C R E D E N T I A L S
Naropa University, Contemplative Psychology & Peace Studies (2015-2017; one study abroad semester in Bhutan, 2016)
Search Inside Yourself Learning Institute (Born at Google), Engage: A program designed to help leaders embody compassionate leadership. Foundations: Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Mindfulness, & Neuroscience (SFO, 2017)
Minds at Work, Lisa Lahey & Robert Kegan (Harvard)
Christian Oth Photography, New York (2007-2010)
Jacquelyn Poussot Photography, New York & Paris (2010-2013)
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In 2007 I first became a studio manager with Christian Oth Photography in New York City. I worked hands-on with 5-8 brides a week to organize their day-of wedding timeline. Nearly every other bride would break down over the phone in tears as she cracked under the sense of decision-overwhelm and the heightened importance of the decisions she was making.
When I became a photographer, the same was true the day of the wedding. Brides would look to me as a neutral participant for a sense of calm when their maid-of-honor was flying off the handle.
Eight years and 150 brides later, I left the wedding world. Like many photographers, I had experienced total burnout.
I went back to school at Naropa University, where I got an interdisciplinary degree in Contemplative Psychology (i.e., Buddhist Psychology) and Peace Studies (non-violent communication and conflict transformation). After graduation I studied with Robert Kegan (Harvard) at Minds at Work, an organization that provides coaching for adult development. I also studied with the prestigious industry leader on Emotional Intelligence & Mindfulness: Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) in San Francisco. If you look at their website and sense “Google” – you are right. SIYLI used to be the internal training program at Google, before it launched out to become its own entity.
After teaching Mindfulness for Compassionate Leadership for two years with StartingBloc, I left to start my own venture here in the bridal space. My work is a call to action based on the content from Rebecca Mead’s book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. I was shocked to learn how little support brides had in the wedding world. The emotional side of this transformation goes unspoken, and in fact is repeatedly shamed! For brides-to-be, the world expects them to “just be happy!” I see little grace and spaciousness for the difficulties and hardships that accompany this personal metamorphosis.
Furthermore, the wedding planning process isn’t setting relationships up for success. Many brides that I spoke with in my research process reported how much the wedding planning took them away from their partnership or created conflict within it. This left them with a pile of stressors that had been swept under the rug until the wedding ended and the marriage began. Starting “the rest of their lives” in a state of emotional deficit was not ideal, but brides believed it was necessary in order to have “a perfect wedding.”
Mindfully Ever After is about starting a new and different kind of conversation around weddings and their planning process. It’s about inviting mindfulness and awareness into play. Giving space to the “shadow” so that the light can feel brighter. But it is also about not leaving things up to chance. It’s about having a set of skills that you can take with you for the rest of your life (into career and relationships) to prime yourself for joy and feel resilient through the inevitably crummy parts ahead.
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