Voice Opening in Oz

Sharing in song brings me such joy and purpose.


We humans used to sing for everything- for births and deaths, for the rising of the sun and moon, for rain and crops and health and life. Our voices are a powerful tool and it is our brith-right to make music and express energy through our voices.

It's only in recent human history that we decided only certain people are allowed to sing... that you need to sound a particular way to have permission to use your voice... that one must apologize for not sounding the same as others. I love to hear others voices rise up, without fear or restraint, to celebrate and grieve and process and sing for the sake of singing.

Over the past few weeks, I've had some of the most incredible moments of unexpected, 'in the moment' shared song. During a recent breathwork in Copper Harbor, I sang "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, and the circle of women spontaneously joined in- our voices sang loud and strong to the universe in celebration of breath and life. A week later I sat on the couch playing the same song for my dear friend Ang (who has previously proclaimed to NOT SING around people), and she unexpectedly joined her voice with mine, loud and clear and beautiful… afterwards sharing how safe she felt in that vulnerability and joy of song, and how amazing it was to open up those vibrations in her body. It is so healing!


Today I achieved one of my biggest goals in Australia, when my niece Eclectus parrot Kokoda began singing along with me while I played this same song. I've heard Kokoda sing on video before, and have been playing music for her every day here in hopes she would open up and join me. Sure enough, today she joined in and her voice melted my heart through! Hers is the Elmo-sounding voice in the video below (by the time we got the video, I was playing a different Sarah song, but had to still share in the cuteness)

Sharing in the healing vibrations of song is one of my greatest joys in life. The birds know, and are here to remind us, as they sing the dawn every day in celebration of life and joy on this earth.

Love from Australia & keep singing friends…I’m surrounded by parrots and completely in my element!

I arrived to the future (to Brisbane, Australia) earlier this week, and my dear friend Lee has been taking care of me, along with her 3 beautiful birds- Inca (not pictured, she won’t sit still long enough), Kokoda (the red and blue Eclectus) and Maya (the giant red and rainbow chicken). We also visited Bird World, a parrot sanctuary outside of Brisbane. Cockatoo snuggles are my favorite! Saturday night we went to Eat Street, which is like a weekly food and music carnival in the city.

Join us tomorrow for Breathwork from the Future! Sunday October 13th at 7:30pm EST. Music on the harmonium, lots of safety and love, and donation based! Click here to sign up.

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Hello, World!

The Famous Dany Cockatoo, Unplugged

As we step the stones of this incredible journey towards our next big adventure, Dany Cockatoo & I wrapped up amazing Michigan visits with some time downstate in Lansing. It was a quick visit, and wonderful reconnection with beautiful friends.

We stopped in to Preuss Pets, where I met Dany 6 years ago. While wandering through the store, the owners daughter approached us to ask about my new tattoo (since it’s so realistic to Dany!) We got to talking further, and she ended up asking us to do a Facebook Live video, and then 2 segments of a radio interview! It was so cool to reconnect and share about parrot advocacy, and the unique soul that Dany is. Dany was also recently featured in an Australian article by my amazing friend Lee Stone on Cooperative Care for parrots (pictured below). She is getting more famous by the day!

The next leg of our journey brought us to southeastern Columbus, Ohio. Here is Dany’s place to settle for now, with our incredible soul sister Angoisse. She resides in a true “Narnia” of a home on 4 acres of beautiful lush property complete with a chicken coop, an aviary for the parrots, and a 5 bedroom 1840’s home. Living here with Angi are her 2 cockatoos, Sassy & Ruggles, and her Belgian Malinois, Mera.

Angi and I connected almost 2 years ago through the “teaching your parrot how to read” online class led by Jennifer Cunha of My Reading Pets. The course and her research focuses on giving animals a voice in their world, teaching them consent and phonics so that they can communicate about their experiences and preferences with their caretakers.

Angi and I connected through a mutual love of parrots, some amazing breathwork sessions and a good dose of humor & compassionate sharing. When I felt the inspiration to come on this journey to New Zealand, she immediately offered her home and heart to care for Dany and continue her lessons on phonics and consent. Dany is now officially at boarding school, and has already learned letters A, B & E in her first lesson!

One of the biggest urges I’ve felt around this journey is to temper my addiction to screen time. The first step has been in disconnecting my cell phone, with intent to avoid having a smart phone when I land overseas. The shift has been immediate, noticeable and so relieving. I suddenly find myself being so present with everyone, during meals and when traveling in the car. I no longer grab my device out of my pocket every 5 minutes, and am even feeling the urge to start songwriting again now that I have the spare brain space. I am really excited to see where that piece of my journey takes me… unplugging, so I can really connect again!

Snuggles with Ruggles!

Snuggles with Ruggles!

In the midst of all this magic, we are continuing our online breathwork sessions… this past Sunday we had an incredible group gather via Zoom and share in conscious, connected space. I’ve decided to offer one more stateside session before my flight next week. Join us Sunday, October 6th at 7:30pm EST for healing and heart-centering. (please RSVP for the link)

The next scheduled session after that is in Brisbane, Australia at the Shakti Meditation Center, 7pm local time!

That’s all for now… until next time xoxo

Copper Harbor- at the edge of the world

Hello sweet friends! I swear a year must have passed this last week. Such a beautiful whirlwind since Dany Cockatoo & I drove across the country to Copper Harbor, Mi- my first chosen home, where I spent my childhood summers and 7 amazing full years after moving from my parent’s house in downstate Michigan.

