Posts in Wild Soul Blog
Is It Bad to Love Bambi?

Is it really irrational to imagine that a young doe on losing his or her mother will feel afraid and lost? Haven't we seen mother bears distraught at the loss of a cub? And haven't we all read stories of inter-species friendships that seem to clearly point toward the fact that animals––just like us humans––will go to great lengths to experience play, affection, companionship?

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Once Upon a Time, In a Forest

Some will say that the  stories we bring home from the wild defy logic and reason. They will tell us that trees have no feelings, do not scream with thirst, or suffer when felled. They will tell us that we are too emotional in our recounting. They will tell us that the loss of a few old trees can’t possibly affect a meadow.

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Do You Carry the "Tender Gravity" of Kindness?

Recently, the concept of kindness has been much on my mind. I have been in London arranging for long-term carers for my 90-year-old mother who recently fell down stairs. She has fallen a lot lately, and it's clear that living alone is no longer a viable option.

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Why Can't We Talk About Climate Change?

Alice Walker writes, “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say.” In adopting “gratitude” as my word for the year, I am seeking to live more prayerfully, more aware of all that I love and am touched by. Gratitude is saying, I have enough, I don’t need more. Imagine a world where we all practiced feeling grateful for what we have, rather than looking at what we lack.

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What Are the Gifts of Gratitude?

Alice Walker writes, “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say.” In adopting “gratitude” as my word for the year, I am seeking to live more prayerfully, more aware of all that I love and am touched by. Gratitude is saying, I have enough, I don’t need more. Imagine a world where we all practiced feeling grateful for what we have, rather than looking at what we lack.

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Free Audio Workshop: Writing for Resilience--Shifting Our Emotional Landscapes

Thinking about Ilarion's talk on resiliency, I realized I needed to help in a way that was congruent with my own gifts and training. I joined with my journal therapist colleague Kate Thompson to do what we do best: facilitate writing workshop. This is the first of three workshops on Writing for Resilience we will be offering in the next few weeks.

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Confessions of a Wild Child

I know now that that woods represented the wild me. The one that yearned to break free from this orderly and ordained life. I needed the woods to hide in, to pull away from the glare of the nuns with their desire to control us. I needed it to crouch close to the ground. To get my feet muddy, my knees scraped.

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Where Has All the Darkness Gone? In Search of the Eclipse

Up until the late 19th century, when electric lights became prevalent, darkness was a natural part of our lives. The seasons affected us directly. In fall and winter, we experienced more intensely the shorter days, the lengthening shadow of night.

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What Can We Learn From Trees? To Care for Each Other!

What we learn from Wohlleben's book is that trees share nutrients and water with each other. They are careful to grow in a manner that doesn't interferes with their friends' growth. When under attack, they let other trees around them know so they can defend themselves too. They shelter the young, help them to grow strong, and nurse the young saplings in the forest.

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What is Sacredness to You?

I am in Lascaux II in the Dordogne region of southwest France. This isn't the original cave, which has been sealed up to spare the images from bacteria and mold. And yet, Lascaux II was a work of many years, using the same materials and replicating the shape and texture of the cave within a centimeter of the original. As our guide traverses one of the cave's corridors, lit torch in hand, the animals flicker and pulse before my eyes. My breath catches as I feel myself tumbling back in time.

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Will You Dream in the Darkness?

Dreaming happens in the dark hours, and this is a dark hour in human history. The illusion of separation, the distorted dream of the modern mind, is the core organizing principle of our new president who seeks to divide and therefore conquer us. Movements based on separation are moving across Europe and the world. Fracking fractures the Earth, and notions of separation keep us from each other. It's heartbreaking, howl-making stuff. But if darkness is our dreaming place, then this is our womb-dark hour into which we can birth something new.

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Views from a Small Island: Fresh Perspectives on an Altered Landscape

Perhaps, like me, you’re still reeling from the election, scared for our world, and struggling to feel grateful in this season of giving thanks. So I want to share some insights gathered from the Psychology of Climate Change Conference I attended in London. What follows are some “notes from a small island,” that offer a smattering of fresh perspectives. They don’t solve the problems we face, but they might just give you new ways to think about them.

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Seeing Deep Into Nature--Ours and the World's

Mary Oliver, one of our most beloved poets, writes constantly of the need to pay attention to the world about us. To do so, she asserts, is a kind of prayer. We build a reverence for the world thorough attentiveness to it. Any time you stop for a moment to notice the air, the light, the season, you are training yourself to see the world. The more you open up to a full bodied embrace to the world, the more she will reveal to you.

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A Journey through the Desert

In 2008, I began to submit articles related to the landscape archetypes I write about in Reclaiming the Wild Soul. My first submission was “The Desert’s Gift of Emptiness." One day, an envelope bearing the stamp of a University Press arrived in my mailbox. Acceptance or rejection? I opened the letter, barely breathing. Within minutes I was running up the stairs to my husband in tears.

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Finding Beauty in the Broken

I have a ritual upon returning home from my travels. The first morning back, I take the trail out my house, up the hillside, up another steep single track, until I reach a rocky outcrop that is for me an altar. I pray there, to the trees, sky, bay, mountain. I have planted acorns as wishes and buried loved pets close by. It’s my special place, and now I am trying to open my heart to it. And struggling, a little.

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