About Yanna

Being born and raised as a British South African during the apartheid era, I have had direct experience transforming limiting patterns and beliefs. As a college student I became involved in political activism, vehemently lobbying against racism, nationalism and social injustice from a position of privilege. But I soon learned that my particular niche in life lay somewhere else, and that the oppressed people in South Africa were far more effective than naïve privileged students, as history has proven.

Although my family of origin, the natural beauty and all the complexities of South Africa will always be a major part of me, I followed the impulsivity of youth and moved to the USA. For a while I put my heritage on the back burner while studying science, getting married, and parenting two wonderful children. But children grow up, and when my children entered school, I returned to graduate school. There I found out that the study of Math and Physics was also inconsistent with my niche in life. Science gave way to ecology and international development as I re-discovered the passion for the environment and social change that is my true heritage.

For a couple of decades I traveled throughout villages in Africa (including South Africa), Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe as a trainer, evaluator and facilitator for sustainable rural community development. Those were amazingly adventurous years, rich in experience and connection, and fulfilling my dream of participating in the transformation of South Africa. But the constant travel took its toll on my body and soul, not to mention my family.

Fortunately children aren't the only ones who grow up. As the years went by I realized that my own maturing and healing was calling me to slow down, connect with my spiritual energy, and put down roots. I moved to Portland, where the natural beauty is very similar to my home in South Africa, and studied to become a counselor. As owner of Heartspace and practicing counseling, both for a non-profit agency as well as in private practice, I am finally connected to my deepest self. I feel blessed to participate daily in the most essential and meaningful level of social change.

It has been humbling to discover that transformation of the planet and its people happens one heart at a time, starting with
my own.

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