CoFounder | Events

Forest(web).png

Forest Soleil

Role:  CoFounder | Events

Where are you from and where do you currently reside?

Home is where the heart is and right now my heart is in many places all around the world. I’ve found in my experience that the human heart is much greater than four chambers and some arteries. We imagine the human heart being roughly the size of a fist. If we cut out a slice, is not the rest of the pie smaller? Do the portions not become less the more people and places we let in? I used to think so. Now I advocate for a different perspective. The more walls I break down, the more I lean into my edge, step into vulnerability and open up, I find that my heart explodes open into a limitless ocean of love and expansion.

My mama bear, my pops, my grandparents, my uncle, cousins and stepfamily, and many dear friends from my adolescence live in the southeastern state of Georgia, so my heart is there along with the beginning of my wedding planning career, my first profound love and heartbreaking loss, the changing autumn leaves and my ancestral Cherokee lands. My sister and her curly haired boyfriend live in Denver, Colorado so my heart is there hiking with them in the crisp air, aspen trees and rocky mountains. One of my very best friends and someone I consider my spiritual guru and likely an alien (she agrees) is Phoenix. My fire spinning bodacious pixy babe Phoenix lives in San Francisco and sometimes chooses a nomadic lifestyle. A piece of my heart is always with her.

My home extends to all of the intentional communities and eco villages I’ve visited around the world. To the very vibrant and alive impassioned people fulfilling their visions of cocreating a more harmonious world. To Serenbe, the biophilic community development where I trained as an event planner, learned about the environmental impact of the conventional events industry and first began dreaming of building an eco friendly alternative live work play community and destination event venue. To Punta Mona, rich biodiverse heaven on Earth. To Kalu Yala, you guys are really doing it right. You continue to inspire my work here at Resonance. Sending love to you Marie, wherever you are, you beautiful soul.

In my childhood, I spent five years in the Mid-Atlantic living on the Chesapeake Bay and most hours of the day learning the ins and outs of an equestrian farm. Horses were my saving grace amidst a chaotic family life and repressed emotions. This is the time when I realized there is no difference between blood and water, people or animals. Connection is connection, whether it be by lineage or love.

After college, my salt of the earth partner at the time and I backpacked Europe for three months. We saw many breathtaking sights and my heart especially resonates with the Irish countryside, the Swiss Alps and the Greek islands. There’s a piece of me that feels of and from these places. I’ve now been a backpacker for more than a decade. I took my first fully solo trip in the summer of 2018 to Oregon for eight days while in a deeply heartbroken and confused state coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship. I have a lifetime of rich memories, but I have to say road tripping by myself around the Pacific Northwest after being in an oppressive dynamic for two years was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I highly recommend hugging the winding roads with the windows down, music blasting and wind in your hair while tears stream down your face. The Pacific Northwest will heal you. It certainly fosters the feeling of home for me and was one of many integral elements on my own path of healing and transmutation.

The physical place right now that feels most like home for me is Austin, Texas. Oh Austin – how I love thee! Austin taught me the meaning of the word Community. I am proud to be a part of many communities: social dancing, authentic relating, drum circles, the tea house, the studio artists, the conscious community. Shout out to some of the most sparkly and transcendental beings I’ve had the pleasure of knowing: Logan, Gissell, Emily, Geof, Erin and Matt, my Felinas, the Glitterati. Holy canoli – you have enriched my life beyond my wildest imagination. There is no place on earth more responsible for my personal growth and development than the Live Music Capital of the World. This town is just…. pure magic. Each of my five years brought a new lens and fresh perspective. Austin and I, we grew right alongside each other. I felt very held. Whatever you are seeking you will find in Austin. The light and dark dance in abundant polarity. I enjoy placing myself in the middle of it all. It’s a meditation for me.

In this lifetime, I have lived in seven of the United States: Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, California, Texas and now I live onsite here at Resonance Costa Rica. For more years than I can count, I’ve been visualizing the experience of living in another country and have been naturally drawn to Latin culture – all of it: the people, the music, the art, the language, the food, the flora and fauna. Perhaps it’s just one of those things. Perhaps I was a sassy empowered Latinx in a past life. Or perhaps Costa Rica has always been calling me home.

