My deepest dedication is to serving the Earth, being in nature, hands in the soil, eyes on the skies, engaged with Her delights, and supporting efforts of sustainability. As a passionate being I am blessed to be able to devote myself to what I love the most. Choice has led me to live in community, engaged in practices of spiritual communion, compassionate communication, shared resources and shared power. I believe healthy community is the foundation of all healing. I serve in the world as a mentor, teacher, healing practitioner, music-maker and storyteller. Co-creating experiences of transformational healing –including personal growth, leadership development, and ecstatic ritual – is my most cherished work. I am a gatherer with a passion for building group intimacy through voice, breath, sound, and movement, weaving harmonies with others, inviting every voice “in” because that is what makes the tapestry beautiful and complete. In my soul I carry a deep understanding of the necessity of humanity uniting to restore/re-story a life-fostering essential reality for these changing times. This is what I sing about, imagine, live for and pray for.
Expanding Inward is, in alphabetical order, Wren Anjali, Laurie Dietrich, Jason Frey, River Roberts, and Elizabeth Wilson (photos and bios below). Formerly on staff at Diana’s Grove Mystery School, we carry that philosophy forward by creating, facilitating and celebrating opportunities to gather, in a safe, supportive and healthy community context, encouraging deeply personal positive life transformation through Earth-based, ecstatic ritual. In doing this work together, we honor depth, inclusivity, spontaneity and the sacred in all of its manifestations.
As a fellow ritual artist, I trust these presenters implicitly. They bring integrity and commitment to the work, setting the stage for the participants to do deep personal work in a safe and challenging environment. I would recommend their offerings to any person seeking spiritual and personal growth, whether one is just starting exploration or is far down their own path.
– Robin M
Each of the presenters is talented on their own in facilitating meaningful personal work, but together they truly create a magical space in community with the participants that breaks down the barriers that often keep us so separate in our everyday lives. It has been a blessing to learn from this crew and I wish everyone could have this experience.
– Melissa G
I am a performance artist, a ritualist and a deathworker, and I see all of these as the same job. Our lives are shaped by Death, which imposes form from without, but within that outer boundary we shape our lives as an artist does. We push back. We expand. I’ve been blessed with a very large life… lots of space in which to explore my passion for truth, knowledge and creativity. As a theatre artist I write, direct and perform, and work primarily with an experimental theatre ensemble based in San Antonio, Texas. Having spent some time as a hospice chaplain, I now volunteer with local hospice agencies, and I am fortunate beyond measure to be free to travel to facilitate and co-create community-based ritual. In all of my roles I am interested in coherence. Coincidence. Simplicity. Integrity. I call myself a Shaper, and I do that work with words and silence, motion and stillness, pageant and darkness. My great teachers are Paradox, Necessity and Change. My spiritual practice is Buddhism. One of my deep joys is sharing the ideas, values and practices that have transformed my own life with others.
I am in love with questions. Don’t get me wrong, answers are great and all, but a good question can keep me smiling for days. I guess that’s why I am so drawn to stories. True stories, made-up stories, mundane stories or epic sagas, I can’t get enough of them, because a good story seems to always bring about more questions than answers. It’s that love of questions and stories, I think, that makes personal and spiritual work so compelling for me. I believe that behind every person and every story lie a multitude of unasked questions, and that within each personal discussion or group ritual I might find answers that lead to still more questions. It’s a beautiful bit of magic that we make together, and that’s the thing – it’s magic that can only be made together. Experiencing this gift of shared questions and magic inspires me to share my own gifts as a storyteller, mentor, ritualist and facilitator.
My life changed completely over the course of a few days in the summer of 1998. During that brief moment in time, I discovered ecstatic ritual, drumming, and improvisational singing—all of which have become key components of my spiritual practice. In that same brief moment, I also discovered the overwhelming power of people connecting in a vulnerable way as a community of seekers. That experience ignited a deep relationship to ecstasy that has influenced my work ever since. I have an intense passion for using voice, movement, music and connection to find the places where I am truly alive and aware, and as a teacher and facilitator, my goal is to inspire others to discover those places within themselves. My deepest divine relationships are with Mysterious Ones who hold the qualities of beauty, wildness, depth and change, and they influence my practice and permeate my way of being. In addition to my work with Expanding Inward, I am a teacher in the Reclaiming tradition. I have traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe teaching ecstatic ritual arts, music, and leadership development to a wide variety of communities and organizations.
My life’s work is that of the seeker. I seek to deepen not just an understanding, but rather a deep knowing that magic is ever-present. That elemental forces are alive not only in the universe around me, but also alive within me. To discover the ways magic manifests every day and in every moment. Engagement with nature, interactions with all beings, and the miracle of the physical form, these are but some of my teachers. I seek the wisdom discovered in communities both large and small. Here I continue to learn the value of having my roots anchored deeply in the fertile soil of love and compassion. This is the ground from which I strive to have all of my actions arise. This journey has brought me to my love of ecstatic ritual, my passion for dance, my devotion to meditation practice, and my striving to be the change I wish to see in the world.