I’ve just returned home to my laptop after a week in the woods at our yearly Firemaker Primitive Skills Gathering.
A whole week of no technology, bare feet and no car.
It’s amazing how those simple changes from everyday life can make me feel SO amazing.
And to think for our ancestors this was just the way life was!

My partner, Arnaud Gagne & I, teach a workshop at Firemaker each year we call, “Finding Your Inner Animal ~ Balancing Modern Day Stress Through Deep Nature Connection & Soulful Self-Awareness.”

Its always beautiful to witness the opening &  transformation that happens for people at our workshop, and at Firemaker in general since it’s a very   special place.

I’ll be writing a bit more about our workshop later, but for now I want to share with you a bit more about why this gathering changed my life and continues to change lives, and what I believe we must change in our modern society if we are to have a healthy planet for our grandchildren.

It’s all about the Village.

WORKING TOGETHER! My 8 year old son Yarrow and our good friend Owen scraping a sheep hide in preparation to turn it into a softened sheepskin rug!
WORKING TOGETHER! My 8 year old son Yarrow and our good friend Owen scraping a sheep hide in preparation to turn it into a softened sheepskin rug!

The kind of village that we create at Firemaker in just seven days each year is something that is rarely found in North American culture, and in my humble opinion this lack of “village” is to the detriment of our personal & planetary wellness.

After about two years of attending Firemaker, I finally realized that it was okay for me to ask for help as a single mom. In fact, I learned,  by asking for help I was actually GIVING a gift, because someone then got to feel good about helping!

As humans we are biologically hard-wired to live & work TOGETHER. It’s not only our giant brain’s ability to think strategically that has given us the evolutionary edge, but our ability to connect, communicate with & support EACH OTHER.

The problem is, because we collectively carry so much trauma in our society, recreating the village of ancient times is not so simple or easy.

We need tools to work with and transform our personal traumas, which is a big part of why I’m so passionate about my Body Wisdom work.

We also need collective spaces for grieving and healing the collective trauma of having lost the village and all of the hardships that come from living in a society where the central principle of survival is “every man for himself. “

In my humble opinion it is truly this, “every man for himself,” mentality that is destroying the Earth.

We are literally thinking only of ourselves as we see only what is directly in front of us.

We sacrifice the lives of our grandchildren to feed our children.

We must work together to heal the planet ~ and I firmly believe that this project requires every single one of us to also be engaged in deep SELF-CARE!

That includes you, because you have gifts the world needs that no one else has.

We all must move through the fear and self doubt that stops us from bringing our deepest heart’s offering to the world.

And the more of us that do this, the easier it gets for everyone else.

The way I see things, each one of us is a beautiful microcosmic reflection of the greater macrocosm of the Earth.

Yup, that’s YOU.

Beautiful. Microcosmic. Reflection.

So the best place to begin healing is within our own hearts, minds and bodies.

And within our own communities.

The Tao says that the first foundation of community is with our children and our intimate relationships.

Pema Chodron says, “If you think you’re enlightened, try spending a week with your family.”


I used to think that if I DID enough I would be able to change the world.

Now my focus is simply on BEING ~ and RELATIONSHIP.

Who am I BEING each day? How am I relating with those closest to me, and with the Earth, and with MYSELF?

Out of being-ness comes easeful “right action” in alignment with our own True Nature.

How can I BE in harmony and connection with Mother Nature, and with my own True Nature each day ~ each moment?

What do I need to prioritize in order to BE the change I wish to see in the world?

AFTER we have centered ourselves, there is spaciousness to ask “How can I be of service today? How can I help?”
5 Ways to Build Community and Change Your World

  1. Host or organize a potluck and invite friends of all ages (0-90)
  2. Turn off your screen and go sit outside on your front porch or local park and watch the birds, talk to your neighbours!
  3. Help an elderly neighbour or friend with a physical task, then ask them to tell you a story.
  4. Offer to PLAY with a friends young children so he/she/they can have some extra time for self-care. (Hint: play is HEALING and fun for EVERYONE!)
  5. Join or create a community garden, or plant edible & medicinal plants on your boulevard.Hint: Our greatest service is usually closer to home than our thinking minds tell us.

Doing the inner work so that we can simply BE in a state of well-being and peace then gives us space to treat those we are in direct connection with (including ourselves!) in a loving and compassionate way.

Love and compassion have a powerful effect on the world.

A stone dropped in the water ripples out into infinity.

Reclaim the power of your own well-being and become a stone of love.

In August we will be attending another gathering on Saltspring Island, BC called the Art of Mentoring. This gathering is created based on the highest social practices and principles drawn from Indigenous cultures all over the world.

Mentoring is the old way ~ long before schools we all taught each other.

It’s about building a village based on deep nature connection practices and living in harmony with the earth, each other and our own spirit. Stay tuned for more about that later in the summer, and if you want to learn more about the Art of Mentoring Gathering you can do so by clicking here.

I have so much to learn still ~ and look forward to continuing to share this journey with you.