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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Saturday, 29 May 2010

The Waterfall of the Rio Verde - Spain

Amongst the petrified trees within the waters of the waterfall I splashed about enjoying the ice cold water and feeling the power of it on my back as it thundered over the edge of the mountain.

A short distance away I could hear a frog calling, while crag martins soared over head occasionally alighting on the rock face above me, perhaps looking for a suitable place to nest, and not too far away, up on one of the highest points sat a rather handsome Blue Rock Thrush fly catching.

The air was filled with the mist from the water and the sun shone through to warm my body as I sat near the edge, loving every moment of just being in the presence of Mother Earth.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Horse that joined the Plant Meditation...

Just a few weeks ago I was running my Natural Awareness course for counsellors; one of the activities involved a Plant Meditation. Being one of my favourite activities, I decided rather than do it in the woods that we should go to a field on the edge of the wood instead and sit with the sun shining down on us.

As we sat in the field sharing our experiences of the Plant Meditation I became aware that something was happening behind me as the expression on the face of one of the group had changed and that his attention had been drawn to something else. As I turned to see what had caught his eye, I saw a rather large horse heading straight for me. I suddenly became aware of my anxiety of being too close to horses, having fallen off one while at boarding school when I was around 14 yrs old.

The horse came right up to me and I tried to create in my mind a picture of feeling calm, and to let him know what had happened to me in the past, interestingly I did not feel anxious within my body just in my mind, if that makes any sense. I carried on talking with the group when the horse began to rub his nostrils up and down my back. I have never had an experience such as this before.

I was very aware of how close his teeth were to my left ear and I just had to trust that everything would be ok, for to panic now I felt would have been not the right thing to do, the rest of the group watched in amazement at what was unfolding. He then moved his mouth round to the back of my head and I could feel his breath down the back of my neck. I thought to myself please do not think of my pony tail as something you might want to eat and then his mouth was an inch away from my right ear. The whole time I worked with the group around the Plant Meditation.

The horse then entered the circle and approached another member of the group, before returning back to me to continue to rub my back quite vigorously with his snout, I began to relax as I realised that he would not hurt me and I came to enjoy this amazing experience. As the horse eventually moved away after some 15 minutes one of the group said "that was clearly meant for you Geoff."

It has been my experience that when people enter into a meditation, dogs and cats like to enter into the middle of the circle and lay there to enjoy the calmness that is created from the meditation. This experience with the horse was a very special one and one that I was very blessed to be a part of.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Bow Drill and the Fire

And the Wall came a Tumbling Down...This weekend I was out walking with a friend of mine chatting about all sorts and I was reminded of something that happened to me as I was in the process of leaving the army. At the last minute of my time in the army I had decided to return to England for which I was not prepared for as I had planned to stay in Germany where my kids were living with their mother.

One day, I was walking down the main drag of camp when suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. I then had a vision of myself surrounded by a very high thick wall and feeling trapped within it. I was experiencing feelings of panic, my mind was rushing with thoughts of what am I going to do in the UK, I have nothing planned, I have no idea how the UK functions, I felt very scared.

When suddenly the wall that surrounded me began to fall down, not brick by brick but in large clumps of masonry, I was stood there looking around me wondering what the hell was going on, then it came to me. I had nothing to be afraid of as I could choose to step over the rubble and go in any direction I wanted too, I had the freedom to choose my path, the way in which I wanted to move forward with my life.

Little knowing then where I would end up and long before I became aware of my spiritual journey.

And here I stand today, excited and scared about where my journey is taking me, all I know is that I trust my creator completely and I embrace what the future holds for me...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ancient footprints reveals earliest signs of modern feet

Ancient footprints discovered in northern Kenya are believed to be the oldest sign that early humans had feet like ours. The footprints were found in two sedimentary layers, 1.5 million years old, near Ileret in the eastern African nation.

“These rarest of impressions yielded information about soft tissue form and structure not normally accessible in fossilized bones. The Ileret footprints constitute the oldest evidence of an essentially modern human-like foot anatomy,” according to a team of anthropologists who detailed the discovery in the February 27 issue of the journal Science.

According to the authors of the journal article, there were three footprint trails in the upper sediment layer. Five meters deeper, another sediment surface preserved one trail of two prints and a single, smaller print, likely from a child.

“In these specimens, the big toe is parallel to the other toes, unlike that of apes where it is separated in a grasping configuration useful in the trees. The footprints show a pronounced human-like arch and short toes, typically associated with an upright bipedal stance,” the scientists said. The size, spacing and depth of the impressions were the basis of estimates of weight, stride and gait, all found to be within the range of modern humans.

The size and other characteristics of the prints led the authors to conclude the prints belonged to the hominid Homo ergaster, or early Homo erectus. This is the first hominid to have had the same body proportions with longer legs and shorter arms called as modern Homo sapiens.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Point Last Seen: A Woman Tracker's Story by Hannah Nyala


Based on a true story, this intense made-for-television drama chronicles the courage of a search-and-rescue team leader who masters her own fears and concerns to find a nine year oldlost in the desert. Recently escaped from an abusive marriage her inner turmoil stems from the fact that her potentially dangerous ex-husband has abducted her own children, but her primary concern for the moment is to find the missing child.

Hannah turns for physical and spiritual survival to self-taught tracking in the Mojave Desert and eventually joins a National Park Service search-and-rescue team. Overshadowing Hannah‘s experience as an increasingly capable tracker is the fact that she herself is a tracked woman. For her, the ability to see a "footprint in soft grass outside a bedroom window" becomes a matter of life and death…

“In this beautifully rendered narrative, a woman reveals the art of tracking both in wilderness and in autobiography. . . .{It is} the gripping chronicle of a tracker finding herself as she looks for others." Kirkus Reviews

“Extraordinary. . . This book belongs in nature collections because of its captivating descriptions of trackers and tracking, but it also belongs in social science and women’s collections because of Nyala’s triumphs over such profound abuse. Highly recommended.” Library Journal

There is also a DVD however it in German, I recommend reading the book first then watch the film it is still powerful even I German.