Hey friends! This week’s episode is with one of the fiercest, most inspiring women I have met in years, Ayana Young of ForTheWild.World.
Ayana didn’t even go camping until she was 25. Now she lives in a cabin she built herself in the redwoods of Northern California and manages a 477-acre native species nursery wilderness rehabilitation project (as well as an amazing podcast).
This week’s episode is a candid, personal discussion about how awakening to our participation in nature – and living in joyous self-sacrifice to something bigger than ourselves – is the key to both our survival and our spiritual salvation…
For The Wild is currently raising money to plant ONE MILLION redwoods:
We talk about:
• her transition from anonymous, germaphobic suburban consumer to restoration ecologist, activist, and dirt-working spokesperson for the world’s last remaining wilderness;
• being a person of place and cultivating a personal relationship with our wild (and not-so-wild) lands;
• love in a time of catastrophe and how to FEEL our impact on a planetary scale;
• what wilderness means in The Anthropocene and what ought to guide our decisions in restoration ecology (not just “restoring to 200 years ago” as if that’s the best goal);
• restoring not extinct ecosystems but biodiversity and resiliency IN GENERAL;
• the joy of personal sacrifice to a cause and purpose greater than yourself;
• what inspires her to keep going against all obstacles to the Good Work;
• how to be an empowered activist and servant in love with life and your imperfect self;
• picking yourself up after failure;
• and more. A totally inspiring conversation!
“If I’m so consumed by my self and my own life, then what am I willing to risk for others? That’s a question I ask myself a lot: ‘What am I willing to risk for that which I love?’”
“We don’t have reciprocal relationships with land, with Earth, with each other, with our lives. And how do you have a reciprocal relationship? Well, you have to have intimacy. You have to feel things. And I love when people say that if you’re not upset, if you’re not grieving, if you’re not angry, if you’re not feeling these strong emotions, then you’re not awake right now. If you were awake to the realities of what is happening in the world, you’d have no choice but to have immense amounts of feelings. But it’s not easy to unravel all of the conditioning that keeps us from feeling.”
“We can be artists as we farm. We can be artists as we grow food. We can be artists as we clean beaches. We can be artists as we put mushrooms on oil spills. I mean, there are SO many ways we can create and love each other and HAVE A BLAST while restoring the Earth. And I think it takes the sadness and the grief to get into that work – and then when we’re on the other side, we can put all of that rage and that fire and that sadness into doing something tangible.”
“It’s not about playing God. I think it’s more about being an herbalist for the Earth…I want to be more a support system than a savior.”
“How do we embody the dichotomy of large-scale urgency and also gentle deep-time thinking?”
“I don’t think we should wait until mastery to get involved.”
Special thanks to the Body Hacking Conference for their support of this episode!
BDYHAX.COM (“Body Hacks”) is about human augmentation, personal expression, democratized medicine and bringing the DIY ethos to our own bodies. We bring together people from all industries who are interested in what’s happening right now in bodyhacking all over the world to make connections, friends, and share experiences and resources in order to build the best possible future.
February 2-4, 2018 at Sheraton Austin in Downtown Austin.