SPACE. HOLDER, WISE. WOMAN, SOUL. GUIDE
Talented musician and dear friend, Lindsey Wise, wrote this song upon being inspired by a
life-enhancing magical vision Simone experienced.
It’s about a woman so wise, she speaks the stars and whispers the trees…
Since I was a little girl I’ve always had a drive to contribute to other people’s lives in meaningful ways. Even in pre-school I’d gravitate to the kids who were left out, bullied, or marginalised, and help them find their way.
As a third culture kid, born in Canada, who took my first solo plane flight between two continents at age six, attending an international school in Switzerland where my mom was a school teacher, then integrating into the local school system, my exposure to a wide array of peoples, races, cultures, religions and languages began early on.
Rooted in a natural curiosity, this expanded into a deep appreciation for the human experience. For years, I immersed myself in social, political, sacred activism and studies, earning a Bachelor in Social Work, which offered a thorough glimpse behind the constructs of gender bias, hetero-norms, oppressive ideals, racism and colonialism. I landed my first real job as a crisis counsellor serving women of all walks of life impacted by violence in the large urban center of Toronto and beyond.
I whole-heartedly celebrate the spectrum of diversity among humans, just as much as I love and honour it in nature. Yet I perceive the “soul essence” in each of us and that makes it impossible to believe that anyone is any less (including our non-human kin) or truly any different, than another.
This early exposure and celebration of multicultural living provided the foundation for being easily adaptable to a rich life of travel which led to teaching as a wellness advocate, yoga teacher and retreat leader across five continents: Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa.
During the past 15 years, I successfully established my yoga school, School of Sacred Arts, co-founded with my life partner Troy McFadden, and offered the longest-running Yoga Teacher Training at the Yoga Barn — Bali’s ‘global yoga epicentre’ – with over 600 graduates from over 50 countries. I’ve created uniquely tailored wellness programs and staff trainings for The Conrad Hotel Group, facilitated detox programs and taught yoga at The Sanctuary, Thailand, and Como Shambhala’s Cocoa Island in the Maldives. I’ve guided yoga and plant medicine immersions and served as integration coach at Peruvian retreat centres Aya Healing Retreats and Munay Sonqo respectively, as well as facilitated hundreds of classes, workshops, and trainings around the globe.
I’ve been blessed to study with Yoga Nidra pioneers Dr Kamini Desai, Dr Richard Miller, and Dr Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, as well as respected yin and restorative yoga teachers Sarah Powers, Judith Lasater, and to collaborate with many other inspiring teachers who I also call my dear friends such as Tina Nance, Cat Kabira, Eka Sabeh, and Randall O’Leary.
I’ve presented at the world’s leading wellness events, such as Bali Spirit Festival, Kootenay Spirit Festival and Bhakti Summer Festival. (I’m never comfortable name-dropping, but I recognise that some like to know these things!).
My yearning to extend my awareness beyond just the human world and follow a call to build a greater relationship with the Earth community led me on a deep dive into nature-connection, embarking on several vision quests with solo wilderness fasting in the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the desert Southwest of the US.
My love for plants blossomed while studying aromatherapy 20 years ago. This led me to journey with entheogenic Amazonian and Andean plant medicines, and spent over a decade leading groups on deeply transformative journeys in Peru, where I supported many people through the pre-ceremony fears and the post-ceremony integration.
I’ve worked closely with indigenous and non-indigenous medicine keepers (or shamans) and have been profoundly fortunate to sit with an indigenous elder of the Sik/Sika Sauk (Blackfeet) people, engaging and sharing with permission the teachings of their Medicine Wheel. I now combine my knowledge of this sometimes mystifying world, together with practical wisdom from my expertise gained in the West, supporting individuals in a trauma-informed way to safely explore this remarkable world of healing.
For the past decade, I’ve been collaborating with the beautiful retreat centre, Munay Sonqo, in the Sacred Valley of Peru where I bring together the gifts of the medicine work and yoga practices. I work with respected medicine keepers who offer their gifts with years of dedication, experience and integrity.
I have had the pleasure of supporting retreat guests with their integration process post plant medicine retreats and dietas at Aya Healing Retreats. Their work is centred around indigenous Shipibo healers who bring their expert knowledge of sacred plant medicines to this Peru-based retreat centre.
I also facilitate bi-weekly personal growth groups, ‘Campfire Crews’, on the new online community platform Bonfire for people exploring altered states of consciousness. We are committed to co-creating safe and welcoming spaces for self-exploration and authentic connection for everyone, including members of diverse ethnic, racial, gender, religious, and sexual orientation groups.
