Posts tagged Wild Soul
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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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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There Is a Field. I'll Meet You There

A silence ensues. It has such a quality and presence it seems to shimmer like the light from the windows of the Old Chapel where the session is being held. This is what Rumi's poem is talking about, I say, breaking the silence. Earlier I'd read aloud his much-quoted poem:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.

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Lessons from a Gopher Snake

A gopher snake will also shake its tail, confusing predators into thinking it is a rattlesnake. In dry grass this makes them sound eerily like a rattler. When Bruce and I came across a four foot gopher that Easter morning, the sound it made on the gravel trail stopped us in our tracks.

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A Silence as Big as the Universe

I feel myself differently when I'm surrounded by noise and crowds. I am more defended, less open, less aware, and somehow less part of everything around me. So I try and make time for silence. I walk alone or get up early and sip coffee and let my imagination lope around in the emptiness and hush.

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A Love Measured In Miles

Together, we've confronted grizzlies and mountain lions, stood in awe of bristlecone pines and bobcat, gazed into the amber eyes of coyote, and devoured thick sandwiches to the hum of bees in meadows of sun-warmed grass. We have skinny-dipped in the skin-biting cold of glacial lakes, snowshoed moonlit mountains and skied through forests of giant sequoias. We have felt the ecstasy of lying on our backs watching the northern lights swirl green and purple above our heads, the heat from the day still warming the earth, our hands touching.

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Giving Thanks for Poetry

Says mythologist Michael Meade, we are not living through a war of civilization but a battle for the soul of the world. A world that has been made flat by its devotion to the fast-paced horizontal path of progress at all cost. A world that has no room for the soul's deep dive into the vertical realm. Poetry can help us take that vertical dive. Which is why I am Giving Thanks for Poetry.

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I Am a TreeSister-- Will You Stand with Me?

TreeSisters is a women’s organization dedicated to radically accelerating rates of tropical reforestation through the committed actions and crowdfunding of a global network of women. They see feminine energy and capacities as a major missing link in the creation of systems that can bring us back into balance with nature and they work to address that.

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