Before I uncovered my authentic gifts to offer in service of others as a psychotherapist and trauma-informed yoga teacher, I traveled a very different path. I held numerous managerial and administrative positions throughout different healthcare organizations and was a self-proclaimed workaholic for over 20 years. It wasn’t until I discovered yoga that I realized how much I suffered from anxiety and how hard I worked to control my emotions.
Yoga invited me on a journey of exploration and self-discovery and was the first thing I found that I loved more than work. In addition, when I first started my physical yoga practice, I had back pain from several bulging and one herniated disc, and each time I left my mat I felt less pain and anxiety. As I continued on my yoga journey, it was through time spent in reflection that I came to a deeper understanding of how traumatic childhood events in my life impacted how I viewed and related to myself, others, and the world. I was beginning to taste and feel something I hadn’t experienced before – a sense of peace and belonging in my own skin!
Because of these newly experienced sensations, I was drawn to become a yoga teacher and later a Yoga teacher trainer, so I could spread the peace around. I knew that I wanted to create a safe place for others to begin such a journey, where it didn’t matter if they were experiencing any physical limitations in their body or what fears were holding them back from being more engaged in their own lives. As I guided my students to slow down through a gentle, empowering practice, I too slowed down enough to realize the tight grip of my past traumatic life experiences had softened. As my emotional awareness and intelligence grew and present day insights gathered momentum through my yoga and mindfulness practices, the long-held tension in my body began to melt away, creating sacred space to invite in more self-acceptance and compassion. Self-compassion brought with it a profound personal transformation, bringing me to a place of gratitude for all of my life’s experiences as those cumulative experiences brought me to an overwhelming appreciation for the resiliency of the human spirit.
Although not an easy one, my yoga journey guided me to and through a mid-life awakening to discover my greatest work yet – assisting others to deeply heal their minds, bodies and spirits through an integrated approach that incorporates yoga, meditation, neurofeedback and talk therapy. I truly believe this integrated approach provides a vehicle to face our fears and do the work necessary to attain balance in life as well as enhance our emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, occupational and social wellness to be able to live a heart-led life with compassion, gratitude, and peace. When fear comes up now – and it will – I remember that transformation may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but well worth it – just like the metamorphosis that a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly! I also remember I am not alone on this journey so I don’t need to face my fears on my own.