Although somewhat colored and circuitous, I can look back retrospectively and understand why my path unfolded as it has. There have been many moments of doubt when I couldn’t connect the dots at the time but that’s the beauty of time and distance. It’s both the illuminated times and the cloudy seasons that become integral cornerstones in the development of our purpose here.
The first chapter of my work life involved building an art department at a progressive, private secondary school in Los Angeles from the ground up. After teaching middle and high school for several years I realized that the creative process is inherently transformative. My students were using their creative process to make sense of and calibrate their experiences. It was phenomenal to witness and I knew I needed to explore this further. This led me to pursue a master’s degree in transformative arts from JFK University in the Bay Area. It examined the intersection points between creativity, community and consciousness. I learned a great deal about myself in those three years. The emphasis on consciousness facilitated a deep dive into my own psyche and really helped me hone a deeper sense of personal purpose. I also gained greater clarity about the fundamental questions I was committed to investigating about my own ever-evolving spirituality. In addition, my own painting process really crystalized and my painting practice has continued to iterate since then.
I met my husband at JFK and we moved to Portland in 2005. I worked in higher education consulting within a corporate setting for 5 years supporting colleges and universities in retaining their students and providing a more relevant academic experience for the 21st century student. A major service we provided was direct coaching to students. I was both a student coach and once I moved into management I spent four years developing coaches and supporting them in providing effective coaching to our students. The corporate environment was not my natural setting but I learned a tremendous amount about the complexity of managing up, managing down, ROIs, bottom lines, value propositions, etc. I discovered the best methods for assisting people in developing both professionally and personally and established a harder skill set to balance my more intrinsic soft skill set. This has served me well and provided with the tools and lexicon to navigate the “business” realm.
After trying unsuccessfully to start a family for several years, my husband and I had a carpe diem moment and decided to take a leap and start our own business. We felt a strong collective inclination to channel our creative energy into something of meaning. We had a vision of building a creative community with an emphasis on collaboration and devotion to the creative process. We rehabbed a 7 thousand square foot industrial building, brought together a group of cross discipline artisans to work together upstairs and opened a retail space called Beam & Anchor downstairs in the Spring of 2012. Our shop showcases the work of the in house community as well as hundreds of other designers from all over the world.
Beam & Anchor has taught me about the true power and significance of community. It has affirmed the fact that we truly need each other to thrive both personally and professionally. It has confirmed my belief that we are meant to create together and that there is a direct correlation between the resonance of an object and the care and consideration that was invested into its creation.
In my desperation to start a family and my search for meaning around why it wasn’t happening I began working with two teachers: Caverly Morgan and Sally Kempton. They helped me establish a mindfulness practice that has had an enormous impact on my inner world and thus my outer experience. Through my practice, I began to see quite clearly how much of my experience was a by-product of habituated thought patterns, which were not actually a reflection of what was happening in real time. Once I was able to lift the overlay that was so often distorting my lens, I was able to see the true potential for freedom and connection to Self and other that was possible at any moment.
Through the support of science and western medicine I became pregnant in March of 2014 and gave birth to twins, Wyeth and Odessa in December 2014. After 7 years of effort, I was given the gift of becoming a mother. In many ways, it is my children that have influenced this next chapter and my desire to support others in accessing their inner terrain and inherent power. My kids have given me so many gifts and among them is the clarity that we must make haste with our visions. I can’t waste more time on non-essentials. There is too much important work to be done.