Nature and the Human Soul
featuring Animas Valley's Brian Stafford MD, MPH
Wednesday, Jan. 18 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm ET
Register Here

Fully Experience the Wheel of Life!

Join Animas Valley Institute’s Brian Stafford MD, MPH and discover a new ecopsychology of human development and cultural transformation

A life-span model of development, from infancy through authentic elderhood

Anchored in traditional four-directions wisdom, contemporary depth and archetypal psychologies, and twenty-five years of nature-based soul guiding, this program will present an introductory blueprint showing how richly we can grow and mature when soul and nature are embraced as our wisest and most trustworthy guides. It will touch upon the integrated set of developmental guidelines that can help every human mature into an adulthood of visionary leadership — precisely what we need in this century if we are to create a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

This program brings to life the soul-affirming wisdom of Animas Valley Institute and its founder Bill Plotkin, whose 2008 book Nature and the Human Soul:  Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World  introduced a “Wheel of Life” that describes the journey of an individual to full adult maturity.

This “journey to maturity” expresses the heart of Sacred Fire LifeWay’s “Life Cycle Living” programs, which present teachings about living life aligned with the soulful wisdom found in Nature’s life stages.

Guided by Animas Valley Institute’s Brian Stafford MD, MPH, this online program introduces the Wheel of Life’s “blueprint,” the Soulcentric Development Wheel (SDW), which presents a contemporary rendering of the 8-stage initiatory journey undertaken by seekers from all healthy cultures from all times.

In this two-hour online presentation, Brian will use talks, conversation, storytelling and poetry to guide you through:

  • The eight distinct stages of life and how these stages are almost always independent of chronological age, biological development, cognitive ability, or social role
  • How the movement from one stage to the next comes about through progress with psychological and spiritual tasks that are specific to each stage
  • An achievable vision of a contemporary way of life that holds soul-discovery and genuine contribution to the more-than-human community as its most central features and goals

This work “shows us how we can take root in a childhood of innocence and wonder; sprout into an adolescence of creative fire and mystery-probing adventures; blossom into an authentic adulthood of cultural artistry and visionary leadership; and finally ripen into a seed-scattering elderhood of wisdom, grace and the holistic tending of the…
more-than-human world.”
—Bill Plotkin, author of “Nature and the Human Soul

An inspiring, actionable and complete experience on its own, this program also sets the stage for participants who wish to go deeper with their learning.

This introductory program and its overview of the Soulcentric Development Wheel will be followed in 2023 by a separate, 8-session exploratory experience of each of the 8 Stages of Soulcentric Human Development, offered in an online and homework format.

In this deeper dive into the work, you’ll more fully discover how to use the Soulcentric Developmental Wheel to clarify your own next steps of soul-infused development and learn a set of principles and practices by which you can align yourself with the lifelong journey of growing whole.

Attending this introductory program on January 18th will both deepen your experience of Sacred Fire LifeWay’s Life Cycle Living worldview and give you an impression what participating in the Fall’s full program series might mean to your journey through life.


  • Brian Stafford, MD, MPH

    Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
    Brian Stafford is a guide to the wilderness of nature and soul. He was called out of academic medicine to serve as a guide to the depths and to serve as an agent of cultural awakening and transformation. He guides with humor, playfulness, compassion, discernment, and a deep remembering of the fullness of what each human life can, should, and was meant to be. A native of Colorado and the former holder of an endowed chair and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, he is an avid outdoorsman, teacher, writer, mentor, partner, and parent. He guides individuals and groups.


Can’t attend the live event? No worries. Your registration fee includes access to the program recording.

Register Here


Wednesday, January 18, 2023
7:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern (Americas)
4:00 – 6:00 pm Pacific (Americas)
Thursday, January 19, 2023
11:00 am – 1:00 pm AEDT (Australia)
8:00 – 10:00 am AWST (Australia)
12 midnight – 2:00 am GMT (UK)

Please log in 5-10 minutes early to ensure that your connection is working.


$30 Fee includes program recording whether or not you can attend the live event.

With your registration, you will also receive a PDF copy of Sacred Fire magazine’s interview with Bill Plotkin, “Maturity Matters,” published in 2008 at the time of the release of “Nature and the Human Soul.”

For more information

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