Olwen Wilson

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When you find someone in your life who encourages you to hold onto your dream, who supports you in making it a reality, you have to honour them. You have to welcome them into your life and give thanks for their presence.

One such person in my life is Olwen Wilson. Olwen has gently supported me in bringing our Iceland Creative Retreat to fruition. Olwen has not only been a cheerleader but she is also offering her skills to the retreat. I thank you.

Let me introduce you to Olwen.

1. Tell us something about yourself

I’m Olwen (pronounced All-wen) Wilson. I’m an intuitive healing guide, secret keeper, advocate and fierce mama bear. I’m also a yoga teacher, Reiki master and I teach English as a second language to children.

The loves of my life are my husband and our seven-year-old son. My fur babies include two rescue cats that quickly claimed our family as their own.

I love getting out in the fresh air, being creative and learning new things. In the past year alone, I’ve given hand thrown pottery a try (I get an arm workout every time I pick up the mug I made), I made some recycled metal earrings, did some beading and needle felting, and learned to crochet (guess what my lucky family got as Christmas presents). But I’m also the happiest hibernating in our home because it’s the best way for me to recharge.

You can learn even more about me over on my website echorootswellness.com.

2. What gets you up out of bed in the morning?

Connection. Funny enough for this introvert (who can put in the effort to be an extrovert when I want to but will need to have a lot of down time to recover) I would never have thought that connection would be one of my biggest motivators.

Caroline Reynolds wrote in her book Spiritual Fitness, “Whenever we are forced into a situation where we cannot express ourselves honestly we suffer from what I call non-alignment fatigue. It occurs whenever you can’t express your natural exuberance, quietness, optimism or sadness in any situation.”

When I first read this, my world started to make more sense. She expressed how I had been feeling for years and why I originally thought that I was not a people person. I knew I definitely wasn’t a people pleaser (I enjoy being an instigator at times), but I still secretly wanted to be liked, so I acted in ways that were exhausting to me. And I also found myself swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum and purposely closing myself off as a way to protect myself.

It also helped me realize that perhaps I had been putting myself into situations that weren’t ideal. I tried to make friends or stayed friends with people who were nice enough, but they simply weren’t my people. I felt drained in those situations and relationships.

What I try to do instead now is seek out connections that bring me joy, get me excited and challenge me for the better. I consider myself lucky that I have a few great people in my inner circle who I don’t feel I need to be anything other than myself when I’m around them.

3. What do you know to be true in your heart?

Integrity is sexy and honesty is always the best answer. Apathy is a killer.

4. What was the best advice you’ve received?

You are your best advocate. I first learned this when I was dealing with a medical issue, but it’s served me well in other areas of my life too.

5. What are your thoughts about a woman’s place/ position in society at the moment?

It’s whatever, and wherever, she chooses it to be. She will potentially shift and morph her place/position over time, but it’s important that she has ownership over her choices. That’s my ideal.

6. How do you hold a relationship with the land?

I tune into it often and give thanks. Mainly because it helps me ground and since the land (earth) is supporting me, I check in to see what I can offer, or do, to create or keep some balance in our relationship.

Over the last few years, I’ve been getting to know my local trees, herbs and plants better. There’s so much to learn, but it’s been an empowering journey understanding how they communicate, their role in our ecosystem and how they may strengthen my health and support my family’s wellbeing. Knowing how to make my own tinctures, teas, infusions and bitters feels like I’ve been given the key to so much wisdom and I’m eager to know more.

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7. What are you looking forward to most about your time in Iceland? Why did you agree to come along for the ride?

I’m looking forward to EVERYTHING!!

I can’t wait to put my feet in the dirt and black sand, get splashed by a waterfall, get my hands covered in paint, explore my inner thoughts and feelings and enjoy time in this magical land around the summer solstice. Having a chance to spend some time with other women who want the same is a bonus.

Visiting Iceland has been a dream of mine for a long while now. Your (Sheree’s) posts on Instagram about your travels to the country made me even more curious about it. When you first announced that you were thinking about offering a retreat in Iceland I knew (in my heart) that I was going.

We met two years ago when we were both chosen to be community leaders in one of Mara Glatzel’s Facebook groups. I admired your words of wisdom and your honesty in all of your posts and comments. It didn’t take long for me to become a fan of yours and it was so easy to say “yes” when you decided to offer this retreat.

8. What are you planning to offer to the Iceland Retreat. What plans have to put in place so far?

My intention is to offer yoga sessions that include asana (yoga postures and poses), breath work and meditation to help you cultivate self-awareness. The focus will be on simple, yet effective, things you can do to feel better, and be more connected to your body and breath.

