I’m glad to connect with you. I’m Hilary.

I call myself a healing arts community minister, which includes being a somatic movement therapist & educator as well as birth & postpartum doula. While these titles are informative, what I do is to guide people through transformative change and initiations into new ways of being in relationship to themselves, their environments, others and the collective. I help to create supportive spaces that allow for the shifts that are needed in our personal and communal lives. These spaces come in many different forms and may be within or around us or even in nature. My intention is to guide people into a greater sense of belonging and connection that is available to us all from deep within our bodies and beings. 

Who Am I

I come from mostly European lineages including Slavic, Celtic, Norse, Greek and also Asian heritage. While I’m learning about my own ancestral history and indigenous heritages, I also honor the people and heritages of those who are from and on the land wherever I am. I currently live on the unceded land of the Anishinaabek, the people of the Three Fires Confederacy, more specifically of the Waganakising Odawa now often called Petoskey in Northern Michigan. 

I co-create healing spaces in which we are able to reconnect ourselves to the land and our innate gifts and wisdom so that we can weather the winds of change with more integrity and grace. If you are needing support or are wanting some spiritual nourishment or re-inspiration you may have found what you are looking for.

I offer one-one sessions, group spaces and healing products to support our deepening and growth into who we are called to be together.

The Journey

My journey towards being a healing arts community minister has been a winding one guided by my own and our shared human needs for connection and belonging. These needs are easily unmet in the American cultural context and increasingly around the world. While I had a loving family in many ways and grew up cis-gendered and middle class in SE Michigan with everything I might want, I felt somewhat empty and alone much of the time and especially as an only child of older parents. I was trying to fit in and find my way like everyone else and had the blessing and challenge of having traveled and lived in different places in the world. Where do I truly belong? How do I be true to myself? I have asked these questions throughout my life. 

I followed my gifts into performance arts with singing and dancing and focused on performing well in school. I also attended a diverse Methodist church in downtown Detroit, and then a very progressive Unitarian Universalist church in the most wealthy neighborhood in the area. I also attended an all girls Catholic high school and was friends with other queer folk while reading whatever I could about Buddhism. There was contrast and paradox present in all aspects of my life.

The Calling

I continued to follow the call to learn about how the performing arts, religion and spirituality inform each other and create opportunities for transformation. I realized that these are all arts that have been separated from each other in modern culture and are still interwoven in indigenous traditions. As I learned from different indigenous traditions, Buddhist studies and cultural arts practices from teachers around the world, I came to see that we all come from cultures that were created through their relationship with the Earth and the sky or cosmos. I saw how I was longing to feel more connected to a larger experience of life through my own body and my expression as well as to feel greater belonging in family and village once again. I have committed my journey to learning how I could experience this connection, expression and belonging and to be of service to help others experience it too. 

The Bridge

We as humans bridge this gap between the below and above and it is our journey to learn how we make that connection in our individual ways. I lived in a center for movement study and exploration for years, which opened me to the field of somatics that invited my experience of my body as a whole to be engaged in all aspects of my lives. I learned that when we reunite our mind (awareness) with our body and notice what we are feeling amidst the cultural incentive to not feel, we are able to bring our unique wisdom into the world and be conduits for the change that we are called to create no matter where or who we come from. I am inspired to help others bridge these connections within ourselves back to wholeness so that the connections can unfold naturally between us and within our families, lineages, communities, and in the collective. I am available to support your journey of bridging towards your most whole self through one-one sessions and group classes as well as retreats and healing products.

Influences

Buddhist Studies and Ministry

  • Founding Board Member of My Oasis Center – Northern Michigan Interfaith Spirituality Center – 2023-Present
  • Member and current chair of the Northern Michigan Interfaith Common Ground Collective -Petoskey, MI – 2022-Present
  • Presenter at Parliament of World Religions – 2015, 2018 & 2023
  • Community Coordinator and Manager at Nine Mountain Retreats – 2014-2017
  • Studied Charya Nritya – Nepalese devotional dance in Nepal 2014
  • Tibetan Buddhist Studies in India and Nepal with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Chokyi Nyigma Rinpoche and Andy Wistreich – 2014
  • Masters in Divinity at Harvard Divinity in Buddhist Ministry – 2008-2011
  • Unitarian Universalist Community Coops & Cooperative Housing Development – 2007-2011
  • Natural Dharma Fellowship – Lama Willa Miller and John Makransky – 2010-Present
  • Tibetan Buddhist Studies in India and Nepal with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Chokyi Nyigma Rinpoche and Andy Wistreich – 2014
  • Buddhist Peacemakers Ministry – Roshi Bernie Glassman – 2008-2009
  • Comparative Religions BA at Kalamazoo College including a year abroad in Thailand studying Buddhism and sustainable development –  2002-2006
Somatic Studies
  • Doula Training with DONA International with Jessica English – May 2023
  • Somatic Attachment Therapy Certificate – Embody Lab – 2023
  • Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate -Embody Lab – 2022
  • Embodied Social Justice Certificate – Embody Lab – 2021
  • Embodying Social Justice course with Dr Rae Johnson – 2018
  • Living at or near Earthdance Community practicing Contact Improvisation – 2011-2017
  • Body Mind Centering – 500 hr Somatic Body Training with Christine Cole – 2015-2017
  • Practicing and Studying Yoga – 2006-Present
Chaplaincy
  • Clinical Pastoral Care and Counseling Residency at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT  2019-2020
  • Internship at Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI – 2009
    Performance
    • Studying with Marya Stark – vocal therapist and singer songwriter through “Voice of My Womb” 9 month program
    • Improvisational Vocalization & Vocal Performance in Community – 2006-Present
    • Theater Scholarship Program and Vocal Performance at Kalamazoo College – 2002-2006
    • Various Forms of Dance from Ballet to Modern to Improvisational – 1987-Present
    • Community Theater – 1984-Present on and off
    Indigenous Wisdom
    •  Co-Creavatars – Grief Wheel Facilitation Training with Grandmother Kaariina Saarinen – 2021-Present
    • Community Village – organizing community around indigenous principles with elders and children for reconciliation – 2019-Present
    • Ancestral Healing with Daniel Foor & Grandmother Kaariina – 2019-Present
    • Walking in Balance – a trainer in restorative justice council practice based on the traditional values of indigenous people with Grandmother Strong Oak – 2018-Present
    • Living within Indigenous Communities in Thailand – 2004-2005
    Earth Connection
    • (All the above in Indigenous Wisdom)
    • Last Mask Society courses – Shadow Transformation Protocol and Energy Body Mastery with Christina Pratt and Langston Kahn 2022-Present
    • Wild Earth Intensives – Co-facilitation 10 day experiences with Sky Otter (Bill Pfeiffer) – 2017-2018
    • Growing the Garden of Healing Connection – 2021-Present
    • Backpacking, NOLs courses while studying sustainable development in Thailand – 2004-2005

      Justice
    • Member of the Great Start Collaborative – Supporting Healthy Families & Children – Emmet County, MI – 2022-Present
    • Maroon Liberation School – Bronx, NYC 2020-2021
    • Canvassing for Southern Poverty Law Center – 2017
    • Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives Board Member – 2009-2011
    • Center for Law and Renewal – Fetzer Institute – 2006-2008