Hi, I’m a "serious girl" on a path to being more playful and free. I hope you’ll join me. Here’s a bit about what led to my desire to inspire more creativity & play in the world, and to help people find or make more meaningful Fun-filling work.
I was lucky to grow up on a farm in VT. Playing in the hay and swimming in liquid glass lakes, much was idyllic. My mother, a loving, intelligent, artist enjoyed living the farming life. In addition to my parents and 3 brothers, my paternal grandparents were a part of everyday. All the love and connection to the land provided a great base for weathering the gusts of life when the inevitable storms arrived.
attended the University of VT where
he met my Mom, a nursing student. Not satisfied returning to the relentless
physical work of 1960s dairy farming, he left it to find a better
way. Unfortunately, trapped by alcohol & drugs, he never stepped into his potential. The
sorrow I experienced seeing this, fueled my desire to help others discover their creativity, follow a passion and develop a fulfilling life. I also know the challenges of being stuck from the inside having had to work through plenty of tangles to be able to honor my
A shy introverted kid, it wasn't until I attended art school at State University of NY at Purchase that I began to find my fold and not until I landed at the Women's Studio Workshop (WSW) that I felt I belonged. Being an intern and then employee was a perfect setting to continue developing artistically as well as a safe place to be for healing.
After working at WSW for several years, I decided to follow previously unrecognized skills and interest elucidated through my healing and the pleasure of helping others, ie; neighbor kids and interns.
In the transition before starting graduate work in psychology, I spent a season with Victoria Garden’s. I loved reconnecting to my farm roots, preparing the soil, planting, growing, creating… I would return to gardening again during the stormy start of the century. I continue to find centering and pleasure collaborating with flowers, trees and bees.
Only months into an entry level position, I jumped fully into my new field, working as a crisis intervention family counselor to families with children at imminent risk of placement. Starting with little experienced, the magnified learning environment of this work added greatly to my graduate studies. Enrolled at Goddard College, their non-traditional student directed education invigorated creativity more than mainstream academic settings. Yeah! More creative development, Gulp! This led to my wrangling with a complex research process and a 130 page thesis rather than the typical 40-80 pages.
After being on-call for 5 years, having completed my Master of Arts in Counseling/Psychology in 1997, life's next adventure was summoning me. I left the crisis family counseling job in fall of 1999 to create my own practice.
Stormy weather... My oldest brother Jonathan was diagnosed with leukemia in spring of 98. After initially surviving the bone marrow transplant, we lost him in August of 2000. He would have been 40, dying just after my mother's husband, Ray died in May. What a year! With losing 2 more people in the span of 12 months, it was a bumpy entry into the new century. Loss, it wakes you to your own living. The great contrast of our mortal journey!
Thankfully, there were bright forces entering my life. I met Ed, the love of my life in 1998 and with him, discovered Greenland qajaqing (kayaking). I also took the CTI Co-active Coaching Training in 2001. I found this relatively new field to be an inspiring blend of creative process (applied to life) and training I’d received in strength-based models of change (Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused, Internal Family Systems (IFS) and in 2003 Future Search).
After 3 years in practice, questioning the self-employment path (no health insurance) I took a job as Director of Counseling at Castleton State College (Now Castleton University of VT). Back in a traditional therapy setting, I loved working with young adults and being part of an educational institution. However, my inner creative rebel beckoned. I left CSC in 2006, returning to my practice; still adding, refining and recreating.
points not yet mentioned...
The experience of studying theater improvisation (begun in 2003), coupled with finding Stuart Brown’s TED talk and (2009) book Play, sparked a new interest in play, especially with regard to its effective use in shifting power dynamics. I believe play has a powerful role in facilitating transformation on many levels, from personal, to interpersonal to political (and planetary).
Having absorbed a bit of the misguided cultural myth that play is frivolous, it was a seminal point. Prone to getting on my soap box, play doesn’t come easily. Involved in rediscovering it, when stressed, I can still revert to “dear-in-headlights” responses to life’s invitations to play.
I intentionally have no biological children. Ed came with 3 “ready-made” all nearly grown when we met. Great, as I had known from a young age that I didn’t want my own. Growing up, I had several child-free role models and decided that the world needed more people not attached to reproducing.
The fun of long pointed watercraft entered my life in 1999
while renting kayaks. Ed and I soon acquired our own and it
wasn’t long before we ditched our euro-paddles for the more elegant, versatile
skinny stick of the Greenlandic Qajaqing Tradition. We also discovered there is a refreshing pay-it-forward generosity among this community of paddlers. I enjoy mentoring others as I continue to learn
at Greenlandic qajaqing events.
Since 2013, I’ve been dealing with a series of eldercare situations. Ahhh, how themes emerge. Earlier, I mentioned my paternal grandparents influence. I was also lucky to have my maternal grandparents live with my Mother, brother's and I during high school. The rich complex experience with elders in my formative years certainly tuned me for helping elders recently.
about art? You can find out more about that part of my story on my art page, up soon ;-)
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Rosendale, NY 12472