The Chakra Women

Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about the respective Chakra women and their evolution.

Anne Dosher (our ancestor)

Born in 1923, on the northeast coast of England, of Viking and Welsh ancestry, Anne grew up a granddaughter of the Empire and daughter to the Commonwealth. As a little one in Cleadon, in NE England, her birthplace, she often lay under the hedgerows communing with the fairies and invisible ones. As a young girl in the years following the First World War, she puzzled and grieved that so many men were killed or returned maimed. How could we have done this? She wondered, Why couldn’t we have talked it through? These two questions would shape the rest of her life’s work. Anne volunteered for the Royal Air Force, spending nearly five years defeating Nazism and making the world safe for democracy. Witnessing the ambulatory Jews being brought out of the camps, she knew that our human community as a whole, had failed in the face of these atrocities.

During the war Anne met an American soldier and fell in love, leaving home to live in the United States in 1946. She became a mother of two talented daughters and after more than fifty years of marriage, a widow. Anne continued to serve her adopted country as a community psychologist for over seventy years; she designed social networks for youth in barrios, ghettos and reservations that engendered healing while transforming communities and societal systems. She worked with local, state and federal governments to develop equitable laws, (Runaway and Youth Act, Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act, National Network for Youth) and securing sufficient funding for innovative programs. She co-authored Innovative Approaches to Youth Services.

At the heart of her work was a commitment to Nelle Morton’s notion of “hearing one another into speech” and Bohmian dialogue. Anne recognized transformation occurs when people are seen, heard and witnessed or as she termed, with-ness. She sat as an elder to a multitude of circles, including: MIT’s International Women’s Dialogue, Circle of Seven, Chakra, The Swans and later The Foxes that came together on behalf of the nation after September 11th.  Anne became the Elder and Guardian of the Soul of the World Cafe, a living network of people engaged in conversations that are life affirming and co-evolving through friendship. She believed in the power of silence, in sensing from a still place the minimum elegant next step that the soul is calling forth and viewed circle as the birthplace of the new human,  

Anne was invited into a clan as a practitioner of the medicine wheel and annually practiced the five ceremonies for over twenty-five years as pipe-carrier. Anne was always adorned with a dragonfly and lived life as a sacred ceremony. Her capacity for attention included countless hours watching C-SPAN, underlining the copious books that she was always reading. and laying under the hedgerows staring up at the Queen Anne’s Lace. Anne consciously shifted her identity from being an elder to an ancestor in training long before she became an ancestor, February 18, 2020. A short documentary honoring her life, her extraordinary thinking heart and passionate mind was made, A Life Serving Life.

Painting by Barbara Cecil

Andrea Dyer

Optimistic, social, and inquisitive, Andrea has an unwavering spirit of adventure.

Raised in a large, diverse family on the island of Oahu, she gained an appreciation for different cultures and diversity at an early age. Growing up with five siblings, including a brother adopted from Vietnam and a sister from Korea, in a small house with a menagerie of animals, early life was both laidback and chaotic. This experience taught her to navigate complexity with calmness.

After earning a degree in Economics, with an emphasis in Accounting, Andrea worked for over a decade in Arthur Andersen's Business Consulting Practice. She then started her own international consulting and coaching practice, working with leaders and organizations to facilitate systemic and enduring change. Inspired by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and a desire to learn more about the role of 'leadership presence' during a time of profound system change, Andrea spent significant time living, working, and reflecting in post-apartheid South Africa.

Today, Andrea is a respected residential realtor in Marin County, California. Her 30 years of consulting experience and coaching people in transition have been a great match for the world of residential real estate. Whether negotiating the best terms for her clients, navigating the complexity of chronic health challenges within our current health care system, or seeking ways to support older adults staying engaged and connected while living independently in their homes, Andrea brings her tenacity, humor, and strategic heart and mind to all personal and professional endeavors.

As a mother of three young-adult sons, she finds great joy and fulfillment in her family. Andrea and her husband, Mike, live in Corte Madera with their pets, Buster and Lainey. She loves rich conversations, belly laughs, a great glass of wine, skiing in the mountains, paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe, and walking barefoot on any beach. Her tomboyish nature means she's equally comfortable in sweats or outfitted with a cashmere sweater and sassy boots and can fit in easily in mom's groups, corporate boardrooms, Paris cafes, and South African townships.

Gisela Wendling

Immigrating to the US at the age of twenty-one Gisela escaped the heavy weight of the German spirit in the post-World War II era. Fueled by her newfound pioneering spirit and a hunger for learning, she explored living in various regions along the West Coast of the United States and Canada and the Midwest. For several years she also lived in Australia before fully claiming the San Francisco Bay Area as her home.

Northern California is where she connected with her deeper purpose. In the psychology department at Sonoma State University, she joined a dynamic learning community modeled after Carl Roger's principles of student-centered learning. Her studies in humanistic and transpersonal psychology as well as the expressive arts began her process of deep healing. Her evolution was witnessed and supported by inspiring and generous mentors, as well as by the deeply committed women in her longstanding chakra circle.

One of her first academic papers was about the courage to be, become, and create in the face of adversity — and this theme continues to inform her professional life. Over several decades she studied the spiritual healing traditions of indigenous peoples with a focus on the ways people throughout time have come together in ritual and circle to heal, celebrate, and support one another through individual and collective crises and transitions.

Today Gisela co-leads a consulting firm supporting visionary leaders, their teams, and organizations. She is also the author of the just-published study on the efficacy of the Liminal Pathways Change Framework™, which she developed, and is the co-author of several other works.

She considers motherhood one of the greatest blessings of her life. Her daughter, now a young adult, has returned to Germany to learn the language and attend college — thereby creating new opportunities for Gisela to reconnect to her German roots.

Kristin Cobble

Kristin grew up in one of the reddest states in the union, Oklahoma, and then went to college in one of the bluest states, Massachusetts, and as an adult has lived in Cambridge, Boulder and San Francisco. As a result, she considers herself a “bridge” person, deeply loving family members and friends ranging from libertarians and republicans to democrats and progressives. She sees the value of many ways of thinking and being and loves helping people to appreciate how difference and complexity can make them stronger, wiser and happier.

Today Kristin lives in San Francisco, CA, in a 100+ year old Victorian with a kitchen/sunroom that looks into a charming green postage stamp sized yard. Doing yoga and meditating outside, plus walks on Ocean Beach several times a week and hiking on Mt Tam on the weekends have enabled her to live in a vibrant city and still feel connected to nature. She also feels at home in Tulsa, where she grew up, and in Boulder, where her son was born. She loves hosting friends and family from near and far. Deep, reflective and playful dinner conversations that go until midnight are a regular occurrence in her home. Her favorite evenings include a little dancing as well!

Her work in the world is supporting CEO's of purpose driven, rapidly growing companies—and their leadership teams—to create an environment in which they and their employees become far more than they ever imagined possible, both individually and collectively. In the past, she has also worked on projects involving multi-stakeholder conflicts, such as dealing with water in the California Delta. Here is a link to her article on the Power of Sitting in Circle, which describes not only the work of the Delta Dialogues but also her time in Chakra. When asked how long she's been an organizational development and leadership coach, sometimes she's tempted to say “Since age 15,” as that was the first time she attempted to support a system in changing for the better. She feels deeply grateful to have a vocation that she loves so much.

Her interests range from the large-scale and obviously profound (climate change, participatory democracy, race, spirituality, psychology, philosophy and finding ways to evolve the many broken systems of modernity, ) to the local and less obviously profound (connecting with her tribe of Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball fans during March Madness)!

BeComing - Women of Chakra - Picture of Linda Booth Sweeney

Linda Booth Sweeney

Linda's passion is to help people of all ages see the interrelated nature of our world. She is part of a growing tribe of crisis-minded female leaders who focus on the ethical stewardship of healthy social systems, those who share a long-term focus, looking across sectors and beyond short-term cycles (e.g., our election cycles) to time frames that are long enough for significant social changes to take place. Her life-long goal is to find innovative ways to show how individual actions can combine to produce either devastating or transformative impacts on the whole.

A mother of three, Linda is equally passionate about writing children's books that affirm a child's natural curiosity and delight in the world, and if she's successful, tickles their funny bones.  She lived outside of Boston with her husband, family, and dogs, Winnie and Rugby.

