Well hello! I’m writing to introduce myself as the newest member of the core group in NVC Santa Cruz. I’m also new to town and I’m looking forward to the possibility of getting to know you over the next few months and years, so I wanted to share a bit about myself to get a relationship started.
I’ll begin with the personal. I’ve been in California since my twenties and I’ve been looking for community – a big driver for me – ever since. I have family north of San Francisco, so have spent much of my time there. But my affinity for Santa Cruz, and the lovely connections I’ve made here over the years, finally pulled me in. I am loving it here thus far (stay-at-home orders notwithstanding).
I’m a soon-to-be mama, with a little boy on the way. And since I’ve always been passionate about my work, which I’ll say more about in a bit, I’m going to be joining many of you in learning how to balance parenthood with my business, my time supporting NVC Santa Cruz, and various professional projects – which inevitably tend to find their way to me.
In that vein, here’s the scoop on me professionally. I spent the first leg of my career as what was then called an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, a school counselor and consultant. Soon after receiving a dual Master’s in School Counseling and in Marriage & Family Therapy, I pivoted slightly, focusing on building a private practice in holistic counseling. I was a bit of an NVC skeptic when I first heard of it. Always the curious one, though, I decided to give it a chance and was surprised by how much it added to my counseling work – especially once I learned how to integrate NVC consciousness with the trauma healing and belief work modalities I was already so committed to.
My professional approach since those early days has been heavily influenced by NVC. I attended countless trainings to learn as much as I could. But it was the community and the depth of connection that hooked me the most. I went all out: I began teaching again, in NVC training contexts; I published a book of anecdotal empathy stories featuring, among others, two our beloved trainers, Jean and Kristin (check out The Healing Power of Empathy if interested); I started to fantasize about a world in which everyone enjoyed that kind of belonging and meaning; I studied the systemic applications of NVC; and, to fast forward just a little, I began developing a new brand in my healing business, working with professionals.
My current work focuses on supporting collaborative, mission-driven leaders in creating healthy, life-serving organizations. What does that mean in plain English? I coach individuals, train teams, and lead offsites in places like universities, NGOs, PayPal, Google… you get the idea. I have a lot of fun with it. Positioning NVC so it works in workplaces, while maintaining what I think of as its true heart, is energizing and motivating for me.
If you’re still reading, I’d love to learn a bit about you! Feel free to reach out and let me know any of the following. Are YOU trying to use NVC professionally? What works and what’s challenging? What would you like to see future articles focused on? Or, heck, where’s your favorite nearby hiking spot? Happy to receive it all. I’m glad to be here, and glad to be in connection with you.