I believe that we all have a vein of potent curiosity that enables us to “figure it out”.
Figure out how to live in a way that feels most true, how to make what we see as beautiful, how to transmute challenges into strength, and how to feel alive and purposeful and connected.
As a kid, I quickly figured out that I could navigate the tumultuous waters of familial unrest by way of making things that felt beautiful to me. Following the crumbs of my curiosity carried me through heartbreak and transitions and periods of time where I felt completely unmoored to anything other than the tender invitation to create.
Now, as a grown up artist, author, and creativity facilitator, I write, paint, and push around all sorts of materials to create real-life art from the pictures in my head. Not realizing as a child that making could become my vocation, I am now honored to pound the dead ends and break-throughs of my own hero’s journey into the gold that illuminates your own figure-it-out genius. Because many artist struggle with making art they feel best expresses what they want it to, I create art and courses to give your curious and beautiful voice a place to shine.
I am the author of the best selling “Semiprecious Salvage: Creating Found Art Jewelry” and co-author of “Plaster Studio:Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving.
I am also the creator of over a dozen popular online art courses and ebooks which provide easy, step-by-step guidance on how to improve your metalsmtihing skills in my signature “homesteader” style, how to combine plaster, paint, and encaustic medium in two-dimensional work, and how to create original sculpted forms with plaster and found objects.
You can view my work and courses at stephanieleeart.com
Fidel Nshombo arrived in Boise, Idaho as a refugee escaping the war-torn Congo, determined to help those vulnerable communities he left behind. He was born in Bukavu but escaped civil war in 1998 at the age of 12. His quest took him through seven African countries in a continuous search for safety, suffering privations and barely surviving some of Africa’s meanest streets, including the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe.
In 2011, Fidel was honored for his human rights work and for becoming a US citizen by Boise City Mayor, David Bieter, who presented him with a flag flown over the Boise Capitol building. He currently sits on the Mayor’s Refugee Steering group while traveling across Idaho and the US sharing his story to inspire people and bring awareness about refugee resettlement. Additionally, Fidel is a vice chair of the UN Refugee Congress, a nationwide advocacy agency for immigrants, where he also serves as a refugee youth mentor.
Other accolades include keynote speaker at the inauguration of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center Book Club; receiving the Idaho Refugee Integration and Success Award from the Idaho Office for Refugees; presenter at the Refugees in the Heartland Conference in Iowa and at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Idaho Capitol Rotunda; and presented with the Boise Police department at the NACOLE Conference in Utah promoting the new Police Refugee Liaison Officer position in 2013, a model that has improved the interaction between refugees and Law Enforcement in Idaho.
We are honored to welcome Aline Nshombo as well and look forward to hearing her speak to us!
Elaine Lowry Brye is a mom who knows about letting go. Like many moms, she cried when her kids left home, wishes they’d call and write more, and spends sleepless nights worrying about them. But Elaine’s tears and concerns are even more poignant than most mothers’—because Elaine is the mom of four military officers, one each in the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines.
An Army brat turned ROTC candidate turned military wife, Elaine never expected her kids to have a call to serve, and certainly didn’t expect all four to join up. Three of her kids—two sons and a daughter—attended the Naval Academy, and it was there that Elaine got her own calling: began a sixteen-year journey of helping moms and dads adjust to their strange, new, lonely lives as military parents. She also spent a year teaching in Kabul, Afghanistan where she experienced life in a war zone. Her love of her country and desire to support her fellow parents led to her to write Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Moms Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Homefront. Her newest project is developing Be Brave and Be Strong Retreats for military moms to be held at her new home in Montana
Whether you are a military mom or a woman grappling with the issues that come with life, Elaine has words of support and encouragement for you. You can practice being brave and strong and craft the purposeful life you want to live. It is never too late to start.
Robin is a dear friend and a fellow Idaho girl who has spent the past 6 years in Singapore and is currently living in New Delhi, India.
She works for Habitat for Humanity Asia, pioneering their Youth Leadership Academy program in India, Nepal, Philippines and Indonesia. She is an Ambassador for Days For Girls, teaching young women in India about menstruation and sex education. She also serves as the Chairwoman of Asia Area Women’s Conference in Hong Kong where over 300 expat women from 18 countries gather to inspire and support each other as they live far from their homelands.
These opportunities have allowed her to experience the beauty of new cultures and given her an intimate glimpse into the lives of women throughout Asia.
Robin loves public speaking and her most popular presentations are titled: “When You Want To Dropkick The People You Love”, “What To Do When You Are Surrounded By Practically Perfect People”, and “ ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’ They Told Me. ‘It Will Be Fun’ They Told Me”.
Her idea of a perfect day is rafting on the South Fork of the Payette River in Idaho with her husband and 4 grown up kids. Robin holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and a Master’s Degree in Science. She is hilarious and super-smart and we can't wait to hear what she has to share with us!
Melsha has spent the last five years diving deep into the work of worthiness, finding beauty in the simple things, practicing gratitude, making some of her biggest dreams come true through a million little baby steps, living intentionally and engaging with her soul goals from a space of vulnerability and authenticity.
