We had the good fortune of connecting with Deb Matlock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deb, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I decided to start Wild Rhythms, I was inspired by the idea of creating a container for my work that could grow and change over time. I wanted my business to be its own being in a way and take on a life of its own. I did not want to have limits on what I was able to offer or what I might create. I also did not want to have to get approval from anyone else to try something new. Also, I have to admit, starting Wild Rhythms was an act of totally blind faith. I got the idea and ran with it. That was in December of 2003. Over the past 17 years, it has definitely taken me for a ride!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My current work with Wild Rhythms includes sacred nature connection workshops, retreats, and presentations as well as shamanic-style spiritual guidance work and animal communication. This business was born out of my personal and professional experiences in nature and animal connection and spiritual work. I have come to this work through my own amazing, challenging, inspiring, confusing, hopeful, painful, and surprising journey into a deeper connection with the world around me. My own personal journey to a sense of empowered, nature-connected spirituality is definitely a long and winding road… a road I still travel upon today. I have gone through times of difficult confusion and emptiness, times of deep grief and despair for the world around me, as well as times of incredible peace, groundedness, and inspiration. My passion is to walk/guide/assist others on their own unique journeys into their empowered spirituality. I grew up in Colorado and bring to my work a profound love and passion for Earth and every living being. Since childhood, I have experienced a deep, personal, and communicative connection with the earth and the animals I encounter. As a child, I spent endless days exploring the Rocky Mountains and my first best friend was a dog named Jenny. Since then my life has been formed and enriched by my relationship with all of the life around me. My work is based in not only my own spiritual journey, but also in my 20+ years as an environmental and humane educator, and my passion for research and academia. My work has teeth as I take my own experiences and dig into them more deeply via conventional and non-conventional methods. I have spent the last several years working as a professional environmental educator and naturalist, a shamanic practitioner, and an animal communicator. I also mentor and teach graduate students at Prescott College. I am also dedicated to exploring my own spiritual connection to life and have mentored extensively with Chris Davidson of Ancientways. I have passionately refined my natural ability to experience shamanic – style journeys, communicate with animals and act as a spiritually-focused life coach. My environmental and humane education work includes teaching in the field, offering professional trainings and presentations and conducting research on the connections of spirituality, animism, and empathy to environmental education. My research has been presented nationally and internationally and continues to be a strong focus on my work. I have vast experience designing programming and evaluating curriculum and was previously President of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Additionally, I volunteer my educational and shamanic practitioner services with local animal rescues on a regular basis. This has definitely not been a smooth road, but it has all been worth it. From my late teens into my late 20’s, I was terrified to share my abilities to speak with the spirit world and do animal communication. I was afraid people would think I was either out of my mind or making it all up. It was a very deep, profound, transforming, and personal journey to get to the place where I realized that our ability to communicate with the worlds of nature and spirit are as old as humanity itself and have always been present in every culture in one way or another. It wasn’t until I was in graduate school in my late 20’s, studying the rhythmic connection between people and earth, that I stumbled across literature regarding shamanic experiences and journeys. It was then that I realized what I had been doing all of my life was actually quite normal and not unique to me. What a relief that was! My whole world opened up at that point.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting Colorado, I would definitely take them into a National Forest…any forest…just to stand among the pine trees and listen to wind as it hums through the branches. We would also visit Golden Gate State Park, view the Continental Divide from the buffalo overlook on I-70, and I would also insist they try Beau Joe’s pizza (if they eat pizza) in Idaho Springs. I have been entertained over the years at how many folks come from out of town and are amazed at the idea of putting honey on pizza crust! We would also check out some hot springs, numerous hikes, and no visit to Colorado would be complete without me taking my visitor to Golden, the town where I grew up. The “M” on the mountain is important to note as Colorado School of Mines is legendary. While in Golden, we would put our toes in Clear Creek, the creek that was truly one of my closest friends growing up. We would also head to Denver and check out Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall. I also really love showing off the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This is a gem in the middle of the west.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends have been incredibly supporters of my work over the years. They have been cheerleaders and provided encouragement…even though I know not all of them really resonate with what I do. My shamanic mentor, Chris Davidson, has also been a profound support on many levels.
Other: Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SacredConnection
Doug Hill David Matlock Deb Matlock