In January 2014, I left my job as the Program Director for the Olympic Outdoor Center (OOC) to grow into a new career and life. Now I live in Port Orchard, Washington, and am the happy owner and operator of Spring Cleaning Home Organization, where I’m honored to help people let go of unwanted things, clear clutter and create space for what is truly wanted.
I also co-own and operate Journey For Purpose, which includes leading women’s kayak tours on the beautiful Puget Sound in Washington state. And once a month each spring, I lead women-specific kayak day trips.
I love my work! I have worked hard to create a life I love, pushed through self-doubt and fear, tried on many hats for size. Now each day I work with an organizing client, or kayak with a group of women, I am full of gratitude. I’m full of perseverance and joy…and I’m told this is very contagious.
I love visualizing, believing in and moving toward goals and dreams. I love facing fears and pushing through them to find grace and beauty on the other side. I love bringing women together to laugh, eat chocolate and play. I love to connect women, including myself, to both our inner and our collective power. I love to be on, in, or around water in all it’s forms.
My trusty sidekick, Cricket the Dog, goes with me just about everywhere.
The Campfire Story Version
From a young age I found solace and adventure in the natural world. I spent my first ten years living in a log house on five wooded acres outside of Spokane, Washington. All around me from the time I was born were plants, water, sunshine, snow and animals.
My parents ran a plant nursery on our property and had a large garden that supplied much of our food. We didn’t have much money, but I was rich. I played in the woods, collected frogs and worms, picked peas in the garden, played with my ducks, chickens, dog, and, well, you get the idea. I spent a lot of time barefoot with unbrushed hair. I often organized mini-expeditions into the woods with my neighbor friends and spent hours organizing my legos, stuffed animals, crayons and pens.
We moved to Seattle, Washington when I was 10, then to Poulsbo, Washington when I was 11. I was a shy girl in a new place, forced to keep my shoes on and hair brushed, and around age 13, troubled teenagerhood began (read my blog post for a story about this time, with a somewhat graphic MeToo story).
I spent long afternoons alone on the beach with my journal and a bottle of mixed hard liquor, taking breaks from my acting career as a soccer player, happy student and otherwise normal girl. A steady supply of stolen caffeine pills mixed with hard liquor stashes kept me going on the harder days.
At age 15, I went through treatment for alcohol after an overdose, then went on a three-week Outward Bound course. I found a healthy community and rediscovered my love of being immersed in the natural world. Through deep emotional work and long afternoons alone with my journal on the shores of the Puget Sound, I again connected with the inner Spring, full of love and light.
At age 19 I took a mountaineering course at Olympic College, which lead to the opportunity to lead a two-hundred mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon with teenagers from the Suquamish Tribe, and I got a job selling outdoor equipment at the Mountain Shoppe in Bremerton.
With weekends spent climbing mountains and weekdays spent learning new subjects in school and talking with people who traveled around the world for outdoor adventures, I found the joy I’d had as a child. I decided I wanted a future being outside and surrounded by outdoorsy people as much as possible.
As a student at The Evergreen State College, I learned how humans were harming the natural world and at first I was angry, depressed and frustrated. I wrote angry poems and ranted in my journal.
But one day, as I drove home from shopping at Safeway, I realized it wasn’t fair for me to rant unless I was part of the solution. I soon sold my car and started riding my bike and the bus everywhere. I began eating organic food and learned about buying in bulk. I started having clothing swaps and studying people who made a difference in the world.
I decided the best way to help the natural world was to teach youth, vote with my dollars, and buy new as little as possible unless I believed in everything about that product. For the next 15 years I dedicated my passion and most of my energy to outdoor, environmental education and getting people outside to connect with the natural world and their bodies. This was my mantra:
I spent a few car-less years working for outdoor education organizations in any capacity I could. This included:
- YMCA Earth Service Corps Internship
- Logistics for Outward Bound in California’s High Sierra and Joshua Tree
- Snowboard instructor at Steven’s Pass in Washington’s Cascade mountains
- Naturalists At Large educator – ecology, natural/human history, canoeing, hiking and ropes courses
- Dogsledding guide in Leadville, Colorado
Of course, things changed as I grew older – I bought a car, started giving in to my Cheetos cravings – but I’ve kept my values close and am still very thoughtful about my actions and purchases.
The last 15 years have been full of more focused adventures…
I became the program director for the Olympic Outdoor Center (OOC) on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula in Washington, where I taught kayaking, mountain biking, standup paddleboarding, rock climbing and marine life to youth and adults. It was there that I created Outdoor Adventure Camps, my dream summer camp that combined environmental education and outdoor recreation to introduce youth to both the freedom and safety/respect guidelines for outdoor play.
During a break at OOC, I worked in Seattle for my friend’s company, BabyLegs, which flew and drove me all over the U.S, England and Uganda as a salesperson and unofficial “sustainability staff.” I received my certificate in sustainable business through Pinchot University and helped get the Seattle Ski Shuttle going, then came back to my beloved OOC the Kitsap Peninsula.
Now, as the owner and operator of Spring Cleaning Home Organization and co-owner of Journey For Purpose, I live a comparatively calm life and try to have as little negative impact on the natural world as possible. I continue to learn and share my experiences along the way.
Organizing and kayaking are adventures I love to embark on with others – I hope you’ll join me!
To join one of my women’s kayak tours, visit my Kayaking page.
To let me help you get organized, let go of unwanted things and clear clutter, visit my Spring Cleaning page.