678. Out of Africa, She Learned Change Starts Within
Dr. Hayley R. Adams
“I believe we can change our relationship to the planet. But we have to do the inner work first. I’m willing to take that step.”
Dr. Hayley R. Adams has over 20 years of experience in wildlife veterinary medicine, conservation, and issues related to One Health in Africa, and has worked with a variety of domestic and wild animals over the years. In 2010, she created a charitable organization, Silent Heroes Foundation, as a way to contribute to conservation in Africa. A veterinarian with a Ph.D. in wildlife epidemiology and virology, she currently teaches conservation medicine and related courses at the University of Florida. She’s a Certified Meditation Instructor and is also certified as a Compassion Fatigue Therapist. Her first book, “Conscious Conservation: Less Doing, More Being,” is available now.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“Our community was a very small town, so I was working with animals from a young age. We always had pets when I was growing up. That was just where I felt most at home. I’ve done all the jobs through the years working with animals, volunteering. It wasn’t ever about money. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian from the time I was a child.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I have to give a lot of credit to my lifelong mentor and heroine, Dr. Jane Goodall. As a very young child, I picked up a National Geographic magazine and she was on the cover. The rest is history. She truly has been a mentor for me in so many ways. Looking at her and seeing that a woman could go out into the field was very inspiring. Obviously, during those times, being in unfamiliar territory, breaking down barriers, putting herself in vulnerable positions, and asking questions that needed to be asked. It was fascinating to me.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“A lot of people who work in conservation like myself are being pulled down by a lot of negativity. We tend to place a heavy focus on doom and gloom. But how do you bring about positive change if you are focusing on what you don’t want? So, I wrote a book to inspire and transform the way we’re doing conservation. I believe we can do it differently. There is still hope, but we are going to have to radically change our approach. That requires us to do a lot of inner work. I still believe that one person can make a difference. But, change really does start from within.”
Steps to Success from Dr. Hayley R. Adams
1. Life is about continual learning. Always pushing your own limits and continue to explore and stretch.
2. To be able to give back in a big way, you have got to take care of yourself first. You can’t draw from an empty well.
3. Don’t become overly invested in your own identity and the externals of your life. Be willing to let go of an identity if it is holding you back.
4. Foster the spirit of listening. Cultivate the critical ability to be still and listen.
On Her Bookshelf
Conscious Conservation: Less Doing, More Being, by Dr. Hayley Adams
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles, by Marianne Williamson
The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, by Gay Hendricks, Ph.D.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown (https://amzn.to/2J5seUp)
Connecting With Dr. Hayley R. Adams
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Careers: Conservation, Professor, Veterinary
Topics: Conservation, Wild Animals