I come from Celtic roots and a large extended family. My immediate family moved a lot, so early on I developed skills in watching peopIe and their customs. I grew up farming, hiking, camping – and sharing story around the fire or the kitchen table.
I feel deeply connected deeply to the land and know the bounty of lessons one can learn from Nature. I followed this connection into graduate school in anthropology and studying the wisdom in indigenous healing traditions.
In the early 1990's I decided to take my interests and experience into healing work. In 25 years as a spiritual healer, teacher and circle leader, I witnessed the power of story to teach and connect. This led me to a path in the ancient Bardic tradition of the Celts. I found my passion of blending healing, teaching, music and storytelling.
C. Rhalena Renee (Lena) lives in the Pacific Northwest where she writes, continues her healing work and bathes in the beauty of mountains, forests and beaches of Puget Sound.
My writing roots
As a young girl, I spent hours out in the fields or down by the river, just talking to nature. These talks inspired poetry, song, and now self-help books and novels.
I love reading really good historical novels by folks like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Morgan Llewelyn - Celtic themes are a favorite. Learning history and teachings through the context of storytelling excites me. I want to know about people and their motivations in the context of their time, landscape and the collective story around them.
I've also always been intrigued by works that move back and forth through time, like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I'm endlessly fascinated by writers, like Katherine Kurtz, who include ancient healing technologies in their stories.
William Faulkner's short story, "Dry September", was a pivotal story for me. Nature as a profound influence on our everyday actions inspired me to pay attention to the natural world and to observe our dance with nature more keenly. This theme finds its way into almost everything I write.
I'm a storyteller. Whether I'm writing a self-help book, an essay on cultural trends or a fantasy novel, I'm going to tell you a story. Why? Because that's how we learn best. A story is more than facts, it gives context, texture - a landscape to explore in a way that you, the reader, connect with best.
"Choices for Joy" invites you to examine how you might be limiting yourself, denying the gifts of joy in your life. I offer a chapter of research, but the tools and suggestions for engaging with joy are offered through different stories - client, student, and family stories. In fact, I wrote this book in response to a consistent story I was hearing - a collective story of isolation, depression and an inability to touch the "something more" folks could sense was available.
My novel, "In the Arms of the Spiral" (to be released April 5, 2017) on the other hand, began as a personal quest. I wanted to change my life and used writing as a tool to figure out what that might look like. And in the midst of writing the story I'd want to inhabit, characters jumped into the pages and took me to an entirely different place. This is the magic of story, it takes you to places that you can't imagine, invites you to play - and to dance new dances.