Professional biographical information is often steeped in language created by our achievement-oriented society. What I hope to describe here is a little of the personal life experience and training that helps me do the work that I do.
Academically, as an undergraduate I studied English and Comparative Literature, I think because I have always loved language, writing and storytelling. My first go at graduate school was studying holistic nutrition as I explored my fascination with food as nourishment and medicine and what health and wellness looks like from the inside-out. Most recently, I completed seminary as an adventure in learning more about what it is to be human and wrestle with our existence and relationship to self, neighbor, creation and the Divine, whoever and whatever that may be. I have training in Clinical Pastoral Education and spiritual care, most recently completing certification in Compassionate Bereavement Care. I have also studied and practiced under the guidance and mentorship of Sylvia Poareo of Connecting Within for nearly ten years. This process of personal healing, rooted in cultivating radical self-love and compassion and divine-connection has provided me with the most practical, grounding and healing tools.
However, no academic or professional training has been as meaningful or transformative as my life experience. I have been married for 15 years and have two incredible living children and one who lives on in our hearts and memories. Our oldest son died in a car accident five years ago, and just shy of 2 years before that, I lost my younger brother and only sibling to suicide.
Both my family of origin and the family I created have been shaken to the core, destroyed and dismantled, and because of it, everything I ever knew or believed in has changed in one way or another. In the ongoing journey of rebuilding our lives, these experiences of traumatic grief and catastrophic loss continue to shape me more than anything else. I often refer to my heart as one that has been broken-wide-open and that space has allowed me to see and feel, and thereby support others as well, in ways I could never have imagined.
My own experience has profoundly expanded my ability to hold deep space for the complexities of the human journey. What we need along the way is radical love and compassion, which is what I feel called to share.
With love from my broken-open-heart to yours,
All photos and words on this site belong to Lisa Wade Devine.