I am fascinated with the great potential of human beings, and it’s my life path to help people align with their true nature by releasing all that is getting in the way of this. We all contain boundless potential, but the heaviness and challenges of life often thwart our capacity to feel fully alive.
We all know we could feel better but don’t always know where to begin.
it took me many decades (of mistakes, lessons, challenges, and illness) to start living a more authentic life.
I spent my 20s studying the expansive and miraculous mind. I earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, spent my fair share of time as a patient in the therapy chair, and sat with hundreds of my own patients hearing their struggles. I learned that the mind is powerful, and in the words of the Buddha, with our thoughts, we make our world.
The next decade of my life focused on the body as I deepened my yoga practice, pursued yoga teacher training, took anatomy classes, became a Reiki master, began a regular practice of meditation, opened a yoga studio, wrote a book about the chakras, and studied with incredible teachers, including John Friend, Angela Farmer, Sally Kempton, and Dr. Deepak Chopra. I learned that inhabiting my body and following its guidance only deepened my knowledge of self, and made me more grounded and stable.
Then I found myself smack dab in the middle of a busy and full life: 3 young kids, a yoga studio to run and grow, and a full private practice. I was running myself into the ground and on the path to burnout.
My perfectionism and need to achieve was in OVERDRIVE.
No surprise, I eventually crashed and burned. My wise body (for which I have deep gratitude) got sick. Repetitive strep throat I couldn’t kick turned into autoimmune problems and deep fatigue and depression that hung over my mind and body for months. Just getting my kids dressed, fed, and off to school was enough to exhaust me for the remainder of the day. What had happened to me?
The next 12 months were my dark night of the soul, or as my girlfriend aptly named it, my Universal Smackdown. My focus became on figuring out how I had arrived at this place, and how I needed to change.
I first approached the smackdown from a purely psychological place. Was I stressed, depressed, going through a midlife crisis, burned out, or vicariously traumatized by my client work?
When this questioning didn’t yield the insights I desired, I approached it from a physiological place by getting blood work, consulting with physicians, settling into restorative yoga, changing my diet (goodbye gluten and dairy), and starting supplements.
Somewhere in the midst of this all, I realized I was still vacillating between “this is all in my head“ or “there must be biological, measurable reasons,“ instead of honoring that my body and my mind are indeed connected and continuously communicating.
The deep irony in all this is that my life’s work and focus is the mind-body connection. I teach, write, lecture, and passionately espouse the importance of listening to your body, honoring your inner voice, and paying attention!
It took this smackdown to show me how ingrained in our culture (and in me!) it is to approach our suffering from a disjointed, narrow perspective. My lesson: If I can disconnect with all my training and understanding of the mind-body, it can happen to anyone.
What I went through re-taught me in a very clear way that we never fully heal if we only focus on the mind, or if our primary focus is just the body. We MUST bring equal and respectful attention to both body and mind, because they are of course, deeply connected. We must address both our neurotic minds and the myriad of fears, worries, hopes, and dreams that live there, as well as our bodies with all their aches, pains, allergies, symptoms, and fatigue.
My life’s work is to create space, dialogue, and experiences where you feel safe and encouraged to give equal acknowledgment and attention to your body, mind & spirit, and open you to the possibility that there is a larger plan and flow to your life. Your points of pain and suffering are the places you MUST GO because they are your greatest teachers and hold the key to your growth and transformation.
professional Timeline & certifications
- 2002—Clinical internship in Health Psychology, Rush Medical Center, Chicago.
- 2003—Clinical hypnotherapy training.
- 2003—PhD., Counseling Psychology, University of Iowa.
- 2004—Certified yoga teacher.
- 2005—Reiki master.
- 2008—Owner, Heartland Yoga
- 2009—Author, Chakra Healing: Restore Balance to Your Body, Mind and Spirit Through Seven Energy Centers
- 2016—Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher, Chopra Center with Dr. Deepak Chopra