Have you received the gift?

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Do you know the gift
of what it is to be lost?

Do you know what it is likeold-growth forest trail
to wander through the world
searching for the spelling
of your true name

To hone the wild of your eyes
for seeing the path of your heart
the soul’s need for receiving and offering

Have you grown a love of faint game trails
as you shun the navigational maps and highways
of those deluded with the surety of their beliefs

Trusting through desperation when possible
and un-trusting of every inherited answer
you find only one faith remaining

The alertness of one who knows emptiness
It descends upon you like a confession wrung from your soul
while the gift of alive awareness rises within like the sap of Spring

Now, now at last you are ready
ready to learn how to live
swimming in the unknown waters of deep mystery

Quenching your adventurous thirsty spirit
for beauty and wonder and awe
surrendered at last to the breath that breathes you
lost you are no longer

If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest,
but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.”

— Siberian Elder

 

Reflections:

The gift of becoming lost first came to me as an adolescent, as it does to many of us, when I first questioned the inherited Truth of my fundamentalist upbringing. It was a gift that damn near killed me as I searched high and low for a map of Truth to replace the one that no longer served me.

This journey I now see as a kind of ‘coming home’ journey. It is the journey of finding both interior and exterior references for how one is at home in the world. I suspect most folks settle for the assigned reservation of cultural conditioning wherein some outside authority informs us of who we should be in the world.

This image arises for me as I prepare with my partner, Cheryl Slover-Linett of Lead Feather, to guide a journey into the Navajo homeland of Canyon de Chelly, with our native guide, Elenor Yoe. The Navajo were a people exiled out of the womb of homeland to the Bosque Redondo Reservation, a landscape cursed with bad water and soil and unfit for a proud and independent people.

Their story, like many of the Native American peoples, is one of tenacious courage and vision, of struggle to reclaim and retain identity and life itself in the face of cultural collisions and genocide beyond any individual’s control. The book, Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West, by Hampton Sides, is a riveting read for a sense of this early history and of the Navajo exile and return to Homeland; 1868, at last.

Resilient Navajo PrayerWe will carry a spirit of inquiry into this sense of what it is to come home to ourselves as we journey with our small band of adventurers into the magnificent and storied landscape of Canyon de Chelly. The backdrop of Spider Rock and sheer sandstone cliffs, of Anasazi ruins and hogans and ancient foot paths and the stories of a determined peoples hunger to return to homeland will inform our own personal and collective inquiries into what it is to live in exile from ourselves, and too of what it is to live ‘at home’ in the world.

The truth as I now see it (note the small ‘t’), is that by virtue of human history we have all become exiles from the homeland of Earth, and so from ourselves too. We have collectively learned and incorporated (brought into our corporal body) a story of human separation from nature and unworthiness for life, a story whereby only some external authority can save our worthless butts from damnation. It is a cultural mythology destined to drive and feed the unconscious self-destructive hungers of the human species while we take out untold numbers of all our relations as well.

But there is another way. And it is to this ‘return home to our selves’ that the opening piece of this post points us. I will write more of this in the next post.

Posted in 2 Our Ground of Being, 3 The Power of Arrival, Cosmology, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Resiliency, Poetry of Resiliency, Self-Change, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

How many selfs make a Self?

Pardon me,
but perhaps you can help?

You see,

Aspen Sky sm

Resilient Aspen Self

I have become,
much to my chagrin,
a lover of questions
and now I am indeed confused
for I wonder,
What is the self?

And how many selfs
does it take to make a Self, anyway?

Since over half of the 60 trillion plus cells,
in your body and mine too,
some three pounds of micro-critters
are bacterial and fungi and viral…,
rather than human cells,
tell me, is your true self human
or is your true self perhaps bacterial?

And is not each bacterial cell a self
and each human cell a self too?

And now, stay with me please,
do not all these some trillions of cellular selfs
make a self too, as in your self?

Or take a tree if you wish.
And take the species and even particular tree
of your choosing, please.

