For as long as I can remember, the experiences within our connection and communication with others have enthralled my curiosity and attention. As a sensitive and empathic being, from an early age, I took care to observe the behaviors of people I'd encounter, and (perhaps, like many of us) I learned to navigate my ways of being to create for myself a sense of "security", in relationship to what I observed. The world around me often felt a bit too... disorienting and separated, with its social protocols and southern niceties or the cruelties that were spoken through false smiles and shielded hearts. The fragile nature of the tenderness I could feel beneath the masquerades around me, coupled with my own longing to bare and share the Love within me, compelled a question, whose answers I spent years exploring:
"What in the world are we all shielding from?"
What I have found to be true for me is that the space from which I can most deeply access and experience what really lies beneath the face value of that question, as well as an antidote to the need for it at all, lies within the silence... the compassionate stillness... the spacious allowance of all that arises, accompanied by my willingness to mindfully befriend this moment—and this one. The wonder and absolute grace of connection and belonging—within which there is no need for protection—is a gift of both perception and experience to which we may all have access.
After having earned a degree in Speech Communication from Baylor University; studied and practiced Marshall Rosenberg’s approach to Non-violent/Compassionate Communication; studied and trained as a birth doula; trained as a mediator through Austin’s Dispute Resolution Center; graduated as a massage therapist from Texas Healing Arts Institute; certified as an Embody Love Movement Facilitator, and trained in Shamatha and Contemplative Meditation through Dakini Meditative's 300-hour Teacher Training Program, my passion for holding space and supporting people's experience of true connection in this life continues to deepen and to grow. I'm grateful for my years of study and training that have been enlightening and have provided a cognitive foundation for decades of experiences and lessons in connection (life-giving and not-so-life-giving, alike). My family, friends, partners, and many others along my journey have been clear reflections of how at various times I have both inspired and compromised connection over the years; and through them, I am grateful for the opportunities I've been given to better see and understand the effects of my presence in the world. Like most parents, I especially attribute some of my most valuable lessons about connection to my two greatest human teachers, my loving and gracious sons, who are now 11 and 21.
A primary emotional need we all have is to experience connection—that is, to remember the connection that is ever-present beneath the false interpretations of separateness that can show up when we feel such unwanted emotions as fear, anger, jealousy, and pride. I can support my students and clients with authentic understanding and compassion, for there have been enough occasions in my life when I have walked paths of resistance to these and other challenging emotions, creating for myself a palpable sense of disconnection and loneliness. There is a far more desirable and peaceable way to live and be, and I call that way, Practicing Presence.
This journey into calm and abiding presence is a moment-by-moment evolving practice. May we all be patient with one another as we learn and grow. It is a privilege and joy for me to support the sense of aliveness in others that flows from deepening awareness, compassion, connection, and presence in the unfolding moments of this precious life.
If you are curious about this process, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
May Peace be with you,