Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I am a mother & wife first. My husband and I live with our 4 children on a small homestead in southern Guilford county where we have a small flock of sheep, chickens, ducks, geese & a couple dogs. We use it as a place to explore & learn. I love all things back to basics and learning. I’m curious to a fault and constantly questioning why we do things, how we do things and find comfort in discovering the root or beginning of everything from ingredient lists to religious traditions to how we learn. I am a woman of faith and I feel most at peace when I’m outside working in the garden, hiking or simply lying on the ground. My greatest passion is working with others to help them re-connect to their innate creative side and inspiring them to see how divinely created the world was--with them in mind.
Q. What is your work?
A. I love creation. Both the creation I inhabit, but also in the process of creating! I have built a career around helping others find natural solutions to empower their health & live more holistically--avoiding toxins, medicines & improving their overall wellness, but also in their feeling connected to what nature holds for them. Technically, I’m a certified Holistic Health Coach, but I challenge myself to give people opportunities to explore more than just plant medicine; I want people to scratch the itch of creativity that we all too often put on the back burner, and to be intentional about spending time with nature in a way that reminds them of the gifts it offers just for them. I want my life’s work to inspire people to do both of those things.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. We recently acquired a small 40’s farm house and 5 more acres adjacent to our homestead and it is being remodeled for use as a community space where the possibilities are really endless. Our most important objective is to create a space that invites people to take an opportunity to connect with community, with creativity & some of the more basic joys in life by offering workshops, craft experiences, gardening classes and more. We are calling this project ‘The Schoolhouse’ which is in complete alignment with what is most important to us. For many years I kept a blog called ‘Life as a Schoolhouse’where I documented the adventures of our homeschooling & homesteading. Naturally, we named our homestead ‘Schoolhouse Farm’, and our holistic wellness company is called ‘Schoolhouse Oils’. This new facility will be the perfect place to invite our community, where we can share all of our passions, and inspire them to work with their hands, take charge of their health & feel more hopeful & purposeful.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I try to do a little something every day that makes me a little uncomfortable. I generally think that if it stirs me on a level of making me a bit nervous, it’s probably exactly what I should do. One of the more prominent recent experiences would have to be connecting with a local women’s business group and stepping into a whole new community of women who are bold & inspiring. Doing that has lead to multiple different opportunities (including this article), and new friendships that inspire me in new ways and have pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done but that are very fulfilling.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not, why not? What's stopping you?
A. I adore being in rooms of women, or even just people who are creating, brainstorming & growing side by side. The beauty that comes in the conversations that take place in spaces where creation is happening is magical. I find these connections to be soulful and pure and I find myself feeling most purposeful when I am facilitating or participating in those types of interactions. Our Schoolhouse project is certainly going to make it even easier for me to prioritize that work, but I have challenged myself in the past 6 months to create those spaces more, even before I think I have the perfect space or even the perfect idea. I have let impatience for having the ideal set-up keep me from moving forward, and I realize that waiting until everything is just right only impedes on me feeling fulfilled, and prevents me from giving people experiences of true & meaningful connection that could make a big difference in their lives.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. This question comes up all the time in my mind. Looking back over the course of the last 20 years I think the biggest mistake I made is being impatient. It continues to be a flaw of mine, but what I can see from this point of view is that every detail, good or bad, every moment, long or short, has been a part of my personal education. I can clearly see the divine guidance in my life--how every single need was met on time and more than just sufficiently--most often abundantly. In reality, I should let my past actually guide my future more than I should try to change the past by revealing something to my younger self. I find myself trying more & more to tune back into those passionate hopes & boundless dreams that I carried out of high school and that got a little dusty through my twenties and thirties. I’m thankful that I have children to guide, and perhaps my legacy will be in what they carry with them from my experiences, just as my parents did for me. But, we all start at the beginning of our story, and it’s likely what I’d tell myself back then would be what everyone was already telling me: Follow your heart. It will all be okay. Pray. You have something to offer. Stop worrying. You are valuable. Pray. Help others. Keep moving forward. Pray. Etc… It’s likely what I might say would also annoy me, and I’d ignore it because I’ve never been real good at heeding the advice of anyone, myself included, and probably the best advice my young self could have benefited from. Listen and learn more from others. Connect MORE to people who inspire you and don’t be afraid to ask them for advice.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. ‘Life as a Schoolhouse’ is probably the best short answer to this question. Be curious. Leave space for learning in everything. Create, fail, move forward. Don’t sit in one spot for too long, movement is life and if we’re not learning our brains atrophy and we feel disconnected. I find that the more we accept we don’t know, the more confident we become because accordingly, EVERYONE has room to learn & grow and we all have something to offer each other.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. As I’ve learned to call it from Alisha, my compass. I have had some terribly dark days, I have felt misguided and like I’m working on all the wrong things. But, I always honor the compass in my life and have for as long as I can remember. Though my spirituality has evolved over the years, from a very young age it was important to me to be useful and live with integrity and that what I do match with the commitment I made to my faith.. If I’m not creating I start feeling very much out of alignment, inauthentic and even become angry. I don’t wake up every day with the energy to build courses or inspire others, some days I have to focus on what I’ve already created--my children, something growing on our property, the buildings we’ve built, the life I have created with my husband, our success in our business. Pausing to be grateful for how far I have actually come. Generally what gets me back in the creation business is a well-timed note from someone who blesses me with encouragement, thanks or appreciation for something I have already created. I try to have those in a file I can call on when I’m feeling at my lowest. Knowing what you do serves and helps others is the most powerful way to come out of those feelings! And oils help too. :D
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. One more word of advice: merge your life. We tend to segregate the different parts of our lives and it leaves us feeling really overwhelmed or overworked. Taking the things you love and keeping them in the same box makes for an easier load, in fact it is so inspiring to see people doing what they love as a part of their whole life. It may not be possible out of the gate to shift into this way of living, but if you make it a goal I think you’ll be surprised how it does come together. My husband and I have been passionate about connecting back to nature since we met. We spent many years doing the things that paid the bills, working at walmart, living in houses we could afford until we were able to do the things we loved as a career. It may not be overnight, and we did have to make sacrifices, but knowing that you are working towards that way of living--where your passions, income, faith & lifestyle all align and fit in the same package is really powerful. It’s too easy in this society to have a job, a hobby, travel dreams, side-gigs...what if all those things were the one thing? That’s a place I think we can all strive to be, and also get closer to every day. <3 And remember, the Creator of the Universe doesn’t make mistakes and I believe He writes our story through the desires He puts on our heart, and it’s our job to put those things into action. Why would God put something on your heart to do He wouldn’t make sure you could actually do?
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Savasana!! After a good routine, and sometimes without even doing a routine! Nothing is more peaceful, or makes me feel more conscious than this pose. The clarity it can bring is powerful and helps me feel most intune with what my body & soul need.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Gratitude! Some days don’t seem abundant because I miss an opportunity, get bad news or don’t see the progress I want or think I deserve. When that happensI know it’s time for me to spend serious time journaling and listing out the bounty of goodness that my life entails. We are healthy, our kids are intelligent & kind & spiritually aware. We have a great community & the homestead we’ve always wanted. We get to travel internationally with 4 children, work when and where we want to. I could go on, but gratitude is what makes any circumstance abundant.