Who is Wes?
30 years I found myself compelled to evolve due to a personal crisis that was largely self-imposed.
I was living the way I knew how to live. The way I knew how to live at the time centered primarily on looking for people, circumstances, and anything external to myself to bring me a sense of peace and balance with Life. It was a recipe for self-abuse rather than self-respect.
No matter how much I accomplished, acquired, or ingested I was unable to find a sense of personal Peace. When I looked in the mirror, all I saw was what I felt I was not.
As so often happens, deconstruction precedes reconstruction. This was certainly true for me. My state of disillusionment and deterioration cracked me open just enough to find a willingness to change.
This change took the form of both learning and unlearning.
I found myself in the company of people who had suffered similar disillusionment and adopted equally maladapted survival skills. I soon found myself in the presence of a new teacher, a man who was willing to share the traditional practices and healing techniques he himself had been taught years prior.
As I began my apprenticeship with this man I found I was being forced to abandon old life skills and unlearn old habits. I would soon be given new tools to fill this void. These new skills would radically alter my life perspective and purpose.
This way of living has led me to a life of entrepreneurial adventure, creative freedom in the realm of music and writing, deeper relationships with loved ones, releasing toxic people and environments and perhaps most critically, being willing to risk who I perceived myself to be in order to become who I was created to be.
As a result of all this, I, along with my wife Victoria and on occasion our 9 pound hound Carly, have traveled the world from New Zealand to South Africa, to the UK and Mainland Europe, and all throughout the United States, sharing my experience via in person workshops, musical performances, and via the written word with the books I have authored. I have been blessed to write songs with Paul Williams, the Academy and Grammy winning legend, speak onstage at the 92Y in NYC, perform on stages around the world, and sit in the dirt while doing ceremony at a wide variety of locations across the globe as well as founding multiple companies, and even selling one or two. Every perceived success and failure has built this ongoing adventure of Life that I continue to explore.
I will meet you on the journey, however it is that we may chance to cross trails.......Walk In Beauty.
NOTE: People ask me about my heritage. This is an important and logical question given issues of cultural appropriation. I do not identify, nor do I ever represent myself, as a Native or Indigenous person. I was a taught by such people the things that I have then passed on to others, at their specific request that I do so. At no time ever do I charge fees for any ceremonial teaching. I will accept donations to defray the cost of travel or the expenses of any event, however there is no formal charge. I have made it a large part of my Life's work to do as I was asked by those who taught me. The request was simple; "Teach Others to Pray and Live as You have been taught." They asked me to remember that "you cannot steal what has been freely given to you". So I hold to this Integrity.
My family on my mother's side is from Oklahoma and while I have had blood relatives attend college on Native American scholarships, I have not been able to provide all the necessary documentation back to the Dawes rolls (I also acknowledge how the mere fact of these tribes having to "register" is an offense). Therefore I do not claim lineage to any of those tribes however much I may enjoy their culture and traditions, or however likely my ancestral connection. I have confirmed Ashkenazi heritage, along with a deep Irish, Scottish and German bloodline. In order to further distance myself from the repeated attacks I have faced for things as mundane as how I look or dress, I choose to braid what's left of my hair (I have always worn long hair whenever I could, from my teen years) in a Celtic fashion which is directly traceable to my confirmed personal lineage.
The traditions I was taught have their roots in the Mayan Peninsula, rather than the Southwestern US. While they share much in common with Plains Indian traditions, they also have some significant contradictions to those traditions. As I understand and hold true that all these various paths and traditional teachings are sacred, I adhere to teaching what I was taught, how I was taught it, and with the exception of a few songs that have been gifted by others to me and my community to sing in our prayer ceremonies, there is no mixing of traditions. To offer something to someone that I have neither been trained to do, nor given permission to give away, is disrespectful and I consider that also to be theft.
My Elders warned me I would be criticized, threatened, and judged for doing as they asked of me. They were correct. However, I have held to my commitment, honored all ways in large part by making sure I adhered specifically to the way I was shown, and made a lifetime of helping others find their footing on the trail of Life. If my work and my experience can aid you, it is there for you to access. All books and items that are offered here are essentially presented at or around cost, in order to continue to give away what it is that I was given to offer to others. I can resolutely testify that over the past 30 years my wife and I have dedicated a large part of our personal financial resources, and our time, which cannot be replaced, to this work without thought of profit or notoriety. We have been repaid many times over by the cherished friendships we have seen grow, an expanded sense of community with people from all over the world, and the opportunity to steadily witness the lives of so many transformed as they have come to share in the gift that we were given by our Teachers.
It is my hope that this calms any concerns about the material presented here, as well as clarifies the intent of the journey that I have been on, now entering its fourth decade.