--Carol L. Chambers
Born a Mid-Westerner, Carol was raised in the Southern United States. She earned a degree in voice and then went on to complete a Master of Divinity Degree with specialties in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Formation. She was ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1978. She then earned a Master in Religion Degree and pursued graduate studies in the fields of Ethics and Women's History.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, She was employed in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence and staff development while continuing to hold various part-time ministry positions. She was also a training consultant throughout New York State for the Department of Children and Families and several other agencies. She retuned to her home state of Florida and there engaged in full-time ministerial work in the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
She is now "blissfully retired" and while she retains ordination status as retired clergy, she is no longer active in professional work in churches except as an officiant at ceremonies and celebrations.
She is a Level Three Reiki practitioner, a certified Animal Reiki practitioner, and a Follower of the Shamanic Ways. She is an energy healer and an artist, poet, writer, public speaker, teacher, musician, and active blogger. She lives in Central Florida with little Finian, her best friend and constant companion dog. She is a proud mother of one son and daughter-in-law, and a happy grandmother of two delightful grandchildren.
Her story includes recovery from prescription drug abuse and alcoholism for over 34 years. She is also a survivor of a lifetime of mental illness and has explored the relationship between mental illness and spirituality for decades. She recently published her first book (a memoir): The Journey of a Wounded Healer: the Mystical Web of Mental Illness and Spirituality. (See more about her book here.)
She is currently working on online courses and webinars on topics relating to Celtic Spirituality, soul companionship, the relationship between spirituality and mental illness, and storytelling as a healing practice.
About my own spiritual practices:
For a very long time I labored under the notion that I had to be "spiritual" in all the ways that others described their spirituality. Later in life, I came to a place that has been increasingly important to my spiritual growth and expanding journey. I began to simplify my own journey, focusing on Celtic Shamanism (because that is where my calling manifested as my spiritual life matured) and I determined to listen and appreciate the pathways of others rather than demand of myself that I try to appropriate them as mine. I found that I could be in complete harmony with those who practiced in completely different ways, while I was centered on what was increasingly important to me. So my practices, while simple, are deeply earth and nature-based, shamanic in focus, and profoundly authentic in my own spiritual story. --Carol