I’m a certified Curvy Yoga Teacher too so everything I offer will be accessible for all shapes, all sizes and all abilities. Plus, everything is optional… you always have a choice.

The biggest compliment that I ever received was from a student who said she felt like I would be totally fine if she just wanted to hang out in savasana (corpse pose) for the entire time and listen to my voice. And I would! If that’s what she felt was best for her during our time together, I would have been delighted to offer her a safe space for her to take care of her needs.

My goal as a teacher is to offer sessions where you feel cared for, challenged, and help you learn how to honour your body at any given moment.

I expect to include some Reiki, restorative yoga, yoga nidra (yogic sleep), as well as some massage techniques that will help soothe any muscles that you may have newly discovered after one of our more active sessions.

The best thing I can say about what I’ll offer is that no previous experience is necessary. You don’t need a fancy wardrobe. Simply wear clothing you’re comfortable moving in and bring your curiosity.

9. Anything you’d like to add?

Is it June yet? I may be a wee bit excited for your retreat.

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New Practice : Ten@Tuesday

I’m planning to share my new practice with you, just on a Tuesday, even though I’m completing this task everyday. This practice came to me first via Alisha Sommer and her beautiful writing and photography. And this practice came to Alisha via Marie Howe being interviewed on On Being.

Within this podcast, Marie Howe talks about the power of poetry and the sacredness of the every day. Sacred space is there always just waiting for us to stop and pay attention. To stop and hold space for the now.

I love the thought of this. I love the idea of gifting ourselves the beauty and grace of our present moments. All we have to do is slow down and listen. Slow down and observe.

Marie recommends to her students to write down 10 observations of the actual world each day. No metaphors, no comparisons, just detail the world as it actually is. Simple. Engage the senses and be up close with the world around us. Be present.

After embarking on this practice for a few weeks now, I have to say it hurts, sometimes, to be so present as the tendency is to look away. To want to distract myself and move on. Get moving, get producing. But at the same time as the pain and is the simple joy of being present. There’s pain but also happiness to be found in being present. And this is amazing. Try is yourself and see.

Marie Howe calls this ‘a gift of holding sacred space.’ And you’re doing this for yourself, no one else, just yourself. I claim this as self-care to the max.

Each Tuesday, I’ll share my 10 observations. Feel free to share yours too, here with me.

learning to change 


Over the weekend, our clocks went back. We lost an hour and gained the darkness. Usually at this time of year, I go into a bit of a slump. With the night’s drawing in so does my mind and emotions. I get a bit grumpy as this is the way I’m supposed to act. I’m not supposed to welcome the dark, to enjoy the dark, I should be reaching for the light, or so I’ve been lead to believe. But this year, I sense a change. 

This November I plan to go within, deep within. Cosy up and settle into my new home at the same time as explore my internal darkness. I’m looking forward to the rest, to the reduction in the pressures to perform and show up. I’m looking forward to just being. and don’t get me wrong, I’ll not be idle. I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy, to be getting on with behind the scenes. But allowing myself to rest and to take care of myself, is a change, is an advancement for me that I will continue to cultivate as I reap the benefits of such. But of course if these plans get disrupted, I have also learned to be flexible.

This time last hear, I was knee deep in curriculum planning, marking and examination preparations. Self-care amounted to getting to bed before 10pm and most nights that wasn’t achieved. Things weren’t really going to plan and I was constantly knackered. What I can take from that time now is my ability to be flexible, to not make a fuss but to just go with the flow because I learned that it was me and only me who was hurting. It was me and my unrealistic expectations that was causing the ruckus, not anyone else.

I carry this nugget of knowledge with me now, when my best laid plans go up in smoke because of unforeseen circumstances. I become disappointed and hurt and yet I also see that these things happen and I’m more adept at being centred, rooted in myself but still allowing my trunk to bend, and my branches to sway in an unexpected wind or storm. These things happen, it’s nature. It’s how I perceive and handly these changable circumstances is the development, is an indication of my growth as a human being.

