We say that the purpose of going out is to come back. We cross the threshold and go on the sacred mountain or desert, not to escape, but to claim who we really are, to embody our wholeness, and to bring back the medicine that the world needs.
Walk Away, Invisible One,
take your place upon the land
Let your heart swell
as big and wide as the sky
Let the mystery of your soul
dance with the mystery of the desert
When you are ready,
pick up a prayer
What does a prayer look like?
It may look like a naked dance
courting the soul of the world
collecting bones to sing over
blowing embers in the palm of your hands
as gifts to a wounded world
stewarding the storm within
towards the blossoming of a desert lotus
It might sound like
a conversation with rocks and lizards
and other citizens of the desert
It may sound like a song of gratitude,
rising unexpectedly from your belly
or the beat of a drum
forgetting who is drumming whom
or, it may sound like Silence
heard only by the Heart-Ear
of Deep Listening
It may look like abandoning the old temples
to build the new ones
shedding skin and tears
that no longer serve
giving it back to the land as offerings
It may look like a question mark
in the form of a juniper tree, asking:
Are your ready to commit?
Maybe you become a mouse
getting into the smallest spaces
to gnaw through bonds
that would have you bound
Or a funeral conductor, burying old stories
Or a warrior taking a stand
with blood pulsing,
announcing to the mountains:
When the prayer has fully prayed you,
Walk in, Visible One.
Take your place in the Circle—
it is time to be seen.
It is sometimes hard
to come down the mountain
But do not linger in the threshold.
We need your story.
Walk In, Visible One,
take your place in the World,
because the purpose of going out
is to come back.
Keep making the beauty
giving it away as medicine
the beauty that is uniquely you
crafted in love like the smallest bead
that people may not even notice
but that the earth & the people
so desperately need.
Keep walking, Initiated One,
(From No Lies On the Mountain, a Wild Nature Heart poetry collection out later this year)
This is a question I am living now.
“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 call by Pinar Sinopoulus-Lloyd (@queerquechua) of @queernature has been swimming through the river canyons of my psyche as I feel the complex emoting of a world confronting multiple intersecting crises: ecological, social, and spiritual.
Several potent and disturbing images are also swimming through me: a death knee on George Floyd’s neck; raging fires of buildings, cars, forests, towns; the body of Homero Gómez González, Monarch Butterfly Defender, found at the bottom of a well; dead dolphins with plastic inside their stomachs: masks and their meaning; playgrounds with caution do-not-cross tape across them; and my own soul images ever-opening up to encompass more and deeper archetypes.
They want to make me uncomfortable and I say Yes, knock me over. Turn me upside, inside out, and upend my ego’s view of who I am. I want to live bigger.
What does it mean to fully embody the gifts I receive/I am as medicine to the people & a world in need of healing & justice? What is Wild Nature Heart’s most aligned & powerful way to serve in this Great Turning?
We know the current dominant economic, cultural, and relational paradigm is insane, unjust, and unsustainable. It’s going down and being composted one way or another.
Which returns me to Pinar’s inquiry. What is Wild Nature Heart’s ecological niche?
The truth is, I don’t yet fully know. And that’s ok. Like nature, it is dynamic and continually shifting. Sometimes we (or egos) play catch up with psyche (soul) and our callings.
I want no separation between my medicine and my commitment to social and ecological justice. The eco-spiritual is inextricably intertwined with rooted & earthy, which is inextricably intertwined with the Beloved Community.
I am carrying the question about how to best show up and ‘synergize both my soul’s gift and my positionality.’
As Pinar also says, “When we do synergize, we become dangerously strategic.”
May we all be dangerous to the current system.
Dear Wild Nature Hearts,
I wanted to get a brief message out acknowledging the difficult moment we are in and to offer a reminder of our resiliency and resourcefulness as intelligent and empathic creatures of the earth.
Do you wonder if the deeper meaning behind the pandemic, the power outages, the headlines screaming crisis is to release us from our superficialities and reconnect us to what really matters?
The growing ecological and social uncertainties of the moment has many of us searching for what to do and can elicit a range of emotional responses, from anxiety to denial to hope for a way through. Is it possible that the forced slowing and shutting down has within it the grace of a sacred pause that allows for deep listening, for cultivating deep belonging, and co-creating solutions for leaning into this Great Turning?
Is it yet another opportunity to take big steps toward another story?
In a time of social distancing, continue to offer your heart, your story, your grief, your wisdom; continue to listen to and move your body; continue to take walks in nature.
If you are in a place of emotional, financial, or spiritual resourcefulness, abundance, and health, please share and offer support to those who need it. If you need support, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help from those who probably also want to connect.
Sure, stock up on canned goods and hand-sanitizer. But also stock up on your core values, your expanding heart, connection, and community.
When in doubt, introduce your bare feet to the earth, sit with a tree elder and wild water, hold hands with the sunset or a friend, and welcome the birdsong into you.
Some Wild Nature Heart in-person offerings may be postponed and re-scheduled at a feasible time. Some in-person events may migrate into Online offerings. The Ecogrief Resiliency Circle: Honoring Our Pain/Love for the World is re-scheduled for March 29. Deep Belonging Courses are now starting April 5 in McKinleyville and April 3 Online. The Write Your Wild River DayQuest is still on for April 18. Follow on Instagram/Facebook and check the website to stay up-to-date on happenings.
Ultimately, hope will not be cancelled. Meaningful conversations will not be cancelled. Love will not be cancelled. Poetry and song will not be cancelled. And our deep belonging to the earth, our wild purpose, and each other will not be cancelled.In all the best and wild mysteries,
Director of Creative Earthiness
PANDEMIC by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
There’s only one way I made it 500 miles through the High Sierra. There’s only one way I was able to get to the mountain passes when at the trailhead it seemed almost impossible, when I wanted to give up so many times half way there, or even a quarter mile from the top:
One step at a time with a fierce heart.
Whatever our mountain is right now, whether cultural or personal, we will look back someday and ask ourselves, how did I even do that?!!
But we know the answer.
And we keep walking.
Well, we know it’s not always that simple.
A turn of an arbitrary clock, even with well-set intentions, is hardly a match for old habits, storylines, let alone outdated collective beliefs and cultural paradigms.
Sometimes a giant freaking wave comes and wipes the slate clean. But often it’s many successive smaller waves slowly eroding the the old. Sometimes the old is composted with hard work, big hearts, and well-practiced presence, becoming soil for the new.
Or just as likely, the new and the old co-exist like broken shells and washed up seaweed. Like new ferns on old rotting tree trunks. We birth the new while letting go, we grieve while celebrating. That’s how nature works, and we’re no different.
It’s okay. Let’s keep it real, so we’re not disillusioned when suddenly we wake up tomorrow and we still have work to do and play to be played. And we’re still our wonderfully messy and mysterious selves.
Still, like the waves on the shore and the sun at dawn, we keep showing up, raw and open, ready to give life, ready to shine on, ready to shape the next shoreline of our lives.
INTO THE CAVE Course begins January 22. What emerges in the fruitful darkness?
DEEP BELONGING Course begins January 16. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose.
Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime from anywhere.
Links in Shop. 🌿