About Brooke Summers-Perry
Brooke is a mom, teacher, artist, spiritual director, and the Board of Compassionate Houston’s VP of Programs. She integrates a variety of growth, transformation, and creative modalities to offer practices that are accessible, impactful, and potentially life changing for individuals, students, teachers, parents, and groups in all stages of life, Her practices and curated conversations cultivate compassion, connection, meaning, and awareness. The simplicity of the practices allows for immediate application in daily life, in every setting, role, and relationship.
I grew up in the woods in Kentucky and reconnect to these roots through contemplative looking, listening, and responding in visual arts and poetry. I have degrees in psychology and architecture and certification as a spiritual director. Creativity fueled many career paths and connected me to a variety of trades and social entrepreneurs. In 2005, I founded itscool2care. By managing peer lead teams in grades K-12, this community service group engaged youth in designing and executing advocacy and fundraising projects. Itscool2care allowed me to help young advocates discover their interests, hone their skills, and apply their efforts to boosting organizations they selected to support. Inspired by the fruits of the itscool2care team, in 2015 I left architecture to become the founding director of the Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer, a mission of the Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Houston.
For the past 12 years I have been accumulating and integrating a variety of compassionate and creative practices to design curriculum and classroom games based on creativity, self compassion, wholeness, and interdependence. These integrated practices are the core of my classes, workshops, retreats and one on one sessions with students, teachers, and parents, and practitioners in all stages of life. The practices help make compassion habitual in our daily lives in the classroom, the workplace, and in the home. For a schedule of classes, workshops and retreats, click here.
Now that you've read the somewhat polished short version, here is the the long version, straight up. In 2007 I had a "Yes I can have it all, do it all, be it all, corporate mommy burnout and identity crisis" followed by a rapid descent of poor decision-making. Which could be read in NVC language as - I chose strategies that didn't make me more satisfied and directly conflicted with my husband's strategies to get his needs met. In the months that followed my husband and I each set out on paths to figure out who we were, if and how we would stay together, and learn enough about what got us in this situation so that we could have some sense of security that we would never find ourselves in that place again. Of course, this was not clear at the time. At the time, we were in survival mode. After learning a lot about myself I can understand why I had been so skeptical about religion, politics, psychology, marketing, and why I repressed so much of my creativity and emotions. So when I needed help figuring my 'Self' out, I wanted to be sure I only looked to sources I could trust. Thanks to a close friend, I was introduced to a Counselor, Minister, and Spiritual Teacher, Dr. Bill Kerley. My husband and I started attending his Ordinary Life class. We each started sessions with a Jungian analyst. We went to workshops that were promoted in the Ordinary Life class, including Nonviolent Communication, The Enneagram, 'Being One' Marriage workshop, a Mindfulness workshop, and parenting workshops. I read so many books that my niece is convinced that someone will name me an honorary PhD in self help. These workshops took hours and hours of commitment and I am so grateful they crossed our paths. We obtained the tools to understand ourselves, our choices, our way of communicating, and were able to return to living into our beautiful wedding vows, "to follow (y)our individual growth, wherever it takes us." I've often wondered, "What if we hadn't found these workshops and resources? What if we didn't, or couldn't, make the time and financial commitment to attend? What if people could reach these tools before they were in crisis? What if there could be more accessible, smaller nuggets of resources?" I'm hoping that sharing these tools from a variety of sources will help equip others to find more peace and wholeness. I have been discovering the expressive aspects of myself that have been covered for so long. It is from a grounded, accepting, and curious spirit that I offer ways to help others unlock, enjoy, and express their own creativity and courageous hearts.
My wish is to integrate what we've learned into simple practices and share them with others seeking to live more fully. If the practices and resources lead you to explore each topic more deeply or to get more out of any or all of your roles or help your path in any way, then it has been worth every second to share.
Grace in, peace out