photo credit : In Her Image Photography
Melissa Fritchle – Soul Guide
I recently went on a medicine wander holding the question, “What is my medicine to bring to the world?” This is a big question that I hope will continue to evolve through my life. And it is a question I love to help others explore! As I sat with my council in reflection after two themes were clear – One is that I joyfully wake others up to the magic of this Wild Earth, through deep love and celebration of the diversity of our largest community. The second is that I am drawn to sitting with people in liminal times when things seem to be unraveling, when they are questioning old beliefs and commitments, and finding the new tender and authentic life that is on the horizon.
I bring to this work the perspective I gained from 15 years as a licensed psychotherapist and my Masters in Holistic Counseling Psychology. But over the years, I found myself alienated from the clinical, medical model of mental health and found myself leaning more into Spiritual approaches to wholeness with Buddhist psychology and Non-Duality as my foundation. I became certified as a both Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and a Mindfulness Coach. One of the highlights of my life was spending time in private retreat with Ram Dass in Maui and that time rooted in me a soul-based way of seeing and being of service.
Eco-Spiritual Embodiment Teacher
To really connect to the wisdom and wonder of this Wild Sacred Earth, we need to bring our full body to it – all of our senses, our flesh, our movement. I have felt called to the natural world all of my life. It is the place I feel most beloved. I blend eco-spirituality, somatics, positive sexuality, and movement practices to invite us all into intimate connection with the present moment.
I have been engaged in somatic healing & expressive arts practices for many years. In my twenties, I was a massage therapist and I have practiced 5Rhythms dance practice, an ecstatic dance meditation since the 1990s. My psychotherapy practice's focus was Sex Therapy and I traveled internationally teaching about sexual health, including work on the intersections of sexuality and religion. My book, A Conscious Sexual Self Workbook, published in 2014, is still used in graduate programs in psychology. I have a certificate in Eco-Ministry from Center for Wild Spirituality and am now Lead Guide for their yearlong program Seminary of the Wild Earth.
How do we express and honor the, sometimes intangible, shifts and changes in our lives? For me, ritual is a way for us to have a conversation with the divine, with our body and soul, and with community. Over the past few decades of my life, I have sought out ritual from diverse teachers and practices. I have had the honor of taking part in ceremony in Ifa African Spiritual traditions, in Guatemalan Mayan traditions, in Hindu and Buddhist practices and in Pagan celebrations. I was co-founder of a women’s Sacred Circle that gathered for 4 retreats a year, for 16 years, to honor the seasons in nature-based work and I taught a graduate seminar on Ritual as a Therapeutic Practice. I am ordained to marry people through American Marriage Ministries.
I believe in ritual as a living practice, that should be formed from the needs and truths of the real lives of the people involved. From daily micro-rituals to large ceremony to praise or mourn life changes, ritual enlivens us.
To book Melissa for speaking engagements or podcasts, email directly : email@example.com