Posts in Wild Soul Blog
What Is It to Love What Is Dying?

As I help my mother breathe into a bowl of steaming Vic’s to loosen her cough and listen to her hacking, as I see how easily she bruises and how off balance she is on her feet, I read about the fires in Brazil. Here, in London, we’ve just experienced the hottest late August Bank Holiday on record. At night, I listen to my mother moaning downstairs, dreaming she is in prison and that she wants to escape.

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Five Lessons from the Mountain

I read things every day about how we're supposed to behave in the face of overwhelming social and environmental injustice. 

But what is the appropriate response to a melting Arctic, all-consuming wildfires, unprecedented floods and mass extinctions?

How do we react to immigrant children being caged and women denied basic rights?

It’s really hard to know what to do and how to go about doing it. But the mountains have much to teach us. Here are five invaluable mountain lessons for our times.

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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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