WOW GIRL | GASTRONOMER | STORYTELLER
Ways of wellness (WOW) goddess, blogger, and budding artist. Teacher of weekly wellness/yoga/stretch class for the Wainui community; facilitator, administrator, and co-creator of boutique wellness workshops & retreats; proprietor and steward of Birdsong Retreat & Sanctuary, our home and gathering place for like-minded seekers and explorers; and just a regular ol’ gal living a simple and magical life.
I’m a gal that likes to go places. I’ve been on a journey my whole life. On the physical plane, I’ve journeyed from my humble beginnings in the suburbs of New York, to being an urbanite in San Francisco during my twenties and thirties, to living rurally in New Zealand since my early forties. Since 2001, after attending my first Burning Man festival, I’ve been on a slowly unfolding spiritual journey, seeking to understand, expand, and liberate myself from myself. I’ve explored various psychotherapy modalities (one-on-one psychotherapy, Imago couples therapy, family constellation therapy); am a Reiki I & II practitioner; love using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT); been on spiritual quests to Peru and worked with sacred plant medicines; done several silent meditation retreats; and regularly study with Jill Purce in the UK working with the voice through song and chant as an avenue to healing and meditation.
I’m a WOW girl, seeking to optimize body, mind, and spirit. My body is a sacred vessel and good, clean, organic food is the source of nourishment for my body temple. I’m a gastronomer and love to grow, prepare and eat food to fuel the soul. The land, flora, and fauna at Birdsong nourishes the mind and spirit. Yoga and meditation are a daily part of my life.
I’m a Libra ruled by Venus; I love beauty and to be surrounded by colour and immersed in nature’s radiance. I’m a grounded earth-based goddess with a penchant for spreadsheets and all things money – a background and former professional career in the investment management business taught me much about the capital markets and the ways in which the larger world works. I’m a project manager extraordinaire. I like to run things, make decisions, and collaborate and co-create on small-scale projects. I like to help others and to build community. I like to smile, laugh, and have fun. My husband Bruce and my little four legged companion Nina are my Birdsong compatriots. Every day is sacred and filled with gratitude.
In Ways of Wellness (WOW) & My Pursuits of the Esoteric:
- Co-creator and Steward of Birdsong Retreat since 2007.
- A Yoga girl since 1996, I attended my first classes at Yoga Tree in San Francisco. I’ve participated in many weekend and weeklong workshops with internationally recognized yoga teachers Desiree Rumbaugh, Donna Farhi, Noah Maze, and B.J. Galvan and have studied with local Christchurch teachers Katie Lane and Anna de Zeeuw. My years of yoga have kept my body supple and youthful!
- I’ve been eating a primarily organic plant-based diet since 1992 and was introduced to new ways of eating after joining one of the first organic produce delivery box services in San Francisco (similar to Vegebox. Naturallyorganic, and Organicboxes). I’m also a conscious meat eater – my body does need animal proteins for optimal health but I do not support the cruel and inhumane factory farming practices that plague our planet. I eat meat consciously, meaning just a few times a week and sourced from humane, local, and ethical farms.
- Reiki I & II practitioner learning from Margaretta von Recklinghausen. I spent several years receiving Reiki from Margaretta before learning to practice myself. My experiences from Reiki were my first shift into the unchartered waters of the unknown, unexplainable, and magical world of energy work and the greater mystical world around me.
- Herb knowledge, studying with Karen McGrath from Earth Healer
- Death positive advocate: In 2012, I was called to Florida to be with my parents when my father was diagnosed out-of-the-blue with terminal cancer and given months to live. My first true encounter with death and dying, I describe my experience of my father’s journey as nothing short of miraculous. Since then I have become an attendee of Death Cafes and a pursuer of knowledge on all things related to the death and dying process.
- Treasurer & Database Keeper of the Wainui Residents Association since 2012. I love my community and one of the best ways to serve is be active on our Committee.
- Treasurer, Committee Member, and Operations Team Lead for Kiwiburn, New Zealand’s Burning Man Regional Event (2007 – 2013). I’ve been a ‘burner’ since 2001 having attended the United States Burning Man event five times. So it was no surprise that Bruce and I got involved with the New Zealand burner group as soon as we moved here in 2006.
- I’ve love working with women and young people. I spent several years working with at-risk women in San Francisco volunteering at women’s shelter and I spent five years as a Sierra Club Inner City Outings leader, taking inner city youth on day hikes and backpacking trips.
Business (my previous life!)
- B.A. Business Administration & Finance, 1992
- M.N.A. Masters degree in Non-profit Administration, 1999
- 15 years with Mellon Capital Management – an investment management indexing firm. I started as a global portfolio manager and then moved into I.T. Project Management & Business Analysis which was more suitable to my personality (solving problems and systemizing business processes)
- Proprietor of Hale Makeleha, my former sanctuary and vacation accommodation rental home on the north shore of Kauai, Hawai from 2000 – 2005.
- My early working life included being a checkout girl and bookkeeper at the local supermarket in White Plains, New York (one of my most favourite jobs ever); several years temping as a secretary; and working as analyst at an international kitchen equipment export firm.