We’ve held a few gatherings now called Ecogrief Healing Circles: Honoring Our Pain and Resiliency (now monthly in Humboldt, and soon an Online Circle), and it is clear: there is a dire need for these gatherings. But another thing is equally clear: this isn’t just about ecogrief, the pain and fear we feel, this is about love and connection. It’s about reclaiming our birthright as humans, which is community, which is joy/awe/pleasure in nature’s beauty and abundance and all that life has to offer, which is our natural Wild Resiliency.

“Pleasure and Joy is our birthright!” one of the participants exclaimed. Damn it’s good to hear that. Yes, we feel the grief. Do we have to/should we live in it/from it/wallow in it all the time?We feel it to move it through and become more whole. The sunset and sunrises still offer their stunning tributes and pull us from our slumbers. The wind still has secrets. Connection to others stimulates us. The wild river meanders through our souls.

We gather in Circle to hold the Uncertainty. And in this approach of humility is an acknlowledgment that we don’t know. We don’t actually fully know EITHER that EVERYTHING’S FUCKED, or EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALRIGHT. We are fallible, with limited knowledge. The blessing of that is that we can come back to the simple things that our heart wants and needs to do anyway for the cultivation of belonging and healing and the co-creation of the world we want.

“I’m always moved by the authenticity with which people choose to show up in circle. Each time I have left with gratitude for the deep exchange, which unfailingly includes so much compassion and love for our planet and each other, renewing hope and instilling a sense of community around the challenge ahead of us.” Kelly Noble, Wild Nature Heart Circle Co-Facilitator

We gather to hold the breaking down of the old and the birth of the new simultaneously. Witness the new huckleberry bushes, ferns, and mushrooms out of the rotting redwood. Life/nature wants to thrive. It knows how to find balance. Wild Nature (and in our own bodies) teaches rebirth moment to moment, daily, seasonal, epochally. RESILIENCY – both our own and Earth’s. Endless.Brilliant.Wild.Resiliency.

“I loved the experience! A combination of spiritual and therapeutic and the natural beauty couldn’t have been better. I felt like I shared so much that was important that I could join a circle with more people now and do more listening and thinking about what others are going through. Thanks again!” –Nan S., participant.

The thing that continually floors us and makes us keep coming back: How we are medicine for each other. How much wisdom, heart, perspective, creativity, each of us brings.

We gather to hear each others’ stories and experiences. This is fundamental human need: to witness and be witnessed in our authentic truths. At the end of each sharing, we say, “We hear you.” Because we do.

Equinox Blessings: Embracing the Season

I have to admit, autumn is my favorite season. But I may say that at the beginning of every season. 🙂

I wasn’t always like that, I would often resist the changing of seasons in various subtle ways inside. Perhaps it was a reflection of things things I was resisting inside me. Over the years of reconnecting with wild nature, I’ve learned to notice the ways I resist change, and learned (still always learning) to not just welcome, but fully embrace every season. It’s one way I practice being present and belongingness.

I honor it by Harvesting the fruits of my life with an attitude of gratitude. By slowing down and making room for reflection and interiority. By confronting my shadows. By letting go of the old stories, false or no longer true belongings, and ways of being and seeing that take me away from my Wholeness. And by celebrating the miracle and mystery of the changing wild nature of things both outside and inside.

May we embrace the season. May we belong to earth’s season, may we belong to the season of our lives.

Ecogrief Circles: Honoring Our Pain and Resiliency in the Era of Climate Crisis

The highlight of my weekend was our community gathering co-facilitated with Kelly Noble to honor our pain and love for the world at Trinidad State Beach and to cultivate our resiliency and wholeness.

After arriving and grounding, we each poured water from our local watershed into a bowl, then picked up a rock as we expressed our truth, what was alive in us as we confront the difficult things happening in our world. We then carried the bowl down to the waves rolling in to shore, giving it back to mother earth in gratitude for holding it all and releasing some of the weight of our grief.

How nourishing to witness and be witnessed in our difficult (and joyful) emotions in circle and ritual, cultivating earth community, and sharing ways of taking care of ourselves and engaging in empowering action.

It is not easy to absorb the enormity of the crises we face, and yet we know it is not meant to be borne alone, but in community. Grief is the other side of love. We are in a collective initiatory moment. How can we show up, feel all of it, including the difficult emotions, while moving forward in wholeness?

“I feel honored to be able to hold space for the difficult feelings that come up around the changes in our world, and what our collective future looks like. I’m humbled by the level of compassion and openness that our attendees shared with one another,” says co-facilitator Kelly Noble.

We will hold these gatherings regularly now, the FIRST SUNDAY of each month, ‪10am‬ at Trinidad State Beach. The next Ecogrief Healing Circle: Honoring Our Pain and Resiliency, is ‪Sunday, October 6.‬

Send an email to ryan@wildnatureheart.com to be on the list.

And  you’d like to stay in the wider wild loop of things happening, sign up for the Wild Nature Heart newsletter.

We Hurt Because We Love and Belong

Just some reflections along the Klamath River on grief and the moment we are in. Feeling into what my role is and what Wild Nature Heart’s role is. I often go to the rivers when I need to move energy.

Pain, grief, and other sometimes difficult emotions are part of the Earth’s feedback mechanism. And Grief was always held in community. We feel it all because we aren’t separate. And we must also allow ourselves to feel the pain, in order to be present with what is really happening, and so we may repair our broken belonging.

I’m being called to help hold space for this process.

If you’re in Humboldt County, Join our circle Honoring Our Pain & Resiliency in the Era of Climate Crisis on Sunday, Sept 15, 10am, at Trinidad Beach.

This is a FREE, non-religious, simple earth-based gathering and everyone is welcome. Together we will do an opening circle, share a moment of silence, and an opportunity to share our grief, gratitude, and other emotions. Attendees may expect poetry, movement, a truth mandala, and singing.
Facilitated by Ryan Van Lenning and Kelly Noble, LMFT.

We are in a collective initiatory moment—May our hearts crack open and tears fall as rain. May the dams of our suppressed emotions bust open, so we may rejoin our true belonging with the more-than-human world. We grieve because we love. You can feel the movement. It is time now.

Wild Nature Heart Challenge

We’re excited to announce the FREE Wild Nature Heart Challenge! In this self-paced mini-adventure, you will engage in earth-rooted activities and poetry that help you reconnect, feel alive, have fun, engage your senses, be inspired, practice presence, reground, and reconnect to your rhythm and the rhythms of nature.

This can be done daily over the course of a week or seven days of your choosing.

The intention is to encourage you to develop and/or deepen a personal practice to reconnect with your most authentic self and wild nature.

This is the bite-size version of the Wild Nature Heart SEASONAL CHALLENGE, the first of which which begins on the Fall Equinox, and is a deeper dive into reconnection. Drop of us a line if you want to be put on the interest list for that one.

Click here to enroll for free!