Now if this oak or aspen or cottonwood or ash or maple…
if this tree does not, can not, live on its own
but only through the ecological commerce
of symbiotic relationships with other species,
you know, various and specific bacterial and fungal species…
that allow the tree’s intake of mineral nutrition
and that foster its immune system for example,
might you tell me please,
where does this tree’s self begin—or end,
exactly now?

And if this tree, say a pine tree,
also has fungi living inside the body of its needles
much the way you and I have mitochondrial bacteria DNA
living inside each one of our human cells,
tell me, where does the self of this tree end and begin?

And what too of a human self?
If you or I, if our self be woven biologically
of more micro-critters than human cell selfs,
some 10,000 various species of bacteria at that,
and if our self be woven too
of stories—of stories of identity
interweaving ancestral lineages of family
and religion and profession and ethnicity
and economic status and—wait!

Who are you anyway?
What are you?

And what is this thing we call a self
and how many selfs does it take to make a Self, anyway?

Or perhaps, might you know,
How many selfs does it take to carry a soul?

Might you help me please?
For I have come to see
we are more like the forest and the trees
than we are different and now…

Aberts_with_pinecone

Albert’s Squirrel with pine cone: Wikipedia

Now I see that the forest and I
and the soil and sun and rain
and that cute bushy-tailed tasseled eared Albert’s squirrel
and you too, yes, seems to me, we are a self too.

What now, what am I—are we—to do
with all these selfs anyway?

Do you suppose, perhaps,
there are enough of us for a party?
A Grand Self-Celebration of Our Selves, of Life itself, you know!

I wonder,
who else might we invite?

NOTES & REFLECTIONS:

The awakening of our wild resiliency is also an awakening to the ‘interbeing’ or interdependency of our entangled nature with each other and all of life. I (and others) reference this as ‘the ecological self,’ meaning that we are in fact ecological beings in the very essence of our nature; ‘superorganisms’ as science is coming to understand this nature.

This is not a reduction of human biology, spirit or of soul as some might fear. Rather it is an opening into deeper wonder and awe as we open to the mystery of what it truly means, this being human. It is also the reclamation of our birthright of innate belonging and worthiness for life.

Below are a few of the references at play in my field as I wrote the above piece.
They’re All Part Fungus (Science News)
Finally, A Map Of All The Microbes On Your Body (NPR)
Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones (Scientific American)
Scientists bust myth that our bodies have more bacteria than human cells (Nature Journal)
How Bacteria “Talk”  (A TED Talk with Bonnie Blasser)
Who are “Me, Myself and Us?” ( A TED Talk with Jonathan Elsen)
Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People (The Atlantic)

Please Like or Share this post if it’s spirit resonates with you, to share the energy. And leave a comment if so inspired: How does nature inform and inspire your sense of self, your identity, of being who you most deeply are?

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

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 4 The Ecological Self, Aspen-Body Wisdom, Cosmology, Deep Ecology, Ecology, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Science, Spirituality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Looking into the mirror of self-care

I want to know

I knowLarry in Mirror
you are good
at this strength of yours
for the sharing of your life force
in the care of others.

I know
you can rise up in your courage
and liberally give of your empathy
for the well-being of some downtrodden
underprivileged soul in need
of support and care.

But what I want to know is
what is your capacity for
the vulnerability of not-knowing—
not knowing how to care for another
or the world?

I want to know
your willingness to receive love
from yourself and from others.

I want to know
your willingness to be love
and to let that be enough.

I want to know
if you know how to relieve
your tiredness of striving and confusion in living
by drinking from the Waters of Life.

I want to know
if you are willing to breathe into the suffering
of feeling you are not enough
never will be enough?

I want to know
if you can sit
in the emptiness of a breath
and the silence of stillness?

I want to know
your practices for reorienting
your day or self
when you awake disoriented
discovering you too have lost your way.

I want to know
if you are able to release the grasp
of your clutching
to competence and achievement
as strategies of worthiness.

