I have been a “social architect” in one way
or another for most of my life, as well as a healer for individuals,
couples, groups and organizations.
I have founded and led groups and organizations,
facilitated existing groups and management teams, led workshops, retreats
and on-going therapy groups, done process consulting for boards, and
run a school training body psychotherapists. Being both a good founder
and a good facilitator requires recognizing, activating and cultivating
the collective wisdom that is available when a group of people come
I am a heartworker in all ways. That
is my mission work.
From a neurocardiology perspective,
when people come together in a group, the power of their individual
hearts joins them together to form a collective “heartfield.”
This is an electromagnetic phenomenon. The heart generates the strongest
electromagnetic forcefield in the body. People’s heartfields touch
and interact when they are within 8 - 10 feet of one another, and perhaps
more subtly at greater distances. The collective “heartfield”
provides a powerful container for connection, healing, creating, change
and fostering human evolution.
I have worked in many settings to mobilize, facilitate
and direct the power of the collective heartfield. Healing in community
can be profoundly transformational--and in many cases exponentially
more powerful than healing in a one-on-one setting. Truly, the whole
(or the collective) is greater than the sum of its parts.
I have always had an innate sense
of mission, since I was a very small child. I knew I was here to bring
people together, to further human evolution, and to leave the world
better than I had found it. I was always a child who lived from the
heart. For this reason, a lot of what I saw happening in the world did
not make sense. And it was very scary for me to be a small child and
watch all the social visionaries get assassinated. Martin Luther King,
Mahatma Gandhi, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy... I was afraid if I
was going to be who I really was in the world, I would get shot too.
However, I had to face death long before I was
an adult and had reached my leadership potential. I faced death as a
16-year old walking home from my job at Boston’s Fenway Park,
when a stranger came out of the shadows and tried to rape and murder
me. I have written extensively about this “turning point,”
in articles and both my books. Rather than tell the whole story here,
I will simply say, that I was forced to make a choice to live, and to
turn my will over to the “God I was never raised to believe in.”
I chose to live. I said so to God, and a little voice came through my
heart, which said to forgive the man who was beating my face and trying
to kill me. Without using my mind to think about, understand or put
meaning on what forgiveness meant, I spoke from my heart and said, “I
forgive you.” He burst into tears and stopped beating me. Metaphorically,
that was my first therapy client, and where my conscious path truly
I ended up at Yale University trying to study the
mind-body connection, before much research had been done in this field,
then at the Sloan School of Management at MIT studying Organizational
Development, inspired by the spirit and work of Dick Beckhard. I was
involved in the early days of the Organization Transformation movement,
including Boston’s Organization Transformation Network with Jim
Ritscher, and Interface’s Spirit in Business Association with
Joanna Brown. I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation as an internal
consultant. I was simultaneously developing my own body of work, Emotional-Kinesthetic
Psychotherapy, a heart-centered psychospiritual approach to body psychotherapy,
which took me to Europe to speak at Findhorn, to work in London thanks
to the efforts of Martin Leith, and eventually to found the Institute
for Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy in 1990, to train therapists
in an apprenticeship-based method.
In the early 1980’s, I attended a conference
that had the early seeds of collaborative wisdom in its field of vision,
and met people like John Adams, Wayne Silby, Terry Mollner, Roger Pritchard,
and Susan Meeker-Lowry. I was involved in the beginnings of the Social
Investment Movement, founding the Institute for Gaean Economics with
Susan Meeker-Lowry. I attended several Northamerican Bioregional Congresses.
In the late 1980’s, I became involved with the Association for
Humanistic Psychology, leading a Boston area chapter in the early 1990’s
and serving on the Board of AHP. In the late 1980’s, I co-founded
the first professional association for body psychotherapists, was part
of the ethics committee that wrote the first Code of Ethics for Body
Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers, and our efforts led to
the founding of the US Association for Body Psychotherapy.
In 2001, I founded the Boston Area Sexuality and
Spirituality Network, which is strong and growing as I write this text.
This work had its roots in my work in England, where a transgendered
individual helped produce my work. Her life journey inspired me look
deeply into questions of gender, sexuality and spirituality.
The work of Stan Dale and the Human Awareness Institute
was another important influence. I found HAI in the late 1980’s
and it was an essential part of my own healing journey.
Another important part of my journey is being the
mom to my son Alex, who was born in 1996. Bringing emotional intelligence,
body awareness, communication, process and relational skills to kids
is a current edge in my work. Helping kids heal their traumatized hearts
before they grow into adulthood, and learn the skills to build meaningful
lives from the inside out--in safe, healing community--can make a profound
difference in the world.