Garden of Paradise


Norie Huddle

I'm the second of five children and grew up in the middle of about 1500 acres of beautiful woods and fields in northern Virginia - much of which I watched being destroyed by suburban sprawl. This generated an early and very deep concern about the future of the natural environment of our Earth.

As I young person I was active in sports (especially swimming and pitching softball) and 10 years in Girl Scouts, achieving the top rank of Curved Bar. I began working early, babysitting for my younger siblings and for neighbors. I graduated a year early from Annandale High School and went to Italy for a year as an exchange student (AFS)—an incredible eye-opener to a whole new world and way of thinking. 

Returning from Italy, I went to Brown University where I majored in Russian language, with the dream of helping to create peace between the US and the USSR. Upon graduating, I went into the Peace Corps (Colombia, South America) for two years, where I was trained in a superb systems-thinking methodology that I've used ever since in my consulting work and have taught widely.  

After returning to the USA in 1968, I spent a couple of years doing office work, and then realized I was getting addicted to the steady paycheck. I ‘retired’ at age 25, in 1970, to do only what made absolute sense to me for the rest of my life.

As a result of my ‘early retirement plan’, I have been blessed to lead a widely varied life with a strong sense of purpose. This included living in Japan and working closely with Japan’s environmental movement (1971-75), bicycling across the USA with a group of Americans and Japanese (1976), doing anti-nuclear and alternative energy organizing of different kinds, participating in citizen diplomacy projects in the former USSR (decade of the 1980s) and writing seven books (about the environment and about transforming human civilization).  For more about my books, please click here:

I've done (and still do) a wide range of coaching and consulting, and I’ve created AV productions for a variety of clients. I read avidly and over the years have conducted interviews with thousands of people in an ongoing effort to understand as much as I can about today’s global situation as well as how to create something new and wonderful within the increasing dysfunctional old civilization.

The basic story of this tale of global transformation was first told in my book, Butterfly, published in 1990, a story or ‘meme’ that has now been spread around the world thanks to many people who helped to pass the story along. Most recently, my book Return To The Garden is a good synopsis of this vision.

I do public speaking (in several languages), lead seminars and workshops and do one-on-one or group coaching.  I'm an Advanced Practitioner of the Voice Dialogue Process and several other psycho-spiritual processes. In my consulting and coaching, I sometimes use a state-of-the-art process I've developed that uses layers of video feedback, to help people (and groups) move through blockages very quickly. I love inventing processes and doing creative problem solving - especially coming up with way-out-of-the-box solutions that work.  I enjoy art, music, gardening, cooking, carpentry, good conversation and interviewing, concept development & AV production. I love team-building (which I also teach) and nurturing teams to carry out worthwhile projects that make a difference in people’s lives and in the world.  

Beginning in the early 1990s, I fulfilled a life-long dream of physically building my own house, with the help of neighbors and friends, on 12 acres of land in a beautiful part of West Virginia near Harpers Ferry, about an hour and a half west of Washington, D.C. 

In 2007, Richard Wheeler and I began to design and build the Garden of Paradise Healing and Retreat Center on a semi-abandoned, weed-covered farm in south-central Ecuador. My function at the Center is as General Manager, working closely with Jorge, Roberto and Camilo to move things forward.

In late August of 2010, under quite difficult circumstances, I began drawing and coloring ‘1001  Butterfly Blessings’—one unique butterfly every day. Richard began working with me not long after and our project was completed May 19, 2013. For more about this project and some of our butterfly products, please click on the butterfly.