We believe life is sacred and WEMS was created to help, heal, and honor ourselves, our beautiful planet and all manifestations of life. Through social media, blogging, private consultations and nature inspired educational opportunities we address what we consider the three pillars of personal and planetary health and well-being: Earth, Spirit, and Ecology. With these pillars in mind, our services are designed to help others deepen their connection to the natural world, develop their inner resources through nature-based spiritual practice, and provide educational opportunities that encourage biodiversity and ecological landscape restoration using native plants where people live, work, and play.
Earth is our collective home. The Earth Mother provides for our every need. She inspires us with her beauty. She knows how to live in balance and harmony. We can learn much from her through observation, connection, and communication with nature.
Spirit is the essence that animates all of creation. Everything is alive, sacred, and infused with spirit. Spirit is our essential nature. We can tap into essential nature for guidance, wisdom, love, and a multitude of divine qualities and share them with the world.
Everything is connected. Every life form serves a purpose. We are in a relationship with the natural world. One thing affects another and actions have a cascading effect. When we stop to consider how our choices and actions affect all those in our sphere of influence, we have an opportunity to make conscious and life-supporting decisions.
Do you consider yourself a nature lover?
Are you disturbed and sadden by the continued destruction of the natural world?
Would you like to make the world a better place by being a better Earth steward?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, we invite you to be part of our heart-felt effort to leave the world a better place than we found it.
Together we can create a world governed by love, harmony, and beauty!
We believe all life is sacred and deserves to be happy and free.
We believe that everything and everyone serves a purpose.
We believe we are a reflection of the land and the land reflects our actions.
We believe that we humans cannot be truly healthy if our planet is not healthy.
We believe that nature holds the keys to our personal and collective health and well-being.
We believe we can heal ourselves with regular contact with nature.
We believe we can restore our broken spirits when we realize that everything is alive and we are one with all of creation.
We believe we can restore our landscapes with native plants as a focus; the only plants which truly support local wildlife.
We believe you don’t have to leave home to have a great nature experience.
We believe we can build living landscapes that support life for generations to come.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
- Jane Goodall
Joan ‘Taj’ Leppla, M.Ed., nature-based educator and healing arts practitioner
Taj brings 30 plus years of holistic education and nature-based healing experience. She spent many years in the corporate world as a computer programmer/analyst and found that sitting indoors at a desk all day was unnatural and, actually, soul-killing. This realization culminated in leaving her job and starting a part-time computer consulting business. Doing this gave her the freedom to learn about natural health and healing and, more importantly, to spend regular time outdoors observing and communing with nature.
Today, nature is one of Taj’s greatest allies and teachers. She enjoys inspiring others to build conscious relationships with the natural world and to expand appreciation for the wildlife we share the land with via nature outings, classes and workshops.
Taj’s conviction is that most, if not all, of our problems stem from individual and global disconnection from the natural world. She is convinced that nature, both within and without, holds the keys to our personal and collective health and well-being. And, if we desire to move toward balance and harmony–we must consciously reweave ourselves into the Web of Life.
Why did I name my business ‘Where Earth Meets Spirit’ and what exactly does this mean?
The name WEMS is meant to capture the mysterious process of being and becoming one’s true potential especially in context of the larger reality, the Web of Life itself. Let’s take a look at each word before putting them all together.
‘Where’ implies a place. I will get back to this in a minute.
‘Earth’ is, of course, the planet we live in. I say ‘in’ because Earth is a biosphere that includes the atmosphere surrounding this physical globe. We live within this biosphere which is, of course, part of the larger cosmos. Earth also represents one’s physical body, a microcosm of the planet and all that is happening to the planet.
‘Meets’ implies a place; in this case the intersection where Earth (matter) meets spirit. In many spiritual traditions, the subtle heart is said to be this meeting place. This is a ‘place’ we carry within, or we could say this ‘place’ carries us, and has the potential to hold all realities. The subtle heart is the ‘where’ of WEMS.
‘Spirit’ is life; that mysterious force that animates all of creation.
So, ‘Where Earth Meets Spirit’ is a way of describing the subtle heart. This phrase is meant to capture the power and potential of heart-centered living and particularly in harmony with nature as the tagline reads. WEMS is a place as well as a way of being and becoming in the world.
“There is a place where earth meets spirit…from whence this occurs opportunity abounds and essence is revealed…we become portals of being, bringing love, compassion, beauty, and a multitude of divine qualities into this world.”
As this quote suggests, we humans are here in Earth to bring something of the realms beyond our ordinary senses into the light of this material world. The more you can attune yourself to the subtle heart and eventually the heart of hearts, the ‘big heart’, the more love and light you can consciously embody and radiate. And the more you realize this, the more you realize the world is held together by love and you understand and experience that all life is essential and inextricably connected. There truly is no separation.
For example, on a practical level, we cannot separate the clouds from the hydrosphere any more than we can separate either from the water we drink and the water that makes up the majority of our physical body. In fact, our flesh links us to everything we encounter in our outer life as well as our inner life. We are literally linked to everything via the receptacle of our physical bodies; we have an inherent relationship with all of life whether we realize it or not. And now nature is speaking loudly, showing us the imbalance that flows from our thoughts and actions, reflected in the Earth and ultimately in our bodies.
WEMS also recognizes that every atom of the universe is imbued with the Divine, the breath of God, the Spirit of the Creator, that which animates all life. Intelligence pervades every life form which directs its purpose. We’ve been given this place as a gift to care for, yet, we have disconnected ourselves from nature. And though the fragmentation of the natural world is evident, and our role in this is clear, we can certainly rebuild and reweave the fabric of the planet beginning by creating a living tapestry of love, light, and peace. Then we can love nature back into the fold of our concern and care. This love can be utilized to build a sustainable world where all life can not only survive, but, thrive.
So just like our hearts, planet Earth—our common home—is a place where matter and spirit converge. In fact, the words Earth and heart interestingly share the exact same letters! They are both meeting places that must be cultivated and cared for if we wish to create a world governed by love, harmony and beauty. And, if we desire to move toward balance and come together in unity-–our personal and collective healing must include a conscious reweaving of ourselves into the Web of Life.
I am not Catholic. Yet, I find Pope Francis’ prayer to be universal in nature (pun intended) and find it captures the essence of WEMS. We would do well to heed his call as expressed in this prayer.
Prayer for Our Earth ~ Pope Francis
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.