Hi there and welcome!
I am a psychotherapist and owner of Smiling Sage Therapy. When I wake up in the morning, I lie in bed 15 minutes to set my intentions and tone for the day. I breathe in presence and bathe in gratitude and thank the big ole universe for allowing me the opportunity to show up for others in this wild ride we are on. Life is beautiful, but it’s hard and scary and weird (and just a LOT sometimes). Like it or not, we are here and I do promise you this: it’s not for nothin’. Life should be joyful and playful and full of love & purpose. There is meaning in the chaos, in the dark places, and where the road leans. The idea of therapy may feel tiring or intimidating, but what is more valuable than finding meaning and caring for your soul? It is a ‘worth it’ adventure. I can tell you with confidence that the essential qualities of your spirit are ready to radiate and sparkle with your attention.
What does it mean to live from the heart? Where would you go?
A little background...
I was born in Kentucky and lived the second part of childhood in Chicago. I started out a little country and moved to the big city, as my childhood friends would say. I love both and have learned so much about people in my travels. I have lived many other places, including North Carolina, New York, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Ireland, etc. Maybe you can tell I love to migrate. I have a big, wonderful family now and the kids are getting older so we have permanently settled (Did I say that?! Don’t quote me!) in Asheville, North Carolina, a home I adore.
If you have the patience or are curious, feel free to read on…
What's in the Name?
When I launched my business. I didn’t initially share my business name with anyone. I can be wishy washy when I “over listen” to my dear people and I worried they would help me over-analyze the name and I would change my mind. In some cases, it need not matter what a soul-else says. The name can be up to any interpretation, but I’ll tell you mine. I wasn’t imagining the plant, ‘sage’, wafting around the room and clearing energy with a smile (though now that I say it, I kinda love that). I did live in New Mexico where we ‘sage’ everything, all the time. My dedication to the word “Sage” refers to a wise soul or a person of sound judgment. Without the sages of the world and the sages in my personal life it is unimaginable where or who I would be. I honor the sages of many faiths and traditions that commonly join invisible hands and point us in the same direction. In addition, we ALL have (I promise again) a sage within us who holds the exact answers you need for your growth and healing. This inner sage is smiling softly in your heart and will light up with your awareness.
My educational background...
I obtained my BA in Cultural Anthropology with Minors in Religious Studies, Eastern Studies, and Latin American Studies from Colorado State University.
I traveled to Nepal and Thailand as part of my Religious Studies curriculum and was immersed in the experience of traditional philosophy, ritual and practice grounded Buddhism and Hinduism. I completed my Master in Social Work at Western New Mexico University. I am a Licensed Clinical Therapist (LCSW) in several states. During my years in New Mexico, I was introduced to Native American and local cultural traditional healing practices which sprung from a unique confluence of Native tradition, Catholicism and Hispanic influence. I have training in Buddhist Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Positive Psychology, and other therapeutic models and enjoy finding the common threads of healing in these different practices.
Some work history...
My work background includes practicing as a Clinical Therapist in schools, on pueblos, in psychiatric facilities, in emergency room departments, residential treatment centers, homeless shelters and private practice. Practice specialities include: addressing abandonment, struggles with anxiety, healing from sexual abuse, relationship issues, life transitions and finding purpose, ADHD, anxiety and depression.
I was raised by my father and my grandparents were a big part of my life growing up. My grandfather was a preacher at a big church in Nashville, TN. He would take me with him to deliver meals for the elderly and will never forget how he lit up their day with his enthusiasm and smile. I often reflect on the joy and comfort provided by communities of faith. From a young age I was praying, examining and questioning (pretty much everything), while attempting to find meaning in the heaviness of my personal life. I was gifted with a ‘spiritual’ experience in my childhood where I was held in light by a guardian angel. This experience grounded me to a connection with something larger than myself and has had a guiding impact on my worldview. I became certain we were all birthed from the same source of unconditional love and non-judgment and that each soul has a unique path and unique answer for their life’s callings. I always appreciated my religious background, but a skeptical mind and curious heart led me to dig deeper into my own historical Christian roots and see it in new ways. I was also led to different parts of the world to better understand the universal truths and mythologies that weave through the psyche and provide a guiding connection with one’s higher self. This passion is the foundation for my life’s work as a social worker, psychotherapist, and healer.
Be curious about yourself and see where it takes you,