In my mentoring process, I often encourage teens and their parents to open up and express themselves as authentically as possible. Yet, how can I ask this of my clients without being willing to share from a deep, vulnerable place myself? That is why, right here, I am telling my personal story from the heart about what inspired me to do this important work.

Life can be challenging! To be perfectly honest, although I appreciate all of my own life experiences, when I was young, there were many days when I found it difficult to go on living, let alone get out of bed.

Born in the Midwest, I grew up in an affluent and beautiful area of Southern California. Living a block from the beach, you would have thought I had the ideal life. However, personal and family challenges—including mental illness, addiction issues, and others—led me to doubt myself and my purpose in life. I was also a master of overthinking and pressured myself unceasingly to achieve, find the perfect relationship, have a family, and create material success.

To compound matters, I was extremely sensitive, both to my own suffering and the suffering of others. I often felt very alone, believing that no one else could understand what I was going through, so I never talked with anyone about all of this. Thankfully, I made it through those times, but not before descending into alcohol, drugs, and deep depression that lasted through my young adulthood.

Had I only known then what I do now! Because I have been there, I really “get it” when teens tell me their stories. In my journey to maturity, I learned how to break through to my own success and become a productive, compassionate adult. That is why I ultimately chose to support others as my true calling. I have now been working with youth and adults of all backgrounds for over 20 years as a teacher, coach, facilitator, and mentor.

On my path, I gained career experience in business, technology, non-profits, education, and the arts, earned a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology, facilitated Teen Insight Seminars, and completed Sean Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” training and The Pacific Institute’s “21 Keys for High Performing Teaching and Learning.”

While I still appreciate material success in its many forms, I’ve come to realize that true success is ultimately an inner experience. We may possess all the material wealth in the world, but without the experience of loving, acceptance, and peace, happiness is fleeting. I firmly believe that with the appropriate support, each and every one of us, young and old, has our own innate wisdom to overcome all challenges and create truly happy, successful lives.

I love working with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Since everyone is different, I do not utilize any particular technique or process in my coaching and mentoring practice, but customize my approach to match your unique needs. While I am not a licensed therapist, I do refer clients to the appropriate professionals when needed.

I look forward to supporting your goals and dreams!