Soulsisters

saving our souls one tribe at a time.

Meet Your Soulsister: Jolie Guillebeau July 17, 2009

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:19 am
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smallerjolie (2)

Jolie Guillebeau, painter, blogger and foodie extraordinaire.

 

Jolie and I met on-line through a friend-of-a-friend, and have a common connections through the neo-monastic community in Seattle. Now a resident of Portland, OR, Jolie has recently bumped into fellow Portlander Soulsister, Shari MacDonald, and of course they already adore each other. I know you’re going to fall just as quickly in love! Give a special shout out to Jolie in the comments — and thank her in advance for all the delicious food as Jolie has planned our fantastic gluten-free, vegetarian, summer-goodness spa menu!

 

Jolie’s Introduction:

A Ph.D candidate in Molecular Physics, a ballerina with the Royal Ballet of London, and Deputy Ambassador to Burkina Faso– Jolie has been none of these things. What she is: an artist who likes to look at clouds, read Jane Kenyon poems and eat soy ice cream sandwiches. She’s been to 46 countries, knit a fair isle sweater all by herself, and even had coffee with Desmond Tutu once, and now she works out her fragmented Faith by sitting at her easel. She’s married to Chris, and that’s enough adventure in itself.

Create something everyday, you’ll change the world.

I’m looking forward to this retreat, because I’m also lonely. We moved to Portland in February after a roller coaster chain of events led us away from Seattle and made us question every aspect of our lives and our values. For example, I want to make a living as a real artist, but also want to support my husband’s dreams. I want to honor God, but don’t think I can swallow the Christianity I’ve been fed all my life. I want stability, but I don’t want to sacrifice adventure to have it. With all these contradictions, I’ve found myself stuck and trapped in indecision. I’m hoping that this retreat (and all of you) will be able to offer some clarity and insight. Plus, I love to cook and can’t wait to share yummy food and great wine with all of you.

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Meet Your Soulsister: Emma Staake

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:07 am
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My sweet friend Emma, with her boyfriend Souren in front of our house.

 

So this is Emma, who among other things is girlfriend to Souren, our teenager-adopted-by-affection. Emma’s been in my virtual world for over a year now, and just this Summer we got to meet IRL, which was fan-damn-tastic. She’s a beautiful soul, often wise beyond her years, with an beautiful voice and bright future ahead of her. I’m totally stoked that she’s going to make mentory-friend connections on this retreat with soulsisters who are just a little ahead of her on the journey. I can’t wait to see the cross-generational energy flow! Sistahs, say hello to Emma!

 

Emma’s Introduction:

I’m Emma Staake — pronounced Stack-ey :]  I’m 17,  and a recent graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle. I met Rachelle about a year ago through my boyfriend, Souren Eriksen, who is part of Rachelle’s unofficial family, and thus, was taken in as a small piece of Rachelle’s large unofficial family. I am an artistic person who enjoys many mediums, but my main focus is Jazz Voice. I’m following that dream in my further education, first to Bellevue College, where I’ll be attending this fall to sing in their award winning “Celebration” Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Ultimately I want to teach jazz voice and possibly direct a jazz choir of my own. I am a budding arranger and composer, and I also love designing jewelry, writing, and doodling around on paper. I am attending this retreat for several reasons, the biggest being that I am finally (finally!!) done with highschool, and I want to surround myself with wonderful, nurturing, creative, collaborative people who can be my mutual mentors and friends.

 

Meet Your Soulsister: Lisa Alexander June 29, 2009

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:44 pm
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A natural beauty...our Lisa A.

A natural beauty...our Lisa A.

Lisa and I met through a friend of a friend of a friend (or something like that) and have gotten to know each other via Twitter. She’s ready to teach us how to “say what we mean and mean what we say.” That’s a skill I need more practice with fuh-shur!

Lisa has been a supportive and sustaining balm to me during this difficult year abroad. Say hello and add an encouraging soul to your circle.

Lisa’s Introduction:
I am a professional peace builder (masquerading as a mediator and divorce lawyer).  I am a sporadic crafter and writer, working primarily with felt, beads and collages.  On the writing front, I’m too shy to put my writing forward, or even sometimes to produce it.  I’m coming to the Soulsisters Retreat to be inspired by like minded souls, to reach both outside of myself and into myself at the same time.

 

Meet Your Soulsister: Shari MacDonald Strong

Filed under: Soulsisters 09,Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 7:35 pm
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The lovely and adventuresome Shari MacD.

The lovely and adventuresome Shari MacD.

