Seven Ponds was great, it changed my life. Doc was great, he let me figure it out and I did. My family is back together and we are very grateful.
Whenever I share with friend s of mine why wilderness renewal has worked for me I emphasize that on our treks all the bad things that have happened to me and that I have caused, I now see as my path to find out who I really am. As Doc always says the joy is on the other side of the pain. So I of course do not want to minimize the wreckage I created, but looking back I have spent a lot of time in the wilderness quieting the chattering mind, and letting myself realize that I have been forgiven. I can’t go back and change the bad stuff, but instead learn and change from it as I find out who I really am.
When we have trekked through a burned out forest that goes on for hundreds of miles I often think about my life. And if you look closely you see new trees and brush growing and coming up through the ash covered ground. I think it is Mother Nature’s way to renew forests through the natural occurrence of lightning strikes that start the fire of renewal in the forest. I kind of see the last eight years of my life as a giant forest fire. I also see the hope of renewal in the forest and I see my life as much the same.
I have caused many lightning strikes in my life. I am now working with wilderness folks who are helping me understand where they came from: Sometimes from deep childhood issues, sometimes from self-esteem issues, sometimes from anger issues, sometimes from self-defeating thinking and self-defeating decisions. But as I exam all of this I am finding the true me. And finally I have found peace within, and joy without. I have now dedicated myself to contribute to other people’s happiness, and I am finding the true meaning of life. Wilderness Renewal and the team have brought me home.
I’ve always noticed metaphors in my journey through life but never was clear on what they represented. One of the many tools that Seven Ponds has a given me access to in my residency is how to recognize these metaphoric symbols through nature and how to apply them to create meaning in my life.
Trecks are a metaphoric and spiritual window that allows residence to explore deep into the unexplored territory that lies within our subconscious. The goal here is to recognize that we can explore this uncharted location and feel comfortable finding meaning and bringing issues, realizations or misunderstood perceptions to the surface. In other words, extracting valuable information from the subconscious to the conscious state of mine. Once we allow ourselves to tap into this new state of thinking we then are capable of applying new techniques to help us better live our lives.
Once on a Treck you are well prepared well before you leave the basecamp of Seven Ponds. While at basecamp, Doc will train the residence on how to maintain balance, routine and meaning throughout your day so once you are out in nature you feel that these teachings are habit rather than a new concept. While packing for a treck to preparing your food bag and later setting up camp – Trecks bleach the chattering mind and ground your thoughts to simplicity and humble means so you can take in nature, apply balance and meaning and think with a clear mind at full capacity.
For me, personally, I always enjoy this humbling state of mind because it allows me to look for answers in places that you’d normally take for granted and never notice in the busyness of society and todays culture. An example I can give is on our last Treck to Robbers Cave in Wilburton, OK. Robbers Cave is a metaphoric sanctuary of history, nature and peace. Up in the hills of the San Bois Mountains Jesse James and the Younger gang found this location as a stash house for their stolen possessions. This location made it an ideal hiding ground due to the rocky terrain and steep bluffs that surround the cave. Standing on top of the cave looking down off the north face of the mountain into the valley, the bluff creates a thermal blast of wind that shoots up the mountain almost like a wind ramp. The indidgidous fowl of the San Bois Mountains, such as Hawks, American Bald Eagle and Buzzards use their vast wing span to hover above these wind ramps like kites in the sky. Have you ever seen a bird hover in one sky location for several minutes without flapping there wings? Well I hadn’t up until this experience. What a metaphor this was and it fit my day perfectly. The metaphor here was to keep still. Watching the hawk balance his body and use the resource of the wind current to gain altitude told me you can stay rested while achieving new heights and gains in life. Just like the hawk, I was on a Treck using the resources around me to find new direction and balance myself to a higher state of well being.