We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Sartwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emma, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
“Go to school for the job you want.” This conventional piece of advice doesn’t sit well with me . . . I think life unfolds better if we take it one step at a time and invest ourselves fully into each of those steps. Not acting in preparation for something else, not asking what we’ll get out of it–but merely life for its own sake, studying for its own sake, learning for its own sake. Joseph Campbell tells us that the hero’s journey unfolds when we “follow our bliss.” I think this is a more sustainable, interesting, and aligned mode of living than seeing life experiences as preparation for something in the future. This isn’t to say we should live hedonistically; it’s just to say, if you’re thinking about school, as an example, the questions could be: What lights you up? What sounds enjoyable to study? rather than: What will you do with this degree? What career path does it set you up for? In my own life, I wanted to study Buddhism–I got a Master’s Degree in Buddhist and interfaith chaplaincy from Naropa University, with no idea what I would use it for. I loved studying the mind, meditation practices, and interreligious dialogue. I devoured the books and went to all the office hours. After graduating, I tried hospital chaplaincy, and it wasn’t for me; I tried officiating weddings, teaching Hebrew School, and marketing spiritual books. I spent time nannying and freelance writing. Finally, life wove all of my interests together into starting a collective of body- and mindfulness-based coaches and therapists (Somatic Spiritual Counseling). But I had no idea what my plan was when I entered grad school, and basically no coherent plan until five years later! Often I felt lost and confused and discouraged, but I now see that if I had tried to premeditate my career path, it would have been devoid of the magic, adventure, and surrender that I have had to learn. (A sidenote: In some ways, this is a very privileged view of education, but I think the student loan repayment plans Obama put in place are a game-changer for higher education decisions [check out PAYE if you’re curious], and I think the principle of doing things for their own sake can equally be applied in many types of circumstances–eat breakfast for its own sake, meditate for its own sake; talk to your neighbor for its own sake.)
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?
I am so excited to be the hub of a collective of helpers, guides, and visionaries. We all share the core values and purpose of helping others feel more integrated, empowered, present, and connected through working with the body, nervous system, and innate connection to nature.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Boulder, I would take a friend on many little hikes: Wonderland Lake, El Dorado Canyon State Park, and Flagstaff, to name a few. We would meditate at Naropa’s Arapahoe Campus shrine room (open to the public), and sit under its giant sycamore tree. We would eat farm-fresh happy hour at Bramble & Hare and search for books at the Trident. We would put our feet in the creek at Central Park. Then we’d go down to Denver to eat, dance, and have our tarot read at the Mercury Cafe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout my boyfriend, Chris Cannon. He saw the vision of me being a therapist and guide long before I did, and he held the space of confidence and support in the moments I couldn’t do it for myself.
Other: Google Reviews: https://www.google.com/search?q=somatic+spiritual+counseling&sxsrf=ALeKk00XyTkGi8kIZwiT95kLzDmbeq04iw%3A1615757652455&source=hp&ei=VIFOYPDLGNGztQb6opbwDw&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAYE6PZNhDdMeP3T-S6g7jui70nNlnll4x&oq=somatic+s&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMYADIECCMQJzIFCAAQsQMyCAguEMcBEK8BMgUIABCxAzICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADoECAAQQzoECC4QQzoLCC4QxwEQrwEQkQI6BQguEJECOgoILhDHARCvARBDOggIABCxAxCDAToICC4QxwEQowI6BQguELEDOggILhCxAxCDAToCCC46DQguEIcCEMcBEK8BEBQ6BwgAELEDEEM6BwguELEDEEM6BwgAEIcCEBRQqSZY9S5glDZoAHAAeAGAAcoDiAHkEpIBCTAuMi41LjEuMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=gws-wiz#lrd=0x876beda8dfaeff1f:0xebcdff16440b0dd,1,,,