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Greetings All,

Welcome to my blog. Thank you for visiting. Thank you for commenting and engaging in dialogue with me on issues and questions that are important to me and important to you.

I am a dancer, musician, herbalist, thinker, writer, maple sugarer, friend, sister, daughter and partner. I am a land-body dialogue facilitator, a trainer and an educator, a mentor and a speaker. I am U.S. American with Polish (second generation born) and Sicilian-Southern Italian (fourth generation born) ancestry. I speak English as my first language. I am a middle class, whitened Jew from a working-class family. I got a great public school education. I am an evolving human being – a human becoming. My understanding of myself changes as my understanding of the world changes. I use the best words I can. I make mistakes. I learn.

I am uplifted and guided by the movement of stars and moon, by the sweet medicine of the plant world, and by the wisdom of my own body. Indeed, the wisdom of the stars and moon, of the plants, of wind and of rain, of lapping waves and of crunchy desert soils, are the wisdom of my body. I am committed to long-term community relationships, trusting, and being trustworthy. I am motivated by the healing and social change potential of my work as an educator.

I have always been interested in how people heal, and in how individual transformation fosters collective transformation. As a child and teenager, summer camp taught me to be comfortable outside – even and especially at night. It also taught me to love and respect myself and others, to have integrity, and to use my voice. As an adolescent, I developed a love for improvisational dance (live shows were my sanctuary) and bodywork; these practices taught me to find freedom in my body despite anything else going on around me, and I was intrigued by the narratives that peoples bodies seemed to hold and tell. My martial arts and tap dance training taught me about the importance of structure and form. Playing flute taught me about breathing deeply, and about when to follow technique and when to create my own form. Throughout my early professional life, apprenticing to the fields of deep ecology and environmental and place-based education helped me to explore the world around me and my place within it.

As an undergraduate student at Grinnell College and then Prescott College, I studied relationships between inner and outer landscapes — between the external terrain of the physical geographies we inhabit, the internal terrain of our embodied experience, and the mental and spiritual terrain of our psyches and souls. I designed my own degree weaving together religious studies, environmental studies, eco-psychology, movement/performance studies, and education. At SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont where I earned M.A. in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation with a Training Specialization, I further focused on embodied trauma healing and resilience work from a pedagogical perspective. In my capstone work, I examined the intersections of my Jewish and settler identities, and the impacts of this nexus on my pedagogy and praxis as an educator.

In my professional work today, I bridge the fields of land education, conflict transformation, trauma healing, and embodiment by centering our bodies and ancestral lineages in conversations about learning and leadership. I am interested in how we can cultivate right relationships with place. I am interested in how we can tap wellsprings of resilience and strength within ourselves to reshape and re-pattern limiting ways of knowing and being in the world.

I live with my partner within Sokoki Abenaki lands in the Kwinitekw waterscape, colonially known as the Connecticut River Valley of the United States. There are lots of trees, foxes, raptors and stars here. And water– so much water. There are no streetlights. The roads are unpaved. I do not have cell service. I like it this way.

There is lots more to say about “who I am.” Today, this feels like the right parts to tell you. Please be in touch if you’d like to connect further.

Many Thanks,
Cara Michelle