I have been shaped, informed and liberated in many ways by many voices and beautiful souls, but want to recognize here how the following bodies of work and perspectives from the following folx, in no particular order, have directly informed the work I offer now.
All good work comes from the rich shadowy soil of what is first invisible, and then made visible through the creative fires of soul. All people, bodies of work, organizations, and cultures have these shadows, and work with them with varying degrees of awareness. In highlighting the light these bodies of work offer, it is not my intention to render their shadows invisible.
Here are a few that give shape to my lenses under The Bedrock of my Practice and under Across Intersections, some further links to local resources I recommend under Recommended Resources Beyond Innerlife, and some resources to help repair and restore trust in connections at the bottom of this page under Helpful Links in Responding in Connecting Ways and Repairing Trust:
The Bedrock of my Practice
Animas Valley Institute & Nature and the Human Soul - Bill Plotkin: This work brought my work out of the two dimensional and polarized view of illness versus health, as if each of these was a static state on either end of a spectrum…and into other more nuanced, spiraling dimensions of growth and maturation. A life well-lived, it could be said, is one in which we don’t just grow old, but we also grow wise. We develop relationally: in relationship to ourselves, to each other, and to the infinite intelligence of this living world. This work offers me a rich and comprehensive map through healing into wholing through relational and cultural maturation. It gives meat and bones and teeth to living from Soul. https://animas.org/
In the predominant paradigm in Western psychotherapy, the therapist acts as the agent of the client’s healing. The mature therapist accomplishes this by being present to the client with the resources of the therapist’s Self. It’s the therapist, in other words, who supplies the wholeness. This Western mode of psychological healing provides a great service, especially when the client has little access to her Self, but this is not the sort of in depth healing from which we most benefit. It’s more of a temporary fix or a relatively shallow healing that might later reveal deeper wounds. The more in-depth healing occurs when we learn to embrace our fragmentedness from our own wholeness. This is self-healing — or, more precisely, Selfhealing (healing accomplished by an Ego rooted in the Self ).
But once we get started in our wholing, we can begin Self-healing; and Self-healing accelerates our capacity for wholing. Wholing and healing reinforce each other. Personal wholing and healing, however, require more than simply developing relationships between parts of our own psyches and between our selves and other humans. Psychological wholeness also necessitates a mature and reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human world of which we are members. We are served therapeutically and in so many other ways by nature, yes, but it is also vital that we each step up to our responsibility and opportunity to protect and serve the natural world. We can do this in any number of ways, including planting trees, preserving and restoring habitat, eliminating waste and pollution, protesting ecological crimes, and helping to change the laws, policies, and customs that enable such crimes. Engaging in the good hard work of such service may, in fact, be one of the most effective paths to our individual psychological healing — for many people, ecological service alone (including service to our fellow humans) may be more therapeutic than psychotherapy. A true adult is in conscious relationship and service to our mysterious and endangered world and, more generally, is a creative, joyful, and contributing member of the Earth community. Our private psyches are meant to be public resources. The personal contributes to the cultural, and vice versa. The personal also contributes to the ecological, and vice versa: as healthy humans, we enhance our more-than-human environment, and we have no life at all, of course, without a thriving environment. ~ Bill Plotkin, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche
Response-based Practice: Being introduced to response-based-practice was like someone switching the power back on all over the world for me. It gave everything I knew at a deep feeling level, a voice and lit it up. Up until that point I had been studying and learning about the responses of tissues, fluids, chemicals, systems and structure in the body to energetic patterns of the body (meridians, chakras, and localized consciousness). But response-based-practice contexualized the connections between the physical body and the energy body within the frameworks of power dynamics, systemic injustice and how language directs power…and how systemic violence affects not only relational health, but actually energetic, mental and physical health too. And vice versa. It offers a way to deconstruct human behaviour in response to the more invisible aspects of power and make it visible. This work transformed my practice as well as my personal health and life too. Allan Wade talks about social response in relation to Violence, Resistance, and Power in Language here, and makes these connections explicit, including to physical health. https://www.responsebasedpractice.com/
Social Constructionism: I began a Masters in Relational Leadership in 2015 because I wanted to explore the ways power (and inadvertently, injustice) is organized institutionally from, among other approaches, a Social Constructionist lens and within an academic environment. The program wasn’t for me in the end, but I got a lot from the dive into this perspective and approach to understanding different ways to experience a “reality”. And it continues to help me unpack the ways meaning is constructed relationally and work with clients as they navigate shifts in perspective, and become more skilled at generative meaning-making in their own lives. https://www.taosinstitute.net/
Non-Violent Communication - Marshall Rosenberg: While I immediately felt drawn to this body of work and it’s ability to uncover and work generatively with the relationships between needs, feelings, and behaviour, the basic methodology, possibly due to some of Marshall Rosenberg’s own unconscious privilege, inadvertently obscures power dynamics in relationships. And in situations where I found myself on the disempowered end of systemic “tragic expressions of unmet needs” (which is a way Marshall Rosenberg describes violence), I initially found it further disempowering; not it’s intended purpose. However, over time I have been able to recognize where needs and feelings are not being expressed, and where they are not being heard. This distinction is essential to shifting imbalances of power and finding the places where this work is incredibly powerful and healing. I find it connects with the 3 lower centres of the vedic energy body (root chakra = needs, sacred chakra = feelings, solar plexus chakra = behaviour), giving voice and language and therefore power to oppressive personal, systemic, and cultural patterns of relating. Here is a 22 minute overview of the model and system. https://www.cnvc.org/
Polarity, Erotic Intelligence, Sexuality & Spirituality:
David Deida: This work fleshed out my understanding of polarity, not only within an individual body (Chinese Medicine works with the opposite poles of yin and yang), but between people. It transformed my understanding of energy medicine and relational health. This brilliant series of 12 short (10 mins each) videos is a beautiful entry point into David Deida’s work.
