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“Part of the mythology that they’ve been teaching you is that you have no power."

"Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth.” ~ Winona La Duke, Seeds of our Ancestors. Seeds of Life

I remember the vastness of the mystery. I remember the wild and instinctual sea wolf within me.

I remember that reclamation and restoration of my body, mind and soul happens when I say YES to the ocean’s offer of intimacy.

The ocean is my healer. The ocean is the salty womb that unconditionally embraces all of me, holds me, rocks me, recalibrates me and reminds with her ferocity and to let go of control because there is only the mystery.

The ocean is the universal midwife who witnesses and assists me regularly in rebirthing myself—in times of celebration, while navigating cancer, when in the closet and again while coming out, in heartbreak and breakthrough.

My home, and the place I offer many of my offerings is on the stunning west coast of British Columbia, on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

I remember my power in my relationship to the ocean.

Every. Single. Time.

Photo credit: Erick Barboza

I believe in relationships based in reconciliation and reciprocity.

This means tending to the sacred relationships I have with the people, land and ocean where I live, work and play.

I am a death walker—I walk with dying people and animals and their families in the transition. I am an inclusive celebrant and ritual healing practitioner, officiating weddings, funerals and personalized ceremonies including gender affirming surgery, divorce and rituals for any and all transitions. I share trauma-informed yoga and full spectrum Doula trainings, womxns reclamation retreats and energy work. I am a mentor for queer youth and am passionate about being a good queer ancestor. Social justice, feminism and inclusivity beyond tolerance are the foundation of my heart and work.

I love the intimacy of the work I do, the way that working within the cycles of birth, death and transition wake and shake you up to new ways of living, breathing and perceiving. The work I share is not about transcending our vulnerability, fleeing into a state of untouchability, safely hidden away in some protected spiritual cocoon. But something wilder than that. Something more magical. More raw. At times, even more painful.

But it is a pain we enter into consciously...

“But it is a pain we enter into consciously, as a willing traveler of the unknown, to behold in more depth the untamed activity of love as it comes here. To partake of the entirety of the spectrum of this human experience, with as much curiosity, soul and kindness that we can discover. To give ourselves permission to care, to take a risk in allowing another to matter and tend to the heart as it inevitably breaks. To at times crumble to the ground in awe of it all. Awestruck at the bounty that has been laid out before us. To fall apart. To fail. To get back up. To be humble again. To start over. To be a beginner. To realize how little we know in the face of the mystery.”- Matt Licata 

It is a sublime honour and privilege to do this work, and for my health and sustainability I need strong support systems—family, friends, therapists, mentors and immersion with nature.

Deep communion with the ocean is my go-to healing and recalibrating with this work—either cold immersion therapy, swimming, annual one-to-two-month surf trip down south, kayaking, paddle boarding or screaming underwater.

After officiating a funeral for a sudden death, be it still born or a death by a violent accident, sometimes the only way to recalibrate and ground myself is by immersing in the vastness of the ocean for hours.

After officiating a funeral for a sudden death, be it still born or a death by a violent accident, sometimes the only way to recalibrate and ground myself is by immersing in the vastness of the ocean for hours.

I offer a song, a piece of my hair, clean up garbage and stay curious to a relationship of reciprocity.

Photo of Teresa by Amanda Bullick

Every time I lean into the ocean to hold me, rock me, shake me up, humble me, soothe me, I do so in that spirit of reciprocity and gratitude.

I offer a song, a piece of my hair, clean up garbage and stay curious to a relationship of reciprocity.

I notice that the ocean has embraced me unconditionally whether I come with unrelenting grief, passionate play, unbridled joy, wild rage, total confusion or in love. What a gift to experience this unconditional holding, consistent witnessing. I feel cellularly, spiritually, physically, energetically and emotionally changed.

In my personal and professional life I invite folks to commune, consult with and care for, the ocean. Every fall I host a Wolf Womxn Retreat in Tofino where we hold daily ceremony with the ocean, surf, play and remember how vital this relationship is to personal and elemental healing.

My company is La Lupa Via-The Wolf Way. My belief is that spirit of sea wolves can inspire us to thrive, reclaim and remember, when we are disconnected, stuck or suffering. Sea wolves show us the necessity of leaning into pack. That earth-based ritual, trusting instincts, howling often and communing with the ocean daily are necessary to heal personally, collectively and globally.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the ocean’s fierce love and embrace. May we wake up to protect her with a fierce immediacy and commune daily to remember the mystery.

About the author

Teresa is a full spectrum doula with over 25 years, working in birth, death, loss and trauma work. She has been journeying and exploring somatic therapy, meditation, yoga and dance for over 25 years, and teaching for 20 yrs; leading local and international Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher trainings and Doula trainings, sharing workshops, yoga, dance, ceremony, retreats, classes and teacher mentorships as an experienced registered yoga teacher- ERYT 500 and prenatal registered yoga teacher-PRYT, birth work and loss doula.
1 Response
  1. Beautiful seeing you here, reading your words and feeling your presence through the written word. Thank you for sharing and for the good work you do- we are all on a healing journey. Love you, Teresa!

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At Barnacle Babes, we aim to be interactive, engaging, proactive, purposeful, actionable and supportive to all women, their families, their ocean cause and sport.

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