what i do
When you crave change from deep in your bones, long to take the real, vital, potent you into the world, yearn for a tantalising something you can’t yet name, and need a trusted someone who has your back as you claim new personal, creative and professional spaces – I’m here to help.
Whatever it is you bring to me, we first acknowledge your own wisdom – we’re equal partners in your change. Then we explore what has value and meaning for you, what motivates you, and find ways to unspool and shift the obstacles that keep you jammed. The seeds of what you want to know are already in you waiting patiently for a climate for growth. You’re a garden of untapped resources ready to flourish – let’s make sunshine!
Life’s always changing – there’s never a ‘there’ to get to, but I introduce you to eternal ways of ‘being’ that keep you open to inspiration and growth. This guidance isn’t a series of set lessons like learning dance steps to win a competition – your uniqueness calls for more. Instead, we shift your inner ground in fundamental ways that will guide you for a lifetime.
Why work with me?
Because I listen. Deeply. I’m honest and gentle with you. Playful, encouraging and optimistic about you. Because you will find more clarity about what concerns you or what you want to grow.
Our sessions are powerful and flexibly adaptive to what emerges. I ask a lot of questions. Penetrating, sensitive questions to reach the heart of your underlying patterns and bring them to the surface as we reimagine your world.
We focus on how your patterns show up now, not on trawling through the past. Past events are only memories, mental stories you’re repeating. We track the repeating thoughts – the hardwiring – that lead to repeating feelings and repeating actions. The places you’re stuck. We shift you out of them by accessing your own resources to cultivate the qualities you need for the life you want.
I help you learn your body’s wisdom – it’s on your side, ready to teach you. Find out what it wants and needs, listen to its language, pay attention to its signs and signals – the intuition that gives you a constant flow of small pushes, invitations and information to guide you towards what’s calling you (intuition’s normal, not something woo woo for a chosen few – give it attention, it grows). We ground that intuitive wisdom in your outer life in ways that support you. I teach you about your extraordinary brain and how you can really make it work for you. And because your spirit and your heart open up to the essence of what images and symbols represent, we tuck those in too.
You create your world from your imagination. Everything you believe is the result of observation or experience translated into thoughts that you accepted as true, thoughts that create beliefs, behaviours and the world view through which you filter your experiences. Neuroscientists and neuropsychologists know through extensive testing that we can rewire our brains simply by thinking new thoughts often enough to change our behaviour which in turn changes our brain. A great, doable feedback loop!
We explore where your biography meets your biology. We’re human animals, with multilayered brains that evolved over millions of years, with ancient parts that stopped developing thousands and thousands of years ago. That reptile survival brain of yours has a lot to answer for! I can help you understand and align with these parts for better thought and behaviour synthesis. And show you how your body speaks to you through a range of awareness practices. For more about how I work with you, and what tools I use in life design, click here for FAQ.
I know how to help you reimagine your life.
I witness regular, deep transformations in clients, and am blessed and enriched by the experience of guiding them. You can read client testimonials by clicking here.
My qualifications, training and experience give me an edge.
I come with a professional toolbox that caters to a wide range of needs. I guide holistically. Thousands of hours of training and decades of experiential learning have contributed to my professional and personal development , the way I create workshops, programs and events and the way I interact with clients:
- A degree in languages (French, Spanish, English), and in history (renaissance, enlightenment, WWII) taught me to think inside diverse language patterns for deeper meaning and nuances, to develop excellent listening skills, to recognise what’s historically and empirically real and what isn’t, and to approach the world from a philosophical, creative point of view.
- A graduate diploma in education taught me about different learning styles, and teaching methods sensitive to those styles. Twenty years of high school teaching to senior level honed the theory into sound teaching practice, gave me curriculum and program development skills and event planning and management skills. I attended scores of professional development activities and as faculty head of many years I developed strong planning and management skills. The ability to respond to students’ individual needs was key. I developed sensitive, respectful interpersonal and social justice skills through interactions with thousands of students.
- I completed Narrative Therapy training in Adelaide through 2007 with the late, internationally renowned practitioner, teacher and lecturer Michael White with an international cohort of psychologists, therapists and counsellors. This therapy focuses on the stories we’ve internalised and looks for stories that are a better fit for our preferred reality, by thickening half-forgotten beneficial narratives through skillful questioning, and deep listening.
- Aware of the power of words to influence, develop and reshape the subconscious mind, I trained in hypnosis with the Tad James Company in early 2010 as a useful addition to motivational and transformational work, and use it in a variety of ways with clients who decide to access it.
- I’ve trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming with AUNLP. It also focuses on the power of words in a range of complex ways that link the brain, language, and behaviours learned through experience. It decodes body language to better understand patterns within larger patterns. I’m also studying the later work of one of NLPs founders, John Grinder, and the work of Gregory Bateson whose work influenced both NLP and Narrative Therapy.
- I bring a creative mind to what I do. It’s been developed further by formal training in Graphic Design, Photography, Visual Art, Professional Writing and Editing. I began my successful creative business in the first year of my design diploma, but after a decade, found it isolating and transitioned into ‘life design’. There’s a page on this site with examples of my creative work. I’ve worked with businesses, organisations, local and federal government, and NGOs. I find that the creative tasks I offer individually or in groups greatly enhance clients’ abilities to think laterally and develop solutions not within their previous scope. I also use Mind Mapping as a creative tool.
- I worked for two recent years on a remote Aboriginal Community as Women’s Centre Coordinator. I re-equipped and refitted a disused centre, and designed, developed and delivered programs for health and wellbeing, practical life skills, nutrition and cooking skills, art (including digital) and craft, cultural support, IT and computer skills and leadership. I worked with people from a dramatically different culture from mine who spoke English as a second language. I attended an eight-week FACSIA-delivered health and wellbeing course while resident in the community, worked on creativity programs at the primary school on a voluntary basis, and arranged rapport-building social events for staff. While there, I also worked with community members, government agencies, businesses and NGOs including Save The Children (for whom I later compiled, photographed and designed an independent book project – a healthy meals cookbook for Aboriginal children) to develop innovative program ideas to address community needs. I then wrote funding applications for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, the majority of which were successful. I was often responsible for engaging service providers to implement the programs and for purchasing capital items and materials. I worked with administrative and professional staff from diverse backgrounds, requiring sensitive communication and negotiating skills. I wrote and produced a monthly community newsletter that was distributed Australia-wide by relevant agencies. How does this experience transfer to ‘life design’? Among other things, it demonstrates my ability to assess current needs, anticipate future needs and find creative, relevant, practical ways of moving forward; to design programs to address particular needs; to successfully guide individuals, communities, government bodies, businesses, and organisations; to immerse myself in other ways of seeing the world and communicate successfully within them, and to build culturally sensitive rapport with a diverse range of people.
- I undertake ongoing, extensive ,wide-ranging independent study of the relevant neurosciences, philosophies, coaching methods, anthropology and various other ‘ologies’ to enrich what I do by deepening understanding of what makes us tick and what we can do to live better lives.
- I learn from and compare notes with colleagues who are Martha Beck coaches (whose work and methods I’ve studied intensively) and have trained with American Kaizen-Muse creativity coach Jill Badonsky.
- I’m a longtime meditator and I teach mindulness meditation and introduce clients to its benefits as soon as I can.
- I believe in the deeply transformative power of time in nature to change people’s lives and the Naturakademin (nature academy) course I took helped me learn about creating enriching nature experiences.
- And I know that deep body care and self-care awareness – that includes good food, sleep, relating, rest and exercise – is fundamental to change and wellbeing.
- I’ve guided clients since 2007 and formally opened my ‘life design’ business in 2009.