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
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
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.
months into an entry level job, I jumped fully into my new field, advancing to a position as a crisis intervention family counselor to families with
children at imminent risk of placement. Starting with little
experience, the intensified learning environment of this new position added
greatly to my graduate studies. Enrolled at Goddard College, their
non-traditional student directed education spurred creativity more
than mainstream academics. Yeah!... Gulp! Having worked through creative blocks in my visual work to have a solo show in 92, I hadn't expected the challenge I would confront writing a thesis. Goddard's process invites deep inquiry and lead to my wrangling with a complex research structure. Pushing a new creative edge in a new medium, I worked through more blocks to complete my graduate thesis. Though more challenging than a conventional approach, it was ultimately a more rewarding learning experience.
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.
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). Learning something new is usually uplifting for me. I 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.
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.
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, brothers
and I during high school. The rich complex experience with elders in my
formative years certainly tuned me for helping elders recently. What was new in the recent experiences? Poorly managed diabetes and Alzheimer's, fortunately not in the same person. Both illnesses, eye opening... Interestingly, my experience with theater improvisation proved very helpful during the time I was helping these friends.
You can count on it changing but for now, my story has brought me to a desire to live simply, peacefully, playfully, on purpose and support others in doing so.
With Point to Creativity and 3 Keys to Living Lighter, I hope to uplift, inspire lighter footprints, diffuse judgment, invite creativity & play to help transform the world into a better place.
Coming from a family with artists on both sides, I got a lot of support for and it seemed natural to pursue a career in the arts. As you may have read above, I discovered other paths which took precedent. I have however, continued making work though sporadically due to my many other interests.
If you’re curious you can find some images of art that I’ve created along this wild ride of life.
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Rosendale, NY 12472