How I work

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How I work

In my coaching I prioritize advocacy and accompaniment. The key principles that underlie my approach are:

1. You are not wrong

You’re not wrong for wanting what you want. Neither are you flawed if you’re not thriving or feeling good in your current situation or at the present time.

Your dreams, ambitions, fears and frustrations are there for a reason. They’re worth paying attention to. So is the way your body feels, and what boosts vs. saps your energy.

You have your role to play in this ecosystem, your piece to add. Greater self-awareness helps you refine what that is and find ways for that to happen. In my work I help you consciously connect to the whole of you, and develop ever more trust in what you find.

2. Respecting your need to feel safe

We know that academia as a system isn’t designed to make people feel safe and secure. Chronic evaluation and a sense of scarcity affect the state of your nervous system. Perversely, they make writing, expansive thinking and connecting with students, for instance, harder to do.  In my work, I take it as a principle that finding new openings needs to be supported by intelligent and gentle ways to create room for these in the nervous system. We all have our defense mechanisms and these need to be respected, even honoured. A body-based, compassionate approach that validates the need for safety will increase your capacity for courageous and purposeful action.

3. Celebrating small acts, committing to a path of practice

To change the course of a big ship going across an ocean is a matter of many small adjustments rather than a big jerk in a new direction. It’s similar with making changes to your academic life. Sometimes a radical act is called for, but often it’s a matter of noticing what already energizes you and aligns with your values, and then taking small but noticeable steps to do more of that. Or the opposite: noticing what drains and demotivates you and divesting slowly but surely from those things. It’s amazing how profoundly this can restore and heighten your sense of autonomy and possibility, which is why small acts always merit celebration. It’s also a sustainable and practical way to proceed.

Together, these three principles make it possible to walk a path of heart and meaning in academia, and to support your leadership and creative reinvention from the inside out.

These principles don’t come with the assumption that you must do everything you can to hold onto an academic career.

Nor do they counsel walking away from it.

People and situations really differ. It’s not about whether you stay or leave but how you ensure alignment between who you are and what you do.

From there, new options and choices open up, and the best way forward will become clear. 


I regularly write about how these principles apply to specific situations in academic life.

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