Laurie discovered her work in alternative outdoor learning and restorative communication circles in 2003 at a Rediscovery Cultural Outdoor Education program in the Canadian Rockies where she was inspired by and practiced the philosophy: "Drawing on the teachings of Indigenous peoples and the wisdom of the Elders, with a philosophy of love and respect for each other and the earth. Rediscovery seeks to empower youth of all ages to discover the world within themselves, the world between cultures and the natural world” (http://rediscovery.org/).
Laurie values the practice of restorative practices in elementary schools' outdoor learning programs and enjoys assisting teachers, students and administrators in crossing curriculum strands through experiential learning outdoors. As an Early Childhood Educator (RECE) and restorative communication coach in the outdoor classroom, she opens doors of opportunity for the practice of self regulation, empathy and restorative communication skill-building which produces positive mental health benefits for all involved. She introduces restorative communication as a core routine in the outdoor classroom community to assist in the development of a holistic, supportive school environment. Laurie also hosts restorative communication and outdoor education workshops for Early Childhood Educators to encourage experiential practice of academic sharing circles in the classroom to engage students in the circle's restorative process.
Elementary School Circle Facilitation: Laurie co-facilitated a two year gradual release Restorative Communication Program in a rural elementary school which led to a Lanark County Community Justice partnership in building a restorative circle classroom and spiral peace garden on the school playground. Designing a curriculum-based cardinal direction outdoor classroom to diversify the playground with native perennials motivated students and teachers to learn outdoors.
Bereavement Communication Coach/Circle Facilitator: Laurie holds space for the bereaved in communication circles with Lanark County Home Support Services' hospice 7 week Bereavement programs. For more information contact: http://www.chslc.ca/.
As a musician, Laurie enriches the circle communication process with musical sound bathing experiences to assist in holding space for relaxation self-care and interoception. She incorporates flute, guitar and singing bowl accompaniment in bereavement circles, outdoor education circles and in Death Doula Grief Ceremonies (https://info.consciousdyinginstitute.com/).
She practices at MERA House in McDonalds Corners and Balance Within Studio (Carleton Place).
Presently, Laurie lives with her family in McDonald's Corners where they practice Permaculture Ethics- Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share- on an old 100 acre homestead in the heart of Lanark Highlands. Laurie and family are focused on growing some of their own food, understanding weeds (as guardians of the earth), chop and drop, compost, dynamic accumulators, foraging, fermentation, exploring food forest design strategies, hardy perennial polyculture garden beds, fruit and nut trees and the multiple layer planting to increase plant-guild diversity that promotes self regulation and ecological stability.