Our founder gets vulnerable on the "Dandelion Effect Podcast" with Feathered Pipe Ranch, and shares about her personal journery that led to her starting Mooxli. Listen in as Sarah talks through her challenging times as a clinician and shares what "True Resilience" looks like for healthcare professionals
WHAT WE DO
MOOXLI is a continuing education retreat community teaching resilience and offering a supported new path forward.
Awareness, self compassion, and clarity for human service professionals in moving through their personal and professional lives
MOOXLI is a place of sharing, supporting, and nurturing. A place for the human service professionals to rest and heal. All who are human and have breath are welcome here.
The MOOXLI Team
MEET OUR FOUNDER
"Mooxli is born out of the passion that Sarah has as a nurse anesthetist, professional speaker, educator, and yogi. After ten years in anesthesia, Sarah found herself in a state of personal and professional contemplation. During this time she began practicing yoga for exercise, and soon discovered that yoga offered a way to not only acknowledge her own story but also those of her patients’. By recognizing and accepting the impact of “those we carry” and practicing self compassion, Sarah found a way to start to live and work wholeheartedly. Giving her first lecture as a senior graduate student at Oakland University in 2009, Sarah has continued as adjunct faculty at her alma mater and a professional speaker. Sarah has served as an instructor at the National Congress of Nurse Anesthetists, as well as a guest lecturer at multiple state association meetings. On her mat, in the operating room, and in life Sarah is filled with gratitude that practicing mindfulness and yoga is part of her daily routine. For more information about booking Sarah as Keynote, podcast guest, or for your trainings visit sarahbergakker.com
OUR YOGA GUIDE
Joan Mudget will be your Yoga Guide on this journey and she comes to us with a unique blend of professional experiences that prepare her well for guiding high performing professionals. Joan was an Executive in the Fashion Industry, a seemingly glamorous life filled with designer shoes and world travel. However the job took its toll in stress and after 30 years, she found herself diagnosed with serious mental and physical health issues. Joan took a much needed time out, reevaluated her goals and changed every single aspect of her life. Joan attributes her recovery to her yoga practice which she has done as physical exercise for over 15 years and once fully retired from the Rag Trade, she dove into the softer side of yoga studying in India and becoming an Advanced Yoga Teacher. She returned from India and opened a Yoga Studio in her home town of Fremont, Michigan and Branch Out Yoga was born. The yoga studio was closed in 2020 due to the global pandemic and Joan now shares the gift of yoga with anyone who is willing to leave their comfort zone and get on their mat. Joan is an experienced yoga teacher and Reiki Master with advanced certifications in Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Pranayama, and Meditation.
Our Guide to Healing and Thriving after Personal and Professional Trauma
A U.S. Marine veteran who deployed twice to Iraq, Sarah is the author of Just Roll With It: 7 Battle Tested Truths for Building a Resilient Life and Stopping Military Suicides: Veteran Voices to Help Prevent Deaths. As a Marine, she also captained and played for the US Military Olympic Women’s Soccer Team from 2007-2011. She is also the founder of SEMPER Sarah®, an international wellness practice. She was an adjunct professor at Charleston Southern University in the Department of Health Promotion and Education through 2018.
Sarah holds a Master’s in Social Work with a Mental Health concentration from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Virginia. Additionally, Sarah is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and is a 500hr-ERYT registered yoga instructor with diverse experience teaching vinyasa, restorative, prenatal, postnatal, yin, nidra, trauma-informed yoga, and adaptive yoga.
Her work has been featured on Capitol Hill and in noteworthy news and entertainment outlets like the Katie Couric Show, NPR, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and others. Sarah’s advocacy has been featured in publications such as the New York Times and by Pulitzer Prize Winning author, David Wood, in his book What Have We Done.
As a speaker, instructor, and consultant, she guides leaders and top organizations in North America and Europe, including FORTUNE500 companies like Coca Cola and DaVita, esteemed universities, the US Department of Defense, healthcare facilities, boutique businesses, non-profit organizations, and law firms. In addition to speaking, leading workshops, and providing personalized holistic wellness coaching through SEMPER Sarah®, Sarah volunteers through board membership and service work for a variety of organizations such as The Mission Continues, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Comeback Yoga, and the Kurdistan Women’s Global Alliance. She is a member of Yoga Alliance and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
OUR GUIDE TO LIVING OUR TRUE VALUES
Dr. Lavonne Zwart Schaafsma
Lavonne Zwart Schaafsma was born and raised north of the border in Ontario, Canada. After getting her doctorate in psychology, Lavonne has worked as a clinical psychologist and consultant for the past twenty five years. A growing theme in her clinical work is trying to guide each of her clients toward "living their values." This work promotes her clients identifying and making life changes to live more in accordance with their passions and interests. Personally, Lavonne is married with three children ranging in age from teen to young adult. Lavonne and her husband Phil live in an urban cohousing community which they conceptualized and formed fifteen years ago. Living in cohousing is an outpouring of their values which allows for resource sharing, community building, and environmental sustainability. Like half the nation, Lavonne has recently taken up Pickleball and enjoys games, music, reading, and loads of down time.
