Ego Island symbolizes fear and is the tailbone (coccyx) area of the body. Here we get to listen, observe, and make friends with our fears and discomforts.

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Cold water therapy in the 39° waters of Lake Superior.

When our emotional waters are stirred, there’s no better place to observe the waves then on Ego Island. As OWL likes to say, Observe With Love. It’s also where watching the weather systems (our mood or the moods of others) rolling in and out can be handy.

Diving deep into our emotional waters means learning to swim, and that means learning to breathe. The shoreline represents the boundaries and barriers we make with ourselves and others, this sometimes means we put up walls. Rigid or rocky boundaries can make it difficult for us to access our emotions, but soft sandy boundaries can quickly eat away at our shoreline. Do your shorelines wash away when another person’s storm rolls in? Are your cliffs too high to jump in?



The River of Reason represents the spine and is where our emotions (in the body) and feelings (in the mind) meet at the river. The very close Forest of Feels pulls water directly from our river mixing emotion and logic.

Emotional blocks (or dams) cause disruptions in our flow (acceptance), but watch for spiraling emotions in the whirlpool, or it will spit you back into the Emotion Ocean.

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The trees of Little Presque reminding me it’s okay to grow in a curved line.

The forest is a place of entanglement symbolizing the back of our bodies, our heart space, and feelings in general. The trails we have developed represent the neural pathways inside of us. These paths can show up as behavior patterns, areas of feeling stuck, or always having the same experience show up in your life (your life ‘following the same path’).

Below the surface we find the network of our rooted belief systems, and the nutrients (or emotional groundwater) they drink from. Going up from the root system, the trunks of our trees represent our experience(s) in life, where our thoughts then branch out developing seasons of feelings (leaves or foliage). Then by our fruits we can see how fulfilled we are in life, or if there are rotten belief systems that need to be uprooted and paths in need of rerouting.


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Vagal Valley represents our Vagus nerve and the sign of a dysregulated response pattern. This is when we know it’s time to implement body-to-mind techniques.

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Duke and I taking in the valley at Glacier National Park.

Sometimes if you’re trapped in the valley, it’s best to let yourself flow with the body down the river, until your banks shorten to climb over to the forest. From here you can work on rebuilding your Vagal Bridge to safely cross the River of Reason and make it to the Fountain of You.

Representing a strong and healthy Vagus nerve, our Vagal Bridge is our connection between two worlds – mind and body. Your unique Vagal Bridge is a symbol of your regulation threshold, and ability for your nervous system to stay in rest and digest. If you look closely you’ll see the bridge is made from roots and trees that grow over from our Forest of Feels. This reflects on weaving our new belief systems into the nervous system, by communicating with the Vagus nerve directly.


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The Fountain of You represents our brain or mind in general, and self reflection. As we reach the fountain we see how the Waterfall of Why takes hold, sending the why ripples out (cause and effect) that radiate through our waters. 

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Celebrating the view at the top in Glacier National Park.

Move It Mountain is at the crown of the head and is a symbol of integration and our true spirit within. We often see rainbows on the mountain, signifying emotional breakthrough (as light finds its way through our emotional releases). This higher perspective also makes it easier to spot emotional storm systems coming in from the distance. Watch for snow or ice (frozen emotions) at this level, often in the form of arrogance, toxic positivity, or pride – slipping on this could send you right back down to Ego Island.


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