ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Author, Licensed Therapist, Lecturer, Workshop Leader and College Professor, I am passionately committed to giving people quick, practical ways to bring freedom and inner peace into their busy lives. After thirty years of bringing Buddhist wisdom and Body-Centered Therapist to help clients with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, illness and marriage counseling, I watched firsthand as thousands of people, young and old, embraced the ten Heart Choices offered in Shortcuts to Freedom with open hearts.
Disgruntled with the side effects of Western medications, readers short on time and money gain the daily gifts of being present, curious, awake and compassionate in without any need to meditate every morning or attend lengthy meditation retreats. As a young girl watching my mother suffer from depression, I passionately chased after health and happiness as an adult. After finding daily living skills beyond my imagination in Buddhism and body-centered therapy, I honed these to ten-minute tools for readers.
While promoting my first book, JOY, No Matter What (Conari, 2005, which sold nearly 10,000 copies in five languages), I taught thousands of people hungry for instant tools to cope with chronic pain, anxiety and despair. Many unfamiliar with meditation, they found tremendous freedom by naming thoughts, fears and reactions and learning how to dialogue with their symptoms. Whether I was teaching clients one-to-one or guiding hundreds of psychologists and therapists in Heart Choice Tools at a conference or offering a Catholic, Protestant or Unitarian Church Service tools on Sunday morning, they brought these ten practical Heart Choices immediately into their life issues.
Raised Lutheran in Minnesota and trained as a journalist as the first in my family to attend college at the University of Oregon, my down-home writing style brings the gifts of Buddhism and psychology to readers in everyday language they easily understand.
As a passionate student of Vipassana Meditation and Consciousness since 1973, the seed for this book came years ago when, at the end of a morning meditation, I said, “Today I cultivate Inner Peace.” Following years of meditation and therapy, this intention erased deeper fears and ego reactions I had struggled with for years. As I brought inner peace and other heart qualities to clients, they remarked how powerful these brief tools were. I have to share these lifesavers with readers.
The past 20 years, I honed Buddhist teachings about Presence, Awareness, Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Gratitude and other heart qualities into pearls of wisdom for busy people of any faith to practice in one to ten minutes a day. Clients and workshop attendees taught me which ones transferred easily into their daily lives. As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist teaching at National Conferences for years, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers reported back to me which Heart Choice Tools worked best with their molest, addiction and depression clients at home.
Since 2004, I teach Joy & Freedom Workshops annually for CE credit to social workers, psychologists, therapists and meditation students at Spirit Rock Center near the SF-Bay Area and at the National Conference on Self & Family in Santa Fe, N.M. Three years ago, I presented at the Tenth International Conference on Science & Consciousness in Santa Fe, N.M.
A former Graduate Professor at Naropa, I have been featured in popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, Essence, Spirituality & Health, Body & Soul, AHP Perspective, Shambhala Sun and Imagine. Over the years, I helped thousands of clients with depression, grief, anxiety, anger, PTSD and chronic pain.
A member of Spirit Rock, the Association of Humanistic Psychologists & Assn. of Transpersonal Psychologists, I taught graduate courses at Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO and Transpersonal Psychology in Durango, CO, where I have had my private practice since 1992. Trained by International Trainer Eleanor Greenlee in Bioenergetics and Certified in Body-Centered Therapy by International Trainers Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks, I blend the teachings of Eastern Buddhism with psychology’s Body-Centered Therapies.
I received my masters in Humanistic Psychology from California’s Sonoma State University in 1982 and my Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. As a certified Body-Centered Therapist and Holistic Health Educator, I also published “Letting Go of Beliefs” in the Aug/Sept 2005 international journal AHP Perspective, “Mid-life Journey” in Personal Transformation magazine & “What is my Illness Saying to Me?” in the Feb/Mar 2000 AHP Perspective.