personal evolution is the pathway to cultural evolution
I’m so glad you’ve found your way here.
If I was tasked with bringing forth a few simple phrases to describe “what I’m up to in the world,” they would be:
creator + founder of EMBRACE ALCHEMY
(aka: “Chief Executive Alchemist”!)
I’m a writer, teacher, and healer.
The truth is, though, that there is little about me that can be reduced to a label.
I’ll bet you and I share that in common. At least in some aspect of who we are. Being the bearers of an identity—personal, professional, cultural, and more—that’s complicated. That goes deeper and broader than meets the eye. That bleeds outside the lines. And that by extension causes us to be proactive and dedicated colorers outside the lines. To be uncomfortable with labels to begin with. For many of us, it’s as a friend once said to me: “Naomi, it’s not so much that you think outside the box as that you ARE outside the box…”
I consider myself neither a leader nor a follower.
I’m a student as much as a teacher. I’m a “way-shower” who simply wants to show you how to find your own way. To show you how to follow your own inner compass. I’m a loving finger pointing you down a path you may wish to explore. With passion, I illuminate some steps you can take toward greater freedom and quality of life.
I’m a creature of the cross-roads.
Being of African American and Swedish American heritage, I live at the intersection of blackness and whiteness. Being a dual citizen of the US and Canada, I live at the intersection between nations. As an interracial adoptee, who at the age of nineteen reunited with my birth parents (and found they had married each other!), I live at the intersection of two different families.
I'm a passionate, hands-on mom of three.
I have two amazing daughters and an incredible son. They are the loves and the light of my life. They have taught me more than I could possibly ever have taught them. AND every bit as much, I'm a free-spirit, a fierce solo artist, and an unapologetic individualist on an epic s/hero's journey.
I’m an artist of life, an adventurer, and a keen observer of people and places.
Travel is one of my favorite pastimes and I adore soaking up the vibes of any place on this planet. Whether it be the Bight of Benin, Belgium, Bali, Belize, Britain, or the Bahamas, experiencing other cultures—especially in an immersive way—has offered me a powerful education. For this, I feel fortunate.
I’m a wellness warrior and a healer.
I was named “A Woman to Watch in Wellness” by wellness behemoth MindBodyGreen in partnership with the popular fitness brand Athleta. To me, it’s precisely “optimal well-being”—for the greatest possible number of people the planet over—that is the most coveted prize we should be aspiring to claim.
I am a passionate seeker and sharer of wisdom.
I love to open hearts and minds through my writing, speaking, consulting, and teaching.
I’m a mentor and a guide, with more than a bit of a mystical bent.
In this capacity I’ve served thousands of clients of all backgrounds, scattered throughout the globe, over the past fifteen years.
I have a strong intellectual streak.
A pure passion for learning led me all the way to a PhD. My dissertation was about how we can better navigate the nuances of “human difference.” There I was, a single mother of a toddler, wondering if I’d finish my dissertation on time for my intended graduation date. The phone rang early on a Sunday morning. It was a well-known professor at Harvard calling to offer me a prestigious Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities. I ultimately accepted and taught Black Studies and Women’s Studies there for two years.
From there I was invited to teach full-time at Yale, where I remained for ten years.
Eight years in, I put in a two-year notice letting it be known I would be walking away from academia to pursue the deeper calling of my soul. And that’s exactly what I did…
EMBRACE ALCHEMY is that deeper calling of my soul.
Which is why I’m extra delighted you have found your way here. It’s an honor to invite you to explore with me. I hope you will join me in angling toward new and improved ways of going about things—as individuals and as a society.
join me on a journey beyond the binaries of black and white
what are you…
I’ve been asked this a few thousand times throughout my life. It showed me the degree to which people really did care about race. Even—maybe especially—those who insisted they didn’t see it and that it didn’t matter to them.
I always thought the more interesting question would have been, “who are you?” But no, it seemed that as a rule, we’d rather know the details about someone’s racial makeup than find out something about their soul.
So it occurred to me that there was no reason I myself couldn’t be the one to ask that more salient question, “who are you?” To position myself as the questioner rather than the questioned. And in the process, to reframe this conversation about race that I’ve found myself immersed in on a daily basis for as long as I’ve been alive.
The very existence of EMBRACE ALCHEMY doubles as my elaborate response to my five decades of living the “what are you” question. And I’m not going to settle for just asking who you are. Because I have gone several steps further and designed a number of inspiring, captivating ways to show you.
It will be my great pleasure to plunge you into the magnificent inner landscapes of the self. You will be awed at the overflowing treasure chest you will find within yourself—bounty that’s already fully stocked within you, waiting to be discovered.
When we know ourselves better, we can also know each other better. When we journey into deeper self-knowledge, it will fundamentally intersect with our ability to truly know our fellow human beings. In other words, all at once, it’s about the “me” AND the “we.” All at once, it’s about the “you” AND the “us.”
Your well-being is a key aspect of the collective well-being. Your quality of life is a key aspect of an improved quality of life for people in general. Your liberation is an aspect of a larger collective liberation. The purpose of my work is to help you reach ever higher heights on every one of these fronts.
There are a number of ways I can help you evolve your relationship to yourself, to other people, and to race itself. Here are four of them below.
i will love to serve you on your path...
clients and students weigh in…
“Naomi’s beautiful video lectures were engaging and keenly held my interest… I finished this course feeling far more empowered and motivated to do all that’s within my heart to do.”
“I LOVED your workshop! You created an incredible healing dynamic…”
“Naomi, you are the Truth! You have most certainly watered and fertilized me.”
I have been guided by Naomi’s wisdom toward positive and amazing results, in matters of love, money, work, and finding my footing on my life’s path.
I am just beginning to absorb the incredible time we spent together... The magnitude of the healing and wisdom you gave me is becoming clear and I am filled with overwhelming gratitude.
alchemy is in order if we are to truly transform our racial landscape