(pronounced like Channing)
This “About Me” goes beyond the usual quick bio about being a writer, editor, artist/poet, dream work midwife, or sustainable living advocate. Wild Clover Dream Work and related spiritual/creative services I provide are that of a spiritual midwife or freelance priestess of sorts. While titles are helpful, they are not the most essential part–still, I take the role seriously, and wish to provide some transparency, and my ethical framework. The following provides insight into my awareness, perspective, experience, and approach to these things.
My experience as a professional holistic spiritual practitioner began in 2003. Though, the exceptional mentoring around spirituality, ethics, holistic and proactive wellness practices, and personal growth tools I received began at a young age–around 13 years old and onward. Over time, and now in midlife, I now recognize that my natural gifts and skills allow me to help others to get unstuck, to move and shift energy, and inspire new understanding. Themes of grief, personal transformation, beginnings, big changes, and personal growth and spiritual wellness tools all come naturally to me. In being an artist/poet, writer, empathic, and fairly psychic person, I am able to tune in and let the lower mind step aside (while doing spiritual/creative work) to allow creativity, sacred imagination, inner knowing, and intuition to flow. At the same time, I equally value critical thinking and logic. Both aspects are a wholeness for the other.
From the time I was old enough to talk, I was different. Around the age of two or three I spoke my first full sentence, it was: “Where are my other parents?” I then proceeded to provide my family with details and full names of people from some other era and culture, far beyond what I should have been capable of saying or knowing. This was my first time having a conversation with my family, in the 70s, and at a time when many things were not commonly known or recognized, including children with some kind of other life memories. In those early years I had more other life memories that arose, and which I shared with family members in the moment. This was both fascinating and unnerving to them. From the time I was seven years old or so, I knew the memories might be genetic or spiritually inherited memory–or something we don’t completely understand. At that age, I had a sense that people try to shape mystery around their own perceptions of reality, and that isn’t always accurate, and sometimes too convoluted. I have never had an attachment to past life dogma, that remains true. At the same time, I know there is much more going on than it appears sometimes.
Life speaks to me most often as being symbolic on many levels. Perhaps this is an artist’s perspective, and it is also the mystic’s. I am at home with both. Because of my natural affinity for symbols, poetry, and dreams, I found the teachings of Joseph Campbell and the work of Carl Jung to be invaluable, and continue to appreciate their contributions as many do.
In addition to the academic, I feel it is important to further note a dynamic from my personal story in order to highlight a mental and spiritual crisis born of our age: I was born not with a father, but with a man who was severely damaged by corruption, hate, and other distorted legacies of institutionalized systems–someone not capable of being a real father. In fact, he was abusive, not only to himself in every way, but to everyone close to him as well.
By the age of seven, I had no father–he exited my life for good, and I was glad he was no longer in my life. Even at an incredibly young age I recognized that something wasn’t right with him and knew it was best to be permanently estranged. Still, I grieved deeply at no presence of a father, and for what my father could have been. He had many gifts and great potential, but no real sharing of them, only an exploitation of them. His life had begun in a state orphanage in the South to the age of nearly three, and then became a part of an oppressive religious system within the adoptive family, and then, just out of high school, went into the military and the Korean War. The underlying, hidden dynamic that shaped his life was a legacy of discrimination, abuse, and hate–some of which he experienced, and some of which he did not know, but were reasons he ended up an orphan. Those institutionalized systems which affected him could not, and did not teach about compassion, healthy emotional processing, holistic wellness, nurturing, meditation, or ethical standards–nor do our schools for that matter. The damage of traumas that too often go with institutions–as well as our consumerist, commercialized, exploitation-based systems (which exploit, focus on achievement and status, and mindlessly waste with a disposable and cheap mindset–devaluing life itself) as a whole have the capacity to create narcissists and sociopaths, and they are also systems in which psychopaths are naturally drawn, and in general can do well, often becoming leaders. As a side-note to this: I am greatly heartened and inspired to see that J.K. Rowling created a beautiful foundation called Lumos, which has a goal to keep children out of orphanages and institutions, also educating about the affects of an institutionalized childhood.