3 card spread 

This is weird right! Or it is just meant to be?! I’ve just competed my first 3 card spread in the new home. I was asking the questions: who was I/ am I/ will be.
This spread is nearly identical to a recent reading I had with the lovely @rootandrattlesnake regarding my business. The only difference is the middle card.
The cards are telling me something and I am listening.
My old self has gone. The Sheree of many years giving to please everyone and needing outward success and other people’s approval has gone.
The woman standing here now is artistic and introspective with a dark intensity which I claim and nurture.
Those four wands waving at me again signify a completion. In business I saw it as Iceland – The Retreat coming to fruition watch @livingwildstudios
As a person, I see this as all my hard work from reaching rock bottom, from stripping away all the shit and facades in order to see and accept authentic me will pay off/ is paying off each day as I continue on this path, as I become complete – whole.

Ordinary Things



There are three slender things that support the world; the slender stream of cow’s milk into a pail; the slender blade of green corn in the ground; the slender thread running over the hands of a skilled woman. – ancient Irish triad.

A recent book I picked up is The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for thr Turning of the Year, by Caitlin Matthews. The quote above is featured for today,  22 October.

Within the Celtic world, the cow is important. It is a unit of wealth along with grains used to make the daily bread.     Before the industrial revolution, all clothing was made by hand. Labour intensive procedures carried out by the women of the household took the unwashed wool, into spinning, into creating the fine linen cloth to wear next to the skin of all the family.

Foodstuff, grain and material; three ordinary things that support any society in it’s existence. To survive. 

Today’s meditation ends with the question, What three ordinary things are the supporters of your life? Make your own personal triad.

Only when the question is asked do I consider what are the essentials for my existence. Ordinary things on a day to day basis I probably take for granted. But when I stop and consider it, I may not be thinking of them every single minute of the day but I know what I am grateful for, especially during this period of change; personal and seasonal, when things are dying but only for new life to be born. In time.

My personal triad, those three clear notes that resonate throughout all I do in life are: water, within and without; creativity feeding my body, mind and soul; and love that wraps around me for myself and for/from others that makes sure I am home where ever I roam.

Now I ask you the question, What three ordinary things are the supporters of your life? 

threads

threads

#liberatedlines:: amplify :: day 6 #threads

Yeah man, I’m a strong black woman. Independent, resourceful, push me down and I get back up. ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. ‘ As the advert used to say.

Hell I’ve even been proud to state that I’m an independent black woman. But that’s not my whole story. This is not all of who I am. Something I have to explore and step out from behind this cardboard cut out of a woman of colour. And something those looking at me and judging have to realise; I am more than just one story. I have many multicoloured threads running through me that I am just starting to be brave enough to explore.

I’m an introvert. I hate crowds. I’d rather stay quiet that speak up and out.

I was a girl who idolised her daddy even though he beat her to keep her quiet.

I was a young woman who didn’t want to be like her mama; a virgin till married and then only being with one man for her life. So I slept around at Uni so I could at least feel I had variety. Even if none of them touched my heart or my ‘g’ spot.

I was the career woman following education’s path right up to doctorate level thinking at least then they would listen to me. Take me seriously. I was wrong.

I am the mother who is constantly second guessing herself if she’s doing a good enough job or not. This time, this energy could be better off just giving them my attention. My love.

I am the wife now who lives like a virgin.

I married a man who each day expects me to be that strong black woman. When each day all I want to do it climb into my woman cave and write. I want to dive deep inside of me to give in to all parts of me. To embrace the light and the dark. I want to be able to play in my shadows 24/7 and not have to worry I have to come back out to make the tea or go do the school run. I want to be free of this strong black woman hashtag so I can break apart, break down with the aim to build myself up in a different way. In a way more aligned with my soul, my heart, my voice. Not influenced by any outsiders or societal situations but staying true to the multicoloured threads that take their hue from the rivers flowing inside of me. Wild and free.

#liberatedlinesamplify

ready to roar

iberated lines :: amplify :: day 5 #readytoroar

she’s been small and silenced and caged for so long that when everything crashes down around her, she is lost. she doesn’t know what to do or say or be.

scared of this nothingness and fearful of stepping into freedom, into the arena on her own terms; pure and clear and naked.

she curls into a tight ball, curls in on herself.

tight in her protective sphere, she hears her heart beating. knows she lives. she gives thanks. breath in breath out

away from the public glare, she starts to sense a fluttering in her core. a gentle coaxing of wings, caressing out waves of love for herself.

these feelings talk with her heart. small sounds. quiet whispers echoing through blood and bone and skin. there be singing. singing to herself of the trees and seas. singing with her shadows. singing through her shadows.

and through the process, she’s uncurling, unfolding until like the blousy blooms of peonies, she’s standing in her truth. beaming out her light; a beacon. a guide for others to see and to feel and to be.

