… and I never looked back.
I want to tell you how I got into this line of work because it is a story of tough choices, utter confusion, illness, exhaustion, and super messy human shit that ended up really OK. Really different from what I ever could have conceived of, more amazing, more miraculous by the day. More rich and full of wonder and awe and beauty. More surprising and empowering.
First, as a soap box moment, let me just say, I dislike greatly the word “surrender.” I hear this word quite a bit thrown around the Spiritual discourse… surrender to Spirit; surrender to acceptance; surrender to an experience; yadda yadda.
Fuck that. I’m a Taurus. I’ve got too much controlling; too much hard-headedness; too much earthy denseness that I would ever simply surrender – roll over, be wimpy, but… I will allow. I will listen. I will choose to ebb, when ebb is what is being called for. I will pause and wait with kind and compassionate patience and feel, sense, and experience my way through change; but surrender, I will not. To me, surrender invokes the process of setting my own will to the side and being open without discernment and without opportunity to call on my own virtues and ethical code. So, I wanted to be super clear about this… There is something that sounds like “surrender” in this story, but it isn’t… it is pragmatism, patience, open heartedness, the cultivation of self-compassion, and an incredibly subtle sensitivity to track offness and alignment, much like how a sailboat tacks through the ocean. One small decision here. One there. One here and my consciousness, much like the wind, moving me in the “right” direction.
My story starts as a baby. I was born on May 4, 1980 at 4:44am. (Lots of 4’s there. Pretty balanced. Rigid. Firm. Grounded. Earthy. Taurean.) Oh, and I took 24 hours to come into the world. My poor mother, unmedicated and waiting for little me to finally make contact with the earth, Akashic records in hand…Landed. Body. Mind. Spirit. Vivaxis. Hara. Contracts. Sacred Gifts. Sensitivities. Divine Spark. Unique Tone. Symbols. Numerology. Soul Family.
And, my little special mission of living love, seeing someone for the absolute astoundingly miraculous and beautiful spirit that they are and truly and unabashedly believing in the potential for anyone to be fully here; safe and healthy in body; happy; living their greatest dreams through their own alchemy of gifts and talents.
When I was a baby, I would crawl up to other babies that were not feeling well and sit with them. I would know when someone was upset. When I was young, I could talk with the plants and the trees and the flowers. There was a rock next to a stream behind our farm house that I would sit on to talk with the fairies. There was a little hole in a tree that would take me deep down into the center of the earth – to another land, where I was met by my friend and companion a black panther. He would share with me anything and I would ride on his back and he would return me to the hole, where I would emerge back into my body sitting in the same place, on the rock, next to the stream, behind the farm house where I grew up. I would lay on the roof at night and talk to the stars and they would sing into the night.
As I grew up, it was harder and harder to hear the stars, the bull frogs and cicadas became too loud. My sensitivities to other people became scary. I didn’t want the headache of the man who stood by the oranges at the grocery store or to know about the lady next to the artichokes dying father. I didn’t want to know about those things; I just wanted to be popular in school and have friends that weren’t “fairies” and “make believe” spirits. But, I didn’t have friends like that – real friends. The kids in school made fun of me. There was the AAC – Against Amelia Club. I was just too weird. My sensitivity, compassion, creativity – it didn’t fit right with JCrew. And my spirit sank and I became sad and dark and lonely.
Sad, dark, and lonely doesn’t fit the mold of a Funeral Director’s Daughter (FDD). A FDD has to be chipper, clean pressed, personable, impeccable, smiley, and also needs to fit perfectly in JCrew. I failed this too. Energetically, the first born bonds with dad, so out of the gate I was already bonded to that individual who needed me to show up differently than how I was able to show up. For a while, I just failed and was sad. Later, I decided to just show up he got over it and loved me anyways. (I didn’t realize that was a possibility.)
Here’s the quick and dirty… I left when I was 14 years old. I went to a boarding school – begged to go. Loved it. I studied literature and arts and sciences and played field hockey. I visited my parents but didn’t live with them. I loved them endlessly for letting me go and be a little more by myself.
One day, I went to a meditation class. I laid on the floor and the teacher brought a little yellow flower in the middle of winter. As he guided us into a progressive relaxation, I heard that little flower talk to me as I drifted, for a moment, back into contact with my energy, my code, my truest self.
I went to college. I went to a great college, actually. I did some wonderful drugs. Studied Shakespeare and writing and psychology and literature. And, yet, underlying all of my experience was enough dissonance and enough difference from my “authentic way” I remained sad.
I went to see a doctor, a PhD. He put me on Zoloft for depression. All the rage back then. It did something to me, but didn’t make me happy. I wasn’t concentrating. Something was distracting me. So, he added Ritalin for ADD. Then I couldn’t sleep, so he gave me Trazadone. Then, I started hearing voices. Which, to this day, I believe were my angels trying to help me. The spirits. My jaguar. He took me off Zoloft and put me on a MAOI class of drug – I don’t remember anything from that entire year of my life.
I told that guy to fuck off and took myself off of these medications. Thank you, sweet spirit, for helping me to find enough courage to keep on, to care enough about whatever shell of a person I had become. Thank you, benevolent guides for your invisible but pragmatic and insightful support.
I graduated with a double major in English and Social Psychology. I went to Boston with a my dreadlocked boyfriend from Bard College and worked three meaningless jobs and played in the city have a great and easy time of fun and little money. I had the strong pull to get my shit together. So I returned to North Carolina to teach Special Education and going for a Master’s Degree in Education.
Something was off. Perhaps it was the fact I couldn’t afford my apartment, my books, and a very humble life on a teacher’s salary, perhaps it was the loaded gun that was brought to school by an 8th grader, or the systemic poverty that broke my heart as I would bring pencils and paper and in for those students who couldn’t afford them.
I was lied to when I was told my Master’s degree in Technical Communication would be creative. It was the most boring form of engineering I could have possibly selected. I love the technical pieces – who knew?! I was a flash developer for a while (animation) and could debug build scripts and write in DITA – an extensible form of XML. It was the type of engineering only an English major could do. It landed me a paid internship at IBM for $60,000 a year. What-the-fuck???
I so loved saving that money, because I had absolutely no use for it. My life was simple. I would take vacations, but I would work. I had a few boyfriends. Most were awful. And work continued…
In 2008, I was being treated for extreme stress, burnout, and a lifetime of chronic migraines. I was working in a Fortune 500 company (IBM) being run to bits and pieces by my job requirements and schedule; I couldn’t quite get ahead of the stress in my life. I manifested two things: a bigger job at a Fortune 100 company (SAS Institute) and an energy healer.
For three reasons, the energy healer became more important to me than my job.
First, the very first time that she held my feet many of my energetic talents and sensitivities came back to me. I was home again and my spirit was anchored back into the language and gifts that were inherent to me.
Second, because as she and I continued to work together, I realized that my migraines were no longer present. (It has been close to 10 years without one.)
Third, at some point during my treatment, my practitioner (and then to become my mentor, and then to become one of the most important guides in my professional life) encouraged me to take a class in Healing Touch – the primary modality through which she worked with me. I am now a Healing Touch Certified Instructor, Certified Practitioner, and the Executive Director of The Healing Touch Professional Association – supporting not just students but practitioners worldwide through advanced educational programs and practice support.
I use the techniques of this modality to assist in supporting many of the symptoms associated with illness, disease, pain, and physical suffering in my practice. It is a modality that lends itself to helping the body’s energy system balance in such a way that will restore access to the inherent healing wisdoms of the body.