“I would love to live like a river flows,
carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”
– John O’Donohue
Welcome to Live Like the River Flows Charitable Trust.
The purpose of Live Like the River Flows is to provide education on the benefits to mental, physical and spiritual well-being by being out in and connected with nature. In particular:
- Provide guided Ngahere (forest) walks, hikes and workshops that align with our core principals
- Introduce participants to bush craft skills, safe outdoor practice and forest knowledge
Live Like the River Flows is committed, in attaining its purpose, to:
- have a practice which promotes the connections between Te Ao Maori and the early European worldview of an interconnected living world.
- respecting the cultural and spiritual diversity of people and encourage people from all backgrounds to utilize our facilities and services.
- inspiring people to maintain their mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
- working with like minded others; and
- maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.
There is lots of research about the benefits of being out in nature. The physical benefits are pretty much taken for granted. There are studies that show that being out in nature, especially exposed to green of forests, and blue – the sea, lake or flowing stream, have a major effect on our sense of well-being. From lower blood pressure to reduction in anxiety and mild depression the evidence is overwhelming. The natural environment is not just a setting, but an active participant in the day.
For us, to live like the river flows, is a guide, a way to live, a way to be. It is not a passive life of waiting to see what the day brings. It is a celebration of the imagined sparking into life, of being aware of the fleeting synchronicity offered by the universe that can inform our unfolding.
Come spend some time with us in an accessible beautiful spot.
Michael Woodcock – Trust Chairperson, guide, pathfinder and seeker of the way.
“The physical landscape offers us waymarkers to follow. Waymarkers are a symbol, or signpost marking the route of a path, an object serving as a guide. The journey inward to our inscape has no physical waymarkers and we must learn to recognise the new signs that mark the way. I’m a guide in both the stunning landscape of the Wairarapa foothills and mountains, and that inward journey to self.” More on waymarkers and other sacred connection on his blog.
W offer a range of forest (ngahere) based nature connecting activities and workshops and are happy to discuss tailoring something specific for your group. Through our principal guide and founder Michael Woodcock we have Department of Conservation consents to guide on a range of tracks within the Tararua and Remutaka Forest Parks – all on the Wairarapa side of the ranges.
Being out in the forest we need to be aware of the people who have lived and walked there in the past, and we must enter the ngahere in a way that honours the shared stories of Tangata whenua – Rangitāne O Wairarapa and Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.
Forest of Wellbeing where we combine the forest experience with elements of connecting with the sacred. These are single day events or part of a series.
Guided overnight tramps (hikes) which include an overnight stay in one of the three Department of Conservation huts in the area, are also part of our offer. These tramps require a level of fitness that means you can walk up and down hills for 4-5 hours per day. You will need your own pack and sleeping bag.
Workshops and Retreats which have a personal development theme, where access to the outdoors offers a chance to slow down, reflect and absorb the learnings and reflections of the day.
- That the evidence-based research for the restorative effects and enhanced wellbeing from being in nature is overwhelming.
- That all people are descended from nature-based cultures. That through a deeper connection with the natural environment we reconnect with the interconnectedness of the planet and all living things.
- Given the threats of climate change, mass extinctions and the risk humankind will destroy the thread of life that holds us all together, rediscovering and staying connected with the natural world gives us hope that we can turn this decline around. In the words of Joanna Macey – The Great Turning.
- Above all, the concept of interconnectedness of our internal scape and the external environment – landscape, is now central to how we see the world and our sacred integration with it.
DOC approval and consent to guide participants on ten consented tracks here in the Wairarapa – nine are in the Tararua Forest Park and one in the South, in the Remutaka Forest Park. Approval means having passed the environmental standards set by DOC, as well as safety standards set by an independent auditor, and are approved to operate in public conservation areas. The use of the logo also confirms that Live Like the River Flows pays fees to DOC to support conservation.
Live Like the River Flows has a Safety Management System that has been audited and certified by OutdoorsMark against the Safety Audit Standard for Safety management Systems Document Review. It complies with Department of Conservation Guidelines 2014, Health and Safety at Work 2015 and all relevant activity safety guidelines.
Guides are First Aid trained with Red Cross. Through Outdoor Training NZ guides are able to access comprehensive training courses. Senior guide Michael Woodcock has also passed the Police vetting check to be able to work with young people to enter into the OTNZ trainer programme. OTNZ is a pathway for our ongoing professional development. We recommend if you are looking to build your outdoor skills, then ONTZ is a great option. Click here for courses in your area.
Perhaps you will find amongst our nature based, guided hikes, workshops and retreats, something to sustain, refresh, revitalise you, and enable you to claim your sacred nature.
We are not therapists. We offer group facilitation and support to those who wish to journey on their own course of self-reflection and unfolding, as part of a nature based experience.
“Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au:
I am the river and the river is me.”