Experiential Learning with Horses
and Nature

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Articles and Newsletter Archives

From the April 2014 Newsletter

Join us at Spirit of Leadership on a journey to Awaken and Explore Your Ecological Identity

"Ecological Identity yields a kind of personal awakening which allows people to bring their perception of nature to the forefront of awareness and to orient their actions based on their ecological world view...As you probe the layers within, you might realize that your experiences in nature are now the source of profound wisdom and personal happiness. What are the implications for your everyday life-—your job, your personal relationships, your professional goals?"

--Voices of Ecological Identity, M Thomashow – 1996

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. As nature is awakening it is an invitation for us as part of the natural world to awaken, to bring new energy to our work and life and to bring awareness to our identity...who we are and how are when we are at our best.

The question of Identity WHO we are takes many forms. We are born with the rich inheritance of an ecological identity. We then begin to discover our personal human identity. At some stage in our life we face identity crisis. Many of us present our online identity in Facebook and LinkedIn. Some of us might be one of the 12 million Americans who were the victims of identity theft this year. All of us have the good fortune to rediscover our ecological identity and how it might enrich our lives.

Personal human identity is how a person defines who they are through the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual. It is both one's personal characteristics and attributes within a social construction of our social human membership.

Online identity is how a person might present a snapshot of their ideal selves sometimes separate from real life. Identity crisis is an experience of a person struggling to find themselves, questioning the very foundations of their life: like who or what they are, where they belong, whether their life has any meaning, purpose or value. Identity theft is the stealing of information that gives access to our resources.

Ecological identity is a nature-centered perspective and world view. Ecological identity broadens our relational field to include an awareness of our place as part of nature and within nature and has a direct impact on our beliefs, values and behaviors in our relationships with people and all life.

Jackie Stevenson

From the February 2013 Newsletter

Jackie Stevenson With Lion CubLast week I had the amazing experience of holding a lion cub.

On the beach in Mexico is an unlikely place to meet up with a lion cub but it is an example of synchronicity, of being in the right place at the right time for something extraordinary and life-changing to happen.

As I held the lion cub close to my heart and securely in my arms I felt the awe and privilege of touching the wild, and in doing so touched the wilderness heart of the mother lioness in me.

I believe each of us has within us the beauty, freedom and knowing of the wild. That wisdom that seeks to live in resonance with our true nature, that thrives by reaching for our best and contributes to the best for the other, that fiercely protects its young and that which cannot defend itself, and, that belongs to the family of the natural world in which we share our home.

I felt a deep sadness that this young cub in my arms would never know the true freedom of his nature or the home of his ancestors which lives deep within his soul. I also felt a strong connection with him in that I and we share that place in each of our souls that yearns for freedom and our authentic place in nature.

I have been struggling with the thought that given the rapid climate change and our human slower pace that we could become extinct as a species. I am an unconditionally optimistic person and I don’t feel pessimistic about these thoughts.

What I believe is that we each have individually and as a species been gifted a lifetime. What is of importance to me is that in whatever time we have that we make the choice to live our lives with the utmost care, kindness and consciousness for all.

Innovation and technology may save our physical existence but it is the innovation of respect, responsibility and relationship with each other, our planet and its inhabitants that will save our worth as a species.

My vision is that one day future generations of this young lion will once again run free in its homeland. The pride, dignity and strength of this young cub, that touched my lioness heart, gave me courage. I believe that we have the capacity to make choices to insure those future generations of my own children and the children in all of nature’s family will one day live in freedom and harmony.

What is important to me these days does not depend on changing a world that it might not be possible to change through human endeavor. It is to live with integrity, offer the work that brings us meaning and align with people that inspire us, open our hearts, offer positive relationships and make us laugh and roar.

I extend to each of you wishes that 2013 brings peace, prosperity, joy and well being.

Jackie Stevenson


From the November 2012 Newsletter

"If everyone in the world did one altruistic thing or helped one person (without selfish motivation) everyday that would be over 7 billion good acts done in a day, 49 billion a week, 196 billion per month and 2555 billion or 2.555 trillion. See the big picture now? We all can make a positive difference to everyone including ...you and me."

As 2012 comes to a close we still have abundant opportunity for random and purposeful acts of kindness.

What's New

Here at Pebble Ledge Ranch we are exploring an exciting new form of science and learning, Biomimicry.

Biomimicry is learning from nature's genius about solving our human dilemmas, bio from life and mimic learning from. How might we learn from nature about what works, what makes sense and what lasts?

Horses create an amazing relational field from which to explore our most important questions. Being in the culture, presence and relationship of horses and the natural world offers the opportunity to experience the still quiet from within where the heart of the questions dwell. The culture of horse and herd is one of optimism and positive regard, of collective wisdom from the best of each herd member, and an instinct to move toward that which is life giving.

Jackie StevensonHow might one of natures' teachers the culture of horse and herd inspire our culture of human kindness? How might we create a personal and collective culture that is positive, relational and life giving? We at Spirit of Leadership invite you to join us in the conversation and exploration by learning from nature's genius and generosity in service of our families, organizations and communities.

I and the Pebble Ledge Ranch Herd gratefully wish you a holiday season of well being, prosperity, peace and love.

Jackie Stevenson


From the January 2012 Newsletter

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that one can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding them. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
- Albert Camus

As 2011 comes to a close with all its challenges and victories and 2012 is pure potential we have the ideal opportunity to pause to consider who we are, to reflect on how we are to be and to be choiceful about the actions we take and what we do.

If I am not for myself who will be for me?
If I am for myself alone what am I?
If not now when?
- Hillel

Horses create an amazing relational field from which to explore our most important questions. Being in the culture, presence and relationship of horses and the natural world offers the opportunity to experience the still quiet from within where the heart of the questions dwell. Jackie StevensonThe culture of horse and herd is one of optimism and positive regard, of collective wisdom from the best of each herd member, and an instinct to move toward that which is life giving.

Entering the year 2012 how might the culture of horse and herd inspire our culture of humankindness. How might we create a personal and collective culture that is positive, relational and life giving.

I and the Pebble Ledge Ranch Herd wish you a life giving year of well being, prosperity, peace and love.

Jackie Stevenson