Yeah, all of it. Including that uncomfy, icky, gross, stay-in-the-shadows-I-don’t-want-to-see-you stuff too which so often sits snuggled in right alongside all that is our birthright too; our joy and our juicy deliciousness. To know one is to know the other it seems, don’t you think?
We’re so often told not to think or feel certain things and in my experience, both personally and collectively, that can really hurt. I have a particular passion for nature; both within and around us all. I’ve found this to be such a strong channel to embrace, welcome, unearth and integrate all that we feel and that we are. The value of feeling held by the deep current of community both in the human and more than human world. It has, and continues to, support me in creating a life I love, with all the discomfort and wonder that brings, and I feel honoured to now be sharing spaces to create and share that with others.
Before I came to the work of connection, communication and community from this specific angle, I spent a good few years channeling it talking in to a mic for a living. Always fascinated by communication whether that be through words, voices or what people have to say, whilst studying Drama at Bristol University I presented and produced my own radio show. After Uni I decided to make my passion my profession, presenting the market leading breakfast show for North Somerset’s Star radio, before heading up to see what London had to offer.
Although radio was very much my first love TV tempted me in 2008 and the BBC was a happy home for me for over 12 years. I was initially chosen as the voice of a campaign re-aligning and re-igniting BBC1 and 2’s image identities. Following the success of that campaign, my inventive and distinct scripts which included many a made up word, were also put to more regular use as an announcer for BBC3.
Then came ‘Passion Pods’. After TV chatting full time for five years, I was itching to create a different type of audio content and decided to go Freelance. And so back in 2012 when podcasts were still pretty niche and unknown, the Passion Pod community was born, interviewing and celebrating those that pursue their passions, in the hope of encouraging and inspiring others to realise the potential of theirs. It went on to being named one of London’s best interview podcasts by the Evening Standard in 2015.
After a brilliant decade in London I couldn’t resist the South West’s lure any longer and headed back to Bristol only to be offered perhaps my biggest ‘bucket list’ tick, with my very own show on BBC Radio Bristol. I was also able to contribute my experience to campaigns and events that I am more passionate about, hosting and compering live Q&A’s and panel discussions for excellent organisations including Whole Foods, The Soil Association and, the cherry on top of the cake, hosting a live podcast interview and Q&A at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs.
My move back West also gave my work space to develop in to this different terrain, with community and nature beginning to take centre stage, rather than just myself! During a particularly challenging time personally in 2015/16, the new human community I was building in Bristol and my deepening connection with nature, helped save my life. The woods were both my sanctuary and deep healer. A constant source of nourishment however I turned up and whatever I turned up with. I felt so wholly held by it with all my messiness, grief and despair and so began this next chapter of my adventure. My yoga and movement practise also became even more important as I landed back in to experiencing and accepting a more whole version of myself. I became increasingly intrigued with the power of the body-mind as I began to realise just how much of the first part of my life I’d been stuck in the whirrling of the head-mind! This curiosity led me enrolling on the Foundation Year course with the Bristol Shiatsu School. The Chinese Medicine insight offered by this training, also gave me a large dollop of nature infused discussions and really encouraged my curiosity around this connection we have with the natural world. This led me to further study with The Natural Academy where I have recently completed the OCN accredited Facilitator training in Ecopsychology and Nature Based Practices, and am continuing my studies with them on their Advance Pathway training. I am also currently working for Avon Wildlife Trust on a nine month maternity cover as their People & Wildlife Manager, supporting elements of their volunteering and project delivery.
Around a similar time back in 2016, I was also invited to sit in women’s circles for the first time with Rachel Flemming, whose work and presence has been a huge inspiration. I was, and still am, in awe of what support, community and connection can be offered by a group of women who may not even know each other, when they come together and sit in circle. Gently healing and strongly powerful all in one. A serious force. Sitting in and facilitating these circles have been a integral to my reconnection with the wholeness of who I am and who we are collectively, in all manner of ways. They’ve led me to explore an alternative way of being and deeply question this current crumbling ‘power over’ patriarchal system. What could this world of ours look like with more of an integration of so many of the long forgotten or shamed flavours traditionally associated with the feminine? Interwoven with and supporting the growth of a healthy and thriving collective masculine, perhaps we would then even have more of a chance to move away from these binaries to something much more unified? A story that’s still unfolding for me to be honest and I think always will be. Weaving this exploration then in to a relationship with nature, her cycles and with those we move through as women, is a source of constant inspiration and led me to further studies, completing the Woman’s Wellness Yoga Teacher Training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli in September 2020.
My relationship with this work and fascination with gender and nature and their relationship, has also been deeply inspired by the moon cycle circle that I’ve been sitting in for the last four years, seeing us also launch The Moon Collective . I have also recently run a New Moon women’s circle’s for Mum’s You Are Bloody Ace as well as a weekly Women’s Nature Connection Circle. My work with women has also recently led me to explore rest a little bit more deeply through further study with The Total Yoga Nidra Immersion course, and I’m curious to explore more ways of weaving this in to what I offer.
My voiceover work continues both commercially for brands such as Heart, Rowse Honey, Hargreaves Lansdown and Magnum as well as weaving it in to projects like Seeing/Sensing with Cult. I also have plans to develop a series of nature based audio meditations and am workshopping a new nature infused radio show. All of these audio projects are sitting snuggly right alongside the events and sessions that I’m hosting and developing too.
So yeah nature and our wholeness, woven in through our connection, communication and community. Very much still where it’s at for me. Deep gratitude and then some. I hope to share some of it with you in some shape or form and I really look forward to doing so!