I want to know
if you can sit in the discomfort
of a story-of-self you discover not to be true
not reaching immediately for a new story
but allowing yourself to rest
in no story, even for a time.

I want to know
if you can be with your hunger for belonging
until you find the generative capacity within
for giving yourself what no other can.

I want to knowCloud Images
if in times of such self-revelation
you are able to sink
your rooting into Earth

If you can sense once again
the reach of your being
for the stars within that give you birth
and in all this say

I am.

NOTES: I’ll be hosting and co-facilitating a staff retreat tomorrow for the acclaimed experiential and adventure based therapy program, the Santa Fe Mountain Center. This is the third in a series framed around Taking Care of Care: Inquiries into an Ecology of Care. The above reflections came as I sat with the question, ‘What is self-care in my life? What does it really look like?

The reflection/questions above were the raw core of what initially came to me. And then many more tangibles began arriving, like getting my daily dose of nature and exercise, my physical body-prayers, as I like to call my stretching time, healthy eating, moderate alcohol consumption, attending to the manners in which I talk with myself, time with friends… This list became seemingly endless!

And it’s been a useful exercise, to sit with this question of self-care. And to also reflect upon self-care within an ecological frame: how are each of these pieces of self-care hinged to each other? What are the upward and downward spirals that I can get into and what are the common precipitating triggers…?

And how might my relationship with nature fit into this idea of self-care? What is the self anyway? How might Nature inform and inspire my very understanding of self-care?

Joining me in all this is friend and colleague, co-facilitator, Cheryl Slover-Linett of Leadfeather.org. We have additional exciting offerings remaining on our joint calenders this year including the Inspired by Nature—Journey into Creativity (Co-hosted in concert with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), a Journey into Canyon de Chelly and in concert with the Academy for the Love of Learning, Transformational Living Inspired by Nature. Contact either of us to learn more.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Cosmology, Personal Resiliency, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Self-Change | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It is told in places of old

It is toldSacred Fire
in places of old
around the Speaking Fire
that one can tell
those touched by the wild—
by the light dancing in their eyes
running as easily with tears of sorrow
as they can streak a face
with wrinkles of laughter.

The broken-open heart of such a one gone wild,Fire Sky Sparks
they say around this fire,
can grow flowers out of sorrow and despair.

There is something too, whispered round this fire
about the cauldron of an open heart
brewing alchemical transformations
allowing wild eyes to see
what others think common and mundane
radiating the extraordinary
and this one, now so changed
becomes compassion and love itself.

But then,
whoever really heard of a fire…
of a fire that can speak, anyway?

Posted in 3 The Power of Arrival, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Mythology, Poetry of Resiliency, Shamanism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tell me, do your feet touch the ground?

Foot on logTell me,
do your feet touch the ground?

No, I mean really!
Are your legs long enough
that the bare soles of your feet
make love with Earth?

And can you too
feel how Earth makes love with you
every day with every breath?

Can you feel how the trees freely gift your lungs with oxygen rich air
how the rains and snows and creeks and rivers
offer water to your tap and equally to your blood?

Have you not noticed how the water within you
wants to flow free and true to its nature,
to your nature too—as water?

Have you not felt how Earth’s gravity invites you
into conscious awareness and relationship
with your body?

With this gravity as ally, are your legs rooted enough
for your arms to reach up
letting the tips of your fingers touch the stars?

Have you slowed down long enough
to notice the burning
of Sun’s fire in your belly and loins?

Can you feel the longing in your bones for belonging?
The hunger in your heart for love of self and others
to be loved and to be love?

Can you feel the itch in your eyes for seeing the world anew,
for perceiving with the curious
wondering enchantment of children?

Can you feel the seeking
in your personal operating system
for understanding and meaning?

When did you last scratch
that itch of yours for growing
legs and soles for reaching and touching Earth?

Is not the humus of our soul
the humility of our humanity?

The entirety of the cosmos is in love with you
and what joy and awe to know this
as you let the soles of your feet
caress your soul.

 

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Cosmology, Deep Ecology, Emotional Intelligence, Indigenous Science/Wisdom, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Poetry of Resiliency, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out Beyond Identities—Again!

Out beyond identities of Democrat and Republican and Independent
Out beyond affiliations of Tea Party and Occupy movements
Out beyond the economics of privilege and lack

Further out beyond the colors of skin—
yellow, black, brown, red, white and mixed
And out beyond gay and straight and bi- and transgendered too

resilient ponderosa treeEven out beyond Catholic and Baptist and Sunni and Shia,  Hindu Buddhist Jew and Pagan too
Way out beyond nationalistic identities of American, Chinese and Pakistani or Iranian…
name any country or ethnicity any of us might claim

And yet still further out…
out beyond hope for the future or despair of it  — yet further out…
out beyond scale and feather and antler and fur and fin and skin and bark and leaf or twig too

There is a story of wholeness
growing in a Heart field of community and of belonging
belonging to Life — to the Tree of Life

I will meet you there, which of course is after all, Here… too
Celebrating you, me, us and them
Celebrating our diversity

Celebrating too, our Oneness of Being
Here, now, today
Come what may

Will you…might you…join me there?
Here?

Note: I offer this post with a nod of gratitude to Rumi for these lines of frequent inspiration to me:

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, and even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.”

— The Essential Rumi, Colman Barks

Here’s one beautiful site with more of his poetry: Mystical Poetry of Rumi

Note 2: This slightly revised post was previously published on this blog, April 3, 2012. I’ve been itching to re-post it and what with the recent mass -shooting in Orlando, well… it seemed time to  do it. And to create the video. If you resonate with it, please ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and help spread the energy in the world.

Posted in 1 The River of Life — The Art of Living, Emotional Intelligence, Navigating the Narrows, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Politics, Raves, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is a man?

I… I am a man,
or so they tell me.

But what, pray tell, is a man?
In truth, I mean.

If a man be woven of story
if he knows who he isCanyon Shadows
by the God he names
by the family he is born into
by the country he calls home
by the color of his skin
or the size of his waist  or hands
or the dollars in his bank
Or the letters of achievement
following his name
or by the worth of horses
in his pasture
or by his liquor or drugs of choice
or by his gender affinities
or by his politics or music of choice…

Is this the best we can do?

But what if a man be woven of story
And he knows himself
author and sovereign teller of his story?

And if this man be woven of threads
threads weaving a dream
back through cosmic time
as old as the first inspiration
pregnancy’s emergent embedded impulse
exhaling the birth of a virgin star…

Resilient Aspen SkyAnd if he be woven from community
if he be woven from branches and roots
of the Tree of Life rooted
into the living soil of ancestry
an ancestral lineage naming
fire and earth and water and air and Spirit
East and West and North and South and Up and Down
In and Out as above so as below…

If this man dreams of  branches
touching stars day and night
If this man’s roots are woven deep into Mystery
into wonder and awe and curiosity
and into a love of truth and beauty and of what-is
a love of questions themselves
and an honoring of the unknown…

Tell me, and tell me true, please,
What is a man?

a resilient smileI kept feeling the haunt of another post after writing this one so went in search of an itch. A Question for you is a previous post you might also appreciate if this one scratched an itch for you.

Please Like or Share this post if it’s spirit resonates with you, to share the energy. 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 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 2 Our Ground of Being, 3 The Power of Arrival, Cosmology, Deep Ecology, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I fell in love with a tree today

I fell in love with a tree today. Proposed.resilient ponderosa
She said, “Yes, but…
only if you too will embrace me with your roots.”

The trees, they do talk you know.
And today they are promiscuous too.
After rumors spread of my betrothal, others began to ask,
“But what of me?”
Soon there was a cacophony through the whole forest,
“What of me?”,
they each cried.

resilient ponderosa rootThey released their delicious intoxication
of pine smells and I could not help but inspire
their very being into mine
and soon enough
I feared for my manly identity.

