*Disclaimer this is a long true story rather than a polished professional bio. If you would like to skip ahead to see my credentials and training head to the last paragraph.
I had an upbringing which led to much independence from an early age as I first left home at the age of twelve as my folks moved to the British Virgin Islands and I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle back in the States. I eventually landed at boarding school. I quickly realized that much of my learning was going to be the experiential kind as I was not going to be traveling a straight and narrow path. I went through many painful lessons during the tender years from pre-teen to young adult. I found out the hard way that looking for love outside of myself was futile and full of hustling and bending in inauthentic movements
After graduating from high school I bounced from place to place for the next few years and it was during this explorative time that I started to develop my own internal compass to help guide me. I worked in old age homes, senior centers and with young adults with developmental disabilities. This work pried open my closed and protective heart and certainly did more for me then I ever could have done for it. It transformed my life path and oriented me back towards my light once again.
As I worked and moved around the country I also kept up with school, attending a total of FIVE different colleges until I gratefully landed at a place where I did some very deep healing work. Naropa University which back then was The Naropa Institute is set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Here we sat in circles on the floor on meditation cushions and took classes titled, "What is Fear?". We learned how to meditate and would sit before our classes and lectures. We were given the opportunity to go on meditation retreats and take electives such as yoga and Japanese flower arranging. We took "Warrior Exams" for our major tests. This transpired by sitting in the middle of the classroom with another classmate who asked you a couple of questions prepared by the reacher. Grading was determined by how the question was answered intellectually as well as mindfully. As someone who was scared to be seen and vulnerable I felt I had nothing to hide any longer and the permission to come home to myself was granted. I graduated Naropa with a B.A. in Contemplative Psychology in 2001 and with a real found sense of belonging and embracing the woman I was and for my soft and strong and royal warrior heart.
After Naropa my grandfather died and left me with a check for $10,000. I took that money and immediately bought a backpack and a one way ticket to Europe with a DEEP knowing I had to go on this solo journey. I learned so much about my capabilities and intuition on this trip. I also met one of the greatest loves of my lifetimes in Prague after a hard and lonely night where I found myself praying and crying in a hostel bathroom stall. I foggily walked out of that bathroom to the basement pub where I sat down across from Nial. We ended up traveling for a short time together until we abruptly parted ways without exchanging information, this being the days before Facebook. Heartbroken I continued on my journey without realizing that I would bump into Nial in two different countries months after that first meeting and that we would then cultivate a decade plus friendship back in the States AND eventually build a home and life together as partners. Not just that but only later was it revealed that the reason he was in Europe was the generosity of another old man. A friend of his grandmother's passed away and left him a check for $10,000....
At 24 I left Europe and went back to Colorado to pick up my car which was full of all the possessions I owned and drove straight to a city where I had always wanted to live. Traveling Europe gave me the confidence to chase other wild dreams. It was in the enchanting city of San Francisco that I started out working as a freelance stylist for photo shoots. I was a young woman making a name for myself with an outrageous back drop of beauty and excitement. Over time in that industry however I could not hack the idea of being a stylist for too long as the work was not conducive to having a balanced life outside of itself. I was traveling very often and working long days for weeks at end. I had a hard time with the value systems in that business and as much as I loved the creative aspects and the staying in fancy hotels, I knew it was not sustainable for my constitution to thrive.
In 2004 my Fairy godmother as I like to call her took me under her wing in a very big way and allowed me to mentor under her as she was a professional organizer. If it would not have been for Barbara I would have never of even known that professional organizing was a thing. I was finally working on a holistic level with people and seeing a tremendous amount of transformation taking place. I loved it and I apparently was good at it! It was at this place in time where my vocation aligned with my life calling of simply meeting people where they were and seeing where they wanted to go.
In 2007, I moved to Portland, Oregon with my then wonderful husband and now lovable ex-husband and extrodinary father to our child. In Portland, I continued to support myself as an organizer and I also opened a vintage store which was literally a childhood dream of mine. It was one of the most delightful things I have ever done and as a bonus I ended up with an amazing community of friends. After owning the shop for 4.5 years I sold the business as while working with an organizing client during that time and finishing their space they asked me if we could continue to working together on "life stuff. I decided then that I needed to take a leap which had been percolating for over a decade.
While I was living in SF I wanted to become a coach but it wasn't until after I became a mother that I was certain. Something shifted when I birthed my child. I would walk around the world kind of tripping and thinking when seeing other people on the street.. or in restaurants.. or waiting for the bus .. I would think to myself, "You are someone's child.. You are precious.. I see you." I just knew I had to deepen my work and be with people on another level. Alongside knowing I wanted to work with my client past our organizing work I knew I had to do that with integrity and that I needed to go to coaching school and begin the next chapter, which I did in 2012.
On the side I like to dabble in house remodeling and am on my third house remodel since moving to Portland. I am an artist and enjoy writing and tend to spend my free time working on projects or taking baths. I am a freak for decorating and creating beautiful cozy and intuitive spaces to live and be in. Check out one of my homes for a tour apartment therapy did! It is the home my ex and I kept parenting from even after our divorce was finalized. We birthed Bell in that home and we both felt she needed to feel sure footed in our separation before she went through any more changes that were not in her control. That way of "nesting" as it is called is not for everyone but it was really good for our kid. I managed to find a home five blocks from our co-owned family house and so now Bell can make the transition of living in two homes from a grounded space and if she leaves her favorite sweater at one home she can just walk over to the other house and pick it up!
In my time on this earth I have seen that pain and failure have been some of my wisest teachers if I am loving and brave enough to hold them close. They are not something to fear as much as they are guides on the journey of growing deep and wide. The thing to fear is the buffer we place in front of our hearts that blocks true intimacy and connection from getting in or out. I have been willing to listen and to accept my own truth and from this place I have found out that I truly love who I am and am becoming. I have been fortunate enough to sit with others as we practice this art of loving kindness and wholly embrace and integrate all parts.
Now for the credentials I needed in order to get my card stamped as well as the awesome training I had the privilege to attend. In order to become a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) I have completed over 200 hours at the Coaching Teaching Institute in San Rafael, California this was a year long program from 2012-2013. Since that point in time I have also have met all of the requirements and over 1000 coaching hours to have been granted the title of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Yahoo! This basically means I take what I do seriously and take continuing education with institutions in my industry that keep coaches and other healing professionals to high standards of care for their clients. I also decided to go through a year long mediation training/volunteer program at Resolutions Northwest here in Portland and I continue to drop in there and coach the new trainees once a year. Also In 2014 I became a founding member of the Portland Coaching Collective. We are a fabulous group of women who love what we do as well as each other.