What I witnessed, experienced, and later learned about my biological father is mirrored for me all the time in the corruption, hate, and crises of our society today–it is no different. The big picture corruption is the same that creeps into homes and families. It is with this deep understanding, that I mindfully and purposefully live counter-culturally and seek to be a support for, and a voice for environment, animal and people rights–for compassion, equity/equality, holistic wellness and healing, ethical and creative approaches, personal responsibility, a birthright connection to the sacred, and educating about resources and helpful tools for wellness and self-actualization.
I was exceptionally lucky to have powerful, loving mentors throughout my youth and young adult life, and a good mother–who provided me with guidance, friendship, and tools for wellness and spiritual development that have served me well. Those life mentors and mother (and later in life–great friends and colleagues), were also the ones who recognized and encouraged my skills and natural gifts of empathy, creativity, spiritual knowing, and presence. I was born with a deep desire to grow, learn, and share my gifts of creativity and spiritual tools for greater holistic wellness, as well as the enthusiasm for critical thinking, research, and ethical leadership.
My father-in-law described me as “a spiritual nurse”, which I greatly appreciate from a man who was an accomplished teacher, artist, naturalist, ethical hunter, and storyteller. He was a beloved father figure in my life for about 5 years, who recognized my gifts and supported me with kindness and enthusiasm as I became a mother for the first time. When I think of him, I realize how life provided the energy of a kind and good father through three different men at different times in my life. At the same time, in my adulthood, I have dedicated myself to bringing greater wellness to my own inner child and heart, with archetypes of a good and loving father and mother energy from within my own being via sacred imagination and inner knowing. And that has been powerfully good too.
In living into the gifts and challenges of my life, and disciplining my gifts with formal education and training, my own personal alchemy of creating and holistic wellness assistance and mentoring emerged.
Professionally, in addition to in-depth astrology, poetry, writing, and dream work facilitation; I have served as: a wedding celebrant, funeral officiant, hospital chaplain in-training (two units of CPE completed between 2005-07), hospitality volunteer, at-risk youth volunteer (AmeriCorps service, two years, 1999/01), homeless lodge caregiver (during college years), advocate for immigrant women and children leaving domestic abuse (internship for BA), child caregiver, Reiki teacher/practitioner, breath work advocate, artist, mother, activist, environmentalist, and small business owner.
I have a BA degree in Ministry (spiritual care and leadership based in religion) and Studio Art (1996/99). I have a Master’s of Arts degree in Servant (ethical) Leadership from Viterbo University (2006). I have an ongoing dedication to research and ethics in leadership and culture, and am rooted in critical thinking and creativity. Religion/spirituality for me is mystical and outside of institutions and dogma.
First, please know that whether priestess or spiritual midwife are terms you use or not, these titles are archetypes. They are powerful symbols of our psyche and inner world that show up in our inner and outer experiences in powerful and various ways. I step into my power mindfully, and wish to empower you to do so, in your own authentic way as well. In facing the many crises and suffering we face in our country and world–being able to empower myself, and share creative and spiritual tools for holistic wellness and enrichment in life is a joy.
I am especially interested in serving and working with those who wish to get unstuck, to seek their best potential, and those who wish to live counter-culturally–in order to facilitate healthy ways and new, humane, equity-based currencies for a better future for themselves and others.
For those who are heartbroken by all the destruction and hate, please keep speaking up, acting, hoping, persisting, and being true to who you are. Please continue standing up for love, equity and an inclusive, healthy future for the planet, elements, ecosystems, communities, people, and all beings.
I would be honored if you would allow me to support, encourage, and provide you with my services, which hopefully will enrich, affirm, and empower your path in this life. You are needed, loved, and you are here for a reason!
CS Sherin, WildClover.org, August 2018; updated January 9, 2019©