About James-Olivia

          • Facilitator and lover of of extraordinary, uncomfortable, life-changing conversations
          • Nurturer of Disobedience & Regard
          • Enthusiastic & loving interrogator of reality
          • Right relationship celebrant
          • Fellow work-in-progress (i.e. inquisitive human & avid maker of mistakes)

I teach skills for relating competently to difference and I facilitate and mediate uncomfortable, necessary, life-changing conversations with people who want more joy and connection and less suffering in their most important relationships—with themselves, their loved ones, their organizations, and the world.

I come to the work of living and leading relationally with the lived experience of moving through life in the U.S. as an autistic, multi-racial and sometimes white-presenting “other” with many other intersecting privileges and marginalized identities. I bring relentless compassion, an unusual perspective, and an eclectic variety of tools to the conversation of expanding our lives and our leadership beyond personal growth and into relational development.

I am learning and unlearning alongside you. I make mistakes and dissect them openly. I give zero fucks about goodness (yours or mine), and have no idea what safe space means to you—nor any interest in creating it for you… although I’m thrilled to co-create a beautiful life and world with you. I have far more interest in the full spectrum of our humanity and our ability to be with and celebrate discomfort, uncertainty, and difference.

You can follow my current musings on Instagram.

  • Questions & observations—powerful, uncomfortable, inappropriate, sometimes weirdly obvious
  • Awkward silences—space to answer and to astound yourself
  • Awkward & honest blurts (sometimes blunt, always compassionate)
  • Celebration and delight with both your successes and failures as golden opportunities for growth
  • Impassioned rants & lots of swearing
  • Unconditional regard for where you are right now
  • The Answer(s)
  • Small talk
  • Neutrality on issues of injustice, oppression, and abuse
  • Promised outcomes, formulas, or scripted conversations
  • Holding you accountable for tasks & timelines (productivity coaching / progress-nannying) & being more committed to your liberation, joy, and desires than you are
  • Agendas & expectations for your next decision, or judgments about what brings you joy and what will bring about your peace and fulfillment. *I do, however, have a strong bias toward connection and relational empowerment. This bias will influence the nature of our conversations.
  • Psychotherapy, trauma counseling, medical advice, or legal counsel.


I believe neither freedom nor joy can be sustained without combining relentless compassion with the disobedience of inquiry.

I believe impact only & always happens in Relationship. The impact we desire most happens in Right Relationship.

I believe the willingness to change is the willingness to live, and the willingness to witness others without judgment as they change is the willingness love.

I believe what we create is our magic and our medicine – the stories, the words we speak and write, what we create or destroy with our hands, the wake we leave when we engage with people and the world.

I believe we all have a place in this world. I believe we belong to each other. I believe our collective failure to honor this belonging is breaking our hearts and quite literally killing us (some more swiftly and brutally than others, but none of us survives the heartbreak and violence of it). I believe the longing of our souls to be connected and to be with one another is a pure and true thing, and we have become confused about how to go about being with ourselves and each other. I believe we can learn to be with each other again.

I believe we are all capable of committing violence and harm, and we are all capable of giving and experiencing love and healing. I believe we are responsible to ourselves and to each other for learning the difference. I believe we are responsible for living the difference once we have learned.

I believe in the power of decisions. I believe in the power of grace. I believe in the power of wisdom and inquiry over judgement to reveal right action. I believe in the power of right action (and not simply good intentions) to heal us individually and collectively.

I believe control is the antithesis of love, that love is a deliberate decision to cherish ourselves and each other.

I believe love has good intentions, and love is aligned action. I believe in the power of responsibility and accountability.

I believe the hand of the Divine is in everything, even when I cannot see it. I believe what I can see is only a small part of a greater story. I believe wise and courageous teachers don’t show us “the way”, but rather show us the landscape when the path before us is too narrow a focus.

I believe in the power of discomfort and its inseparability from growth. I believe in listening, in learning without ceasing. I believe we are all works in progress, and we are responsible for choosing the best teachers available to us at any given stage of our lives, the ones who show us how to live what we believe, who hold us to our highest standards and then raise them. I believe we can always do better, there is joy in trying, and even greater joy in trying together.

I believe we are never as alone as we sometimes imagine we are.

I believe I cannot know you without you, and I cannot know anything (or be known) without me.

I believe that differences and tension hold possibility, right relationship nourishes, and more you is better.