Chelsey, wearing a blue shirt and laughing because her daughter told her a joke

Hi. I’m Chelsey.

I live in Jefferson City, Missouri with my spouse, daughter, a guinea pig named Oreo, a Shiht-Poo named Popcorn, and a bunch of composting worms who are all named Gary. I am a daydreamer, activist, clergyperson, writer, and creative. Someday, I’d like to become a real birdwatcher–one who peers through fancy binoculars and documents sightings in a jaunty little notebook, but for now I’m content to be an amateur.

In my career, I have worked in a number of arenas, learning much from each experience. (If you like that sort of thing, you can see my CV here.) Past job titles include: Lead Pastor, Facilitator, Suicide Hotline Worker, Counselor, Editor, Waitress, Dental Website Copy Writer. But the real story is in the work, the relationships, the lessons, failures, stresses and revelations that have happened while I was busy working. The richness of that won’t fit on a resume. 

I launched Amateur Efforts in 2020. Wanting to focus less on institutional preservation and more on soul formation, I began working with individuals and groups to help them cultivate inner wisdom, identify values, and create practices that are unique, sustainable, and life-giving. It’s been a joyful journey so far, and I can’t wait to see where it leads next.

The name Amateur Efforts was born during my college years. This was before I learned the concept of wabi-sabi and how to accept imperfection as a natural part of any process, be it in art or life. All my handmade cards or gifts were branded as “Amateur Efforts.” I even drew a crooked little star for a logo. It was an effort to signal that there should be no expectation of perfection, that the final product likely swerved heavily from the original concept, that while there was a lot of love in the offering, there might not be as much craftspersonship on display. As time went on, I learned to embrace how lived experience is often askew from our expectations. And I learned to love the joy in that slant.

In my life and work, I seek to walk the tightrope between the ridiculous and sublime. For example, I deeply enjoy fart jokes. I am also deeply attuned to the Divine. Sometimes the Divine can even be found in the fart jokes, and that is truly the best of all worlds.

Through the course of my life, I’ve been shaped by a global community of healers, activists, writers, thinkers, pastors, and revolutionaries who have each helped me to locate my soul and and have encouraged me to let it shine in the world. My work is to do the same for others. I am deeply influenced by non-violent teachings, contemplative spiritual practice and thought, and the revolutionary power of interpersonal relationship.

I’m grateful that you’ve stumbled upon my little corner of the Internet. Consider this website an invitation to connect. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual companion, group facilitator, speaker, or just looking for kindred spirit, welcome. It’s an Amateur Effort, to be sure.

Want to hear more from Chelsey? Consider signing up for her monthly SoulWork newsletter by clicking here or on the image below.

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