W. Seymour Gaconnet

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and known by most as Seymour. Seymour is a play on words as in “see more”. I want to see more wealth, see more love, see more worlds. As long as I can remember I have had a passion for building and real estate. I desire to use my hands to build these worlds that my mind creates. I’m also consumed by wanderlust and have an insatiable desire for knowledge. It’s this insatiable desire that led me into a passion for meditation. Dealing with fear, paranoia and doubt kept me from becoming who I truly wanted to become. “Nothing outside of you is greater than what’s within”. With that being my favorite quote I started using meditation as a tool to solve my problems and also bring them to light. My journey has also inspired me to become a teacher and aide anyone else on their path of healing.

Becky Howlett, ESQ.

Becky Howlett is an attorney, consultant, and legal educator. After graduating from KU Law cum laude with a Tribal Lawyers Certificate in 2014, Becky focused her career on Indian Country advocacy, developing an expertise in federal Indian law and policy and tribal law. Like so many of us, Becky developed depression and anxiety during law school, which worsened as a practicing attorney. Within her first two years of private practice, she was experiencing full-blown burnout. After struggling for years with these all-too-common mental health issues, Becky finally found relief and strength through meditation and mindfulness. Because of this powerful experience, Becky is committed to promoting well-being in the legal field and beyond.  Since April 2019, Becky has been engaged in a 550-hr meditation teacher training through the Nature Center for Meditation. This past year, Becky volunteered as a meditation liaison at KU Law, including leading guided meditation exercises for students, faculty, and staff. Becky is also a member of the Kansas State Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Becky lives in Kansas City and loves exploring new activities, but some of her favorites are biking, singing, and spending time in nature. Becky identifies as queer and non-binary. In May of 2020, Becky co-founded The Legal Burnout Solution. This initiative was born amidst the height of the global pandemic out of a simple idea to empower attorneys to more effectively manage their stress. It has quickly grown into a deep-seated commitment to build an inclusive, mindful community dedicated to lawyer wellness.

C. Marie Long, M.Ed

Poorly coping with body image negation and emotional malnutrition, I turned to plant-based foods as a way to heal and seek a spiritual awakening. Using this inspiration I explored a love of cooking that travels back through 3 generations of my family and opened the first raw food restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida with the help of my ex-husband and 5 children. Classical Hatha Yoga helped me to channel and direct the energies that were accumulating in my body because of the diet I chose. Following Hatha, I was attracted to the stillness and quiet power of Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Qigong. Milam (Dream Yoga) enhanced my creativity and visualization skills. Seeking further on the road of self-knowledge, I traveled to over 17 countries and lived in Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, and China – incorporating methodologies that I learned from teachers and practitioners there as well. Utilizing my M.Ed degree with a focus on Instructional Design, I created a curriculum and began doing introductory workshops for groups and that evolved into me teaching these tools in private sessions. In my experience, teaching is a reciprocal relationship. To aid with my instruction, I authored the book Healing Fear and Trauma with Pranayama and Qigong. My goal is to offer my talents for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefit of others – and in turn use these special encounters to further my continuous growth on the path.