BeComing - Women of Chakra - Picture of Peggy Sebera

Peggy Sebera

Community is an integrating theme in Peggy's life. Peggy's sense of community stems from her close-knit family and her early days as a girl scout sitting in a circle around the campfire. This sense of community and love of groups has shaped her decisions and the direction of her life. She considered herself most fortunate to always have had the sense of belonging, as she dwelled, from the beginning in a strong family with father nearby, she found herself in a collective of “girls" with her talented mother, her older sister and twin sister - and later the daughters that they gave birth to. Women circles.

She and her first husband, Travis, raised their 2 children and all their own food in spiritual community where they shared their home and land with many others. The women sometimes gathered separately.  Her son's health, in the early years, was exceedingly challenging, inspiring her and her husband to develop a capacity for energetic healing. This focus on healing was inspired by her mother, Maryanne, who also pointed her in the direction of dedicated practitioner communities in metaphysics, Buddhism, Christianity, meditation, and yoga.

With a master's degree in Psychology, Peggy decided early on to work in arenas where she could assist larger groups of people: employees, managers, and teams to develop to their fullest potential. Peggy worked in the banking and hotel industries before starting her own consulting business, Renaissance Consulting Group.   Peggy worked with many skillful colleagues to provide a specific Dialogue process for team integration and conflict resolution. Peggy also loved taking groups of managers through Outdoor Team Challenge Courses - giving them the actual opportunity for reflection on real time problem solving and understanding the dynamics of team. In the tradition of both their parents, Peggy's children, Glen and Carey, received advanced degrees in the helping fields. Years later her son joined her as a consultant in her business, Renaissance Consulting Group.

It was through her many years of organizational consulting work and coaching that she eventually met the women of Chakra. Based on the experience of sharing in the Chakra Circle, Peggy's draw to "Collective Gatherings" lead her, along with her friends, to co-found the nonprofit organization, The Millionth Circle - seeding and nurturing circles world-wide.  This provided her opportunities to travel to many countries. She took up her Spanish and French classes again as an older student. She co-hosted with many beautiful and inspiring people around the world.

With it running in the family (Peggy's mother and both her sisters were artists) Peggy has developed, in the last 20 years, as a landscape artist and member of the notable Sonoma County Art Trails open Studios.  Painting is her passion. She shows her work at her home studio and in local galleries. She finds that when people hear about her late start as an artist that this gives them hope that they, too, could take up their passion to create, even as they age.

On the home-front Peggy settled, at age 76, with her second husband, Lem, in an older home with gardens in Petaluma, CA - where she has found an access-able, active, and socially engaged community.  She is a member of the 9-member volunteer advisory board on the Petaluma Community Relations Council. She participates in 3 anti-racist zoom groups with local women, expanding her awareness of the ever- present deep inequities in our country and the world. Through these venues she stays engaged with friends and with city leaders and their programs. Her home continues to be a community place of gathering with relatives, friends, and colleagues. 

During recent years, Peggy has been a full-time caretaker for her husband; she mourns the loss of his companionship even as he is present with her, as he declines with Dementia. Lem has always been a quiet home-body who has been a constant companion to Peggy for 25 years. Peggy's focus is on holding clear intentions and developing the practices necessary to carry though each day.  She re-visits her intention for herself daily with her morning practice of sitting, reflecting, writing, listening and planning.  She focuses on thankfulness for each member of her family and for each woman in circle who holds her story, her life, her intentions, with love and support. This is the place of belonging… circle.

Ronita Johnson

Inclusion Warrior, Circle Convener, Conversation Starter, Author, Speaker, Elder... Ronita goes by many names. The daughter of a Methodist Minister, a flame was ignited early while marching with her father in Louisiana during the time of Civil Rights, that would light the rest of her life personally, professionally and socially.  Never straying too far from her belief in Spirit, she has leaned on FAITH and a commitment to truth in being herself. Living Black in America, and straddling two worlds, she is proud to be an advocate in advancing the conversation of how to bridge the understanding of many world views. Deeply curious about what gets in the way of "living life likes it's golden”, she isn't afraid to vocalize the unspeakable questions that everyone else may be thinking. 

Professionally, she was a pioneer as Pacific, Gas & Electric Company, as one of the first Diversity managers in the U.S.  For 35 years, as DEI Practitioner she provided consulting, training, coaching, and mentoring in the corporate and non-profit world.  Introduced to dialogue circles in 1995, she quickly wove circle as a practice into her work, convinced of its powerful transmission for raising consciousness. Now retired, she continues to serve in the capacity of guide and advisor on matters of DEI and Intersectionality, with circle as core. 

