A little about my philosophy.
I’ve learned that when we bring our whole selves to everything we do, the easy and the hard stuff, we are more fulfilled and more effective.
Stress, overwhelm, burnout, and disconnection all impact individuals' quality of life and damage work communities in which we might otherwise thrive, but through mindfulness, enhanced social-emotional skills, and cultures of psychological safety, we can learn to bring our authentic selves to the present moment in ways that enrich our communities and our lives.
It’s my goal to bring these research-based insights, along with my own experience as a person and a practitioner, to organizational communities who want to transform work to be more meaningful and effective.
How I collaborate with you.
Step 1: Listen
The word clients use most to describe my style of working with others is responsive. I will hear what you really need, and then help you build it.
step 2: research
My process starts with listening. It continues with learning more. I use a multi-faceted research approach where I dive into organizational psychology, neuroscience, and research from a variety of other fields. I may also learn even more about your organization through focus groups, interviews, and surveys.
step 3: Create
Once I have a cross-disciplinary toolbox at my fingertips, along with an understanding of who you are and what you need, I use my decade of experience as a facilitator, teacher, and change-agent to craft an experience for you. I apply my understanding of learning and behavioral change principals to my knowledge of engagement to develop a meaningful, and at its best transformative, community experience.
step 4: engage
The magic happens. Whether that’s a learning and development experience to grow your team’s communication skills, a talk about building resilience in times of change, or a project to help you sustain and engage employees right where they are, I will bring creativity and a collaborative energy to every endeavor.
step 5: reflect
Did you know that reflection increases learning by up to 50%? Some educational experts say reflection is synonymous with learning. After every engagement, I use a variety of reflective practices and strategies to see what we’ve learned together, and how we can move forward in an even better way. I share this learning with you in an easy-to-digest morsel of goodness.
So how did I get here?
It began six years ago.
I had what storyteller-researcher Brené Brown describes as a "spiritual awakening/breakdown.” In 2013, I left my role as a classroom teacher for another job in which I felt alienated, overwhelmed, and ineffective.
At the same time, other parts of my life began to unravel. After being married for seven years, my husband and I were struggling, and there were moments we thought our marriage was ending.
Then, worst of all, my Grandma Rose, the person who had taken me into her home when I was a single mother in college, began to die from the cancer with which she had lived for over a decade.
For two long years I struggled.
Eventually I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Medication, marriage counseling, and individual therapy were all required, but there was also something more.
In the depths of my struggle, I found new meaning in life through practicing mindfulness, gratitude, growth, and (most importantly) connection. (These later became the “four paths” in my first book.)
Through these four paths, I connected with matters, and what it means to be human.
Every time I shared a part of my story with someone else, I heard their story back. In my professional role as an instructional coach, teachers told me their heartbreaks: illness, death, broken families, and mental illness among others. I saw so many folks in pain (myself included), and I wanted to help.
I saw our common humanity for the first time.
I had decided by that point to leave my job and go to school to become a counselor, but before I did, I offered four workshops: mindfulness, gratitude, growth, and connection—a description of my own path back to wholeness. The workshops were small, but also impactful for those who participated; my boss suggested I should start a business, and maybe the district could hire me to keep sharing these resources.
I was still a teacher, but in a new way.
A year later, I chose to leave the school I left my job for in order to teach these tools full time. Over the last few years, I have used mindfulness, gratitude, growth, connection, and other qualities that make us human to help professionals in the workplace be a more whole version of who they are. This grew into shaping the culture of organizations themselves as well, building communities that are more effective at what they hope to do—because they are more human-centered.
These tools are powerful; through transforming ourselves, and how we interact with others, the world changes, too.
What I’ve learned on this journey is that we can take power over our lives through shifting attention and awareness toward what’s most important; we decide what matters—as individuals and as communities. When we make this decision, and do the work to realize our vision, our world transforms.