And this conversation about Erotic Intelligence between Rex Brangwyn and Charles Eisenstein in this podcast brought in new dimensions and perspectives too.
Esther Perel has deepened and affirmed this exploration for me: If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go. But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire. They forget that fire needs air. - From Mating In Captivity
Jungian & Depth Psychology, Transpersonal Psychology, Eco Psychology & Birth and Death processes:
While the psychological underpinnings of the energy work in which I was trained was Jungian-based, I became a lot more versed in Jungian psychology by going through a year-long Analytical process personally, and grew more curious about this work during this time. I have continued exploring it since.
Jungian & Archetypal Psychology - James Hillman
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) is a Swiss psychiatrist who developed Analytical Psychology. This approach focuses on the psyche, human development, personality formation, and individuation. Individuation is a process of bringing our unconscious potential into a concrete living reality. This process helps to secure a bridge between an individual and the unconscious as well as the individual and his/her wider community. By incorporating both an inner and outer exploration, one discovers a more potent sense of meaning and purpose in life. The C.J. Jung Center
Oh dreamwork….there is more richness here than I could possibly elucidate in 10 large novels… So I will just begin with the two names above… But let me also just say this…to dream is to be and become more human.
EcoPsychology - The International Community for Ecopsychology, What is Eco-Psychology? What is Eco-Psychotherapy? “I hope this helps to make it clear that eco-psychotherapy is not simply about the healing power of nature. Instead it is a new form or psychotherapy that invites the natural world into the therapeutic relationship, or alternatively, places the therapeutic relationship in the context of the natural world. It is at the intersection of the therapeutic relationship and the human-nature relationship that all sorts of interesting and profound things start to happen. This is the terrain of eco-psychotherapy.” ~Sean O’Carroll.
The work that Reconnect - Joanna Macy
Permaculture: This work offered a cohesive structure to the whole-systems approaches to inter and intra species relating that have always resonated for me. This is culture-building at it’s finest. I am able to apply these design principles to my work at all levels: with clients, with my clinic, with my business, my home, my garden, my finances and with my life in general. I can keep coming back to these principles to see where any of these systems (or any others) are less efficient, then shift my thinking and refocus. Permaculture Design Principles
Ancestral Medicine & Animism - Daniel Foor
I was aware of communicating and connecting with my ancestors and with the more-than-human-world before I was introduced to Daniel Foor’s work, but his body of work, approach, and systems developed to deepen these connections were incredibly affirming and insightful. I recommend local practitioner Shauna Janz for her Ancestral Medicine work and her work in Grief education too.
Candace Pert and Bruce Lipton - Molecules of Emotion & Biology of Belief: These two scientists, researchers, and authors (and others) capable of moving between academic and popular culture, and popularized by more recent movements in westernized culture making connections between beliefs, thoughts, and emotions on the hormonal, chemical and genetic levels of physiological organization and health, affirmed my own direct experience of mind/body connections, and the experiences of hundreds of clients I have worked with over the years. Their work helps to make sense of how a stronger and whole-er sense of self-esteem can actually translate into improved physical health that can be read by blood and other medical tests.
Reiki and The BodyTalk System™: These energy-based modalities offer the primary framework of my practice as energy-based. They provide me and my clients a way to make meaning of the body’s responses and invite a physical felt sense and experience of change and growth over time. A little more on BodyTalk and Reiki here.
Astrology, Physics, Metaphysics, the Occult, and Dimensions of consciousness:
The bodies of work from these folk helped me make links between Depth and Transpersonal Psychology with Mathematics, Physics, Geology and the technologies of the Ancients, including Astrology, Stone Circles, and working with telluric lines (ley lines).
