When Willow was 5 years old he found himself bundled into the car in the middle of the night with his Mum and siblings to escape domestic violence. This was one of many difficult childhood experiences for a caring young boy who believed in magic. Trying everything to escape his dysfunctional childhood, at the legal age of 16 he ran away and joined the Navy as a Paramedic. Unfortunately the military is not the best place to find safety and care.
At age 20, he had an accident that changed the course of his life. After being temporarily blinded by caustic acid, Willow found himself bedridden and in the dark. During this period, an inner light had the chance to switch on and gave him the insight and strength to do what was needed. He had to leave. To desert the Navy and head off into the world.
Once his vision returned, he took two weeks leave, packed a back pack, gave his apartment and car keys to a friend and booked a one way ticket to London Via Los Angeles, from Sydney. With only $400 in his pocket and an Interpol warrant for his arrest, his new life began. As he headed off, he felt the constraints of the main stream paradigm peeling off him and knew that he was finally ready to LIVE. To discover the goodness and magic of life and find out what it was really all about.
Willow spent the next two decades living a wandering travellers lifestyle. Having wonderful adventures as well as overcoming many challenges: from addiction to loneliness, homelessness, financial and relationship challenges. He became committed to healing himself of the patterns and challenges of his early years and the affect they had had on him. He immersed himself in many modalities of healing that extended from his medical training as a paramedic and nurse, to encompasses shamanic healing, meditation, reiki, counselling, under going vision quests, extended silent meditation retreats and working with dozens of teachers and mentors.
What he saw as he embarked on this healing journey and travelled the world began to reaffirm what he new deep down as a child – that life really is magical, that the majority of people in the world have deep kindness and generosity, and that a return to wholeness is possible.
Over time he developed an incredibly rich and wide worldview that had a foundation of awe, trust in life, the goodness of people and a deep understanding of the potential for individual transformation and transcendence.
As he traversed the planet, he also started to notice that he consistently and frequently crossed paths with individuals that were on the threshold of significant life changes, but needed affirmation, an expanded perspective, and a nudge to help them draw on their own courage and heart’s knowing.
It became clear that this was his true life’s purpose. He has now supported 1000’s of individuals who find themselves trapped by their own limited worldview and emotional habits and attitudes, have a genuine desire to break out of their self-imposed constraints and discover or re-discover the meaningfulness and wonder of life and how to healthily care for themselves and the one’s they love.
He discovered that every individual that has the courage to break free from their own constraints and live in a way that is kinder and truer to their deeper, wiser selves, helps in alleviating the suffering of humanity – one heart at a time.
Catherine was born to a travelling family. London born parents with wanderlust. As such, most of her childhood was spent on the move. Although this presented challenges for the sensitive, empathetic child she was – it also provided her with an incredibly rich, wide and inclusive view of the world.
Her parents saved some money, and she was lucky enough to have the opportunity attain a degree in Physiotherapy by the time she was 23.
Over her early adult life, she embraced the mainstream dream – she had a valuable career as a physio, a stable partner, purchased her first house and headed off on her own travelling adventures.
As many individuals who are destined for a spiritual path experience however, this life didn’t give what was promised! Catherine found herself in deep despair and bereft of purpose and meaning. She had her first existential crisis at age 27 and threw out the metaphorical baby with the bathwater: She limped home from her travels abroad, left her partner, stopped practicing physio and got a job in a health food store.
It was at this juncture that her life REALLY began! She started to listen to the whispers of her own wise and inherently dignified heart and soul. Then, at this small health food store in the coastal town of Fremantle in Western Australia, in 2008, she met her soul partner Willow.
To say that her life was blown into the stratosphere was an understatement! Their connection was immediate, ridiculously romantic and profoundly spiritual.
From that moment forth, they embarked on a spiritual journey of depth and adventure hitherto unconceivable to her.
She leaned into the limits of her courage as Willow encouraged her towards the kind of transformation and adventure she realised she had always yearned for in her deepest heart.
She learned to paraglide and throw herself off cliffs and mountains.
She learned to scuba dive and to manage her breathe and anxieties.
She sat and served in intense all night plant medicine ceremonies where she learned to stretch the capacity of her own heart as well as hold hundreds of individuals in her arms as they suffered and overcame their own fears.
She underwent spiritual quests and participated in pilgrimages, trainings and consciousness work at some of the best centres around the world.
Through it all, Willow and Catherine were moved to share all their transformations and discoveries with others and support them in their personal and spiritual evolution.
They started working together almost immediately and now have taught 1000’s of individuals tools and techniques to assist them in their own personal and spiritual growth journeys. They have also co-facilitated several hundred plant medicine ceremonies where they support individuals to come together, to sit and connect with the depths of their being, the great mystery, their heart’s knowing and their humanity.
Catherine Francis & Willow Francis have been providing educational sessions, coaching and ceremonial events such as Cacao Ceremonies since 2008. Together they have trained over a thousand individuals and organisations.
The mission is always the same: To support individuals to become better equipped to handle life’s challenges and connect more deeply with life’s wonders.
They love working together and have complementary skills and facilitation styles. This makes them a powerful force in supporting positive individual and community change. Their work spans the most mainstream of environments, to the most spiritual.
Combined together, they have over fifty years of experience in both the modern medical system as well as holistic health modalities. They are committed to sharing this experience in powerful, practical and welcoming ways.
They work extensively with the tools and techniques from The HeartMath Institute – a globally renowned research and education based organisation whose vision is ‘global coherence’ (working to facilitate a shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to compassionate care, cooperation and increasing peace).
They also facilitate meditation, mindfulness practices and hold ceremonial events that assist individuals to access collective support, deep rest and connection with the divine nature of life.