I’m Twila Hedges,
Creator & Owner of Rae Kai.
BE BRAVE. BE WILD. BE YOU.
I have always loved spending time in nature, and felt in tune with all things both big and small. Exploring beautiful places and spending time around animals has always made me so happy. Ever since I can remember, I could connect with animals in a special way, even in the wild. I could 'feel' them energetically and felt a powerful bond. I grew up feeling led to study animals and to photograph nature so that I could share those special moments and the importance of nature with others.
My plans got put on hold when I was diagnosed with a lot of major health problems and my life took a big turn. My life revolved around going to doctor appointments and waiting on test results…waiting, waiting and more waiting. I waited for the doctors to tell me what to do and all the while felt helpless. After Western Medicine failed, I turned to Holistic Health methods and began seeing results. A couple of years later when I was diagnosed with Cancer, I felt led to approach that holistically as well and opted against surgery, radiation or chemo. Through it all I trusted and believed that despite the odds I was going to be okay. Though my body had never been weaker, I had never been stronger. I drew strength from connecting more with my spiritual side, and by spending time in nature, together they gave me the peace, healing and strength I needed.
I planned and took a road trip each year, by myself, regardless of how my health was at the time. I needed to be outside and have some time to myself. To see new places, visit some favorite spots, spend time with animals and photograph. I needed to fill my cup. These trips I cherished and looked forward to. They boosted my will and ushered in wholeness, happiness and inspiration. I was reminded that in nature is where I had always felt most like myself.
I would come home from each trip refreshed and would print my favorite photos capturing my most treasured moments and I would make what I liked to call a 'Quote Book' with these photos. I would pair each photo with a favourite quote, song lyric or phrase that had inspired and encouraged me. Words hold such significance and can be that perfect reminder, a call to action. These handmade books I would look at countless times over the course of each year and they would connect me with nature even when I wasn't well enough to be in nature. The words would help me find my inner strength. Nature takes us back to ourselves, inspiring the greatest and truest parts within each of us.
I felt my power return and I became an active participant in my own healing. I stopped waiting and decided to take my health into my own hands, and during that process not only did I heal from Cancer completely, I also found myself. This experience transformed me in so many ways and is still changing me, even to this very day.
The beautiful thing about life is that what is meant for you will always find you. What can be seen as roadblocks can also be stepping stones, if you change your perspective. My heart continued to long for something more. My life brought me full circle back to my dream and it came to light, first in many small, then bigger nudges. I felt the pull to move somewhere quieter, where I could have nature right outside my doorstep. I listened to the urgings of my heart that reminded me, that my dream to be a photographer lived on. I’ve been called on to be brave many times in my life, and I heard the call to be brave once again. It was time. I was ready. I was going to return to my dream. I would be a photographer. So I opened my hands and let all that was filling them go. "Leap and the net will appear," it's famously said, so I created space then I took a leap of faith. Was it scary? Of course it was, but I’ve also never felt so free. Free to be myself.
I know there are many of you living with a beautiful dream of your own and I wanted to share my story hoping it will inspire you. To remind you that it’s never too late to be brave with your life. I have lived by the motto ‘Be Brave with your Life’ because I believe the things that matter most to us, call on us to be brave. So ask yourself, ‘How do I want to feel each day?’ Remember that each and every day you have a chance to start anew and live intentionally. To make room for what matters most. You too can carve your own path.
Be Brave. Be Wild. Be You.
I live in the Canadian Rockies with my husband and feel such peace here.
I enjoy exploring the beautiful area I get to call home, and travel a lot each year to photograph and go on adventures. I spend a number of months in Alaska each year and enjoy getting off the grid to explore the wilderness. My love for nature and inspirational words have inspired my Inspirational Nature
Photo and Traditional Nature Photo collections, which offer beautiful yet
meaningful pieces for your home.
Bringing the outside in helps you to get back to nature,
and back to yourself.
I have been published by Canadian Geographic, Wildlife Photographic Magazine, the UK Times and the Daily Star.
I also do a couple of events each year showcasing my photos.
Visit our Find Us page to learn more.
If you'd like to hear about the meaning behind the name 'Rae Kai' visit: