Wendi Bernau (she/her)

Insatiable curiosity-driven wisdom seeker,
somatic healer and complex puzzler

Vitality – Where do I look when I’m seeking Vitality? 

For me, Vitality comes through discovery, learning and watching things grow. This applies to concrete entities like plants, people, and animals and also to the unseen world of psychic energy, the collective unconscious, and cultural rootedness. My (previously Christian) denominational history definitely reflects the shift from a knowledge-based way of understanding the world toward a wisdom-based path of interacting with the world. I still love to learn, but the focus of my attention has moved from collecting or organizing “factual” information to embodying and exploring experiences. As a result, my theology has shifted from doctrine, historical context and beliefs toward an embodied reality as experienced through meditation, body energy work and metaphor. My personal herstory has a lot of pain in it; much of my spiritual journey has been about healing wounds from the past. To me, Vitality is an integration of mind, body, spirit and emotions into a holistic wholeness that enlivens every aspect of life. It beckons me onward, inward, outward; it gives me hope. 

Mystery – What language do I use when talking about Mystery?

That’s up for grabs. I am well versed in using Christian language; I have multiple theological degrees as well as leadership and teaching experience in everything from the super-conservative evangelical tradition to the more progressive Mainline Christian traditions. My curiosity and experience of the unseen world extends beyond what the Christian denominations had offered me, and I personally don’t use that language anymore. I prefer to refer to Energy, Intuition, Nature, or Universe. I don’t think of an entity of ultimate power that either controls or guides everything, though I also don’t believe everything is random. I have long been fascinated with the Greek Pantheon archetypes. Aspects of Buddhism inspire me. There’s wisdom everywhere; I just have to be alert to it. As far as day-to-day belief, I find that I am most comfortable with the not-knowing of Mystery. There is something delightful and playful to me about its surprising nature. I love to be amazed – how can the Enneagram be so accurate about that? Why do the Tarot cards turn up this way – is it me, is it them, something else? Why do I feel more in my body when I do this exercise facing this direction instead of that one? Questions that lead to more questions are my favorite!!

Presence – In what practices do I engage to nurture Presence in my life? 

The practices I’m engaging regularly right now are Qigong (breathing and energy body work), meditation with images (often ones I’ve made myself), Tarot, Yoga and, because I believe that spiritual companioning and psychology go hand-in-hand, working with archetypes, parts, and trauma. My grandfather famously said, “Any job is easy if you have the right tools.” He was a tool-maker and I am a spiritualist, but the concept is the same. I like the structure of a process or guide and I collect and utilize various spiritual tools for myself as well as with those I companion. I desire to be mystical and also practical, and I find that I need a collection of practices that touch different aspects of my life: cognitive mind, physical body, emotions, energy, and third eye intuition. I also find great inspiration in visceral contact with the natural world (that is, the presence in earthiness). 

Moxie – How does my Moxie manifest itself (my specific passions and gifts)? 

I mentioned earlier that I’m a lifelong learner. I like to share what I’ve learned and find I am a natural and gifted teacher, mentor and coach. CliftonStrengths tells me my top five strengths are “Context, Learner, Achiever, Intellection, and Self-Assurance.” I’m an Enneagram SP 3, so that seems about right. My first higher degree is in orchestral conducting (my second is in theology and my third is in ministry) and as both a musician, an artist and a leader, I have found that helping people to reach a goal or to find themselves capable of going beyond what they thought possible lights my fire. I identify as an alchemist and I believe I’m on the planet to cultivate introspective wisdom in myself and in others; in other words: to raise the collective consciousness of the world, and to be an agent of healing, wholeness and empowerment. As a puzzler, I love finding patterns, fitting seemingly disparate pieces together into a cohesive whole, and resolving the parts of complex spatial and relational systems. My heart is drawn toward those who have been badly hurt and those who want to do something about it. Sometimes those are united in one person, sometimes not. I want to do the work with you, but I can’t do it for you.

Want more info? Check out Wendi’s personal website: creativepractices.org

Contact Wendi at wendi@wayfaringcompanions.org

Dr Wendi Bernau
BA, MM, MDiv, DMin, Heartpaths, iEQ9 Accredited Enneagram Coach 
Artist, Facilitator, Spiritual Director, Visual Coach/Process Professional
Co-Founder, Wayfaring Companions spiritual companioning training
Awards and achievements: Wendi's LinkedIn Profile
Wendi’s graphic novel