Nature & Soul Retreats – Back to the Source
“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”
– Mary Oliver
Bring your Soul back to Nature
For a long time I have known that my soul feels most at home in the natural world. Something in me can relax and expand as I let go of my concerns over others’ judgements about me or my concerns about how I think I am supposed to be. Nature for me is a direct connection with the Divine. A tree is just a tree doing it’s tree-like thing. I am just me doing my me-like thing. Everything is in a natural order. Nature is a clear mirror for me of where I need to grow and what I love. Nature is the teacher.
I studied Vision Fast ceremony and rites of passage work for a decade with organizations such as The Ojai Foundation, The School of Lost Borders and Animas Valley Institute. I learned to hold ceremonial space in nature for marking rites of passage in our lives that go forgotten. I have guided vision fasts in the wilderness and still do so by request if there is a group who wishes to go.
I also hold space for individual or couples’ ceremony on the land. There are many things to mark ceremonially. I recently had the knowing that I need to do a ceremony to give back my “fear” to the land. This is fear that I have carried for probably lifetimes of being persecuted as a spiritual teacher or “witch.” It is still in my body and I need to bury it in the body of the earth. These are the kinds of “everyday ceremonies” that the earth and our souls are longing for us to enact.
There is a direct connection between Soul and Nature that is alive and experiential. I also do corporate training and it amazes me when I ask people to go without their technology for a few hours and they freak out. In this busy, modern world we are addicted to internet, phones, email and texts. Our bodies, emotions, minds and souls actually need a break to recalibrate to our natural, slower rhythm. This happens naturally in Nature.
What is it that you need to mark, sever from, celebrate, or integrate? Perhaps there is a beginning or an ending of a relationship to mark? Birth, death, coming of age, elderhood – these are all BIG transitions to mark. There are also in-between markings. All choices in life means that there is something else that we didn’t choose. There is grief to shed, decisions to claim.
At one self-led vision fast I proclaimed to the Universe and the Divine that “I am a strong woman and guide for my people.” I am still living into that. When we go out and we fast, whether it is for one hour or four days, Nature hears us. The Divine hears us. We practice in the old ways of our ancestors and the people of the earth. We sacrifice food and comfort for a time to bare our souls, listen and receive guidance. It is an old tradition that has been practiced in all religions. We encourage each person to honor and connect in their own way to this earth-based wisdom.
If you want a guide and witness in personal ceremony or you want to do a 24 hour alone time or you have a group that wants to do a longer vision fast process please contact us.