1990 – 2006
I have been an educator, facilitator and co-creator in schools and communities, with adults and youth in the classroom, in workshops, seminars, ceremonies, and through my published curricula. (See: Coming of Age Education) The major themes carried through my work during this time include:
My personal development regarding a conscious and intimate relationship with my female body and gaining courage to bring women’s issues into the light. Also, the desire to integrate the relationship the female body has with the moon phases via the menstrual cycle and that these cycles are reflected in the processes of the cycle of life and death. Further, the female body’s relationship to life and death is akin to the experiences of the earth, the seasons and Nature. Experiences of motherhood created a strong bond with the earth and Nature/nurture. This strong foundation is necessary to build the holistic approach to puberty and adolescence which I bring to the middle school students in my charge. Secondly, reflecting and coming to terms with my own experiences and feelings during puberty and adolescence lays the groundwork for understanding youth and their needs as well as builds courage and confidence to lead other adults and teens.
Early work during these years centered on rites of passage for teens transitioning to adults in a welcoming community. My appreciation for the importance of community festivals and ceremony grew out of my early childhood experiences in the Roman Catholic Church, my participation in theatre production and my deep connection to indigenous cultures. (See: Life Celebrations)
(A turning point in my life came in 1996, when I met Tamara Slayton while searching for a holistic approach to puberty and adolescence to bring to the Seattle Waldorf School and my own middle school students. She was a dynamic and inspiring teacher! The collegial relationship that Tamara and I shared until her death in June 2003 gave me the focus to do my destiny work. Our initial focus was meeting the needs of youth and supporting those adults, parents, teachers and professionals who worked with youth. A collaboration with Tamara, Anne-Marie Fryer and myself as contributor, editor and publisher resulted in the I Find My Star publication in 2003. Creating, self-publishing and teaching the Human Fertility and Middle School Issues curricula was the next step for me. Also, our individual work with the relationship of the physical and spiritual bodies of the feminine naturally led Tamara and I to explore our relationship with death. To work with this theme with another woman was powerful. (See: Products & Publications))