When I was seven years old, I spent my time creating art, writing in my journal, and concocting magic potions in the woods out of pebbles, petals, and rain water. I helped tend our family garden, where I learned about the magic of the plant world. I cared for our many pets, instilling reverence for the animal world. With just a spiral notebook and some egg cartons, I ran my first business selling our hen's eggs, sparking my entrepreneurial spirit. I was a regular beachcomber in awe of the ocean's treasures, a forest explorer who made a cozy den among the towering trees, and a stargazer who felt the secrets of the cosmos deep in my bones, so viscerally that it sometimes kept me up at night. I called myself a witch, wondering if dandelions would grow where I danced in the yard.
When I was twelve years old, I rode my bike to our local new age shop most weekends. I'd sit for hours, devouring books on dreams, astrology, metaphysics, and the chakra system. The mystical women who ran the store generously taught me about the healing properties of each crystal. I saved my allowance to buy a clear quartz pendant and a book on listening to your inner voice, no matter what. The learning and purchases from that time still serve me.
As a young adult, I found myself in a demanding career in the Internet industry, during its formative days. Though the work was financially lucrative, socially sanctioned, and flexed the high-achiever muscle I had over-developed along the way, I ached to bring forth the inner knowing of the little girl within. I yearned to share the parts of me that swooned over how the spirals of a nautilus shell and a pinecone were reflected in the galaxy. When I wasn't developing or monetizing web sites, I practiced yoga, studied Buddhism and Paganism, and set up lovely personal ceremonies by candlelight in my room at night -- a solitary practitioner, honoring my roots and finding my personal meaning of spirituality.
Once my longing to create meaning, magic, ritual, and art was stronger than my ties to the safe and familiar, I committed fully to standing in my truth. I immersed myself in art-making, meditation, and deep self-inquiry work. In an effort to mature my inner child's healing gifts and innate knowing, I sought out teachers. I drastically changed my career path, and while my choice made no rational sense to others, the voice within was so loud that it was a must for me. (Ah, the Saturn return.)
I enrolled in a contemplative, experiential master's program for transpersonal art therapy, and I concurrently applied my understanding of the chakra system and energy to the practice of Reiki. I remember the lump in my throat at my grad school orientation, as the speaker emphasized that we were here to embark upon a process of unlearning - of stripping away the layers of generational and societal trappings to remember our true nature so we could offer it to the world. Peeling back layers, softening. I've been on this path ever since.
I aim to live my life with authenticity and congruency. I am not a fan of "putting on different hats" for work and for play. I try to show up simply as me in all settings, and bring my humanness into each room I enter - with all my awkwardness and luminosity and vulnerability and courage. By doing so, I hope to disarm you, so you can shine your raw, gorgeous, unique light.
I'm making a spiral journey, curving back around to meet the wise, little girl within me again and again. I'm still a beachcombing, forest-wandering, stargazing witch. I create art daily to make meaning and magic in the mundane, as a self-inquiry ritual, and to connect with spirit. With the addition of healing gifts I've gathered along the way, both the measurable credentials you can read below and the immeasurable experiences I've described above, I now call myself an art sorceress.
- Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC 393) in the state of California
- Nationally Registered Art Therapist (ATR 12-117)
- Master-level Reiki practitioner and teacher in the Usui tradition in the Takata Lineage, since 2003
- Level 1 Professional training in Hakomi, a body-centered, mindfulness-oriented psychotherapy practice
- Master of Arts, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy from Naropa University, a Buddhist university for contemplative and experiential education in Boulder, CO
- Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, Communication Studies with concentration in Gender Studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA