People do not decide their futures. They decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.
– F.M. Alexander
So this is where I should tout my academic accomplishments, my theoretical orientation, my 20 years experience and my success in both community mental health and private practice. All of which is extremely important and necessary, but it doesn't tell the whole story about what has made me a skilled, compassionate, effective therapist and coach.
Here's the back story
I was born into a hard working family, the middle child of seven siblings. I grew up on an island that was desolate in the winter and a seashore playground for the rich in the summer. As a local on the island, I grew up waiting tables, cleaning hotel rooms, serving drinks, mowing lawns, babysitting and basically serving the needs of the wealthy visitors. I learned how to work hard, how to hustle for the best tips, and I used those tips to put myself through college, and graduate school. My parents were amazing and took great care of us but they certainly didn't have college funds set up for seven children, We had to figure that out on our own, I'm thankful for it!
It's about Relationships, Stupid
Yes, it's true, waiting tables is about relationships. Life is about relationships. Negotiating relationships, understanding relationships, advocating for relationships, ending them when necessary, and taking responsibility for your role in relationships. I also learned how to never see myself as a victim. It would have been easy to get bitter, as a working class person, working year after year waiting on extremely wealthy people. They didn't always treat servers with respect, or worse yet, they didn't even SEE you! But that invisibility gave me a front row seat to observe and study the habits of the rich and successful.. I quickly understood that one does not necessarily guarantee the other. I also became aware that there are many definitions of success. I learned that just because you had money it didn't necessarily make you successful or happy. I also learned that lacking money didn't necessarily make you the salt of the earth or righteous.
I began, from an early age, observing what makes people effective and what holds them back. I took note and studied the happy and successful people I waited on, the happy people I worked with, the bosses who were mentors and true leaders, the customers who treated everyone with respect regardless of status, I gravitated towards all of them and embraced the opportunity to learn! I naturally began steering clear of the negative and toxic people from all walks of life. I have sympathy for them but, energy is energy, and you don't want to get any of that on you!
I eventually moved off the island and out into the world but I took my work ethic and my interest in people with me. What is success? What makes some people, who have every financial opportunity possible, unhappy, lonely and bitter? How do others who have no resources and no support go on to become happy, successful and altruistic? What traits make people approachable? What makes some people resilient and others easily broken? What is my definition of success?
Take a Leap
These questions eventually and circuitously led me to get a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and to become certified as a Life Coach through World Coach Institute. As a therapist and coach I've had the opportunity to sit with hundreds of people for thousands of hours to witness their struggles, their triumphs, their missteps, to hear their stories and guide and coach them to their definition of success. I've seen over and over again how the choices people make on a daily basis add up to habits that determine their success or their mediocrity or their regret. I bring to my clients the same curiosity about success and happiness that I did as a young food server watching people negotiate their families, their lives and their values. I've seen such choices lead to both happiness and regret.
My natural curiosity...
about people, coupled with rigorous academic training, makes me uniquely equipped to help you on your journey!
Start Now, Not tomorrow!