Folks We Love with Sophie Ward, author
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
I was born in Perth Australia and grew up on the white beaches and red earth of that ancient land. I began modeling at 15 but quit to focus on school and my Arts degree. I moved to New York at 22 where I wrote my heart out for three years, self-published a book and met my twin flame, also an Australian! (I asked the universe to send me some signs to lead me to my one true love, and it worked!) We now live in California with our son in a gorgeous mountain town we adore.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Julius is 3 in May and Anais the puppy is almost 4 months old. They are a handful together…
How did you choose your kids names?
I intuitively knew I was having a boy early on. We went through all the name lists and couldn’t think of anything we liked for a very long time. Towards the end we were between Arlo and Julius. We love that Julius is unusual but classic. Jules is the jewel in our crown. As for the puppy, she’s named after the renegade writer Anais Nin.
Author, Mother, Certified Wellness Mentor & Shamanic practitioner.
What’s on your manifest board?
A trip to Peru in January 2018. Sacred plant medicine ceremonies. Deeper study of Native American herbalism. Hawaii! And sometime a second child….
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
Soaking in the hot springs, plunging in the ice cold creeks, being barefoot at home, hiking in majestic Matilija Canyon, being with our extended family cooking, drinking wine and laughing till we cry.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Julius likes to play the guitar and sing Beatles songs, or Hallelujah, which he often asks (our robot) Alexa to play for him. In Ojai we have a famous ‘pink moment’ on the mountains when the sun sets. Julius thinks we are referring to the clouds, so if there are any pink clouds in the sky on a given evening, he’ll excitedly point ‘too many pink moments!!!!!’
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
I dreamed of love….. I really did. I had deep and intense crushes on boys – a kind of longing for companionship that actually got me writing poetry. It was an ancient kind of desire that served me well on the page. I am so grateful for the fact that I found the love I was looking for.
What are some things you really believe in?
I believe in the power of gentle loving awareness in the healing process. I believe in the power of intuition to guide us on our path. I believe in guardian spirits and guides who assist us when we call on them (but only when we call on them.) I believe in the light within humanity, and also that we are evolving through necessary darkness and contrast.
Where do your passions lie?
Shamanism. The study, practice and experience of this ancient navigational tool of living has altered my life in profound ways. I am passionate about sharing the truth of the most powerful healing methods available to us, and the direct experience I have of powers and energies greater than us, greater than we can imagine. I am particularly interested in the wisdom of the Q’ero nation of the Andes in Peru – their mystic cosmology is profoundly simple and profoundly wise.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Definitely. We are so much stronger. There have been some rocky times – moving to LA from our peaceful river valley just outside of New York (where Jules was born) was really hard for me. We weathered the storms and stayed fiercely focused on the bigger picture of us – it got us through and now we love each other more than ever.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
Oh my goddess. The beauty of stepping back is really rich. I am someone who wants to go go go and create endlessly, but stepping back and letting go of my grand visions (for now) has served me well. I feel better when my life is infused with simplicity, groundedness, earth ceremony, an all embracing peace.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
You are so beautiful just the way you are. You are a fluid, ever changing being, growing and unfolding into an incredible flower. Be gentle and kind with yourself, do what you LOVE, and nothing else. The time is spent best in this place.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Our competing desires and goals really push me to become a great juggler. I also find it hard to reinstate ways of respectfully speaking to my son that are different to the cultural norm and the way I was raised. For example we really try not to say ‘good boy’ or overly praise Julius for doing the things we want him to do (or not to do) – I want to raise a person who is finely attuned to their own inner guidance and not just groomed to follow the ‘right’ path doing the right thing all the time. I suffered through intense anorexia for three years before I learned how to listen to my own guidance and I don’t want to my kids to have to go through anything like that. If he tells me “NO mum I want to do it this way!” I feel proud and want to continue fostering that sense of independence and sovereignty.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
I want my children to learn that the world is a fluid and ever-changing place – that what may seem to be so, isn’t always. I want them to know the earth as an astoundingly precious, living, pulsing, harmonious space that we must steward responsibly from the heart.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
iPhone. Kitchen. Nature. My lover. Growing up in Western Australia.