Written by Brittany Shenk

The wild feminine lives within each one of us. It can take time to acknowledge and connect with, but it is never separate from us, or accessed externally. The soul is brilliant, and when we drop from our heads to our hearts, tap into our own source of divine power, and listen to and honor our soul’s deepest desires, this is where the magic happens.

I am honored and overwhelmed, with sisterly pride, to write our podcast summary this week. Ellen interviewed my own sister, Ashley Shenk, about her self-love journey, finding the courage to embrace her wild feminine energy, and her experiences living and working in intentional communities and how that has contributed to finding contentment and voicing her innermost, authentic truth.

Ashley grew up in the forests of Oregon, surrounded by nature, but has only recently developed an intimate relationship with Mother Nature. As a child, she felt separate from the natural world, an outsider looking in. Nature was something to look at, rather than connect with. Living in eco-communities shifted the way she interacted with the natural world, which then altered the relationship she had with her own inner being. The more she became connected to nature, the more she connected to her self. The more she became connected to her self, the more she became connected to nature. The two are one in the same.

She now lives and works at Breitenbush Hot Springs, a holistic healing retreat in the Cascade mountain range, where she leads Nature Alter workshops for the guests and staff. Through these workshops, she provides people with opportunities to physically and symbolically connect with Mother Earth and her energies; to tell stories, create art, and take pleasure in the sacred act of doing, simply to express oneself.

“We are of nature, we are not separate from it. We are born from it, we will return to it, we eat it, it gives us energy. We are it.

Witnessing my older sister transform over the past couple of years into the radiant woman that stands beside me today has been a journey in itself. As the younger sister, I often find myself watching from the shore as Ashley hops across the river, leaping from one rock to the next with unmatchable grace and shrieks of excitement. From the deepest parts of my core, I honor her and her gentle determination to finding and expressing her soul’s voice.

We hope you find the inspiration and the courage you need in her words.  Let us know what you think of this podcast episode by commenting below. We invite you to share your personal journeys and struggles with us here at ecofemmag. Our hearts are open to hold space for you, our dearest listeners, and always remember: we love you. 

Ashley Shenk is a woman on a mission for the rise of the divine feminine in us all. For the past year, she has been living in intentional communities, learning about the many facets of sustainability, cultivating a deep connection to nature and the power of ritual, and embarking upon the journey inward to know her truth; the magic that enters her life when she embraces that awes her every day. She loves writing, dancing, singing, meditating, open-hearted connection and creating sacred space for transformation. Oregon is and has always been her home, and her roots there grow deeper every day.