My deepest beliefs are these: Within darkness there is Light and joy heals. I’ve come to these conclusions after decades of walking hand-in-hand with chronic illness and death. My passion is working with the chronically ill, as well as people who are ready to remove their personal blocks and transform their lives.
I have a Master’s degree in Psychophysiology (study of the mind and body) and I am a certified ICM coach. I am a contributing author of the book, Spirit of a Woman and publishing my autobiography in 2023.
I spent years in various work settings – a Fortune 100 corporation, a national non-profit, a startup and founded my own nonprofit Pile of Puppies – exploring ways in which people present themselves to the world and helping them tap into their authentic selves. Though the truth is, it was my life experience, the painful and chaotic times, that have been my biggest teachers.
Every challenge given to me has empowered me to help my clients empower themselves. I use my experience to help people like you connect with your own inner wisdom.
I use a powerful exercise with clients to explore their challenge, their pain and the wisdom behind their pain. Doing that exercise, myself, helped me realize my most impactful accomplishments happened when life threw me my biggest curveballs. This is my true resume.
CHALLENGE: As a teenager, I thought I might die due to a bout with a rare autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis. For four years, my immune system attacked my muscles to the point that I was unable to get off a toilet by myself due to lack of muscle strength.
WISDOM: After enduring incredible weakness, painful treatments and fear of my own death, I learned how to access my “wise one within” by using visualization and guided imagery. I discovered surrendering to what is, is the first key to healing. I realized my body could be weak, but my spirit and life force could be strong. My disease led me to my Master’s in Psychophysiology (the study of the mind and body connection). I then followed my passion to awaken others to the wisdom within their pain.
CHALLENGE: At 28, I dreamt of India 14 days in a row and knew something major was going to happen. I took a leap of faith and followed my intuition to spend one month in Cambodia and Thailand and five months in India (living on $300 a month). The 2004 Tsunami hit while I was in Southeast Asia.
WISDOM: I volunteered as a tsunami relief grief counselor. I learned lessons on embracing death and tragedy as well as how the caste system still existed in the midst of a disaster. I learned how to be deeply present with other people’s pain and loss. As an American woman, I learned about the power of being deeply immersed, open and curious in different cultures and traditions Months later, I spent 30 days learning Tantric yoga, which grounded me and gave me peace preparing me for the next huge challenge.
CHALLENGE: At 30, my dad took his life. Then my grandfather died five days later and my grandmother died months later. I entered my thirties with grief as my teacher.
WISDOM: The searing pain of my heartbreaking open led me to moments of silence and questioning the purpose of life. Grief taught me about surrender. Grief looks different for everyone, for me, after long painful months of tears, I began to let curiosity lead me to hospice volunteer work. I wanted to get closer to death. Curiosity has always been my medicine for pain. I learned I loved sitting with the dying. Hospice work opened me to the power of dying, beyond suffering there is a deep presence that happens at the bedside of the dying. Joy, wisdom and beauty arise at the end of life if the heart is left open to these qualities.
CHALLENGE: At 36, my immune system turned on me while I was pregnant. I had an early induced, traumatic 64 hour labor. I experienced constant infections and struggled deeply for the first two years of motherhood. I felt as though I lost my freedom as a “non-mom” and lost my health.
WISDOM: I felt broken. I had to let go of control and my identity of who I was. I was now a very sick new mother. This meant I could not do it all. I had to take care of my body, my baby and stay present to my pain. This challenge proved to me I could do anything. Once I fully recovered, I had a mission to bridge pain with joy – Pile of Puppies (POP), a 501c3 nonprofit was born. POP surrounds chronically and terminally ill children with a pile of puppies. I have witnessed sick and dying children and their families in pure JOY, in what we call, “Joy Healings”. There is nothing more profound than having witnessed over 100+ Joy Healings. This has filled my soul with hope, light and love.
CHALLENGE: In 2018, two weeks after becoming an expat in Switzerland, my carotid artery spontaneously dissected and then my immune system began to attack my lung. In 2020, we moved back home from Switzerland, a year earlier than planned. It was during the height of the COVID19 pandemic, while I was on double immunosuppressants.
WISDOM: In the USA, I took for granted speaking the same language. In Switzerland, I learned the pains trying to communicate with French speaking receptionists, who were the gateway to the doctors. I learned to slow down and be patient. I once found peace in meditation, but at this point if I focused on my breath I felt more pain. I began to do “meditation walks” and the beauty of the alps and cowbells became my “Cowbell meditation”.
Knowing there was a virus that could attack my lung and knowing my own body was attacking my lung led me to writing my autobiography, so I could ensure my daughter would always have my life story and wisdom at her fingertips. Secondly, it was written to help others lift the veil of shame that often hides in repressed pain. My hope is my story invites others to fully embrace their pain and search for the light that always shines within the darkness.
For every step back I have taken ten steps forward. All of my life experiences have reinforced my core beliefs: that within darkness there is light. And joy heals.