It is her passion to help people know the value of who they are. It is her passion to help others remember that they are important, they matter and they are enough exactly as they are right now. She hosts gatherings of women’s circles, workshops & events, in her Clubhouse, just outside Edmonton, AB, Canada. Online, she welcomes you to Accountability Tribes, Vibration Board Workshops and #SummerOnPurpose. She is a Certified Soul Restoration Instructor, a Reiki 3 Practitioner, a Lifestyle Meditation Instructor and an avid student of life.
“Past lessons have brought me to this very spot: you & I connecting in this present moment. For that, I am grateful.”
Her HappyJoyPlay adventures find her chasing sunsets, climbing trees, stargazing, enjoying campfires, creating meaningful moments, playing in the mountains, and tossing confetti to celebrate it all!
I'm Tara Royer Steele. I live in Brenham, Texas, but at times I feel I live in Round Top, Texas. I love our heavenly father and fall in love with him more and more everyday. He amazes me with his love, mercy, kindness and grace. He pours out abundantly. I'm married to Rick Steele, he's my best friend, my business partner in everything and he leads so well. We have two boys, Brayden and Bentley! They are joy. Joy. Joy. They are straight up boys. Dirt, baseballs, dirt, footballs, video games and full of snuggles for their momma.
I grew up in our family business, Royers Round Top Cafe & am the cafe's catering director. Together we have Royers Pie Haven & Two Sparrows Roasting Company in Round Top, Texas. They are businesses built around a place to rest, great food, drink & relationships. We also have, The Brave Gathering, our favorite. We hold yearly camps for men and women to gather, rest, to strip back the layers added by the earthly world and get back to who they were originally created to be. We hold the camps at amazing venues throughout Round Top, but recently bought 7 acres to host camps. Over the last 31 years in Round Top, I have gone through hard things & when I truly began to KNOW & understand God and his plan, there was a shift in everything. I was able to learn from my life experiences and share them with others. I love to meet people right where they are & just love.
Susan is a visual artist, expressive arts facilitator, and life coach from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Like you, she has survived many trials throughout her life and has made it her mission to use these difficulties to develop wisdom, empathy and grit. After multiple personal experiences of tremendous liberation and healing, she began what is now a ten year journey to develop spiritual, creative, and experiential practices which she calls “artful soulful” to support herself and others to move from pain to power.
Among her creations is the healing curriculum Shadow and Substance (for women who are ready to make peace with their story and begin the beautiful journey of moving beyond their wounds) and the queen-themed retreat In Her Own Rite (a celebration of the queen in every woman).
Susan’s greatest hope for women is that they will ROOT themselves in body and spirit, in community and love and RISE into their unique purpose.
I found Brave Girls Club in 2010, but I have been a Brave Girl all my life, I just didn’t know it.
We all deserve to live a life full of play, passion, creativity, connection & love. Becoming a Brave Living Certified Instructor has given me a platform and a curriculum to share that possibility with the world. I live with 2 Auto-Immune diseases, that can be a daily chore. The tools I’ve gained from Soul Restoration allow me to create the life I want to live and not “suffer” from those diseases. Life is too short not to live an incredible, beautiful, life of your choosing.
"When I started, I had no idea this was going to be a movement. I thought I was simply meeting the needs of these girls."
Talk about a grassroots movement. Celeste Mergens’ nonprofit organization, Days for Girls International, has triggered a global one. Since 2008, it has created access to washable and sustainable feminine hygiene products for nearly 800,000 women and girls worldwide, with help from a sprawling network of chapters and teams. And its microenterprise model is empowering many of the women to pull themselves out of poverty.Mergens’ solution to this seldom-discussed universal feminine need makes it possible for girls to attend school uninterrupted while on their menstrual cycles and for women to go to work. From New Orleans to Nepal, Uganda to Guyana, she and her teams are sidestepping cultural taboos and helping women better understand their own bodies and discover ways to keep themselves safe.
“I don’t go into a slum and say ‘you poor, poor, people’ because I know, those are just circumstances…” she says. “You can spend a lot of money shaming people and not getting the results you seek.” But when you honor their wisdom and strength, says Mergens, you give them a stake in the solution and a seat at the table. www.daysforgirls.org
Celeste is a mother of six and grandmother of 15 who has been married for 35 years.
Pixie Lighthorse is the author of the Prayers of Honoring series, written to restore the bonds between people and nature while healing spiritual trauma. In 2017, she completed her third book, Boundaries & Protection: Honoring Self, Honoring Others. She is currently writing Goldmining the Shadows, Honoring Our Wounds that is due out November 2018.
She has created and taught over forty online educational courses applying integrative shamanism, animal and plant studies, and the Medicine Wheel. She also developed a shamanic painting method and course entitled Visual Quest for online and live audiences.
She defines Earth Medicine as the accumulated learnings modeled by nature: The creatures, plants and geology which make up our world.
Lighthorse received her training in western shamanism between 2003 and 2012. She was born in California, growing up among farms, ranches, animals and wildlife. She studied literature and art at Cal State Northridge and several other higher learning institutions. She is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Feminine and earth-centered sensibilities are the cornerstones of her work.
Her personal mission is to point humans toward nature for spiritual inspiration.