Omega: Is there one big question that drives your life and work?
Mark: How can I leave the earth better than I found it? More specifically, in these times, how can I set in motion a regenerative system of healing through long-term cultural practices of connection to self, others, and nature?
Omega: What is the most important thing you've learned from your relationships with indigenous cultures and people?
Mark: Conduct over content. Who you are being and how you are moving through the world matters more than the information or the content you may be seeking or sharing. It's about being conscious of tending your relationships to self, others, and nature.
Omega: How has the mythology of the hero's journey inspired your approach to personal and organizational change?
Mark: One foundational gift is that life is a journey, and there are stages to that journey that are archetypally resonant. It's like finding a treasure map to the most mysterious aspect of life. Knowing these stages helps me facilitate movement and growth for people who are stuck, seeking self-knowledge, and wanting to contribute meaningfully in life.
Companies also develop along patterns. They have stages of growth, stages of peak and valley, needing mentors, fighting dragons—there are prescriptions of wisdom that can be applied today because the hero's journey framework is universal.
Omega: What are some of the most important practices anyone can bring into their life to become closer to nature?
Mark: There are four practices I suggest. 1) Slow down. 2) Listen. 3) With a friend, take turns asking open ended questions that provoke curiosity. 4) Learn the species in your bioregion like they were your relatives and each had something to teach you.
Omega: How can we help our kids develop a sense of place and relate to nature where they live?
Mark: There are hundreds of ways to help children develop a sense of place. It's completely natural. Everyone can make a top 10 list of things to stop doing that would let connection to nature and sense of place unfold. I would ask the reader right now, take a moment and make your list. If you could wave a wand and halt 10 behaviors that would naturally allow connection to place unfold, what would they be?
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies