Jean and Miss Clover the Badger
— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. —
About the Conservation Conversation Series: “We believe that the heart connection comes first in making any profound change. From that position, we can move to develop effective ideas and actions that each of us can do to help change the trajectory we are on with respect to the Earth and all its inhabitants. Heart connection unshared, however, is an un-mined source of profound change. When shared in community, it becomes another thing entirely – a powerful catalyst for change. This is the vision for our Conservation Conversations. To help each other stay tuned to that quiet inner voice that speaks to what is really life-sustaining. To explore how we can support one another in hearing that voice and live our lives in accordance with it. Conservation Conversations take place the third Wednesday of the month, so please join us for rich, nourishing, positive and ultimately practical conversation on September 20th at 6 pm MST. Share your own deep beauty and creativity; add it to the mix. You will be warmly received.”
It could be because some of the international participants had to get up at 2am in the morning to make the call, but there was a remarkable warm, peaceful sense of people sitting, together, in this fourth conversation. An enjoyment of hearing each other speak. An appreciation of each other’s comments; of each other’s presence. As we talked about the importance of listening; of being seen, we were doing it. The conversation was rich.
One of the main questions we introduced was, “How do we open ourselves to profound connection with other beings; how do we stay open; how can we help each other with this?” Responses were wildly varied and quite wonderful, a mosaic of the different expressions of each of our individual creativity and unique insights on this topic.
They varied from Nikki’s comment on the sense of oneness that arises at a firefighters’ camp – oneness with the humans and with the wild animals, drawn together in this emergency; to Caitlin’s power of ritual as a way of connecting and the belief that animals like and respond to it too. Marta talked about the importance of taking time each day, be it 5 minutes, to go outside to see the sky, feel the wind, hear the insects, be there. She does this as a regular practice. Nikki, too, emphasized that to connect is not a one-time thing, but that to be aware requires real attention, a regular practice. Marta shared an exquisite experience she had of connecting with a tree that then expanded to a sense of oneness with the whole forest as one interconnected, breathing whole. She attributed it to the practice and commitment of setting aside time daily to be outside. Miriam shared her insights about the connection of bees doing their dance in front of flowers, and the resonance of that dance enhancing the nourishment of their fruits, connecting us back to their energy. We will be posting what she has written about this on our blog. Some of the comments were so beautiful and thoughtful that they will be the seed for future blogs.
Earthfire Conversation | Photo by Andrew Hinton
These topics are hardly exhausted after one conversation, and we will continue to circle back in deeper and wider spirals throughout the year as we continue to explore how we can live together in joy and wonder on our Earth. These conversations are intended to generate a very real force for fostering positive change in our world. Join us!
Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.