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Don’t Look for Connection in Nature, Listen for It with Liz McKenzie (Episode #105)

If there are times when a moment of delightful joy or wonder would save the day for you, then our guest today has a message that will be a gift that keeps on giving. Liz McKenzie is an expert in giving us all access to the quiet, small wonders – usually just steps away – in a window sill, balcony, our own backyard, or a nearby park. No vacations are necessary to “get out into nature” and feel its calming warmth. It’s all around us all the time, and listening for it might be the greatest joy of all.

About Our Guest

Liz McKenzie is an Award-Winning Filmmaker, Writer, and Editor. Her eye for sharing small wonders is extraordinary and you will come away with fresh eyes for your surroundings, no matter where you are.

In this episode, she tells stories from her work that prove to her that animals can sense our good intentions and they will act accordingly.

Liz points to little known wonders like the fact that birds are fighting their battles with songs, and she talks about possible partnerships between humans and animals that could save our futures now.  

She gives us examples of hope that demonstrate people and industry are finally waking up. 

We talk about how valuable it can be to listen to other voices, not just the human voices. 

Liz’s projects have taken her from the arctic to Tasmania. From the decks of fishing boats in the Gulf of Alaska, to creating intimate film portraits of Kangaroos in eastern Australia .

Most importantly, Liz is the filmmaker for an amazing nature documentary called “The Singing Planet” that I highly recommend.

Liz McKenzie’s view of the world around us will give you access to an expansive feeling whenever you need one. 


Show Notes

[00:00- 02:50] Opening

  • Liz has an for sharing the extraordinary
  • Passion for telling unique stories about the natural world

[02:51- 10:35]

  • The Singing Planet
  • Sound recordist: Richard Nelson and Hank Lentfer
  • Natural sounds in Glacier Bay National Park, AK
  • Its as if we forget to listen to the element
  • Are we listening? Do we know who those other voices are?
  • We need time in nature as much as we need resources
  • The idea of mindfulness and meditation
  • Creating a natural oasis in your backyard
  • Wild in the Garden State- Dave and Sarah Galloway
  • The Parklit

[10:36- 13:29]

  • Space is not the limitation, it’s really the imagination
  • Nature is always trying to be there for us and we have to make room for it
  • Miami

[13:30- 22:16]

  • Animals can sense our intentions
  • Two sibling bears feeding on the salmon
  • The bears sensed our intention that we’re not going to do them harm
  • George Schaller- the first researcher who was able to get up-close with mountain gorillas
  • Diane Fossey
  • A bunch of Chum Salmon 
  • Timber slugs

[22:17- 26:44]

  • We need to learn to listen to their stories
  •  As a film maker, I really feel like these animals are helping me to tell their stories in a much deeper way 
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • “The ancient wisdom of birds is that they fight their battles with songs”
  • Learning to hear the voices and knowing who is making the sounds
  • Knowing who your neighbors are

[26:45- 30:34]

[30:35- 33:28] BREAK

[33:29- 43:14]

  • The beauty and value of nature that maybe we dont think about
  • They made an intentional decision to put those animals first
  • People are waking up and making positive changes

[43:15- 53:47]

  • Greenwashing
  • Younger generations are pretty savvy and they want to make a difference in the world
  • Patagonia
  • Into the Canyon
  • Escalade Project
  • National Geographic
  • Navajo council meeting
  • “You have not consulted the water people, you have not consulted with the wind people…”- Navajo elders
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Take a viewpoint where we listening to the other voices, not just the human ones
  • We need to take care our own backyard
  • Alaska
  • We need to put the salmon first
  • Consider the whole big picture, what’s the right decision?

[53:48- 58:33]

  • Its okay to be a nature geek
  • There was a kinship with everything else in the world
  • Richard Nelson
  • Native Alaskan villagers
  • Everything in our world has power and spirit and awareness
  • There’s a kinship that we all share so of course we need to take care all the parts of our family

[58:34- 01:01:23]

  • Revealing the stories and with the hope of opening hearts and minds… but as mentally important for the well-being of the  planet
  • Having this fundamental shift and how we relate to other than human inhabitants of the world
  • If we consider all of nature as our family, how then do we behave?

[01:01:24- 01:04:10]

[01:04:11- 01:04:23] Closing

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