K. Butterfly Smith, M.F.A.

So for me, activism [and creativity] is about a spiritual practice as a way of life. I didn’t climb the tree because I was angry with the corporations and the government; I climbed the tree because when I fell in love with the redwoods, I fell in love with the world. So it is my feeling of ‘connection’ that drives me, instead of my anger and feelings of being disconnected..” – Julia Butterfly Hill.  After she took her first acting class, K Butterfly Smith realized that she would spend her life pursuing her dreams of being a storyteller through cinema, theatrical production and other creative art forms. A visionary, Butterfly has spent the past 25 years finding unique ways to produce, write, direct, act in, and edit her own creative work, showcasing not only her original work but the work of other artists from all walks of life. Her past work organizes community and reflects the various ways in which minorities, predominantly people of color and women, experience the serendipitous moments of life. A proponent of alternative healing, Butterfly combines a holistic approach to art and connectedness to ALL. Reverie is an opportunity for Butterfly to continue her research, build healing community and create artwork that concentrates on the actual transcendence of the ‘pain-body’, aimed at and about women and people of color of all ages. Having settled in Los Angeles for 4 years, Butterfly focuses on how to be the change. She says, “It is important for me to offer another alternative to the violent and fear-mongering films that are frequently released. How can we expect to live in a better world without evolving our thinking? As discussed by Eckhart Tolle, (2006) in his book, A New Earth, there is so much violence and confusion in the world because films are made to amplify the pain-body, an energy entity consisting of old emotion. Thus, he continues to argue that the only type of film that can “fulfill a vital function in the awakening of humanity is film that shows violence in its wider context, shows its origin and its consequences, shows what it does to the victim and the perpetrator and the collective unconsciousness behind it… passed on from generation to generation” (153). I am confident that I can make this type of creative work that will entertain, educate and heal its audience.”  Silent film is one of her favorite genres, and a style that is on the rise again; Butterfly created Rita (2010, RaTheatre). Rita is a short silent film I that details the serendipitous encounter of a woman and a man of color during hurricane Rita in 2005.  She wrote, directed and produced this film because she wanted to see people of color expressing love in a unique way. The film received several awards and accolades. In 2011 the short film screened at Our Images Arts and Film Festival at Rice University in Houston, TX. Rita is available to watch on YouTube. In 2015, she wrote, co-produced, edited, co-directed and co-starred in a community-based web series, Makeda’s Nido.  Some of the elements she incorporated were magic, Sci-Fi, silence, and improvisational dialogue. Through Makeda’s Nido she discovered her love of film editing.  From 2012 – 2016 K Butterfly Smith, co-founded NBHT, Inc. and Solfood Catering where she co-produced the Urban Raw Festival – a day-long event that educates the Little Rock community on the plant-based lifestyle, local crafted food and goods, individual gifts and talents while also encouraging the people to live sustainably and experience handcrafted plant-based food prepared by her and N.A.T.U.R.E. Center for Meditation founder, C. Marie Long. 2016 celebrated the festival’s fifth and final year. In 2013, Butterfly received the Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship for her play, In a Year’s Time. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette nominated her and C. Marie Long as Women Entrepreneurs of 2015 for their work as owners of Solfood Catering, a fresh-causal, plant-based, culinary art. Summer of 2016, she spent a summer in Venice at Cornerstone Theater Company’s Summer Institute Residency program, working on, “Ghost Town”, an original play written by Juliette Carrillo. After her residency with Cornerstone Theater, she moved to Los Angeles. For the last four years, Butterfly has become Program Assistant for The John Anson Ford Theatres in Hollywood, performed in several industry professional plays and film projects throughout Los Angeles, and directed one of her own original plays in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Since 2016, Butterfly has made Los Angeles her home. She continues to pursue her passion of filmmaking, acting, directing, producing, and editing, be an advocate of alternative ways to tell stories, to commit to providing a safe creative space for artists looking for a space to create and present their work, to engage and co-create with other artists, students, and community members who inspire and inform the Reverie’s vision to lead the way in curating creative work that tells exceptional stories and sets the stage for change through diversity, inspiration, and enlightenment for the betterment of the planet.

Dr. Asabi Yakini, Ph.D.

Dr. Yakini is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults. Her areas of clinical experience include career counseling, parenting skills, post-abortion counseling, and life coaching. She has prior experience as a Chair and Assistant Professor of Social Work at several universities. Additionally, her professional areas of interaction have focused on in-patient and out patient hospitalized children, children in family groups, domestic violence, medical sexual assault advocacy, foster care work, post-partum depression, pregnancy counseling and individual youth and adult counseling.  Asabi utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) with clients and participates with individuals in a healing partnership as they focus on their mental, spiritual, physical and emotional concerns to experience positive and healthy outcomes.  Dr. Yakini received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago, Chicago, IL, her MSW in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, and her BA in Sociology from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.