My mother and grandmother were some of the original followers of Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, or Science of Mind. I was raised in that church. The sense of trusting in the universe that they gave me, is their legacy to me. However, the “rising above” human feelings into the spiritual world did not work for me as I grew into adolescence. From my mother and Science of Mind, I retained a lifelong interest in the relationship between thought, feeling and health.
After graduating from the University of California in Social Sciences and Spanish, I studied therapeutic massage with Gunver Ingeborg at Esalen Institute. From 1978-82, I studied Oriental Medicine at the Kototama Institute in Santa Fe with Sensei Masahilo Nakazono. I was licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine by the State of New Mexico in 1982.
From 1982 to 1984, I volunteered with a medical team at a clinic for Salvadoran refugees in Costa Rica. I heard the Salvadorans’ stories, experienced their wounded hearts and bodies. I did what I could to ease their pain. I felt that I didn’t really know how to help them with the trauma they had suffered.
My acupuncture teacher had always said “Disease begins in the spirit.” I didn’t find how to make that connection until I learned Focusing in 1989. In 2000, I became a Certified Focusing Trainer.
In 2003, I was feeling alienated and powerless as I watched my government launch the war in Iraq. Our protests against the war were unheeded, so I was moved to do what I could in El Salvador, where I knew that people were still suffering the consequences of US intervention in the 80s. I was invited by a large community organization in El Salvador to teach Focusing. Before going, I took a life-changing class in Nonviolent Communication.
There, I met an ex-guerrillera, Melba Jiménez, who was searching for healing for the wounds still present in her life and in the lives of so many others. She encouraged me to teach Focusing and Nonviolent Communication at the community level. She and her daughter, Yara, became Focusing Trainers. Melba interested many others in Focusing before she passed away at the end of 2018. Now there are three active Focusing Trainers in El Salvador: Heazel Martínez, Juan Carlos Hernández, and Eduardo Esquivel.
I love being with my two children, Danny and Elizabeth, who are pursuing their careers in civil engineering and graphic art, respectively. Elizabeth created most of the graphics on this website, for which I am very grateful.