Why do you care?

Karla Riddell
3 min readOct 5, 2020


Why do you care about the environment, the natural living world?

I am reading an extraordinary book at the moment by Charles Eisenstein. He asks the question of why did you become an environmentalist, an advocate for nature?

So I actually sat down with this question, and what arose was surprising…

I became an advocate for nature because I started feeling the land, feeling the plants and feeling the animals and in doing so, I developed deep empathy for life. I also felt a sense of interconnectedness that I am a part of the ecosystem of life, just one little life form like the billions and billions of other life forms.

The way I came to feel nature was actually also quite… surprising.

When I left my Paramedic degree I went travelling… it was kind of like my gap year. I somehow stumbled into a profound Shamanic journey that I never really planned. Part of this Shamanic journey was connecting with plant medicines, and it was these plants that opened up my senses, enough to feel other life forms.

I didn’t actually realised the profound affect this had on my life until I arrived back in my home country, the place that raised me. There were two big experiences that I had that showed me, something big has changed within. One was when I first entered a commercial supermarket. Not only was I dazed by the headlights… well the fluros, but I was shocked at the treatment and disregard of the plants. The most shocking was the suffocation of them being wrapped in plastic… and we all know where plastic comes from! I felt deep care for the life of these plants, and I knew… there was nothing I could do, except tell my story.

The second big experience was when I was travelling the landscape, I saw a hill with ancient stones and entered into a state of awe, my senses were telling me this was a sacred site… in the middle of someone’s big paddock! In time I realised that I was reading the landscape, with the main sensory input being my feeling body. I was using other senses though too, senses that had being dormant my whole life. It is a sensory of spirit and also a knowledge of reading rocks that I was never taught, it just seemed to come to me after being immersed in the sacred valley of Peru with those ancient stones.

So yes, I am an advocate for nature, because I have empathy for all life. I am also an advocate for reawakening our senses… maybe then we will collectively come to our senses. The more open our senses, the more connected we are to our environment and each other. We also have capacity to take in huge amounts of information, it is a full body intelligence, rather than an issolated inteligence of the brain. And if we activated our spiritual intelllegence along with our common sense/s imagine what kind of a civilization we would become… I imagine, it would be much like returning to our Indigenous heritage. A re-indiginsing of our being.

Interested in reading my story? Paramedic to Shaman is on kindle and ebook.

If you are interested in reconnection journey’s in nature you can also find out more on my website:

Young Shaman Foundation



Karla Riddell

Karla is the founder and facilitator of the Young Shaman Foundation. She is dedicated to creating rites of passage to connect people to self, nature and tribe.