I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family. My father had deep problems with addiction and associated behaviors, and my mother was co-dependent, depressed and fearful, enabling my father’s addictions. Because of this dynamic, my childhood was filled with lies and abuse.
By the time I reached adolescence, I was very angry, sad and lonely, and I didn’t know why. Back then I didn’t have tools to realize that I was living in a toxic environment and that my needs were not being met. I turned my anger, sadness and loneliness inward towards myself, and became filled with self-loathing and an intense desire to escape my reality.
I began self-medicating by running away from home, cutting myself and taking copious amounts of any kinds of drugs that I could get my hands on. I dropped out of high school. I attempted suicide several times.
This downward spiral continued for years until one day I suddenly realized that I needed help. Looking back, I see this realization as the huge gift of my own deep wisdom cutting through all the darkness and pain. I enrolled in a 12-step program. Although addiction was not my core problem, the program gave me many tools that helped me out of the desparation I was experiencing. My life started to feel a little better.
As a young adult I began a relationship with someone who really, for once, believed in me. He encouraged me to continue my education, and to be my best self. Through this relationship I learned to see myself more authentically, and my whole universe changed dramatically.
We moved to Seattle, where I fell in love with the culture, the art, and the vibrancy of the city. I even loved the rain! I began to pursue my interests. This was something I had never really allowed myself to do; the rage, anger and loneliness that I felt as a child had kept me from discovering myself. Having the tools I needed to move out of the darkness of my childhood and the permission I needed to pursue my interests was powerful medicine for me .
I began studying art, philosophy, psychology, sociology, dance and music, and eventually natural medicine, yoga and Ayurveda. As I moved deeper into my studies of natural health and wellness, I recognized within me a very sincere desire to help others find the same healing that I was finding in my own life. I discovered my authentic passion, and it continued to ignite my pathway forward.
My new-found yoga practice became such a source of wellness for me that I decided I wanted to teach. At that time I was planning to be a naturopathic doctor, and thought that I could teach yoga classes on the side for extra income while attending school at Bastyr University of Natural Medicine. When I took the basic yoga teacher training at Seattle’s Samarya Center I immediately realized that I loved teaching yoga way too much to just do it “on the side.” I realized that becoming a naturopathic physician made sense to my mind, but not to my soul. On what felt like a terrifying leap of faith, I changed my degree track to Exercise Science, which seemed like the closest I could get to majoring in yoga and began to teach as many classes as I could get my hands on.
My natural desire to help others and my awareness of yoga’s immense healing powers pulled me towards the idea of yoga as a therapy. Several years after my basic training, I completed the Samarya Center’s yoga therapy training program.
Fresh out of school with my degree, I was hired to work full time at The Samarya Center as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, under the direct guidance and mentorship of the Samarya Center’s founder, Molly Lannon Kenny.
I experienced profound healing as well as both personal and professional growth during the years that I spent in this position at Samarya. I developed a very broad and proficient skill set based on the understanding of yoga as a spiritual practice that moves much deeper than postures and breathing. I had learned that to practice yoga is to practice a certain way of being in the world. Yoga, which means “union”, is about connecting to or unifying with oneself, with the earth and with the Divine. Within that union, we are healed.
After several years it was time leave Samarya and open my own yoga therapy practice. Finally, I was standing in my own authority, something that as I child I never really believed possible.
My appetite was still whet for more, so I began to study Ayurveda, the medicinal science of yoga, more formally. I began to study at The Kerala Institute of Ayurvedic medicine.
Half was through my studies at Kerala, around my 30th birthday, my father went into liver failure. It became clear that he was not going to live. I went home to help my mom take care of him as he passed. It was the most challenging thing that I have ever been through.
While my dad was dying, I called on my yoga practice like never before. Because of my practice, I was able to access a calm, still center and a boundless wellspring of compassion and devotion within me. I became a bigger person than I ever knew was possible during his death . It was from this expansive place within me that I was able to help my father leave his body. I am so grateful that I had the tools to be my best self during that time.
My father’s death changed me. When I returned to Seattle, I was able to look much more honestly at who I was and what I felt called to do. This honest look at myself began my journey into the realms of energy, spirit and plant medicine; all things that I had felt deeply called to investigate and yet had ignored due to self-judgments and criticism.
I began working with a shamanic healer and the Amazonian plant medicine Ayuascha. Participating in Ayuascha ceremonies allowed me to find incredible healing, a much greater understanding of how energy works, and gave me an introduction to the amazing world of Plant Spirits.
I furthered my studies in this area by honoring my lifelong love of and deep connection to plants and enrolling in The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. In this program I was able to study Plant Spirit medicine, Ayurvedic herbalism and Spygyrics (herbal medicine from the alchemical tradition) in depth.
Around this time I also enrolled in the Clairvoyant Awareness Program at The Institute of Psychic Awakenings, an offshoot of the famous Berkeley Psychic Institute, where I studied the art of reading energy psychically. I also began to study sound healing with Seattle sound healer Daniella White.
Each of my areas of study have been deeply transformative and allowed me to further grow into and understand who I really am, as well as how to organize and work with energy to facilitate healing in others. Even more importantly, I have been able to find a more authentic, meaningful and real connection to myself and to the Universe.
My quest is to help you along your pathway of this same transformation, connection, and discovery. Are you ready to unfold into who you really are?