Episode 102: Gratitude and Commitment with Ayana Young

Ayana Young standing in front of a brick wall wearing a hat. For the Wild. Land restoration.

This week, I am thrilled to be talking with Ayana Young.  Ayana is a lover and protector of wildness on earth, especially the temperate rainforest of the west coast. She is a steward for the future and works on many land-based restoration and protection projects under the umbrella For the Wild. You might be familiar with her incredibly popular podcast with the same name. Her work is deeply spiritual, necessarily practical, and absolutely inspiring, and all of that comes through in our interview.

In today’s episode, we talk about gratitude and joy during a time of tremendous pain and overwhelm. Ayana shares her personal practices and how she was converted from someone who rolled her eyes at daily gratitude practices to someone who has been transformed by her ability to be grounded in thankfulness in the midst of crisis.

We talk about the complicated work of holding big visions while doing the everyday work to keep projects moving. We talk about commitment and what it means to be resilient in the grind of the work we love. Ayana shares her experience that owning our mistakes is what makes her a trustworthy ally and respectable partner.

Ayana also explores the story of her call to land-based work and moving away from academic environmentalism. She talks about commitment to her work as saying yes to the full spectrum of possibilities and tasks (not just the fun stuff!) and she breaks down the less romantic part of being married to The Cause: the nitty gritty of becoming a nonprofit. 

Join us this week for a beautiful reminder to be in love with our work and our world.

Show Notes:

3:40– How do you navigate gratitude in desperate times?

11:04– How do you hold a vision for the future that is so big, while making it something possible you can do today?

21:18– Ayana’s story of her call to restorative land-based work

30:52– Commitment to the challenges of the work we love.

37:46– For the Wild’s story of becoming a nonprofit


Connect with today’s guest, Ayana Young:

Connect with your host, Sarah M. Chappell:

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Intro and outro music from bensound.com