Yet what, pray tell, is a real man to do?
I said, “Yes!” of course,
to the whole holy lot of ’em.

And now, pray tell me true:
What is a man
if he not be a tree too?

IMG_4591Have you ever seen a tree hug her self?

I came across the above Ponderosa on my hike today. The way her root sinuously wraps itself around her trunk left me with the feeling she was doing just that; hugging herself.

Perhaps the impression arose out of my need and intentions to become more skilled at so embracing my self, holding those frightened parts of myself and of others in the loving kindness I desire to be in the world.

I accepted the invitation to hug this tree and soon the above peace flowed out. I have a long time enchantment with the rooting of trees, with their energetic thrust into the underworld. Indeed, it is intimacy with the underworld of our unconscious that is one of the great creative challenges of humanity at this time on the planet.

Without these intimacies, with the dark moist depths of soil and earth and unconscious within , our experience of self is but an enslavement to our identities of acculturation; what someone else wants of us. Nature and our joy are enriched as we discover our relationship with the other than human world and the freedoms of this grander knowledge and experience of self.

This is to discover the ecological self and a wild resiliency capable of transforming our way into a future of flourishing in concert with Earth as lover. So…

“You must go in quest of yourself, and you will find yourself again only in the simple and forgotten things. Why not go into the forest for a time, literally? Sometimes  a tree tells you more than can be read in book.” — Carl Jung

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, Deep Ecology, Eco/Positive/Depth Psychology, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Thrivability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I have a question for my men friends

Resilient Mule DeerI have a question
for my men friends.
Have you every yet
made love with a sweet dark-eyed Mule Deer doe?
Have you felt the way she looks
turning toward you those long ears and moist black nostrils
staring…sniffing you?
How she presents
those slender long legs turning the white of her rump to you?
The smell,
God the smell of her
sex pulling, no driving no inviting your one pointedness on.
Your antlers stand alert.
Your sex eager and hard and nostrils flaring
Those doe eyes and ears and nose take you in
and you want her
The way you want your own spirit and soul.
Without them you die.
But it is easier to chase her
as though she were a separate other
than to love your Self.
But for that moment
when you do mate
and you are One
When she gives herself to you
no other
and now you are the holy receiver
a sacred vessel of fire and water and air and earth
This is enough
until next year’s hunger
when having lost the trail of her tracks
you again desire your Self.
You search behind every tree and rock
and then again there…
there you are
wearing the face of Another
calling your spirit home again.

It is perhaps rare for me to not feel some level of fear of exposure and risk when sharing a post on this blog. More so the more intimately personal the post, and that fear is up again for me. Now. Here.

Here I am exposing my sensual and erotic relationship with life and nature and with spirit. Indeed, discovering and nourishing an empathetic relationship with the other than human saved my life time and again as I found (find?) my way out of religious fundamentalism.

There is so much wounded-ness in Western culture around both sexuality and spirituality. And to write of both with a tone of sensuality in one piece! Too rarely do we encounter such in today’s world. The split in the Western psyche is deep; in splitting off our physical nature we split off too from Nature and from Spirit.

Inherent within these splits are the stories of not belonging and of unworthiness so many of us struggle with. The reclamation work of rediscovering our intimate inter-being with all of life is the creative work of our times.

Indeed, I often think of my work as one of revitalizing or re-identifying the human self with nature, as Nature. The call of our souls is for an integration, a kind of awakening to the sensuality of Life where body, mind, heart and soul again become one with self and the world. This too is an enlivening of awe and wonder as primal aspects of a spiritual intelligence connecting us with all of life and is in itself—meaning enough for living.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
— Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers

Campbell’s quote is a good description of what it felt like for me recently when catching the eyes of my first albino deer in the dimming light of a forest evening, deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of NM. This piece arose out of that meeting as an inspiration of breath and the release of a deep exhale. And it arose from something within me wanting to attract masculine energy and say, “Look! We have a lover in Nature! Let us take note of this sacred hunger in our flesh and souls for one such as this.”

