I am a typical wanderer; destinations are great, but my heart is in the journey. I am also that nerdy student who sits at the front of the class. I have studied psychology, sociology, end-of-life philosophy, and feminist theology at graduate school and through lived experience.
An HIV diagnosis in the spring of 1994 shook me to my core and rocket-charged my motivation to strip down my life to only the most meaningful elements. I dug deep into my core values and embraced a Third Order Rule of Life—in other words, a monastic way of life—which had me take vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. For a time, I served in an Anglican community and was on my way to becoming an ordained priest. Ultimately, I renounced that path. I continue to explore how to live monastically as a sceptic and a heretic in an urban centre during the 21st century. It’s complex and continues to hold my fascination.
From the mid-90s until just a few years ago I worked with a support agency for women living with HIV. It gutted me when we had to close our doors in 2017. This was much more than a job, as it was at Positive Women’s Network that I cut my political chops and came to better understand the systemic inequities that affect us all. Capitalism, patriarchy, and colonialism have done none of us any favours and I am committed to disrupting systems of oppression. That community of amazing women informed me in profound ways and I am deeply grateful for those years we had together.
I have a deep curiosity about grief and our relationship with it. I live with persistent depression and am a survivor of complex childhood trauma. As well as HIV, I struggle with myalgic encephalomyelitis (also called chronic fatigue syndrome). In my youth, I was homeless on a few occasions and resorted to survival sex for shelter and food. I have been knocked down many times and have sought my own destruction. It is this awareness of suffering that stirs my compassion and informs my vocation as a somatic narrative therapist.
I have spent the last few decades making sense of life through yoga, meditation, journal writing, contemplative practices, and various fibre arts. All these activities are reliable ways to engage with your inner world, and they are available to you at this very moment. Journey with me and discover your inherent capacities. You already have what you need — it is fully woven into your very being.
If it’s of interest, you can read my resume here.