There are times when I know in my whole body that a life without deep relationship with the land and sky makes me unwell.
And there are times when doubt trickles in and starts to make me feel that living a life immersed in nature is something frivolous and a total luxury.
When the doubt begins to take over, I turn to three things to remind me how important relationship with nature is not just to our survival but also our thriving:
- I go outside and experience my kinship with the more-than-human world – nature journal, go for a walk, make art, swim in the river, sit and look, lie down on the grass, close my eyes in the sun, hug my loved ones
- I seek out like-minded souls who get it – online and offline communities where I can share how I feel and know that I will be met with understanding (check out my membership The Stardust Collective and my year-long experience Rewild Your Soul)
- I fill my head with knowledge and stories that support the more loving world I want to make contribute towards – podcasts, articles, art, books
I especially love podcasts. As a mother, wife, daughter, primary caregiver, homemaker and business owner podcasts fit in with my life well. I can listen while I make dinner or lie down and rest in the evening (I can no longer watch TV before bed) or while I pack orders. Over the years I have found a beautiful host of podcasts that I listen to on and off.
When you start to doubt yourself and begin to believe the dominant narrative that getting to know the place where you live intimately is a waste of time I encourage you to listen to these podcasts. They will help remind you that you are not alone and that your relationship with land is FUNDAMENTAL to your survival and thriving.
In no particular order, I give you my favourite podcasts to root me back into belonging:
1. For The Wild
For The Wild Podcast is an anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.
I love the variety of speakers and gentle generosity with which Ayana Young conducts the interviews.
2. Emergence Magazine
Emergence Magazine is an award winning magazine exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture and spirituality. The podcast features exclusive interviews, author-narrated essays, fiction, multipart series, and more.
This is a beautifully curated podcast with wonderful stories in sound – not just the human voice.
3. On Being with Krista Tippett
Peabody award-winning conversations to live with. Wisdom to replenish and orient in this wild ride of a time to be alive. A singular mix of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts: biomimicry and the science of awe; spiritual contrarianism and social creativity; pause and poetry and more towards stretching into this world ahead with moral imagination and joy.
I love the poetry and joy in these conversations and recordings.
4. How We Live Now with Katherine May
In a series of frank, thoughtful and deeply personal conversations, How We Live Now explores the cultural, social and spiritual mindset for this long moment. Katherine May, author of Enchantment, Wintering and the Electricity of Every Living Thing, asks those most intimate with the effects of these transformations: what now?
Kathryn's down-to-earth style and ability to put to words what I feel always help me when I feel I am alone.
5. Wildheart from The Wild Academy
Maddy Lawson and Eleanor Cheetham from The Wild Academy explore monthly topics to root us into the season in life and work.
I have worked with Maddy and Eleanor over the last couple of years (they ran a workshop for Rewild Your Soul – my year-long programme) and I love their cyclical approach to living.
6. As The Season Turns
As the Season Turns is a podcast created by Ffern (www.ffern.co) and presented by the nature writer Lia Leendertz. Each episode, released on the first of every month, is a guide to what to look out for in the month ahead - from the sky above to the land below. Ffern is a natural fragrance maker based in Somerset.
A beautiful way to ground into the seasons through all the senses.
A podcast that explores being alive in the age of loneliness. Becca Piastrelli is hosts and guides us through a journey of courageous reconnection as we explore topics like ancestral wisdom, cultivating meaningful community, living with the seasons and cycles of the earth and your body, and what it means to be a good ancestor.
I really appreciate Becca's frank style and honest grappling with how we navigate living today.
8. Black Nature Narratives
Black Nature Narratives offers black perspectives on issues relating to the natural world and our relationship with nature. Hosted by Nature Allied Psychotherapist and Naturalist, Beth Collier.
In this podcast series Beth Collier celebrates our love of nature and share inspiration from black leaders within conservation, ecology, outdoor education and environmental justice talking about their work and journeys into a field with low representation of black people; highlighting voices less heard within the environmental field.
I love how these new perspectives make me see and understand the world differently.
9. BBC Radio 2 Folk Show
Presenter Mark Radcliffe explores the wide range of traditional and contemporary folk and acoustic music from around the UK and the world, with regular interviews and live sessions.
I have played the violin since age 5 and although I am classically trained I have started to dabble in folk music. In a folk music retreat I went to with Chris Wood, he described how the folk tunes floated around the air until a musician captured them. I love how folk music reflects the relationship people have with specific landscapes around them, how they don't have a 'composer' and how they carry stories of our ancestors.
10. Story Apothecary
The Story Apothecary is a podcast filled with medicinal and healing stories. Nana Tomova, a Storyteller and a Mental Health Pharmacist dispenses stories for sadness and anxiety, and shares tales for loss, happiness and love. Here you will find her prescriptions of stories for the body, mind, heart and soul, and for the Earth. Come into the Story Apothecary as we enter the healing world of stories together.
Nana’s storytelling is utterly magical– she has joined us in Rewild Your Soul, my year-long programme, to tell us celestial stories. Her podcast explores how folk stories can help us today.
And a bonus one for if you have children (and also if you don’t!):
11. Super Great Kids Stories
Fun tales to make you laugh and cry with some of the best storytellers from around the world. Recommended for ages 5 to 105…
These stories are all so well told by people who have trained and studied to become oral storytellers. My daughter (and I) love listening to them. They bring our relationship with the more-than-human world to life with stories of talking animals and adventures into the wild.