About Hilary Lake
I am an activist expressive arts community ministry and somatic movement educator offering and co-creating individual and group spaces for embodied awakening to cultural awareness, reciprocity and collective liberation. I identify as a white Slavic, Celtic, Baltic, Germanic, Norse, Greek queer non-binary femme living on Anishinaabe land also known as Petoskey, Michigan.
I created the practice of Moving in Grace for my masters thesis in divinity school to find my way through the darkness of feeling deeply isolated and alone. It was created with the calling to feel connected to and present with myself and others through all aspects of my body and being. I was at Harvard Divinity School studying Buddhist ministry wanting to save myself and the world. I also wanted to be a part of community. I had lived in community and was collaborating on building a non-profit Unitarian Universalist cooperative house. I had also run spiritual groups for many years and yet a big part of me felt separate, lonely, and I feared I would always feel alone. I was ready to break out of my shell and express my truth yet I felt crazy and overwhelmed. I was so scared to actually let people see me for fear that they would judge me and yet part of me was judging myself and them all along. I share all of this because I'm just like everyone else and through facing my challenges with creativity I've been able to be truly myself.
What helped me to integrate and shift from pushing myself to accepting and loving myself while alone and around others has been creating a space in which I can just be, feel and express anything that is going on for me. I wanted to rest into feeling what is present for me in my body, allow it to be fully accepted and acknowledged, and then to move with it and express it with others as we learn about how to create a healthy rhythm for ourselves in connection to each other and all of life. It has become a space in which we can accept our whole experience and be in inquiry to learn how to love ourselves better so that we can learn to love others and be of greater service.
I have studied various healing practices including Infinity Practice, Somatic Bodywork (an ISMETA approved 500 hr training) and have 20 years experience of studying Buddhism, meditation and ministry and have explored empowerment, shamanic traditions and embodiment in the US, Thailand, India and Nepal with various teachers including Margaret Wheatley, Gabrielli LaChiara, Malidome Some, Bonnie Bambridge Cohen, Ajhan Phangcham, Bill Pfeiffer, Lama Willa Miller, Lama John McKransky, Bernie Glassman, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Grandmother Kaariina Saarinen, Grandmother Strong Oak, Chyoki Nyingma Rinpoche, JWow, Daniel Foor, Grandmother Nancy Andry among others. I studied the Nepalese Buddhist temple dance practice called Charya Nritya (translates as dance as spiritual discipline) in Kathmandu, Nepal and have been a singer and dancer my whole life studying various forms from classical to improvisational. As a natural connector and community organizer I am honored to bring people together to honor the Earth, each other and the Infinite.
I have more recently been called to the practice of race reconciliation after studying a restorative justice practice in circle called Walking in Balance with Grandmother Strong Oak founder of Visioning Bear Intertribal Coalition and I am currently a trainer for this restorative justice practice in community. I also co-created GraceBetweenRaces as an online forum for raw and honest sharing about race issues and race reconciliation. I was recently an interfaith chaplain resident at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT during the beginning of the pandemic. I am continuing to grow my understanding of embodied social justice by completing the Embodied Social Justice certificate from Embody Lab.
I am now offering workshops and individual sessions online that integrate an embodied social justice and spiritual framework for liberation. This framework includes the practice of Sidereal Astrology that supports us to connect with the embodied experience of the planets and the stars in an accurate alignment for a greater awareness of all beings.
If you feel called to connect with me you can find a time here to set up a free discovery session.