“It’s all about relationships and communication.”
Jim Robertson has been an instructor of aboriginal skills and wilderness survival training for over a decade. He is a volunteer naturalist for the Santa Monica Mountains. The skills that Jim teaches help people to connect in a very deep, meaningful, fun, and personal way with their natural environment (and themselves). This connection motivates and inspires people to become good stewards of the land (and themselves)… which is Jim’s goal.
Learning Aboriginal skills is a pathway to a deeper, more intimate and meaningful relationship with the natural world. Practicing these skills greatly enhance your personal unique connection to the natural environment. As a result you will become a healthier, happier, and more peaceful person. This will guide you into becoming a protector for the land that loves us all unconditionally.
Jim’s Brief Autobiography:
I was born in Oakland, California August 12, 1939. My mom, dad and two older
brothers lived in a nice little house at the base of the Oakland foothills. By the
time I was five years old, I was already an avid hiker and explorer of the wild
open spaces around us that began just behind our backyard fence. My two older
brothers and I built shelters, hunted and fished along with other neighborhood kid
friends. My athletic abilities were obvious from the start as I excelled at various
sports and similar endeavors.
When I was eleven years old our family moved to La Jolla, California where us
kids spent almost every day skin diving for fish, abalone, lobster, etc. (having
made our own sling spears, abalone irons and lobster/crab/fish traps), surfing,
exploring the hills behind La Jolla and playing many sports.
After three years in La Jolla, our family moved to Santa Monica, California where
I enrolled at Santa Monica High School as a tenth grader. Skin diving, spear
fishing, hunting and surfing continued as I also honed my skill as a baseball
pitcher (mentored by dad) and signed a contract to play professional ball with the
Pittsburgh Pirate organization right out of high school. It turned out to be a short
pro career as I incurred an arm injury the first year of pro ball.
Confused and disappointed I came back to Santa Monica and attended Santa
Monica College seeking direction and purpose. Then joined the military to get
my obligation out of the way as the draft was on at that time … played ball there
and won every single game.
Came out of the service still looking for direction and went ski bumming at Lake
Tahoe for a year. After meeting a beautiful girl there and considering marriage at
age twenty-one, I decided to look for a more “prestigious” career, so I entered the
financial market as a stock broker trainee.
After a year of being quite bored with that work I choose to become a bartender,
which I thought would be much more fun and interesting. Got fired from my first
job for being too slow … but determined not to give up I slowly honed my skills
and became one of the fastest bartenders in the Los Angeles area … people
would come in just to watch.
After seven years of tending bar all over Los Angeles and Hawaii, I went into the
insurance business to sell casualty insurance as an old buddy from the stock
market was emphatically convincing me to share his insurance office.
Again I started slow but with much determination and a couple of years of hard
knocks, I became a top producer for many years in my district. I enjoyed meeting
people one on one and saving them lots of money. This went on for about fifteen
I started in the insurance business around 1966 which is the same time I started
training as a yoga instructor in addition to practicing many forms of martial arts …
both are still significant parts of my life.
Through the yoga I was introduced to therapeutic body work and became a
professional, licensed therapeutic body worker using a wide range of modalities
and continued that work for over thirty years. Along the way I became a certified
nutritional counselor and certified hypnotherapist.
Approximately eighteen years ago (around 1996) I found out about Aboriginal
Skills schools, wilderness survival schools and primitive skills gatherings … it felt
like a real homecoming! I started attending schools all around the western U. S.,
Canada and Mexico. After several years of practice, people surprised me by
suggesting that I become an instructor … which is what I’ve been doing for
several years now.
I’m also a volunteer naturalist and trainer in the Santa Monica Mountains,
affiliated with state and national parks where I spend a good deal of time taking
school kids into the wild, facilitating their connection with the natural environment
in a good way … so enjoyable!
I find this practice of Aboriginal Skills and the deep-rooted connection — and
relationship it fosters with our mother earth — is just what we all need for a
healthy, happy life. It is deeply satisfying for me to share these skills, this way of
being, with all who are interested. The learning never stops for any of us … we
simply continue our journey into a deeper, more joyful, harmonious way of being.
P.S. I have two great children, Christopher age 42 and Marisa age 41 who were
and are one of the greatest magical joys of my life!
P.S.P.S. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and will continue to do so.
However I have chosen to learn and grow and become a better person as a
result of every single one of them that I can consciously remember, and will
continue to hold that intention. I have learned that for me to have a good life, it is
necessary for me to give, forgive, to be a kind compassionate person and to love
unconditionally. The result of living this way is that I feel fulfilled as a human
being, feeling fully alive, consciously connected with all of life.
For me living a good life is mostly about deepening our relationships and
communication with everyone and everything. As an Aboriginal Skills instructor
we practice many skills. I see them all as pathways to the greatest skill of all …
which is how we are with one another and all of life. In other words to give and
receive love continuously and unconditionally! When we fail, we pick ourselves
up, dust ourselves off, apologize and continue with our purposeful intention of
living the good life … no need to wait … the time is now!