"I know that we are meant to be connected to the earth and all her beings and that is inextricably linked to being connected to our own souls. We are part of the weaving of the world which means the whole also suffers when our individual connection is broken."
Brief bio: I am a wild soul, an artist, a Jungian Coach and Spiritual Guide, a cofounder of Wild Church BC, daughter, sister, friend, partner in a marriage and mother to two beautiful young adults. Last year I transitioned from 30 years in non profit work supporting women and children experiencing violence to find new ways to live into my call with work that brings me alive..
I am passionate about learning and using different ways of knowing other than words and logic, the overculture’s most coveted way of knowing. I am a late blooming artist who loves to play in the flowing river of creativity. I am entwined with my intuition, we dance together often. I am fascinated and amazed by imagination and inner landscapes, imaginal journeys are one of my favourite practices to do and lead. I love learning from the dream world and the gifts of the Dream Maker and Riddle Mother. Understanding the connection between my inner being, my body, the earth’s body and the Divine woven through all has been an adventure, a beautiful exploration and a gift I am still receiving.
To engage with my passions and live more fully into my call, I launched Wild River Soul to offer my art to the world and my gifts as a Spiritual Guide and Creativity Coach. This feels like soul work, a way to live out my call of how I am to walk in the world. wildriversoul.com wildchurchbc.org
Tell us a bit about who you are and how you came to this work
I had a beautiful and full life, family and friends, work that I was passionate about, activities that got me out into nature, and yet I was unhappy and unfulfilled. My work was wonderful and stressful and I was ready for a change, but I knew that work was not the only thing that needed to change for me to be fulfilled.
I had fallen away from my traditional faith, the traditional “in the building church”, it wasn’t feeding me any longer. I struggled with being Christian because of the harms done and the harms continuing to be done in the name of Christianity. I could feel the Divine when I was in nature, but I wanted to be able to connect in a deeper and more meaningful way. Friends who were walking a similar path were crucial to finding my way. This is when I realized I also need a community of like minded folks who wanted to explore what spirituality in nature might look like. Our book group read Bill Plotkin’s “Soulcraft” and that was the beginning of the journey. Next came co-creating Wild Church BC, then journeying through Seminary of the Wild which was to support the work we were doing with Wild Church but it was so much more than that.
I wanted to discover what my soul really wanted in this life. I wanted to understand my calling and my gifts to offer to the world. I wanted to live a more soulful life but I wasn’t sure how to get there. I found many of those answers and am still exploring, discovering more.
Share a bit about the lands who raised you, and how has your own connection with the natural world influenced your path?
I was raised by two lands, the one of my childhood and the one I where I grew into my own skin, my being, my wholeness. I am a settler who grew up in the unceded mountains and waters of the Sinixt people (Rossland, BC) and still hold those mountains and waters in my being. Growing up as a mountain kid there was always places to explore, hikes to go on, places to be enchanted by and fall in love with. I feel so deeply connected to mountains and water that were so predominant in the landscapes I grew up in.
I now wander the hills and grasslands of Secwepemcúĺecw and live on the unceded lands of Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc (Kamloops, BC) where two rivers converge. In the first few years here I had to learn I could fall in love with this unique and beautiful land that was so different from my alpine mountains and this allowed my perspective to shift. What were once bare, dry and brown hills were now multi hued grasslands supporting so much life and the bare hills changed to the land showing us their sensuous curves of rock and soil. When in Seminary of the Wild I was invited into deep relationship with the river who gave me my first call, to be a river. This call invited me to be one who wanders following the landscape, who can hold much, who reflects back and shows what is beneath to offer a new way to see the world, one who is a passage for others as they journey. I will always hold the lands I grew up on in my being but the lands who called me home to my soul and my calling are sacred and I am grateful beyond words.
Why do you believe a practice of spiritual connection with the earth is important for our time?
I was really connected to the earth when I was a kid but as I grew up and career, relationship and children came I began to disconnect, to live the life that was expected, the one my culture said I should strive for. When I become disconnected from the earth my connection with myself was too tenuous and broke as well. I see this is the path for so many people.
I know that we are meant to be connected to the earth and all her beings and that is inextricably linked to being connected to our own souls. We are part of the weaving of the world which means the whole also suffers when our individual connection is broken. We see this now as we hold a broken world experiencing so much pain.
In your experience, what are some of the barriers or challenges individuals or communities face in developing a deeper connection with nature?
I think that living primarily from the conditioning of the overculture, and with our ego with all our protective parts leading us, is one of the biggest barriers. The patriarchy, rampant capitalism and systemic oppression create significant barriers to deeper connection. It takes courage to question the conditioning that is rooted in you and this is difficult to do on your own. When there is a community doing this work together the collective courage, wisdom and growth support that deeper connection with the earth.
What practices (big or small) can help heal our disconnection from the natural world?
Wandering is a beautiful practice. Different than a hike or even a walk because you are entering into a time with an intention of connecting, listening, entering into a conversation. This intentional time is sacred and that allows me to slow right down and notice the little things, to listen more deeply. This is such simple yet profound practice.
What are you looking forward to offering as a guide in Seminary of the Wild Earth?
I am looking forward to co-creating a container, a space, of connection, deepening experiences and conversation. I look forward to witnessing the unfolding that happens as people connect more deeply with the earth, the Sacred Mystery and themselves and how our community unfolds as each of us grow. For many years I have walked beside others on their journey but in a very different context, so to do this with the intention of exploring and deepening connection with the earth and being part of the healing that is needed feels like coming home