Photo credit: Donna Colville
There are so many chapters in my life it’s hard to know where to begin! There are so many layers to every individual.
I want to give context for my blog and why I am choosing to write about the coalescence between sustainability, emotionality, and spirituality. I want to touch on the experiences that have made me who I am and why I feel it is so important to share this message of our interconnectedness with nature.
I guess in all of this, the only place to start is the beginning. This is my story.
I grew up in Boulder, Colorado as an only child. We lived in the countryside where I had access to the outdoors every day and my playmates were the trees, and the grass and the sky.
I went to Waldorf school K-12. Waldorf education is nature based education and I had the privilege of a curriculum interwoven with the cycles of nature. Media, especially TV, was discouraged, and instead I was encouraged to explore my imagination. Through that I developed a deep appreciation for the earth and a deep connection to my own creativity.
It wasn’t ideal. I didn’t fit it in socially, and was actually bullied by my teacher. Due to the small class sizes and the fact that you have the same class teacher for all subjects until 8th grade, I was a social outcast and suffered immensely. As an empath and deeply sensitive person, this caused me to believe in an intrinsic way that there was something wrong with me, a wound I carried, and still carry.
I was a lonely child in many ways with few friends, but I was lucky enough to have parents who wanted what was best for me.
After sixth grade it became apparent that school wasn’t the right fit for me and that the toxic social scene had become unbearable. My parents pulled me out and homeschooled me for seventh and eighth grade where I had the opportunity to participate in several homeschooling groups with other creative and like minded kids.
It was there that I started dancing 5Rhythms, a structured intuitive dance practice that allows the release of trapped emotions in the body. It started to awaken my higher spiritual self and within that, I started writing and singing.
We also engaged with Goddess work, the practice of learning the myths of different Goddesses to understand and access all aspects of embodying femininity. I am deeply grateful to that group of women for being present with me during my early teens, a tumultuous and painful time. It is the springboard from which I now jump.
When I was twenty, I had a debilitating rock climbing accident. I fell twelve feet onto my back, shattering my left wrist and fracturing three vertebrae. I had just come back from an expansive year abroad, living in Germany as an Au Pair and in Vienna, Austria, studying opera. Instead of being gentle with myself in my healing process, I decided to move to New York to pursue opera professionally. I wasn’t willing to admit how damaged my body was. I wasn’t ready to admit how damaged I was.
I woke up in New York a year later with paralyzing anxiety. I realized that I only pursued opera because I thought that if I sang really well, everyone would approve of me and love me. But its rigidity had cleaved me from my own creativity. What I really wanted to do, ever since I was a teenager, was make my own music. Opera had cut me off from that creative outlet, my ever present obsession with perfection lead me to abandon my own creativity.
Every day since then has been an attempt to reclaim myself. My whole life shattered that day on the climbing gym floor, but I didn’t even know it. It’s taken me years to understand that I was suffering from PTSD.
Opera was a mask I had created for myself to gain the approval of others, stemming from my old wounds of worthlessness. But no kind of external validation would ever be able to give me the kind of internal love I was craving from myself. I am still learning how to give myself the kind of love and nurturing I need.
In New York, I met my husband who has been nothing but supportive in this journey of self healing I have embarked upon. He has been my bed rock as I explore all the different facets of who I am. That has involved developing the capacity to be present with my inner chaos and darkness, my childhood wounds, my PTSD and the deep disconnect from myself.
Back to my roots...
And what I have come back to is my roots. I lost touch with the writer within, the songwriter within, and as I heal, I feel both emerging as I explore music through electronic music and DJing. I am returning to 5Rhytms as a spiritual practice and as a means of healing my PTSD, and I am engaging in circles of women who can be my mirrors of self.
I returned to Colorado, to the mountains, to nature, where I soothe my soul and am able to get into contact with the voice deep within.
I am coming alive again. I am healing my body from the accident, and I am healing my voice from the rigidity of opera as I create my own music once more. I am listening to the whispers of nature, and returning to Her arms. I am listening to the whispers of my soul and returning to my own arms.
Sustainable living as spiritual practice...
My Waldorf education created fertile ground for me to understand my connection with the earth. But it took me some time to realize that modern society doesn’t have the same context. It also took me a while to realize how my daily habits, especially my plastic consumption, were tied into systems that are destroying the earth.
But that has been the biggest spiritual awakening of all - the fact that we are all intimately connected. And that is why I strive to spread this message of sustainability. Because I believe we all have the power to be our own healers. I believe that connecting to the earth, being grounded in our home as a part of the fabric of existence, is fundamental in realizing why we need to change our habits.
I want to help raise awareness of those habits that are harming the environment. I want to let you into my life and show you what I do on a daily basis to live more in alignment with the earth and with myself.
Because I believe each of us has the power to find our own alignment and come home to love.
To me, this is the ultimate spiritual practice.
To read more about different parts of my journey see my posts: