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Julia Matheson


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loss of habitat

Our only home, the Earth, is in crisis. It’s pretty serious too, we are in the midst of an existential threat to civilisation itself. 

We’re confronted now more than ever with the manifestations of climate change. Global warming (a man-made problem) is the greatest threat that mankind has faced in thousands of years;

There has been a wipeout of over 60% of vegetation & species in the past 50 years. The Great Barrier Reef is dead. The ice is melting. And rising sea levels have the potential to wipe out millions of people. There is plastic literally choking our planet’s oceans, land & rivers. We are experiencing horrendous drought, Bushfires & storms. We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis – over 1 million species face extinction.

We could be next.

Yet so many people don’t want to take any action. (So clearly reflected in the weekends polls, placing a Government in power that is not favourable for our environment.)

Why is this?

I deeply believe so much of this stems to our total disconnection. From ourselves, from each other & most importantly – from the natural world around us.

“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”

— Terry Tempest Williams

An author I love, Clarissa Pinkola Estes links our loss of environment to today’s loss of the feminine in her book “Women Who Run With The Wolves”:

“Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species. Over time, we have seen the feminine instinctive nature looted, driven back, and over built. For long periods it has been mismanaged like the wildlife and the wildlands.

It’s no accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild nature fades. It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very important resources.

The modern woman is a blur of activity. She is pressured to be all things to all people. The old knowing is long overdue.

Women have an absolute, undeniable and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine, a relationship which may have become ghostly from neglect, buried by over-domestication, outlawed by the surrounding culture, or no longer understood anymore. We may have forgotten her names, we may not answer when she calls, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her.

The wild nature carries the bundles for healing; she carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories, and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols. She is both vehicle and destination.

To harness your wild nature means to establish territory, to find ones pack, to be in ones body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in ones behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into ones cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.

Every creature on earth returns to home. it is ironic that we have made wildlife refuges for ibis, pelican, egret, wolf, crane, deer, moose and bear but not for ourselves in the place where we live day after day. We understand that the loss of habitat is the most disastrous event that can occur to a free creature. We fervently point out how other creatures natural territories have become surrounded by cities, ranches, highways, noise, and other dissonance, as through we are not surrounded by the same, as though we are not affected also. We know that for creatures to live on, they must at least from time to time have a home place, a place where they feel both protected and free.

We traditionally compensate for loss of a more serene habitat by taking a vacation or a holiday, which is supposed to be the giving of pleasure to oneself, except a vacation is often anything but. We can compensate our workday dissonance by cutting down on that that cause us tension. And all this is good, but for the soul-self, vacation is not the same as refuge. “Time out” or “time off” is not the same as returning to home. Calmness is not the same as solitude.

A new self is on the way. Our inner lives as we have known them, are about to change. . .  For a time we shall be restless and unsatisfied, for the satisfaction, the fulfilment, is in the process of being born in the inner reality. What it is we are hungering for can never be fulfilled by a mate, a job, money, a new this or that. What we hunger for is of the other world, the world that sustains our lives as women.”

Dr. Bruce Lipton, the famous cell biologist explains that:

“Humans evolved as complements of their surrounding environment, if we change the environment too much, we will no longer be complementary to it . . . we won’t ‘fit’. At the moment, humans are altering the planet so dramatically that we are threatening our own survival as well as the survival of other, rapidly disappearing organisms. We were designed by nature to fit an environment but not the environment we are now making.”

How do you feel on a day to day basis?

Whether you’re living in an urban city, or have more space and nature around you – I believe the pace in which we live is not what humans were designed for. The stress, the anxiety, the constant rushing, the high expectations and the competing with the Jones’s – this is just as important as our disconnection with nature.

Because it’s not only WHERE we live, but it’s HOW we live that matters too.

I vow to continue connecting people to nature. (The Inspired Hikes series will be back and running later this year, and I can’t wait to share some of the most beautiful parts of our country with you!)

Remember – you are not separate from nature, you ARE nature.

What we do to her, we do to ourselves. Healing the planet begins with healing our own selves. 

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

– Linda Hogan

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