Bio: I'm an award winning poet, intuitive, healer and quiet activist. Via project management and event production, 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 reawakening. I'm also an intuitive and healer who does one-to-one work with people who want their lives to be held in living connection to themselves and other beings, but who often also fear that technology and other synthetic influences are taking over. As a poet I am working on publishing individual poems and collections in books to lift up all for which I stand.
I’ve been quietly working one-to-one with clients for over 25 years and I value the solid ground of practical coaching skill integrated with the beauty and depth of the mystical and spiritual.
I'm a synthesist. I weave together all the teachings that I have been given the responsibility to carry by elders and guides across cultures and perspectives. I ground them in my own culture and ancestry - past and future.
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I Must Honour and Acknowledge my Teachers:
NOTE: There are many people I've learned from that I have not named here because they are those whose role in my life has caused me pain, damage or disintegration. While that work has been the hardest, it's probably also been the most important and ultimately the most healing and they need to be honoured too, if anonymously and collectively.
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, shamans and enlightened teachers in India. I worked consistently and intensely with her for about 15 years. (More than a Masters Degree’s -and getting on toward a PhD! worth of time. I did the math one day!) She has no website or on-line presence. She's now retired.
Cynthia Bourgeault – is the main teacher, author and Wisdom School/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 heart-full sense to me. I’ve been working with her on and off since 2004. More about Cynthia here.
Aditi Jeannette Holden - is someone who is so multi-faceted, she's near impossible to describe. But it's primarily her teachings and work in ancestral and other worldly realms and how they guide, disrupt and generally affect our individual lives here on earth that I have been learning. It's a life-long journey. More about Aditi here and here.
Nicole Powell - taught me to read tea leaves and thus, to know the precision with which I can see beyond the material. I'm forever in her debt for this gift. She continues to be a teacher for me in other ways. Site.
Keith Clifford - has been my friend and husband in phases for 40ish years. 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 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 over the years with her.
Other teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with or learning from in person:
Keren Brown - Wise Woman Leading
Tom Sampson - W̱SÁNEĆ Elder, culture and language holder
Danny Henry/yéyəlməxʷ - W̱SÁNEĆ Elder, culture holder
Ivy Seward/təltélelmat - W̱SÁNEĆ Elder and lək̓ʷəŋiʔnəŋ, SENĆOŦEN and Hul’qumi’num language holder
Joe Seward/θqaɫəčtən- SENĆOŦEN and lək̓ʷəŋiʔnəŋ
language holder, Tsartlip Councillor
Elmer George - lək̓ʷəŋən Elder
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 Institute
Carol McGrath – Herbalist
Sarah Modeste – Cowichan 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 etc.
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
--- and many others.
People whose work, usually books, has helped guide me, though I’ve not met them –
Robert MacFarlane - (The Old Ways and other books)
Rupert Ross - Dancing with A Ghost
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
Richard Rohr (several books)
Thomas King (most of his books)
Tomson Highway (Laughing With the Trickster)
Martín Prectel (The Smell of Rain on Dust, Rescuing the Light)
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!
I am profoundly grateful to each of my teachers for their service to humanity and all life on earth.
Always move toward that which serves Life, Beauty and Peace. That's my mission. I work on it every day. I value especially that which cannot be reduced into data, quantity or measurements, things for which there is no algorithm. We measure things because we measure things, not because they’re measurable. Everything is relative, not absolute.
I work in service to: clean water, healthy air, nourishing soil, intact stones, art and beauty in all forms, minerals that stay in the ground, cultural/healing/spiritual/language diversity, my 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. Every single material item is made up of earthly components: plastics, metals, glass. They too deserve our reverence and care.
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, land/sea/air
social - connections, community, generosity, inclusion
human - curiosity, love, wholeness, nuance
spiritual - interconnectedness, humility, inner capacities, wisdom
cultural - slowness, diversity, art, ancestry, depth, perspective, language
material - sustainable, essential/enough, non-extractive
financial - supports life, new economy, sacred, indigenous
experiential - intellectual, heart, mystical, embodied, skills, practice, senses, the "Clairs" (clairvoyance, clairsentience, etc.)
Story: 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.
"Allyship to me isn't an obligation to someone, it is a devotion."
~ Tada Hozumi
*This list flows from an adaptation of 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.
"Dwelling in the rooms of impossibility + hope, wider vision + smaller frames. It is not cynical to name how much work needs to be done. It is not irresponsible to rest. These are the both/and days. Wonder and grief. The full catastrophe. My only real tool is an honourable welcome to all that comes."
~ Meghan Rathwell
Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity. ~ Sean Stephenson