I Was a Wilderness

8DD55B5F-B1C6-4D7B-B77A-4476A530577E.jpegI was a Wilderness to my babies

My sons called me Unknown and
stayed aloof

My daughters entered the temple
to contemplate the Mysteries

Creatures scurried through my veins
and everything was a cloud,
coming together
and falling apart

The tales of a thousand centuries are written in calligraphy
across my shoulders

Tattoos dreamt in time

There were complications
and there were rumbles

Birth pangs among the syrupy moments
Wounds lasting eons

It didn’t matter if some mind
figured it out

Some tried and believed it so

Yet no one believed I was the fang and the puncture both

the grand opening and the deep penetration

the sacred burning in all your loins
and lion hearts

Some grasped the tail of my dragon
and learned to play

Some took a deep breath with me

Others needed to disown their flesh
and put me to sleep

But I cannot truly sleep

For there is no end to the dream
inside me

No end to desire

for desire is the mirror of awakening

No end to my need for you

No end to my need for you
to become a river
through your own vast wilderness
flowing back to me

To rest and play again

Inner Wilderness Work

4689267C-2493-4318-8EDA-2F702B643B6B.jpegI love the work I do! I just finished another 2-hour Earth-rooted mentoring session with a new client. It is such an honor to be able to help provide a safe container for Whole Self exploration and witness the soul journey as people come into deeper belonging to themselves and nature. It’s gonna take each of us becoming our full selves and sharing our gifts to transition in this time of the Great Turning. The beautiful wild coastal landscape evoked the inner tide and walking at one’s growing edge.

Trusting your inner guide. Courage to take meaningful action. Creating Ritual for marking transition and celebration. Finding your own flow and rootedness. Leaning into the hardest spaces. Connecting to the inner child/healer/masculine/feminine. Clarifying your purpose. Dancing on the growing edge. Own the shit parts. Cultivating facets of the whole self from the four directions. Shedding old stories that no longer serve. Deepening your ecological self.

These are some of the things I live for!! Like anybody, I have a lot to learn, but I love holding space, deep listening, and gently guiding. 1-on-1 work is about a third of my @wildnatureheart work (the others are reconnection workshops and Wilderness trips-and the Wild Nature Heart Academy soon). One of my specialties is facilitating a series of inner/outer wilderness sessions, culminating in a solo wilderness ceremony that we co-create.

If some of these themes resonate with you and you’re curious about working with me, drop me a line at ryan@wildnatureheart.com, I’d love to have a free chat with you. Everybody who works with me over several sessions also receives my two earth poetry books. I currently have 1 in-person spot available (in Humboldt County) and two remote (via video chat) spots available. Find out more about working with me in 1-on-1 Earth-Rooted Mentoring/Inner Wilderness Guiding.
-Ryan @ryanreturntotheearth

IN THIS DEEP

93FC754B-79DC-4382-88D7-A1CC22C300B5What could send me down this far
But your wild path bizarre?
Who could bring me down this deep
But your crooked steady stream?

All bowed over and needles fine
You curvy as the number nine
Stitched together in woodly scents
to pitch me in here like a tent

Red o red o green o green
I wondered if you heard my screams
Flow and free and green serene
I wondered if you’d seen my dreams

Branched like brooks like roots like lungs
Inside me run your ancient tongues
Your hermit thrush to tuck me in
Then golden-green to wake again

Redly barked and greenly packed
I wondered if you’d bring me back
The world’s noise had got me good
Until you whispered through my blood

What could send me down this far
but your wild path bizarre?
Who could bring me in this deep
But your steadfast summoning?

—Ryan Van Lenning
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You can get my books RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul, and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore, on Amazon or Indiebound. My book of mystical poems, Silence Begins Here, and book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, will be out later this year. Follow me @ryanreturntotheearth for ecosensual mythopoetic inspiration and @wildnatureheartfor my heart-centered nature connection & 1-on-1 inner/outer wilderness work.

🌱WILD NATURE HEART ACADEMY🦉

50F167C2-8EA0-4A92-9C4D-D1D4B1074F09.jpegReally excited about what’s emerging! I’m launching Wild Nature Heart Academy.

It’s still early, but I couldn’t wait to announce it. In a couple months I will be Inviting JUST 8-10 PEOPLE to join the first edition of Wild Nature Heart Academy’s introductory online course: RECLAIMING YOUR WILD NATURE HEART. This is the online version of the on-the-land version of the course that I will host in Humboldt County.

The interactive course is for people who are on the path of rewilding and cultivating a deeper belonging to place, purpose, and people. For those transitioning to a deeper earth-centered and sensual life and those unfurling a meaningful livelihood sharing your unique gifts that honors our earth home and our wholeness as people. And for those exploring their inner wilderness and eager to expand their toolbox of exploration, and wanting to share with others.

Participants will not only have a transformative, nourishing, and inspiring experience, but will also be in the first cohort who will help shape the Wild Nature Heart Academy. It is also an opportunity to be part of the growing edge of the ever-expanding rewilding and nature-connection/ecotherapy movements.

More soon on details as the curriculum is developed, but for a glimpse now: there will be 8 modules (on topics ranging from Deep Belonging, Deep Listening, and Stepping into Your Power, to Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, the 4 Shields of Human Nature, and The Way Of Council), weekly video meetups, Deep nature and wild soul connection Practices and activities, guest teachers, 1-on-1 earth-rooted mentoring/inner wilderness guiding sessions, Assistance designing on-the-land experiences and creating a self-ceremony, poetry, and council circle with peers doing similar work and learning.

If this sounds like you, put a pin in it or DM me (ryanvanlenning@gmail.com) with your interest. More soon! 🤠
-Ryan

Wingéd Things

09374B21-EB30-48CB-B4C8-BB2B9FC3A08ENational Writing Month DAY 9: WINGÉD THINGS

“And the wingéd things continue…a hawk hunting in the creek, redwood owls serenading me to sleep, & a parade of 20 quail passing thru my living room with a chirp and a mission. A juvenile peregrine falcon has taken an interest in me, visiting me regularly.

As of August 2017, I’d been out on the land for two months, in the forest, on the boundary, the threshold. In the Nearby Faraway, the gateway in-between. I feel like a thread connecting two worlds. At some point along the way, I came to putting feathers in my hat, a wingéd hat, so to speak.

I occasionally pick up feathers from birds in different ecosystems I live in or visit: falcon, turkey, red-shouldered hawk, raven, owl, quail, stellar jay, seagull, eagle, vulture. I admit, I am biased towards the dirt, for staying rooted, for soulfulness, and have always found it easy to descend (a big west shield), but these wingéd neighbors are reminders of flight, of imagination, of ascent, of spirit.

Yet even the wingéd-ones ultimately are of the earth and their bodies return to earth. It is a reminder of the connection between the land & sky, the mud & the wind, the worm & the sun. The thread that connects them all is who I am, who we all are.

It reminds me of that ancient greek hat called the petasos, a wide-brimmed hat associated w/ travelers & farmers, & when it was winged, w/ the God Hermes, Patron of Poetry. Hermes is a deity also associated with travel, messaging, writing, commerce, omens, underworld guiding, boundaries, & being a trickster figure. He’s also known to have stolen cattle & had affairs with nymphs, things I haven’t yet been tempted to do.” 🤠

(Total word count: 14,565)
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so to speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—each unlike anyone else’s story. What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery with you.
#mywildnatureheartstory