My name is Amanda Gayle. I am the owner/operator of Sanctuary, and I am so grateful for your visit!
So, what’s my story? Well, just like you I am figuring it out day by day.
I have always been a highly sensitive person. Since childhood I’ve felt intuitive connections to everything around me. It’s hard to describe, but I guess you could say I’m drawn to the spaces in between; the words unsaid; the emotions suppressed, the subtle vibrations. This plays a big part in how I navigate the world, and I think it’s at the heart of why I’ve always felt a strong bond with animals and nature.
On a fun note, I have always been highly rational yet drawn to all things mystical. As a young girl I was equally as likely to be found conducting science experiments as I was performing spells. For me there was no need for conflict in this duality, so I didn’t question it, but I did have a lot of questions—likely what fuelled my intense hunger for reading and writing at such a tender age. I read encyclopedias (yep, this was pre-internet) and fantasy novels, wrote reports and poems. I couldn’t get enough, and considering I eventually became a writer and documentary filmmaker in my adult life, I guess that never really changed.
Other things did change, however.
By my early teens I had developed a lot of internalized shame and was burying much of myself in an attempt to ‘fit in’. I recognize the privilege I held in even being able to choose to do so, but as a young person housing a lot of confusing feelings about their identity this equated to a profound lack of self worth. Then came trauma. Not the first, nor the last, but it was the push over the edge that left me silently suffering. I was depressed for a long time. I lashed out. I was self-destructive—begging to be seen. I spent years believing life was out to get me, trying to fill the void with jobs, over-achievement, people pleasing, and relationships. What I didn’t see was that nothing external could fill me up, and by avoiding introspection I was missing out on gaining the self awareness necessary to grow and move forward.
My two options were to continue the vicious cycle, or, reflect and do things differently. I don’t know how or why, but eventually I chose the latter. Thus began a period of deep self work and discovering my unique version of well-being. Through this work I have learned how to navigate life, challenges and all, while maintaining a healthy, centred perspective. I’m not talking toxic positivity or spiritual bypassing, though I was guilty of both when I started this work; I’m talking real self-care, continuous shadow work and embodying love in a way that is active and creates real change in the world.
Sanctuary was born of this lived experience. I wanted to create a space (both symbolic and physical) for people who are curious, looking to discover different parts of themselves, explore their spiritual side, heal, expand, and uncover what well-being means to them while honouring the sacred connection we have with the Earth. My personal wellness mix involves plant medicine and conventional medicine, science and spirit because I believe in the harmony of all things. This isn’t a place where you will be ‘too much’ of one thing or ‘not enough’ of another; it’s a place to sink in and ground down so that you can discover what works best for you. My offerings are connected to nature, energy work, ritual, and spirituality that honours our sacred and reciprocal relationship with the Earth because these are the things that have helped me to feel healthy and connected on a holistic level.
Since energy healing helped changed my life, I knew I wanted to become a practitioner and help facilitate a sense of well-being in others. I am a certified Reiki Master and advanced practitioner of Integrated Energy Therapy, and combine those modalities with my own intuitive methods to offer sessions tailored to your unique energy needs. If you’d like to learn more about my energy work or how to become a Sanctuary client visit the Sanctuary Sessions page.
I am also certified in Mental Health First Aid via the Mental Health Commission of Canada and am formally trained to provide in-the-moment support, guidance and options to people who are experiencing a mental health problem or crisis. This doesn’t mean I am a therapist, but it does mean I can listen, am completely comfortable talking about mental health issues, and I can provide resources and support you in taking the appropriate next steps.
In addition to my energy sessions I create magickal botanical art and small-batch bath & body, spiritual, and ritual offerings. I welcome you to visit my WILDmade and Wellness pages where you can browse or submit an order request. You can also follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on available offerings or find me at local markets.
Sanctuary is an inclusive space where diversity of all kinds is celebrated and embraced. I wish I could say that, full stop, and everyone reading could feel its truth, because it is the truth in my heart, but, I know that these are only words, and in the current state of our world simply saying them is hollow. So I want to say that I recognize the privilege I hold as a white, able-bodied, woman, and that I am dedicated to using that privilege to show up every single day in a way that is actively anti-racist and anti-discriminatory. I am dedicated to weaving these states of being into the very fabric of Sanctuary, and my life. For me there is no such thing as being a ‘spiritual person’ without doing this work. I believe love and solidarity are always active. I am committed to embodying both, and I will not give up.
As part of my ongoing commitment to counter racism both in and out of the ‘wellness’ industry, if you are Black and/or Indigenous and are interested in booking a session with me, all of my services are available to you at a rate equal to 1/2 my listed fee. Please self-identify when booking. This is a no questions asked policy and the rate will always apply.
I am always open to discussion, inquiries, correction, and input from diverse voices on the things I am saying and doing and how I can better facilitate healing. If you would like to contact me for any reason please know your voice, presence, and perspective will be heard and seen. I am also very happy to discuss options for sessions or workshops to better facilitate safe space for you and/or recommend other wellness professionals if that is something you are looking for.
Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit about me. I wanted to share because during energy healing and wellness sessions it’s important you feel safe and comfortable. I also think it’s important to make clear to you that I can identify with your shadow work, and your light work. Everything I do comes from a place free from judgement and with the goal of supporting you on your wellness journey, on your terms. I am not pretending to have it all figured out—anyone who says that they do isn’t being honest with themselves, or you—I’m simply here to bridge the connection to some tools and tips that have been beneficial for me. I welcome you to explore, take what you feel drawn to, and leave the rest. That’s the beauty of self-discovery.