— by Mariah Palmer — I recently hosted an awareness and fundraising event for wildlife at my art gallery in Bozeman, Montana. Called, "Where the Wild Things Were,”  it included talks by grassroots conservationists and a seated farm-to-table dinner. I intended it to be a gathering to celebrate and protect our sacred connections to wildlife. I wanted the core of the event to be driven by our spiritual connection to animals, and strategic ways to serve them. Susan asked me what inspired me to put so much of my personal time, energy and funds into organizing such an event. I have always had a strong undercurrent of love and reverence for animals and wildlife. Growing up in the Wood...

— by Richard Landry — Do cats feel gratitude? Apparently not, judging how standoffish or even rude they can be to their human benefactors or, worse yet, their doggy housemates. But observe a cat closely, and we can gain insight into a deeper level of gratitude than we normally see in most human beings or even feel in ourselves. We could say that a cat sunning itself on a porch or windowsill on a cold autumn day is a perfect example of gratitude in action, if we consider gratitude to be the graceful acceptance of what is freely given to us. The cat stretches out, closes her eyes, and absorbs fully and completely the warming rays of the sun. She knows the sun is there to warm her,...

— by Hope McKenzie — Chelsea, a member of the Earthfire team, recently observed a long row of plastic-bagged leaves while on an evening bike ride. “When we put leaves in plastic bags,” she said afterward, “we’re putting all kinds of Life in plastic bags, and it suffocates.” By removing and bagging leaves, we not only destroy the Life living within the leaves, we also remove critical habitat for butterfly and other larvae. Collecting the leaves eradicates a protective space for butterflies and moths to survive the winter as pupae. Worms, microbes, ground dwelling moles and toads, among many others, all depend on the leaves for both habitat and hunting grounds over the long...

— by Richard Landry — When we ask the question, “What can I do to heal the Earth?,” we may be missing the point. In the big scheme of things, there is no “I” separate from the Earth and all creation. When we uncover this insight for ourselves, we unlock our powerful capacity to benefit all Life. There is a very simple way, built right into our living bodies, to accomplish this. Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön calls it “pause practice.” Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, no matter how caught up we are in the moment—if we remember—we can pause and take “three conscious breaths.” That’s it. Our bodies are designed so that whenever we breathe, we reaffirm...

We often find ourselves consumed by busy schedules filled with endless engagements, responsibilities and demanding deadlines. In the process of having to be somewhere or do something, it is easy not to attend to our restoring ability to just be. How do we tune out of our distractions and into Life? We can make a date with Nature, put it on our calendar, and insist on it. It is really a date with our Selves. It needn’t be long - it can be only 5 minutes. We just have to do it, to help our brains make that transition. Nature can actually alleviate stress and anxiety while increasing our capacity to listen and connect with other living beings. We recently had a staff retreat where...

— by Hope McKenzie — One action we can take that is really meaningful--and if many of us do it, really powerful--is to investigate available incentives for clean energy; make it a point to use one if possible, and let others in your community or network know about these options.   Local energy companies around the country are implementing incentives to wean people away from coal-fired power.  With the simple click of a mouse, customers can choose to get a percentage of their power from a clean energy source.  The Department of Energy also offers numerous tax credits, rebates and clean energy loans designed to encourage and support the switch to renewable energy...