Tess Howell

Tess Howell runs Wild Moves events taking people dancing outdoors in areas of outstanding natural beauty using silent disco. She is a Buddhist Eco Chaplain, Arts Producer, Rites of Passage Guide and accomplished writer.

Website: wildmoves.org
Website: patreon.com/wisdomandwonder
Instagram: @tesswildmoves

Diary 2024

Ritual means simply to mark a moment. It is a set of actions made to give meaning, to honour a threshold, to hold something of significance. Humans hold ritual, and yet in many ways ritual holds us - it can act as a container for the human heart, as a time designated to honour whatever happened.

Ritual works best when it is a living thing - a living, breathing, enlivening process that a whole community can take part in. That we can literally step into and move through; a thing that will literally change our position and perspective.

It is no chance that all of these words are movement metaphors - ritual changes things, moves them on. Ritual can be super simple: a shower after work, or as complex as a community multi-day profound prayer to honour loved ones lost.

These times have a relentless tempo - they keep on moving and grooving through. May we pause for moments of remembering and reckoning from time to time.

Ritual © Tess Howell 2022

Sometimes we can see when we are crossing a threshold; there is a clear line in our lives as we move from one part of our lives to the next. There may be ceremony, circumstance, a moment marking it; deliberation, delineation, a new destination…

At other times we cannot see it - change comes incrementally, step by step, a sort of slide into a new world, a new way.

Sometimes it is like we suddenly turn around and wake up in a different landscape, not knowing how we got there. Some days we inadvertently start something big with a simple little conversation, or with a yes or a no. We cannot see the ripples that our actions will leave. A threshold was crossed - yet likely not knowingly; change came for us - more than us choosing to charm it into our lives.

Either way we get to follow our own feet forwards, to find our own personal kind of North star that we can navigate by. There are great guides and many maps made - and yet inevitably the truest pathway through this wild ride called life is one that we must figure out our own way through. This is a process of coming to trust our own navigation skills, of being particular as to which path to take; of noticing when we cross a threshold and choosing to do so consciously…

Threshold © Tess Howell 2022

Consider, cultivate, conjure, call forth, call in…

Sometimes we can feel change coming for us; like there is some sort of secret fairy godmother waiting around the corner, ready to douse us in delight. It’s not even a thing we could say how we know - there just seems to be some immense intuition loitering out/in there somewhere.

Sometimes when we really sink (synch?) into our own stillness it is almost like we are conjuring up a spell. We make space for some future self to call us forth; for some good instruction to be given, for some clear knowing to happen.

Stillness and settling helps these strange knowings come in closer; that being less caffeinated, adrenalised, overstimulated lets us hear the whispers on the wind more; that this place of well-being is one that we can drop into, more than being a place we have to go running all over to seek… It is like the arrow being drawn back in quiet aim, before it is flung out into our future. Maybe it is not even future - maybe it is a sense of the preciousness and precariousness of this moment and in not trying to get anywhere; in ceasing to prod and poke at the world there is some great grace that helps all the stuck things flow free again…

Change is Coming © Tess Howell 2022


Diary 2023

We can learn to honour the little voice of knowing inside each of us. To tend to it so that it burns bright. We can come to know that we have good guidance within us - to learn to trust in ourselves and our connection with the world around us. Maybe even to know that there is some thread behind it all that we can follow.

May we know that we can forage for faith in the wild and nature- filled places of the world. That time there can fill us up. To know that when we are lost there are places we can go to and practices that we can do to get found.

Knowing is found in the body. It is a felt thing - not a thought thing. The more we are body-based, in touch with ourselves, the more we know. Seek out the things that sustain you: the solo walks in the wild where intuition may get a chance to speak; or maybe the rainy day by the sea where sorrow and clear-seeing of the next steps may both blow through; or the late night baking time - where innate wisdom may arise along with the cake- mix. Know what works for you - where you find faith - follow that thread - keep listening in to the good guidance that you have within you...

On Knowing © Tess Howell 2021


Diary 2022

The world is wild. So much needs our attention right now and these times are tense. Much seems broken around us; we may feel powerless to fix it. At times it can all seem a lot to stay still with; and just “feeling the feels” seems like a mighty big ask of ourselves... Our ability to be here, really here, fully present and be with all that is moving in our lives is so determined by our ability to feel resourced enough to do so. We may need to choose to breathe in beauty, to see what is good here. To pause to praise the world around us. We can consciously choose to re-orientate ourselves towards what is inspiring and uplifting. Stopping and looking and listening isn’t just good sense for crossing the road! It is an excellent exercise in stilling the mind, steadying the body and moving safely through the roaring and racing thoughts that may be streaming past us. By pausing to come into the body here and now and receiving what is uplifting to us in our immediate environment we can consciously cultivate our connection to the sense of our own personal power; we can find our own agency, our ability to be with what is and our inner- strength. Supporting ourselves to live with radical resilience...

Radical Resourcing © Tess Howell


Diary 2021

Our wild nature is unpredictable, yet robust and reliable. We need to tend to it, to keep coming back and faithfully following our feminine flow. We have way more wisdom than we know within us. This inner- knowing thing takes time, takes space; takes us setting down the mind and settling into the uncomfortable unknown, trusting that we don’t have to force it or figure it out. It may take longer than we would like, yet we all have a wild, wise one within us. We can trust that we will be led, given good guidance, pushed, promoted or prodded when the time comes. Clear guidance feels good: strong, still, sometimes epic and often strangely simple. Our inner wild one, our embodied intuition, is immensely intelligent. Ideally we will learn to listen, to heed what we hear; and then to be brave enough to follow that good guidance going forwards: wild and wise and wonder-filled, in service of the greater good...

