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Karen Speerstra

Sophia Serve
48 Clay White Hill Road
Randolph Center, Vermont 05061, USA


Karen with her son, Joel

What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

“How might I continue to speak my own truth in love, and help others find their authentic voices so that together, our inner selves come alive?"

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

My experience of collective wisdom as work has grown out of various mentoring techniques based upon my earlier training to teach high school English, speech, art and theater. By working in the corporate world of book publishing, I have been professionally exposed to various business techniques and models. By working closely with Mitch Saunders and Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, I have grown comfortable with circle work as well as The World Café work. By spending three years painting with four other women in Cambridge, I learned deep team techniques by improvising and painting over one another’s brush strokes to create truly collaborative works of art similar to jazz combos. By eldering in groups, with those more experienced in tapping into their own wisdom, such as Anne Dosher, I have learned much about group wisdom as well as encouraging the growth of my own. I have an on-going thirst for insights into my own creativity and how I might best co-create with others. I read and am energized by writing about various eclectic topics including all things Jungian, particularly related to myth, to ancient mystery centers, to sacred sites. I do labyrinth work (the photo here shows our older son, Joel, and I marking out our south meadow Vermont labyrinth) I am engaged by Rudolph Steiner’s teachings; I am comfortable with Christian ritual and liturgy recognizing its group wisdom and power when we connect with the unseen half of our world and I continue to deepen my experiences with women and the Christian (Sophia) path as it relates to all spiritual paths. I have been a part of several on-going women’s circles and have used collective wisdom-sharing techniques, such as the Café process, with local as well as larger venue church groups.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

“Believing that we are, indeed, One Body, then what affects me profoundly also affects you; when I grow, you grow, when I stretch, you stretch, and when I stagnate, so do you. When I hurt, so do you. When I rejoice, so do you. When I learn, you learn.”

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

Ever since I read the most books in my second grade class, and received as a prize, a hardcover edition of Pinocchio, I have valued the written word. As a free lance writer and subsequently an editor/publisher I saw, early on, the power latent in all words—written, spoken, sung, or thought. I also recognized that this power must be coupled with responsibility as it relates to my own as well as to our collective consciousness raising. I've spent the better part of my life word-smithing and marveling at how my own words, as well as those I help to midwife, relate to the Larger Word: Logos. I'm convinced our collective earth-journey takes place in bodies and minds infused with spirit/soul stitched together over time in our evolution with many layers of co-created words. After choosing to leave the corporate world of book publishing after nearly 20 years, I am now the sole operator of a Vermont business I call "Sophia Serve," a publishing-coaching business operating primarily on-line. I work in a variety of ways, including as a thought partner/writer/editor with selected clients who wish to share a mentoring experience through the writing/publishing process for either print results, group work or on-line web-work. While with Butterworth-Heinemann, a division of the then, Reed-Elsevier, now Elsevier Science, I served as an Executive Director and Publisher as well as editor/creator of a line of transformative business books.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I am happy to correspond with people primarily through the Internet.

Links to this site or others:

Hunab-Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit


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