My professional and academic background...I am is an expert on change and the founder and president of Liminal Pathways. Whether I work with individuals in coaching situations, design and facilitate change initiatives for large and small groups, or lead pioneering public workshops, I provide thoughtful, dynamic and focused approaches to supporting my clients in achieving their goals.
My expertise is based in twenty years of working within a wide range of organizations in the private and public sectors. I have held leadership positions in the high-tech industry and in education, and hold a doctorate in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University. Before my recent 2.5 year residence in Australia, I was Director of the Masters Program in Organization Development at Sonoma State University, CA.
In Australia, I continued to pursue my post-doctoral research into indigenous wisdom and non-western approaches to working with change. I bring a multi-cultural perspective based on my research in South America, Southern Africa and Australia, as well as being German-born and raised. Translating these deeply relevant perspectives into innovative approaches to organization and adult development continue to inspire me and make my work with clients more insightful, culturally and globally sensitive, and ultimately more transformative.
More personally, I love the expressive arts and since childhood have used the arts as a means to know myself and learn about the world around me. For example, while in Australia, I studied and practiced Aboriginal art making to gain insight into the Australian indigenous culture and expand my knowledge of different cultural approaches to change. In this blog liminalsonglines I share what I have discovered.
My life is laced by a number of cross-cultural experiences. I was born and raised in Germany and have lived on three continents. My family was caught by the new travel consciousness that first swept across Europe in the late 60’s and 70’s and we explored many European countries during long summer trips. At the age of twenty I gave free reign to my wanderlust and moved to Vancouver, Canada. Rather than returning a year later as planned, I traveled to California and decided to stay and began to create my life there—against a number of odds. After living in the US for 25 years with the majority of my time spent in Northern California I moved to Australia at the end of 2009. After an extraoridnary time, I have now returned to Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.
Turning to indigenous traditions...
In 1995 my cross-cultural encounters took a significant turn when I met Andean shaman-mystic Don Americo Yabar. His message about the living energy universe reflected back to me experiences I had in nature when I was much younger. In 1998 I spent three months in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon with Don Americo and learning about the local indigenous spiritual tradition and healing arts. I gained insights into the nature of change, creativity, interconnectedness, alternate perceptions, extraordinary states of consciousness, and became initiated into their energetic healing practices.
After returning to the US and the Silicon Valley where I had worked in a senior management role, I encountered a number of challenges around meaningfully integrating the experiences I had in Peru. Out of this emerged my first professional conference presentation on this topic: From Silicon Valley to the Top of the Andes: An Exploration of Fragmentation and Holism as Seen Through the Lenses of Two Diametrically Opposed Cultures. At that time I became aware of that many others who identified themselves as agents of change (therapist, facilitators, organizational change practioners, etc) who upon being introduced to indigenous healing traditions where facing similar challenges. This led me to focus my doctoral research in human development and organizational systems on what it is like for Westerners to live with the experiences of initiation into the wisdom traditions of indigenous people. This research along with other contemporary western perspectives on change comprise the conceptual underpinnings and my approach to working clients.
Over the years I have continued to expand my knowledge and experiences with indigenous traditions. I have become familiar with various Native American practices and in 2008 I was able to participate in a cultural immersion trip to Namibia and Botswana. I experienced the healing dances of the Kalahari Bushman and discovered more about their circular ways of knowing, working with change and the role of the body in transformative processes. Since moving to Australia, I have explored the contemporary art and ancient healing practices of the Aboriginal people and spent time in the Central Desert participating women's ceremonies. I developed a more refined appreciation for the role of ceremony and relating to ‘country’ as individual and community healing practices. To me these practices seem as relevant and needed as ever and especially now as we look for ways to address contemporary social and global issues and crises.
Circle of women...
One of the most important settings for exploring what I had learned from indigenous traditions has been a circle of women I have been meeting with for the past 15 years. One aspect of our practice is to witness and support one another as we move through life’s changes; creating rituals and drawing on perennial practices from many culturally diverse spiritual traditions. This practice has given us a timeless knowing about the significance of creating sacred space for our individual healing and collective growth. For me, this circle has contributed as much to the recovery and confirmation of indigenous knowledge and spirituality as my travels to far away places.