More about Lucinda…

Childhood Background

I was born into darkness. Bathed in my mother’s grief while in the womb, she  gave birth to me just 10 months after my 4- year old sister died of a brain tumor. Growing up I felt invisible, like my mother was always looking past me for someone else.  I’ve devoted my life to learning how to let my light shine and be seen for the unique and valuable being that I am.

My journey has enabled me to understand the dark night of the soul, both my own and others’ and share what I’ve learned for myself to light the way for YOU.

My Near Death Experience

At 8-years old, I had a near-death experience, which is a job requirement for a shaman.  Knocked unconscious in a swimming pool accident, I began breathing in water. I still vividly remember being in a tunnel going toward the light.  It was bliss and I wanted to go into it but I can still hear a voice saying “It’s not your time.  You must go back. You have work to do there.” However, I’ve always been grateful for having had a glimpse of what it’s like on the other side and I’ve been following my bliss ever since.

Professional Background

In 1988, I left teaching at university level to start a private practice as a hypnotherapist, incorporating Focusing in 1999, into a program that I’d already developed: INNER GOLF, a program to master the mental game of golf that generated significant media interest including numerous articles in newspapers and magazines as well as many television and radio interviews.

Later as I got interested in fitness and nutrition, I developed LighterYOU, a program to help women improve their health and fitness using Focusing to find ways of eating and moving that fit for them. Simultaneously, I taught yoga and Pilates classes at the YMCA and was also a Personal Fitness Trainer there for 10 years.  My signature class that I created blending yoga/Pilates and Focusing was one of the most popular classes that the Y offered during my time there.

Since 2008, I’ve been teaching beginning and advanced Focusing courses for Focusing Resources, one of the top Focusing training organizations in the world.


In 2012, I co-authored a research paper for the Mayo Clinic for a project that I helped design. For this project,  I mentored a Professor and his colleague at the Mayo Clinic in learning Focusing and who then assisted me in teaching Focusing to a group of medical students in 2010.

Teaching an Experiential Mind–Body Method to Medical Students
Cara Alexander & Robert D. Sheeler & Norman H. Rasmussen & Lucinda Hayden
Academic Psychiatry 2014

From 1994-2000, I authored many articles on the mental game of golf.


I did my double undergraduate studies in Cultural Anthropology/Psychology and Literature/French at the University of California at Santa Cruz, including study at the Sorbonne in Paris. I hold a Master’s degree in Teaching from California State University at San Francisco, where I taught English, ESL and Writing for seven years.

In addition to studying about shamanism through the cultural anthropology department at UCSC,  I’ve trained in a more hand-on way with Michael Harner, Jane Bell and Nicky Scully, as well as Angeles Arrien.  I spent five years at an intensive meditation school, Psychic Horizons, graduating from their clairvoyant program.  I’ve also got numerous other Certifications and trainings.


I live in San Francisco and also have a charming cottage retreat in Joshua Tree, in the High Desert near Palm Springs, CA.  I love dancing Argentine tango, sailing on San Francisco Bay and traveling the world, practicing the languages I’m studying.

For over ten years, I’ve had the privilege of being one of the many students of Lucinda Hayden. Lucinda is a rare jewel in our world who shares passionately with all her students the life force of joy and compassion. You feel her presence. You trust her wisdom and that she lives out her teachings.

Lucinda will continue to be my teacher because she herself is always growing and learning. I can’t recommend more highly a better, more fluent teacher of love and growth.