Taproot Arts and Insight is built out of elements that have been weaving through my many previous life chapters and continues to grow as I push into the newest chapters.
As a life coach I not only have training from an extraordinary coaching program, Psychosynthesis Center, but also decades as an artist and a college professor, as well as a deep training and ongoing practice in authentic movement and a previous chapter as a massage therapist.
I have been a professional artist since graduating from Earlham College in 1988 exhibiting in solo and group shows around the country. As an artist I have always jumped back and forth between the worlds of craft- specifically pottery, and high art- including sculpture, installation, drawing and painting. My art work is my grounding and my teacher- it takes me to the places I need to grow and provides the tools for transformation and healing. I welcome the unknown as I delight in the forms that develop in my hands. In so many ways I experience my creative work as my spiritual practice, a way to connect to the essential truths of my life and the collective life of the culture and the planet.
I became an art professor in 1999 after earning my MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.With roughly 14 years of full time college experience plus numerous non- academic classes, I have worked with well over a thousand individual students. My greatest joy in teaching is seeing my students discover their own voices through their play with materials and design, and in so doing become more clear in their goals and passions. For professional details of my academic and art career see the full CV.
Prior to graduate school in art, I completed a year long program at National Holistic Institute in massage therapy in 1995 where I studied shiatsu, Swedish massage, deep tissue and health and nutrition. I became fascinated with alternative healing processes as I experienced the way that emotions and our stories are held in our bodies and can be released through body work. This became the core of my artistic investigations for many years.
In 2005 I began to study authentic movement, with Alton Wasson and Daphne Lowel, a form I continue to practice and find very rich. It is based in Carl Jung's work with the creative unconscious and related to dance therapy, and it brings a sense of the spiritual into the mix as well as a deep understanding of the relationship between the witness and the "mover", or core self and the one who is playing out the stories of our life. It teaches how to access our deeper truths through movement and visualization as additional forms of creative process.
In studying Psychosynthesis life coaching, based in the work of Roberto Assagioli, who was a contemporary of Carl Jung and innovator in psychology who brought an awareness of the spiritual element and transpersonal qualities to the field, I added maps and tools for coaching to the background, and found myself in a very good place to work both individually and with groups to tap into this rich material.
Art, in all its forms, is a great teacher, spiritual guide, therapist and healer. The creative process, which is really all about play, whether music, writing, dance, theater, visual art or any other, provides access to the creative unconscious- which is the key to growth, healing and deep learning. Dreaming and visualizations are in the same realm, and while I have a deep love of the process of making, and I value tremendously the creative work that others have put out for us to enjoy and relate to, I have found that it is possible to use the imagination directly to dig into the deep and emerge with profound healing.
My current work, both in coaching and in teaching, is to bring the lightness of play to the profound work of the creative unconscious and the incredibly rich awareness and healing potential it can unlock. I also continue to create my own art work and find it is ever helpful and revealing as I dance the dance of life.
Check out the interview with me that was published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette!