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Meeting Mary

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Well hello! I’m writing to introduce myself as the newest member of GROKtheWORLD. I’m looking forward to the possibility of getting to know you over the next few months and years, so I wanted to share a bit about myself to get a relationship started.

I’ll begin with the personal. I was based out of San Francisco for most of my adult life, but currently live in Santa Cruz, where I first met Jean and Christine years ago. I have an adorable little toddler, Charlie, who is just starting to work on his two-word sentences. He pretty much has my heart. Just last week, he blew me over when he said, “Home. Snack.” I mean - !!!! There is no doubt this is my kid. He just LOVES him a good meal.

Charlie’s dad and I, though not together romantically, enjoy a deep and satisfying partnership as co-parents. We have our share of bumps in the road, of course; thank goodness for Nonviolent Communication! Being able to listen to each other with care - and speak skillfully - has made it possible to be good friends during lots of ups and downs. I’m grateful. We have each other’s backs. We all enjoy our family time. And still, I’m a single parent who, on certain days, is just trying to make the sprint to dinner-time.

Professionally? The short version is I’m a trauma-informed counselor, executive coach, and team facilitator.

I spent the first leg of my career as what was then called an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in a middle school setting. I went from there into school counseling and consulting. Soon after receiving a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy, I pivoted slightly yet again, focusing on building a private practice in holistic counseling.

I was a bit of an NVC skeptic when I first heard of it. Always the curious one, though, I decided to give it a chance and was surprised by how much it added to my counseling work - especially once I learned how to integrate NVC consciousness with the trauma healing and belief work modalities I was already so committed to.

My current work focuses on supporting collaborative, mission-driven leaders in creating healthy, life-serving organizations. What does that mean in plain English? I coach individuals, train teams, and lead offsites in places like universities, NGOs, PayPal, Google… you get the idea. I have a lot of fun with it.

Positioning NVC so it works in workplaces, while maintaining what I think of as its true heart, is energizing and motivating for me.

Of course, parenting from a place of collaboration and trust is a topic near and dear to my heart, too, and I keep fantasizing about some of the ways I might weave this theme into the mix more and more in the future. I’ve always addressed parenting in my individual client work - stuff at home inevitably comes up for most folks who are wanting to show up differently at work. But we’ll see what wants to take shape in the parenting realm as I continue flowing through my own motherhood journey. Perhaps I’ll come full circle to find myself in the schools again at some point, who knows? I think of life as a mystery to be unfolded, and I’m here for it. :)

If you’re still reading, I’d love to learn a bit about you! Feel free to reach out and let me know any of the following. Are YOU trying to use NVC professionally? What works and what’s challenging in your world? What would you like to see future articles focused on? Or, heck, what’s your favorite parenting hack?

Happy to receive it all. I’m glad to be here, and glad to be in connection with you.

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