At this critical juncture, one’s individual calling will be interwoven with the fate of the
earth and the collective destiny of all humankind. ‘
~ Phil Rockstroh, Poet & Philosopher
In recent years, even more so since the pandemic, I spend intensive periods, often in solitude, working in ceremony with various contemplative practices and master plant teachers (in the form of dietas as guided by to the Shipibo peoples of the Amazon jungle), learning about animal communication (Anna Breytenbach’s work is extraordinary!) and tending with love to some sweet cats and beach dogs while deepening my connection to Spirit and nature. By observing the cycles and rhythms of nature, I draw on the guidance and inspiration of ancient systems of Ayurveda and Vedic wisdom as shared by Acharya Shunya, further harmonising me with the greater universe within and around us. Inspired to offer others the remedies towards their own evolution, I continue on my path as a dedicated humble student to Life, in reverence for the sheer magnificence of this planet.
I bow to Spirit and Life itself, (myself one and the same) as my constant teacher, profound influencer and inspiration.
To Mother Nature, Pachamama, Gaia, Danu, Earth and all her profound gifts such as Grandmother Ayahuasca and Huachuma and other Plant Teachers who have been so vastly significant on my path and to their human facilitators rooted in the traditions of the Americas as well as drawing on philosophies of the East.
As a citizen of the Earth, I have sat with both indigenous and westerners alike who weave these traditions together in heart-centered, gracious and generous ways.
My family, especially my Mom, Irene, who has continuously been a loving guide and spiritual mentor. My dad, Allan, who always inspired many laughs and who is a humanitarian through his way of being. My Grandma who contributed to me having a very happy childhood. My beloved, Troy, a wise heart warrior, hilarious companion and gifted teacher.
Some of my dearest friends, many of whom are amazing yoga teachers/practitioners themselves and who have taught me so much. Tina Nance, Lorraine Taylor, Cat Kabira, Randall O’Leary, Bex Tyrer, Eka Sabeh, Naomi Gaskin to name a few. Emma Lowe, a kindred spirit who has been instrumental in bringing this undertaking to life. To my rainbow unicorn sister, Chocolako, for her beauty captured in some of these images and the exchange of ideas for more heart-felt collaborations.
A heartfelt thank you to fellow fairy sister Lindsey Wise for sharing her beautiful music tracks, ‘Ah Ni Kuni’ and ‘Woman So Wise’. A big thank you and credit to videographer and photographers, Jason Moon, Ulrike Reinhold, Andrei Jewel, and Irene MacKay for their talent and contributions to this site.
In recent years, I’ve had teachers/mentors, some even from the unseen and non-human realms, who have guided me to very deep places within myself and also offered me a deeper grasp of the context and cycles in which our life occurs. These include an elder of the Siksika/Sauk (Blackfeet) People and their Medicine Wheel teachings and an African American Tantrika/Shamanka who through drawing on her own Kemetic roots, helped me tap into so much more than words can express.
Stephen Harrod Buhner and his inspirational work on plant intelligence.
My yoga nidra teachers who I’m honored to have studied directly with – Kamini Desai, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Richard Miller.
I bow to them in deep gratitude for the gifts they have shared with me.
Every life born on the Earth is native and indigenous to it. By definition, “Originating / occurring naturally in a particular place”, that of the Earth. By re-membering this collective connection to The Mother / Nature, Her cycles and all living things we are able to embrace the inherent pulse that runs through us and all of Life.
I am in gratitude to all indigenous cultures from all traditions who have honoured Earth as sacred and alive, as well as our Mother Earth herself, who continue to share wisdom despite current/historical attacks, appropriation, outlawing, and destruction of your customs, lands and ways. For this I feel deep sorrow in my heart.
May we make reparations by honouring, respecting, and listening deeply to the peoples, lands and non-human beings who help us remember our common humanity and Source.
A Few Good Words
From the moment we met, the nurturing space Simone was able to create was palpable. You could even feel it through the computer screen. Her tools and practices have helped in my personal and professional life, helped me trust my intuition, and be more grounded in my spiritual and mental growth.
The sessions with Simone provided me a platform to honour and acknowledge the inner voices speaking to me and; the good, the bad and the noise, and the practices which I could deploy to deal with them. She has helped me to navigate my work and life experiences from a deeper inner connection; to look beyond Continue Reading