White-tailed deer doe standing in the woods, looking back over her shoulder at the camera

Sometimes our blog posts and newsletters elicit feedback that includes stories and personal experiences that readers felt compelled to share. We wanted to share one such story sent to us by Diana Powers in response to our recent blog, Schooled by a Stag. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. It really makes a difference to us. The Deer By Diana Powers I arose to a day filled with warm spring sunlight and birdsong so powerful that even the cacophonous chugging of some huge payloader cannot squelch it. I’m up late today so I know the winged ones have been at it for a while. They are as pleased as I am that winter has gone and we no longer have...

Mule Deer Buck standing in the woods

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I recently attended an urgent retreat called ReVersing Extinction, where we sought out-of-the-box ways to reverse the accelerating rate of species extinctions. During a break, I found myself in conversation with Stan Rushworth, a Native American teacher and writer of rare power. He told me about an encounter he had some years ago in the forest. He was walking among the trees, unarmed, when he saw a young stag. They looked at one another. As Stan resumed walking, the stag walked parallel to him a short distance away. They were simply enjoying each other’s company, warily, but in growing comfort. This went on for several minutes. Then, for a fleeting second,...

Maxwell the Magpie

— by Jessica Friedman — For several years, I worked as an animal caretaker at an outdoor education facility in New Mexico. Every day, I had the privilege of introducing children to the animals in my care: chickens, burros, sheep, goats, cows, and ponies. Some of these kids had never met an animal besides their dog or cat, and seeing their faces light up as they interacted with these creatures made every day special. Knowing that this connection with animals could lay a foundation of love and respect for the natural world made filled my days with purpose and passion. But as much as I cherished my work with those young souls, my favorite part of the job were the hours spent between...

Man with dog in the woods

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — “The presence of the natural world is a direct path to personal healing and collective transformation...” Dr. Linda Bender In her online course last year, wildlife vet Linda Bender spoke with several thought leaders on the relationship between spirituality, healing and nature. My own part was speaking about the healing quality of connecting with animals, using stories to share what I have learned from the animals I have lived with. At a time when we are overwhelmed with information, we have no frame of reference with which to organize all this information and make coherent sense of it for our lives. For that, we have to go back to the ground from...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — In November's Conservation Conversation, wildlife vet Linda Bender and I shared a conversation on how nature heals, joined by participants who contributed their own profound insights. This was a wonderful conversation--one that needs to be continued. With its quiet, inviting presence, Nature invites us to calm, to come back to ourselves in communion and companionship with other life. Through connection with other living beings and the interchange of energy that then flows, we are renewed. We feel less alone. Quieted, our body begins to relax and more freely exercise its natural healing capacities. As Linda noted, we have a whole pharmacopeia within us,...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — “When you open your heart to an animal and you just allow that awareness to spread out from your heart to that other being, we become irresistible.” —Linda Bender DVM Sometimes a conversation is so good, so inspiring, so healing, that you want to share it with everyone. In the rich, calming, hopeful conversation I share with world-renowned wildlife veterinarian Linda Bender, she speaks of what she has learned from working with animals. It is a beautiful, calming, fascinating conversation, inviting our imagination to soar to what is and could be. When insights are really important, we need to hear them more than once to begin to digest and be able to...

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