“Each person enters the world called.” -James Hillman
From an early age, nature as friend and ally was seeded in me. Born in the sixties in a small southeastern Ontario town, rocked by the Big Rideau Lakes and held in the embrace of poplar, maple, oak and white birch forests, I found a soft place to land.
An abrupt interruption of my youthful dreams, in the form of a car accident and a broken back, sent part of me into flight, while another part landed into my “lot in life;”* the dilemma and responsibility of being a human being in-habiting a body, on planet Earth. The dance and union of these two aspects has been a thread woven throughout the fabric of my journey.
This particular “call” delivered me into a lifelong interest and inquiry into embodiment, through fitness, Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Continuum Movement, meditation, studies into the origins of life on earth, birthing process, role and regulation of the nervous system, dreams and the creative imagination of nature as both direct experience and mirror.
Fortuitous meetings and experiences with such remarkable mentors and teachers as Angeles Arrien, Sandra Sammartino, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Emilie Conrad, Susan Harper, Hubert Godard, Caryn McHose and Kevin Frank, Marion Woodman, Wendy Palmer, Reggie Ray, Michael Meade and Malidoma Some have and continue to inform this “call.”
At some point a question emerged:
What is the experience of embodied consciousness?
and then another;
How can this serve life, both personal and planetary?
Heeding the allure of Indigenous and land-based cultures, I travelled in the un-furrowed soils of Guatemala, Ghana, Ecuador, Mexico and Indonesia. There, I explored, through ceremony, storytelling, ancestor work, ritual and art, the honor and worthy craft of being embodied humans, for we are all indigenous.
An enduring and endearing relationship, spanning more than two decades, with my partner John, and two step-sons, Johnathan and Sean, delivered me deeply into the rigorous spiritual practice of relationship, and the capacity to love and be loved.
For thirteen years, I stewarded Serendipity's Backyard, a metaphysical bookstore and yoga/movement space in Steveston, BC. This magical place was the hub for many gatherings, multi-generational women's retreats both local and international, and the sacred space where the great interest in the community called forth the facilitator in me. A group of teen girls who gathered there, initiated me into a deeper maturation of the soul's longing to express itself uniquely in ones lifetime, and the need for rites of passage and conscious tending of this fruitful time in our journey. Question Everything, a deck of inquiry, is one of the outgrowths of this collaboration.
In 2004 I sold Serendipity's Backyard, and began to transition to our land on the Sunshine Coast. I felt a deep internal request to let go of being surrounded by books and words, and fall into the fertile surround and ground of nature, and the somatic intelligence of the body, movement and life. Earthing myself deeply for many years now as been both practice and prayer. I had no idea how to grow a house plant!! In the rhythm of growing food and flesh, the earth has responded to every gesture towards her with such generosity and deep care, I am humbled most deeply by this call.
A mentor once said of me, “You are full of happy accidents.”
It is these serendipitous and happy accidents that have shaped my life, and i welcome any opportunity to create containers and spaces which serve others in moving through symptoms and diagnosis into the realm of tracking the unique destiny and call of the Soul's wild imagination. Dreams have been one of my greatest guides and stewards of soul.
My "lot" in life, or where my soul has landed at the present time, includes stewarding and being stewarded by six and a half acres on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Here, in the movement and still-ness of inquiry, with elder cedars, giant firs, winged, finned, furred and feathered ones; green beings, buzzing pollinators, characters and creation, John and I have co-created a welcome and soft place to land, and a container for human beings called to tend the challenges and aspirations of this wild and embodied journey we call a human life. We welcome your heart and foot prints here.
*Note: I use “lot in life” from the word “lachos” meaning one’s special lot or portion of fate. Or paraphrasing James Hillman, “the “lot” is the image that is your inheritance, that is always and continually being selected by your soul.”
"A great teacher imparts by example as much as by the content of the information proffered. There were countless examples of attuned actions which show Penny's core nature - kindness, curiosity, preparedness, freely giving and nurturing among some of them - all of which helped to make our stay all the more lovely and reflective." Andrea, participant in Mother/Daughter retreat 09/14
"I am grateful for the humbling beauty of the space/practice - the container you have provided. Thank you for continuing to accomplish the work that you do for the people around you and the land that you continue to steward so beautifully." Irena F. participant
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