My Story is your Story. Just a different set of characters and situations. My joys and traumas are yours, too. Yours are mine. When we allow ourselves to think we are unique in our human condition, we lose the ability to rise above and grow. We get stuck in our own story. We lose perspective. We lose gratitude. We are not in rhythm with the way things are and – what's more –we lose access to the way things can be.
My journey has taken me as far away as India to learn that perspective, healing, growth, and evolution are available right here at home, within me. Within each of us. Along the way, I learned to stop taking life so personally and to stop resisting the natural ebb and flow of things. I learned to move through life’s ups and downs with a more steady presence. I became more aware of how I attach my emotions and feelings to something outside of myself. When I learned that life was happening for me and not to me, I learned that the challenges and traumas, every single one of them, were available to serve my evolution– if I am willing.
Sometimes I still fall down. Hard. This presents an opportunity to see the possibilities – what is beyond the fall. We have a new choice. A potential to create.
Reflection on heartache, loss, abandonment, and sadness, allows forgiveness, transcendence, and transformation. Healing takes place.
Life happens. How we react to it is our choice and ultimately our own responsibly and no one else’s.
Someone else cannot fix “this” for us or fix us, but that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. Infinite lives have been lived before us – there is a collective wisdom. With the help of teachers, guides, mentors, and friends we can navigate life in a healthier, more joyful way. My quest is to learn every day, and to know I do not hold the answers, only possibilities. My journey includes sharing what I have learned – and am learning– through an ever-evolving set of tools. As my dad tells me, “Don’t listen to me. Listen to the one I listen to.”
I’m interested in your story. And, how we can together create a story that heals.
We are born in to a life with an interesting combination of already engrained tendencies and sets of traits. We are born with a core self. Layered on top is a set of learned behaviors and a personality developed from early experiences, and experiences over a life time.
Life is a constant seeking. A seeking inspired by the need to survive and thrive, and the desire to experience love.
This seeking starts with thoughts that create a feeling that give rise to emotions that cause us to act. Actions become habits and patterns of behaviors. Those behaviors are adaptive or maladaptive. They either work or they don’t.
Maladaptive thoughts, actions, and behaviors create continued suffering. But we often aren’t aware that the maladaptive behavior is causing the suffering. We think it’s something outside of ourselves – such as our parents, our partners, our circumstances, or whoever or whatever else we want to blame.
This is where we experience “stuck” or a downward spiral. It is this very suffering and discomfort that if we are aware enough could be the catalyst for positive, upward spiral of change, moving us out of “stuck” or a downward spiral. The trigger for this positive change is awareness. Your current perspective is the lock and your expanded awareness creates a key to this lock.
The human experience inevitably deals with psychological suffering; every human will experience suffering many times during a lifetime. The question is how do we deal with suffering? What does the mind do with suffering?
My education, professional experience, and devotion to the practice of yoga have played a pivotal role in my path to discover healing opportunities within myself and others, as well as a finding a more joyful approach to life.
My career transition as a psychotherapist is currently underway as a Master’s student in Marriage Family Therapy (MMFT) at the University of Southern California (expected graduation May 2018). I have begun my MFT traineeship with the Southern California Counseling Center, working towards my 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience.
Before enrolling at USC, I worked as a federal lobbyist for UCLA and spent time in Washington, DC advising members of Congress, presidents of universities, and other policy leaders to foster changes to and advocacy for higher education policies. I have a Master’s and PhD in education policy and organizational leadership from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For more than 15 years, I have studied yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, practicing in the US in various cities and sitting with a master teacher, Anand, in Rishikesh, India.
I have taught yoga since 2007, owned a boutique, community yoga studio in West Los Angeles, and am certified through the Yoga Alliance as a E-200 RYT/500 RYT.
Through this combination of study with wise teachers, personal application and practice in my own life, and teaching others, my self-inquiry and curiosity about relationships, my own behaviors and patterns, and the mystery and magic of life developed and continues to evolve.