Hello & Welcome!
I was curiously, perhaps even auspiciously, named after the three things that I hold most sacred:
- Earth (Terra);
- Color, Creativity (Dyer: one who dyes cloth)
- Life, Spirit, Flow (Gill: a life-giving organ for breathing underwater).
My name informed my being from a very young age, so it’s no surprise that my 20+ years of worldwide work, travel, and service has culminated in what I offer and share today: Terra Energy Arts Medicine.
As an Ecotherapy, Expressive Art and Energy-Medicine practitioner, my intention is to support and engage the naturally creative aspects of the human experience through transformational moments and playful practices.
As a visual, intermodal artist and energy-medicine practitioner, my work is intricately interconnected with the natural environments that inspire and infuse me. In all my creative experiences or offerings, I consciously connect with the elements and energies of the land, listen to the guidance being offered and generate unique, creative experiences that flow forth from those moments of sacred union.
The information and intuitions I receive at the time of each session are birthed by the worlds around and within me and my clients. So while each session is utterly unique in form and structure, I tend to find that three primary components remain consistent: the Presence of Spirit, the call of Creative Soul, and the Power of Place. During our sessions, my goal is to engage with the energies and spirits of the land; build a sacred trust with those natural beings, forces, and sources; and receive, allow, and enter Life’s sacred flow. This is why I refer to what I offer as ‘Terra Energy Arts Medicine.’
While the exact content of each session will vary based upon the natural landscapes around and within me and my clients, these three essential components remain the same.
Terra Energy Arts Medicine
My job, as I see it, is to become a clear conduit through which the Creative Spirit can flow and act in this world.
I spent years cultivating this ability, relationship, and personal practice within myself and now, I offer it to others as a way to help them build a relationship with their own sources of inspiration, happiness, and healing.
The intermodal experiences I call upon for myself and my clients are those same enduring forces revealed to me in my name: Earth, Creativity, and Spirit.
These three ancient and transformational powers can be easily accessed through the modern application and practices found in Therapeutic Ecology (Ecotherapy). Expressive Arts, and Energy Medicine. When merged, these fields form a unified source of healing and direct revelation; a conscious, co-creative collective I lovingly refer to as Terra Energy Arts Medicine.
The experiences I offer my clients are those presented by the spontaneous, magical union that occurs when these three powers combine, interact, and play; physical expressions I call Terra Energy Arts Medicine (TEAM) Experiences.
My art, my work, and my commitment is to cultivate these expressive experiences for myself and others and to open and offer them to the world with love, humility, and wonder.
I fell in love with long distance, open-ocean solo swimming in 2010 while living on the Hawai’i. While there, I had my first ‘run-in’ with a shark: a relatively small Tiger, a little larger than me. Soon after, one of the locals shared a trick: ‘If you see another, swim straight for it. Catches them off guard.’ At least 100 swims later, just off the coast of Kauai, another opportunity arose and my personal level of badassery was seriously tested. Just after dusk, all alone in the open ocean, ¼ mile offshore, I was approached by a massive, nearly twice my size great white shark, and I did the only thing I knew to do at the time: I swam straight towards it.
Of course I was terrified. Of course every fiber of my being begged me to turn, thrash and scream. But I was alone, and some better, more ancient part of me knew that was useless. So I found my center instead. In a flash of an instant, my body-mind assessed, calmed, said a prayer, and swam straight for it. That majestic megalodon soon swam away, only to return moments later for another attempt. Again, I balanced. Again I approached. It finally swam away, and when all was clear, I found my way back to shore and collapsed on the beach.
It took weeks for me to feel any sense of safety while alone in the water, but it took years for me to fully process and relate to the experiences of that day. In order to approach, integrate, and finally overcome the stalking fears from that epic encounter, I would have to consciously connect with my apex adversary and swim straight towards it once again.
I left the islands and returned to the mainland to teach and create in less ‘stimulating’ environments. As a professional artist I had already sold thousands of dollars’ worth of works, was teaching college-level courses, and organizing and facilitating creative workshops for individuals, corporations, and nonprofits all over the country. From the outside I was ‘working it’ as a highly-successful, thriving creator but inside, I was secretly haunted by the feeling that I was a straight-up creative fraud.
That overwhelming, fear-inducing fantasy manifested itself in the form of unresolved traumas: shadowy sharks surfaced from deep within me, dominated my dreams, and beckoned me to approach once again.
So I swam straight towards those terrifying, titanic-sized threats the only way I knew how… Limited only by land and lacker, I choose color over chaos. I slept little and created compulsively.
I thrashed with tint; scratched and screamed through sketches; felt pain with paint; cried through color; and channeled my challenges into creations. Sharks streaked every surface, covered my clothes, and watched from my walls.
I created everywhere. I created to survive. I created because it was only in the act of creating that I was able to challenge my fears and find my uniquely creative vision. As I did, my work took on an almost holy, albeit unconventional life.
After countless color-fueled creations and many, many massively marvelous mistakes, I finally felt like a true artist. But not any artist: I felt like my kind of artist: like me.
I had traded my traumas for artistic tools. Only then did my profession and my teachings begin to make sense to me. Only then did I feel at peace.
I had to swim at my shark – first in the ocean and then in myself – in order to discover my meaning and to connect to my joy and my path as a creator.
Since then, I’ve developed a uniquely personalized style of working with individuals that encourages individually-crafted, manageable change. I bring loving attention, instinctive opportunities, and the training of new tools. My work is to offer safe space, gather guidance, and provide viable pathways to transform trauma into teachers, and those teachers into treasures.
Trainings & Certifications
Expressive Arts Florida Institute, Sarasota, FL, 2021. Expressive Arts Consultant & Educator Certification
The Earthbody Institute, Berkeley, California, 2021. EcoTherapy Certificate & Nature Educator Certification
Davidson College, Davidson, NC, 2003. Bachelor of the Arts in Environmental Anthropology
University of New Hampshire’s Department of Natural Resources, Kaiaua, NZ, 2000. EcoQuest Environmental Studies
Transformational Healing Energy (T.H.E.) Technique Practitioner
The Reconnection Practitioner
ART PUBLICATIONS & EXHIBITIONS
We’moon Calendar Publication, ‘Quantum Leap Year’, We’moon, 2015
RAW Art Exhibition, RAW Art, Washington, DC, 2015
Featured Painter, Opening Night Event, ENO Wine Bar, Washington, DC, 2014
Featured Painter and Art Exhibition, Black Mountain Gallery, Black Mountain, NC. 2010-2012
Artist-in-residence, Kalani Oceanside Retreat, 2010.
Artist-in-residence, Te Nikau Retreat, New Zealand, 2003-2004.