Home is a vibration. It’s a feeling we first and foremost create within ourselves. Home is also a place where we feel safe and in resonance. I feel home when my mind, body and spirit are in balance. I feel home here at Resonance among heart centered community individually and collectively doing transformational work. I feel home when sharing that with others from an authentic place.

Personal transformation story: 

When did I first begin to look inward? To take responsibility for my experience, to recognize oneness and begin to understand the nature of things? I believe the first wave began at age 23 when my partner of three years left on our anniversary after a jarring experience fueled by alcohol and an explosion of bottled up resentment, insecurities and unmet needs. I slipped into a deep, dark depression. My father stayed with me in my lonely two bedroom apartment for a week and patiently tried to feed me home cooked meals while I pushed my fork around the plate and genuinely considered suicide. I traveled to Australia for a month to visit one of my best friends and to reconnect to myself. My friend Erin encouraged me to bring a journal and it reminded me of the long hours I would spend alone as a child writing in my diary. What a healing process to gather our thoughts on paper. We know our story best. We can give ourselves perfect advice and compassionate medicine in trying times.

I regained clarity and confidence in the land down under. I called my parents from Bondi Beach as I contemplated staying on those shores and starting a new chapter of my life. They had resistance but ultimately gave me their blessing. Because I didn’t want to burden my family with handling my apartment move out and because I wanted to try reconnecting with my love, I decided to come home. Things did not work out as I had hoped but they unfolded exactly as they were meant to. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way in order to truly learn the lesson. I spent a long time facing and wallowing in my shadow. All the ways I was out of balance, all the unhealthy conditioning from my childhood and from society, how I had projected my own internal turmoil and unmet needs onto my partner and turned to coping mechanisms like alcohol to hide from my present reality. I sat with this for a long time and with a heavy heart I slowly began to reclaim what it meant to be me as an individual. I made actionable changes in my life and began to show myself some forgiveness. At this point, I was looking long and hard at myself in the mirror but I hadn’t quite rediscovered my curiosity about spirituality nor was I fully embodying self awareness. I consider it my first heartbreak and key traumatic experience that caused me to recognize my responsibility in building emotional intelligence and better communication skills.

Years later I met my twin flame. We instantly fell in love and began our beautiful, divine journey. I learned about Karma firsthand. Many of the unhealthy ways I had shown up in my earlier relationship, I was on the receiving end of in this relationship, so it all came full circle and I had the opportunity to see exactly what it was like to be on the other side of that – to fully understand the impact. I got to know Jekyll and Hyde and my life became a rollercoaster ride of high highs and low lows. I have always been a strong wombxn and I never thought I would find myself attending domestic violence group therapy at a women’s shelter. And yet there I was. This personal experience paired with the outpouring of the Me Too Movement brought to light many past experiences and patterns for me to heal of coercion, sexual trauma, lack of boundaries, repressed feelings, not using my voice and not expressing my truth. I said hello to rock bottom for a second time in my life and I don’t regret one bit of it. Because I had experienced darkness before and made it through to the other side, I knew with full confidence this time that I have the strength inside to overcome anything. Amidst my time of pain, I always valued self care and made sure to eat nourishing whole foods, spent lots of alone time, spoke with encouraging loved ones, and attended lots of healing and educational workshops and retreats that loved me through my process and helped give me enlightening tools and perspectives to encourage my growth. I embraced all healing modalities and dove deep into spirituality. My best friends understand that words are medicine and gifted me books that opened up new perspectives. Thank you Geof for The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. Thank you Brad for Be Here Now by Ram Dass and for introducing me to my favorite spiritual teacher. Thank you Alex for The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. And thank you Phoenix for enthusiastically reading me many passages from ancient texts and channels and for taking the time to speak to my intellect and explain Oneness in a way that I could understand and come to accept. This perspective has allowed me to transmute more than I ever thought possible.

