The Wisdom Council formed when we realized that we needed some more formal structures of support for the work we do. We invited 12 trusted and long-time contributors to our community to join us. Each has a strong kinship with the monk and artist path. We call on them for wisdom when creating new programs, considering new ideas, or navigating challenges. They offer their time and guidance to us and so are also in service to the wider community. Many of the members also help facilitate or teach portions of our programs, both live and online. We are so grateful to have this vibrant gathering of both spiritual and practical support for the contemplative and creative programs we offer.In addition, several of the members are available for spiritual direction via Skype, phone, or email. Please contact them directly to inquire about fees, availability, and whether they might be a kindred spirit to support your journey.
Aisling Richmond, M.A is a teacher, therapist and soul guide living in the West of Ireland. She loves to share with others a juicy, embodied, and creative approach to life. Aisling holds three teaching qualifications in Yoga, Conscious Dance, and Somatics, and is a fully accredited Somatic therapist. In 2011 she earned her Masters degree in Movement Research, which focused on dance as a spiritual practice and healing art. Aisling teaches weekly Yoga classes, runs Somatic Wisdom courses, and works as a therapist to help people to overcome life challenges through Somatics or body-mind wisdom. She runs retreats set in the beauty spots of Ireland, inviting people into a deeper connection with nature. Having worked collaboratively with many organisations including Amnesty International, Aisling has also been a guest lecturer with both Galway and Limerick Universities. Her passion is to support each person's soul growth, and invite a home-coming to the wisdom and wonder of our sacred bodies.
Aisling is available for somatic therapy sessions and yoga classes in Galway, Ireland. Contact her to inquire>>
Amber Andreasen is a contemplative, ever desiring to deepen into and dance the rhythms of monk and artist. She has trained as a spiritual director, receiving her M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from The Institute of Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology. Wherever she finds herself, she desires to nurture a compassionate space where others can be listened and loved into fuller being by the Beloved. She is continually awed by the body as sacred storyholder and storyteller, and her heart beats loudly for the weaving together of creativity and spirituality in the discovering of what it means to live an embodied, fully human life in all its mystery and wonder.
Amber is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, and email. Contact her to inquire>>
Betsey Beckman, MM is nationally acclaimed as a spirited dancer, storyteller, teacher of SpiritPlay and dancing Spiritual Director. With her extensive repertory of sacred storydances, she is regularly featured as artist/presenter at national conventions as well as local churches. She earned her Masters in Ministry degree from Seattle University, her certificate in Movement Therapy from the Institute for Transformational Movement, and is a certified InterPlay leader. As dancer, choreographer, author, mother, wife, teacher and spiritual director, she is passionate about living life fully and fostering creativity in all those with whom she shares life and ministry. Betsey’s publications include books (she is co-author of Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Expressive Arts to Spiritual Direction), recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer. She offers the gift of playful improvisation whenever possible.
Betsey is available for dancing spiritual direction in person for those living near Seattle, WA, USA. Contact her to inquire>>
As a contemplative soul with a love for photography and poetry Cheryl is passionate about deep listening and co-creating safe, welcoming spaces where there is room to glimpse the flow of the Spirit and inner wisdom through the sharing of sacred stories and engaging in the process of creative expression.
Cheryl brings years of experience as a teacher, parent and soul friend in addition to further education in counseling, grief support and pastoral counseling through Camosun College, The Burquitlam Grief society and Island pastoral Services. A long time practice of centering prayer led to completing a Leadership for Contemplative Practice program with author and teacher Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault. Cheryl is a graduate of the Pacific Jubilee Program in Spiritual Direction, a qualified teacher in the Usui system of natural healing and a certified teacher of Enneagram Studies. She currently offers spiritual companioning, guided meditation and centering prayer groups, retreats and Enneagram teaching.
Cheryl is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, and email (and also in person for those living near Victoria, BC, Canada). Contact her to inquire>>
Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RYT-200, RMT travels internationally speaking on topics related to EMDR therapy, trauma, addiction, expressive arts, LGBTQ issues, spirituality and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. Jamie is also the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts practice. Jamie is the author of EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client (2011), Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide for Recovery Enhancement (2012),Trauma Made Simple: Competencies in Assessment, Treatment, and Working with Survivors (2014), Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015, with foreword by Christine Valters Paintner), and EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (2018, with Stephen Dansiger). Her newest book Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery released in 2019, heavily influenced by the growth she has experienced through her study with Abbey of the Arts!
