Over 20 years I have been in the health and wellness field. Luckily for me, the industry is so wide and vast that my gypsy nature has done well here, traipsing around, always finding something to explore and bring back to my clients. A crucial piece of this exploration has always been a mind + body + spirit orientation, laying the essential foundation for my entire career.
(By the way, if you prefer, you can see my career-in-a-nutshell list of training & education HERE.)
My 20's: How It All Began
After completing an undergraduate degree in psychology at Indiana University and then taking a six-weeks-long fitness/wellness training course on Maui the following Spring, I began my career path as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. After establishing a consistent client base, two years later I went to massage school as a way to offer my clients a more well-rounded wellness program; workout + self-care/recovery support. These three roles--fitness instructor, personal trainer and massage therapist--kept me busy through most of my 20's, building a small, successful wellness business in downtown Milwaukee.
In my late 20's, I also found dance which turned out to be a life-changer. It taught me how to move through life--literally!--in a whole new way. Instead of "athlete-ing" (I was a competitive athlete growing up) my way through challenging times, for instance, with a certain push and competitive drive, I found fluidity and ease. I found my grace. This was like changing out a pair of glasses and seeing in a whole new way. Dance impacted me physically, emotionally, spiritually. It was therapeutic on all levels and was a huge part of my shift out of a very long and heavy depression.
My 30's: Honing My Craft
I loved what I was doing and I was really good at it! But just as I was turning 27, I felt a significant change was in order. I moved to Boulder in 2001 to attend Naropa University to pursue a masters in contemplative psychotherapy. While in school, I dropped personal training, continued to teach a few fitness classes here and there, but focused mostly on rebuilding a massage practice. It turned out that the Naropa program wasn't quite the right fit, so as I entered my 30's, I focused on building my massage practice and transforming my craft as a bodyworker into a unique offering, weaving together deep and relaxing massage, Reiki, cranial sacral, essential oils, flower essences, Access Bars, Acutonics and copious amounts of presence and intuition to create a multi-dimensional experience, realigning clients, body, mind, and spirit. An awe-some and heart-warming time of my life.
I did circle back around to getting a masters degree in my late 30's. For once, I decided to go for a "traditional" degree. :) I completed a masters in counseling with a focus in school counseling in 2013. Although I haven't officially "worked in the field," the material and skills I learned provided a fantastic foundation for work in the decade to come.
My 40's: Branching Out
Approaching my 40's, I was clear that I needed to address self-care. My hands and upper body had been working really hard for almost 20 years. While I still wanted to provide a super blissful, rejuvenating massage and my Signature Integrative Sessions, to provide a deep tissue massage, I decided to add Ashiatsu Massage Therapy to my practice so that I could use my feet(!) and gravity (overhead bars are used for balance) instead of my hands. Super cool. Super fun. And loved by clients!
In addition to providing massage, it was time to consider what other offerings would feel right and good to round-out my practice, to shift the focus from "just massage therapist" to something that encompassed what I really do--creating a spark that sets big and small transformation into motion in the daily lives and overarching wellness journeys of clients.
So moved by the profound experiences that dance had had on my life, I realized that bringing a movement practice to the community felt right. I very serendipitously found and then trained with the Chakradance folks and am now a Chakradance Facilitator. In a Chakradance workshop, we use meditation, music, organic movement, and mandala artwork to reconnect to our Soul's essence. Next, I pursued training in the ever-evolving field of nutrition and lifestyle, finding a framework in Food & Spirit that beautifully integrates the clinically-focused Western ideology with the intuitively and symbolically-focused Eastern philosophies. As a Certified Food & Spirit Practitioner (CFSP), I use Food & Lifestyle Coaching with clients to explore how their well-being and dis-ease are impacted by the intersection of their food and lifestyle choices and their physiology and psychology. Over the course of 4 or more weeks, clients and I work together to map a plan to sustainable short and long-term healthcare goals. The addition of these two certifications provides a platform for a much broader scope of practice; that Chakradance and Food & Spirit marry so well and create a perfect union for exploring the 7 Aspects of the Self is just a bit of a (well-planned out) dream.
I realized at this time that I had grown my practice into what I like to call Lifestyle Medicine which intends to fully integrate wellness into every aspect of my clients' lives--the foods they eat, how they eat, how they rest and rejuvenate, how they take time to reconnect to their true soul purpose, what products they use on their skin. Lifestyle Medicine integrates all of my education, training life experience and heart to nourish and grow your Amazingness.
Most recently I completed an awesome training and will be teaching dance--like bootie-shaking, Top 40's, smile and laugh a whole bunch kind of dance. Offering another avenue to reconnect to your Sparkle-y, Amazing self, SHiNE™ Dance Fitness is easy-to-follow, it's for every BODY shape and size, and is definitely appropriate for dance veterans and for newbies--plus, it's really FUN!
Offerings For The Seekers
For now, this feels like a very full offering. And it is so heart-warming to see how these new offerings begin to reveal themselves and unfold into my practice.
I am excited to share these new ways to work with like-hearted people--the seekers who want to dive deep into their "stuff" and take from it the nuggets that allow them to live the fullest expression of who they are. Those who take time for themselves and making self-care a priority because we all need as much as we can get. Folks who recognize the sacred in the work along with the humor and light-heartedness of the journey, aware of the path as an expression of light and dark, contraction and expansion, and doing and being--who hold love at the core of decision and action.
I am a Magic weaver Truth seeker Multidimensional explorer.
I will draw out, enhance, boost, raise, elevate, unwind, guide, and spark transformation in and around you.
We will traverse the sacred and divine, whether or not you consciously know it in the moment.
And I absolutely look forward to supporting your journey in whatever way I can to help you Feel Amazing, Be Amazing!!
Your Biggest Fan,