From the Registrar's Homestead
By Lalania Garner-Winter
As registrar, Lanie guides students in all the practical requirements for attending classes. As student liaison, she helps students make financial arrangements that best suit their needs. She also reaches out to clients that attend the healing 5-7 clinics on cancer, autoimmune, and heart disease. But more than giving practical support, Lanie also gives personal guidance as to how wildernessFusion can best support the needs of people who are drawn to the school. She is also the healing 2 teacher for the fall start classes and a healing 7 student.
When I entered the working world over 20 years ago, my vision was to “Save the Earth!” A trained scientist, I worked as a restoration biologist in California, helping to restore land that had been overdeveloped into corporate landscape. At some point, I realized that the natural world was not the only aspect of the planet that needed healing. If the Earth were going to be saved, it seemed to me that the human component of the world really needed to change.
I moved to a less populated part of the U.S., went to Tracker School, started participating in sweat lodges, and found active communities that shared the living values aligned with my own. I wanted to bring myself back to a more wild state. I purchased land and started to learn about homesteading.
Meanwhile, I continued to work as a professional biologist, providing habitat assessment for potential wind farms sites. As part of this job, I traversed backwoods and pastures that the farmers who owned the land had barely ever traveled themselves. I witnessed places unseen by others, and it felt good to know that I valued them, even when the energy company did not. Although I felt more connected to nature in this work and in my life, I was still disassociating from myself to serve someone else's agenda. This was when I started taking classes at wildernessFusion.
As I write this, I am about to present my last case for healing 7. I have an entirely different understanding of my internal landscape and how it feels to walk within my vision. There are places inside that I had never before consciously traversed, and everyday I continue to understand these places as tools that help me make a real change in the world. I talk to potential students and clients about how wildernessFusion leads us to find and explore landscapes both around us and within us. As registrar, I empower the vision of wildernessFusion and the visions of those students who come through the program.
When I talk to potential and returning students, I encourage them to hear what we talk about as “the call.” Their call may or may not lead them to wildernessFusion, but I try to help them to trust their call, even as they struggle to understand it.
I try to share with students and clients my own joy and sense of realness in being able to work at wildernessFusion. My job allows me to work from home, which in turn supports my vision of living on the land, being in constant communication with the landscape.
I homestead with my family on our 2+ acre farm. We raise chickens and geese and have about an acre of land dedicated exclusively to vegetable, fruit, and flower production. We eat mostly from our homegrown food, and we get to raise our six-month-old son in a way that not only allows space for us to have a meaningful relationship with him, but lets him have a rich relationship with the natural world. Most importantly, in a time in which much of the world is fast paced, I live in a more organic rhythm that is my own.
This has helped me be more mindful and appreciative of the depth of feeling in the people I help. As a biologist, my most valuable skill was to slow down and assess habitat, to ask, “What part of habitat is out of balance? What can we do to bring about more balance? Can we name the missing piece in the landscape?” Now, I bring this skill to help people understand their own inner landscape.