In 1978 I took my first communication class at the community college; I had just quit high school and was thrown into this bigger pool of education. I was amazed and impassioned: “you mean people study this stuff?!” From that day on, I have never stopped my quest to learn more about how people communicate, and deeper than that, how we heal; how we turn adverse experiences into growth and rebirth.
You can track the particulars of my journey by looking at my Curriculum Vitae, here I want to tell you something about myself that doesn’t show up in the professional work I have done.
You can see on every page of this website that I believe “it’s all about relationships.” Let’s unpack that just a little bit. When I say “it’s all,” I mean everything. Everything you do, the things you think, the things that sustain you, the stuff that gets in your way; it’s all related to your relationships. If you explore this site to any depth, you will grasp that I am an attachment theorist, which basically means that I have found evidence for thinking that our relationships with our first and primary caretakers matter. Those relationships are significant at infancy, have consequences while growing up, and continue to affect adult relationships. The food you eat comes to you by a vast interconnection of relationships that get that food from the earth to your lips. Your job is possible by a network of people, most of whom you probably do not know. If you drive a car, somebody made it, someone changes the oil, and someone knows (hopefully) how to fix it when things go awry. We have a relationship to the earth. Some of us have a relationship to some kind of spirituality. And then, if we get really personal, we have loved ones: partners, children, parents, and friends that literally make our lives wonderful, and occasionally (at least for most of us) miserable as well. We also have relationships with ourselves, and it’s important to do what we can to have a good intrapersonal relationship, because when we are in a fight with ourselves, nobody wins (to paraphrase Daniel Siegel).
I love working with people. I love “leaning into” conflict (both internally and among those around me) because where there is struggle, there is opportunity for restoration of balance. I have lived in multiple kinds of communal situations where clashing needs inevitably come up. And you don’t have to live communally for this to happen, either, because it comes up between me and my kids as well. If it’s possible to stay open and curious, a lot can be gained when differences arise.
I have lived without running water or electricity. I have lived in Los Angeles. I have been homeless. I am a part of multiple communities: as a social worker, as a teacher, as an activist, feminist, as a lesbian. I have discovered that when I judge others, I am impeding my own path, and learned to hear people’s difficult undertakings with love and curiosity.
Intrigued? Want to know more? Visit my blogs, and come back once in a while to see what I have added. Ask to be added to my email list if you live in the Pacific Northwest. If you do not live locally, it’s possible to schedule a tele session. I hope you enjoy visiting this site, and I hope it helps you in your vision to make the world a better place; whatever that means to you. If I inspire you, I hope you’ll send me an email and let me know.
It’s all about relationships: start where you are, make the relationship with yourself the best possible and let the goodness ripple out from there. I leave you now with the words of Yuri Kochiyama:
“Life is not what you alone make it. Life is the input of everyone who touched your life and every experience that entered it. We are all a part of one another.”