I grew up as a first-generation immigrant, between two cultures and often contradictory values and beliefs. I’ve also had the privilege of living and volunteering on four continents, including rural villages in Mexico and Central America and the Gandhi Ashram in India. These experiences have gifted me with the capacity to listen deeply and connect with people from all walks of life.
I believe that we must grow and change from within to create a deep and sustained impact in the world outside. One of the most significant influences in my work as a coach began almost a decade ago, with Vipassana meditation in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, where I meditated in complete silence for ten days. I learned that being with ourselves for this extended period of time without any external distractions forces us to confront our minds, see the conditioning in our thoughts, and understand how our reactions create the world we are driven to change. Through this initial experience, I felt that I had barely scratched the surface of who I am and with every subsequent silent meditation retreat, I’ve realized the power of awareness and equanimity in shaping who we are and how we show up in the world.
I became passionate about coaching social change leaders and guiding them to lead from within while working as the Fellowship Director with Dalai Lama Fellows, a year-long leadership program for emerging social change makers designed to help them cultivate self-awareness, resilience, and compassion. During my time at Dalai Lama Fellows, I led the selection of Fellows from across six continents and had the amazing opportunity to deeply connect with and coach more than 65 Fellows that were leading local and regional social change programs in their communities and countries. These individuals astonished me and moved me with their courage, passion, and brilliance. Yet common and recurring challenges are feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, disconnection, and “not enough”. What I learned through these Fellows is that no matter how polished or successful we present ourselves to be, we are all human beings that struggle with our inner critics and unrealistic ideals of perfectionism. Through our work together, they reconnected with their inner power, embraced who they are at their core, and they learned to lead themselves and their teams with wisdom.
Since Dalai Lama Fellows, I’ve had the opportunity to coach social change leaders and start-up teams and also facilitate leadership retreats for groups such as the Cheng Fellows from the Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI) at Harvard Kennedy School and also the Project 55 Fellows at Princeton. Other clients whom I have worked with include Echoing Green Fellows and Schwarzman Scholars. I currently direct the mental health and well-being coaching program for the mental health start-up, Meru Health.com.
I am also an ICF-certified coach and trained in emotional intelligence as a meta coach with Beyond EI and Goleman EI. Other training I’ve received includes Positive Neuroplasticity training under Dr. Rick Hanson, Developmental Coaching, Power of Embodied Transformation, and Re-Imagine Leadership with experts such as Richard Strozzi and Dr. Joseph Goldstein at Coaches Rising, self-compassion training developed by Dr. Kristen Neff at the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, and mindfulness training through Vipassana meditation retreats. In addition, I am a lifelong learner who is dedicated to broadening and deepening my coaching skills, and as such, regularly participate in group-based somatic drop-in sessions that are offered by the Strozzi Institute, heart coherence workshops that are offered by the Heart-Math Institute, and mindfulness and self-awareness sessions that are offered by cultivated teachers such as Tara Brach.
I measure my success as a coach through the space I’m able to co-create with my client. It’s from this vulnerable space that authentic and honest self-exploration becomes possible. If you’re willing to take the first step or dive deeper, I invite you to connect with me. Let’s discover where we can go together.