— 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. — Gratitude is the emotion most associated with happiness and mental health. Gratitude helps us focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have, enhances the immune system, and fills us with a sense of expansiveness rather than contraction; warmth and calm instead of upset. The good thing is that it is easy, once we focus on what we have been given. Just the fact of being alive is the greatest gift possible and we all have been given it. Plus the gift of consciousness, an incredible human brain, the ability to enjoy beauty, and the possibility of developing according to our own inclinations. We each have individual life circumstances that vary...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — There is something new brewing and we can all contribute to it… In our Conservation Conversations, we explore many aspects of how we connect to animals and nature, but this last conversation was an unusual one. We explored the idea that we humans are the source of environmental destruction, and the cause of our destructive behavior is trauma. Generations and generations of trauma. Trauma that closes us down and closes our minds to other options. Makes us compartmentalize our thinking to keep ourselves safe from the chaos of fear. Makes us focus on the present, and stops us from seeing the consequences of our actions. Because we don’t feel safe, we...

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