Sam Pfotenhauer is a Human Design reader and intuitive guide.  Through her business Wild River, she facilitates spaces for inner inquiry and connecting to earth, body, and intuition.  Sam is also an environmental lawyer. After graduating from Tulane Law School in 2017, she practiced as a securities litigator in New York City, but left that role in August 2020 to pursue her environmental and spiritual interests. Sam currently works on a range of environmental issues, both in the private sector and in public service, but focuses on water-related issues and urban farming. She currently lives in Burlington, VT with her long-time partner and her cat, Dino. Find her at www.


Sam opens our interview with a meditation to help you root into Earth. Then she offers thoughts on:

  • How she first introduced spiritual practices into her law firm workplace, then left to create a more spacious life.
  • What it’s like to be living her dream life of half-time intellectual work in law and half-time spiritually based coaching and mentoring.
  • How Human Design helped her give herself permission to create the blend of types of work she craved.
  • How Human Design can help us understand and cooperate with other people in a time when cooperation is needed to solve our planetary problems.
  • A theory about how the Earth may need us to help generate energy for life along with her, but if we are depleted, we can’t fulfill that role. “It’s very difficult to have the space to advocate [for the natural world] when you yourself are overwhelmed in the way that you live.”
  • Her practice for fitting time in nature into every day, and how connecting to Earth can be as simple as a tea ceremony, spending time with your houseplants, or appreciating the vegetables you are eating.
  • The more space you are holding for your own, other people’s, and Earth’s transformations, the more you need to be giving yourself time to ground, rest, and center. We talk about how our workaholism is tied to our abuse of the planet.
  • A brilliant question for helping yourself move forward: “How would a higher version of myself feel empowered, and what’s standing in the way?”