Kirkpatrick family, circa 2012

Whenever I engage with a new writer, teacher, or spiritual director, I always check out the “About” page. I want to know who they are and where they come from. I deeply believe that our lives are our message, so if I’m going to work with someone, I want to know what their lives look like. The questions I’m asking about spirituality, consciousness, faith, family, and God aren’t theoretical; they are deeply personal. While I don’t need teachers to divulge their secrets, I also don’t trust teachers who seem more intent on “selling themselves,” than “being themselves.” In our social media-driven world, it’s hard to find that balance, but here’s my attempt.

Professionally, I am a writer, retreat leader, spiritual director, and business owner; I love the diversity of my work. A partial list of my clients as well as my education and training are listed below. However, I primarily think of myself as someone in relationship; I’m a wife, mother, daughter, friend, mentor, listener, volunteer, and neighbor. Those aren’t the type of things we normally put on a resume, but I imagine your list might look similar.

These four individuals are my greatest teachers:


I call him “Babe,” or “T” most frequently. He is the funny, passionate man on the journey with me, intentionally and wholeheartedly. When I’m not keeping him busy with reading, podcasts and conversation, he runs Wavelines, our family-owned surf shop in San Diego.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 12.31.53 PMKeara:

“Kiko,” our oldest, is a college graduate and lives on the East Coast with her girlfriend. She is a theater tech, a musician, and a night owl, who loves to work with her hands: clothing, makeup, hair, food, or construction tools. Keara never ceases to surprise me with a new idea, activity, recipe, (or tattoo).


“The Lad” is our middle child and only son. He’s pursuing degrees in photography and psychology. He is a freckle-faced, mini-version of Tim, with his humor and love of the ocean, but he’s got my curious mind, and adventurous spirit. Finn brings fun wherever he goes.


The youngest is definitely not a “baby” anymore. Molly is a recent high school graduate, whose college plans has been upended by the pandemic. Her at-home education will continue for a while longer. She is a budding activist and feminist, and full-fledged committed friend and communicator. Molly’s liveliness and compassion keeps us on our toes.

I include their images and descriptions here, because so many of my stories, especially the ones from the early years, are about them. I might be the author, but they are the stars of the show. They incite the drama, provide comic relief, drop pearls of wisdom at my feet, drive me crazy and manage to make me fall in love each and every day.

They have taught me that the only “perfect family” is the one where everyone is allowed to be “perfectly” themselves and yet also inspired to become their best selves by being loved “imperfectly,” which is the only way we can ever do anything.


University of San Diego, B.A. English Literature, minor in Religious Studies

San Diego State University, M.A. British Literature

The Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation, Certificate in Christian Mysticism and Contemplation

Loyola Marymount University with the Center for Spiritual Development, Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction

Continuing Education and Training with: 

Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest and wisdom teacher: The Wisdom Way of Knowing, The Divine Exchange, The Four Voices Method of Discernment, Coping and Thriving with Catastrophe

Steve Hoskins, founder of Organic Intelligence, The End of Trauma course


Center for Action and Contemplation, part of the Daily Meditations Editing Team

Contemplify Podcast

La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, specializing in family spirituality

De Mariallac Academy, Oakland

 Mariner’s Christian MOPS

Serra High School Parent Academy

Sts. Simon and Jude, St. Joachim’s, St. Cecelia’s and Ascension Catholic parishes