My favorite vacation was a trip to Alaska a few years ago. It was August, and fall was already turning leaves deep shades of brown and red. Glacial lakes and rivers were a turquoise color I'd never seen. The air was clear, and the night sky popped with innumerable, radiant stars. On our second day, we took a red air taxi over the Alaska Range and landed on a glacier at the base of Denali, where mountaineers begin their ascent. I lay down and breathed integrative breaths. I could hear the water in the majestic mountains flowing deep beneath the surface. While hiking along the gravity-defying Savage River, I was struck by the varieties of wildflowers against an exalted backdrop of billion-year-old mountains.
I live just a mile or so from Sunflower Fields. I love them in four seasons, as do the birds and the pollinators. In mid-July, people come from all over the Washington, D.C., region to gaze on these acres of soaring, upright flowers, take in their beauty, walk into the fields, peek out from their centers, snap photos of beloveds, laugh, and call to one another.
Like sunflowers, ephemeral nature, and mountain peaks pointing and urging "Look up," I have spent a lifetime turning toward the light. Conscious workplace coach, philanthropy research maven, Internet entrepreneur, give where you live advocate, trust negotiator, social justice network builder, human potential guide: my thread is I work collaboratively to Strengthen Connections.
I work collaboratively to Strengthen Connections.
I've been a human potential and consciousness consultant for 35 years, working at the intersection of philanthropy, business, government, and public benefit organizations. Over this time, the stress people are under has increased exponentially. Unfortunately, many forms of stress management have an unintended consequence of deepening the isolation we feel in response to technology, societal expectations, and a pace of life that leaves the nervous system constantly over-stimulated.
I work with individuals, teams, organizations, and collective-impact initiatives —people and places that want to create a more humane culture and have greater impact in the world. The first step is learning to slow down and notice, Where is my attention? When we bring attention to how we relate with our sensations, and with the people and causes we care about, we nurture the conditions for sustainable, pro-social living and flourishing.
That's why I became a certified Robert Peng Elixir Light™ Qigong trainer. I am also a certified Level 3 Breath Coach, trained in polyvagal breath techniques, with the pioneering integrative psychiatrists Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg, founders of Breath-Body-Mind™. I realized it takes inner work to become leaders in healing trauma and abiding voices for justice, reciprocity, and equitable systems. Over the past 7 years, I've taught nearly 5,000 people how to reduce their stress and breathe the optimal breath. I have integrated these movement and breathing skills into innovative workforce development soft skills workshops. I believe a balanced nervous system is a civil right: freedom to feel safe in community.
I work with individuals who are ready to take a profound journey of growth and integration. I focus on cultivating awareness of holistic states, relaxing survival instincts, and healing the trauma of separate self. I have extensive training in trauma-informed approaches to mental health, meditation, and well-being (Don Riso, Russ Hudson, Stephen Porges, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, Stan Grof, Master Goshun Shin, Ginger Lapid-Bogda, among others). I support leaders and teams in creating more conscious workplaces, applying the Enneagram where communications and conflict are the stumbling blocks to moving forward together.
My ground-breaking philanthropy research has helped thousands of family foundations and nonprofit organizations connect and strengthen the social safety net. My favorite social sector engagements have been with RestON Neighborhood Ambassadors, children's hospitals, Maryland and D.C. nonprofits, Philanthropy Southwest, the Foundation Library Center of Japan, and the women's funding movement. I have applied the Enneagram to conscious living and working for more than 20 years. If you've taken one of my trainings on fundraising communications, you learned how to address donors' unconscious motivations in the three centers of awareness to become part of something greater than themselves.
My hope in working with you or your team is that we will resource ourselves, our relationships, and our communities to flourish. I know you want to continue being a force for good in this world. Me, too —grounded in vitality, compassion, and wisdom; healed of trauma and burnout; and participating with curiosity, ease, and joy.