WHAT I DO
I am a professor, holistic health educator, change facilitator, researcher, mind body medicine teacher and curriculum developer. I create transformative education content which integrates academic knowledge, experiential learning and reflection so that students have personal and professional insight on theories and tools of holistic healing.
I believe that every health challenge and condition we face has meaning and through curiosity and inquiry we can develop new ways of relating to our health and empowering our healing process. I was the primary care taker for both of my parents as they were dying from cancer. All of my brothers have survived cancer (ranging from minor to serious) and, just this last year, I myself was diagnosed with skin cancer (which, I am happy to say, has been treated). Through all of these experiences, I have gained tremendous insight into how our stories about health and illness influence our healing process and how we can work with those narratives to create empowering experiences of well-being (even when there may be no cure to an illness).
Through my personal and professional experiences and practicing mind body medicine for the past 17 years, I have learned that one of the greatest determinants of health is our ability to empower ourselves through tools of self-healing. In every moment, we have the capacity to connect to our health-seeking self, which always strives towards healing and wholeness, even in the face of challenging health conditions.
MY EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
I have extensive curriculum development and teaching experience, having been a professor in the Holistic Health Education Masters Program at John F. Kennedy University for the last five years. I’ve managed education programs ranging from on-the-ground high school curriculum exploring worldviews, perception and global leadership (Worldview Explorations Project at the Institute of Noetic Sciences) to online Green Health Care Leadership programs for health care providers to learn how to practice ecologically sustainable medicine (Teleosis Institute). I have been the Editorial Director of Symbiosis: The Journal of Ecologically Sustainable Medicine and the book A Time for Listening and Caring: Spiritual Care of the Chronically Ill and Dying (by Christina Puchalski, MD). I have facilitated awards programs at The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health for medical and residency training programs which develop curriculum in spirituality and health and oversaw a yearlong longitudinal research study at California Pacific Medical Center's Mind Body Medicine Research Group on the influence of spiritual practices on health and well-being.
EDUCATION AND TRAININGS
John F. Kennedy University - Pleasant Hill, CA
EARLHAM COLLEGE - RICHMOND, IN
CENTER FOR MIND BODY MEDICINE - Washington, DC
DOULAS OF NORTH AMERICA - WASHINGTON, DC
Fun Facts About Me
I can drive a stick-shift tractor
My name means “I am joyous” in Swalihi
I make a mean blueberry soup
On my 23rd birthday, I unexpectedly delivered a baby
I'm a road tripper. One of my biggest stress relievers is hopping in the car and going on an adventure.