Hey, I'm Emily, and I'm 100% PA crude, baby!
As you can tell, I'm passionate about health, nature, and self development, but where did it all start? Well, I was raised in the Appalachian hills of rural northwestern Pennsylvania. It's a beautiful region and also home to some of the world's foremost oil and timber country (oil was first "discovered" in 1859 Titusville, PA about an hour from my house). My parents were both employees of the United States Forest Service and my sister and I grew up hiking, camping, and canoeing in the lovely Allegheny National Forest.
Early on in my childhood it became apparent I had some problems. Primarily the rare social anxiety disorder selective mutism, which means you can talk, but you won't because you're too afraid. I spoke only to immediate family members and my two best friends: Heather and, my cousin, Mary. I would also answer direct questions from a teacher and read aloud in school because I was wicked smart and like to show that off.
That all changed when I entered middle school in 7th grade, joined the cross country team, and was befriended by some popular girls. I was no longer selectively mute (except around really annoying people) and was just plain quiet. Even though I hung around the edges of the popular crowd, I never had a boyfriend until after graduating high school and didn't kiss a boy until I was almost 17. According to a guy friend, word on the street was I was, "hot, but too weird".
But the wilderness never let me down, and nothing about it ever scared me. Despite the fact that something as simple as making a phone call left me in a cold sweat, I didn't give a second thought to getting eaten by bears and cougars, getting lost, drowning, poisonous creatures, or things that go bump in the night. I developed such a reputation for adventure that in my senior yearbook I was voted both "shiest" and "most daring".
I loved snowboarding and went to the University of Vermont to study environmental science, but something happened to me there and I still don't really know what. Maybe it was the chaos and depravity of dorm life, being engulfed by the energy of the young, high, and horny. Maybe it was falling further down the rabbit hole of self-righteous vegetarianism and eating a dairy, grain, and sugar-based diet. Maybe it was the toxic chemicals in the darkroom where I was learning to develop my black and white photography. Maybe it was the psychological distress of being taught by really smart people the planet was entering an irreversible sixth mass extinction.
At first I was thrilled. Growing up in a small-town in the 80's and 90's I didn't have access to things like pottery classes, LGBT clubs, protests and demonstrations, talks by famous authors and field trips to go whale watching. I was in intellectual heaven, but I soon became overwhelmed by all the opportunities. Things began to fall apart. My roommate hated me. My beautiful new snowboard was stolen. I was stressed out all the time.
When it came time for end of the year finals I studied hard knowing that I would have the whole summer to relax, but the morning my parents arrived to take me home I woke up with an annoying pain in my back. Little did I know, I would live with that pain every minute of my life for the next 14 years (and counting). I consider that the day I officially "came down" with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The next decade of my life I spent in and out of different institutions of higher learning, visiting different alternative healers, trying on different diets, different boyfriends, different lifestyles and living in different states. I became a lost bird, swirling, swooping, and searching, never landing for long. Most notably I spent five years in Portland, Ore. popularizing and promoting rewilding with my then-boyfriend Urban Scout.
In 2013, devastated by a recent breakup and living back and my parent's place, I was introduced by my friend Miles to an empath and guide named Kevin. Kevin helped me put a lot of piece of my puzzle together and showed me how my super sensitivity had been fucking my life all along without me realizing it, and how I could harness it and put it to use just like him. And here we are.
In 2014 I moved to the intense and mystical desert southwest about 20 minutes outside of the red rock country of Sedona. I now live in an amazingly landscaped, if I do so say so myself ;), double-wide trailer in a quiet rural neighborhood with my magical blue-eyed half Catahoula Leopard dog, Mercy. My favorite hobbies include permaculture gardening, exploring, and writing. I hope you find my website inspiring!
Biohacking enthusiasts--for a complete list of all lab work related to my illness click here.
If you've totally fallen in love with me and my work feel free to:
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Emily Sara Porter is a writer and creative visionary specializing in the topics of spirituality, personal development, green living, and healing chronic illness. She has held many jobs in the plant realms including working as a field botanist for the U.S. Forest Service, landscaper at the 200-acre Oregon Garden, and teacher of wild edible and medicinal plants with the outdoor education organization TrackersNW.
She spent the years 2006-2011 hipster-ifying and promoting "rewilding" and the conscious dismantling of civilization on the streets of Portland, Ore. under the pseudonym Pennyscout with then-boyfriend Urbanscout. She is featured as a major character in the book Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness by her friend and former student Rebecca Lerner.
She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Pittsburgh where she wrote her thesis on The Ethnobotany of the Seneca of the Upper Alleghenies and a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark, where she specialized in ecopsychology.
She is currently working on a Ph.D. in psychology at Saybrook University and writing her dissertation on the effects of sacred places on human consciousness. Emily lives in the Arizona desert outside of Sedona with her best friend, her blue-eyed Catahoula Leopard dog, Mercy.
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