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About me

Laura sitting against tree--wide
Hi, I’m Laura! 

I’m a spiritual director, life coach, and shamanic practitioner.

And I’m passionate about supporting sensitive people like you, who dream of letting your secretly wild, magical inner self out into the world to blossom…

and also getting on top of all the practical, real-world life stuff you have on your plate! 

Sound impossible? I promise it is absolutely possible for you. 

When we work together, it’ll probably feel like a normal conversation, only with you very much at the center. I’ll invite you to share whatever challenges, problems, questions, and insights are coming up for you–no matter how tender or weird or seemingly out of nowhere they are.

Together, we’ll hold it gently and listen for what your soul is telling you about it all. With your permission, I’ll offer a few insights on what I’m seeing and sensing. If you want, we can mix in some shamanic work to help you find healing and gain insight on your life–

So that you can find a way forward that feels just right to you. 

A few fun facts about me:

  • Northerner currently living in the semi-South, surprised at how much I love the land here in Williamsburg, Virginia.

  • Myers-Briggs INFJ & Enneagram 1 with a big splash of 2 and 4.

  • Smitten with almost every dog I’ve ever met, but especially the pitbulls I’ve been privileged to love—the cuddliest, sweetest, best doggies in the world!

  • Hard-core tea drinker (maybe it’s my British & Celtic ancestry) who loves to cook, longtime yoga student, & voracious reader of novels with happy endings. Ooh, plus Star Trek (not the dystopian new stuff though), Celtic traditional music, Punjabi dance music, and Baroque choral music.

  • Former classical singer (hence the Baroque choral music) & ballroom/swing/salsa dancer (still love it all, just more of a homebody these days).

  • Married to a former Marine who lived in Japan for years & is now a massage therapist and fellow shamanic practitioner. I highly recommend having a massage table in your home if you can manage it!

Laura and Taylor on couch
Me with my sweet dog Taylor. She passed away in the fall of 2023, but she's very much alive in my heart.
Oh, you want to hear more about how I came to do this work? Here’s the full story.

As a child, I grew up running around in the woods and swimming in the lakes of Maine and Minnesota. Indoors, I read constantly, devouring fairy tales, the Narnia books, and The Lord of the Rings.

Nobody in my secular family talked about spirituality, so I kept my questions and wonderings and longings to myself. But I remember sneaking out at night to sit by the lake and watch the stars and the moon on the water, and feeling overwhelmed by the beauty and peace of everything.

I was also a smart kid who got pegged early on as a high achiever. (I did my undergrad at Harvard, and I’ve added on a lot of degrees & trainings in my life, which you can read about if you want.) 

But I never really felt I knew what I was supposed to be doing until I stumbled into a spiritual tradition that really felt like me. 

My credentials & such:

    • Spiritual Direction Certificate (two-year program) through the Jungian-oriented Haden Institute

    • Board-Certified Coach (BCC) through the Institute for Life Coach Training

    • Shamanic training through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, including Harner Shamanic Counseling and the Two Week Shamanic Healing Intensive

    • M.Div., Meadville Lombard Theological School

    • M.M., Boston Conservatory 

    • A.B. in English, Harvard University

Laura Horton-Ludwig next to bamboo

Back in my late 20s, I landed a “church job” singing in a choir at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Boston, which meant they paid me to sing and pretend to look interested in what I was sure would be boring, irrelevant services. 

I was shocked when the message I heard in that congregation was the opposite of irrelevant: 

You are loved, always, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. And your life matters. With your choices and your actions, you can help make this world better. 

They had my attention.

When I discovered that they welcomed atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, earth-centered and Wicca folk, and pretty much whoever else showed up and resonated with them, I was intrigued.

Their commitment to affirming LGBTQ+ people, dismantling racism, and supporting climate justice sealed the deal. 

Soon, I decided to become a minister in this progressive, diversity-embracing tradition that wasn’t like any religion I had ever heard of before.

For a while, life was very good. 

But then came a deeply painful stretch of infertility. After years of trying and failing, over and over and over, I felt so broken and ashamed.

It was the most painful thing I’d ever experienced.

And my old coping strategies weren’t cutting it. I was desperate for healing.

The first thing that helped was finding a new spiritual director. She just listened and witnessed and held it all—no judgment, just acceptance and compassion.

Then I discovered shamanic journeying.  

On my first journey, a bird appeared dragging a broken wing and said to me, “You think you’re like this.” 

Then the bird soared into the sky, wing healed, and said, “But really, you’re like this!”

That message hit me like a thunderbolt and began to heal my heart.

As I recovered, I also started working with a coach to sort out some challenging work issues. I was amazed at how immediately the coaching process helped me get in touch with what I really wanted, not what I thought I was supposed to want (believe me, those two things are not the same!). It helped me discover options I didn’t even know I had, and find the courage to do the big, risky things my soul was longing for.

Ultimately, it all led me right here. 

Today, my life isn’t perfect. I have my ups and downs just like everyone else.

But I am so, so happy and grateful that I’ve found my way to a life that feels just right for me—

a life that feels like the home I was always longing for. 
I’d love to help you find yours too.

If this resonates, may we stay connected? Sign up for my email list today to start getting direct support from me, including articles, inspiration, and information about upcoming programs.

Hope to connect more soon!

Warmly,

Laura

P.S. Just one more thing:

Along the way, I also discovered I was a highly sensitive person and an empath. 

What a game-changer to find out there were lots of other people out there like me, who feel both the pain and the beauty of the world more deeply than most people do.

I work with all kinds of people, not just highly sensitive folks. But if you think you might be one, I have a message especially for you. 

If you were told as a child that “you’re too sensitive”…

if you’re intuitive and creative and spiritual…

if you find yourself soaking up the emotions of others if you’re not careful…

and if your heart is easily touched…

You are in good company right here. And I believe who you are is brilliant. I hope you believe it too!

Questions?

Just let me know. I’d be glad to talk with you.

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