A big part of my story is that in early life I developed a twisted spine. This and extreme anxiety lead me in the mid 80’s to explore the Alexander Technique. I had discovered a method that could connect me to the wholeness of my body and reach into the depths of my soul.
I was drawn to the mystical and visionary ways of being from the age of thirteen. I found life to be a journey of dark and light, trials and tribulations and that by facing my shadows and fears, beauty and understanding arose. From as far back as I can remember my refuge and love was nature.
“As a child i used to run away, find fields or woodlands and spend timeless hours communing with nature. What I later came to understand was that I merged with the trees and grasses and found a deep love. Love in the deepest sense I had not known such a feeling and didn’t know this was the name for it. I just knew this feeling made me warm inside, free and happy nothing constricted me, anymore. My chest felt like an open book and each page was a page of joy, filled with happiness. My problems disappeared and I didn’t feel lonely or empty any more.
I had found this place in me in my very early childhood, when I had a dream in the garden, in this dream the trees and earth gave birth to me. Deep down somewhere I knew that no matter what happened around me, however much I hurt or how much pain and strangeness there was in this world, that ultimately nothing could destroy this secret place in me.”
In the late 80’s I began training as an Alexander Technique teacher. My Alexander work developed and blossomed to support those who suffer from pain and trauma both physical and emotional. I then took this work into hospices and to those dying at home.
I learnt to see and experience people, and myself, beyond our problems and illness. Life’s heroic passage of sorrows and loves continued to teach me a connection to something larger than myself.
In the mid 90’s my Vision Quest training began when I participated in a quest with Roshi Joan Halifax (Upaya), New Mexico. This age-old ceremony of rites of passage showed me that something was missing from my life and culture. It raised questions about what it means to truly grow up and take responsibility for my life and past relationships, with nature being my teacher and guide. I was completely blown away as I connected again to a source within the land and myself that I could never have dreamt possible. After many more Vision Quests, I trained with Joan and later with Steven Foster & Meredith Little, at The School of Lost Borders. California USA.
More steps on my path and training
During this period of my life I joined the Zen Peacemaker Order with Bernie Glassman and Joan Halifax. With them I experienced my first Way of Council in Auschwitz and was moved deeply by the depth and truth of this powerful Practice. I did my first Council training with the Zen Peacemakers.
Later I came to train and then introduce ‘The Way of Council’, an individual and group practice of deep listening and speaking from the heart. My teacher was Gigi Coyle in the tradition of the Ojai Foundation. I love the way Council gives/finds/initiates peoples’ own voices. The Way of Council is a profound spiritual practice for me, a way of life. I’m moved and honored by the simplicity and the depth, to meet and be met in the present moment. I then created a unique program based on a synthesis of Council and Alexander Technique.
The Alexander work opens us to a heightened sense of awareness within the body. This, together with the deep listening of Council, reawakens a memory, a stillness within and an innate empathy for our relationship with ourselves, the Earth and all nature and ultimately the deep universal connectedness to all life.
Now, the work I offer is a simple, authentic expression of my commitment to healing birthed out of my own life experience. Following my own innermost questions, and longings for the deepest truth, I have stepped through the limitations imposed by categories and systems to continuously sit on the edge of my own becoming. I am committed to those who find themselves on an edge seeking to connect to their own deepest pathways of feeling, questioning and knowing.
This is my passion for deepening and expanding consciousness, for knowing love, for going beyond and continuing the circle/spiral of my life, this journey. May this serve and support the world we live in today.
Along the way I am mother, a grandmother, a lover of wild nature and adventure, a lover of art and poetry, William Blake & John Keats in particular, and a lover of animals. I’ve also worked as a cleaner, a waitress and lived on the streets as a young person. I trained as a dream therapist with Marion Woodman and have studied with Natalie Goldberg, a Zen writing teacher. I also hold a wilderness first aid qualification. And have practiced meditation for more than forty years and much more.
People who come to my courses include therapists, caregivers, teachers, and those working through pain and trauma and/or anyone seeking a greater connection with the mystery of life. My aspiration is to stretch and broaden communication, ignite and manifest meaningful intimate connection and a sense of peoples’ own worth and beauty.