About Wild Nature Heart

Wild Nature Heart supports you to connect with the wisdom of inner and outer wild nature, to embody your wholeness, and to live your wild purpose into the world.

My name is Ryan Van Lenning and I am an inner and outer wilderness guide, ecotherapist, and writer. I am passionate about facilitating re-connections with wild nature and our most authentic selves to assist in the work of repairing broken belonging in this time of the intersecting ecological and social challenges.

I believe in catalyzing human wholeness and that our world fiercely needs each person being present to what is, becoming more fully themselves and offering their unique gifts back to the community and the more-than-human world.

I offer 1-on-1 earth-rooted mentoring, wilderness rite-of-passage ceremonies (group programs (Next: September 2021) and custom solo/small group), various Deep Belonging courses and other workshops, and Wild Nature Heart Circles of the Great Turning. 

My first wilderness fast with the School of Lost Borders launched me on a journey that I am still unfurling to this day. I became convinced that wilderness ceremony/rite-of-passage is a powerful and needed container for the necessary conversations to occur between our vulnerable and whole selves and wild nature. I subsequently trained as a wilderness rite-of-passage guide with the School of Lost Borders (with Ruth Wharton and Larry Hobbs) and am eager to make wilderness ceremony ever-more accessible to more people and in more forms.

I am a certified Ecotherapist through The Earthbody Institute, where I teach the Level 1 Ecotherapy course for non-clinical orientations, and a certified Wilderness First Responder through Foster Calm. I previously taught Philosophy, Comparative Religions, and Environmental Ethics in the Humanities Department at Sinclair College in Ohio.

I am also a poet, and published my debut collections of earth poetry, Re-Membering: Poems of Earth & Soul, and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest. in 2018. The 2019 Jodi Stutz Poetry Award by Toyon Literary Magazine was awarded to my poem ‘And All the Walls Between Them’ responding to current immigration policies and social injustices.

I have published articles, essays, and poetry in Earth Island Journal, Deep Time: The Journal of the Work That Reconnects, Truthout, various poetry journals, and the newly released books Behind the Mask: 40 Quarantine Poems from Humboldt County and A Walk with Nature: Poetic Encounters that Nourish the Soul. My newest collections, One Bright and Real Caress, Riverever, and Within the Cave Something Pulses, will be available in 2021. I am currently working on a creative non-fiction book with the working title: Wild Nature Heart: Trickster Living in the Great Composting.

I work primarily in Humboldt and Trinity Counties, and live among the diverse forests and rivers of so-called Humboldt County, ancestral Wiyot and Yurok territory. Group wilderness programs are in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierra region.

Contact me for how you want to reconnect or if you would like me to offer a program in your area.

I’d love to hear from you:  ryan@wildnatureheart.com

I’m Katie Baptist, and I’m SO excited to be meeting you; right here, right now. Wilderness rite of passage is a sacred mystery path, rooted in earth wisdom, with the potential to change the world. The ceremony showed up in my life at EXACTLY the moment when I needed it the most, and I’m grateful to the guides who kept me grounded as I dared to lean into my heart’s true calling. Since then, I’ve been doing my best to follow that calling; the one to listening from the heart and seeing the beauty and uniqueness of every person who I interact with. I’m devoted to the mystery of the underworld journey as a pathway into true adulthood, and I know that when we dare to follow our hearts’ persistent longings, they can lead us to the ways our gifts are needed. I’ve mentored many kinds of rite of passage journeys through the years; transitions into parenthood, grief journeys during times of loss, transitions of divorce and marriage, explorations of identity, journeys out of toxic institutions, and paths to new heart centered occupations. And so, here we are; right here, right now. Your turn has come to step across the threshold and claim the larger story that’s been whispering to you all along. I’ll be right there by your side, witnessing your courage and your beauty, feeling grateful that the twists and turns of all our pathways brought us here.

Want some more specifics about me? Here’s a few; I hold a master’s degree in women’s spirituality from California Institute of Integral studies. I’m an ecofeminist psychotherapist, specializing in sexual sovereignty. I am kink aware, poly friendly, a LGBTQIA+ ally, and support movements tending to our BIPOC family. I’ve trained with the School of Lost Borders, and have served Earthways LLC as an assistant guide. I was a co-founder of Wild Nature Heart with Ryan Van Lenning in 2017. I am currently working on a collection of personal essays called Our Hands in the Sunlight. I live and work in the watershed of the American River, on the unceded lands of the Nisenan and Miwok people. I live with my partner, my two adult kids, and a Corgi named Freya.

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