Slow Down & Listen....the Earth is Speaking

Slow Down & Listen....the Earth is Speaking

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...

YOUR GUIDE

Jaclyn Ouillette's Professional Bio

Jaclyn Ouillette Wilderness Wisdom & Spiritual Guide, holds 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, Black Belt and Instructor in Martial Arts. 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 said 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 whole new way.

 

My Story ~

 
  Me in my Dad's Canoe in 1979

Me in my Dad's Canoe in 1979

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 side since I was born. This set me up to have a very deep connection and love for the outdoors and natural world. I was an explorer of the Wild.

I was born in November of 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 truck, camping and running road races.

  Running with Dad

Running with Dad

  Heading Toward the Finish Line

Heading Toward the Finish Line

When I just barely turned 3 years old, I ran my first road race, a 1.1 mile fun run, and was featured in the local paper as the youngest runner. It wasn’t that common back then for littles to race! I loved to have my Mom french braid my hair and I would run and run. It made me feel so free and alive. My parents said as soon as I could walk, I was running.

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, they are packed away in a cedar chest my dad made.

 

  My First Trad Lead Climb at Cochise

My First Trad Lead Climb at Cochise

After high school I was determined to become a Mountain Guide, I wanted to guide in the high alpine up in the tall snowy mountain peaks. I wanted to be a Wilderness Instructor and explore the world. My dream job after High School was to work for NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School.  My greatest hope was to guide people in nature, to be in and to experience the Wild, to see the Mountains & Rivers, and to breathe the fresh air. Most importantly to guide people to find themselves and what is real.

  Teaching Map & Compass in the Wind River Range

Teaching Map & Compass in the Wind River Range

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 Guiding in the Wilderness... 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!

 

  Lyme Bull's Eye Rash on my Back

Lyme Bull's Eye Rash on my Back

And then my whole life drastically changed. I went from living my dream to my 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.

The Doctor’s said, "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 and my muscles atrophied. I believed what the doctors said and began to give up any hope of recovery.

I went into a “dark cave.” I began to prepare for my own death. I used what energy I had to gather things, I didn’t want to leave my family and any burdens of taking care of my things. My windows were covered as the light was excruciating, and I wore earplugs in my ears because the sounds were so amplified it hurt my entire body and I couldn’t think. I forgot my name, I forgot who I was….and I let go of everything believing that one night I might just pass on in my sleep.

During that time (somewhere in a 2 year period, my memory is sort of foggy) I had a very powerful dream that took me completely out of my body and to a place with no pain…and I saw life very differently. After this intense moment, I was inspired to write a thank you letter to this disease.

Dear 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. I had transformed from the inside out. It was a long spiral out of the darkness, but I had promised that if I were to Live, then I would really Live! No holding back. This Life is so precious, every minute. Every minute with your parents, children, family, and friends. Every minute breathing the air and exploring the Earth.

With a new perspective, and a deeper connection to Myself, the Earth, and the Universe, I have returned to Guiding in a whole New Way!

 Jaclyn Practicing Sho-Kai, A Martial Arts Practice of the Energy of Water

Jaclyn Practicing Sho-Kai, A Martial Arts Practice of the Energy of Water

My questions to you are

“What Sparks Your Wild Spirit?”

“What is Your Wild Inspiration in this precious Life?”