How did you end up becoming a meditation coach?
I taught Biology and Chemistry for 25 years, coached, and ran a summer camp. With a type A personality, I thought rest was for my one week of vacation or when I was sick. I thrived on doing for others and didn’t take care of myself. In my early 40’s, health issues popped up and I went through a period of profound grief after suffering 3 life losses in short order and was struggling.
I was a little skeptical about meditation. I thought meditation was for those who had time on their hands, who could sit cross-legged on cushions, and who could stop thoughts. Then, at a weekend retreat, I experienced a meditation that made me get curious about learning more. As I explored more, I saw my life changing powerfully as I saw the world through a different lens. I saw the desperate need for this tool in my students and knew I had to leave a career that I loved to pursue becoming certified as a meditation coach. I had to get this out into the world.
How and where do you teach mediation?
I work with private clients mainly by phone, so I can work with people around the country – this way, they don’t waste time traveling to appointments and they can be comfortable meditating in their own space. I also run small group sessions –both in-person and by conference calls — and offer weekend retreats for educators.
What aspects of your work are you most passionate about and why?
I am driven by my passion to help others understand the nuanced skills of meditation. People spend so much time in meditation battling… fighting thoughts and then beating themselves up for not doing it right. I love hearing the relief in someone’s voice when they realize meditation is doable. I am thrilled when I see the changes and breakthroughs people can have in their lives using meditation as a vehicle for change.
What makes your style of teaching meditation different?
I take the mystery out of the process of meditation for everyday people who are looking for somewhere other than a yoga studio to learn meditation. I meet people where they are at — in schools, churches, businesses, at nature centers, or in people’s backyards. I use my science and teaching backgrounds to make the process of meditation understandable and doable. My style is engaging and encouraging.
How do you live what you teach? How has meditation impacted your life?
Since I teach people to give themselves permission to spend more time with what they love in meditation and in their day to day life, I strive to do the same. For me, being outdoors is my natural meditative space, so I get out on a regular basis to hike, photograph nature, birdwatch, camp, golf, play Frisbee golf, picnic, or hang on the beach or by a lake or a river. Meditation has made me more resilient and less reactive. I have many more moments and days where I am more present to the joy and wonder of life.
Where are you located?
My home base is Asheville, NC and I LOVE it here! I moved here last summer and am enjoying the general vibe, the food scene, and exploring the mountains. I teach meditation locally and digitally, and continue to build my national presence by facilitating retreats & workshops for schools, businesses, and non-profits.