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The Way of the Tracker: The Elephant Track

When you look at the image above, what do you see?

Perhaps you see a man standing in an odd position (I’m hiding a beer behind my back). Maybe you see the tree on the left of the frame that has had its head cut off or the odd shadow below it.

When I showed this image to my tracker friends and asked them what they saw they all answered as if I was asking a stupid question.

“The elephant track”

The first thing they notice is the twig in the front left-hand corner of the frame and the impression of itself it has left in the powdery soil as an elephant has compressed it to the ground. They see the wrinkled edges of the elephant’s foot.

They see it because they have trained themselves to see it. This is the development of track consciousness. It’s the development of searching images in the filing system of the brain so that you begin to see through the eyes of a tracker. You begin to notice what you’re looking for.

Life is full of tracks.  You have to train yourself to see what brings you to yourself and what dissipates you.

You have to learn to see the track. You have to become the sort of person who might notice the subtle signs of destiny if you walked across its path.

That is the way of the tracker.

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Podcast: What Being Stung by a Swarm of Bees Taught Me About Humanity

What if bees might be holding the key to an algorithm that could teach humanity how to create vast shifts in our collective consciousness? What if they are holding the key to how an individual can create waves of change through complex social structures. What if they teach us more than any creature about how deeply relational all life is. Well I learnt all of this…and then respect. Listen to my story on how being stung by hundreds of bees taught me all of this and more!

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Growling As a Way to Maintain Harmony

The monkeys in the camp are cheeky. They like to sit on the paths between the rooms and scare the guest as they walk past.  Mostly, it’s a game of intimidation- they advance on you and see if they can make you run away.

Many of the people around the camp have actually become afraid of them. Yet there are certain people the monkeys do not mess with.It can be quite interesting to notice when you walk in a group down the path who the monkeys choose as their mark.

I remember another time when I worked for a period with big cats in a sanctuary that they would immediately select a person in the group that was interacting with them as the one to try and cut from the herd. It was fascinating to see the speed of the selection. Luckily these were cubs we were raising, so there was never any danger, but still the process was interesting.

There is a study that was done some years ago where known psychopaths would watch a 12 second video of people walking down a path. Without fail the psychopaths would select the same people as their victims based on a set of almost imperceptible cues.

We express very subtly to people how they can treat us.  Many people I work with need assertiveness training. They need to learn to stand up for themselves. I think of this as a kind of wildness. To know what you need and where you stand all the time. Like a wild animal, very honest and not at all harmless.

Finding this place inside yourself paradoxically makes you not dangerous but safe. People feel you are not the one to target. Being in touch with your truth says don’t inflict yourself on me or there will be consequences.

I see this all the time in nature. The animals let each other be, stay out of each other’s way and allow everyone to get on with it. Occasionally, when there is no other option, they unleash there teeth and claws and set a very clear boundary.

Trusting you can stand up for yourself according to the studies Brene brown did is the doorway to deeper compassion. She found that the people that were the most compassionate had the best boundaries.

Learn to growl as a way to maintain harmony.

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A Sense of Wilderness

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I am always struck deeply by the sense of belonging I have when I drive out on a piece of wild land with no other person around and see a creature as magnificent as a leopard and he accepts my presence. I pray that other people will have the chance to feel that. I pray for future generations to have that chance. I want to bottle the feeling of awe and safety that comes when we begin to lose our fear of the unknown wilderness and see it for what it really is: a place of great safety, acceptance, a gathering of ancient friends, and, in the deepest moments, home.

This is true for all things in your life. Look at them without fear and you’ll see that in our true nature home is inside us and all around us. The world is full of wonderful relationships, but our culture has become obsessed with the romantic kind as the answer to a lot of problems in the minds of millions. Popularized by culture, it has become an obsession that keeps us from seeing all the other places and ways to connect.

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I heard wood borer beetles feeding and clicking deep within a fallen down marula tree – the sound of life wanting to perpetuate itself. Those borer beetles are the bass sound that runs through all of us as we try and make this short infinite life something that we can be proud of now, not just as a well received eulogy.

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