Have you found yourself sacrificing your self-respect and emotional wellbeing for another person (even when they continue to behave badly towards you)?
Does it feel like much of your life has revolved around helping or managing other people and their problems ...with very little time or energy left for yourself?
Do you believe that it's your job to do-all-the-things, meet-all-the-needs, and try to keep everyone happy (even though it's exhausting and never seems to be enough)?
In fact, these (more-common-than-you'd-think) problems are exactly why I created my Bootcamp Intensive! As a popular therapist working with generous-hearted people (helpers, givers, leaders, counselors, empaths, healers, and other highly-responsible folks), I kept noticing a common theme arising:
We compassionate-types are often amaaaazing at helping everyone else…but NOT so great at helping our own selves. Sure, we can get away with an unboundaried (and unsustainable) way of living for a while (maybe even a decade...or two or three...) but the end results are often the same:
Dysfunctional patterns we can't seem to break (despite our talents and intelligence!), along with emotional suffering, exhaustion, and hopelessness...
By the way, I was not just making a professional observation. This was personal. Quick to help, trust, and pour myself out for others (even in the face of mistreatment), I'd found myself “waking up” in my 30’s, realizing an unsustainable unboundaried life was no way to live.
Broken, hurting, with very little understanding of who I really was (or what I even wanted), I knew deep in my bones that this was not how I was meant to live (nor was it the legacy I wanted to pass on to my children). So I dedicated myself to finding a solution. And...a solution is exactly what I found (in the most unexpected and beautiful way):
Boundaries. As in, I discovered what it means to become boundaried. For me, that discovery began to change everything.
As I experienced the steady organic (inward and outward) changes that boundaries brought into my life, I couldn't help but start showing others how to do the same thing...and I witnessed their lives changing, too.
Best of all, these empowering truths didn't require years and years of counseling but could be easily taught in an online format (made especially fun and deep-diving with my creative tools and exercises)!
My clients excitedly share so many personal stories of transformation from our work together: from improved emotional wellness, healthier relationships, increased self-love and self-worth, and a steady glowing inner peace -- something most didn't even think was possible!
With credentials that include a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master's of Science in Community Mental Health, my range of work experiences have included substance use disorder and mental health counseling in outpatient, intensive-outpatient, family, educational, and residential treatment settings, as well as operating in leadership/administrative capacities. Upon opening a private practice, I soon found myself with a 1-2 year waitlist!
I loved being a counselor and enjoyed my work immensely. As a therapist, I found myself drawn especially to couples counseling and individual adult work, especially healing old childhood trauma wounds using techniques such as EMDR, IFS, and art and experiential therapy techniques. Additionally, as a fun side-hobby, I taught graduate-level college classes part-time as an adjunct professor, along with developing various workshops and trainings.
All along, I kept looking for a good boundaries class that I could send my clients and my counseling students too. Surely there was someone out there providing the same empowering and inside-out approach to becoming boundaried that I'd discovered, right? Wrong. I wasn't able to find anything like it. Soooo...
MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
Cartooning has always been present in my work, and over the years, I've sketched many visual lessons, guides, and hand-outs for classes, students, and counseling clients. When I began creating and posting boundaries cartoons on social media, they quickly took off. (Hilariously, I never actually meant to become a "content creator." I just like making and sharing helpful stuff).
As my (beloved) children grew up and began to leave the nest and I found myself with this strange new thing called "free time"... I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Piece by glorious piece, I lovingly built the deep-diving, heart-centered, and unique online boundaries program that I'd always wanted to see in the world, using all of the very same tools that had changed my own life, and then shared it on my social media platform. What a true labor of love (and was a JOY it was to be able to launch the final product)!
HOW MY BOOTCAMP WAS BORN:
And...was it a hit? Oh, yes, it was! But I soon found myself working 7-days-a-week, trying to keep up with the demands of both my counseling practice AND my new boundaries program (don't worry -- the irony was not lost on me).
Knowing that I couldn't keep up such a pace forever, I finally accepted that life was asking me to take a surprising new direction. Yes, I had loved being a therapist, but it was time to step more fully into boundaries work, following the call of my deepest passion: to guide compassionate people into their own inner revolution through the power of boundaries.
I now run my boundaries program full-time (online) from my ancestral home of Alaska.
Working as an educator-guide, my wonderful “students" include psychologists, social workers, doctors, business leaders, attorneys, teachers, counselors, accountants, managers, artists, stay-home-moms, retirees, and maaany other givers, helpers, and empaths from across the globe, all committed to becoming boundaried and stepping into their beautiful selves in ways they'd never been able to before.
What a joy this calling is! But, it's not just about the paid classes or the bootcamp program, though I dearly love investing in my clients.
To me, becoming boundaried is a movement, a process, and a way of life. That's why I continue to create cartoons and give free resources to all who resonate with this message (whether we ever work together in a paid capacity or not).
Most mornings, I start my day by creating a new cartoon at my kitchen table, sipping on a cup of coffee, pen in hand, dog snoring at my feet. I usually don't have a plan for what I will draw. I simply ask my heart what my reader needs to hear that day...and almost immediately an idea appears.
I cartoon for the beautiful hearts that have been disempowered. I doodle for the people who do not yet know there is hope. I create for the exhausted givers, the hurting empaths, and the demoralized lovers trying so damn hard to make things work. I write to YOU, my friend.
Because you are not alone. There is hope. Boundaries are real. And change is possible. I'm living proof.
Thank you to Jamie Taylor Photography for these fun pictures!