About Motivated Zen

Welcome to a new concept in personal wellness! 

If you’ve made it this far, it means you are already on a journey toward better life balance, awareness, and motivation, or are at the very least, looking for a new adventure!  So let me tell you what Motivated Zen is all about.

Motivated Zen is about wellness, mental and physical, that focuses on strength, resilience, and education.  It’s a gentle way to bring direction and peace to your life while learning to manage stress.  I teach wellness in three ways: through classes which teach you to relax your body by relaxing your mind; by helping you connect with nature in an intimate way through hiking, kayaking, and retreats; and through personal coaching.


Throughout each year I teach different classes that enhance wellness, some indoors and some outdoors. Gentle Stretch & Guided meditation is not a class you will encounter elsewhere, as it is a hybrid designed for people of all ages and flexibility to teach mind/body awareness and connection ~ with the goal of complete relaxation.  In a peaceful setting of gentle music and nature sounds, I guide you through static stretches and gentle breathing until your muscles are loose and your body is relaxed.  Then we conclude the class with a guided meditation to complete the relaxation process. (The effect is similar to a fully body massage.)


I’ve found, over the years, that the best way to help people find perspective, gratitude, and peace, is to connect them to nature.   I do this through Zen hikes, which teach mindfulness and awareness on slow walks in our city parks, forests, and mountains, and Zen paddles, which place you in beautiful, serene waterways within our metro area, the mountains, and at the coast.  The paddles allow you to connect with nature, which is reflected in your physiology.  In general, just being in nature for 30 minutes slows heart rate and increases endorphins (which is why you feel great after a walk on your lunch break). Adding in exercise, such as walking or paddling increases that effect even more and allows mindfulness to happen naturally. I also offer Retreats focused on wellness and personal strength building that are held in the mountains or at the coast, and are usually in yurts or cabins as an overnight adventure, or simple day retreats.  The setting and atmosphere of each retreat allows you time and space to connect with nature, gain clarity and perspective, and enrich your sense of self.  Each type of adventure is meant to leave you feeling exhilarated, peaceful, and refreshed.

Personal Coaching

I am currently accepting new clients for personal and couple’s sessions.  Each session is an hour long tailored around the issues you would like to address, such as: relationships, work and career, stress management, a new stage of life, life balance, grief, public performance, etc.  As weather permits, sessions may be held in local parks, or as part of a Zen paddle, otherwise they are done at my office.  My hours are flexible, and can usually accommodate evening and weekend needs.


Julie Dale is Wellness Director at Motivated Zen, teaching people of all ages to balance their lives through mind/body awareness, adventures in nature, find personal meaning and fulfillment through life coaching and retreats, and create a life of peaceful purpose. 


My work in the field of mind/body connection began in 2000 while studying sports psychology, motivation, and physiology in college.  Early on, I began working as a technician in the AIMS Stress Management/Biofeedback Clinic in Colorado where we taught clients to systematically relax and regulate their body through awareness and mindfulness. Eventually moving to Oregon, I earned a B.S. in Psychology from Washington State University Vancouver studying psychology, neuropsychology, pathology, and the benefits of meditation, mind/body awareness, Yoga, and Zen self-care practices, as well as studied Speech and Hearing Sciences at Portland State University.  My education also focused on Industrial Organizational psychology and the stress unique to the corporate world, and includes a certificate in Human Resource Management.  I went on to complete a post-baccalaureate Speech & Language Pathology program, and am currently finishing a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling while being a practicing Life Coach. I’m a member of the American Counseling Association, Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology), and Chi Sigma Iota (National Honor Society in Counseling).

Academically, my focus is on motivation and wellness practices, in particular; spirituality, physiology, neuropsychology, sports psychology, and in teaching mind/body connection, stress management, and wellness through meditation and exercise.  In practice, my focus is on helping people understand their motivation, how stress effects not only their thoughts, but their body and their relationships, and in teaching people how to create and surround themselves with life-giving, affirming experiences that naturally enhance their talents, abilities, and gifts.  I believe great peace and perspective can be found simply from being out in nature, so most retreats and adventures are outdoors, and involve tactile experiences, while indoor classes focus on personal issues, well-being, and physical relaxation/meditation.

Lastly, I am also a professional kayaker, and the founder and Organizer of Kayak Portland, a growing paddling community in the Portland metro area, as well as a professional musician for 20+ years, performing in and directing music programs throughout the Northwest and across the U.S.  I have been an individual artist as well as music director for one cathedral and many churches, and I take great joy in mentoring artists and athletes of all disciplines, working on performance, motivation, and reduction of performance anxiety.


Nestucca group

Scappoose Exercise

Julie Hiking 2014