In May of 2020 Live Like the River Flows Charitable Trust became incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and a registered charity with the Charities Services. Leading up to this significant event, founder and now Chairperson Michael Woodcock had laid the core operating foundations for Live Like the River Flows, obtaining DOC consents to guide, and guided small groups out into the Tararua Forest Park for a deeper connection with the living world.
Over time, Michael realised that Live Like the River Flows could be more than just his own practice, that with the input of others and a horizon that could stretch beyond his own vision and possibly his life time, Live Like the River Flows might develop into its own full unfolding, carrying itself and others on a journey yet envisaged.
I’m Michael Woodcock – Trust Chairperson, guide, pathfinder and seeker of the way.
I live in rural Carterton with my storyteller wife Gaye. Our small 16 acre farm, Te Ao O Te Pukeko (The world of the Pukeko) is a living work in progress. Everything that grows here, from one-hundred-foot-tall trees to our 450 olive grove, all started in 1992, when we bought two large paddocks and built our kitset house. It is now the centre from which our workshops and retreats begin, and includes a number of onsite accommodation options. You can follow my blog for current and past writing on matters sacred.
One of the most life-changing books I have read was David Suzuki’s The Sacred Balance. As the book promised, I rediscovered my need to know my place in nature, and just as importantly, to answer the call to action that Suzuki stirred within me. More than twenty plus years on, Suzuki and other writers and thinkers such as John O’Donohue, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Michael Meade, David Whyte, George Mackay Brown, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macey, Dr Martin Shaw enrich my thinking about the importance of the wisdom and wellbeing to be found when we connect with the world of nature, not the world of concrete, endless consumption, and the distractions of today, which can divert us from our path.
“What matters is how through our own response we reconnect to what is sacred, and return to a sense of deep belonging, here in this place of wonder we call the Earth.” Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
For those of us in New Zealand, especially those of us who identify as Pakeha and the loss of our sacred connection to the seasons and nature, then you can’t go past reading Juliet Batten’s book, Celebrating the Southern Seasons – Rituals for Aotearoa (revised edition 2005).
I draw strength from others in the inner rewilding, eco-centric, soul-centric awakening circle, that calls us to be part of an ecological spiritual awareness. By offering workshops and retreats which support a life lived with intent, while we connect with our inner and external sacred nature, I hope I can rise to meet the challenge to be on the right side of what Joanna Macey’s calls the great turning.
Above all, the concept of interconnectedness of our internal scape and the external environment – landscape, is now central to how I see the world and our sacred integration with it. As Scottish poet George Mackay Brown wrote:
“The inner ‘scape’ does not exist by and for itself; it is balanced, held in a sweet tension and harmony by the lovely world outside, the ‘scape’ that is always changing.”
I look forward to hearing from you to see how we can support your journey.