"Reawakening our Bond with our Wild Earth" - A dialog with Susan Eirich from EarthFire Institute at Cortona Pearls of Cortona Week

Reawakening our Bond with our Wild Earth

The wild animals are lonely for us. We are lonely for them. We have become disconnected from each other. What would happen if we expanded our sense of community to truly include all living beings in our thinking and planning? Imagine what the state of our environment would then be.  

Many of us have a deep longing for more in life, a sense of yearning; a loneliness. What if we are longing for something we innately have:a deep, visceral connection to the wild, animals, nature and true community. Then we would naturally be moved to mindfully save habitat so that all beings can thrive.  To solve our ecological and spiritual crises, human consciousness must expand to connect with all life, with its multitudes of intelligences, and expressions of spirit.Academic work, consciousness, and mindfulness movements tend to be abstract, and human or universe focused. It is important to add a vivid, vibrant connection with other - than -human beings to balance these approaches. We are embodied creatures of the Earth. It is the source of our sustenance, our strength, our wisdom.

Connecting with animals can help with this. Many of us share a connection with dogs and cats or horses but wild animals can take us even deeper, serving as a portal into connecting with all Life. They can take us out of our human-centered way of thinking and into a larger frame of reference as we move forward on our human journey.
Having lived with rescued wild animals over their lifetimes I have witnessed paradigm-shifting events of great beauty and power. These stories will open doors into another way of seeing and understanding nature; they offer us a sense of the companionship that is available to us, and move us to make different conservation and life decisions where considering all Life is a priority.

A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, Dr. Susan Eirich has taught at universities around the world, worked in maximum security prisons, developed a university counseling center, directed a Nature ConservancyPreserve, and lived in remote corners of Nepal, the Mid and Far East, theNorthwest Territories and the Amazon rainforest. Her goal is always to see through other’s eyes as a way to enhance understanding between cultures, peoples and species. She received a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University,Ithaca, New York; M.A. degree in Psychology from New School for SocialResearch, New York, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Kentucky.Earthfire Institute is a wildlife sanctuary and retreat center that currently provides lifetime care for wild animals native to the US Rocky Mountains including wolves, bears, wild cats, bison, and more. She founded Earthfire in2000 in order to give a voice to wildlife and help people find their own natural voice. Earthfire’s work is to help us reawaken our bond with our Earth through a pioneering approach called Reconnection Ecology, motivating us to protect wildlife and nature.