With Nature as Our Guide


By Kay Peterson //

These days I’ve been contemplating how hard it can sometimes be for us to come together to meet the challenges of today’s world with wisdom, compassion, and skillful action. In the wake of dramatic events that stir fear and uncertainty, it can be so easy to get lost in the split of right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, or us vs. them. There’s a seductive illusion (or delusion) that choosing a side will bring safety and security, yet this actually narrows our view and a collective uneasiness remains.

Somehow, I think we instinctively know that it’s not so simple, and being with nature reminds us of the delicate balance that is the web of life. There are so many causes and conditions that contribute to this life unfolding as it does. We may find ourselves often reacting to challenging situations with our habitual versions of fight, flight or freeze. While we can appreciate these coping strategies for how they may have helped protect us at one time, we also know that they can inevitably limit our ability to accurately discern and skillfully act for our own—as well as the common—good.

This spring super bloom near my home reminds me that from the heart of the devastation of wildfire and torrential rains, our vast potential can blossom. There is an open field of conversation that appears to lay dormant, but is just waiting for the right causes and conditions to flourish. There is a natural harmony underneath it all that thrives on diversity, inclusivity, and the spirit of collaboration. Perhaps this is our moment—together we can ride the waves of a changing climate, knowing that we have the agency to create the circumstances that allows us all to grow and prosper.

Let’s come together to help each other dismantle the fear that can keep us from being bold. Let’s support each other in rediscovering our integrity—that which gives us the courage to use our voices and persevere, yet be flexible and adaptable where need-be.

Join me this summer for a weekend adventure of exploration both inside and out with nature as our guide. Rediscover inspiration and motivation through the power of nature meditation and mindful movement on the trail, creative conversation, and plenty of intentional stillness, silence, and solo reflection time in the great outdoors as well. I look forward to seeing you all again soon on that beautiful mountain!







About the Author

Kay Peterson, MA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as a seasoned wilderness guide who has been facilitating nature-inspired programs that integrate meditation, self-reflection, and creative group process since 1996. Kay also teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and is adjunct faculty at Naropa University. www.kaypeterson.com

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