10 spring Poppies for Approaching Ecotherapy

When invited to teach an upcoming Ecotherapy course, I realized that something beyond more knowledge or even skills, as commonly understood, is required. Something in me balked at overly-academicizing it, and felt that all-too-familiar intellect taking over, alienating my body, heart, and soul. So these are some spring wild poppies and prickly cacti that emerged through the soil:

1)Deepen your own soul and intimacy with wild nature. Carve sacred pauses in order to practice deep listening and cultivate wholeness.

2)Practice presence.

3)Hone your skills of belonging. Finding that belonging is not only a place but a skill honed with a fierce heart. It is as much a ‘How’ as a ‘Where’, steeped in relationality and stalked by the sacred.

4)Shape your sacred why and wild purpose. Your truth is a medicine for a world that needs it. Your gifts are both a belonging and a deep responsibility. Trust. Trust what you hear when you practice 1-3. Let what needs to be visible become visible, what needs to become invisible become invisible. The joyful gravity of you enacting you ripples out infinitely.

5)Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. )Locate and inhabit your niche in the ecosystem of healing. “Where your soul’s gift and your positionality (dynamic social location of power + privilege) meet is your ecological niche for a hungry world.” (This beautiful & dangerous framing is from Pinar Sinopoulus-Lloyd (@queerquechua) of @queernature)

Use your privilege towards co-liberation. Become comfortable with uncomfortability. Relinquish power-over. Examine Extractivism in all its forms. Embark on the pilgrimage of Decolonization.

6)Experiment and dance on your growing edge. Shapeshifting is not only allowed, but a basic operating instructions of the cosmos.

7)Live the cycles. Become an apprentice to moon and sun and with river take your counsel. Hitch a ride with a wild wind and honor the seasons, internal and external.

8)Let your animal body be pulled by the scents, shapes, and tastes of the world. Resurrect pleasure, flow grief, surrender to awe. Embody your values. Align thought-feel-flow-movement. Calibrate your body to your heart.

9)Become defeated by the other-than-human.

10)Let all the lies die.

YOUR CALLING RESISTS ALL COMPROMISING REASONABLENESS

“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”—Rumi

The deep longing that brought you here doesn’t care about the categories or forms of your culture. It doesn’t f*cking care what people think. The dominant culture is over—time to get ridiculous and follow your calling. What’s ‘reasonable’ is cracked open for re-invention.

Your soul calling doesn’t care about TV ads or the social media algorithms. This incessant soul calling whispering through your bones doesn’t care what you smell like or if gray peppers your beautiful head. It doesn’t care what the reasons offered for war are. It doesn’t care about your retirement plan or how many things you’ve managed to own you. It doesn’t care how much your body mass index is or the 3-month high of the consumer confidence index. It doesn’t care how much you recycle or whether you saw the latest greatest Netflix show. It doesn’t care about the next big thing in home decorating.

Your soul calling only wants to unfurl endlessly, co-creating the universe in the way only it is able to, and meant to, if allowed to breath. If allowed to be embodied through you.

It longs to fulfill a unique niche in the ecosystem of energies. One that brings necessary medicine to the whole show, interrupting the regularly-scheduled broadcast. This wild purpose that you’re aimed at is a way of deep belonging.

So let your ridiculous out!—as in preposterous, humorous, queer, strange, and awesome. And needed.

Be ridiculous and ludicrous and fall in love with it! It’s a key to the doorway into our next paradigm.

So jump in and Let your heart be preposterously big and foolishly overflowing with impossible ideas and absurd dreams, Screaming “I’m outrageously alive!”

LIKE A MAD GARDENER 1: NOT KNOWING

“What if the doleful doings of Anthropocene and the unworldings of the Capitalocene are the last gasps of the sky gods, not guarantors of the finished future, game over?

The unfinished Chthulucene must collect up the trash of the Anthropocene, the exterminism of the Capitalocene, and chipping and shredding and layering like a mad gardener, make a much hotter compost pile for still possible pasts, presents, and futures.” – Donna Haraway

This is what we mean by the Great Composting.

Compost capitalism. Compost whiteness. Compost nationalisms. Compost patriarchy. Compost empire. In short: Compost Modernity. We’ve heard of smashing, dismantling, destroying, but there’s something about the image/metaphor/pratice of composting that is both organic and well…satisfying. Implying a built in natural cycle, preparing the soil of the Next.

Have you noticed what all these -isms have in common? A worldview that takes as its unquestioned operating premises: Power-over. Separation. False/small identity.

The paradox we must contend with (& we are going to have to become fluent in paradox): these are ways of being that result from a sacred wound of disconnection AND ways of being that promulgate further trauma of disconnection. Trauma begets trauma. Could we dare say a vast array of modern problems (from depression & addiction to police brutality &climate emergency) are symptoms of this underlying root?