With a first hand knowledge of the challenges to show up fully in one's inner beauty with wisdom, resilience and courage, she created the circle, “Celebrating Our Inner Queen” for women of African descent to experience travel to countries outside the U.S., and be witnessed, nurtured and supported in their life transitions.  And for last 20 years, convinced that the only way to break down the barriers of race is to sit together in the discomfort and have difficult conversations, she has hosted hundred of circles on the subject of 'race."

One of Ronita's most cherished and healing accomplishments is the self-publication of her memoir, "Coming To Forgiveness: A Daughter's Story of Race, Rage & Religion”. She subsequently produced, wrote and performed the books adaptation in a one woman's show, “Forgiveable” as an epilogue to healing and living with forgiveness, as core to her living in wholeness.

Drawn to living life at full speed, you may find her playing Pickelball, leading Bingocize or line dancing at a senior center, playing the piano, or contemplating a second novel. Married for 36 years to her best friend John, they live in Pleasant Hill, California and can be found taking 5 mile walks many mornings, talking with the locals in some foreign country or sitting on the lawn somewhere listening to jazz. As a practicing student of Ridhwan Diamond Approach, meditation with gratitude begins Ronita's day. At 75, she lives with several questions:  What does it mean to walk a moment to moment spiritual life from a place of true essence?; How to best use one's resources in service for the good of all creatures?; and What daily practices of health & forgiveness support aging? 

BeComing - Women of Chakra - Picture of Stephanie Ryan

Stephanie Ryan

Stephanie is drawn to connecting the dots, revealing the web of interrelationships that interact and define our experience. This through thread of interdependence influenced her studies in economics and international relations, her leadership in AIESEC, (a student led global internship program promoting cross-cultural understanding), her consulting career applying systems thinking and evolving the discipline to systems sensing, her work at B Lab, (transforming businesses' fiduciary responsibility beyond shareholders to account for all stakeholders and be a force for good) and currently in her passion for storytelling.

She recognizes there is no greater teacher of interdependence than through our relationships and evolving roles. She's blessed to have over two decades of being a committed partner and wife, a parent and student of her son, a circle sister at Chakra, a member of Dream Group and Mover and Witness in her spiritual practice of Authentic Movement. 

Her Celtic heritage continues to instill in her the importance of the unseen worlds and stir a longing in her to see beyond the veil. She acknowledges she lives on “TSCHA-KOLE-CHY”, the unceded Indigenous lands of the Coastal Salish Peoples- specifically the Snohomish tribe, that colonial settlers renamed as Whidbey Island, WA. This acknowledgement is a first step in resisting the invisibility of indigenous people and their culture she seeks to understand.

BeComing - Women of Chakra - Picture of Sarita Chawla

Sarita Chawla

At almost 76, rather than a bio or resume, I am called to speak into who I am and who I am becoming. I recently wrote a blessing for myself: May the rest of my years in this lifetime be imbued with aliveness. May the creative force vivify each cell. May I remain a faithful apprentice to goodness, truth, and beauty, perceiving freshly, each dewdrop, each dandelion, each human dimple, and wrinkle. May my mind keep opening to a multiplicity of views, sensing into what stance I hold in this moment. May curiosity, kindness, and gratitude be my enduring attitudes, my guiding stars. May the coming days and years continue to teach me grace, love, acceptance, and compassion. May I delight in others, and myself each moment of each day. May I live my life in a way that I die consciously.

All my life, I have loved learning. As a child, always curious and asking questions: Why and How? I have been blessed with so many opportunities to learn freshly and deeply. A research field trip to Kulu, in the Himalayas for my graduate research on the religion of a small village there. Learning how to adjust as a young one transported from India to the UK at age four, immigrating to the US in an arranged marriage in 1969. The anthropologist in me is passionate about learning of different worlds whether by travel, reading, deep dialogue with others about questions that matter. Journeying into my own interiority and inner world through journaling and inquiry leads to unveiling mysteries untold. Learning the ways of the corporate world where I spent more than twenty years. Finding my vocation in becoming someone who could see the potential in people that they could not sense themselves. This manifested in roles of a leader, follower, coach, and spiritual teacher. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing the spark in another human when they feel seen and understood. The joy and gratitude of witnessing my son coming into his own professionally and personally, with his wife, my daughter-in-love. I am blessed.

