Experiencing them coming to freedom and healing within their grief, finding their empowerment, becoming embodied often for the first time. Introducing the experience of healthy social connection, creating community that supports every member towards their authenticity and highest self. Increasing someone’s felt sense of stability and safety. Establishing a self-organizing connection to the ground and the space around them that helps them live a fuller life. I love helping someone through the pain of personal development as a guide who holds a safe space and the conditions for that learning to take place.
My favorite environment is a dark early morning quiet room by myself. Next to the warm burning fire, wrapped in my cozy hooded robe and wool slippers. I’m sipping my adaptogenic coffee substitute or a London Fog tea latte with almond milk. Soothing my mind with a brain dump through journaling, reading, movement or meditation. This is an approach to starting my day which has taken me several decades to cultivate.
My journey with pain began with my own difficult birth, developmental trauma, and alcoholic childhood home. A car crash my sophomore year of high-school launched a decade of chronic pain and emotional fixity in my lived experience. At this point in my life I fully believed I would never get any better. I thought I would live with debilitating shoulder, neck and back pain forever.
A Network Chiropractor and a really good neck massage specialist helped me begin. Both were referred to me by my boss at the time, Kim Bachman who inspired me daily with her hopeful living despite a severely injured spinal cord. These physical injuries helped me to find and begin to own my physical body experience. It was the very small beginning of recognizing my habit to override and ignore my pain. This lifelong way of being oriented towards “achievement” at all personal costs.
These included the death of my closest relatives, a miscarriage, and the traumatic birth of my first child, among others. It was a serious car crash and traumatic brain injury mid-way through a yearlong yoga mentorship program that launched the path I am on now.
This dark night of the soul decade led me to get in touch with my spirit and source in a personal way. Making the choice of self-care for the first time in my life and accepting the label of “disability leave” from my achievement oriented corporate job changed everything. Here began the truly transformative work. I learned how to improve the function of not just my physical body, but my entire self = body, mind, and environment. I now live with a majority of pain free days.
I’ve had the privilege to study with many master level teachers in several areas of the somatic education field. My education began in 2007 with Kelly Rush and Forrest Yoga. I trained as a yoga teacher with a 30 consecutive day foundational training in New Haven, Connecticut, followed by a 10 day advanced training in Carnation, both with Ana Forrest. This was followed by a year long mentorship program with Kelly Rush, Suzi Zorbrist, and Willow Ryan. After teaching weekly yoga classes for Kelly at Two Rivers Yoga for 5 years. I began seeing yoga clients 1on1 as well. In 2015 as I recovered from the TBI, I began to teach chair yoga at the Carnation Senior Center. This opportunity contributed to my search for the gentle attending of my attention that my nervous system so badly needed!!
and knew this was the nervous system knowledge I needed to bring to the students with trauma in my yoga classes. I began the 3-year experiential training in 2017. I initially sought the work to help my yoga students with their trauma, but I found the work to be utterly transformative for my own traumatized and dysregulated nervous system. I continue my on-going study of SE by assisting other cohorts through the 8 modules starting as an SEP assistant in 2019 through today. I am an approved provider for current SE students to receive personal sessions for credit at all levels of the training and approved to provide consultation sessions for the beginning year students. One of my greatest joys is mentoring new SE practitioners through SE sessions and training experiences.
Those 10,000+ hours of experiential study spread over 4 years gave me more than I’ll ever be able to capture in words. Let’s just say my self-organization continues to improve through my own near-daily practice of awareness through movement. I continue to learn about the self (body/mind/environment) through both receiving and giving functional integration sessions which will serve me well into my nineties and beyond. Feldenkrais Method has me moving and functioning better in my body than I ever have experienced in all of my life….even when I was a young dancer.
I am forever in gratitude for Candy Canino for her competency-based focus, to Jeff Haller for his vision and healing hands, Andrew Gibbons for his specificity and tenacity in the way he teaches, Alice Friedman for her gentleness and example of embodiment of both SE and Feldy concepts. To Laura Yedwab for her quiet and exacting observations, and Dwight Parigee for his flow and example of incredible courage. And that’s just the maser level teachers of the Feldenkrais Training Academy.
I’ve also studied deeply with Joshua Sylve, Peter Levine, Mahshid Hager, and Kathy Kain among others in the world of Somatic Experiencing and Nervous System Regulating Touch. I must also thank Rebekah Ingalls of Earth & Sky Healing Arts for guiding me, teaching me and holding me steady during this incredible 9 years of school. You have mentored me in so many ways.
I continue to learn from my clients, mentors, and colleagues every day. At its core, my modality is a practice of learning. Learning what?
How to function more efficiently and effectively in your life. Most of us in our learning to move stopped at good enough. At some point in each of our lives “good enough” no longer works. If you are ready to get curious and travel the path of discovery, I promise there are many “useful for life” things I can guide you through. My mentor Jeff Haller say’s: “A good client session is one where both the client and the practitioner learns something new.” This somatic work is a co-creation, a co-regulation of two nervous systems coming together in connection. Often no words are necessary for healing to happen, just curiosity, deep presence and listening patience. Will you choose to learn how to care for yourself? Really CARE for YOURSELF.
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