My own life experiences have made me an Integrity Expert. An expert is a person who has learned her specialty through experience. I live by a philosophy based on the inherent wholeness, or integrity, of everything. It means that I believe that we are whole and we are lacking nothing. This is not to say that some of us haven’t sustained some damage — we have — but it is to say that I have learned that our natural wholeness can overcome most of it.
Doors That Have Opened; Doors That Have Closed
Disclaimer: This is not one of those what-I-did-last-summer bios, nor is it for the faint-of-heart. More than half a century of life includes plenty of scar tissue, and, for as many rough experiences as I’ve had, there have been countless more experiences of joy, laughter, and fulfillment. As I’m sure you know, tough times make us stronger. Some of the events that fostered my expertise include:
Tragedy My first experience came thoroughly unexpectedly at age five. My father was killed in a plane crash. That day my intuition blew open like barn doors in a Kansas tornado. And my heart blew apart. Eventually I found all the pieces. Now I know how to mend broken hearts.
Addiction My mom became an alcoholic, then married three of them in a row. I got a front row seat for co-dependency. Those stepfathers were less than appropriate with me. We’ll leave it at that, except to say that there was healing to do. Experience Two.
Calling I escaped to study at Smith College and graduated in 1979. I moved to New York to work on Broadway, my dream come true, or so I thought. I ignored my own intuitive gifts till another intuitive called me on it. My spiritual path exploded and imploded on my 25th birthday. Eventually, private spiritual counseling and healing work found me.
Loss The fourth experience almost wiped me out, and off the planet. I had a son who died the day he was born. Grief doesn’t begin to touch it. I turned within because nothing outside me worked. I ended up in seminary on a path to being a minister.
Death The next experience brought me up short. In a four-year period, my grandfather died, then my grandmother, then my mother, then my best friend—in my arms. Grief expertise to be sure. I also learned the taking-care-of-the-aging protocols that so many of us are dealing with today.
Disaster I lived half a mile from the World Trade Center when 9/11 happened. Worldwide healing experience. Two years later I crashed and burned, needing to leave the City and heal. Santa Fe called to me.
Marriage I met a woman and moved to Boston for ten years whereupon the marriage fell apart and into an eventually-peaceful divorce. Along the way, swamps of betrayal, rage and sorrow.
Roots I moved to Kingston, New York to start over. I am once again blest to have deep love in my life; my beloved, Tony Amato, lives with me and Smooch the Cat, at Cupcake Manor — the beautiful Arts & Crafts house that we call home.