It’s no secret that we are living through unprecedented times– literally, these days, Right Now.
But would you believe that there is something in the bite and blood, the adventure and danger and jubilation of the Old Stories– Myths and Legends– that can help us localize and re-commit to the Hero’s Journey of our own lives, even in such depth of our current uncertainty?
I am invoking, in my own way, what so many storyteller-healers before me have also called for: a kind of “folkloric futurism” through the revelatory and liberatory act of LIVING YOUR LEGEND– a mode of generative, eco-centric, holistic recontextualization that reconnects us to the sacred aliveness in Story.
I am dedicated– in a variety of shape-shifting ways– to helping my fellow beings explore and experiment with how forging a conscious mythic renaissance can help to ground us in radical acceptance, untapped or forgotten creativity, devotion to our deep heartworks, and service to community.
This is Futuring our idea of Folklore– bringing it Forward, co-creating with the mythic landscapes and intelligences of not only our shared collective unconscious, but the body and soul of the earth Herself.
Audrey is an earth-based healing practitioner working in the realms of personal myth/Legend, storytelling, expressive arts, and ecotherapeutic practices. She is interested in mythic remediation, re-story-ation, creative restoration, and nurturing conscious, reciprocal relationship to the natural world.
She carries nearly a decade of experience as an enthusiastic, empathic space-holder celebrated whole-heartedly amongst her NYC arts community. She has curated and managed multidisciplinary public events for thousands, as well as facilitated and manifested intimate ceremonies, creative spaces, adventures, performances, and art installations for many years. She is a lifelong artist, performer, and poet; childcare provider; wilderness guide/outdoor educator trained in ecotherapy practices; tenacious explorer of internal and external landscapes; and a shamanically-inclined spirit on a deep and ongoing healing journey.
WHO IS THIS WORK FOR?
Audrey works with individuals or groups, with adults and children, indoors and outdoors– in uniquely tailored formats such as adventure play, interactive exercises and visualizations, intimate or large events, conferences, presentations, one-on-one sessions, retreats, lectures, all including virtual settings– in devotion to bringing forth the earth-rooted, mythically-inspired healing modalities that changed her life.
WHAT IS ECOTHERAPY?
Ecotherapy is the idea that our human emotional/mental wellbeing cannot be extricated or separated from that of the natural world– that we are intertwined and interrelated, inherently. Especially in terms of traditional mental health/illness narratives, our relationship to nature is something that gets sliced out or completely overlooked. This is especially tragic because the idea of the ecological self– the self that is connected intimately to the greater web of life– is a source of not only personal healing, but world healing– and that is deeply rooted in, and informed by, indigenous earth-reverential traditions that existed long before the term “ecotherapy” was coined over 25 years ago. With ecotherapeutic practices we can reengage and reexamine how we interact with the natural world, with the world that is greater than us, with kin that is “more-than-human” (plants, animals, energy essences/spirits).
It is a big, conscious move from a human-centered world/self– which is increasingly stressed, disconnected, overstimulated, anxiety and illness-ridden, and continuously driven by/worked on by a bombardment of messaging, scarcity culture, and tools of distraction from mass media, big biz, big pharma, and what Joanna Macy calls the “industrial growth society”… to an ecological self– and these conscious practices work wonders to re-enchant our lives, re-localize ourselves in place, feel supported and not as isolated, and perhaps most importantly– develop NEW WAYS of Seeing (and Being).
WHAT IS LIVING LEGEND?
In my canon of meaning, LEGEND is the internal landscape inside you and all of the adventures therein– guides, elders, wisdom, signs, symbols, metaphor, meaning. Everything that makes up your Personal Mythology– unique to you, your own Highest Truths– but also linked inherently to the Collective Truth, the Collective Mythology, The Whole– and the Living Eternal Wisdom that is Present in the Earth, in Our Bodies, and in Our Stories.
Practicing Living Legend, or working in Legend, involves giving yourself permission to be an explorer again– in the way you were when you were a child. To lovingly put the thinking brain on the back-burner and RECEIVE your own truths, impulses, instincts. To remember how effortless it is to journey into your mythic imagination and the eternal/internal wisdom accessible to you at all moments, simply with willingness to receive and be present…
ON A BROADER NOTE
“There is a place for professional intervention, such as psychotherapy, for some, and psychoactive drugs that help avert acute crises. However, the idea that these interventions are somehow superior to lifestyle changes, relationships, or non-technical approaches like yoga is an idea that is solely based on ideology and vested interests in maintaining professional standing and power. It is not based on science, and, in fact, may actually defy it. People are different, and difference from the dominating norm is not necessarily evidence of inferiority and disease. Further, trauma, oppression, and adversity are a part of life, whether we wish to acknowledge or appreciate it or not. And, long-term healing happens through changes in the environment; changes that have been common sense for centuries prior to the advent of industrialization. Relationships matter. Relaxation matters. Nutrition matters. Hope and purpose matter. Nature matters. Love matters.”
— Noel Hunter, Psy.D., from “Trauma & Madness in Mental Health Services”
There are so. many. alternatives. to the traditional biomedical/biopsychiatric model for healing from “mental illness,” trauma, and chronic stress– and so many ways to move forward from the deeply disempowering “sick brain” diagnosis phraseology of the DSM. I’m always more than willing to discuss and offer my own perspectives and experiences, some of which are listed below:
– Ceremony, ritual, and earth-based practices
– Dance and movement
– Somatic therapy/somatic work
– Sensory deprivation floating
– Working with myth and archetype
– Sound healing
– Plant medicine
– Spending time in nature and in the outdoors
– Health and nutrition (literally, what you eat!)
– Community (retreats, group support, sharing circles)
– Non-verbal creative modalities like music, art, collage…
– Incredible peer-supported alternatives to the mainstream featuring events, community, Facebook groups, resources, and trainings such as the Institute for the Development of Human Arts (IDHA) and The Icarus Project
You have choices. You have options. You have rights. Remember that.