“Whenever I share with friends of mine why wilderness renewal* has worked for me I emphasize that on our treks all the bad things that have happened to me and that I have caused, I now see as my path to find out who I really am. As Doc always says the joy is on the other side of the pain. So I of course do not want to minimize the wreckage I created, but looking back I have spent a lot of time in the wilderness quieting the chattering mind, and letting myself realize that I have been forgiven. I can’t go back and change the bad stuff, but instead learn and change from it as I find out who I really am.
When we have trekked through a burned out forest that goes on for hundreds of miles I often think about my life. And if you look closely you see new trees and brush growing and coming up through the ash covered ground. I think it is Mother Nature’s way to renew forests through the natural occurrence of lightning strikes that start the fire of renewal in the forest. I kind of see the last eight years of my life as a giant forest fire. I also see the hope of renewal in the forest and I see my life as much the same.
I have caused many lightning strikes in my life. I am now working with wilderness folks who are helping me understand where they came from: Sometimes from deep childhood issues, sometimes from self-esteem issues, sometimes from anger issues, sometimes from self-defeating thinking and self-defeating decisions. But as I exam all of this I am finding the true me. And finally I have found peace within, and joy without. I have now dedicated myself to contribute to other peoples’ happiness, and I am finding the true meaning of life. Wilderness Renewal* and the team have brought me home.”
— Jeff D., May 2014
* Wilderness Renewal is a former program of Seven Ponds, now simply known as the Wilderness Program.
“The program fosters meaningful and measurable change; a transition from the old to the new that is both real/authentic and lasting/permanent.
They are changing the paradigm of the renewal industry (and it is long overdue), and because of their changes, they are changing lives. I have been in treatment for years. This is the best program by far – five stars!
These folks are unique and true pioneers in the stages of change. The program has something special to offer anyone who wants meaningful and lasting change in their lives. They help you look into the past for value, show you the peace of the present, and successfully navigate the journey into your future. They help you find joy in the pain, the hope in the despair, and the peace in the present.
They are helping individuals find that inner kingdom, to know and to realize who they really are and to rise above the psychological limitations and burdens of the conscious and subconscious mind.”
— Dave M., March 2015
“I’ve always noticed metaphors in my journey through life but never was clear on what they represented. One of the many tools that Seven Ponds has a given me access to in my residency is how to recognize these metaphoric symbols through nature and how to apply them to create meaning in my life.
Treks are a metaphoric and spiritual window that allows residence to explore deep into the unexplored territory that lies within our subconscious. The goal here is to recognize that we can explore this uncharted location and feel comfortable finding meaning and bringing issues, realizations or misunderstood perceptions to the surface. In other words, extracting valuable information from the subconscious to the conscious state of mine. Once we allow ourselves to tap into this new state of thinking we then are capable of applying new techniques to help us better live our lives.
For me, personally, I always enjoy this humbling state of mind because it allows me to look for answers in places that you’d normally take for granted and never notice in the busyness of society and todays culture. An example I can give is on our last Trek to Robbers Cave in Wilburton, OK. Robbers Cave is a metaphoric sanctuary of history, nature and peace. Up in the hills of the San Bois Mountains Jesse James and the Younger gang found this location as a stash house for their stolen possessions. This location made it an ideal hiding ground due to the rocky terrain and steep bluffs that surround the cave. Standing on top of the cave looking down off the north face of the mountain into the valley, the bluff creates a thermal blast of wind that shoots up the mountain almost like a wind ramp. The indigenous fowl of the San Bois Mountains, such as Hawks, American Bald Eagle and Buzzards use their vast wing span to hover above these wind ramps like kites in the sky. Have you ever seen a bird hover in one sky location for several minutes without flapping there wings? Well I hadn’t up until this experience. What a metaphor this was and it fit my day perfectly. The metaphor here was to keep still. Watching the hawk balance his body and use the resource of the wind current to gain altitude told me you can stay rested while achieving new heights and gains in life. Just like the hawk, I was on a Trek using the resources around me to find new direction and balance myself to a higher state of well being.”
— Thomas G., May 2014
“I have been going through some transformational changes in my life, and after spending some time at Seven Ponds, I can confidently say that I found the clarity I needed. After my divorce, my life turned up side down and I struggled quite a lot with my emotions, and that caused a series of events that were not pleasant at all. Being depressed all the time was causing me to loose my job, my house, my friends, and pushed my family away. I came in contact with Dr. Meredith while in CA, and after talking to him for a couple of hours and learning about Seven Ponds, I immediately realized that I needed to go to Oklahoma and connect with the powerful energy in that place.
After so many sleepless nights because of my depression, chronic insomnia, and all the chatters in my mind, I arrived at Seven Ponds and within 3 hours, I was snoring on a couch. The peace and tranquility of that place took over my turmoil and transformed my entire energy into a river of emotions. The best way to describe this is by saying that God knocked down all the walls and barriers I built around me that didn't let any light come in through me.
I am a true believer and follower of God and He has blessed me with the gift of finding this beautiful retreat in the moment I needed it the most. I have been able to recover and reconnect myself again with the world and my loved ones. The staff helped me build the processes I needed in my life so I can continue in a good path after leaving Seven Ponds. They were very knowledgeable and empathetic about my situation and their guidance and support allowed me to recover with joy.
Thank you and Happy Path.”
— LMV, May 2015