside in a thunderstorm.”

And fact is, there are things you can do to reduce your risk, some of which the NOAA site proceeds to identify. And the same is true with bears and other wildlife and environmental hazards in the wild: there are tactics and strategies and practices you can exercise in the wild to not just be safer and enjoy your recreation more but to also deepen your time there into one of soulful and spiritual renewal as well.

Each of the unfortunate incidents cited in the opening of this post were preventable. So it is with our lives; the old adage about being our own worst enemies seems to prove itself true time and again. At least it does in my own life. The Darwin Awards were not created without an accumulation of example and perhaps but for some kind of grace we ourselves are not one.

But who among us has not and will not again ‘do something stupid.’ I certainly cannot throw that proverbial first rock. I suspect such behavior is ‘part and parcel’ of our human nature, of creating familiar environments of comfort for navigating daily living. And lapses of awareness are…normal. Our consumerist culture even induces us into a forgetting that life itself is wild, that no matter our efforts it cannot and ultimately will not be contained and tamed into the digital screen of animated Lion King(s) or sanitized images of war or mass extinctions of life that do not alter our lives.

There is also real risk to breaking out of the gravity of familiarity which keeps us personally and collectively recycling the same thoughts and patterns day in and out 98% of our lives. We are not unlike the hunter with his head down in thick brush intent on finding the next satisfaction only to occasionally be surprised by the ‘bear’ of life. But leave it to John Muir to catch us on this one:

“We must risk our lives to save them.”

Resilient John MuirNow I admit, this is a man who once climbed to the top of a tall Douglass Spruce for the joy of riding it during a fierce high Sierra Mountain storm. He later wrote of the risk and experience, the danger to life and limb is hardly greater than one would experience crouching deprecatingly beneath a roof.” ( “A Wind-storm in the Forests,” a chapter in his 1894 book, The Mountains of California.)

Risk is relative to circumstance and skills and perhaps even passion and desperation…. Going inside, for example, during a lightning storm is a good idea if you got an inside to go to but in the wild..you want your skills of awareness and practice honed for that encounter with the untamed storm. And you want to reasonably risk your life so you can savor it, so you can know you are alive. How will we ever know and savor and love, even within ourselves, the rawness and beauty and terror of the untamed if we confine ourselves within walls and Malls and shoulds and shouldn’ts and can’ts and don’ts and don’ts?

Life wants us to risk our living! So we can celebrate it.

That’s why you break out of house onto the trails or perhaps even off trail, because you love nature and want to break the trance of false security: you are going to die.

And the one single practice that reduces our risk of succumbing to the narcotics of our denial and avoidance and unconsciousness is…is to increase our consciousness through intention; to grow our mindful awareness and presence of our internal and external environments. It’s a practical and a spiritual thing: we want to love our living.

Now we are in the territory of both practicing the skills we do know (healthy habits) and of bringing mindful attention to what we don’t know: being curious and willing to learn new skills, change habits and to actually seeing ourselves and the world differently. Talk about risk!

Sacred time spent in Nature is a primary practice field for me and so many lovers of the Finding renewal in naturewild, in this risky and vital territory of self-construction and development. We cannot avoid the risk, indoors or out. But we can choose, so much as possible, to wake up to the precious beauty of what it is to be alive at this time on the planet, to the wonder and mystery of who we ourselves are, in the depths of our being.

Herein is a path into a more joyful life and a re-greening of our planet: the conscious reuniting and attuning of our minds, bodies, souls and spirits with that of our planet, Earth. This is an edge in the of risking our lives…to save them.

So tell me, in a comment below, what edges of risk do you play with that bring you more alive?

Grow your resiliency through your love of natureI invite you to join me/us in one of the upcoming opportunities for deepening your wilderness skills while also growing your capacities for renewal and resilience through your love of nature.

Resource Notes of Interest:
I found the John Muir Wind Storm links and quote here, which also includes an audio or podcast listening to the story. StoryWeb is a site worth the visit!
List of Fatal Bear Attacks in North America
Here’s an excellent hiker/camper bear awareness resource from Camino Real Ranger District Bear Aware Program

Larry Glover is a speaker, writer, retreat facilitator, resiliency coach and wilderness guide. You can learn more about opportunities to engage with him at larryglover.com and at leadfeather.org. We still have space in the Wilderness Skills Intensive, the Wilderness Soul Renewal Retreat and in a Canyon de Chelly cultural immersion journey.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Events, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Quotes, Resiliency, Self-Change | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment