A lot has changed since I first began my journey. With this new website and deepening into what I desire to offer YOU and the world, I found myself wanting to express more of my story and how I came to be where I am.
So here it is!
For a long time, I lived my life for other people. Who I was for them is what mattered. I looked outside of myself to determine my worth, my value, who I should be, and what I should care about. This led me to a place in my 20’s filled with suffering. I had a broken heart, a broken life, and I was pretty sure that I was broken too. I was depressed, unhealthy, angry, sad, frustrated, just an overall mess of a human being. It was like everything I was able to shove down in my early 20’s was now surfacing. It felt as if the ground I stood on was no longer there. And I got lost in the gap between what I had thought my life would be and how I was living it.
That gap was filled with failure. I had done life wrong. I felt completely alone. I felt that my life, power, and happiness had never been mine. It had been taken from me a long time ago and I would never get it back. In fact, I didn’t deserve it back.
But there was a little part of me that didn’t believe the stories I told myself……a little whisper that remembered being free. A little girl that remembered running barefoot in the forest feeling she could fly. There was a little light inside that said, I am free. I am here. Come home.
No matter how much I tried to smother that little girl and keep her quiet, keep her safe, keep her hidden. She was there. I tried to numb her out, to pretend that she didn’t exist because existing was too terrifying. Being vulnerable was too terrifying, too risky. But she kept whispering, I’m here. See me. Listen to me.
Sometimes I would have the courage to take a chance, I would open my heart, take a risk, be vulnerable, and then when I would fall on my face I would swear to myself never to feel that way again, never to be a sucker, never to be a fool. I would tighten the armor and with it, tighten my heart. I got better and better at not letting the bad stuff touch me, but with that, I didn’t let the good stuff touch me either. By numbing the pain, I numbed the joy. This only increased my feeling of grief, sadness, and separateness.
There was so much shame wrapped around that little girl. I was angry with her because I felt like I had failed her. I didn’t keep her safe, I didn’t protect her, I was the reason she never got to live, never got to grow into who she was meant to be. It was all my fault.
So I kept myself small, afraid to be seen. There was a loud voice in my head that kept me down, kept me “in my place.” If I got too happy, or too excited, or felt like I could be something more, it would knock me down and put me back in my place. Who do you think you are? Long after I had outgrown the ones who traumatized me as a child, I kept their power alive in my head. Their voices and presence reminded me that I don’t matter, what I want doesn’t matter. Who I am doesn’t matter, and I will never ever be enough.
I felt so low. So lost. So alone.
But as I found out, that shit that I was in, was fertile ground to wake the fuck up.
I was 28 and had moved to a big city alone. The only place I felt better was in a small yoga class I had found. Taught by a little bald joyous caring man. When I was on my mat, the world got quiet. That little girl could come out and dance on that mat. It felt like the only safe place I had. It felt like the only time I had permission to just be. It was ok to exist.
So one day I decided to follow that light and I signed up for a yoga teacher training program at the studio. Through that training and the months to come my life and external living circumstances fell apart, and I reached new levels of despair. But, I had a place that I showed up to, a place that mattered to me, just as I had when I was a struggling teenager, and I would show up at the theater each day, regardless of what was happening in my life. And so just as the theater gave me a place to grow up when I was a teen, the yoga studio gave me a place to process what was happening.
My body seemed to be betraying me as surges of emotions I didn’t want to feel would appear on my mat. Suddenly it wasn’t such a quiet space anymore. But there was a part of me that was so sick of running, that knew the only way out this time was through. And so for the first time in my life, I began to stay.
And then I got sick. Really sick. Just as I had 4 years prior. Out of the blue, suddenly my body was done. It lasted for months. I couldn’t take a full breath, my lungs burned, my whole body felt like it was beaten. When I saw the physical evidence of my health falling apart, in front of my eyes, via a lovely little x-ray of my lungs, I woke up.
I realize how selfish I had been. I felt a surge of anger thinking of all the people in my life who loved me and cared about me, that if I died, if this was all there was to my pathetic little life, then…..I fucked up. I was not going to have an unlived life. This shit I was in, I was done being in.
And so I got serious about my health for really the first time in my life. I had had the luxury of never needing to watch what I ate. People thought I was healthy from how I looked even through my college diet of snickers bars, Dr. pepper, cigarettes, and coffee. Or 6 packs of beer, and shots of wild turkey that carried me through my early 20’s.
But I knew. I knew what it felt like inside this body. To feel completely at war myself.
And so I got physically healthy. I read every book under the sun and learned everything I could. I changed everything about how I ate, what I ate, how I exercised, slept, everything.
And it worked. I got really healthy and strong, and with that my energy changed, my sleep changed, my appearance change, my slavery to my blood sugar vanished. What didn’t change was how I felt about me.
I realized that the pain, the shame, the sadness, the grief, it wasn’t ever going to go away. And I was so sick and tired of fighting it and pretending that it wasn’t there. And just as I had with the yoga training, I took another step and then another and then another. I just kept walking. I took intense emotional intelligence workshops, I started trauma therapy, I took workshops that changed my life, I found somatic practices that made me feel like I was being exorcised. I went to workshops and had experiences that made me feel WHOLE for the first time. I processed pain. I faced stuff I never had before. This process was extremely messy and painful, but life-giving. Because on the other side of it was freedom. I was on the other side.
I felt little pieces of myself fall away, and other pieces emerge from inside that felt familiar. They felt like that little girl running barefoot in the woods. They were me.
A light came on inside, a fire began to burn.
Everything began to change.
I went from living in black and white to seeing color. I felt like Dorothy when she got to Oz and finally saw a world of color. Colors she had never knew existed. And don’t get me wrong, it was not all rainbows and lollipops, I felt more pain, grief, shame, and sadness than ever before.
I processed pain that had been stuck inside of me for so long it came out like animal sounds, like a child screaming, like the wailing of my soul. I began to meet myself, again and again, learning to stay with my experience. I began to turn towards myself rather than abandoning. Piece by piece I began to reclaim my power.
I felt the good and the bad. And for the first time, I began to really feel ME. I never knew what that was like, I would hear the phrase “be yourself” and I would have no idea what that meant. But I slowly began to feel more of myself grow inside. I was coming back home, I was remembering, reawakening, and returning back to me.
It had never been outside of me. The things I longed for, the freedom I desired, it wasn’t something out there, it was here all along, it had just been really fucking buried.
Looking back I almost laugh out loud and the complete roller coaster that it was. I went from living in a very small range of emotional capacity to literally stretching, ripping, and pulling myself apart. I am very grateful to have had a partner during this time who could hold space for me, and understand how important this work was to me. Transformation is painful. And yet each day I felt a little more freedom. I little more space. A little more of me.
And that kept me going.
I felt like I was shedding pounds and pounds of emotional baggage. The past began to fade like a polaroid picture, so when it would come up it felt farther away, and not so powerful and real in my present moment. Those voices that kept me down were still there but I started to talk back to them, and see them as the myths that they were, given to me by people who were lost in their own shit.
I realized it wasn’t about who I was with, or what I was doing, or where I was living, it was me. As they say, wherever you go, there you are. No partner was going to make me feel whole, make me happy, make my life magically better. That was about me with me. And the moment I began to take responsibility for that, my life began to really change.....
From my lived experience this is what I have come to believe...
-Humans are fucking resilient.
-We are all WHOLE.
-The body holds deep wisdom and intelligence we can learn to listen and attune to.
-We have the capacity and ability to hold our experience and meet ourselves in truth. And we can grow that shit!
-Healing, transformation, awakening, whatever words you want to use, is a path of coming back home. Of remembering, of reawakening, of returning to.
-And that path back home is one of reclaiming, befriending, and embodying the wholeness and fullness of who you are.
I believe in the power of the individual. When we heal ourselves we heal our lineage, our planet, and the collective. I think it is our responsibility to better ourselves, to deal with our shit, to grow in our capacity to respond from loving presence rather than react from fear. We don’t just do the work for ourselves, we have a responsibility to those we love, our ancestors, future generations, and this world.
The most healing I experienced on my journey came from embodiment work and somatic practices. I believe that EMBODIMENT is the integration and alignment of YOU.
Body, Mind, Heart and Soul. And when I was able to align, to embody fully the totality of me.
I went from being plummeted by the ocean waves, to being the ocean.
The moment I began to experience freedom, I wanted to help others find their freedom too.
I wanted to empower people on their own journey. I created The Wholesome Tribe, and that transformed into this. ME, here, with you. Being raw, real, and vulnerable because that's what fucking matters.
I believe everyone deserves to feel that expansiveness, that vastness, that SPACE.
To feel aligned. To fully embody and love the totality of who they be.
TO BE FREE.
I am grateful for my journey, and I am still walking this path, each and every day.
With Gratitude & Love,