MA, RCST®, SEP, APP
Owner of the School of Inner Health
Also listen to Margaret’s Craniosacral Podcast Interview HERE to learn more about her journey!
Why Do I Teach?
I have always been passionate about education. My early education was very child-centered and non-traditional. It was there where I learned important conflict resolution and relational skills that I use in my classes and life today. I LOVE TEACHING! I love being connected to something bigger than myself in the body and the world. The path of a teacher gives me a route to making a difference in the world, both micro and macro. It gives me the opportunity to improve and learn and meet amazing people and experience safety in a group. I love the journey of change and discovery that is inherent in the dynamism of Biodynamics and how it shapes students and teachers alike. I love how the organizing principle in Biodynamics literally organizes my life at every level – from the shelves in my closet, to the place I live, to the thought to buy the School of Inner Health, to the students in my classes. Each time my students report on their experiences in and between modules, it is abundantly clear that the Intelligence works with each of us in profound and precise ways.
How I Found My Work
I found my life’s work unexpectedly – while searching for my own healing. I was in my twenties and I knew something had to change, that my life was unfulfilling. In 1995, I was at a holistic health fair in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I heard a lecture by a woman named Sharon Porter, who became my first teacher of Somatic work. In that lecture Sharon said, “You don’t need to know what happened in order to heal.” I was stunned. And free. I no longer had to figure out something that made no sense with my mind – my body could have the answer. I went up to the stage after the lecture and said to Sharon, “Where’s your office and when’s your next appointment?”
That was the beginning…
The journey was magical and transformative. The first session with Sharon blew my mind and heart and grief open in unexpected ways that I would have said were impossible. I was different. I walked out a different person than when I walked in. I literally walked differently too. In fact, I spent the next hour walking and exploring the changes in my body before I drove home. After a different session, I went home and slept for 14 hours! My body had metabolized enough of a significant trauma to rest in a way it hadn’t been able to for 14 years!
(If you want to hear more about this story, watch the video above.)
My Commitment to My Work
At that time in my life I was scared to commit to having dinner with someone next week, or to making any promises about the future. If you had told me then that I could know what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you that you were crazy. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t commit to anything! But, within weeks of starting to experience the work, I knew it was what I wanted to be doing in 25 years – and I started telling everyone!
I didn’t choose my work – I fell in love with it, deeply, totally, profoundly. I’m over 20 years in and that hasn’t changed! I’m game for another 25!
What My Classes Are Like
My students tell me I am accessible, authentic and humble. I see my job as helping you to re-member what you already know innately – about yourself, your body, other people and the world. You will be challenged to look at your life and the world differently. I cover a lot of material. Some days it may feel like too much; other days you may feel like you want to keep going into the evening. The material I teach is not simple, yet I share what I know in straightforward ways that inspire and give people a new depth of understanding. Sometimes the new understandings will come outside of class, when something I said suddenly makes sense. We will learn in a variety of ways: through experience, lecture, movement, bodywork, small and large group study, discussion, meditation. I strive to teach in a way that you can learn and gain skills that you are confident in.
I love to teach from a place of depth and breadth – to bring the big picture into the specific moment and relate a specific experience to larger contexts. That for me is the magic of Biodynamics – the ability to see the whole while relating to the details. I teach people how to do that in a myriad of ways. The human body is my medium. I have a strong desire to make both embodiment and the aliveness inside themselves and the world accessible and real to students. My desire is based on my own experience. The very first time I put my hands on another body in a Biodynamic Craniosacral class, I felt the presence of the aliveness in the body and its ability to communicate. I long to share this perception of aliveness with the world so that the world can become a place of deeper relationship and connection.
My Commitment to Embodiment
Being present and aware of my body and able to track my sensate experience has not come easy or quickly. I was born two months premature and spent the first ten weeks of life outside the womb in an incubator. I now understand that I had to not feel during that time, or the grief and isolation would have killed me. To stay, I had to dissociate.
I had two parents who loved me deeply, but what would have helped me embody – physical contact and presence – they didn’t give a lot of. I was fortunate to go to a school where I could safely feel my feelings and be held. In my teens, I started working out and dancing, and both of those things helped me start to land. But settling is a process of renegotiation in the nervous system – and my nervous system took years to differentiate the past need to dissociate from the present level of support and the possibility of embodiment.
I remember the moment I made a commitment to embodiment. I was in my thirties, walking alone along a beach in La Jolla, California, on a break from one of the last classes of my Somatic Experiencing training. By then I had experienced the magic of tracking sensation, the fluid possibilities of craniosacral work, and I had a sense of safety and ground. That day, I was struggling with my father, his choices and their negative impact on me. My dad had recently done another unmanageable thing that I somehow had to figure out how to manage. It was hard and I was in pain – but in a sudden burst of clarity and inspiration, I said out loud to the sand and sea and wind: “Well, if it helps me be more embodied, then it’s worth it.” And you know what, embodiment has been worth it. Not easy, but worth it – all the way.
In addition to loving my work at the School of Inner Health, I love being a mom to my daughter Nicole, wife to my husband Chris and a therapist for my clients. I love writing, sewing, traveling, laughing and having my mind blown. And I love walking along the ocean, falling asleep in the sun, jumping in ice cold lakes, the Rocky Mountains and the red rock deserts in Utah.
Where I Am With Myself
I am like everyone in that all my experiences have shaped me into the shape of who and how I am. The shape of my head, the way I hold a hand, speak with my daughter, or get triggered by disappointment – all are unique to me. The values I hold and the things that matter to me, and my capacity with words and emotions, can all be traced to specific experiences I have had.
I had significant tragedy and trauma in my early years, as well as support and love. I am quite certain I would not have found my work without the losses I endured. Today I recognize that every moment I have lived, whether filled with challenge, grace, laughter or loss, is relevant to what I have to give. I no longer want to change any of it. I teach from this place of acceptance and over 20 years of experience with the material. I work every day to build the School of Inner Health into a training center for teachers and students alike – a place where each person can find their way to make their mark on the world.
Margaret holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sculpture from Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. She is an approved teacher for the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America, (BCTA-NA) and has completed trainings in several bodywork modalities: Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing®, Pre and Perinatal Psychology, and Polarity Therapy. Margaret has been seeing individual clients in her own private practice since 1997.