“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”-Maya Angelou
In my early 20’s, I began to experience serious health issues due to past emotional trauma: anxiety attacks and back pain. I was told that I had scoliosis and would suffer chronic back issues for the rest of my life. I was determined to change my destiny so I set about treating myself holistically with a combination of massage, herbs, emotional/spiritual healing, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
Receiving the healing touch of massage therapy played a huge role in reclaiming my health and inspired me to make it a regular part of my life. After healing my back, I became a massage therapist in my 30’s and have been able to provide relief for other people recovering from the full gamut of trauma.
Then a couple of years later, my father became fatally ill with cancer and I literally thought my life was over. At 25-years-old, suffering from kidney stones due to the stress and on the verge of a breakdown, I was blessed to find a spiritual guide and teacher who gave me the love and tools of self-love that changed my life.
I would finally, many years later, embrace the gift of love I was given.
I am at times overwhelmed and in awe of how much we are loved, supported, and celebrated by the Divine. Mine is not a religious path but simply a spiritual one. I draw on this love and support on a daily basis and become stronger, clearer, and more true to myself day by day because of this commitment to my soul and whole self.
Without this sense of connection, I have found myself in perilous situations. Due to unresolved trauma coupled with the fear of taking full responsibility for my own healing (regardless of the wise guidance and loving support around me), I have incurred great personal losses and undergone severe depression to the point of being suicidal. I had to decide I was ready to heal and face my shadow as well as shine my light and embrace my purpose.
But until that time, I have lost my way a few times. In crisis, I opted to take prescription medication to come out of the debilitating darkness. This medication resulted in 2 separate experiences of rapid weight gain, both within a single month: 50 lbs, and years later, 20 lbs. Both times, I carefully weaned myself off of the medication (which stimulated this excessive weight gain) and worked my way back to myself, my normal weight and body frame through spiritual/emotional therapy, healthy diet, and a consistent fitness routine with a knowledgeable and compassionate personal trainer.
Because of this very positive experience with a personal trainer the first time, I was inspired and ready in my 40’s to finally pursue another goal I had not yet actualized–becoming a holistic personal trainer myself (NASM). Then I went on to get certified in Prenatal/Postnatal Fitness (Fit For Birth).
To backtrack a bit…
As far back as I can remember, dance has always been a lifeline for me though, as a child, I struggled with flexibility due to holding trauma. I wanted to share the beauty and healing that I’ve always experienced from it so in 1999 at 29, I began teaching bellydance as a healing art. In 2010, after a hiatus due to lots of transition and personal challenges, I resumed teaching my beloved “healing dance” at progressive non-profits and incorporating it into my approach to personal training.
Being on a creative and spiritual path is not a game. As a wise spiritual teacher once told me about life on this planet, especially in these times: “This is not Club Med.”
Everyone has their own path of healing and must find what works for them. I maintain a regular self-care practice of daily prayer, meditation, and self-reflection–my “temple time”. This gives form to everything else I do.
Practicing gratitude (no matter what), healing movement, healthy diet, breath work, self-massage, regular bodywork, time in nature, and hydrotherapy are my other essential tools. For me, it is not a luxury, it is a matter of life and death. It has saved my life.
I’m “really living” now. There is no turning back.
DO NOT GIVE UP! YOU CAN FIND YOUR WAY BACK TO YOUR TRUE SELF AND YOUR TRUE BODY DESIGNED BY YOUR SOUL AND YOUR HIGHER POWER.
I take all of these experiences and incorporate them all into my work. My life and work are now based in self-love: a path of service to the greater good and a labor of love.
I do not claim to do the healing; Creator does the healing through me. My job is to be a clear channel for this loving, powerful force and allow people their own healing and growth process. I am there to “hold sacred space” for each person’s own unfolding. It is an extremely fulfilling thing to witness and be a part of.