Guided support: Permacultures of Wellbeing

Spores are agents of reproduction, dispersal and survival. They initiate a cycle of decomposition and growth, which result in the creation of a rich, organic compost that supports a broader ecosystem. This important work emerges slowly from the shadow, underground.

Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, likens the bloom of the mushroom to what may appear, on the surface, to be a dramatic or sudden shift.

She says, “After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many do so from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus… Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but less visible long-term organizing and groundwork — or underground work — often laid the foundation.

Spore Studios offers services that provide this nutrient dense mesh which supports the process of change, the hyphae/scaffolding needed to accompany the evolution of social norms and capacity building within yourself and your organization. Trained as an anthropologist and implementation scientist I will provide trained guidance and support as we co-construct sustainable permacultures of wellbeing.



Mama Anthropologist. Wellbeing Scientist. Story-teller. Circle Guide. Ritual maker. Shape-shifter. Tango Yogi. Broken Warrior.

Deirdre is the owner of Spore Studios Consulting and Intentional Life Design and Director of Wellbeing Programs and Facilitation at Fernwood Botanical Gardens offering bimonthly contemplative seasonal retreats for the public, compassionate leadership programs for organizations, a caring for caregivers program and a summer mindfulness camp for kids. 

She has a doctorate in anthropology and is a professor of well being science. In this capacity she currently works as the Organizational Research Coordinator for the Wellbeing Project  based in Paris, France.  

Previously she served as a principal investigator on the Well Being at Work Project at the University of Notre Dame which supports humanitarian, health workers, educators, and clergy, and as a consultant to the “ALIVE!” Project at Rush University Hospital in Chicago which harnesses the rich faith networks of church communities to improve health outcomes. 

She has designed a “Compassionate Leadership”  program for caregivers and has conducted an inventory and evaluation of the Hilton Humanitarian Laureate organizations to provide recommendations for how their cultures might evolve to put wellbeing at the core of their mission. 

She received her ordination from the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago and is certified to perform rites of passage and transition such as marriages, baptisms, blessing ways/showers, memorials, grieving services and housewarmings. She completed a two-year advanced yoga and meditation teacher training program at the Temple and then apprenticed with Dynamic Yoga Teacher Godfrey Devereaux in Ibiza, Spain.

She is also certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Peace Circle Process, Ayurvedic nutrition and therapeutic massage. Her continuing education has been enriched by vipassana (silent meditation retreat) and ongoing training in therapeutic, yin and restorative yoga. She has co-facilitated yoga/meditation and narrative workshops and retreats in Scotland, Mexico, California, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and locally at the Snite Museum Sculpture and Fernwood Botanical Gardens.