The Self-Aware Universe, The Quantum Doctor, Physics of the Soul, The Everything Answer Book: How Quantum Science Explains Love, Death, and the Meaning of Life, God is Not Dead, Creative Evolution, Quantum Creativity - Amit Goswami
Unified Physics - Connections in physics, mathematics, geometry, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, chemistry, in addition to anthropology and ancient civilizations - The Resonance Science Foundation - Nassim Haramein
Attachment Theories and Connections between childhood trauma, addiction & compulsive behaviour:
These bodies of work really call into question many of our current mainstream cultural biases towards trauma and addiction, and offer insightful connections at the level of the body. They also offer innovative approaches to healing and growing…and becoming more human.
Everything you Think you Know about Addiction is Wrong (“Rat Park”)~ Johann Hari
Healing as a Subversive Act ~ Dr. Gabor Mate
Somatic Experiencing - Peter Levine
The Body Keeps the Score - Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma - Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
My beloved friends, colleagues, and communities of healers, seekers, innovators, activists, decolonizing feminist scholars and brave-hearts, especially all my clients over the years: Growth is a relational practice, process, and skill, but it’s also a privilege, and I am incredibly fortunate to find myself in the company of so many that constantly challenge me to grow. Growing is both pleasurable, and is also often an exceedingly painful experience. The ways these relationships have informed my life are so deeply embedded in it that one could not, and would not, exist without the other. If my life were a home, these relationships would be the hearth from which all else is connected, nourished, warmed and kept burning, even and especially on the darkest, coldest, wettest nights.
The More-Than-Human Beings: my own loving, wise and well Ancestors, the wise and well Ancestors of this place, these peoples, and this land, Elemental Forces, Plant, Tree, Insect and Animal folk/beings, and benevolent Spirit Beings…all whom are communicating with me at every turn and offering their gifts, wisdom, and lives regardless…but whom I can appreciate more fully when I slow down and turn inward enough to hear them, feel them and see them.
Please….I implore you Divine Mystery…
…may many many others begin to do the same.
I am schooled, learned, and grown further each and every moment by tuning into the brilliant minds and voices of those who are located differently that I am.
https://www.queernature.org/blog/2019/7/3/incorporation-within-white-supremacy-settler-colonialism “Therefore, land can never be an apolitical place. Leadership is a reproduction of culture. If that is the case, I wonder what culture are we reproducing as guides? Who will you make sure takes your guide seat? How can we all create opportunities for those who do not look like us and are systematically targeted to take the guide seat? How do we make sure that there are more black and brown faces in our wilderness guides networks without tokenizing?”
Chelsea Vowel - Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements - https://apihtawikosisan.com/2016/09/beyond-territorial-acknowledgments/
Sandra D. Styres - Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education - Philosophis of Iethi'nihstenha Ohwentsia'kekha (Land) - Soulfulness is deeply intense and emotional expressions of feeling; as such, place is storied, relational, and intimate. In this way we are in place as much as it is in us - every experience and expression of place is replete with multiple layers of memories each informing the other in diverse and entangled ways. These memories can be (re)membered through the (re)telling of stories and experiences of and in place.
Space, then, is an empty generality; however, place is particular, it is storied, it is experienced. Iethi'nihstenha Ohwentsia'kekha (Land), in the context of this work, extends beyond the boundaries of place. Iethi'nihstenha Ohwentsia'kekha (Land) embodies principles, philosophies, and ontologies that transcend the material construct of place. With this understanding in mind, Land is spiritual, emotional, and relational; Land is experiential; Land is conscious - Land is a fundamental living being.
Indigen0us people and their philosophies are informed by their spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical relationships with Iethi'nihstenha Ohwentsia'kekha (Land) and to their specific lands.
Unresolved - https://www.cbc.ca/missingandmurdered/
Women and life on Earth - Ecofeminism
Inclusion and Equity in Organziational Culture - Desiree Adaway
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Charles Eisenstein, Dr. Martin Shaw, The Dark Mountain Project, The Archdruid Report (now ecosophia): These writing collections, blogs, and podcasts are weaving the seemingly disparate threads of myth and the soul of the earth into the fabric of human consciousness, and have woven threads through and enriched mine in infinite ways.
Spiritual Midwifery - Ina May Gaskin
Death Doula and Ritual Healing - Sarah Kerr
Recommended Resources Beyond Innerlife:
There are so many rich sources of healing and wholing in this part of the world, but here are a few that I regularly recommend:
Grief as a Skill and Practice & Ancestral Medicine:
Shauna Janz https://www.shaunajanz.com/
Meaningful Movement Project
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, Registered Massage Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Clinical Counselling with EMDR & Psychotherapy
Community-based Approach to Supporting Life with a focus on Culture
Somatic Experiencing & Somatic Transformation Therapies
Thirteen Moons Medicine Horses
Harmony Yoga in Duncan BC
Natural Harmony Chinese Medicine Clinic, Duncan BC
Christy Greenwood - Rewilding Within & Body Re-connection
Alexa Linton - Animal/Human connection and health & Osteopathy/Kinesiology
Helpful Links to Responding in Connecting Ways and Repairing Trust
Some suggestions of how to respond if someone feels you have hurt them and has let you know (calls you out/in) online or otherwise.
Apology as repair