Jamie is available for spiritual direction, coaching/consultation, or expressive arts therapy in person or via Skype. Contact her to inquire>>
Kayce Stevens Hughlett, MA LMHC is a soulful and spirited woman. In her roles as ponderer extraordinaire, spiritual director, life muse, author, creative coach, and speaker, she invites us to playfully and fearlessly cross the thresholds toward authentic living. A strong proponent of compassionate care in the world, Kayce's live and online work focuses on the principle that we must live it to give it.
Her early career began with a multi-national accounting firm to be later refined as the path of an artist. She delights in walking alongside others as they explore and unearth their own pathways toward passionate living.
Kayce holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology with additional emphasis in spiritual direction and experiential learning practices and is a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach. She is the author of As I Lay Pondering: Daily Invitations to Live a Transformed Life and the co-author of “Arts Centered Supervision” published in Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Expressive Arts to Spiritual Direction. Kayce is a trained SoulCollage® facilitator, a founding member of the Soul Care Institute, and has worked with groups and individuals for more than 30 years in a variety of settings.
Kayce is available for coaching/spiritual direction by Skype, phone, and email (and also in person for those living near Seattle, WA). Contact her to inquire>>
Lacy Clark Ellman
Lacy Clark Ellman is a writer and spiritual guide based in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.A. in Theology and Culture and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and was recently recognized as a New Contemplative by Spiritual Directors International. Lacy writes about spirituality and intention in travels and daily life at asacredjourney.net and is the author of Pilgrim Principles: Journeying with Intention in Everyday Life. When she's not writing or guiding others on their journey Lacy enjoys food, books, growing and making things, far off places, and lovely spaces.
Lacy is available for spiritual direction by Skype and phone (and also in person for those living near Seattle, WA). Contact her to inquire »
Melissa Layer, MA honors our unfolding journeys through life’s challenges and transitions as compelling invitations for creative, integrative meaning-making in BodyMindSpirit. Her sacred calling and training as a psychospiritual therapist, hospice grief counselor and interfaith spiritual director have taught her about the potency of the “thin places” in thresholds and dark nights of the soul. Often utilizing expressive arts for curious exploration of the Great Mystery, Melissa offers her compassionate presence and deep listening to individuals and groups. Like the honeybee for which she is named, she claims her role as “a bee of the invisible… passionately plundering the honey of the visible in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible” (Rilke). The evergreen forests of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest are her sacred sanctuary. Melissa is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, email and also in-person for those living near Olympia, WA.
Melissa is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, and email (and also in person for those living near Olympia, WA). Contact her to inquire>>
Polly Burns MA UKCP has worked for many years as a psychotherapist and trainer in the field of trauma. Most days she can be found in her Lodge by the Lake, creating art and helping clients to connect to the Divine through art and nature.
Polly has travelled widely to train as a facilitator of Equine Facilitated therapy, Expressive Arts and Eco-therapy. Always been a lover of nature, horses and creativity Polly now integrates all of these into her practice. She is a licenced facilitator of Chakradance, The Art of Allowing , Creative Awakenings and is a facilitator and Instructor for the HEAL method of Equine Facilitated Therapy.
A member of the Iona Community, Polly was coordinator of their healing ministry for 11 years and when in that role ran regular retreats on the Isle of Iona. With roots in the contemplative and monastic traditions, Polly also draws wisdom from other spiritual paths such as Druidry and Sufism. She is passionate to help those wounded by the institutional church, to restore their image of God and themselves.
Polly is available for spiritual accompaniment and mentoring in person or by skype. Contact her to inquire>>
Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, MA is a Psalmist, spiritual director and freelance musician. He enjoys all manner of projects in theology and the arts. Through his company, Worldmaking.net, he is publishing imaginative and adventurous songs for the ever-evolving church. Raised in the Midwestern United States, he is a husband to Trish and a dad to Sam. Faves: discovery, music, Star Wars, bosc pears, blue, laughter, naps.
Stacy Wills is a contemplative artist and spiritual director living in Mississippi. In 2007, she completed Journey Partners, a two year training program in the art of spiritual direction, sponsored by The Center for Ministry, located in Jackson, MS. Her passion is to explore the intersection of creativity and spirituality, and to share what she's discovering with others. She is currently co-facilitator for Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist. She also offers workshops for children and adults using the mandala and other creative methods as tools for self-expression, self-exploration and community building. She has been married to her husband Dan for 32 years, and they three children and four grandchildren.
Stacy is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, and email. Contact her to inquire>>