My life is about exploration and transformation.
I am devoted to exploring the essential human nature that lives in each of us, and nurturing the unique human expression of that mysterious essence. I serve this dedication through my ongoing learning and development while teaching, mentoring and inspiring others.
I began my career with a Bachelor’s degree in Alternative Education, followed by a Master’s Degree in History and Philosophy of Education. I've always been interested in education. While other little girls were playing house, I was playing teacher.
As I began teaching in my early twenties I found, within a short amount of time, that though I knew I wanted to support others in their personal development I had hit a wall in my own. While I felt academically competent for the job, I felt personally unfit.
I wanted to teach my students not only academics, but how to be human. I came face to face with the humble realization that my personal compass for right and wrong was unstable. I could not embrace the paradigm my parents taught me, nor could I carte blanche accept the liberal values I grew up with. It was obvious that I needed to grow myself up first, before I could help grow others.
Because the educational system in this country, including the private sector, was inadequate for the course of self-knowledge I was seeking, and because every religious institution and ashram and new-age community I researched felt too insulated and myopic, I chose to find my “school” outside of all systems. I pursued a self-guided study of human wisdom teachings, spending ten years in retreat studying, contemplating and practicing various tools for transformation.
I did not work in those years, nor interface with the outside world much beyond grocery shopping. My curriculum included study and contemplation of traditional religious texts, esoteric teachings, and philosophy. I practiced Yoga, Pranayama, and meditation daily. I experimented with more extreme asceticism including austerities such as fasting, voluntary simplicity, and long periods of silence. I explored the teachings of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Native Peoples, Advaita Vedanta/Hinduism, Tantra, Toltec Wisdom and the Tao. I sought to glean the gold from each and weave them into my personal understanding of the human condition and the right way to live.
This ten year period of transformation was a gift.
It was as if the universe was saying to me, “Okay, you want to know the Truth, here is your chance. Stop looking outside of yourself. SIt down. Shut up. And listen.”
I struggle with how to communicate what I discovered during those years, but one way of saying it concisely is, “I was able to strip away religious rhetoric, new-age jargon, and every other feeling or idea I had about truth or enlightenment and listen within for the answers to my ceaseless questing: who/what am I? why am I here? what is this all about?”
The best way of articulating the answer I got is, “God/Truth exists. But not the God you have been told about. God is more akin to Essence or Consciousness. But not the same as our human consciousness...except, our human consciousness is God, too. Sort of.”
It goes on something like this, “Your personality and personal life is an expression of that Essence, but also mysteriously distinct from it. I can not explain to you how this is so. Or why. It just is. In order to find the inner peace and contentment you long for, rest in knowing that you are, fundamentally, that Essence. Then, listen for guidance from inside as to how to move in the world.” There are no rules of how to do this. No right or wrong way to do it. No heaven or hell at the finish line.
After a few years of settling in to this knowing, deepening my sense of self in relation to Essence, I left my retreat to see if I could stabilize this realization within the chaos and messiness of life out in the real world. This is where you meet me now. Twelve years later.
Feeling moved to share my experience and insight, I picked up where I left off as an educator, and created Selfistry.