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I am passionate about human liberation, how we can reclaim our birthright and be who we were born to be, free of the damaging effects of the many forms of oppression (e.g., sexism, racism, able bodyism, adultism, classism, etc) that are part of our socialization process. The process of liberation, I believe, allows us increased access to the fullness of our creative and intelligent minds, to embody zest and passion and live more collaboratively. The blossoming or opening up process allows me to more clearly envision and create communities that are inclusive and loving.
The invitation is to feel freedom, to envision the life we want, and live it.
A community that embraces liberation is one where all people are free from exploitation and oppression regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, age, economic status, level of ability or any other areas where we create an illusion of separation amongst people. It also means taking exquisite care of the environment.
I am an educator, facilitator, consultant, public speaker, writer and artist.
My vision of social justice and community inclusion fuels my human liberation and community building work. I believe in the transformative power of envisioning the world the way we want it, speaking it, believing it, and living it. My life and my work are motivated by questions such as:
What is liberation? What does it mean to live in this moment, connected with all that ever was, is and will be?
- How can we liberate ourselves and each other?
- How do we find our authentic voice?
- How do we co-create healthy, healing, cooperative communities?
- How do we make sure everyone is included?
- How do we walk into the fire and let go of everything we ever held on to, freeing ourselves from attachment
- How do we let the wind carry us and know deep in our hearts that we are all connected much more deeply than we understand.
I am experienced in human liberation and community building work, coalition building, program and community development, evaluation, training, inter-agency collaboration, strategic planning, and policy and procedure development.
Having a Masters degree in Clinical/Community Psychology, I’ve worked in the human service field for the past thirty years focusing on enhancing mental health recovery, cultural attunement, service delivery and systems change and community building. I am the co-founder of Emotional CPR, a primary prevention, public health education project that trains people to support others through emotional distress.
My Blog on Mental Health Liberation is on Mad in America, where I share my unfolding journey towards liberation which includes spreading Emotional CPR, building the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, advocating for human rights, and other adventures in service of reclaiming our shared humanity. I also blog from this website.
As an artist, I am awakening to the power of creative expression as a tool to transform consciousness. My book Living for Two: A Daughter’s Journey Through Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace has been described as “a magical book that conjures creativity from tragedy, visions from madness, and leadership from despair.”
My life has been an unfolding process of searching for my own truth and liberation. A major part of that journey has been looking back with a deeper lens, at what happened to me. I was put in a mental institution at the age of 16 and told that I had an incurable brain disease – chronic schizophrenia. The experts, however, were wrong.
The most powerful recovery tool in my journey of liberation has been a natural process of healing emotional hurts through being listened to and encouraged to express the feelings associated with early hurtful experiences.
Remarkable changes happened when I started learning about oppression and the damaging effects it had on my life and the impact it has on others. I’ve learned that when we have experienced oppression, it becomes internalized. We carry it around and without realizing, that internalized oppression impacts those around us. It affects every relationship and all areas of our lives.
I am experiencing deeper levels of peace in my life and continuing to discover who I was born to be. I am reclaiming my full self and my own mind. I have learned that there was never anything wrong with me. Today, with more clarity I understand what happened to me. At the age of 16 I was stuck in a monologue, within an altered state of consciousness and no one knew how to engage me in dialogue. I find joy in continuing to learn how to believe more deeply in my capacity and in the capacity of others.