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Apr 2009 - Connor Sauer

Connor header.jpg

Visionary, Author, Dancer, Spiritual Mentor, Lifeguide, Consciousness Coach

 Santa Fe, New Mexico
Joshua Tree, California


She, the woman, tends the oil of my inner lamp...
It is a rich oil, made from a life filled with guidance, struggle, mistakes,
passion, terror, instinct, grace, knowing and the unknown.
The flame sustained by the inner oil brings awakening, and with it gifts that unfold
into a soul fabric, woven with wisdom, tolerance, diversity, and creativity.
Out of the compost, the deep rich oil, fruit, the lotus, is grown. Oil, the sustainer,
must be replenished from living life deeply, fully, truthfully. ~Connor Sauer

I Said Yes
By:  Jean Harper

Connor rim in brown res 250.jpgConnor Sauer knows nothing of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of our personal power; she is fearless, enlightened, powerful, articulate, adventuresome and most of all- AWAKE. I was fortunate enough to spend the entire day with her for this interview and left- not wanting the day to end. She has done more than most women ever dream of doing and she is just now beginning to share her life's experiences with others.  She has been content to help select other women grow spiritually but is now willing to open up for a higher cause.

Connor Sauer has lived  her life with moxy;  a three month solo Trek through 
Northern India and into the Himalayas of Nepal (reaching elevations above 17,000 ft) on the way to Everest Base Camp in the Khumbu Region and running the Trisuli River into the Chitwan Jungle of southern Nepal, where she rode elephants in search of rhinoceros.  She has danced on the edge of the Grand Canyon, spent time up-close and personal with a Bobcat (that she and her husband named Aristo), gathered other Moxy Women together for days and nights of ceremony and dance, led women's widerness trips and escorted Indigenous Elders.  With all of this adventure she is also a wife, mother, grandmother, and according to her own mom, she is also a great daughter.


Photo left- Connor in Eagle Dance costume with Rita Cantu from their "Canyon Through the Arts" program.  Picture taken on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.



Parts 1 and 2

The Himalayas- Finding the Lost Horizon Within...
As a woman I move through my living, the path a treasure, unfolding its gifts.
My hands get softer in their touch, stronger in their grip.
My ears have grown roots into my heart, hearing more the pulse of creation.
My voice becomes more deliberate as my mind becomes more discerning.
My feet move over the contours of the land into my psyche, as they spread
with age and wilderness traveled.   ~ Connor Sauer


View Video Series Preview Trailer Below

Constance Evelyn Wheeler was nicknamed Connor by her friends at the age of 16.  In the 1990s timeframe, Constance changed her name officially to Connor.  I became curious about the meaning of her name during my interview with Connor as she didn't elaborate on the meaning but told me, with an eloquent smile, that the name suited her enough to lead her to make the change.  Having spent time with Connor Sauer, I knew there was more to that story so I decided to find out for myself. 

The name Connor is a recommended boy name- I don't know many women with a story like Connor Sauer so that was my first clue that the name is appropriate.  The name Connor from its Irish origin means, strong willed or wise and a dog or wolf lover.  Also from the Irish Coachuhhar (Gaelic), Connor means high desire.  The name has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish Kings.  My conclusion after reviewing her story- I agree the name is perfect for Connor- a woman of high desire, strong will, wise and... well, the photo below speaks for itself.

Connor with Dances with Wolves star.jpgWhen Connor was a young girl her father read her the story- Lost Horizon- a novel by author James Hilton.  Lost Horizon is a 1933 novel  that is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian monastery high in the mountains of Tibet; a mystical, happy, harmonious valley enclosed in the west end of the Kunlun Mountains where the people living there were practically immortal and aged at an unprecedented slow pace.  The story had a huge impact on the young girl and at the age of 9 she had a dream of someone waiting for her in the Himalayas.

The life and experience of Connor Sauer is by no means  fictional but may resemble a storybook or mythical tale.  Having read the book  Lost Horizon and proclaiming to all that know me that is my lifelong favorite movie, I was riveted by her story and I am humbled by the chance of bringing it to this page.

 In 1968, while at the University of Vermont, Connor met her first spiritual teacher, outside of her parents.  This woman- we will call, Angelina, gave her several books among which were the Life and Teachings of Masters of the Far East, Autobiography of a Yogi and Science of the Soul;  during this time Connor began the practice of meditation.  Connor shared with Angelina her desire to trek the Himalayas and Angelina responded that she would be going but not just now- she would wake up one morning and know when it was time.  Connor put her dream of the Himalaya adventure to the side and went on her spiritual quest that would prepare her for this adventure.

In 1974 Connor met her future husband, Curt.  The two lived in a teepee in ColoradoConnor pictures teepee.jpg for the first two years of their relationship; yes, I said teepee or tipi meaning one of those cone shaped tents popularized by the Native Americans. She slept under buffalo skins to stay warm as it gets very cold in Colorado.  The reason for living in the teepee was to afford buying the desired land to build the dream of a log house; it was a group investment.  They were young  and this was an incredible opportunity that would lead to a study and learning of indigenous practices. The experience would add to her wealth of knowledge during her  on-going, spiritual journey.

Connor was 21 years of age when she met Curt and in 1979, at the age of 24, she married and moved to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  In 1981, she woke up one morning,  and said to herself, "it's time, I must go to the Himalayas".  At first her husband was not happy with the idea; he was ready to have a family.  Connor explained to him that she had to go now before starting a family or else she would always have regrets and possibly bitterness.  He then gave her his support and she left in October, 1981; a young, blonde, American woman- at a time when the slave trade still existed,  left the shores of America for the very first time, no cell phones and no means of contact, for 3 months, alone, to find the core of her personal destiny.

In Part 1 and 2 of the series, Connor explains some of the details and coincidences of her trek through the Himalayas- from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to Kathmandu, Nepal she finds the center of her spiritual path- a path of going within and allowing one consciousness, accessing the source through wakened consciousness-  in India she found the gift of the kingdom within.


Click on the image below to watch Part 1- Finding the Lost Horizon 

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Click on the Image Below to View Part 2 of Finding the Lost Horizon

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Learning to marvel amidst growing despair, I accept inner oil shared by those around me, and my flame burns a richer color, Woman, I, one strand in the web. Remembering she is here, in me, as sure as the Great Mystery blows strong beyond the first breath, loved as part of all Creation, I call out. Unfold your gifts. ~Connor Sauer

Parts 3 and 4

Long Dance

Finishing the interview of Connor Sauer has been a long process for me.  I have told her many times that her life should be recorded as a video mini-series as there is so much that this moxy woman has accomplished.  It is very difficult to cut out parts of her story to allow it to be included in a short interview on a website.  The hardest part for me was to cut anything, at all, but obviously it needed to be shortened in order to publish it on this website.  I was delighted to hear that Connor is writing a book and it is my hope that she will finish that book so that her amazing life might be made available in a format for women around the world to view, hear and learn from.

Shortly after my time with Connor I received a special gift from her.  It was a signed photograph- a copy of which appears below. 
On the photo she writes- "To Truly live life, we must allow it to be sacred". 

I have never met anyone like Connor and feel so blessed to have her as my friend.  Having Connor in your life is a gift.  Her family and friends are blessed with her love and devotion.  I experienced her friendship first hand recently and what she describes as "Being Side-Bys ©.  In her own words she describes what it means to be a side-by to someone:

"I do all that I possibly can to contribute to the world being populated with women
(and yes, men and children) who know themselves to be beautiful,
self-confident, spirit and soul centered, grounded in the practical.

I honor and treasure women who choose to walk with awareness, integrity,
honesty and impeccability to the fullest extent they are able at any moment in time,
who are willing to mature and deepen in their wisdom with consequent choice of action
and words, and who make room for others’ greatness, skills and gifts, as their side-bys.

I am side-by to these women, as we stand next to each other in a circle of peers".
~ Connor Sauer

In Parts 3 and 4 of the interview Connor picks up the story after her return from her six month trip to the Himalayas.  She discusses how her Long Dance gathering began and where it is today. 

The invitation to the first Woman’s Way Long Dance said this:

“The Long Dance is about Power, Mystery, and unfolding. It is about having ritual serve our deepest longings for purpose and wholeness. It, in this case, is about gathering with women and entering into sisterhood together. It is about facing the unknown, calling upon our deeps, committing to a path of service, first to ourselves to gain bearing, and then reaching out to others. It is the discovery of how very much we need each other at times, and how strong we can be when needed. It is learning how fine it can be to stand alone in our brilliance, claiming our dewdrop of uniqueness in the web of relationships.

It is time for us to remember the wisdom of our ancestors, and use it on the path of knowledge, technology, and science. We have not been here before, all of us. We have not stood side by side with billions of people on this planet at the same time, consuming ourselves into oblivion, with such possibility at our fingertips. The question of how to create a planetary community that works successfully, and respects individuals and differences at the same time, is a profound one. A new vision is in the making, a new way of walking lightly on the Earth, the courage to break away and see things as they really are, and push forward into the unknown. The time for pretense is gone. It is time for us all to walk steadily into our healing, and understand that possibility is born in ourselves.”


Click on the Video Below to View Part 3- Long Dance 1

Click on the Video Below to View Part 4- Long Dance 2

 To Read Connor's Full Story of Long Dance- in Her Own Words- Click Here

View Photos Below of Connor and Her Family

(Photos below- Damian- Connor's son is a firefighter in California, also shown with his wife and baby)

(Other Photos Below- Connor with her mother and bottom left- her husband)








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