I am grateful for this experience for it taught me some of my greatest lessons: boundaries, self love, autonomy, forgiveness. The most beautiful part is that the unhealthy dynamic between this partner and I ultimately crashed and burned. Significant time apart allowed space for healing and self discovery. I was able to move from rage to genuine forgiveness. I became aware of my own victimhood framing and moved from a place of “life happening to me” to “what is this here to show me for my own benefit and transformation”. I recognized the ways in which I had enabled this situation which brought me so much pain and that I had the power to change it. I realized that I had chosen this situation in order to overcome it and learn from it. From our ashes rose the phoenix, free and empowered and burning brighter than ever before. We are now dear friends and cheer each other on. I believe we are threaded together and have likely played out key dynamics for many lifetimes, helping each other to grow. I am grateful for the agreements our souls have made and honor our story. Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.

My mantra Follow the Sun, tattooed on my arm and inspired by one of my favorite musicians Xavier Rudd, has grounded and held me through life’s ebbs and flows of challenges and celebrations. Follow the Sun, follow your soul’s inner guidance, follow joy and love and passion. Spend time connecting to the natural world with bare feet, open arms and wild hair. As I check in with myself in this present moment and take a deep breath, I notice gratitude wash over me. To be here in Costa Rica dreaming up and then bringing to life completely transformational retreat experiences to help people awaken to a more connected way of being, and to do it in an environmentally friendly way that goes beyond Leave No Trace to actually leaving a positive impact is all I’ve ever wanted.

In 2018 & 2019 I’ve expanded my education to encompass authentic relating, animal medicine, manifestation and herbalism. I am excited to incorporate this myriad of impactful modalities into our Resonance gatherings. I founded one of the world’s only conscious green event planning companies The Green Planner, where I specialize in producing intentional gatherings, wellness retreats and eco friendly events. It’s a dream come true to be living in Costa Rica continuing my mission of creating experiences that inspire us to connect to self, community and the natural world. I’ll soon be offering Green Event Planning Certification courses online and in interactive retreat format here at Resonance. I feel called to plant seeds of inspiration. I feel called to teach. I feel called to open to vulnerable shares of my own journey in hopes that it may resonate with you and help you to connect to the parts of yourself that want to be loved more. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for loving yourself and doing the inner work. The more we heal ourselves, the more we heal this world which has so much suffering. Your desire creates your Universe. Everything in life is based on your chosen perspective. If you have the perspective that all suffering is an opportunity for growth and awakening, then you see the ebbs and flows of life as a gift. As my teacher Ram Dass says, “You desire peace militantly, you live in a militant world. When you are a peaceful being, you live in a peaceful universe, because the vibrations that go out from you are peaceful, and the people that are involved in them experience greater feelings of wanting to be peaceful. It’s simple. It’s the way it works.”

If you’d like to stay attuned to all things ecological events, here’s my website: www.TheGreenPlanner.com

Why be a part of this Resonance Movement?

The more awake you are, the more you see. You can’t unsee consciousness. If you’re vibrating at the frequency we are emitting, and likely you are if you’ve come here, then you are a part of the movement. I am a part of the movement because I have to be. The way I see it, once you have an experience that thins the veil and shows you the true nature of things, you have two options: 1) ignorance and complacence or 2) self awareness and growth. I am learning to love and accept all parts of myself, to nourish and parent my inner child, to embrace the wonder and beauty of it all, to live up to my highest self. I strive to live in love. It’s a journey – transformation usually doesn’t happen overnight. I am learning to release my self judgement and have compassion for myself through the journey. Though it be all encompassing and very difficult at times, it is liberating and heart opening. The deeper I go, the more I am aware of how much more depth is possible. The more I love myself, the more I love everyone and everything around me, and the more I realize we are all one collective consciousness. This is the spiral dance. Birth, Life, Death, Rebirth. We are infinite, limitless beings and we are waking up to that truth.

What is the 5 year vision for Resonance? 

I’ve always been a day dreamer and a master manifester. I envision five years from now that hundreds or perhaps thousands of people will have experienced life changing transformation through participating in our events and by coliving together with collective intentions of peace, harmony and connectedness. I see some guests coming here and being so blown open by a new paradigm shift that they return home to become teachers, healers and aligned leaders in their own local community, bringing with them the vibration of love and light to share with others. I envision Resonance expanding beyond this property to additional meridian points around the world. This is how we make the world a better place. By embodying it ourselves and shining our light around others. We are all students and teachers in the circle of life. Satnam.

Forest Soleil

CoFounder | Events