I like to say that I teach listening so I can get everyone listening to me :) I have an unusual combination of gifts and interests that come together to make me a good teacher of deep listening, a talker and a listener. I am a:
At my core, I am an educator. What gives me the greatest joy is to see the inner light ignite in someone through self-realization or discovery of some truth. I wake up in the middle of the night often inventing ways to help people have profound learning experiences.
My background is in theater. I started out studying on Broadway, but realized my heart is in using the techniques of theater to help others get in touch with themselves, their creativity, and with each other. For 35 years I have used "applied improvisation" to folks of every age and every walk of life about how to be more alive. I have taught as a teacher and professor in schools, as a consultant to corporations, non-profits, churches and a presenter at conventions. I have won many awards, including the Clark County Woman of Achievement Award, for my work with youth, theater and non-violence. I am currently a troupe member with Portland Playback Theater Company.
I am also a senior mediator and trainer of mediation. I learned to listen when I became a volunteer mediator and was forever changed by the power of being truly listened to, and to how huge and necessary inner change is in order to become a better listener.
Learning to become a listener "from the inside out" has been a spiritual practice for me. And it has revolutionized my relationships. Since learning to listen deeply I have found that I:
- have an option to becoming defensive when someone was mad at me.
- no longer have to come up with a solution to their fix people’s problems because listening gave me a way to help them find a solution themselves.
- have become adept at unraveling people’s eccentric, sometimes rambling speaking patterns, making sense of them, even for the speaker.
- find other people as interesting as I findmyself, relieving me of having to be the center of the conversation (and relieving a few others, too, I imagine.)
- relish silence in a conversation, now transformed from 10 seconds of hell to a chapel where the angels and inner wisdom can often be heard.
- have become calmer, even when not engaged in listening. I feel that I can be of service to the world, not just through doing, but by being; I find that my deepening sense of presence alone is solace for people.
I have taught close to 15,000 people how to really listen to one another, in schools, churches, business, homes, non-profits, dispute resolution centers, and even hot tubs.
I have a BA in theater education and education from Virginia Commonwealth and a Master’s degree in Education from Colorado State University and national certificates in basic, family, suspension and peer mediation.