The path that brings me here, both physically and metaphysically speaking, is a winding one, but amazingly and blessedly unmarked by serious crises of either faith or material needs. I’m grateful for the graces and gifts I have received throughout my life’s journey.
My parents planted and nourished the seeds of my mystical curiosity and spiritual yearning, and I’ve felt the grace of spiritual friendships since early adolescence. I’ve had the support and friendship of Jo Hughes, neé Green, for nearly fifty years, and of other loving friends for over forty years. These people call me back when I wander down a dead-end turning or get turned around and start walking over old ground.
Having survived Catholic childhood in the 1950s and ‘60s, I left the Church in the 1970s. For about twenty years, I followed a winding, solitary spiritual path. I intuitively found my own spiritual education: I read and studied spirituality and metaphysics; experienced in varied ways the perfection of God and imperfections of humanity.
I was initiated into Vedic meditation in 1973, my first giant step toward greater consciousness. By experiencing Divine Light in many ways, I recognized that my intuitive abilities, listening skills and problem solving acumen worked together, the intellectual process informed by the spiritual. I also began to see very clearly the connection between spirituality and the arts, and followed a career path that supported artists in their work.
From 1970 to 2001, I worked with artists and arts organizations, where I wrote every conceivable kind of document, from actors’ bios to mission statements, including two handbooks under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. My work helped artists and organizations to find the appropriate words to connect with their audiences and donors. My focus was always to remove barriers and to create and develop clarity, constructive communication and productive associations among artists and donors. I helped stabilize and grow organizations and advised individual artists on funding.
I worked across cultures and artistic disciplines, with new, small and expanding organizations. My clients addressed a broad spectrum of objectives and cultural missions, and reached many different audiences with varying needs and expectations.
In a career that included full-time staff positions, board membership, consulting and writing, I worked with widely diverse organizations, for example, Sacred Sites International Foundation, World Wall for Peace, NAYAEE–Native American Youth Art Exhibit and Exchange, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, the League of Historic American Theatres, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I was also founding president and general manager of Upstart Stage, a theatre company devoted to reading and producing new plays; and I started and ran two service businesses.
In 1990 a deliberate “church search” brought me to Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). A friend and I, both with our own personal spiritual practices, wanted a spiritual community, so we set out to find one by attending as many different services and events as it took to find a spiritual home. We looked at each other knowingly only moments after entering silent meeting for worship one Sunday morning, and Strawberry Creek has been my spiritual community ever since. Even 6,000 miles away, now living in England, I feel connected to my home meeting in Berkeley, California.
For much of the 1990s I was seeking ways to integrate my spiritual life with everyday work. I continued consulting, mostly writing and organizational start-up; and I pursued further education to learn skills that I hoped would lead toward to that elusive job that would weave the two major threads of my life together. In addition to training-the-trainer courses, I took Stanford University’s Forgive for Good Seminar from Fred Luskin, Ph.D., founder of Stanford Medical School’s Forgiveness Studies Program; and I learned the Peace Empowerment Process™ of the World Wall for Peace from the late Carolyna Marks, creator of the process.
Since moving to England in 2002, I have continued to write and study on my own; then, in 2011-12, trained with William Bloom through the Foundation for Holistic Spirituality to become a Spiritual Companion.
Qualifications: Certificated Spiritual Companion, Foundation for Holistic Spirituality, Glastonbury, England; MA, Arts Management, American University, Washington, D.C.; BA, History, University of California, Berkeley. MA, Thesis Pending, International Management (including cross-cultural communication), School for International Training, Brattleboro,Vermont; Certificate in the Eight Training Compentencies, American Society for Training and [Human Resource] Development; Teaching Certificate in Adult Literacy. Completed Forgive for Good, Stanford University. Qualified facilitator, Peace Empowerment Process™ of the World Wall for Peace. 03/2012