Amanda bridges the world of Geography and Spirituality. She enjoys serving as a guide connecting people to more of their personal truth and purpose with the assistance of the natural world.
Through her classes and retreats, three key themes she inspires within others include: a greater awareness of personal energy and energies found within nature; empowerment through geography tools and skills to incorporate into everyday life; and a deeper spiritual connection to mother earth and sacred waters.
Amanda received her doctorate in Geography from UNC-Greensboro, where her research focused on spiritual landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains. During her graduate studies, she also studied with elders from various cultural belief systems including: Cherokee, Hawaiian, Peruvian, and Celtic. Since then, she has also learned ancient wisdom from the Aymara and Nordic traditions. Before earning her doctorate she was an environmental scientist involved with stream and wetland restoration projects throughout the southeast. She has always had a passion for water conservation and the earth.
Her heart enjoys helping people remember their connection to the elements wherever they are and learning how to feel the connection and love that is always around and within them. Cultural groups around the world know and understand the importance of this connection. From her doctoral research on spiritual landscapes, own experiences, and discussions with others from various cultures, she has observed and experienced that spending time in nature can be very good for the soul, body, and mind. Especially now, she feels it is extremely important for us in the 21st to spend time connecting to the elements and learning from them. We really are connected to EVERYTHING. She enjoys inspiring others to learn how to "be" in nature, to visit places they have not seen or felt before, to learn about the elements around them, and appreciate the areas that are preserved for public enjoyment. Amanda believes nature is a place for great inner work, can trigger deep emotional releases and insights and is a place to regain balance in today's world. Amanda loves the Hawaiian way of being/living "Aloha 'Āina Malama Pono" (Love the Land, care for it righteously).
Amanda discovered the beautiful art of Hawaiian Hula Dance years ago and found the relationship between the body movements mimicking nature and the energy movement that occurs during the dance, to be sacred and needed in today's world. As an energy work practitioner for over a decade, she found that the movement of energy while dancing often produces similiar feelings for participants as yoga or meditation and with some other life lessons as well. She finds that hula classes, just like yoga, benefit the body, mind, and spirit.
Her current focus in both the academic setting and outside of academia is on the interdisciplinary study and benefits of hula, an embodied practice that imparts knowledge of history, geography, spirituality, the environment, and more. As a past environmental scientist, the connection of personal energy through connecting to nature in this way, resonated with Amanda. Just like her Kumu, Amanda believes the world needs hula everywhere...more aloha, more peace, and more joy. Amanda also believes nature benefits from us honoring landscapes and places through ceremonies as well as our movement through sacred dances such as hula.
She currently teaches Anthropology & Geography courses that highlight the multi-cultural world we reside in and various belief systems and ways of living with the natural world. She is also currently working on a textbook and a general audience book, that integrates physical earth sciences, spiritual beliefs systems from various cultures, shamanism, geography, earth history, natural resource management, cultural perceptions of natural disasters, and anthropology.
Amanda has taught in traditional academic settings at various colleges and universities for fifteen years and has been teaching non-traditional spiritual development classes at various yoga studios, spas, and at other venues throughout North Carolina for the past decade. Amanda is available to present various talks to your group and offers workshops focused on shamanism, rituals & ceremonies, and spiritual landscapes. If you are interested in having her present, please contact her.