Most days you can find me conducting self-care and self compassion healing sessions with mental health professionals on Zoom. I am mostly known for my strong listening skills; I can often ‘hear’ the unspoken story in dialogue.
I love serving the world by helping others find their voices through turning inward, and finding their resources for inner healing and resilience. The things I am most passionate about in life involve helping people find and share their innate gifts of conversation, compassion and communication.
I serve people of color, women, children and families.
I feel so fortunate to show people how to access their own inner gifts.
The Beginning of Bliss started when I was stripped of my job and a home. The year 2010 found my new husband Norman and I living in a small agricultural town, working for a counseling agency overseen by tired executives who had lost their footing. Mercy arrived in the form of budget cuts so that after only ten months of work, I was laid off and Norman and I couldn’t high-tail it out of there fast enough. We found ourselves back in planning mode from the guest room of my mother’s Long Beach, California home for a handful of weeks, which became a time of revelation.
I am a Long Beach native, but I’ve always been drawn north, so it didn’t take much time for me to remember that I felt most alive when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. So we packed another UHaul and made the six-ish hour drive up the 5 Freeway in the name of returning home.
After landing a sweet studio in San Francisco’s Sunset District, my unemployed self received many more gifts: time, space and perspective. I also found freedom. It was clear I needed a break from working for non-profit counseling agencies where the dysfunctions of the staff mirrored and even surpassed those of the clients seeking help. I would explore different ideas and interests I normally wouldn’t and garnered plenty of runway space to dabble in curiosities. I also created a fairly generous landing pad for flails, falls and stumbles when my experiments went awry.
About two months after moving to the neighborhood, I saw my new hairstylist Elenie and sat in her salon chair, carefully avoiding myself in the mirror - unemployment had also gifted me with about 25 extra pounds on my five-foot-two-inch frame. I took stock of some of my skills since Elenie (with whom I entrust my hair care needs today) asked me what I did for a living. I could barely find the words, but the point is, after a long pause, I did speak them aloud. “I write. I’m a musician. I’m a therapist. I want people to feel like they belong, and that they are talented; and that they are important.” Elenie was intrigued, and simply asked me to tell her more.
It was this day I understood that despite my lack of job, I did have some ideas that could be channeled into provision of something valuable and interesting. I began journaling—which turned into the blog MusingsOnOther—about finding one’s voice and what it means to belong even when if you felt out of place, inexperienced and “Other” (Note: You may know my “Other Homecoming Queen” history, but we’ll get to that wondrous tale another time). In marketing terms, I was moving through the process of narrowing down my “niche”, but at the time, I wrote and blogged to gain focus and to be of service as I am a care provider first and foremost.
I had also begun to take walks each day; around my neighborhood, and in the nearby parks. Taking walks has been among the most profound actions of my life. I’ve more stories about the miracles of walking, just you wait!
After six months of blogging, writing and walking, I was able to shed some of the weight I had gained, and I cleared up space in my overcrowded head, making room for possibility. It was on one of my morning walks that I saw a sign in the window of a chiropractor’s office, about ten blocks from our apartment, reading: “OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT”.
Every cell in my body vibrated in song at the idea of calling the number listed on that For Rent sign. And so I made the call. The blog served as an invitation conversations with many people seeking ways to find and use voice; and now, with the new office space, there is an expanded opportunity for continued sharing. That phone call marked the opening days of my practice Bliss Begins Within Psychotherapy.