Over five years ago, we were called forth to be sisters by a chance meeting, a sacred crossing of paths. We grew and nurtured our friendship hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest forests of Oregon, with the Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars and Sitka Spruces supporting us as we let go of our nomadic ways and found home; in a place, in ourselves and with each other. We shared travel and adventure stories, our heartache and hope for the world, our vulnerabilities, and our deep alignment of supporting women to be their best selves through connecting to their wild and sacred self. We dreamed of sharing our passion, experience and wisdom with other women through adventures in the natural world; ones with depth, focus and healing. We found the strength in each other to push away from the cultural conditioning that made us feel inadequate and not worthy and to believe in the possibility of our dream.
We knew early on we had forged a long-term friendship, a sisterhood, and over time a foundation emerged for profound and meaningful collaborations. Our relationship has given us space to explore who we are, our gifts, and how we want to show up in the world. We are both drawn towards cultivating a deep Earth connection in our daily practice and feel that this must be addressed in critical conversations about the ongoing social and ecological injustices facing our world. We are always learning, questioning, evolving, and supporting each other in the process. Life proves again and again to be about constant change, transition, and letting go.
In 2017, Temenos Rising was born when we created a program centered around Earth Connection, Outdoor Adventure, and Contemplative Practice to help self-identified women remember that their everyday lives are sacred and they deserve time to recharge and reconnect. It has been clear at every fork in the road and every obstacle we encounter that neither of us could turn away from our shared vision. It is a labor of love and we are committed to sharing our gifts and wildness with the world. Thank you for being part of our community.
~Irene and Heidi
Irene Bailey, Program Director
I have been designing and facilitating experiences that connect people more deeply to themselves, their community and the natural world for over fifteen years. I have worked with numerous environmental and sustainability education programs as an educator, leader, mentor and wilderness guide.
My life journey has led me to my innate gift of supporting women to flourish and re-discover their unique path with greater confidence and love. I believe wholeheartedly in the transformation and deep healing that is possible when women allow Nature to be their wise teacher and cultivate a deep kinship with the wild feminine. I am passionate about sharing inspirational adventures that nourish the mind, body and spirit.
My intention is to be present and awake in my daily life and I have been exploring meditation and body based spiritual practices for over five years. I have a MS in Leadership for Sustainability Education from Portland State University and call Portland and the Pacific Northwest home. I enjoy hiking, ocean kayaking, surfing, practicing yoga and meditation, spending time with my community (human and non), growing food and taking romps with my pup. I bring my whole self to this work for the benefit of all beings.
Heidi Schmidgall, Education Director
I’m humbled to be co-creating our dream of Temenos Rising. I feel drawn to facilitate the work of Earth Connection, Embodying Adventure and Introspection because of the healing, insight, and empowerment they have provided me throughout my life. I believe all beings are created equal and worthy of love and that with adequate care and resources they can live joyful lives. The passions that weave throughout my life include place-based learning, yoga, adventures that get me deep in the wilderness (skiing, kayaking, climbing), community engagement, and personal empowerment work.
I’ve worked in environmental and adventure-based programming for over a decade, with extensive experience facilitating groups on social-emotional learning and group development. I hold a MS in Leadership for Sustainability Education from Portland State University, which infused my leadership style with connection and purpose. I received a Mindfulness Teacher Training Certificate from Peace in Schools and am a certified Yoga Teacher. I integrate these trainings with the wisdom of Mother Earth-my greatest teacher.
As a soon-to-be mama, I’m thrilled to be welcoming a baby into the Temenos Rising Community this summer. I look forward to sharing my aliveness and love for the world, rivers, music, growing food, and deep connection with this little being and with all of you!