Once Upon a Clown…
In a land not so far away…
I began my quest for heart medicine in my late teens and early twenties (1996-2004) quite intuitively, convinced that my diagnosis with an anxiety disorder and depression had a way through. In the year 2000, I had the utter joy of experiencing a clown class in a year long university theatre course. I felt as if someone had lit a magic candle inside my soul. I savoured the taste of the class for weeks, but if theatre was on my comfort edge (it was at the time), the pursuit of clowning was a galaxy far, far away. It stayed there until 2013. I had been living in Montreal since 2008, where I steeped myself in energy work and theatre/dance trainings every chance I got. In the winter of 2013, I found myself in another bout of rough cycling anxiety and depression. I started to pray for guidance, and to my bewilderment, the Clown Day and Night Dreams began.
Sometimes I would see words, like those pulled behind an airplane… ecology… clowning… storytelling. I would write them down, not knowing how they went together. One night I had a dream that I opened the door to receive a client for energy work, only to find I was wearing a tutu and a lamp shade on my head! This led me to pursue trainings in inner clowning, and I was struck by the depth of physical, emotional, psychological, and creative teachings that I could mine and play out on stage. A year later, I began an interdisciplinary doctorate in inner clowning and nature as a world view.
I am a Scots-settler, raised in southern Alberta and the west coast / Nakoda and Lekwungen territories, with century-long roots in the Ontario Niagara and Maritimes regions / Anishinaabe and Mi’kmaw territories. From 2006-2008, I learned about organic farming and seed saving from Dan Jason at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga. I carried these learnings forward to later trainings in permaculture design and collaborations with a number of collective gardens, ecovillages, and community farming projects in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and BC.
In 2015, during the second year of my doctorate, I followed my intuition to rural Nova Scotia to be deeper in relationship with land and my maritime ancestry. In parallel with the practice and psychology of inner clowning, I steeped myself in nature as a world view from both my Gaelic ancestral perspectives and from Anishinaabe and Mi’kmaw cultural teachings. Other than the parallel gifts of cultural and personal healing that I believed both practices offered, I didn’t have an honest to goddess clarity about the bridge between the two.
This came after my graduation when I undertook a clown teaching and performance mentorship with Nayana Fielkov while engaging in somatic trauma resolution counselling and healing groups. I was struck by the parallels between these somatic practices and inner clowning. As part of the clown mentorship, we conducted a pilot research project called Clowns in the Woods. We played with emulation-conversations with various other-than-human beings in the forests and fields of Salt Spring Island. A practice of mind-body-heart-spirit co-living with the earth.
In 2020, I moved to the Kootenays and added my name to the waitlist for a somatic psychology training program. I am currently expanding Clowns in the Woods and bioregional eating projects with the questions:
How could play with all our relations support personal psychological development?
What does it mean to practice bioregional eating as a settler on Indigenous lands?
“I feel without baggage” – Alison
“You led us gently into vulnerability. I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this. And then I did it!” – Holly
“Megan was so disarming that it was easy to be comfortable with her participatory games, which helped us all relax and enjoy the sensations she made us aware of. For me, it was a shedding of that adult membrane that protects me from stupid people stuff but also prevents me from experiencing the world as a child does.” – Niki
“Megan’s sensibility and deep research for her PhD combine to create a heart opening and inspirational workshop. I left feeling very happy in my heart and lucky to “walk to the wall” with clowns holding a sacred space.” -Lisa Marie
“That was one of the best things I’ve done.” -Kaylee
“Continue the great work and thank you for the session. It definitely helped me ‘shift’ to a better place.” – Lynne
“It’s really therapeutic what you do. Certain parts of me were held and heard, which makes all of me flow better. Very cathartic. My heart feels full.” – Nika
“YOU ROCK! I love your events! I will definitely attend the next one that you hold here at Nan’s Rock Shop!” – Carol Layton, Nan’s Rock Shop, Wilmot, NS