I arrived on earth with a sixth sense and desire for connection. Sensitive, observant, curious, full of questions & wonder with the world. Intensely present, heart-centered, artistic, and smart. A tiny mystic who internalized everything.
I was a ‘too much’ girl for all these reasons.
~ Why Fierce Heart™
We’re the sum of our stories.
My parents always said I could see in the dark because I roamed the house when the world was quiet.
My earliest memory is sitting in the dark stairwell at my Grandma’s home. I’m alone. Below me, a dark hallway, an empty kitchen across it. I can still see the blurred blaze of light from the big window at the foot of the stairs. Decades later I learned my mother sent me away for 8 weeks when my sister was born because I was too much. I was 18 mos. old.
At 17, I left home. At 19, I grabbed the dream of marriage to the man I loved. The story of that marriage included a dark secret of abuse I hid for decades. Because what I know is we’re not what happens to us, or the labels others give us.
The thing is, I also hid how I called on my courage & too muchness to save my own life.
Changing myself so I could leave, and take my young son with me. Figuring out the first tiny step to make it happen. Alone, with no guidance, support, help, or confidants. It happened in a time these things weren’t talked about.
And that one story I hid so long led to a legacy that has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of people:
I’m sitting in a classroom, in University for the fifth time to get my bachelor’s degree. I overhear two young women talk about their recent dates, of almost being raped. “It’s just a chance you take on campus,” one says. Blood rushes my head. My ears buzz. I knew violence to the body. Knew how they’d flinch when blindsided. Knew how they’d breathe free when it doesn’t happen. That perhaps they’ll even hide it inside themselves, too.
I swore there’d be a Women’s Center on that huge university campus by the time I graduated 18 mos. later. A place women could gather, tell their stories, find allies & support, and be safe.
I was a shy person, and I stepped forward, used my Voice as a fierce advocate to connect and form alliances with students, faculty, and administration. I discovered what I’d done my entire life in every job – listen so people felt heard, & speak to where we connect – could serve something bigger. I’d already learned the power of a Vision when I left that first marriage, and that knowing propelled me forward to meet this far bigger Vision, even as I heard the word “impossible” again and again.
The Women’s Center opened on the eve of my graduation. Since then, it’s served hundreds of thousands of people. In 2018 alone, not counting all who stepped in or called, 57,ooo people engaged with The Women’s Center.
Why I do what I do
“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention. – Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
~ Mary Oliver, poet
I’ve always seen webs of patterns & connections in ways that most others don’t, inter-dimensionally. Have always felt things differently, from color to sound to the beat of the unseen.
I know the power of seeing differently, and the value of deep presence. How they lead to expanded perspectives & possibilities. Open the floor for creative thought.
It’s the work I’ve always done.
These times call for choices we’ve never had before. Sands shift beneath our feet. This weird new normal we’re in will eventually change, and it’s time to define what the next new normal will be.
I’m committed to amplifying the genius of fierce-hearted Souls. To helping them create their Vision, and make a positive impact in the world.
Read more here.
Where We Connect
I’m multi-passionate Vision keeper, way-shower, shift agent, consultant, author & artist. I say the word Love a lot. I confess awe, wonder, and curiosity are in my DNA.
I love reading and writing, and a good conversation. They’re like living a good life. We settle into the world, get to know folks, ride through their ups and downs, share their angst and triumphs… and feel touched in ways so something shifts inside us.
I love the natural world madly, and long to travel more, because both are about culture, rhythm, place, and experience.
Which is how I approach life and work….whether as corporate advertising account manager, micro-brewery owner building a business, activist establishing the ‘impossible‘, or helping people be the heroes of their dreams. Creating and connection always at the core.
I’m also a mother, wife, good friend, grandmother, educator, advocate, and mystic who claims recovering perfectionist, optimistic realist, and deep connections with the Universe. Perfect days and beauty in any form make me happy.
Ask me about myself I’ll tell you I prefer tea to coffee, walking to running, sunrises to sunsets, quiet to lively, exploring to shopping, light filled rooms to cozy caves. A huge dose of solitude sustains me, as does driving through uninhabited landscapes,. You’ll think me extrovert when we meet, tho.
My love for the Appalachians lives in my novel Flight. My soul-connection with the high desert of Northern NM lives in my second novel, in progress.
Read My Works
The Writer’s Block Myth – A Guide to Get Past Stuck & Experience Lasting Creative Freedom‘
#1 Bestselling Book. A creativity mindset bible described as the best book about what being a writer is.
“Kenya 2018 – The Mara” The Wayfarer, Vol.8 Issue.1 – Homebound Publications
A poem inspired by my stay in the middle of the Maasai Nature Preserve.
“The Altar of Birds” The Wayfarer, Vol.3 Issue.2 – Homebound Publications
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee poem
“Know Yourself Better than You Know Anyone Else” a contributing essay in Patti Digh’s What I Wish for You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life
“A Writer’s Life” guest blog on Marginalia with Nancy Peacock
“The Honey Hour,” short story, The Ekphrastic Review, May 1, 2018
If you like to listen, you’ll enjoy my FUN & informative audio guide, The Creative Life for People Living in the Real World
Awards & Recognitions
- Summer Literary Seminars Prose & Poetry Contest 2018 – Finalist
- Pushcart Prize nomination 2014: The Wayfarer, Vol.3, Issue 2 – Homebound Publications
- Ruminate Magazine Poetry Contest 2014 – Semi-Finalist
- Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize 2012 – finalist
- Panhellenic Outstanding Women’s Award (NC State University)