A Year of Changes

This year will be full of changes for me:

  • I quietly started an art business earlier this year…
  • I am graduating from my second graduate degree program (I’ll have a Counseling Psychology M.A. in addition to the Neurobiology Ph.D. I earned almost 8 years ago)
  • I am leaving my clinical practicum site & starting clinical work at a different internship site: new clients, new issues, new supervisor, new training…
  • I am getting married…OMFG

I started painting last year, when my arthritis made it too hard for me to color the mandalas I was drawing with colored pencils.  I’ve been creative my entire life, but this was the first time I had picked up painting beyond random paint & wine classes.  I started with mandalas, but eventually needed to explore art outside of the circle.  I’ve found numerous teachers online and in person with intuitive styles that truly resonate with me & have learned so much.  I finally have a dedicated art room and paint whenever I am not teaching or seeing clients.  I was painting so much that I opened an Etsy store.

Additionally, together with a colleague of mine, Shannon Hoppenstedt, I’ve developed a mandala workshop.  Shannon has years of training in energetics, so her focus in the workshop is an experiential introduction to the chakras, while I lead workshop participants in the creation of intuitive mandalas based on what they learn with Shannon.

Eventually, both the mandalas & the etsy store will come together, once I finish my 365 days of mandalas.  I am on day 331, so in a little over a month I will complete them and then it will likely take some time to prepare them for display before I can make them available for sale, but I’m guessing they’ll be up there in a few months.

Wow, sometimes it feels like yesterday that I left my postdoc at Caltech & moved to Santa Barbara to figure out how to become a psychotherapist.  I had never even heard of Pacifica Graduate Institute, yet within 6 months of moving to the area I was accepted into their M.A. in Counseling Psychology program for Fall 2013.  This journey is nearing its end and I’ll graduate in a few short months.  I have learned so much there & have made many close friends.  I even learned how to handle my overactive psyche (apparently when you have an overactive conscious mind, your unconscious may also be just as overactive).  My thesis (Creating Mandalas as an Intuitive Practice) has been accepted, and I just need to finish my last weekend at school, and turn in my practicum closure paperwork (all in March) and I’ll be done!!!  We walk in May & I am excited to share that experience with my cohort.

Switching from Practicum to Internship
I’ve decided that it is time to move on from my pre-degree practicum site and work at another site for my post-degree hours.  It feels a little like switching labs after graduating with a Ph.D.–you were trained in one thing in one lab during the degree and now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to train in something else, with someone else.  I loved my site, but I am ready for a change and excited to see a different population of clients.

Getting Married
Deryck proposed on our anniversary last year (Halloween), shortly after we moved from Santa Barbara to Ventura.

engagementphotoOur engagement is wonderful & I am so excited to marry him this upcoming fall.  We’ve decided to have the smallest wedding possible, while still having a wedding instead of an elopement and I think this is helping keep the stress levels down.  I am definitely a non-traditional bride & my favorite websites for navigating the planning have been Offbeat Bride & A Practical Wedding.  I’ve been very lucky in that Deryck has essentially taken over the reception planning, while I manage the ceremony and other factors.  It’s been a nice division of labor.


With all of the changes this year, I wonder how I’ll manage to feel stable and grounded; then again, I’ve been having numerous changes every year since I left Caltech, so maybe change is my new stable.  Maybe my life is like an air table (once an ephys geek, always an ephys geek)…it needs some flexibility and movement to provide stability.


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