My spiritual life is becoming more central to me. I have slowly but surely realized that I am enough. The life for so long that I spent in efforting to be seen can rest now. Art, poetry, literature and great fiction and non-fiction are my friends and companions. Theater, good movies, being touched by nature, enduring friendships and travel feed my soul. These days you will find me gently immersed in doing yoga, in one of my spiritual retreats, sitting by the fire pulling a Tarot card, reading, listening to music, writing poetry, dancing as I cook, talking to my 96-year-old mother in New Delhi. Or you might find me outside, taking long walks in my beautiful neighborhood, touching the spring flowers, watching the hawks and woodpeckers, feeling deep and abiding gratitude for all that is given. Being present for a few clients and students is fulfilling. All so precious, this life, knowing it is all transient.

My soulmate/husband left this realm several years ago, but his enduring presence and our love story continues. I live these days in a wondrous state of joyful contentment. Being of service to clients, students, the earth, and spirit. Still living in the question and bowing deeply to the mystery.

BeComing - Women of Chakra - Picture of Teresa Ruelas

Teresa Ruelas

Teresa (or Tressa) is a lover of the Mystery, of Life's most juicy and poignant unfolding. An intuitive once said to her as she decided to quit her close to 20-year corporate life in the Silicon Valley in Northern California to live a nomadic life for a while: “I have never met a soul so happy to be jumping into the unknown.” Out of such a fertile field to tap, she has learned that she is best and happiest as a co-creator, a story weaver and teller of the emergent Collective Human experience of transformation. 

You can tell what guidance she lives by through a few of her favorite lifelong quotes or mantras. 

La dolce far niente. The sweetness of doing nothing. Which is something she learned to truly value, living for a year in Italy with one of her dearest life partners. To wake up each morning without a plan, without a pre-conceived notion, except simply to greet, to meet whatever the day may bring.

Don't ask what the Universe needs of you. Ask what makes you most alive, and go do that. For what the Universe needs now are people who are fully alive.This she practices every day, listening, sensing what was most alive in her and, without judgment or reason, following it.  The paths that this living quest opened for her turned out to be magical and meaningful, carving out her true destiny and purpose for her life on earth. This way of living, she has come to believe, is what it means to live a life of Service. That is, to be in constant dialogue with and in service of the unfolding collective human experience of transformation.

I sing the body electric. I celebrate the me yet to come. I toast to my own reunion, where I can be one with the stars. And I celebrate Venus, I celebrate Mars, and I glow with the fire of 10 million stars. And in time. And in time. We will all be stars.(Body Electric, FAME) She sang this to herself and the listening Universe in her early morning walks and in taking early morning showers ever since she saw the movie Fame some 40 years ago. This is how she believed we are all connected. Embedded in each other's and in Mother Earth's spirit and lives. That, to have all be stars, one must shine truly and brightly from the inside out, thereby perturbing, inviting, provoking, enticing, urging all to shine as brightly and truly as stars.

Every day Tressa gives a deep bow of debt and gratitude for the sweet, ever so poignant depth and breadth of her own unfolding to her life and soul partners, to her loving family, to bosom girlfriends and to her dialogue circles and transformation groups - the DNA of Relationships, Chakra Women's Circle, the 3Witches & Dragon, MISSION and the growing soul community of Cebu Farmers Market. They each and collectively are her teachers, her guides, her learning companions, her soul mates.

Tressa lives in Cebu City, Philippines, in a small townhome community with her sister and life partner in a peaceful neighbourhood surrounded by trees and homes of elderly as well as young families - grandparents and parents to young children, teens and young adults. A day does not go by, rain or shine, where children and dogs are not strolling and playing in the streets of our little village tucked ever so slightly away from the hubbub and noise of city life.

These days, Tressa's aliveness is in birthing, growing, nurturing emerging alternative food ecosystems of communities, from farm to market to table, working with seed savers, farmers, urban gardeners, home cooks, chefs, restauranteurs and consumers of all ages and backgrounds to co-create and transform the food culture in Cebu for the well-being of all, people and planet. That and in sharing time at the beach or up in the mountains, in sharing good food, books, music and movies, and in soulful conversations. She is deeply enlivened, touched by Life, Nature, Spirit and the Universe.