Meet Our Founder
Reverend Becky Reno, CSM
Merging her decades of experience leading technology projects for the C-suite of Fortune 500 corporations, her 20+ years in full time ministry and the deep personal development skills honed by surviving the death of her only child, Rev. Becky Reno has dedicated herself to the physical, emotional and spiritual support to families navigating the many experiences of grief, death and dying.
Her decades of experience in the Corporate environment honing analytical, problem-solving, negotiation and organizational skills with the ability to effectively manage people; Rev. Reno has the uncanny ability to identify and prioritize key interpersonal issues, interpret the individual family members emotions and integrate it into a demonstrable and clear path for the family to gain strength during the time of sorrow and pain.
Her strength to effectively analyze needs and recommend alternative communication approaches enables her ability to drive results in the most emotionally sensitive and time critical event in the cycle of a family.
Remaining connected to her corporate roots, Ms. Reno excels in leading cross-domain, cross-functional leadership discussions to bring this sensitive and relevant subject of grief, death and dying to the workplace to assist in the development of policies and governance to support the most precious of all resources within a corporation – its people.
Meet The Experts From Our Online Grief Support Programs
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
NY Times Best Selling Author
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996.
On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover all of her physical function and thinking ability.
She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey(published in 2008 by Viking Penguin).
In 2008, Dr. Jill gave a presentation at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA, which turned out to be the first TED talk to ever go viral through the internet. TED and Dr. Jill became world famous instantaneously and her TED talk is now one of the top 5 most viewed TED talks of all time.
This now famous 18-minute presentation catapulted her story into the public eye, and within six weeks of presenting that TED talk, Dr. Jill was chosen as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008, she was the premiere guest on Oprah’s Soul Series webcast, and her book My Stroke of Insight became a New York Times bestseller.
Dr. Sheila Patel
Chopra Mind-Body Medical Group
Dr. Sheila Patel is the Chopra Center’s Medical Director and a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. She earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages.
At the Chopra Center, Dr. Patel offers integrative medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. She also teaches at the Chopra Center’s 6-day and 10-day Perfect Health programs, and is certified as an instructor of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. Her special interests include preventive medicine and mind-body medicine, with an emphasis on Ayurveda. Her experience in treating a full range of medical conditions gives her the ability to effectively incorporate lifestyle practices into a patient’s treatment plan.
Dr. Patel also serves as the Clinical Director for the Chopra Center’s research team. She enjoys the opportunity to bring light to the mechanisms of action of mind-body practices, giving them scientific validation. Her hope is that by confirming the benefits of the practices, more patients will gain access to these life-enhancing techniques.
Dr. Patel’s medical writings on a variety of topics have been featured in many integrative and holistic publications, including the Chopra Center’s online newsletter. She is a Volunteer Faculty Member for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, where she participates in their Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship Program for first-year and second-year medical students at an outpatient family medicine office. She also mentors medical students at the Chopra Center as part of their integrative medicine rotations.
Dr. Patel is an engaging speaker who enjoys bringing the principles of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation to the public, as well as to other healthcare providers. She is a featured lecturer at the Chopra Center’s signature mind-body medicine conference, Journey into Healing, and the Living in Balance retreat. She has also served as a guest lecturer at several integrative medical conferences, as well as at Bastyr University in San Diego and UCSD School of Medicine.
Certified Erotic Blueprint Coach
Marina loves helping individuals and couples learn about their sexuality so they can experience love and sex in ways that fit them best.
Her own path of learning about the sexual as a life elixir started with tantra in 1998. She has since been dedicated to the pioneering field of somatic sexual learning, healing, and expansion as an educator, therapist, and coach as well as an ongoing student.
In 2007 she published her book ‘Hon som fick Veta’ (She Knows). She wanted it to be a book for children, instead, it became a book written by a child. In the story, a little girl knows that her parents will die soon. Accepting that she knows intensifies life and time. The story is also Marina’s own story. It is about the gifts and pains she has integrated from experiencing her parent’s death when she was three years old. Loving Play is the gift. A gift that today informs all the work she does in the world. Especially the partnered practice called Ritual Play that Marina founded in 2012.
She is also the co-founder (2011) of Solbacka Ecovillage in southern Finland where she lives part-time with her two boys.
Marina wrote a MA on the subject of Sexuality as Art (2013) and holds a BA in Aesthetics and Body Awareness (2004) from Helsinki University. Her license for Somatic Sex Coaching is from Sexsibility Coaching (2010) and from Erotic Blueprint Coaching (2017). She has learned about body-based treatments to trauma from The Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. And Margret M. Lynch has certified her as a Tapping into Wealth Transformational Business coach in 2014.
Jill Smolowe is the author of the memoirs Four Funerals and a Wedding: Resilience in a Time of Grief, also An Empty Lap: One Couple’s Journey to Parenthood, and co-editor of the anthology A Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents.
An award-winning journalist, she spent 30 years meeting tight deadlines as a foreign affairs writer for Time and Newsweek, and a senior writer for People. Her articles have also appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, More, Money, Red [UK], Bark, Adoptive Families and the Reader’s Digest “Today’s Best NonFiction” series. Her essays have been featured on Fortune.com, Time.com, SheWrites.com, and EverydayHealth.com, and appear regularly on the PBS site NextAvenue.org.
After completing Four Funerals and a Wedding, Jill found new expression for her interest in the intersection between grief and resilience by becoming a certified grief and divorce coach. Today, she partners with clients in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to help them identify, then take, the steps that will restore joy, momentum and purpose to their lives.
Jill lives in New Jersey with her husband, Bob. Their three grown children are frequent visitors.