Our ancestors are eternally grateful you chose to heal yourself this lifetime. AS YOU HEAL YOURSELF, YOU HEAL THEM
I had no cognitive awareness that my mother literally after a 6 week dying process and the experience of being with her as she died, would leave such a profound legacy that would reverberate beyond time and the material limitations of this world.
She showed me how to die wise. To not attempt to stall it, prolong it or be terrified of it. She was ready and the medical environment didn’t attempt to hold it up either. It was a magical window where the winds of my ancestors blew, where the elder in me showed up, where my many years of painful healing, disrupting the story and creating a different one became the crowning jewel. So understated in our world of life saving machines and pharmaceutical interventions, denial of grief and death and life itself.
So incredibly life affirming in the most valuable way, for generations of my family will benefit from this moment. The rituals of communion with my ancestral inheritance and the natural world as my guide, are what I have left to continue the healing and the conversation. I miss dear mum and my beautiful family, every day. But their spirit is definitely guiding my very life force toward purposeful individuation and the wellbeing of all with whom I connect.
In memory of my mother and my maternal ancestors.
Let’s think about our ancestors, the legacy left to us for better or worse, from our own personal ancestral past. Who were these people and what have they left us to impact our present. We can miss opportunities that lie beyond trauma, the behaviours and feelings that are composite with those traumas. The wilderness can offer us a sort of disruption, as in any story, a classic narrative structure is a stable state and then something disrupts it and throws everything into chaos and then something else comes into being. And a good story shows us that we are the ones who do that.
I have thought long and hard, as I head towards 65 years of age, the importance of being an elder for my family and in my broader community. What purpose does this function achieve and how is our culture missing out by this current deprivation in eldership?
The Wild Soul programs are a direct result of my dedication to serve, be in stewardship to our natural world and to psychological guidance for younger people. The hard earned wisdom and the yet to be learnt that will continue to deepen life’s tough onslaught, needs a place to land, to be of use, to be purposeful beyond the immediate gratification of ‘me-ness’.
Nature’s wisdom is largely untapped by our Western minds and souls; and with recent scientific discoveries about the affects of trauma on our brains, our nervous systems, our decisions, and our relationship to self and other, literally every part of our lives, we see the importance of healing. To have older adults present that remind us of the nurturing generative side of what it is to be adult, is of critical importance. To have a soulful engaged relationship beyond the mainstream tourism industry for ‘breaks’ into wild places, is to begin to think about other ways that have deeper more long-lasting encounters with the natural world.
Eldership is a function. It is not based on personality type, or particular societal position, or gender or anything other than the willingness to transcend rationality in pursuit of higher meaning. In fact, it has a moral responsibility that resides within the context of how to give back from life’s journey, distil the knowledge gained through lived experience for the greater good. What else to do I ask? Is there anything else worth doing in the last decades of my life? The answer for me is a definite NO.
A lot is taken care of in our society – basic survival needs and standard of living continually on the rise, we can focus on self-actualisation – who could we become? To do this we must join with the natural world for wholeness and ‘start the conversation’ .
"We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation, we have shattered the universe. All the disasters that are happening now are a consequence of that spiritual ‘autism.’” Thomas Berry.
The collaboration with Terry Hewett and myself in the Wild Soul Programs is a combination of 50+ years of experience. Terry is comfortable being out of his comfort zone, in fact, he seeks it out. His vast skills and expertise for keeping us safe in the wilderness and life stories that highlight his eldership in so many ways.
Getting too comfortable kills our soul and this journey on offer into the wild with the simple structure of Wild Soul, is the potential disruptor which could provide the means for a different narrative to emerge.
We need both structure and upheaval. We need more than chewing it all over around a campfire, in this human growing process; we need the spirit winds, sparks of magic and sounds of the ancestral dead. These things step forward in the wild, they are simply more tangible.