Laural encourages us to be the creators of our reality by healing our personal and collective stories. She weaves nature, history, science and belief with art and storytelling to awaken our inner wisdom. She empowers us to explore our internal and external landscape by holding space for us to dive deep within our shadows and our truth. She encourages us to be active participants in the co-creation of our world.
Bio: Born in Frankfurt Germany, Laural felt a spiritual connection with trees that inspired wonder. At the age of seven she traveled to the United States with her adoptive family to a rural fishing town along Lake Michigan. Growing up in the 60’s & 70’s Laural transformed her wonder into activism. She advocated for women’s rights, civil rights and the rights of the disabled. She worked at Northern Colony, an institutional community for severely and profoundly developmentally disabled children and adults. She volunteered at the Eau Claire Free Clinic and taught life skills at the Career Development Center. In 1976 she joined VISTA as a community organizer in the housing projects of Decatur, Il. Laural moved back to Wisconsin as the Developmental Disabilities Counselor/Coordinator in her hometown, where she also provided emergency intervention services for people struggling with mental illness, abuse, addiction etc. She established the county’s first Planned Parenthood Clinic. Laural loved being a family and marriage counselor, but was disillusioned by the growing dependence on medications and bureaucratic rules within the mental health industry. Her curious and creative nature led her back to school for art, and a 25-year career in communications.
After Laural’s adoptive parents passed away, she received several mysterious phone calls. Laural traced these calls back to Germany and her biological grandmother. Laural was reunited with her birth mother Karin, who named her “Carmen Sylvia” meaning, guardian tree. Karin shared the heartbreak of remembering when Laural was forcibly taken from her, and how she later married Laural’s birth father and their attempt to get Laural back. Laural’s never met her birth father who had passed away, Karin passed away within nine months of Laural finding her. As Laural began piecing her life together, her friend and mentor unexpectedly died from suicide. Laural was asked to become the President/Creative Director of the 42-person ad agency he created. As a way to heal, she and the agency helped launch the first nationwide educational campaign on the link between depression and suicide.
During this time she lived on 40 acres of forested wetlands with her husband and son. As caretakers of this sacred land she was reminded of the enchanted trees that touched her soul. This spiritual connection helped her as she created educational campaigns for the Oneida Nation of WI, the impact of rainforest deforestation on native bird species and a comprehensive environmental recycling/reuse/reduce/repair campaign, among others.
The morning after 9/11, Laural was called to begin untangling the shared roots of world belief. Inspired by the work of Carl Jung, who identified trees as the archetype of the human psyche and mandalas as the archetype of wholeness, Laural dedicated her spare time researching the roots of religion from 40,000 BCE to present day, seeking the “one in all”.
In 2007, Laural left her career to study the healing arts of the mandala and indigenous energy medicine. She traveled back to Frankfurt Germany to connect with her roots and the trees of her childhood. She visited the Smoky Mountains to stand on the land of her birth father. As she unwound the sadness and confusion that haunted her, she stepped into the love and compassion that defines her.
Laural is a perpetual student who enjoys expressing herself through art, words and actions. She is mesa carrier initiated by Andean Altomisayoq, Adolfo Ttito Condori. Laural is a graduate of The Four Winds School of Energy Medicine founded by Dr. Alberto Villoldo. She was certified as a mandala facilitator, mentored directly by the late Dr. Judith Cornell (Rajita Sivananda) at Mount Madonna in Watsonville, CA. Laural holds two bachelors degrees in Social Work & Communication Arts. She is currently a core faculty member of Hawthorn Institute in Williams, Oregon.
Laural has written the following books:
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