I'm a quiet high impact activist. Largely via event production and project work, I've lifted up and helped to move forward the fields of integrative medicine, regenerative urban development, permaculture, pilgrimage, keeping kids in nature, the arts (especially local musicians, poets and visual artists), new economics and indigenous language revitalization. I'm also an intuitive and poet who does personal coaching for progressive and aspiring politicians and others in leadership roles.
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When I was still in University back in the early 1980’s I woke, at 3:20 am from a dream that there was a fire at a particular intersection in downtown Edmonton where I lived at the time. I went back to sleep and then woke with the alarm sometime later. The news was on the radio and the first story I heard was that there had been a fire that started at 3:20 am at the same intersection that my dream had been about. That’s my first conscious memory of having intuitive capacity.
In the past 10 years in particular, but certainly long before that too, I’ve been working at integrating and using all the ways I have of knowing things, including intuitively. When I took a tea leaf reading workshop in late 2015, I knew I’d found a tool that would work for me to start doing intuitive readings to pass along to people what’s showing up in the field for them to know. Since then I've also added "Throwing the Bones" as a tool.
Most people know me as a leading-edge event producer and project manager, and that’s still true. I’m a natural convener and organizer! And now, I’m an intuitive guide as well. I’ve been quietly working one-to-one with clients for over 20 years and I value the solid ground of practical coaching skill integrated with the beauty and depth of the mystical. Tea and the objects in Bones Throwing, for me, brings both forward.
Kashalya Milon – is someone you won’t find on Google. An elder, she works in the old way, quietly and under the radar. Her teachers include Eckhart Tolle, Joseph Campbell, shamen and an enlightened teacher in India. I’ve worked consistently and intensely with her for about 10 years. (read: more than a Masters Degree’s worth of time. I did the math one day!)
Cynthia Bourgeault – is the main teacher, author and retreat leader for The Contemplative Society who works deep in the contemplative and ancient wisdom traditions of Christianity. Her modern grounded work in this vein has helped me reframe much of my personal and genealogical spiritual background into something that makes broad sense to me. I’ve been working with her on and off for over 13 years.
Keith Clifford - has been my friend and husband in phases for over 35 years now. His understanding and capacity to hold space for my growth, and to let me hold space for his, is unparalleled in my life. My gratitude and love for him as my beloved husband know no bounds.
Hannah Berry - is my, now adult, daughter. She is my teacher in the way only ones' child can be. Humility, patience, listening, service, boundaries and unconditional love are just a few of the teachings I've received in stages over the years with her.
Nicole Powell - taught me to read tea leaves. I'm forever in her debt for this gift.
Other teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with or learning from in person:
Mark Silver - Heart of Business
Mark Lakeman – City Repair/Communitecture
Tad Hargrave – Marketing for Hippies
Alex Baisley – Big Dream Program
Brandy Gallagher – OUR Ecovillage
Lisa Berkeley - WIIS West, Inner Economy Insititute
Carol McGrath – Herbalist
Sarah Modeste – Cowichan Nation Elder
Ethan Roland and Gregory Landua – permaculturists, authors of Regenerative Enterprise
Javan Bernakevitch – All Points Land Design and Permaculture BC
Andrew Weil – integrative physician
Charles Eisenstein – new economy
Starhawk - speaker, activist, author
Stephen Jenkinson – Orphan Wisdom School
Richard Wagamese - speaker and author
Edgar Mitchel – astronaut (6th to walk on the moon) and founder of IONS
Elmer George - Lekwungen elder
Tom Sampson - WSANEC elder
--- and many others.
People whose work, usually books, has helped guide me, though I’ve not met them –
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
Richard Rohr (several books)
Thomas King (several books)
Martín Prectel (The Smell of Rain on Dust)
Daniel Ladinsky (especially his translations of mystical poets)
A. H. Almaas (workshops and books)
Christiane Northrup (several books)
Rainier Maria Rilke
Thomas Moore (Original Self)
Wendell Berry (several books)
David Richo (books and recordings)
Otto Sharmer and co. (Theory U)
Jett Psarsis and Marlena Lyons (Undefended Love),
Paulo Coelho (several books)
Wab Kinew (The Reason You Walk)
---- and the list goes on!
Always move toward that which supports Life and Peace. That's my mission. I work on it every day. I work in service to clean water, healthy air, nourishing soil, intact stones, minerals that stay in the ground, cultural and language diversity, the ancestors, those to whom I will be an ancestor, robust relationships and all living things that depend entirely on these things we have in common. All things are sacred. How would you and I live differently if we integrated just that thought - all things are sacred - into our daily actions? Trees, plants and all other forms of tiny and larger wildlife figured out how to live here on earth a long time before humans came into the picture. We'd do well to listen to their songs and hear what they are telling us.
Lakota leader Black Elk taught, "All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One."
The following is one way I think practically about this generations-long, nuanced and complex undertaking toward the allyship, support and regeneration of the elements of life on earth and peaceful relations. Sometimes I call it radical inclusion.
ecological* - plants, creatures, natural elements
social - connections, community, generosity, inclusion
human - curiosity, love, wholeness, nuance
spiritual - interconnectedness, humility, inner capacities, wisdom
cultural - slowness, diversity, art, ancestry, depth
material - sustainable, essential/enough, non-extractive
financial - supports life, new economy, sacred, indigenous
experiential - intellectual, heart, mystical, embodied, skills, practice
"Allyship to me isn't an obligation to someone, it is a devotion."
~ Tada Hozumi
*This list flows from permaculture principles and practices, especially as described in Regenerative Enterprise by Ethan Roland and Gregory Landua.
Wisdom – To paraphrase Cynthia Bourgeault, wisdom is not about knowing more stuff, it’s about knowing with more of you. In the Wisdom Tradition the heart is an organ of perception, keeping us aligned with the vertical axis of timeless reality as we journey along the horizontal axis of our life.