The Risks, and Benefits, of Connecting with Your Nature
by Hobie Hare – Photos by Hobie Hare
A few weeks ago I jolted awake following an extremely vivid recurring dream. It reflected not only how far I’ve come over the past five years, but also reminded me that there’s always more to learn and experience in this one wild, precious life helping people connect more deeply and consistently with nature.
Here’s the dream:
I’m in some sort of waiting room, more like an auditorium or audition studio in size. A former employer is scurrying back and forth conversing with colleagues as the interviewees settle into their respective chairs.
The first candidate, a chicken, flaps into the room and rests atop a desk.
Candidate number two, a mellow golden retriever, leaps onto the seat of another desk, slobbering, and then a squirrel bursts into the room and cannot sit still!
I see a seat with my name on it, which also says “2:30 tomorrow,” and afterward three new people shuffle in, fidgeting as they find their seats, yawning, and awaiting what may, or may not, happen next.
Just before I leave this circus, my former boss pulls me aside, pleading with me to return, this time full-time, coordinating risks and benefits for other employees. She assures me that the job is mine and that everything else happening is a ruse to make things look more legitimate.
I tell her I’ll think about it overnight. As I walk out the door, a former colleague from the same place rushes over, shakes and then wakes me up saying, “Hobie, you can’t go back. Remember why you left in the first place!”
Sometimes it’s tempting to scheme and dream about turning back the clock and doing things differently so that things today can or could be different. The same goes for reciting excuses and reasons that because some unchangeable events happened in the past, things cannot possibly change in the present, or even in the future.
Risks and benefits are always present, no matter where we seem to be in life, no matter how old we are, no matter what we decide to do or not do. The natural world is full of structure and order, yet nature is also a profound risk-taker. Consider ivy species that scale buildings and snake along brick-lined suburban driveways. Or look at grizzly bears in the fall, ranging more widely into human-occupied habitats when foods such as whitebark pine nuts are in short supply at higher elevations.
For many people, though, it’s easier to not even dare to change and know what you’re going to get than to take action and dare to dream and live differently.
You cannot go back, yet you’re feeling stuck.
How do you move forward through fear, resistance, guilt and all the other shit that comes up when you know that something in your life is not working for you right now, when you desire to express and connect more deeply with your authentic, true, natural self?
One key is knowing and trusting that this will always be a process and a work of art in progress, while also having the desire, intention, and commitment to change.
The second key is having ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability, a safe, respected place and space in which to grow and thrive, a community where others have your back and you have theirs.
We’re all in this crazy and exhilarating experience called life together. It’s way more fun and rewarding to discover and share your gifts with others than hiding and pretending you don’t have anything of value to offer anyone.
A third key is to find your particular muse, vehicle, gateway, or portal to personal and life transformation.
One friend and colleague here in Missoula does this through empowering people to cultivate their voice and confidence in all areas of life through singing and love of music, while my vehicle and proven pathway for helping others happens to be through nature connection.
Do work that you love. Listen to your muse. Find and ask someone who’s farther along the path than you are for guidance and insight, and for the critical tools, resources, and practices that will help you be where your heart and soul are yearning to be instead of just wishing and talking about it.
Share and celebrate your successes, which will, in turn, motivate, inspire, and encourage others to do the same.
Pay it forward.
Even when we’re unsure of our path or our progress, we can still help and encourage others to find their way.
Find a way that works for you. Remember, there’s always more than one door or window opening leading in the direction of where you want to be and what you want to do.
No obstacle is too large as long as your faith, trust, and perseverance are unwavering. Begin. Today. Now.
In turn, you’ll be an oasis in the desert for other life travelers who will inevitably follow you. We’re all natural risk takers. The more we risk, the more we all benefit, especially our fellow inhabitants on this third rock from the sun that we all call home.
With each seasonal change, Hobie Hare finds his way to Dunrovin Ranch to sit on the “porch swing” with SuzAnne to celebrate nature’s annual cycle. Hobie has a way of letting you close your eyes and follow his voice to that special natural space where your soul is replenished – no matter where your feet are. It is a gift that Hobie has to share, this ability to follow sounds, conjure the sights, and ask our minds to take us to nature to receive its many healing benefits, even when our entire body cannot there. It works and it is such a blessing.
Be sure to check our DaysAtDunrovin calendar for Hobie next visit. He also hosts a forum on the DaysAtDunrovin web site where he would love to hear from you!
You can connect personally with Hobie by visiting his web site at YourLifeNature where you will find meditation tapes and nature photographs to help build a nature connection into your daily life.