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.

NOTE: View or Download the 2015 Annual Report for the Magarini Center here: magarini-annual-report-2015:

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

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 and at We still have space in the upcoming Wilderness Soul Renewal Retreat and in a Canyon de Chelly cultural immersion journey.

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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.

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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 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 and at 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

Seeking God on the Mountain Top

OK, I’ve gone and done it. I’m feeling both scared and sick to my stomach because I’ve committed to telling a very private story at the June 30, 2015 Santa Fe SpeakEasy Storytelling event.

What hooked me into sending in my pitch are these lines from the call for storytellers:

Our theme: “Flying too High”
is inspired by this quote
from Oscar Wilde:
“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight.”

I sent in my pitch:

Resiliency and Human Descent

Jacob Peter Gowy’s The Flight of Icarus

“What’s a young man who needs to kill a God to do? Especially if he’s raised in fundamentalist and Old Testament traditions by a hell-fire and brimstone preacher?

I flew by helicopter to a remote mountain top Forest Fire Lookout for three months of isolation, courtesy of the US Forest Service. It was there that in fine Biblical tradition, in the midst of fierce rain and nonstop thunder and day-making lightning that I got high enough to see the face of God, and to live to tell the story. Or perhaps, might it have been God himself who descended from on high to witness my foolish dancing with suicidal insanity, unconsciously jumping up and down on the lightening rod for the lookout, shaking my fist into the face of Jehovah Almighty?

Williams Peak Lookout, ID

Williams Peak Lookout, ID

And what does happen to a man who looks into the eyes of a God, and lives? Who would ever believe his story anyway?”

I have long been absent on this blog because of my own confusions about how to hold in sacred presence these dynamic times we live in. Perhaps this storytelling event is a “coming-out” of sorts, dedicated to all those who would escape a God of righteous judgment and fundamentalism.

In an era when the Gods of Fundamentalism threatens the very fabric of love and kindness to all who identify themselves differently, perhaps it is time we all follow Moses to the mountain top—and for ourselves—look into the eyes of this “jealous God.”

If you happen to live in the Santa Fe area, I’d love to have you join me next Tuesday evening at 7PM, Back Road Pizza. I can use all the bravery I can muster and seeing the eyes of friends will help enormously.

Larry Glover is a speaker, writer, retreat facilitator, resiliency coach and wilderness guide. You can learn more about opportunities to engage with him at and at 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, Models of Resilience, Personal Stories | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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