My journey in women’s empowerment began over 15 years ago although I hardly knew what to call it then.
I had started waking up to the reality of the world we live in – that you can find equal rights for women, as well as people of color and the LGBT+, in written laws, but often not practiced in society. Even in my childhood faith of Catholicism, everything was viewed through the prism a singular male god, and women held a second-class status. There seemed to be a cognitive dissonance between the smart, confident, and stubborn little girl I had been, and the confusion, uncertainty, and hurt I was beginning to feel as a young adult.
Well, the stubbornness didn’t fade. I’ve had my share of private pity parties, but I never intend to stay there.
So I turned to my first true love — books. I read about history, ancient matriarchal civilizations, the suppression of women’s rights with the rise of patriarchal civilizations; about feminine-centered spirituality, reverence for the Divine Feminine, the SHE; the connection between the devaluation of the feminine and the desecration of the earth; sociology and patterns of oppression. I read, and cried, and got fire red angry. I also found comfort that this awakening might be the start of a new chapter.
But life moves in a spiral, not a straight line. You are constantly coming back to things and integrating new information to get to the next level deeper.
Over the next few years, a series of traumatic events took a toll on my self-esteem: my parents’ divorce, sexual assault by an acquaintance, a toxic relationship filled with verbal blows, emotional manipulation, mind games, and ending in a physical altercation and rape, the chronic depression I’ve had since childhood onsetting into bipolar disorder, and the suicide of a good friend.
For a while, I didn’t know how to cope. Partially because in the naivete of my youth, I hadn’t fully realized the extent of what I experienced. (It was only years later did I come to realize what I experienced at the hands of men could be classified as sexual assault and domestic violence; I knew what they did to me was wrong, but I had mistakenly thought that because the incidents were not as severe as other women experienced that they “didn’t count”. I was wrong, it all “counts”.) For a time, I got lost in the woods. I didn’t care about myself very much. I dropped out of college and stopped writing, poetry, and most artistic efforts, and became a pretty miserable person.
But like I’ve said, I never intend to stay at a pity party.
With the support of friends and family (most of whom had no idea what was going on – just that I was having a rough go at life), I picked myself back up. I found solace in books and in music — favorite bands and discovering new ones. I went back to college and then onto law school determined to study the thing that drove me away – violence against women. I studied criminology, victimology, forensic psychology, sex crimes, domestic violence, women’s studies, criminal law and procedure, victim’s services and administration. I got some therapy and practice self-care. I’ve allowed myself to deepen my spiritual connection with the Divine, connect with the sacredness in myself, and have respect for my intuition. I held positions in several district attorneys offices and victim service organizations working on issues of sex crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, and women’s empowerment from the angles of law, public policy, social service, and social justice.
Through years of personal growth and working with women, I’ve discovered how magical women really are. How strong, smart, resilient, compassionate, and creative we are despite our adversities. The Queens, and Rebels, and Unicorns we can be when we allow our inner SoulFire to blaze and light up the night.
But I know it’s not always easy to keep that SoulFire lit. Life has some strong winds and heavy downpours. But there is strength in our connection to each other. Hand by hand we pull each other up, and in each other’s arms we can celebrate on the top of the mountain together.
This is the inspiration behind SoulFire Tribe – this blog and integrating women’s empowerment coaching (coming soon!) – to build a vibrant sisterhood of women connecting, growing, kicking ass, and taking names. My journey has a flair for the mystical and a healthy dose of badassery, and I welcome you to join me on it!
I love connecting with people, sharing stories, and discovering new things. Hit me up on email and social media (Facebook, Twitter) and we’ll chat. (If you love pictures of cats, beautiful nature views, inspiration/motivational + sarcastic memes, or want to see my real life, follow me on Instagram!). Can’t wait to meet you!
Career Before SoulFire
(aka my traditional life)
I graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2012 and magna cum laude from the University of New Haven with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2008. During college, I interned at Perverted Justice posing as a decoy online to apprehend child predators, and also worked as an event coordinator and DJ for Necropolis Events and DarkStar Festival. Upon college graduation, I accepted a position as a paralegal in the child abuse unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office. During law school, I served as a legal intern at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office (sex crimes and child abuse unit) and as an Honors Legal Intern at the Yonkers, NY Branch of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office (misdemeanor domestic violence). I also held a legal internship at the Pace Women’s Justice Center’s Family Court Legal Program representing victims of domestic violence in the family courts of Yonkers, NY and White Plains, NY, and a legal research internship at the New York State Parent Education and Awareness Program. After law school graduation, I worked as a Policy and Advocacy Fellow at the Joyful Heart Foundation in Manhattan researching issues on the rape kit backlog and DNA databank. Subsequently, I worked at The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford, CT as the Lead Crisis Advocate and Hotline Manager, Volunteer Programs Manager, and Legislative Laison. I was hired at a national disability law firm headquartered in New York in 2014, where I represented clients at social security disability hearings across 20 states. In 2018, I left the corporate world to launch Soulfire Tribe.
I was born in Westchester County, NY and grew up between there and Fairfield County, CT. I moved to the west coast in September 2016. I currently reside in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State with my wonderful artistic, geeky, metalhead, gamer husband and our menagerie of furry and scaley kids (2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, an aruban whiptail lizard, mandarin rat snakes, and 20+ scorpions). I love living in the Pacific Northwest with my awesome group of friends, enjoy hiking and camping, visits to museums, zoos, and aquariums, attending shows and festivals, reading, writing, poetry, film, theatre, spending time in nature, and traveling. Libraries, bookstores, and Nature are my safe spaces and I’m always looking to learn and try something new.
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