THE 4 BEHAVIORS

INTENTIONALLY LIVE YOUR HUMAN NATURE

Stop

The 8 INSTRUCTIONS arise directly from matter-of-fact expressions of life in the natural world. The first step to reclaiming yourself as one of these expressions is – to STOP. 

Just Stop.

Right now.

~~

Stop everything
even if just for a fraction of a second.

Stop.

INSTRUCTION NO. 1
CONNECTION

Stop.
From here you know most directly your connection with all else.

The trees of the forest are connected to each other by means of vast underground fungal networks. They talk.

INSTRUCTION NO. 2
VARIETY

Stop.
With stopping, life’s variety is no problem. In ecologies of wilderness and in human community, variety sustains health.

Every day, evidence comes forward showing how ecosystem diversity is vital to health – health of the environment and health of human bodies. Here’s evidence related to Lyme disease.

INSTRUCTION NO. 3
BALANCE

Stop.
Here, care and agency meet.

Wolf biology shows that wolves function in highly balanced societies that survive and thrive when feminine and masculine qualities are equally evident – when care is balanced with agency.

INSTRUCTION NO. 4
RELATIVES

Stop.
You are always in relationship.

We’ve known primates recognize themselves. We know dolphins have names for each other. Recently, scientists have found self-recognition in manta rays.

INSTRUCTION NO. 5
EFFICIENCY

Stop.
Efficiency arises from stillness, from presence.

One of our favorite words is murmuration – most associated with starlings that fly by the hundreds – even thousands – in swooping intricate coordination with never a wing clip.

INSTRUCTION NO. 6
RESILIENCE

Stop.
Recovery and renewal find solid ground.

Salmon swim home against the current, overcoming obstacles like human-made dams – against all odds. We’re learning that, for humans, too, living through stress builds biological courage.

INSTRUCTION NO. 7
ELDERHOOD

Stop.
Now you can hear your wisdom.

An orangutan mother may spend five years teaching her offspring how to build perfect thatched sleeping nests in the branches of trees.

INSTRUCTION NO. 8
UNCERTAINTY

Stop.
Admit uncertainty.

Biological science has determined mystery to be a fact of life. Searching for the missing link to finally explain life on earth, scientists come ever closer, even as they become more certain there will always be things we can’t ever know.

Guest Blog: Paula MacKay on Full Ecology

Guest Blog: Paula MacKay on Full Ecology

Paula MacKay is a terrestrial carnivore biologist, a conservation scientist and a wilderness writer.  She and Gary met when Paula was a student in the Ranier Writing Institute, completing her MFA and among Gary's advisees. Paula has read the Full Ecology book and...

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Restoring Land and Soul

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There’s a place in the southwestern corner of Montana where the river weaves a fine Spiga chain through the wetland and willowed prairies at the ankles of a soaring stretch of Rocky Mountains. The mountains run east to west – an orientation adopted by precious few...

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Wolf Stories

Wolf Stories

Yesterday, we went to a place in Yellowstone National Park where wolves live. We weren’t right there with them, but close enough to stand with other people with high powered spotting scopes to watch from afar. The Junction Butte pack has a good batch of new pups....

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Earth Day on the Cusp of COVID

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Thinking on it, I find it hard to see how one can love the earth but not fellow human beings. And also, it seems incongruous that one could love humanity and exact sins of degradation against nature. Whether wings and feathers or hands and fingers, we share the same...

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Equinox – The Balance Point

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In the Reiki tradition, there’s a graphic symbol for harmony – for balance. Sei hei ki. To me, it looks like a dancer, or maybe something winged, and I’ve heard that to draw it well requires open, relaxed and sweeping gestures. People who know and practice Reiki use...

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Weariness & Renewal

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Today the temperature around our home hovers near 0°. "Can super cold weather make me tired?" I ask. We talk about it. It can. Sometimes. That's why it's good to sleep in a cool room. It’s also why trees and fields and waterways need winter. To rest well. Whatever the...

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Look to the Tops of Trees – a Solstice Offering

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These are not easy days. Here in the northern hemisphere, nearing winter solstice, we’re deep in the cold and dark. Add to that the count – ten months of COVID-19. Like the dark, the pandemic is here with us. So are other circumstances – embers of rumination and...

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COVID in the House

COVID in the House

Well. We’ve got it. We who, since mid-March, have essentially cloistered – masked, sanitized, distanced. We even disinfect our keys and doorknobs. How in the world did this virus find us? It did. Our symptoms are quite light. We’ll make it fine. But, like you, we have...

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Call & Response

Call & Response

In a functioning ecology, the dialogue between wound and medicine is ongoing; there is a call and response always happening.  Francis Weller Do chickens or the eggs come first? They do.   Am I living or dying? You are.  So, it goes and goes. Call and response. The...

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