Services & Consulting

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES

Specializations:  women’s writing.  memoir & life-writing.    intersectional writing and culture that bridges gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, identity, and class.  LGBTQ writing & studies. experimental, avant-garde, and outsider/marginal narratives and culture.  feminist philosophy, culture, and practice.  critical thinking, deconstruction, feminist theory, and queer theory.    diversity & inclusion.  subcultures.  spirituality & interfaith conversations.  experiential education.  empowerment & transformation.   modern & contemporary, non-canonical Canadian, American, British, First Nations, and post-colonial world literature and poetry.  writing across the disciplines & humanities.

Research interests in addition to the above:  equality, identity, acceptance, self-expression & freedom. inclusion & belonging.  family systems, trauma & addiction.  women in society.  gender roles.  traditions, ceremony & rituals.  integrative therapies.  critical intersections of feminist philosophy, theory, and practice;  human rights & social justice.  the relationships between individuals, society & culture and group identity & behaviours.

WRITING AND EDITING

Writer and wordsmith: all things print, personal & professional.  Teacher & mentor for students: elementary to university.  Ghost writer & writing coach for writers.

PROJECT / DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP & COACHING

With universities, organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs I work to facilitate the achievement of visions, projects & mandates.  I provide innovative, collaborative partnership, leadership and direction, excellent analytical, problem-solving, and research skills, active listening, excellent communication and inter-personal skills, integrity, impeccability, and laser clarity.  My work often includes: vision & mission planning; developing, project management; designing educational initiatives; developing, writing, editing creative content; creating and/or meeting project initiatives by establishing accountability structures to prioritize deadlines and move projects forward with velocity;  building & managing diverse & highly effective teams; elevating company/team culture & engagement both internally & externally;  facilitating & leading groups, workshops, meetings, professional development seminars & events; budgeting & financial structures; professionalism with confidential executive and diverse stakeholder communications; training, coaching & mentoring; inclusivity & diversity.

INDIVIDUAL & COUPLES COUNSELLING AND COACHING 

I facilitate individuals, couples, and groups in expanding their knowledge and growth.  My focus is on empowerment, connection, and lasting breakthroughs that transform who my clients know themselves to be and further how they look at themselves, others, and the world.  I use best practices, possibility-driven and solution-based methods – as well as integrative therapies and experiential techniques. I combine intuitive wisdom and compassionate listening with decades of knowledge, training, and experience.   I offer laser clarity, new tools & practices, accountability structures, and the supportive framework needed for my clients to powerfully achieve their personal and professional best.  

Specialties include: identifying blindspots & blocks; gaining clarity and freedom in any area you are “stuck” in; establishing new beliefs, behaviours, patterns, and actions serve you: ones that help you achieve your goals, produce new results, empower you, and transform your life; building the solid foundations and accountability structures for a purpose-led life of confidence, integrity, self-love and self-esteem; establishing your values and core needs in life/relationships; teaching effective, non-violent communication; connection and alignment with your highest self & source.

Specialty topics include: gender & gender identity; sexuality; sex & intimacy; desires & roles; values & needs with yourself and in relationships; trust and commitment in relationships; effective, non-violent communication; establishing new beliefs, patterns, habits & behaviours; healing past trauma & pain (eg: parental neglect and abuse: emotional, physical, or verbal); addictions & recovery (alcohol, drugs, sex, love, work) ; betrayal & trust issues; patterns & systems of dysfunction; confidence & self-esteem; elevating self-care & self-love; acceptance of self and others; goal setting & accountability structures in any area of life.

Sessions are in person, online, or via telephone.  Email & texting is used in between sessions as needed.   All sessions are confidential and sliding scale is offered. 

if you are ready to move to the next level and want new results in your life, please don’t be shy: contact me! 

LEAD & FACILITATE WORKSHOPS & RETREATS / SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Engaging people, groups & organizations with ideas that educate, inspire & enliven.  Speciality topics are above.  Some popular workshop topics have included:

Adult specific:  Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships:

  • playing with identity: celebrating gender variancy
  • switching: gender, sexuality, desires & roles
  • understanding LGBTQ gender and sexuality
  • effective communication & listening
  • Are you ready for a new relationship? learning from the past & creating your new future
  • Values, needs & wants: healthy relationships that work for single folks and/or couples
  • commitment ceremonies
  • the dance of masculine/feminine  partnership 
  • practices for couples in building a life of loving partnership
  • the languages of love: how to have you and your partner win at the game of love
  • elevating intimacy: with oneself and/or in partnership
  • in times of breakdown: healing & rebuilding intimacy with your partner
  • loving the goddess: how to have your lady/gal see stars
  • exploring and embracing roles
  • exploring desires: dominance and submission
  • safe sex & making safe sex fun

 For women:

  • menstruation and our moon cycles
  • awakening & embracing the divine feminine
  • empowerment integrative retreat
  • wonder woman retreat
  • identifying needs & values 

For young people and teens:

  • let’s talk about sex: what you need & want to know
  • grrrls get smart: from periods to parents
  • empowered teens: how to communicate your needs & powerfully deal with parents & adults
  • menarche and coming of age ceremonies

For parents:

  • when your child becomes a teen: embracing teen-hood & how to empower your teen
  • work/life balance: rekindling intimacy with your partner
  • the many roles of motherhood: an empowering workshop for new moms
  • blessingway / new mother ceremonies 