OUR GUIDE TO DISCOVERING THE MAGIC OF OUR OWN STORIES
As a freelance creative and entrepreneur with a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech in English and Professional Writing, Andy VanTrease’s work is centered around one fundamental goal: Helping people see their own magic. Whether for individuals, companies or organizations, she guides people to the heart of who they are, why they’re here and where they’re going. Andy has a gift for asking the deep questions and reflecting back what others are sharing without getting in the way, and her inquisitive nature extracts truths that help you see yourself from a new lens.
Andy is a professional writer, host and producer of The Dandelion Effect Podcast, and creator of Storymapping Experiences, a process that utilizes audio playback to explore our stories, integrate our identities and develop a deeper sense of self-compassion. She’s learned from teachers and therapists around the world—all of whom she met on her own healing journey with Lyme Disease and burnout—and she believes wholeheartedly in the healing power of storytelling.
She considers herself a ‘student of life,’ allowing her experiences and intrapersonal study to guide her work: listening with open curiosity, learning with endless enthusiasm, welcoming challenge as opportunity to grow and genuinely believing that anything is possible.
OUR INSPIRED PROFESSIONAL
Listening is her superpower. Aly McLean is a listener. She understands human emotions, human behavior and has an ability to hold space while allowing others to be exactly who they are exactly where they are at. She has always been able to hear the inner truths, the underlying emotions
and create a world where others can begin to understand and explore their inner worlds. (Video of Aly Teaching all things Mindfulness)
Aly has been working in the medical system for over 20 years. She currently works full time as a pediatric CRNA at the Boston Children’s Hospital where she blends her years of practicing anesthesia with her years of yoga practice and mindfulness. She uses guided imagery, yoga
breathing, and Reiki energy work in each of the patients she encounters. Ensuring an experience of comfort and healing while going through procedures and surgery under anesthesia.
Aly’s previous speaking engagements have involved Wellness lectures for Northeastern University in the Nurse Anesthesia program. She was a guest lecturer at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital Principles of Pediatric Anesthesia and Critical Care Conference on Mindfulness and Wellness in Medicine. Aly uses her expertise in wellness and mindfulness in medicine on retreats for medical practitioners and adapts to maintain the
theme of the retreat leaving participants with the ability to use tools in their every day lives and at work.
When working with Aly there is a general sense of ease and inspiration. She will help you discover your own unique inner world. She is a forever student of life and understands that all she shares and teaches is through her. She trusts the divine intelligent energy that exists in us all and has fallen in love in the sharing of her own inner world as a teacher.
OUR BUSINESS GURU
Fotini Iconomopoulos empowers audiences all over the world through her expertise in negotiation, communication and persuasion. Business executives partner with her to achieve their business goals and create a competitive advantage. (Video of Fotini helping the Mooxli Community Negotiate!)
Fotini occasionally returns to the classroom as an instructor of MBA Negotiations at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. In addition to her features on TV, media and outlets including CNBC, Forbes and Harvard Business Review, this critically acclaimed author has been recognized with multiple awards including a 40 Under 40 award.
Check out Fotini's book, Say Less, Get More: Unconventional Negotiation Techniques to Get What You Want.
OUR MINDFULNESS MENTOR
Marvin Belzer, PhD
Marvin G. Belzer, PhD, has taught mindfulness meditation for twenty years. He is associate director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC). For many years he taught a semester-long meditation course in the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green St. University, where he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy. He teaches an undergraduate course at UCLA (Psychiatry 175: Mindfulness Practice and Theory) and teaches mindfulness in many different venues in Los Angeles.
OUR RESILIENCE EXPERT
Dr. Teresa “Tese”
Dr. Tese Stephens has more than 32 years of nursing experience in both clinical and academic settings. She is an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and is the author of Stephens’ Model of Resilience and the founder of RN P.R.E.P. (Personal Resilience Enhancement Plan). Her work is focused in RESILIENCE, specifically as a tool to address and prevent burnout in clinicians. Much of her work in resilience is built upon the narratives of Holocaust survivors.
Dr. Stephens is recognized as a leader in nursing education and research, specifically in the areas of workplace culture, faculty development, student success and engagement, and best practices in online learning. She is a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and an active member of several professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau, NLN, ANA, and SNRS. She serves on the advisory board for the Vantage Point Foundation and the Holocaust Education Film Foundation and is a member of various task forces and work groups and serves as a nursing education consultant for NurseTim, Inc. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Tennessee State University, her Masters of Science in Nursing from King College, a post-master's certificate in nursing education from the University of Tennessee, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Stephens is the author of several publications and book chapters, and she is a frequent presenter at regional, national, and international conferences and workshops.