A bit of my story . . .
I grew up as the mediator and peacemaker in my family and communities. I always have had deep care for people and communities thriving with connection, love, and communication. I learned about community through my religious upbringing. But as a teenager struggling to come to terms with my Queerness, I had to navigate the tricky terrain of coming out and hearing from some in my beloved community that I was not OK. This set me on a path of learning to hold people with love and care in the face of disagreement and pain. As a college student, I joined the debate team with the intention of learning to express myself and win arguments. I was paired with a lovely man who thought very differently than me. We became friends, and the fact that we didn't agree on much made us great debate partners. I was eventually invited to sit down with his Pastor to discuss homosexuality and the Bible. That moment taught me the power of listening beyond judgment and humanizing my adversary.
A passion for deep connection between people has guided me to lead transformational programs since my early twenties. Seeking to increase my ability to hold nuance, create sustainable solutions, and deepen into heart-guided wisdom, I sought out certification as a Facilitator with The Compassionate Listening Project and the HeartMath Institute. Prior to working in those realms, I worked for a leading Personal Training and Development company for eight years, where I developed a foundation of integrity and authenticity that informs all of my work. In my private work as a coach and facilitator, I've piloted programs that bring in the beauty and wisdom of the natural world. I am passionate about connecting people to themselves, the earth, and their communities in ways that allow for the deep healing I believe is so needed at this time.
As a teacher of holistic wisdom. I provide coaching, facilitation, and training designed to give people access to their own authentic voice and self-expression, so they can be empowered in their lives and the difference they want to make. The tools and training I offer spans the realms of communication, conflict-transformation, self-discovery, and personal growth. I love providing space where people can be themselves and their unique voices can shine.
What's up with all the Willow imagery, you ask? I love Willows. One of my favorite times as a kid was when I'd get off the school bus as a first grader and swing on the weeping willows outside my driveway before heading to the house. As I grew older, I came to understand how sacred those moments were to me.
Willows are flexible and grow with others. They root easily and stabilize stream banks. They are ecologically important to river systems. They are medicinal. They carry the qualities that I resonate with as a human and coach which is why I carry the identity "The Listening Willow" as a coach.
If I were a landscape I'd be a river bank with willows. A watering hole for many creatures and a playground for the Kingfisher. A peaceful and reflective escape from the modern go-go-go, do-do-do. The beauty of clear water crossing over timeless rocks. The healing and inspiring sound of rushing water. Cool water to baptize yourself and be born again into some new promise of your own creation. A sanctuary before the river bend offering endless possibilities and the adventure of the unknown.
I love knowing about what influences and inspires the people I choose to work with. Below is my attempt to let you in on some of my inspirations.
The writings of Sharon Blackie, Mark Nepo, Charles Eisenstein, adrienne maree brown, Starhawk, and Bill Plotkin have all had a major influence on me. I'm also repeatedly listening to or re-reading the Harry Potter series. Most recently I'm obsessing about a book called "The Once and Future Witches" by Alix E. Harrow.
Finding Our Way is top of my list for most influential podcasts. Other favorites include, Dave's 5 Hot Takes, anything by Scene on Radio, but especially Seeing White and The Land That Never Has Been Yet, and On Being with Krista Tippet.
Music is the one thing in life I could not live without. When I was a kid, my parents said I could listen to Country music or Christian music. In an attempt at rebellion, I listened to a lot of Country music. I still do, among many other genres. These days I'm obsessing about singer-songwriters Lori McKenna, Allison Russell, Brandi Carlile, Miranda Lambert, and the Highwomen.
Many organizations have influenced me. I spent the first decade of my adult life working for Landmark and am forever grateful for that training. I've been a student and Staff Member at Wilderness Awareness School, an organization that helped me remember my wild woman self and my sacred belonging in this world. I still lead weekend programs with them. I'm a certified trainer with The Compassionate Listening Project and the HeartMath Institute, both of which taught me the astonishing power of the heart. Organizations I've trained with and believe are leading the way for a future for all of us include Holistic Resistance and The Strozzi Institute. I highly recommend participating with both these organizations in any way you can.