Rambles, for poetic wanderers | San francisco, CA
In 2015, I wrote a poem a day for nearly 200 days, all in an effort to compile the best of them into a book. Then, in the spring of 2016, with the help of 11 of my most creative friends, as well as the financial backing of 157 friends on Kickstarter, we put my poems to the page in a more beautiful way than I'd ever imagined possible. You can order a copy of this book here. And for a more thorough and lovely telling of this project's backstory, watch the video below.
Interchange Counseling Institute | San francisco, CA
I was a counseling student at Interchange, based in San Francisco, from October 2015 through June 2016. The training was divided into monthly meetings – hosted in an interactive format that mixed brief lectures with multiple breakout practice sessions – and one-on-one counseling sessions with fellow classmates that took place outside of the monthly meetings. The training provided overviews of a variety of therapeutic theories and techniques, and offered abundant opportunities to engage in healing dialogues as both clients and counselors. After each monthly session, I wrote a blog to reflect on the weekend's learnings. You can find them listed below:
- Why I'm Holding Guys' Hands Now: Developing Presence and Empathy
- How...Who...What...Are You?: Meta Models and Personal Narratives
- Exploring the Healing Power of Aggression: Stigmatized Expressions of Human Energy
- Love & Shame: How Shame Prevents Us From Intimacy
- Don't Be So Sensitive: Healing Old Hurts
- What's a Question You Can't Answer?: Developing New Resources
- We Are Not Pavlov's Dogs: Deconstructing Limiting Beliefs
- A Voice So Soft (poem): Overcoming Oppression
- Speed Counseling: Integrating Counseling Techniques
Experience Institute | Chicago, IL
In 2013, I became one of five Founding Fellows at Experience Institute, an education startup based in Chicago. I designed my year-long program to be focused on digital storytelling and writing. For a visual narration of my year, you can watch the video below. After completing the program, I continued to work with the Ei team as a writer and community builder in support of the successive Ei cohorts.
Hammock Initiative | Fargo, ND
In the summer of 2014, I found myself working out of a window-less coworking attic for a creative agency based in Fargo, North Dakota. I shared this space with a visionary named Drew Spooner. One day, in efforts to seek fresher air and rays of sunlight, Drew suggested that we launch a project he called Hammock Initiative. So, a few days later, on National Hammock Day, we put out a call to the community to join our movement by swaying in the park with us. Little did we know that this was the beginning of a global chilled-out movement unlike the world had ever seen before. To learn more, visit our site (linked above), or watch our visual manifesto (below).
Leap Kit | Chicago, IL
Throughout 2015, and leading in to 2016 (a Leap Year), I worked alongside Experience Institute's students and staff, as well as designers from gravitytank and the Stanford d.school, to create a toolkit to equip individuals to design their own 90-day learning project. In addition to writing much of the toolkit's Field Guide and fundraising for the project on Kickstarter, I also assisted in running prototyping workshops that helped refine the kit to be most useful for Leapers. Since its launch, Leap Kit has been used as curriculum for a Sophomore Seminar class at School of the Art Institute in Chicago and a company-wide professional development tool at Leo Burnett.
The Music Room | Sacramento, CA
In a previous life, I regularly wrote lyrics and performed folk songs with my sister Aimee. Though we aren’t currently creating new music, we do have an archive of songs recorded. Enjoy listening to, or downloading, some of our work by clicking the albums below:
My sister and I also recorded an old Orthodox hymn that was sung throughout Lent while I was visiting the monastery. The song unwound my ego and softened me to love again. We paired our audio track with some visuals captured by my friend Jon Joiner. I hope it offers you some peace.
If you’d like to download the hymn, please know that a portion of each sale will be donated to the brotherhood at the monastery as they go about praying for God’s mercy on humankind. Download here.
Desert Silence | Cañones, NM
In the spring of 2014, I became curious about the word "spirituality" and wanted to hear what monastics had to say about it. I traveled to the Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael in Cañones, New Mexico. Near the end of my three-month retreat, my good friend, and very talented videographer, Jon Joiner met me to film a short video to document the time. Below, in two minutes, you can have a glimpse of an experience that I'll be processing for the rest of my life.
Círculo | San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
In the summer of 2015, my good friend and fellow Ei founding classmate, Muffadal Saylawala, purchased land outside of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. His dream for the land is to develop it into an eco-community where local community members and travelers alike can learn about permaculture, eco tourism, and sustainability. I champion his efforts by assisting in storytelling and/or copywriting, as well as connecting him with collaborators that would benefit the project. Below are some photos from one of my trips to the piece of land we lovingly know as Círculo. You can also read a story I wrote about the project here.
Folkways | Fargo, ND
In 2015, amidst the frigid cold of a Fargo winter, friends and I huddled together in a farm house on the prairie to scheme up ways to make the Fargo region one of the best places on earth to live. What we created was Folkways, a collective that is dedicated to nurturing culture creators and community builders. Our projects are focused on fostering community connection, organizing demonstrations of what the community could become through art and entrepreneurship, and championing policies that set the community up for economic and creative successes. My main contributions revolve around communications, writing, and storytelling.
Kilbourne Group | Fargo, ND
While working in Fargo during the summer of 2014, I was introduced to the revitalization efforts that Kilbourne Group had underway in Downtown Fargo. Inspired by their mission to restore historic buildings and diversify the residential and retail landscape in Fargo's urban core, I joined their team as a freelance copywriter and storyteller.
Misfit, Inc. | Fargo, ND
When I dreamed of becoming a freelance writer – traveling the world while creating spirited written works – I was directly inspired by the incredible life of a misfit named AJ Leon. AJ and his wife, Melissa, run one of the most audacious and eclectic companies I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Their team is like family, and their community is fiercely creative. In the summer of 2014, I worked from their outpost in Fargo, ND, as a storyteller and community liaison – writing grants, establishing partnerships with local arts organizations, and leading content strategy.
Sacramento Press | Sacramento, CA
Sacramento is where I was born, and it is also where, in 2010, I was given my first opportunity to work as a journalist. As a part of the Sacramento Press editorial team, I interviewed city officials, local sports stars, and community leaders in effort to write stories relevant to the Sacramento region. You can click the link above to view my contributed stories.