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ABOUT ME

A little more about me

Many sources feed my creative and fulfilling life: relationships with integrity, awe and adventure, holding bittersweet grief and joy together, raising an amazing family with my soulmate, being on 'the adventure team' and taking risks, doing deeply meaningful work, laughing and playing a lot, creating belonging and community in many settings. I serve and am nurtured by being in conversations for possibility with people to help them discover and unlock their best selves around meaning, belonging and contribution, creating safe and courageous spaces to speak up and show up.  My desire is to help people shine their essence and contribution into their relationships and the rest of the world of possibilities around them, living a life that is fully alive.  

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After a career in student development and leadership development in university residence halls, culminating as Assistant Director for Student Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, my partner Suellen and I moved to South Africa in 1988 to work for peace and justice via the strong anti-apartheid Rondebosch United Church and where I studied for an MA in Christian Theology at the University of Cape Town with a Masters thesis on the work of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

 

From 1991-2002 I worked in an innovative micro and small business development NGO (Triple Trust Organisation) as the Research and Development Manager and serving as the Social and Ethical Accountant (triple bottom line), following which I did international consulting work in entrepreneurship and enterprise development, monitoring and evaluation, gender and social development, and applied small business research in South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Namibia, Nigeria and Scotland.  During this time I also exported craft art from southern Africa to the USA (Usasa – Elegant African Craft Art).  I've had the privilege of working with the ground breaking Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) team since 2007, rebuilding public spaces in the townships (libraries, sports facilities, safe walkways, trader facilities, community centres, etc.) in partnership with communities, government agencies (local, provincial and national) and donors like the German Development Bank (KfW).  Running Artist's Way courses started in 2019 under the mentorship of co-author Mark Bryan, learning how he and Julia Cameron ran their programmes together.  My recent interests are organisational transformation and trying to address the epidemic of trauma (especially in South Africa, but truly global) and gather various support  modalities to do this - various art therapies, movement, meditation, breathwork, support groups, specialist services like EMDR and TRE, etc.  

Education & Training

  • 1990 Master of Arts in Christian Theology; Thesis: Solidarity and Salvation: Community and Social Transformation in Selected Works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, University of Cape Town, South Africa

  • 1982 Master of Arts in Counselling & College Student Personnel Administration (Student Affairs), Western Michigan University, USA

  • 1979 Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business Administration, Central Michigan University, USA

  • 2023 Embodied Transformation (Somatic Coaching) at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, California, USA 

  • 2023 Jung Certificate Course (1 year), in progress, Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts, Cape Town

  • 2022-2023 Certified Integral Coach®, Professional Coaching Course, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Centre for Coaching

  • 2022 iEQ9 Integrative Enneagram accredited practitioner

  • 2022 Tracking and Depth Leadership in the Okavango Delta, Helene Smit and Francois Malherbe

  • 2022 Drum 360° Drum Circle Leadership Course, Drumba: Rhythm for Life

  • 2020 Adapted Depth Facilitation Skills, Helene Smit

  • 2019 Artist’s Way and Artist’s Way at Work accredited facilitator

  • 2018 Integral Coaching, Associate Coaching Course, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Centre for Coaching

  • 2018 Orm’s School of Photography: Introduction to Digital Photography; Lightroom

  • 2018 UCT d school: Design Thinking in Practice

  • 1999 Competency based Economies, formation of Entrepreneurs (CEFE) Training of Trainers, GTZ (now GIZ)

  • 1998 ZOPP Facilitation (Goal Oriented Project Planning), GTZ (now GIZ)

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Personal Mission Statement

Many of my significant friends have died, contrary to my hopes and expectations.  Life is short.  I no longer want to hold back from crossings many vulnerable edges I have held back from.  

 

I will actively foster an informed and passionate love of God (the Great Creator, Source of Love, Life Force, Great Spirit, Ruach) which results in a reflective and obedient spirituality, working for justice, practicing compassion, practically loving and serving others and being a responsible steward.  These works must begin with my family and significant relationships.  Listening for the Spirit’s whispers and practicing the presence of God are important ways to avoid self-deception.  

 

I value increasing my self-awareness in order to better understand who I am and what unique contribution I am being called to make in the world.  I am dedicated to seeking truth and a richer understanding of reality than only my perspective, in order to live a more integrated life. This includes questioning my ‘structure of interpretation’ of reality, beliefs, values and worldviews.  The cultural and social messages and expectations from my family and conservative institutions (Catholic church, school) served an importing holding and shaping purpose in my youth.  I trust and follow my integrity and essence now in ways that encourage me to free myself from earlier limitations, trappings and inhibitions.  

 

I come from a family with negative addictions which presents me with particular opportunities for choosing and creating more life-affirming ways of being.  I acknowledge my shadows and their importance and I want to integrate them creatively into my life.  

 

Having lost people close to me to fundamentalist religious violence, I will actively create respectful relationships with people of all faiths and no religious faith in an effort to increase mutual understanding of our shared values.  

 

I am committed to life long learning and development, personally and as an educator, facilitator and coach.  

 

I love working out.  My health is important to me.  

 

I love nature and I want to be in it regularly.  I want to be a good steward of the earth.  

 

I will proactively and critically celebrate diversity in an effort to respect all life, remove my prejudices and encourage others to do the same.  

 

Consciously aware of my relative personal and structural power, and the responsibilities which go with such privileges, I commit myself to working for more just social structures and partnering with disadvantaged people in their initiatives as an act of solidarity and enlightened self-interest.

 

Generativity is important to me – listen, affirm, encourage, include, be a role model, give specific feedback, teach, pass on the good things, leave a legacy. 

 

Writing and pursuing creative activities daily energises me and helps integrate various strands of my life.  

 

Life is a celebration which I will explore, experience and enjoy!

 

I want to laugh and joke and play a lot.  Life is too serious and painful and difficult as it is without the sunshine of joy and laughter.  

 

I am finding more often the art and practice of ‘human being,’ rather than ‘human doing,’ and this is profoundly liberating and satisfying.  

 

I believe in the power of community and I will proactively seek ways to build community by:

  • nurturing relationships

  • pursuing truth

  • working for win-win solutions

  • developing my maturity and spirituality

  • practicing good listening and communicating

  • emptying myself of the need to ‘heal, convert, fix or solve’

  • accepting and living with ambiguity and complexity and

  • being vulnerable.

 

I am responsible for taking my life where I want it to go: to develop relationships; to lead; to find adventure; to use my creativity; to earn a good living; to learn; to teach; to explore; to achieve my goals.

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