Shari and I discovered each other a few years ago, as we tried to write and raise children together as Northwest neighbors. (Portland &  Seattle) We finally met when we were in Portland for a Zine festival — all five kids and husbands in tow! Sadly, we were parted by someone’s bright idea to move to Denmark, but due to the magic of the Inner-net thing we’ve managed to stay in touch. I know you’ll all love to meet this friendly, witty storyteller on Hartsine Island. But in the meantime, give her a virtual “hello!”

Shari’s Introduction:
I’m a freelance writer and editor who lives in Portland, Oregon.  I’m the senior editor and former columnist at Literary Mama magazine and editor of the anthology The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change (Seal Press, 2008). Irecently finished my first screenplay about the revolutionaries who assassinated Tsar Alexander II in 1881 and am currently researching a historical novel set in Russia. I’m the mother of twin boys, age 6, born via gestational surrogacy, and a daughter, age 9, adopted five years ago from Russia.

 

Meet Your Soulsister: Jen Payne

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 5:19 pm
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A happy moment with my Jen's (Lemen on the left, Payne on the right.)

A happy moment with my Jen's (Lemen on the left, Payne on the right.)

Somehow, Jen Payne found our (former) soulcare community in Seattle, Monkfish Abbey — and I’m so glad she did! She’s always a source of practical wisdom mixed with plenty of good humor.

One of my favorite things about talking with Jen is that she asks good questions — which I always, always need. Jen warmed the cockles of my heart this year when she asked if we could have a regular Skype chat across the oceans. I can’t wait to see her on our hometurf in July! Say hi to this warm, clever woman…

Jen’s Introduction:

I am a mental health therapist and see clients in my private practice and work part-time at a psychiatric hospital. I’m mother to two wild and beautiful red-headed girls and twelve years married to a closet artist who has finally come out into the open as a painter. I’ve journaled since I was a very young girl, and writing is what keeps me alternately scraped off the floor and the ceiling. I also dabble in other creative expressions, and am coming to the retreat to bask in the glory of the artists Rachelle knows, and because I love Rachelle with all my heart.

 

Meet Your Soulsister: Jessica Schafer

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 5:03 pm
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Meet Jessica S....our poet-in-residence.

Meet Jessica S....our poet-in-residence.

Jessica found us on-line, and I immediately ran to her website to get to know her. (Check out some of her best work from National Poetry month, here.) I don’t have many poets in my blogging circle, so it’s lovely to be introduced to her work. Say hello to Jessica….and get ready to swap author and poet favorites at Soulsisters ’09!

Jessica’s Introduction:

I grew up in Germany as a missionary kid. I work as a Resident Director at Trinity Western University, where I also received my BA in International Studies. I’ve been married for almost three years, no kids. My favourite thing to do is read. I’m doing a long distance training program in spiritual direction at the moment through the Haden Institute and someday soon I want to start an MFA in poetry. And I immediately wanted to come when Rachelle posted the invite because it combined two of the most important things in my life: creativity and spirituality. I love intentional community that leaves room for diversity and mystery and that’s often really hard to find, so this seems like a great opportunity!

 

Meet Your Soulsiter: Jennifer McGuiggan June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 6:27 am
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Sunny, supportive Jenna McG!

Sunny, supportive Jenna McG!

Thank the good lord for BlogHer06, where along with all the choice swag I picked up a lovely long-distance friend, Jennifer McG! (Yo, McG!)

Jennifer has an easy way about her that makes you want to just sit back with an iced tea and talk the afternoon away. And as someone who’s boldly (and wisely) learned to call herself a writer, Jennifer will have traveled the path recently enough to help others who are trying to own their artistic I.D.

Jennifer’s been helping me get all our ducks in a row for Soulsisters ’09, so be sure to pour her an extra glass of white wine on our pretty oceanside deck this July. In the meantime, say hello or ask her a question in the comments below, or stop by Jennifer’s blog,The Word Cellar and introduce yourself.

Jennifer’s Intro:
I’m a freelance writer and editor. It’s taken me a lifetime of writing to be able to call myself a writer, but I finally reached that milestone a few years ago – and it feels good to have that as part of my identity.

This summer I will start my MFA in Creative Nonfiction, which is exciting and a tad bit overwhelming. I occasionally play around with paints and mixed media, but I’m not very comfortable in that medium yet.

I’m coming to the retreat because I’m lonely. I need people. I need a tribe. I’m hoping to nurture long-distance friendships, as well as figure out how to find some closer to home. I live with my husband and two grey cats about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, PA, in suburbia extraordinaire.

 More than almost anything, I dream of living near the sea. I’ve recently found myself in the midst of a spiritual crisis, as my old ways of understanding God and Christianity have crumbled before my eyes and left me moored in sea of confusion. (There are too many mixed metaphors in that sentence!) I’m looking forward to communing with women who can walk this path with me, either side-by-side, or as leader-helpers. I think Rachelle would call that “with-mates.”