Inner-tuition © Tess Howell 2019

Do what you can each day. Then rest, let go, let it be. Social media and mass media bombard us with the messages of trying harder, making it, making it better, making it bigger, being more, doing more, mastering it all. These insidious marketing messages of “Life, you can control it – if you just tried a bit harder...”

Hmm –it is so not so my beauties! There is a place to let go, and let goodness do its own part. The random Russian-roulette game of life will do what it will! We can only do our best. We’ve got to learn to let go. Sometimes we will need to surrender – be that sweetly or resentfully or tearfully – eventually reality will rock us and force us to roll with it!

Sometimes flow just doesn’t flow. It’s exhausting pushing against the grain. We can show up great and still not get what we want. Sometimes life isn’t fair and we somehow have to find a good way through this truth – with heart open – to still see the good, show up, shine, give and make amazing alchemy out of it all. All that falls will rise again. We have circles and cycles. We will indeed get to the “good bit” again. Life continues... fertile, fecund, fulfilling itself in its own mysterious ways... keep the faith my love....

Let it Go and Let it Be © Tess Howell 2019

Solstice still morning skies. Time to rest, nest, digest.
To let this snowshaker of self just settle.
Maybe to let our lives lie still for more than a micro-moment...
To let the year behind be just what it was and just what it wasn’t.
Not to prod it, process it, or poke around with it in order to make it more profound,
Or diligently squeeze some last drops of reflective productiveness from this still, shedding time.
Not meddling with it in the mind
in order to learn/love/live out something else/more/diligently different
out there, elsewhere in the future...
Just to let it land and lie still and let it all be...
And trust in life’s shifts and sheddings and turns
and to know that all is already seen /sorted/sweet (despite whatever weird way it may be looking).
To let it all (and us all) lie still and soft, seen and held
Here, in the heart.

Winter Solstice - Let the Snow-Shaker of Self Settle © Tess Howell


Calendar 2021

“You were wild once – don’t let them tame you” dancer Isadora Duncan said. So what is the wild thing that lives deep within us and how might we find our way back to it? Maybe we hear it whispering to us occasionally on the wind- calling us back to the core of things... Maybe we can cultivate a sense of being moved by the mystery on a day-to-day basis. It’s the urge that draws us to the sea-shore, to dance deep, make art and love, seek moments of meaning, feeling - fully - amidst all of the day to day duties. We must seek out what sustains our soul day to day. Life can get full and we get fraught! We must tend to our own dear wild and tender heart amidst all we care for and are cultivating. We must bring life into our lives. May we remember that we are human, animal, matter, mystery, made of nature; not separate and superior from the animate and animal world around us....

Wild Ones © Tess Howell 2019


Diary 2016

I want to write about risk: the choices we make that keep us moving forward. The path of heading out further beyond what we believe is possible, is not a fearless one at all. Sometimes it’s full of those tingles of terror, served up with double helpings of doubt. Yet to move past being afraid and into action brings some of the most life-affirming and life-expanding experiences I know. Risk brings real rewards.

In order to move towards what matters most, we have to hold those fears in heart - to let them have their say - listen, reflect, respond and then maybe move onwards anyway, diverting our attention back to action that takes us in the direction of our desires. Action is actually where it’s all at. Dreaming is one thing, daring to do is quite another. We have to choose to take a chance. Sure, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. We must develop the resources to reassure ourselves through those uncomfortable periods of uncertainty.

We do only have one wild and precious life, time is ticking, this moment does matter. So, go out and risk something that substantially scares you, let yourself be alive, feel that fear, move on through, and find out if you can let the grand and great adventure of it all bring you what you most long for. Let yourself live and love a little (or even a lot) more. Make a move today towards that which matters most to you....

© Tess Howell 2014


Diary 2015

Thinking on fire as an element - transformative, heat giving, potent. Alchemy in motion - like art in all its forms - here take this feeling, this inspiration, this intuition; sit with it, show up for it, get your materials, make space for it, shape and shift it into something else entirely.

There is liberation in fire - the ultimate letting go - of form back to emptiness. We can’t control that liberation: fire takes us, sweeps us up, burns us, breaking on through.

That notion of fire within the belly. Owning our passion. How to find that place of our own personal clarity - the “I want” or “I really don’t want”. Inhabiting and embodying our potency, taking up the space, clearly claiming our cause.

Yet how to hold our fierce focus without being over wilful? To live the full clarity of “This is what I want from life” is powerful and permission giving - to ourselves and others.

Yet occasionally to also ask that question, “What does life want from me?” the surrendering into what is simply so….

It’s pretty urgent that we live it well, live it deep and love it large while we are here. Moving in the direction of what matters most; passionately present as we move through.

Passion and Potency - Surrendering to our Creative Fires © Tess Howell

Why Do Ceremony?

Is it to feed the hunger of the human heart for meaning? To be conscious of choices? To call something in? To simply state what is so?

Ceremony is about marking moments; being present with this time, this transition; a witness to what is, what was and what we hope it will be.

It often takes place in a specific place, be that a circle of witness, a religious building, a government office, a small sacred place carved away from your everyday errands; the woods, the windowsill, or wherever seems right when we require it most.

Ultimately it’s about connection: connection to a time of transition, a marker or milestone in our life. Maybe connection to our grief, our growth, or our gratitude, love, loss, leaving, learning; to our intention, to make a moment memorable.

To share our story as part of the flow of life moving on through - whether in its sorrow or sweetness or the thousand strange shades in between.

A time to pause and be with self, other, the wider web of the world that surrounds us.

Making Meaning in Times of Change © Tess Howell