1. What attracted you to Red Tent Australia?
Red Tent embodies the very notions of living within a community similar to my own cultural worldview and the valuable resources stored within the women who bring a wealth of lived experience. In this space wisdom exchanged from one woman to another strengthens the relationships we experience with our mothers, daughters, and sisters alike. As a Maori woman these are the spaces unique to the healing space woman inhabit when moving in synchronicity with her higher self. To let go, to heal, and to give out is a natural progression of our internal being as woman and the connections we hold to our greatest teacher mother earth. It is in these sacred spaces where I believe the wonder of discovering your true goddess or divine identity is given permission to shine. As woman we are the only beings who can birth a spiritual being into this world and it is for this very one act that we must acknowledge the true powerful women that we are in our healing circles. It is for this very reason why I would love the family that is Red Tent.
2. What is your experience to date?
Ko Kahurānaki te maunga
Ko Ngaruroromokotuararokirangatira, ko Tukituki ngā awa
Ko Tākitimu te waka
Ko Houngarea te marae
Ko Rākaihikuroa te tekoteko
Ko Tāwirirangi te wharekai
Ko Te Pakipakitanga a Hinetemoa te papakainga
Ko Ngāti Ngarengare, ko Ngāti Papatuamāro, ko Ngāti Te Rehunga, ko Ngāi Tamaterā, ko Ngāti Kotahi ngā hapū
Ko Urupene Puhara te tangata
Ko Waina Pene Ahau
Whakataukī: Ko te ihu, ko te rae, tikina, houhia te ronga
Tihei kei te pito!
As an indigenous woman. I have introduced myself as a teacher of indigenous healing, lore and wisdom as part of my ancestral family genealogy. My origins are the center piece to my spiritual beliefs and practices. My spiritual walk is a culmination over generations of being Maori connected to your land and your ancestors which is a scared journey that has brought me to Australia in connecting with the oldest living culture in the world. This is deeply personal and can only be shared fully over time in building relationships with like-minded people due to the intellectual property and spiritual nature of a shared consciousness beyond my own as an individual. What I can share is that this does included my work as a water healer embraced within my name and as part of an ancient female goddess connected to love healing and the nurturing of our woman as mothers, sisters, and daughters across the globe.
My spiritual Practice is maintained by daily prayer and meditation which I enjoy. I attend regular healing workshops in New Zealand both from a cultural perspective and healer’s gatherings. As a part of my personal growth and development my traditional elders have been my spiritual mentors. I am blessed as Maori to be able to call on Traditional Tribal Elders who impart sacred spiritual knowledge. It then becomes my rite of passage to act as a conduit between generations and in facilitating workshops. where I impart this spiritual healing to those most in need. This becomes my role as a Whanau, Hapu, Iwi Practitioner.
My career, began as a Maori Addictions Clinician and Social Worker over the course of almost twenty years I have facilitated in Therapy and education groups with women, men and young people. Within this role I developed strong facilitation skills, with the ability to listen, empathize, and grew a highly developed understanding of maintaining strong professional relationship boundaries. These were based on cultural models of practice inclusive to building community capacity within the identified needs of the participants. These included: Building individual and community capacity, identifying resources and strategic planning, building by connecting people to ecological/systems, rituals of engagement models as process of engagement. These are principles of strength based models of practice and process of engagement, as Transformational community strength based models in practice, both human and community development model’s engaged within the community in building capacity.
More recently in New Zealand I have been facilitating Women’s healing groups in Hawke’s Bay and facilitated weekend retreat, wananga (gatherings) on our marae overlooking Mt Ruapehu.
As core foundation values that form both my working career and personal attributes I believe in working hard, with honesty, and integrity central to any relationship I encounter as key elements when engaging with all types of people. Having been raised Maori in New Zealand I strongly believe in the values I grew up with from the people most significant to my cultural links, my parent’s, my family, and my elders within my community. The key notions derived from a people familiar to building community Strength.
My skills as a facilitator comes from almost twenty years of practice as a Social Worker and counsellor. Within my career I developed a highly attuned ability to hold space while in a healing group process by listening, using communication skills, empathy, and following rituals of engagement.
3. What do you hope to bring to your community?
Below I have included a small insert from an interview I did for a colleague who is doing her PHD. This explains from my perspective my interest in living a wairua or spirit lead life from a Maori women’s perspective. In the insert my identity is named as Mataamua.
“Travelling through Taneatua was like “driving into a cultural bubble”, captured by overwhelming feelings of wairua/spirit.
According to Mataamua “it was a moment of awakening a wairua”. At the same time Mataamua was “going through the awakening of coming into being a ruahine”, a spiritual healer, a person who sees the past and the present and recognises the presence of wairua. Again, Mataamua was oblivious to the transition of becoming a ruahine, only upon reflection did the whakapapa of this journey reveal itself. Mataamua’s spiritual encounters married with academic knowledge prompted a really strong desire to understand … identity as a spiritual person.
My journey as a woman is to bring light and encouragement to woman who are on the same journey of self-discovery and healing. To be able to cross cultural divides that enhance and bring truth to our divine selves.
As a water bearer and healer it is with the upmost love for the land, rivers, and its inhabitants that I carry with me the constant reminder. That if you heal the water, you heal the land, you heal the people.