I live in Sydney, Australia, having moved here from Chicago to be with my life partner in 1987. I have been leading Intensive Journal® workshops in Australia during the past 34 years.
I was introduced to the Intensive Journal method while doing a Masters in Pastoral Studies at Loyola University of Chicago in 1983. Even though I was only 4 years into my professional career in Religious Education, I found myself re-evaluating my life’s direction. The Intensive Journal workshops that I was attending and my ongoing Journal practice were making a profound difference for me personally and professionally, so I began the training program to become a certified leader (consultant) in order to share this amazing method with others.
It was a day of great joy when I received the letter from Dialogue House declaring I was ready to give workshops. I embraced this with great enthusiasm and led a number of workshops in the Midwest before I moved across the world to Australia. Professionally, I have worked in theological education and formation for ministry, and various management roles in the not for profit sector. My most recent employment was in Mission Integration Team at the St Vincent de Paul Society in New South Wales.
I remember my first visit to New York City to attend a workshop with Dr. Progoff. I was a young ‘disciple’ and very serious about becoming a consultant. I was surprised at Dr. Progoff’s relaxed manner and the humor he brought into the event. I quickly realized his casualness did not detract from the depth of the workshop experience or the quality of his leadership but put people at ease. Here was a man whose mastery of his subject area was gift to us all.
Over the years, what I have learned through the workshops has enabled me to integrate challenging aspects in my life and led me to discover a deep well of wisdom. I see this happening for workshop participants also and am continually humbled by the depth of people’s experience. It is a great privilege to lead these workshops and see people’s lives unfold as they use the methods that Dr. Progoff has given us. I am delighted to be able to teach this exquisite process which transforms lives.
One of Dr. Progoff’s statements that I resonate strongly with is, “As the oak tree lies hidden in the depths of the acorn, so the wholeness of the human personality with its fullness of spiritual and creative capacities lies hidden in the depths of the human being, silently waiting for its opportunity to emerge.” (From Depth Psychology and Modern Man). Over the years of using the Intensive Journal process, my creativity has blossomed and I know the methods have been instrumental in helping these hidden capacities emerge.
My journal is my home base and it also collaborates with any other spiritual, connective or body practices I utilise. I bring artwork, writing, retreat experiences, poems, prayers into my Intensive Journal workbook creating a sense of wholeness and expansiveness.
The development of the online workshops has been a great blessing to us in Australia. I have had participants from across our wide country in my workshops and even some from Asia. Participants are surprised, as was I at first, how well the workshop works online. With everyone on mute but visually connected as we write, engage in meditation and imaging, it creates a virtual community of practice. The quality is not diminished and it enables people who would not otherwise be able to participate.
I am grateful that we have found a home for Intensive Journal workshops with the Eremos Institute which hosts or co-hosts all my workshops. Just recently we have created a dedicated Facebook page and hired a part time promotions person. In this ancient land, there is depth to discover in our landscape, our people and within ourselves. I am pleased to be able to be part of that discovery through the Intensive Journal workshops.