Meet the founder of Spiritual Wanderlust
I spent over three years in the convent, followed by 18 months of being mostly bedridden. This was by far the most formative time of my life. I felt like all my cravings for growth were answered in one fell swoop. (Into the greenhouse you go! Now grow!) It was simultaneously excruciating and incredible.
As I emerged from illness I entered the corporate world. After a year I founded the Learning & Development department for a group of companies. A little startled to discover that leadership training is not so different from my past of spiritual formation, I went on to become a certified Executive Coach (not dissimilar from the spiritual direction I did in religious life!). Turns out what the business world called "leadership skills," my religious world had called "virtue."
I worked with incredible leaders, from multimillion dollar startup founders to Midwestern middle managers. Yet all the while those spiritual depths beckoned me.
(Image: Elsa in Frozen 2 hearing mysterious, undeniable siren calls in the middle of the night.)
(Okay, not as dramatic... but almost.)
I have a zest for life that I long to share with the world. Growing up in the vast skies of South Dakota, I was born with an innate sense of wonder. Stars, forest, and field were my first mentors. As I migrated across the United States and moved abroad, I would add a wide variety of people and experiences to that list. Among some of the most important were silence and sickness.
I have been blessed with a very full life. I gorged on a liberal arts education. (Yes, gorged.) I served the rich and poor. I entered a convent. I navigated the depths of the interior life. I survived life turning on a dime with serious illness, and the deep learning that accompanies it. I studied and served with people from 72 different countries. I laughed a lot, danced a lot, and conversed with all the beautiful, loud, difficult, generous, myopic, colorful and wonderful people along the way.
What has emerged is a center for contemplative formation. A place for the curious and the ravenous to devour all the spiritual schwarma (and baklava?) your heart desires.
Take it all in. There's no need to feel isolated, half starved, hopeless. There is an abundance here. Variety. Curiosity. Copious room to explore. While we might not be able to offer you certainty (#overrated), we can offer you connection.
Mystery has drawn us here for a reason.
Care to join us in some mischief while we find out why? :)
While my insides became tensile, drawn whether I liked it or not - I made another surprising discovery. After two decades of daily spiritual practice, reading the mystics, and soaking up the sky, I was pretty sure the only people who cared about the contemplative life were Carmelite nuns. (Only slightly exaggerating!) Thanks to an online friend, I was introduced to this massive sub-culture of seekers who were also ravished by the contemplative life.
Divine union. Embodiment. Earthiness. Sacred feminine.
These words meant something to them, too! Some were just dipping their toes in the water, and had no language for this pool. Some had been here longer than I had - those wise elders who, without fanfare, saw into the depths of things.
Who am I?
I recall once being struck by the effortless authenticity of nature. A tree does a perfect job of being a tree: it grows, drinks in the sun, turns colors, shed leaves, and eventually dies in accordance with its treeness. When the word “tree” was spoken into existence, everything implied by that word – the firm and flexible trunk, the chlorophylled leaves, the need for water and sun and soil – are part of what it means to be “tree”.
What, then, does it mean to be “Kelly”? When you were spoken into existence, what was intended by your name? What does it mean to be authentically (and effortlessly) you?
My aim as is to help you live the answer to that question.
>>Read more of my writings
Get in Touch
Interested in working together? Learn more about:
My Spiritual Direction practice, where we meet 1-on-1 to deep dive into your spiritual growth
The Spiritual Wanderlust podcast, full of juicy conversations
How to contact me for retreats, workshops, trainings, and more!