Heather Pennell 014

Being "Too Much", Healing Core Wounds, Dark Nights of the Soul, Relationships, Reclaiming your Power with Heather Pennell  - 014

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Heather Pennell

Heather is no ordinary photographer, in fact, she'd prefer not to use that term at all. Her work is multidisciplinary, infusing transpersonal therapy into brand strategy to create the kind of visual storytelling that harkens to mythos past down through the generations. 

Her photographs go beyond art, they are medicine. 

When she's not behind the lens, you'll find her co-facilitating the Rising Woman Sisterhood,  travelling to far off lands to learn from plant medicines and ancient wisdom traditions, or deepening her practice of the shamanic arts.

Heather's has worked with brands such as Danielle Laporte, L’oreal: Redken, Gabrielle Bernstein and more.

In this episode, I talk with Heather Pennell and we go deep. Real deep. It starts off with me asking her what she had for breakfast and very quickly falls into a conversation about core wounds and healing the things that we may have been avoiding for a long time. 

This episode is more like medicine for the soul (as is most if not all of what Heather does). By listening you will more than likely connect to one or two things (at the very least) and be able to apply them to your life. 


  • Heather's favorite brunch spot in Vancouver.

  • Transpersonal therapeutic work - what it is and why Heather is doing it.

  • What shadow work is and what its benefits are.

  • The type of shifts Heather has experienced while doing this work.

  • Heather's core wound of "I am too much" and how it came about.

  • Her experience with bullying and slut-shaming in school.

  • How she became aware of the darkness and trauma in the world.

  • How that darkness became her biggest teacher.

  • The moment she decided to take her own life and the thoughts that ran through her mind.

  • The powerful moment that followed.

  • Heather's thoughts on the energy she connected with at that powerful moment.

  • Her experience with DMT and the reconnection with that energy.

  • Heather's thoughts on purpose.

  • How Heather lived through the filter of the belief that she was broken of flawed.

  • Her feelings of never fully being seen and being an outsider and why she had these feelings.

  • Her journey to self-inquiry.

  • How she often felt unsafe in her life and in the relationships around her.

  • How we behave from our trauma and wounds and why other people's behavior usually has nothing to do with us.

  • You're not alone in your process and how seeing yourself in others is the key to this realization.

  • The importance of feeling your feelings set boundaries and end unhealthy relationships in a healthy and compassionate way.

  • Heather's thoughts on when to end an unhealthy relationship and how these relationships can be gateways to our biggest healing.

  • Why we're attracted to these relationships that challenge us.

  • The "buck up" mentality that Heather was brought up with, how that affected her, and what she has done to work on healing that wound.

  • The anxious avoidance pattern and how many people deal with it.

  • The importance of "owning your shit" - see your role in the situation.

  • The different ways the ego can be tricky to keep itself safe.

  • How our relationships are one of the biggest and most challenging teachers.

  • What enlightenment actually requires of you and why most people wouldn't actually want it.

  • The dark night of the soul - what it is and why it happens.

  • The importance of community, teachers, and having a practice (support systems) in place.

  • How Heather was given the name "The Essence Oracle".

  • How Heather started into the world of photography using self-portraits.

  • The "Photo Mantra" process - what it is and how Heather uses it.

  • The common threads that Heather notices while taking photos of others.

  • How the most extraordinary images come about. "When the magic happens".

  • How Heather takes the scariness away from getting your photo taken.

  • What Heather is building now with her partner Sheleana Aiyana.

  • The community they are creating and have created.

  • Rising Woman - what it is, what's coming up, and what you can find now.

  • How Heather has been reclaiming her power, space, and voice in the world.

  • Heather's advice to her 20-year-old self.

  • Heather's rebel cause.