I have a love of ancient wisdom traditions, and exploring them through ritual, creativity, dance, music and writing. I have loved dance in its many forms since my early teen years. It was my beginning exploration of movement, embodied fun, and self-expression. As an adult, dance is part of my joyful play, self care, and spiritual practice. Dance inspires me with its many layers and complexities of expression. I love to bring dance into my work with clients, as metaphor and as practice.
As a young 20 year old woman, I became deeply inspired and passionate about the experience of people living with HIV/AIDS following the death of a beloved family friend. I have maintained my commitment to both the LGBTQIA and HIV/AIDS communities for three decades. I have worked with the HIV/AIDS community in hospital, clinic, home health, and psychotherapy settings since 1994; and have been a frequent volunteer and fundraiser for people living with HIV/AIDS since 1988.
I am a native Angeleno and spent my life living in and around Los Angeles until the Spring of 2017 when I moved to Santa Cruz, CA to explore a life near the forest and the ocean. After almost 49 years in Los Angeles, this was a big leap into trust that I could start over in a new town.
I love Santa Cruz, all of its natural beauty is so nourishing. And, it turns out that I’m a city woman at heart! I love the vitality and diversity that being in and near a city offers. In the Summer 2019 I moved to Oakland, CA in the East San Francisco Bay area. I feel truly at home again in the rich culture, vibrant community, and local natural beauty available to me.
So, here I am. Living and working in Oakland, CA. And traveling back to LA every other month or so to work in person with clients and be with family, friends and community down south. It really feels like the best of both worlds for me. I am deeply grateful to have been able to follow my heart and create a life that I love.
A little more about me...
If you’re curious to learn more about my journey and how I ended up bringing all of these different influences into my work, here’s a little more about how that unfolded ...
I love being a social worker! It’s a really important part of my lineage and my values. And, as you may imagine, it was hard to be a social worker in agency settings day in and day out. There was a period of time, many years ago, when I thought I may have to leave the profession. I was burnt out. Really burnt out. The depth of suffering, limited resources, and volume of work took a toll on me. I was exhausted. And sick. But, not the kind of sick a doctor diagnoses. It was the kind where it just feels like there is no life force left. My energy was so low, and the enjoyment in my life seemed so hard to access. No fun!
Believe it or not, it’s exactly that burn out that I am so grateful for today. It inspired me to explore other ways of finding health and wellness. In 2007, I began to study and practice mindfulness meditation. That helped. I felt inspired again, and opened my private psychotherapy practice in 2008 out of that inspiration, blending traditional psychotherapy with Eastern Wisdom traditions. And, I kept seeking.
In 2009, I began to study Somatic Experiencing®. This changed everything for me! I started to connect with myself and my body in a new way. I realized how stuck and stagnant I had become, and I learned how to change that through the wisdom and rhythms of the body. I haven’t stopped learning and studying somatic modalities yet, and assist the Somatic Experiencing® professional training as well. I love being in sacred space supporting others in their growth and learning process. Plus, I get to remain immersed in my beloved somatic community!
A trip to India in 2011 inspired a love for the country and its people. India has since become an ever present source of wisdom, strength, and love. I returned home from India inspired to go deeper into my study of yoga and Ayurveda. In 2012, I became a certified Yoga and Ayurveda Specialist with 300 hours of study, to date, in the blending of these ancient traditions.
In 2013, a few months after I left my job in County Mental Health, I was introduced to the Enneagram and to essential oils. I was hooked on both immediately! I dove into my personal exploration of both of these resources for two years before I began integrating them into my professional work in 2015.
I became an Enneagram coach, and also began working with shadow parts of ourselves through this lens. It is such a joy for me to integrate the Enneagram and the healing of disowned and rejected parts ourselves into my somatic work. It feels like a beautiful sacred dance, welcoming all parts of ourselves, with compassionate and loving awareness, while supporting integration in the body. I’m passionate about helping others in this process of self exploration, so that they can move in the world in new ways.
Living in the city I have always had to be creative about how I connect with nature on a daily basis. Aside from getting outside and experiencing the elements directly at the ocean or on a local hike, one of my favorite ways to bring nature into my home every day is through pure essential oils. I love to use tree and floral oils for grounding and joy. It also helps me connect directly with the plants and the people who grow them and the process that brings them into my home.
In 2015, I also became so inspired by the healing power of essential oils and the ways they support health in all areas of our lives, including financial health, that I expanded my partnership with a global essential oil company named doTERRA and started to work professionally as an Essential Oil Wellness Advocate and Educator.