#liberatedlinesamplify #readytoroar #atthecrossroadsofshouldandjust #hygge #alchemy #compassion #patience #water #authenticsheshe #beyourownbeloved

ready to roar

naming my bones

naming my bones

liberated lines:: amplify :: day 2 – Can you class teeth as bones? As when the North wind blows and gusts straight through me as if I am air, I smile. Later my teeth ache, like the cold has seeped into my teeth, into my bones.

The cold can nestle within my womb for days. I feel it bedding down. Not bothering to warm through. Instead content on chilling me from the inside out. Right through to the tips of my fingers and toes.

I look at my hands and wonder. You can have more than 206 bones, you know? Unnamed bones that develop in areas of friction and tension and stress.

I feel unnamed bones in the in the palms of my hands. Because I’ve always tried to please, giving away parts of myself in the hope of being validated and loved.

I feel unnamed bones in the soles of my feet. Because I’m trying to walk back to me now. Trying to get back to my whole self; the self who was lost behind masks others forced upon me and the ones I took up eagerly, if it meant I belonged.

Gut and bone and bleed. I name these as authentic me. Sinewy strong fibres knitted close together. Taking up the slack. Gut and bone and bleed. Lined up like rows of teeth, ready to do battle, ready to bear my soul. Gut and bone and bleed.
#liberatedlinesamplify #namingyourbones #authenticsheshe #alchemy #belovedbodypeace #hygge #practice #wildsoulwoman #voice #standinginmytruth #patience #compassion

there is darkness

there is darkness

liberated lines:: amplify :: day 1

There is a darkness … I am the mother who sleeps in late because I skywrite my intention days before. It’s Monday morning and I’m playing hooky from expectations. I scrunch my pillow up closer feeling into the silence of the house, holding my dreams of the day.
I am the tender of others even when alone. As I put the washing in, prepare the evening meal, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, turn the dishes over. I am a healer while still healing myself. But isn’t that always the way?
I am bed and pen and computer and toffee-nut coffee. I navigate the bends in the river, I want to say with grace. But I know with strength.
In the darkness, I bed down, make myself cosy as I know here, layers of self echo and shed, amplify and shimmer.
Right down to the bone and soul, there is alchemy with patience, alchemy with compassion. I am becoming, always becoming into my truth.

#liberatedlinesamplify #throughouttheday #hygge #alchemy #intothedarknight #compassion #patience #authenticsheshe #liberatedlines #belovedbodypeace #alchemy #atthecrossroadsofshouldandmust

In Bed With SheShe

in bed with sheshe

I know it’s not all about me …

I took my mother-in-law to her radiotherapy session this morning. Her last one. Yes!!! She got to ring the bell afterward; the sound telling the world that she has completed her treatment.

We do not know as yet if all was successful. But we accept this moment with joy. She has undergone her treatment with courage and grace. And I’ve told her as such.

So when I say I know it’s not all about me … I’ve come home and I’m just so tired. I am exhausted and have just come to bed to rest. To switch off and recharge.

And there is a part of me that wants to beat myself up for being such a wuss, for feeling so tired. I know there is a sense of shame because I feel I have no right to feel this way. I haven’t just undergone cancer treatment. I haven’t been fighting cancer like my mother-in-law for the past year or so.

I’m trying to quieten this critical voice and just let things be; to acknowledging my tiredness which is an accumulation of a number of things. To stop beating myself up if I reach for the next chocolate or chuck of crusty bread instead of that green smoothie or handful of nuts and seeds.

I’m practicing letting it all be and surrendering to how things are, how I feel. How exhausted I am. And it’s hard. It means stripping away a lifetime of beliefs and behaviours that include holding up everything for everyone. That’s the way I should be, the way I’m expected to be by myself and others.

I cried today in the hospital when I saw that frail old woman almost skip into that treatment room. She couldn’t get it over with quick enough. I cried for what she’s been going through. For her family, for us, for our lives, for our fears and for our love.

I cried in surrender as I couldn’t carry on any more with everything packaged up so tight inside, a practice I’m so expert at as a means of just getting on with things.

I realise that the world will keep on spinning if I decide to take a rest now. Life does go on with or without me. With or without you.

This is starting to sound like a Jerry Springer moment, but really take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

I’m learning this and practicing this.

Trying to silence those voices of shame, guilt and selfishness. It’s not. It’s self-care. It’s self-compassion. It’s self-love.

#hygge #alchemy #authenticsheshe #compassion #practice #belovedbodypeace #cancertreatment #family #love #shame #surrender #voice #letitbe #letitgo