Lest you think I’ve had one of those perfect, easy lives, please know that I didn’t grow up in a fantasy TV-family situation. Some pretty bad things went on behind the scenes.
I had to do a lot of personal healing around trauma before I could stand tall in the world.
And I was very sensitive and shy (think there’s a connection?!). Bursting into tears was my go-to response for many years.
Adding to the fun, my sibs and I were taught that the bootstrap technique was the way to go: show up and look your best; smile!; never admit things are less than perfect; figure it out yourself, by golly.
And boy, have I made some spectacular mistakes in my life! A couple of those could’ve permanently driven me over the edge (and did, for a little while).
It has not always been a perfect, easy life, can I just tell you?! But it has always been worth it.
What helped me?
The mentors who cared enough to help me see myself with more clarity, deeper confidence, and a bigger sense of what was actually possible completely changed my life.
Education, Training and Experience
Even though my dad was a welder with an 8th-grade education, and my mom was taken out of school in the 9th grade to travel with a carnival, I managed to earn a PhD.
For the past 25 years, my career has been focused on teaching people how to find their true place in the world, and start making their dreams a reality.
Every week, I mentor women who come to me:
- befuddled, and
After a few months, they’re able to successfully navigate the transition from blah job into feeling deeply fulfilled, with a clear plan of action and plenty of positive strategies to keep moving forward into their dream career.
Early Days As A Counselor
From my early days as a counselor working with at-risk adolescents in experiential wilderness programs high up in the Colorado Rockies to serving people of chronic, severe mental illness inside The Living Museum, a 30,000sf art studio/museum at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, NY …
… and from coaching women in Boulder, CO; Sedona, AZ; and Santa Fe, NM to writing for the Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and hosting/producing/engineering a weekly public radio show …
… I’ve mentored literally hundreds of people — thousands of hours — all over the world.
Mindful awareness is part of the signature program I’ve developed for my clients. I completed the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) 8-week on-site training, with Michelle DuVall, in Albuquerque, NM.
Before that, I studied Tibetan Buddhism and meditation with Dr. Reginald Ray, in Boulder CO. The focus was Reggie’s brilliant program called Meditating With the Body.
I’ve also studied meditation techniques and attended on-site retreats with the Hindu spiritual teacher, Amma.
All my life I’ve been in love with music — I studied classical music for years, and was a cellist.
And boy, if there’s dance music playing anywhere nearby, I’m up, ‘offa my thing, and dancing, especially if it’s Motown, R&B, or salsa.
I swear, my little sister and I used to stand in front of the TV and practice whenever Soul Train was on.
I’ve always been a writer, and once I started making visual art — which didn’t happen until I was an adult, in the landscape architecture program I attended full-time for two years — I never looked back.
One of my newer things, believe it or not, is fly fishing. I just started trout fishing three seasons ago. The fishing is hard/fun, but being out in wild nature is the best.
Besides having a blast learning how to catch trout, I regularly attend conferences and study all the latest research findings that focus on the art and science of health, well-being and happiness. ‘Cause that’s my thing.