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. — 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...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — The Our Sacred Earth conference in Lucca, Italy was organized by Kamran Mofid, a person of great heart. This gave people the permission and sense of safety needed for the freedom to explore, together and without fear, as we all sought solutions to our current crises. Warmth allows us to open to new possibilities. It was so rich it will take a while to share all the ideas. Some I will share in the next Conservation Conversations and future blogs. But interestingly, one of the presentations that offered a beautiful, unique perspective on healing and moving forward was a project aimed at healing the trauma of the Nazi concentration camps. What does that have...

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