My Experiences in Service Work

I have always been drawn to working with people. I became first a clinical social worker and then an ordained interfaith minister in my early to late twenties. My work in the 20+ years since I started has included psychotherapy for adults, couples, families, teens, and children; art and dance therapy in the psychiatric units of a hospital; caring for autistic children in a residential center; teaching sexual abuse prevention curriculum to children; answering calls on a rape crisis hotline; counseling women and children in a domestic violence shelter; teaching creative arts, mindfulness, and ethics to teens; teaching counseling skills to graduate students of Traditional Chinese Medicine, facilitating meditation and wellness groups for adults; officiating weddings, funerals, and other rite of passage ceremonies; and serving as a hospice chaplain/spiritual care counselor for dying people and their loved ones. I am also the mother of three children in the middle years of childhood, a role that requires serving beyond any boundaries that work can provide.

I know both the fulfillment and the emotional drain service can involve. It is work of the heart, and it requires continual re-sourcing. Over and over again, we have to find ways to release other people’s energies and replenish our spirits. I have always been most effective when I am centered, open-hearted, and strong, but that inner well-being doesn’t always come easy. There are real pressures in the systems of healthcare, education, and social service, not to mention the never-ending learning curve of motherhood. The care of the caregiver work I do now is created in honor of all the dedicated, heartfelt individuals I have known over the years. I use tools of meditation, writing, deep conversation, energy work, and movement to bring us all back to center, to unblock the flow of giving and receiving, and to bring passion, authenticity, and freedom to our lives and to all the lives we touch. I hope you’ll join me in caring for yourself in this way.