I’m so glad to meet you! I’m Karly, the co-founder and steward of growinghumankindness.
I help people who overeat bring kindness into their relationship with themselves. There is so much about life that can be hard. And there are so many ways we can tend to our hardships, including with food. I help people understand the wisdom beneath their overeating, anxiety and other coping strategies so they can come into a new relationship with them.
There’s a deeper story that lives underneath the surface story of our struggles, and this story is both more true and more merciful. It’s this story, together, that we midwife into being.
Growing human(kind)ness arose from two things: first, from my own journey of decades of multiple eating disorders and my relationship with chronic depression and anxiety. This work also arose from bearing witness to the beauty of other people’s stories of courage, persistent love, and radical acceptance with food, shame, mental illness, addiction, and beyond.
If I had to describe in a sentence how I offer my particular form of service to the world, it would be thus: may we soften our hearts towards what we fear, misunderstand, and shame in ourselves and in each other.
May we hold our human vulnerability within our hearts.
May we see our noble beauty.
For me, the word that most conveys this softening is respect – a word whose origins are akin to something like this: to see again, to regard in a new way, or to see with new eyes.
As poet John O’ Donohue so beautifully said, when we approach things with reverence – with depth and keenness of sight – they have powerful ways of approaching us, as well. And so I wonder: what rises to meet us when we meet those things that we most fear in ourselves, with reverence?
Our hearts are so thirsty for dignity. May we be tender towards our pain, forgiving towards our human stumbling, and open to the ground underneath our feet, All that holds and cares for us.
Breath by breath, my wish is that we may embody our wholeness – our deeper story – and live from this knowing.
Like many people who live with heightened sensitivity, depression, or chronic illness, my journey ebbs and flows. It is a daily tending, this caring for body, mind, heart and spirit, a bowing of heart and head.
Some days, I feel well; some days, fantastic. And some days, like all of us, I’m putting one foot in front of the other. On hard days, I hold the hand of the Divine Mother and all my loved ones, past and present, shedding my tears on the dirt paths by my house, where they pool into the collective ground of our human tenderness.
I love to write because writing is where I feel most alive, where the anxiety ebbs and I feel connected to the Spirit that lives within.
I believe that listening to each other’s stories and witnessing the vulnerable courage of each other is one of the most powerful ways we can soften what divides us, both within and without. And so I bend my knee towards these stories in many forms.
I write essays about human kindness, Oh Nobly Born, write books and courses, teach classes, and speak to groups. In all I weave together my love for The Deep, for the Divine, the Love that holds us, my gratitude for attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology, and radical self compassion.
I offer these teachings in service to all who feel the shame of human stumbling and who yearn for wholeness, and to presence a more compassionate and connected world. Underneath all my work you’ll find a love for the human heart and a devotion to God, the Arms that Hold Us, ‘the Arms We Can Never Fall Out Of.’
I live in Austin, Texas with my husband Patrick and our family, two dogs, a very frisky cat, and beautiful oak trees who make excellent friends. I love good stories, good music, good food, good words, lifting heavy things, and long walks.
Connecting with my offerings
If you have a painful relationship with food or sugar and resonate with my approach, please, make yourself at home here at Growing Humankindness. I’ve gathered all my free resources on this page here. It’s a great way to see if we’re a good fit.
If my approach resonates with you and you feel at home with me, the next step would be to take a do at home course or a group class. I offer two do at home courses, Emerge: Create a New Habit and Align: Heal Your Relationship with Your Inner Rebel, that you can take anytime.
I also offer two group classes a year, The Book of Love and When Food is Your Mother, that are filled with amazing, soulful women (and often, a few men.) You can find all my courses here.
Lastly, I want to offer a bow of love to my lineage and to those people who have blessed me. My approach is grounded in a couple of wells: self compassion/mindfulness, attachment theory/developmental psychology, IPNB (interpersonal neurobiology), creative expression, and spiritual practice – especially the paths of Sufism and contemplative Christianity.
Many have blessed me with their teachings, but a few stand out in how their work has impacted me and shaped my thinking and perceiving. I share them with you to honor their great hearts.
- Bonnie Badenoch, therapist and teacher, author, The Heart of Trauma
- Tara Brach, meditation teacher, psychologist, and author, Radical Compassion, True Refuge and Radical Acceptance
- Dr. Gordon Neufeld, theorist, developmental psychologist, founder of the Neufeld Institute
- Abby Seixas, therapist, facilitator, author, Finding the Deep River Within
- Mark Silver and Holly Glaser, Sufi teachers
- My teachers on grief, culture, and human making, Francis Weller and Stephen Jenkinson
I also pay homage to Carl Rogers, Richard Schwartz and IFS, Internal Family Systems; Focusing, the work of Eugene Gendlin, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and all the poets, story tellers, and artists in every shape and form.