The dreaming up of EarthDreaming.
EarthDreaming is a culmination of the discoveries and experiences I’ve had along my path so far. When I was a child I always wanted to either be an artist or an environmental activist. Now I see if we broaden those terms to be truely holistic roles, in a way I have woven both together.
After a brief exploration of Art College, and realizing that I didn’t need to be ‘educated’ into creating art, I did a degree in Environmental Biology. Although I very much enjoyed learning and getting into the finer details of life by the end of this time I was deeply disillusioned by how science is funded by industry and the application of the majority of scientific findings for further resource extraction. While I could imagine myself very much enjoying delving deep into the study of some aspect of life I also realized that we know enough to be caring stewards of the Earth, it is connection and the inspiration and motivation that naturally arises from this that we lack. And so I decided to explore practical solutions by doing a 2 year permaculture class. Here I had my first experience of finding my ‘tribe’, that is feeling part of a group of people that had the same concerns as me and were equally passionate about contirbuting to positive change in the world. During this time I explored different ways of being part of the ‘solution’......natural building, organic growing, sustainable energy systems, energetic healing, community facilitation and conflict resolution, different spiritual practices, ancestral skills and more. But I was still left with the question ‘How do all of these weave together to create real and lasting cultural change?’ and a calling to guide people into deeper connection with the Earth, beyond just the mind or the practical. It was time to peel back the next layer of understanding for myself. I wanted to understand how to create systemic change, and my place within this.
After training to become a Work-That-ReConnects facilitator I came across Jon Young and the 8-Shields, a body of teachings emerging out of an 8 directional pan-cultural medicine wheel. The 8 Shields offers a big picture framework for how to create whole system change through re-learning indigenous cultural practices emerging out of a foundational personal and community scale deep nature connection. The 8 Shields showed me how all the different pieces I’d been learning fit together, aswell as their relationship to the deep need I was seeing for returning to a sense of belonging to the natural world around us. This was the depth of understanding I felt I needed in order to be able to see my place within the positive change movement. After two years of 8 Shields experiential courses in California it was time to integrate all I had been learning.
I spent 3 years co-founding and establishing the forest therapy guide training through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, while still in California. Forest therapy drew on many of the most powerful lineges of training I had recieved... deep nature connection guiding, the Way of Council and cultural repair. I see this practice as a way of facilitating the return to the feminine principles of life....of connection, relationship and deep listening....that have been de-valued in modern Western Culture. I returned to Europe two years ago, and choose to re-root in Ireland last Autumn.
All through my learning and travels I have dreamt of starting a school focused on deep nature connection practices and cultural emergence. While I am still involved with forest therapy on an international scale, I also want to focus locally to share what I have learned, host some of the amazing teachers that I have met along the way and also to build community. It is my deep passion to help people return to feeling embodied belonging to the rest of the natural world and then to emerge through this connection in full vitality. I am so happy working with my hands with wild harvested materials, in community.