Making the Most of Life Transitions
My coaching is informed by my belief that each of us has a unique spark of life and gifts to offer, a capacity for creative living and a story worth telling. Here is a part of my story.
Watch a healthy baby at play, fully in herself and in her body, eyes filled with light and joy, taking in everything, ready for the day. After six decades of living, the theme of my life is clear — to understand what makes that original light of personal aliveness and truth go out, and what turns it back on and keeps it on no matter the hardships along the way. That theme has become a mission to help others find and express their own light in a way that’s right for them.
The values that have propelled my quest are a love of truth and awareness, a passion for creative expression, and a desire for deep connection – to self, others and something greater. On the path, I pursued lifelong education and training, earned advanced degrees, certifications and licenses, and amassed decades of professional experience.
My focus on choosing life and on using life transitions for healing and growth was sown in my own transitions, including parenthood, divorce, single motherhood, step-parenthood, career change, disability, empty nest, grandparenthood, retirement, “rewirement,” relocation, bereavement and aging. I understand the pain and great potential in transitional times!
Professionally and personally, I have had the honor of attending births and deaths, being present for great joys and great grief. My work with young mothers facing cancer taught me that facing death can bring us to our core of aliveness and to what really matters and that we have far more courage and strength than we’d ever imagined possible.
My life has been a learning lab for the work I am now privileged to do. Many of the tools and practices I offer my clients are ones that have been the most effective in keeping me connected to my true self and deep aliveness — to my light — through my own life passages. I’ve realized that the transitional process is a creative and soulful one similar to the renewal process in nature and in making art: We need to accept an ending, embrace uncertainty, engage in exploration and nurture a new beginning. Little by little, we integrate the old and new fragments, shaping them into a new form and a new story that fit our current reality and propel us forward.
That is my mission in working with you: to help you befriend transitional times and to accompany and cheer you as your own eyes light up by connecting with and living from your core vitality and truth — your essential self.
Highlights of Education, Training and Experience
- Certified Professional Coach (CPC), trained at The Coaches Training Institute, Fowler Wainwright, and The Hudson Institute
- Certified Imagery Guide, Interactive Guided Imagery,℠ Academy for Guided Imagery
- Licensed Life Change Artist Coach, The Coaches Studio
- MA in Counseling from New York University
- MPH (Master’s degree in Public Health) from UC Berkeley, concentrations in maternal-child health, health education, and community mental health
- California Community College Counseling Credential
- Continuing education and training (course work, workshops, intensives): partial list includes the Professional School of Psychology, The Gestalt Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Zen Hospice, Jewish Healing Center, Awakening Joy and Year to Live mindfulness programs
- Specialized training in oral history methods, meditation and contemplative methods, and compassionate care for the ill, dying and bereaved
- 20+ years direct service experience with adults, including life, health and creativity coaching, counseling, guided imagery, social/medical casework, health education and research, personal history and life/legacy planning
- Oral history services for individuals and families, ethical will and spiritual autobiography workshops since 1995
- 10+ years working with cancer patients and training others in listening to and recording life/illness narratives as Founder and Executive Director, The Mothers’ Living Stories Project
- Free-lance writer and editor of poetry, fiction and nonfiction since 1982
- Author, Another Morning: Voices of Truth and Hope from Mothers with Cancer (Seal Press, 2006).
- Contributor, My Words Are Gonna Linger: The Art of Personal History, Edited by Paula Stallings Yost & Pat McNees (Personal History Press 2009).
- Trainer: Compassionate listening and life review/legacy preparation with the seriously ill and dying; responsible preparation for death
- Workshops: Life Transitions; Writing for Healing; Ethical Wills; Spiritual Autobiography
I live in Berkeley, CA where I draw strength, inspiration and joy from my family and friends, walking in nature, singing and playing piano, creative writing, my clients and my spiritual path.
I finally learned
that within me there lay
an invincible summer.
— Albert Camus