Copper Harbor is a magical place- situated at the northernmost tip of Michigan, in the Keweenaw Peninsula, surrounded by Lake Superior (the largest freshwater lake on earth) and home to approximately 100 year round residents (we counted 86 back in the day, tho a few have added on in the years since, keeping one of the nation’s last “one-room-schoolhouses” running). 

Dany Cockatoo sure loves spending time with all her friends here!

My days here have been so full and heart-centered. Some of my closest, most inspirational and life-long friends are in this tiny town…

Amanda Wais of Copper Harbor Vitality has written a few amazing books (as well as her blog about living here with her son Braeden, who is blessed with Downs Syndrome and the biggest heart I’ve ever known). Amanda is a dancer, a hardcore mountain biker chick, an amazing listener & the most incredible mama. We spent the weekend howling at the full moon & giggling a LOT.

Johanna Davis owns, runs and lives at Spirit of the North Wellness Center, an incredible oasis of massage & healing inside the cordwood house that she built in the heart of the harbor. She also assists her family with running the Minnetonka Resort, a historical harbor asset with a beautiful gift shop and cabins to rent. Johanna was the first person to give me a professional massage over 10 years ago, and has encouraged me throughout my life to pursue my dreams and be true to my guidance. I was so blessed to spend the weekend in her beautiful home (where I once roomed with her) cooking all sorts of food, sharing heart space and hosting conscious breathwork for the community. 

I got to be with my MOM this weekend! We kayaked on Lake Superior, had a campfire at historical Fort Wilkins State Park, and sang along with the harmonium in her new beautiful camper “Matilda”. It’s always so sacred to share space with my mama, who has supported every step of my journey and taught me what true unconditional love and support feels like. I’m inspired by her ability to navigate the ups and downs of a mobile, flexible life in her 60s… this woman is always on the go, and one of the most powerful manifestors I’ve ever known.

Her special request when I came to town was to cook her favorite Vegetarian Ethiopian Feast with Injera… I happily obliged and ended up spending the better part of 3 days in the kitchen, feeding my loved ones!

My favorite part of this visit to Copper Harbor (the place of my childhood, my first explorations of connecting to Spirit, and some of my earliest lessons on consciousness) is coming back with the tools I spent the last few years gathering. Bringing conscious breathwork to this community was a deep, soul affirming experience. One spur-of-the-moment session with Amanda, Johanna and my Mom quickly led to the request for a second group session (with 7 in attendance) and is now calling for a third (planned for Friday September 20th, 11:30am at Spirit of the North). To see the powerful response and transformation that lays itself open in this practice continues to humble and astound me at every turn. Breathwork feels to me to be the stuff of life purpose- the reason for coming to this earth- the absolute key to living fully and in the present moment. 

Subscribe to my blog to keep updated on future sessions online (and perhaps coming to a studio near you!)

Until next time…

“… We get one life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”

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Farewell (for now) Steamboat Springs...

“I am more afraid of avoiding my path than walking it..."

What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been! After 4 years in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO, I have successfully packed up what's left of my belongings (after some intensive space-clearing!) and said goodbye-for-now to this majestic mountain town.

This last week I had some of the best times yet in the 'boat. Dany Cockatoo & I parked Althea RV parked next to the entrance of Howelsen Hill on Sunday for the final event for this season's Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series.I had been looking forward to this show all summer- a line-up of Bonfire Dub, Billy Strings, and (my personal favorite local band) Buffalo Commons! We often joke that these summer concerts are our semi-regular "town-meetings" because it seems everyone in Steamboat shows up for great music, tasty refreshments & the chance to boogy with their neighbors.

These guys always crush it- a Steamboat favorite!

These guys always crush it- a Steamboat favorite!

The fun continued with lots of friends visiting our wonderful home in Althea RV- a 41 year old Dodge Jamboree Rallye motorhome that Dany & I have spent the last 15 months living in full time. We closed her up and left her in the care of an amazing friend in Steamboat... until we meet again, old girl!

Our blessings continued as we spent Monday evening soaking up the Alpenglow on Lake Catamount. How had we not done this sooner? Amazing friends, gorgeous views, and a bald eagle sighting to cap off our wonderful evening. Tuesday was paddle-boarding on Pearl Lake & an over-the-top vegan Taco Tuesday complete with cauliflower-walnut taco "meat" and cashew cheese (mmmmmm....)

So, if life in Steamboat is so freaking perfect right now, why are we leaving? The truth is that I found myself at the absolute summit of all I have ever asked to manifest in Steamboat- living freely in an RV, working for myself in a successful massage & breathwork practice, surrounded by amazing friends and support... and I realized that, when you find yourself in peak experience, then that is the time to really follow whatever instinct or calling you hear. Rather than waiting for stagnation or a downslope to set in, what would it look like to keep your momentum and flow, even if it means letting go of all attachment to the current magical manifestations that you've already called into your life?

This journey is about trusting spirit and inner guidance. It is about remembering that it is our birthright to be happy, free & supported. There is no limitation to abundance, and it will continue to show up in unexpected, magical ways wherever we walk.

So here we go, flying off to see what shows up next, surrendering to the will of the universe, and trusting each step in the process.

Until next time, sweet friends. xoxo Rachel & Dany Cockatoo

"The cost of not following your heart is spending the rest of your life wishing that you had..."