From my earliest years growing up on a council estate in Bristol, I’ve been concerned with matters of power, privilege and social justice. This eventually took me into social work as a career, via low paid jobs, motherhood, community work and a return to education in my early thirties, with four young children at home. Each threshold, eventually led to another and I now have a number of academic as well as professional qualifications. I’ve also had the privilege of engaging with many people whose courage and resilience ceaselessly inspires me. I left social work as a profession in 2004, though remain committed to social and environmental change, and I’m actively involved with a number of projects that reflect this allegiance. It’s my joy, in particular, to still work with care-experienced young people, as colleagues, in an educational capacity.

My inner world has always been paramount to me and connection to ‘something greater’ has always been my refuge. This connection to the wonder and mystery of life has found different expressions across my life span; from my 9 year old self picking wild red roses in the garden of a derelict house to place on the church altar, to my 50 year old self immersed for three months in Ladakhi culture at 4,000 metres in the Indian Himalaya. Over the decades I’ve learnt that my personal sense of the sacred is always my final touchstone. I’m not aligned to any particular faith or tradition and my approach to spirituality is integrated and inclusive. 

In 2006 I undertook a Vision Quest with Pippa Bondy, a rites of passage guide and Council carrier, and this decision shaped the course of my future. I have worked with Pip many times now and she remains my friend and Way of Council mentor. I’m the London-lead for Council at Snapchat, UK. 

In 2011 I became an educator with the Spiritual Companions Trust, after training some years previously with author and leading holistic educator William Bloom. 

Life writing has been my constant ally throughout the journey, the cat’s eyes illuminating the inward path. I’m also sustained and energised by untamed nature, poetry, radical honesty, intimate friendship, deep democracy, shared love and the wisdom and joy of children.

© 2017 Anna Bianchi

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