When was the last time you felt fully alive?
Not in the adrenaline rush kind of way, but in the calm, expansive and "I'm just where I want to be" kind of way?
When was the last time you felt a real connection with your partner or your child? One that felt honest and loving even if it was uncomfortable or challenging?
When was the last time you felt on purpose in your work? That you knew you were doing something that speaks to your soul and feels like your true work in the world?
When was the last time you felt like you were in charge of your life? Not in the "I'm in control" kind of way, but in the "I trust myself to make decisions, big and small, about my life” kind of way?
Feelings like these only become available when you are able to regulate your nervous system so that you can choose how you want to show up, rather than acting (and thinking) based on unconscious patterns.
Our work together is based in befriending your nervous system. Once you know how to regulate your nervous system, then we can work on how to feel the sensations and emotions that make up your experience and then build new relational skills and language so that you can work through stuck places, open to possibility and craft a life and work that is meaningful and uniquely yours.
I work with folks in person or on Zoom, Skype or Facetime on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. I also do a limited amount of personal retreats in Ojai, California.
I respect the privacy of the people who trust their hearts and stories to me, so you won't see traditional testimonials on my website, but you can click the button below to hear from some of my clients about what it's like to work with me.
So what do we actually do together in a session?
Regardless of what you talk about (job, relationships, parenting, anxiety, etc.) my job is to help you stay present to your body and to what you feel, both in terms of sensations and emotions. That allows you to access inner resources like resilience, compassion and knowing--resources that will help you be your best self no matter the situation.
Staying With Yourself
You can think of this as "being the one behind your own eyes." It's a felt sense that you're in your body, not living neck up. I'll help you identify felt resources that allow you to feel sensations and emotions in your body without getting overwhelmed or numbing out. (Check out this guided meditation to find felt resources.) From there, we'll start to get to know the different physiological responses you have to circumstances and people, and how those responses influence your thinking and behavior. You'll find that your presence is made up of many different parts of you, all with their own pattern of holding in your body, and all with their own agenda.
Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort
As you get to know the different parts of you and seek to be present in your body, you'll undoubtedly come across physical or emotional discomfort. I'll guide you to consciously make contact with that discomfort and learn to stay with yourself. It's in the learning to not act out habituated behaviors in response to that discomfort that you will grow discernment about how you act and what you say in real life situations. This is the key to gaining freedom from triggers and replacing old patterns with new ways of being that are in alignment with how you really want to be in your relationships and work.
Being Guided From Within
Having built the inner resources to be able to stay with yourself in a felt way even if you're uncomfortable, you'll find the ability to be more in touch with both your vulnerability as well as your confidence. From that place you'll be able to speak your truth or make choices guided from what you know inside, and not guided by fear or by what others expect of you. This is the part of our work together that is about learning a new language; a language that expresses love and concern for others without ditching love and concern for yourself. It starts slowly at first, but each time you make a stand for you or say something you could have never imagined saying before, I'll help you to really feel it so that you can grow trust in yourself that you know how to be there for you.
Becoming Trustworthy to Yourself
The natural consequence of learning to stay with yourself and to speak and act on behalf of your deepest self is that you can feel trust in yourself. You know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries so you can be in the world as it feels right for you. It's a felt sense of calm, inner spaciousness and strength. It feels a hell of a lot like love. In this place you have agency over your own life and you are able to bring your best, most connected, most alive self to your work and relationships.
Coaching, not therapy.
I'm often asked if I'm a coach or a counselor. Though the work I do with people is deeply therapeutic, it isn't therapy. My focus is on giving my clients specific techniques they can practice in their daily life, and my approach is practical, relational and experiential.
My work is also integrative--if you hire me to help get your team at work back on track, you will notice that our work together could influence how you parent or how you see yourself in the world.
Or if you come to me seeking help with not losing yourself in your intimate relationship, you might also find that you can speak with more confidence at work, have more boundaries with your parents, or come back to a lost sense of spirituality and meaning in your life. Since the practices address all aspects of you--mind, body, heart, spirit and consciousness--they will necessarily affect all parts of your life.