 Writing:

  • poetry in performance: grade 1 – university level
  • writing across the disciplines
  • memoir: writing the self, writing your life
  • writing as healing: the path of discovery
  • novel & memoir writing: finding your voice

New Results: 

  • from intentions to accomplishing new results: strategies for achieving your goals
  • diversity & inclusion: bridging our differences
  • effective collaboration & communication
  • addiction and recovery
  • Letting go and making way for the new

Intersectionality:

  • building bridges across our differences
  • intersecting conversations for inclusion and belonging: gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability & religion
  • the F word: everything you want to know about feminism and were afraid to ask
  • women’s spaces & trans inclusion 

Testimonials 

Lesley is a very dynamic and engaging speaker. She has the ability to assist folks in looking at complicated, difficult and personal issues in a way that expands their comfort zone (without inciting any level of upset) but instead stretched their realm of what was possible. Lesley got them to engage in the difficult discussions and consider expanding their entrenched thoughts. Lesley’s workshop was a welcome opportunity to expand my thinking.
Treat

Workshop Participant , Colorado, USA

My experience working with Lesley has brought such amazing changes to my life, and as well to my partner. She helped us ignite our love and appreciation for each other again. I found Lesley to be very knowledgeable. By little practices and new ideas she pointed out just how special and lucky we are to have a partner that cares so much about us. She brought a fresh perspective to how we can be in our relationship and in our individual lives. She provided great recommendations for general well-being and practices to incorporate into our daily lives.

Her approach is gentle, open-hearted, and non-judgemental; while still talking about the serious matters and addressing them head on and asking us the difficult questions. I found it very helpful when my partner and I were in a session together, speaking to each other or explaining our thoughts, she would stop and coach us if we said something in a hurtful manner, and show us how we could explain what was going on for us in a more compassionate and constructive way. She never took sides and was not afraid to stop and realign  us when weren’t being supportive. I never realised how helpful it would be to have a mediator in my relationship, that guides me through, and makes me feel both feel empowered and valued. After every session, we would leave feeling open, understood, and happy. I remember saying once “let’s just go see Lesley, she always helps and we feel so great after seeing her.”

Lesley definitely was an essential part of us getting our life, and our love, back on track. The positivity that she brings when you sit down with her flows into your life. You can’t help it. I will be forever grateful to her for the advice, compassion, and positivity that she brought into my life.

Client

Vancouver, BC

Lesley organized and publicized our series of professional development workshops for a diverse faculty at NYCT, City University of New York. She did this extraordinarily well, while performing with equal aplomb her primary function as communication consultant to professors in various academic departments. Her enthusiasm, energy and efficiency helped our program attract more and more workshop participants over time, and improved relations with, among others, the Career Education and African American Studies departments. During her time as a Writing Fellow, Lesley also wrote for Writing Across the Curriculum publications while producing other critical and creative work.

Lesley’s best quality, however, is her boundless compassion and generosity. As both a colleague and a friend, I know how deeply committed to the work of social justice and consciousness-raising she is; how constantly willing she is to assume extra work for the good of her co-workers, program, and community. She is simply a hard worker, a fine thinker, and wonderful human being.

If you hire or work with her, you will add a star. I cannot recommend Lesley more highly.

George Guida

Colleague and Professor in English, Director of Coordinated Undergraduate Education, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, NY

In a word, Lesley’s performance is outstanding. Dr. Graydon is, first and foremost, an excellent writing teacher, who is also conscientious, well-prepared, and assiduous. She provides outstanding contribution and instruction in the craft of writing. Her workshops are marked by clear, effective, and highly interesting content. Lesley makes writing interesting and imparts a sense of urgency and importance to the critically important academic skill of writing. She uses humor, topical references, and sharp insights to make her points. All students and participants have responded most positively to her instruction and have expressed their appreciation for her significant efforts on their behalf. The feedback that Lesley provides, both in writing and in oral conferences, is most valuable to people’s development. Lesley strives to make each student better according to their needs and is always successful. Lesley makes herself available in a generous manner with her time and support. With Lesley’s excellent command of good writing content, she has, in her positive, professional, and interesting manner, not only made each student better but also developed an appreciation within the students for what outstanding writing is.

As a colleague, Lesley is first rate. She is energetic, personable, and relates very well with all levels of our organization. It is clear to me that Lesley’s greatest gift, among her many gifts, is that of a true teacher, in every sense of the word. She is a first rate contributor to the success of any organization that she belongs to. Her significant academic achievements, coupled with her truly excellent teaching and interpersonal skills, make her an outstanding contribution.

Thomas Wilkin

Colleague and Assistant Professor, Career and Technology Teacher Education Department, City University of New York, NY

Through Lesley’s loving, compassionate, and understanding nature she has listened and created the space to really help me understand and love myself for all that I am (and all that I’m not). Prior to speaking with Lesley, for years, I was having difficulties in accepting my sexuality. This created a lot of resentment and loathing for myself. After speaking to Lesley over a period of time, I really got that I can begin to heal and accept myself for who I am.

This has positively impacted many areas of my life: my confidence, my relationships with family and friends, and my experience of myself. I no longer have to hide, I can just be free. I really got that there is nothing wrong with me or who I am. I am embracing my sexuality and who I am.

G.L.

Client, Vancouver, BC