To cultivate is to develop, improve, prepare, or raise and wildflowers are often considered weeds that need to be destroyed or removed. Sometimes we might find ourselves in psychological states that we want to either destroy or eliminate, and at times these states become so difficult that we wish to annihilate ourselves in order to escape. At other times, we might find that others wish to extinguish parts of us so that we may conform to their ideal. When I think of the wildflower, I think of its resilience, its unique beauty, and its ability to grow in unfavorable conditions. The beauty of cultivating the wildflower is in finding, not a way for it to conform but rather in finding a way for it to thrive, for it to live fully in its beauty. When we cultivate ourselves, our true nature, we find that we each have a unique gift and a distinct purpose. My goal is to help clients uncover this beauty so that they may flourish.
I hold a PhD in Anthropology and Social Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies, an MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, a BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from West Chester University, and I am currently working on a PhD in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Understanding and healing issues of racism has been the focus of my life for many years. I believe that racism is a byproduct of diversity paired with fear and greed. It arises from an encounter of difference, difference in value, culture, customs, and beliefs, and it is demonstrated by a separation from or rejection of the other. This nonacceptance is often invoked in order to protect or preserve the self. Conservation appears differently depending on cultural values, but it is sometimes clouded by fear and misunderstanding, these reactions have had a grave impact on society.
The trauma of racism is widespread, it is so vast that, even those ordinarily considered perpetrators or oppressors, are its victims. I specialize in unpacking, discussing, and healing these injuries, both individually and within groups. I strongly believe that through individual and group work, society can recover from these wounds, and from there we can rebuild a more balanced nation.
As a mixed-race colored woman in the United States, race is a big part of who I am, I am brown with kinky hair, and I carry distinct attributes of my ancestors and descendants. My first PhD dissertation focuses on an alternative approach to investigating and healing wounds of racism through an activist ethnography. It is one that centers on challenging contemporary liberation approaches, where the victim/perpetrator dynamic is perpetuated, and aims to look critically at how we continue to reinforce racism through our elimination efforts. I share this because it heavily influences my work as a therapist. Also, I recently developed a biracial tarot deck which I understand as an articulation of life as a spiritual journey and a manifestation of a certain truth as expressed through the archetypes of the tarot; I often use this deck in therapy.
As a psychotherapist, I meet clients where they are and offer my compassion, nurturance and attendance; as an anthropologist, I examine the world with curiosity and I challenge cultural norms. My intellectual knowledge, my practice as a contemplative psychotherapist, and my understanding as a woman, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter, have given me an understanding of the importance of genuine presence. I extend my being as a witness and guide.
May we continue to cultivate the wildflowers as we heal and grow together as individuals and society.
Isha Lucas, PhD, LPCC