“Nature is your incomparable guide if you know how to follow her.”
— Carl Jung

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 4 The Ecological Self, Deep Ecology, Inspirations & Strategies from Nature, Personal Stories, Poetry of Resiliency, Resiliency Videos | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing Risk, Awe and Wonder—with Artist Stephen Auger

“The insecure way is the secure way.”
— Joseph Campbell

Might it be possible that by our very use of the word creative, in our personal search to even ‘be creative,’ we undermine our desire for generative living and discovery?

Acclaimed fine artist Stephen Auger, of Santa Fe, NM , argues just this early on in our Resilient Artist Stephen Augerinterview, and the first of my efforts at creating a podcast. “I’d going to attempt to eliminate the word from this conversation,” he says. “I think it is a word that is presumptuous. I think it is misleading…. And that it is unnecessary. The first thing the word creativity does is…it creates a self-consciousness.”

He goes on to speak of how that self-consciousness divides us from ourselves and the world. It leads to a kind of disassociated and disembodied living, he asserts.

Thus begins our dive into the realms of living deeply, dedicated to a life nurturing curiosity and awe and wonder as an artistic practice field. For Stephen this is a life inseparable from risk and passion and a professional dedication to listening and sensing and discovering the further realms of human perceiving and being.

Stephen is a man in love with light. “I have an empathy for light,” he says.

Stephen Auger's art

Untitled, 2016, 40″ x 60″, Mixed media on synthetic linens

He also has a degree in the neuroscience of perception and trained at the Center of Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. “His paintings and sculptures are in private, corporate and museums collections internationally, including Yale University, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Malcolm Forbes, CBS Corporation, Panasonic Corp. and The Carnegie Institute.”

Auger speaks with intellectual rigor, personal passion and depth when turned loose on the topic of twilight and the unconscious sensing capacities constantly informing the human system of it relational orientation in the world. He moves our conversation toward closure as he intimately reveals “my deepest affinity:”

Stephen on Soul Retreat 2015

Wilderness Soul Retreat 2015

“To me the muse is the cosmos. I am just constantly completely blown away by things I experience or see…. And it is always saying, ‘You’re part of me. You’re part of me.'”

“That’s my deepest affinity, is with Nature. It is where I’m always…embraced. Not that nature can’t be scary but…we all have to die sometime…. I think it’s important for me to see myself in this incredible infinite cycle.”

Some of the territories covered in this wide-ranging interview include:

  • The practice of art;
  • Dangers inherent in the word and idea of ‘creativity’;
  • The role, challenge and necessity of risk taking in the artistic life;
  • Cultural norms that interfere with following a life of one’s own;
  • Curiosity, awe, wonder, imagination, vulnerability, stillness and silence as rituals and practice fields for enhancing the aesthetics of sensing, for cultivating kinesthetic intelligence;
  • Cultivating a tolerance for insecurity and the unknown;
  • The willingness to not be productive and the value of stasis;
  • The seduction of security;
  • How our very biological being is a mirror of the universe;
  • The challenges of surrendering to one’s calling;
  • Navigating fear and frozen artistic expression through ritual and practice;
  • Coming to frozenness with love and acceptance vs. as predator;
  • The role of nature as inspiration and emulation for his work and life;
  • Two modes of perception, and ‘wonder’ as a sensory experience;
  • The transformational nature of voluntarily opening to the senses.

It was a pleasure and honor to share in the interview, Stephen. And with this, I wish you a belated Happy Birthday, my friend!

NOTE: I invite you to Vitalize your generative life with a four-day Nature emersion program co-sponsored with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Inspired by Nature: A Journey Into Creativity (Septermber 9-13).  We’ll explore her home with a private tour and spend time at the White Place where she painted.  Basing our soft camping adventure out of a private retreat center, The Ojo, we’ll hike to newly discovered petroglyphs and enjoy the spiritual work of cave artist, Ra Paulette at Origin at Rancho de San Juan.  An afternoon at the famed Ojo Caliente spa caps our journey.

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