Lisa is an ex-corporate warrior who, like so many of the characters in her book, The Green Lady, had a deeply transformative experience in the forests of South Africa’s Garden Route. This life-altering experience was the catalyst that led to her leaving her city life and corporate job and moving to a remote smallholding, high up in the Outeniqua Mountains. Lisa and her life partner (fellow author and spiritual healer, Arn Allingham), built their off-the-grid home with their own hands where, as of 2010, they have been enjoying a simple, but deeply connected, life on the border of the beautiful indigenous Knysna forest. Lisa says, “It is my greatest joy and the expression of my most authentic self to share my love and appreciation of the forests with others through my writing.”
What are you most passionate about?
LIFE! In great, big, juicy chunks of deliciousness!
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Giving up my corporate career and city life to move to an off-the-grid home in the Outeniqua mountains.
What makes you angry?
Cruelty and injustice
If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?
Clear all alien vegetation and allow the land to return to its natural state of health and balance.
Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
I used to be a ruthless corporate hunter and now I’m more of a dreamy, idealistic gatherer! Guess which is more fun…
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Including slippers, thongs, hiking boots and gumboots – exactly 25 pairs. This is quite a victory for a recovering shoe-addict!
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
A vegetarian meal, prepared from fresh, home-grown produce
How would people communicate in a perfect world?
Directly from one heart to another. Or perhaps through movement and touch. Words are way too small to express the truly big concepts.
What do you work toward in your free time?
Clearing alien vegetation on surrounding land (our own land is already clear).
If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
What an enormous relief that this is no longer my reality! I receive relatively few e-mails nowadays and they are mostly meaningful opportunities to connect.
Name 3 thing in nature you find most beautiful.
The forests, the mountains and germinating seeds
Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?
What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?
Start by learning to truly love and unconditionally accept yourself, exactly as you are. An awakening sense of your connection to all living beings and to the Earth that gave you life naturally flows forth from a place of self-love and self-respect.
Be still in an unspoilt, natural place and simply observe, as you allow your heart to gently unfurl into connection with all that is.
You are not separate from your environment.
The Green Lady (a book by Lisa Picard)
Deep within the magical forests of South Africa’s Garden Route, hidden in a twilit world of ancient trees draped in old man’s beard, brightly-coloured fungi, lush green undergrowth and crystal-clear streams, lies a secret. This secret is the key to lasting personal transformation. This is the Green Lady.
This charming and deeply spiritual book charts the journey of Peter Allen, a city-based journalist, who spends a six-month sabbatical searching for stories of transformative encounters with the mysterious Green Lady of the forest. These heart-centred and soul-connected stories lead Peter, step-by-step, to his own personal transformation.
Meet the Knysna elephants of myth and legend, dive in the estuary to seek out the elusive seahorse, swim in fern-fringed, sun-dappled pools, meet mischievous nature spirits and elementals, changelings, sylphs and undines, all somehow connected to the Green Lady, guardian of the forest!
Read this book… and be transported by magic and wonder.