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Through navigating and healing my own childhood trauma, I have learned that the therapeutic methods which access the body's innate wisdom and integrity, and bring it firmly into present moment awareness, have the most promise in integrating and resolving these deep-seated issues.
I've always been interested in the intersection of eastern and western psychology, spirituality and approaches to health and healing. I trained in Transcendental Meditation and became a Reiki Master in the early 90's.
I attended the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco to explore the spiritual dimensions of health and healing, as well as learn more about somatic approaches to healing. I graduated with a Masters Degree in Integral Health in 2000 and completed graduate research in the bodily experience of women remembering incidents of childhood sexual abuse. My study of the Rosen Bodywork Method deepened my understanding of the important role the body plays in healing.
From there life took me on a surprising journey - my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I made the decision to move near her until her death in 2002. Her courage, strength and compassion for others, including herself, inspired me to look more deeply into my own fear of death. I found myself, quite unexpectedly but in perfect synchronicity, working in hospice and end-of-life care for the following 15 years.
Because of my love of spiritual exploration and my interest in death and dying, I was drawn to study Buddhism more formally. Although I had been practicing meditation for many years, I had never formally committed to path of practice and study. I have found this path to be deeply fulfilling, helping me to learn how to work with my mind and habits and be present and compassionate to myself and my own suffering, as well as to the suffering of others.
Through my association with Buddhism, I began working with Rigpa's Spiritual Care Program, providing training to health care professionals and lay caregivers in meditation and contemplative approaches to care. I served as faculty in the Contemplative End of Life Care Program originally offered through Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. I also had the amazing opportunity to move to the wild Beara Peninsula in Southwest Ireland in 2008 to support the creation of a spiritual care center for those who are ill, dying and grieving. I feel honored to have been able to contribute in a small way to this inspiring center on the clifftop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Upon returning to the United States, I wanted to deepen my understanding of spiritual care from other spiritual traditions and gain more clinical counseling experience. I completed training as a chaplain in Clinical Pastoral Education in 2012 and continued to work with the dying and grieving in hospice, as well as starting my own private practice.
The work in hospice and spiritual care was richly satisfying. Yet, as all things must change, I was guided to let it go. I decided to do something completely different! I took time to study Feng Shui, a long time interest of mine. I became certified as a Feng Shui Professional in the Black Sect Tantric Buddhist tradition and currently offer Feng Shui education and consultation for home and office.
The work that I do now draws on all of my education, training and experience over the past 25 years. I immensely enjoy journeying with people who are interested in learning to fully embodying their lives, as they heal the wounds of the past. I am currently studying Hakomi - mindfulness-based, body-centered psychotherapy - and am registered with DORA Colorado as a Psychotherapist.
Recently I've been involved in the production of Tomorrow Never Knows, a documentary film about love, choice and ultimately dying. It is a sensitive look into the life and death of Shar Jones, a transgender person living with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and the difficult choice he and his wife Cynthia Vitale faced. At its core it's a love story, but one with profound implications for increasing awareness about choice in living and in dying.