Who I am

Hi! You caught me, right at this moment, in my true self.  It’s really the only time it happens, in the present moment. And in this moment, I’m really happy you are here.

mom-50sAs a child, I was a justice loving Libra in a secret “funhouse” of fear & rage. A spunky freedom seeker, I was not above causing a ruckus in my family and always listed people as my first language.

Childhood stories of me chasing down adults to chat with them about life and other adult pursuits, freaked my parents out so thoroughly that they shoved me into first grade at 5. I hated it so thoroughly that within two weeks I was spending my days sitting on the sidewalk outside the school, waving at cars and eating my lunch, until it was time to walk home with the other kids.  The scene that played out once my parents found out could have inspired a made for TV movie!

By my early teens, I was sideswiping the wrong side of the law on the outside and secretly worshiping Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Kwai Chang Caine (link) on the inside. Suffice it to say that my early years were punctuated with cringe worthy pain and fear… the kind of wounding that can either kill the spirit or guide the soul. Honestly, throughout my life, it’s served both.

Luckily, the guidance directed my life into my greatest passion: everything people.

In 1975 I graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work , promptly got married and had two great kids. Ten years later, divorced and off path, I wandered into the movie “Ordinary People” and suddenly just knew how to get back on.

That was it, I so wanted to be Dr. Berger to Conrad’s breakthrough! Next step, graduate school (and someday, when we meet, remind me to tell you about how I got in!).  I graduated from the University of Chicago in 1987 and immediately created a practice I called “Options For Growth”.  In it’s first 8 years, “Options” lived up to it’s name and morphed from a lone private practice to a burgeoning healing center, teaming with body workers, spiritual teachers, workshops and additional therapists.

Though it’s evolved over the years, in 2013 “Options” & I celebrate 26 years together.

Read about the ways I am currently working with people here.

Other awesome things I’ve done (dare to read all!):

  • Became a Life Coach as well as a therapist
  • Remarried a fab sailor, still together, still happy!
  • Lived the unique joys & challenges of step-parenthood. Wouldn’t have wanted it any other way
  • Created a course on creativity, Core Creatives, LLC
  • Expanded on my knowledge with the Newfield Network Coaching course
  • Co-created a Tucson co-working space, An Inspiration Station, LLC.
  • Wrote a chapter in an award winning anthology, “The Marriage of Sex and Spirit”
  • Lived through thyroid disease
  • Ordained as a Universal Life minister now working on an offer for creating & officiating truly special occasions with “Heavenly Events” (link)
  • Decided I was a true “Systems Coach”, looking for patterns within problems
  • Branched into Organizational Coaching
  • Freaked out, then rocked the professional speaking stage for CMI, Education (link)
  • Turned (OK, turning!) a financial meltdown into BIG next steps, like the ones you are reading about here
  • Lived on a boat in San Diego for 18 months. Might not want to make any assumptions about my enjoyment of that!
  • Actually passed both of the CA LCSW tests in the first try, an accomplishment beyond receiving my California license afterward. Now licensed in CA & AZ.
  • Became a grandma once, twice and now 5 times! I have gone to heaven without dying!
  • Created and rolling out a process/practice with “Radical Reunion”
  • Created a movement around moments with “Fresh Daily Vibes”
  • Looking to speak on the 2014 TED stage, though anywhere will do, with “Fear, Actually”