About Wilderness Wisdom Journeys
Wilderness Wisdom Journeys are guided experiences that turn your focus from the outward, to the inward journey. Each journey is specifically designed to bring balance to all aspects of your being; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
There is a focus on connecting with Earth and Spirit through energy medicine teachings and being in Nature. There is an emphasis on how thoughts affect reality and how shifting the way you look at your world actually has the ability to change it.
We work closely with the Earth...slowing down..taking your shoes off, and being in direct contact with the elements. The Earth holds us and reflects back to us, so we can see our own truth. In Nature we open up naturally..we feel expansive, time slows, and our attention shifts. Through these subtle shifts in our experiences, we learn and practice listening deeply...
Jaclyn Ouillette's Professional Bio
Jaclyn Ouillette Wilderness Wisdom Guide, has a B.A. in Outdoor Education with a concentration in Wilderness Leadership & Adventure Education. She is a Certified Practitioner of Energy Medicine, Luminous Healing, & Generational Healing Method, and is also Registered as a Maine Wilderness Guide. She has been leading Wilderness Journeys focused on self awareness and personal growth since 2004. In 2004 she received the Outdoor Education Honors award and the Outstanding Community Service Award from Johnson State College for her leadership in the local community. She worked as an Instructor for NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Wyoming. For several years her focus was in Therapeutic Wilderness and Adventure programs and worked as a Senior Backcountry Field Instructor in Maine, Colorado, Idaho, and North Carolina. A devastating run with a severely debilitating disease, "chronic, late stage neurological Lyme Disease" led her through unsuccessful treatments in western medicine to ancient energy medicine from the Q'ero who lived in the high mountains of Peru. The ancient teachings and energy medicine techniques helped her to heal what her doctors thought was impossible. After 5 devastating years she built her strength back and studied with 3 Master Maine Guides to become registered as a Maine Wilderness Guide and to return to the wilderness in a new way.
My Story ~
I often joke that I cut my first teeth on the canoe my Dad made. But I have seriously been canoeing this long. My dad built a wooden canoe and made me a small paddle before I was born. My parents took me camping, canoeing, and hiking along the river my whole life. This set me up to have a deep connection and love for the outdoors.
I was born in 1978, the middle of 3 girls and grew up in a small town in Maine called Yarmouth. We spent our summers traveling in the back of Dad's small pickup camping, and running road races.
When I just turned 3 years old, I ran my first road race and was featured in the local paper as the youngest runner. I loved to run and I didn't stop there...
I remained very active throughout high school in soccer, basketball, and softball. I also continued to run road races and indoor track. I collected over 50 trophies and awards, but no one would know as I keep them packed away in a cedar chest my dad made.
After high school I was determined to be a Mountain Guide, I wanted to guide in the high alpine. I wanted to be a Wilderness Instructor. My dream job was to work for NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School. My greatest hope was to guide people in nature, to be in and experience the Wild, to see the Mountains & Rivers, and to breathe the fresh air, and most importantly to guide people to find themselves and what is real.
I went to college in Vermont in the mountains, took an 88-day NOLS course in the Southwest, worked as a Wilderness Therapy Guide and spent over 500 nights in the field... and 10 years (plus a 4 page application, 35-day instructor course, many debriefs, evaluations, and check off's) later I landed that dream job! I became a NOLS instructor and co-led a 30-day Wind River Expedition. Wahoo!
I remember feeling like I had figured it all out, I was so happy to be living my dream at age 24!
And then my whole life drastically changed. I went from living my dream to the ultimate nightmare. I contracted a severe case of Neurologic Lyme Disease and was bed ridden for 2 1/2 years. No more wilderness, no more guiding...
They thought I would heal in 10 days, then 14 days, then at 30 they stopped the treatment assuring me the Lyme was gone. After a few months I went to a specialist who told me I had post Lyme syndrome... My health spiraled down for the next 2 1/2 years as I traveled to over 16 different doctors and specialists and searched for my health.
They told me, "We've done all we can do, you are just going to have to learn to live like that."
I was told that I would never recover and would never return to the area of my passion, to the wilderness.
I was heart broken. My body was shutting down. I believed what they said and began to give up hope of recovery.
There was a moment during that time when I had a powerful dream and was inspired to write a thank you letter to this disease.
I am grateful for this illness.
I appreciate your persistence.
I love your willingness to not give up on me.
You have taught me to look at life through different eyes.
You have taught me to slow down.
You have taught me the importance of breath.
You have taught me the importance of nurturing always.
You have taught me to fight back, with all of my energy
everyday, every night, every moment.
You have taught me to focus my energy only on what I truly want.
You have taught me that giving up is unacceptable.
You have taught me the power of my own thoughts.
You have taught me to look deep within.
You have taught me to remember life is beautiful.
I am truly grateful for all these learnings.
I want to thank you, for most importantly,
I have learned that every breath, every step, every thought in life is healing.
With much love and appreciation,
Jaclyn A. Ouillette
And with that, everything began to change.
It took me another 2 1/2 years of treatment, then a few more years to build my strength.
I managed to hike up Zion National Park...and then my desire to hike in Peru was reignited. I traveled to Peru and hiked in the Mountains with indigenous elders who taught me a different way of connecting with the earth, and being grateful for every step.
With a new perspective, and a deeper connection to myself, the earth, and the universe, I have returned to guiding in a new way.