1.4KB May 05, 2015 1:47 PM

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In 2002, I found myself working at a job that left me feeling completely unfulfilled.  I looked around my cubicle and thought, "I know there is more to life than this."  I had already lived a short time in New York City and Alaska and knew that I needed to make some changes. 

It was then that I made a decision to hike the Appalachian Trail (a trail that spans from Georgia to Maine on the East coast of the United States, approximately 2, 179 miles).  My soul longed to be in nature - to feel the warm sun on my skin, to rest on the belly of Mother Earth, to breathe in fresh air, to hear the wind through the trees, to watch the stars shine at night.  I wanted to feel ALIVE. I wanted to feel as if I was truly living, and not just going through the motions.  I wanted to feel connected. Connected to myself, to the Universe, to others, to the moment.  And the best way that I knew how to do that was through nature, through connection with the Earth.  I knew Mother Earth would remind me.

I spent the next year preparing, and by 2004 I had hiked over 1,400 miles of the Appalachian Trail, carrying everything I needed to survive on my back.  I had spent a total of 6 months in the woods, feeling at times really cold, really hot, really hungry, really thirsty, really exhausted, really angry, really scared, really happy, and really connected.  Through the ups and downs of that journey, one thing was certain, I felt alive.

I then moved to Vermont and with a little bit of time and trust, I found a job with a hiking company.  I managed 10 different tours located all over the world.  In 2006 that job took me to Peru and upon looking up at those majestic mountains after getting off the plane in Cusco I thought, "I remember you."  A deep remembering and feeling of coming home filled me. 

Little did I know that I was about to be united with one of my greatest teachers and "She" would be in the form of a sacred plant medicine.  A Divine Consciousness, known as "Madre Ayahuasca".  She had called me and was preparing me to meet her.  My life would never be the same.  My life began to blossom in the most profound and magical ways, and one soul-stirring event led to another. 

Because of my journey I know the more I choose to open and deepen into each moment, the more Life continues to amaze me.  It is my hope that through the  experiences I've gained walking my path, whether that be a footpath in the woods or my spiritual path, that I may be a light to others to find their way home.

With deep love and appreciation,

Denise Frances Cooper, founder of Live. Life. Lit., is part medicine woman, part yogini, and part spiritual gypsy.  She was was born and raised in Kansas City and holds a Bachelor's of Psychology degree from the University of Kansas and is also a certified Reiki Master. 

She left her office job several years ago, in mainstream America, to follow her love of travel and spirituality. She is passionate about Peru and the indigenous people of the Amazon Basin and their sacred plant medicine. She leads Sacred Juice Cleansing retreats and is a Transformational Life Coach, guiding her clients to re-discover their inner wisdom in order to transform their life into one that makes them come alive. She aspires to write a book someday of her quests, adventures, and travels.

She co-creates Live. Life. Lit. with the Universe/God, angels, spirit guides, goddesses, fairies, four-legged animals, those with 2 legs, the ones that swim, and the ones that fly - with people who sing, who empower, inspire, who fall and get back up again - with people like you. 

It is her desire to share the gifts and tools that have helped her transform and awaken.  To live a life lit from within, so that others will see their reflection in her.  To remind others that we are all meant to shine. 

Denise travels extensively throughout the world and believes her true home lies within, but she can be found filling many of her days happily in Peru.