Embodying Prayer and Soul Activism: A Conversation With Nan Seymour

Embodying Prayer and Soul Activism

In this beautiful conversation, I speak to poet, facilitator, and soul activist Nan Seymour, who also happens to be one of my dearest friends.

We take as a springboard for our conversation Nan’s recently published book of poems called prayers not meant for heaven.

Nan weaves several of her poems throughout the conversation and they’re beautiful.

We talk about bio-cultural restoration, about the importance of writing and reading during these times, about the importance of praise, and noticing the ways in which we’re awestruck.

We also share a very candid discussion about Nan’s love of Jesus as her first radical social justice teacher. There’s so much goodness and inspiration here and I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did!

You can order Nan’s book here 

You can read and/or participate in Nan’s poetic project in support of Great Salt Lake here.

You can learn more and sign up for a session of River Writing here

And you’ll find much more inspiration at Nan’s website here.

Nan mentions our shared mentor Deena Metzger.

And our recent podcast with Deena can be found here.

You can take a virtual tour of the church we talked about here – watch the video showing you all the radical dancing saints!


Here’s a little more about Nan in her own words:

“I provide narrative encouragement.

In 2015 I created River Writing to foster voice and authentic connection. I delight in how this practice challenges the tyranny of perfectionism and breaks through walls of isolation.

I’ve led scores of oral storytelling workshops for people from all walks of life. Everyone has stories no one else can tell. I’m devoted to helping folks find, shine, and share them. We never know who our stories are for. I believe in saying the truest things we can say.

My debut poetry collection, prayers not meant for heaven has recently been published by Toad Hall Editions. The poems, written primarily during the pandemic, are prayers meant for the earth and for each other. I hope they will vine around us here on the ground, leaving us more knowingly and gladly intertwined.

Count me deeply smitten with life in all forms including scrub oak forests, vultures, and wild violets. I’m currently writing about the imperiled ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake, my near neighbor. I’m deeply concerned about the future life of stromatolites, brine shrimp, brine flies, and the entire feathered citizenry of the Pacific Coast flyway. I’m praying with my pen, writing about the lake with the hope that we will cease diverting her waters in time.

The chambers of my heart are occupied by my daughter Beatrice, my love Mustafa, River Writers, and Sophie, my border collie/lab companion. I’m devoted to community and dare to hope that our collective participation in human evolution is tipping the balance of the cosmos towards kindness and even love.”

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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.