I studied Anthropology, Psychology, French, Art History and English at Auckland University, graduating with a BA, MA and then a PhD in English. After some years of university teaching, I became a full-time artist for a decade, before graduating as a counsellor (1989) and psychotherapist (1991) with Diplomas from the Institute of Psychosynthesis (NZ).
I was in private practice for 26 years, and in that time spent hundreds of client hours with people.
In 1998 I also became a qualified Healer (Cert. Healing, SRMHC, UK). I’ve been meditating, following a spiritual path from an ancient Indian tradition since 1983, and experiencing deep transformation from the practices. Since 1984 I’ve been co-creating seasonal rituals with a group of women. I’ve published eleven books since 1988, have been accepted by reputable publishing houses and have won awards and prizes.
As a young child growing up in Taranaki, New Zealand, my happiest moments were spent sitting on a rock by the river and gazing into the mystery of its swirling waters. That strong sense of connection with nature has always been present, deepened by the influence of a special Maori teacher during my formative years.
In the seventies and eighties I was involved in environmental protection and taught environmental studies at Auckland University. Later through my art work I became fascinated by creative process. I facilitated many collaborative art projects, culminating in the One Hundred Women project on a west coast beach. This led to an interest in helping people create their own rituals to mark significant transitions.
From there I began to write: about ritual, the southern seasons, creativity and spirituality. Later, the seasons of life captured my interest. I wrote about midlife, spirited ageing, and began the Seasons of Life trilogy of personal journals about getting older.
By travelling widely and living in Paris, India, England and California for different periods of time, I’ve benefitted from the stimulation and richness of interacting with different cultures and relating to people of many kinds. In later life I rediscovered my beloved Maori teacher and was whangaied (adopted) into his Taranaki family.
When I hear Irish music, my feet start tapping and I can’t resist dancing. While I enjoy computer and social networking technology, I also love the simple life. At my bach on the west coast I play vinyl records on an old turntable, draw on tank water and use a wood stove to keep warm.
Meditation keeps my mind fresh and alive; tai chi and yoga keep my body flexible; and looking after my small block of land in the Waitakeres satisfies my love for the earth. My newsletter and blog are a way of expressing my delight in seasonal change, and my granddaughters keep me playful.
You can contact me here.