Kaua‘i educator and author connects people to natural environment

When the physical body is injured and sick, our mood and outlook is effected. It may be a simple leap to imagine the outer reality affects our inner reality, but Kaua‘i resident and author Ann Marie Holmes has taken that notion and extended it, linking the effects of the built environment on our physiology and psychology. In her new book “Earth Spirit Living: Bringing Heaven and Nature into your home,” Holmes incorporates eastern practices and modern western concepts to address common — and not so common — living challenges.

Holmes has been teaching people how to live more effective, balanced and happy lives by awakening their notions of how their living environment affects them. Drawing on a broad knowledge in esoteric studies of energy, quantum physics, as well as intuition, Holmes helps people tap into the “dynamic, intelligent and interactive” Earth energies that surround us. “Through client stories, anecdotes, visualizations, exercises and specific tips, this book offers ways to hone our instincts and deepen our ability to work with these energies in our home, backyard, and workplace, in both urban and rural environments,” states Holmes in a recent press release.

Holmes is new to Kaua‘i, having moved to the island solely based on a “deep calling I felt,” she said. “I walked out of the airport with my husband, and all the bells and whistles just went off. I told him, we’re moving here.”

Holmes transition to Kaua‘i was a major time of transformation, as she and her husband had lived and cultivated a piece of land in Oregon that was very important to Holmes, both personally and for her work.

“I needed to move here, it was time to leave Oregon, to let it go. I never imagined I would, but cycles end, and it was time,” she said.

This was the third time Holmes felt a deep calling to move major locales in her life, the first time was to the famed Findhorn community in Scotland in the mid ‘70s. It was at Findhorn, a mecca for studies in sustainable living and green building that Holmes saw her career path, and began studying design techniques that enhance space and foster a relationship with the natural environment.

“Findhorn stimulated a deep inner-calling and inspired a life that could be truly holistic. I grew up in a very conservative family and so these things were very foreign to me, and yet somehow deeply familiar. Findhorn cultivates a respect for every living thing — I thought I was going to work in the garden for two weeks, but I became a member a year later and actually lived there.” Holmes said.

Moving to Kaua‘i, Holmes feels she has found a very fertile place to work. “There is a vertical depth here, I feel I’m in the center of things.” Holmes said. “And this land has a very tangible power and availability to anyone who respects it. I feel I am just getting to know it…I am taking my time to get my feet firmly planted here.”

Holmes has created a career from trusting her own sense of site-specific life-force and energy and while this sounds subjective, she has been contracted by companies that can’t complete construction on certain land parcels, or individuals who need help in designing harmonious spaces, educating people to decipher the energy around them and making life-saving changes that improve productivity and psychological health for her clients.

The new resident senses the turbulent moment in Kaua‘i’s development but feels the ancient wisdom here is available for those who are willing to listen, “This island keeps reminding me that cycles complete, life goes on, don’t sweat the little things. The current strife is good in a way, it helps people wake up, tells them it’s time to respect the history and acknowledge the patterns.” She said. Holmes mentioned she often is called upon to work during times of strife, either for an entire community, company or individual, and “it is these times that it is most important to pay attention to the history, respect it. These patterns and lineage’s need to be honored and taken it to account into the envisioning of the new.”

Holmes looks forward to working with all residents — “I find the ripple effect of working with one group or family is quite real. Just by opening the sensory organs up to these more subtle things, everything is affected.” She said. “We don’t have much space in our overly busy lives to talk about the spaces we live in every day. We have so much change, there is a real opportunity to work more gracefully with our environment and our life.”

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