“Owning your story is the bravest thing you’ll ever do.”
- Brene Brown
Wellness became a passion of mine when I started to feel like the life I was living no longer brought me the same joy, feeling of belonging, or stability I once prided myself with being so fortunate to have. It was like I was stuck in a riptide and couldn’t get out. It was hard to breathe. I started to isolate myself from my loved ones without knowing why and using unhealthy ways of coping with these new feelings. Since I have always considered myself an independent woman who was used to not needing anyone for anything, I had no clue how to even go about asking for help. This sense of helplessness left me feeling scared and alone. It wasn’t until I suffered a panic attack while driving along the highway to work one day, I admitted that it was time I start asking for help...but I had no clue how to actually do that.
….And this marks the beginning of MY wellness journey....
After my first panic attack, I could not drive myself very far and I definitely was not driving on any highway. For several weeks, I was constantly nauseous and dizzy and nothing was helping! I did not like the way that was impacting my productivity of all the plans I had and the life I had to live. So I proceeded to attempt to “fix” myself by doing exactly what I grew up watching others do. I went to the doctor with an attempt to “fix” the things that did not feel right… because that is what I observed my family and most of society do. I was thinking that whatever was wrong with me was related to my physical. I spent several weeks going to all the doctors and having all the tests to figure out why I felt so shitty. Eventually a neurologist finally said, “I think you’re dealing with anxiety, here some Xanax, and take it as needed.”
And there I was feeling better and managing my mental health with Xanax. I was grateful for that Xanax! The symptoms of my panic attacks went away and driving became easier, I started to feel motivated again to participate in life... to try new things. Yoga was one of new things I tried that was really making a difference. My body started to feel great and I felt a connection within myself I have never experienced before - I was beginning to feel “self-love”. A few months after I began to bring healthy coping tools into my life, I didn’t want to take the Xanax anymore. So, I stopped taking it. I felt empowered to take control over my own healing rather than rely on the pills and doctors to give me direction. Of course I was still seeing my psychologist because that was still very necessary. With my anxiety under control, my healthy coping tools continued to grow. I started studying Reiki, using essential oils, and continued deepening my practice of yoga.
It’s interesting to think back on my life and how accumulation of experiences has brought me to this place. When I was growing up, my family didn’t put much emphasis on health. Fast forward to my late teens and early 20s, I dabbled with going to the gym to try to get skinnier but most of my physical activity came from bouncing around to parties and basically any fun activity that included sex, drugs, live music, and my friends. I always kept a job through all of this - building skills for a career I believed I needed to have to support myself. I student-loaned myself through five years of college while working and partying full-time. I thought I should focus on being a big shot CEO of a large corporation if I was going to have to support myself just as I had always done. I proceeded to go from job to job being a top performer and often up for the next promotion. Then came the anxiety and the major shift. A bunch of small shifts turned into a big shift, and the realization that the path I was on was not the one I wanted to stay on.
So here I was, standing on my own again with a strong desire to help others by meeting them where they are on their journey...inspire and motivate...and just be there to support. I want to introduce the tools that I’ve experienced and studied that helped me slow down, keep moving forward, and find peace with the life I wanted to live. I am really in my element when I get the privilege to teach others to make connections in breath, in mind, in body, and in soul. I really am so in love with the opportunities I get to build deep connections in the community by sharing these movement and stillness practices. I sense that this is the work I am meant to do... because I wouldn’t be who I am today without the inspiration my clients bring to me every day.
Through my experiences, I have learned that life can be hard. You will experience light and darkness, joy and pain, and everything in between. There are things that you can do for yourself to make it not hurt so damn much. Remember, it is okay to allow someone to grab your hand and pull you along a bit to help you find the courage within yourself to keep going. I’m beyond grateful for the people that showed up for me at various times when I needed it; especially for those who reminded me that I didn’t have to be perfect...I am human. Growing up, I saw women in my life attempt to be perfect by taking care of everyone else’s needs and ignoring their own. I refuse to go down that same path. I am committed to taking care of myself so that I can better serve my community, my family and my friends. I believe the hard shit has to be dealt with - it cannot be masked with bad habits or even with a beautiful smile. It takes patience, it takes courage, it takes time, it takes effort… but ultimately you can set your own path to work through it. This looks different for everyone because the real work is done on the inside and each of you have your own experiences and your own stories that have brought you to your journey.
My goal is to create a safe and cozy space and a community to lean into while you to figure out what tools work for you as you keep moving forward on your path. I hope you will allow me to be a part of YOUR wellness journey. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!