Well how do we do that? How do we undertake (no accident in word choice here) this vast calling of composting we are entrusted with by being alive right now? It’s a good question—all new worlds begin not with answers, but with good questions.

I don’t know. That might be the first of the how: practicing not knowing. Finding the POWER in Uncertainty.
That will be an essential sur-thrival skill in this Great Turning.

The reason is simple, even if it is counter-modern & uncomfortable (certainly un-American): a fleeing to quick or settled answers/forms keeps us perpetuating patterns we are trying to break(down). Which leads us to #2 of the how for next time: relinquishing our longing for comfort at all costs.

#likeamadgarder
#trickstervaluesofthegreatcomposting

Deep Belonging 3.0

I created Deep Belonging because I am in love with the world & because I am grasped by a wondering: Can we, with wild nature hearts & humble courage, remember what we’ve forgotten and intentionally face this Collective Initiation of intersecting ecological & social crises?

This is the 3rd iteration of the experience—it’s now two weeks longer and I’m excited to weave in more decolonial imaginings, deepen our holding of the griefs and joys on our doorstep, and explore Compost and Turnings as guiding, dynamic metaphors.

I’m calling in a small group of Co-Spelunkers of Inquiry into what Belonging and the Great Composting might mean as we step awkwardly yet intentionally across thresholds of vast uncertainty & radical possibility.

Over 8 weeks, we explore through: conversations in circle, sense deepening and somatic exercises, soul work and integration activities, poetry, 1:1 consultations, and a private online group. 𝘈 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘰 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘯-𝘵𝘩𝘦-𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦-𝘰𝘧-𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦.

Themes:
🌿Deep Belonging and Deep Listening
🌿Rite-of-Passage and Ceremony
🌿Walking the Decolonial Pilgrimage
🌿Trickster Values of the Great Composting
🌿Honoring the Seasons and Living the Cycles
🌿Nature-based Map of Human Wholeness
🌿Returning to Our Wild Purpose
🌿Belonging to Place: Befriending Your Watershed and Local Flora & Fauna
🌿Sacred Grief and the Work That Reconnects

When: 8 ‪Thursdays, starting April 22‬
‪Tine: 10-11:30am PST‬
Cost: Early Bear $333 (before MARCH 15)

BIPOC scholarships available. For people coming from current and/or historically marginalized populations, such as First Nations, BIPOC, or queer and trans people, please reach out to me for scholarships. I would love to chat about what would be supportive for you.

If this alluringly disturbs something deep in you, Swipe to learn more. Register to join in the bio link Or drop me a line: ryan@wildnatureheart.com.

with the first catkins emerging from creek willows,
-Ryan

We Are Wild Nature Heart

The Era of I-Over is over. Deep We is calling.

Like you, we were assigned only human at birth—a severe abbreviation, to say the least. Too many ‘not-mes’ in us to remain an ‘I’, we surrender to the Immense We. This is us coming out/in as We.

Vast skies & deep soil live within—bacteria & bears, colors & con-fusions.

Most recently & disturbingly (in the best sense), Elder Fire & Ash Kin pierced us w/ questions we have no right to refuse. The midnight cries of the remains of those who didn’t survive flow through our nervous system, wiggling us towards liberation.

Though we try, we cannot flee our entanglements. The symphonies of howling disguise themselves as itching until we listen & accept them, offering refuge in our body-hearts. There’s no going back.

Prior to that—a kiss from, an indictment by, an apprenticeship to bear. It was from bear we learned to eat everything, to be with everything. We learned that if we didn’t learn how to embody the voices dancing inside, we would be destroyed—confirming the wisdom of Gnostic Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Along the way rainbow eagle flew into our chest, tattooing the shape of sky in us. Dung beetle-dug in, turtle-moon paced slowly through our veins. Hermit thrush threw ever-widening iridescent loops asking us to keep opening—stretching w/ moonly silence.

Then came Riverever forever foriver—The ‘I’ was done for. We were born & are always being born. A cascade of unfolding co-becomings, erotic & eclectic.

We’ve relinquished mastery in favor of aspirational imaginaries beyond empire.

Impossibilities are emerging, as common as ants. Not just beyond the binary, but beyond the non-binary. Gender- & human-expansive. Trans-species, shapeshifting, micro-animist, archetypally-curious, Oneirogenic (dream producing), rhizomatic, symbiotic, omnivorous, and cosmic-fluid.

We are unmuzzling the beasts within. We R mutating. With-nessing something new. We are pulsating raw & riddled rhythms into the ecosystem of robust nows.

We are Wild Nature Heart.