I have been in the health and wellness field for over 20 years. Lucky for me, the industry is so wide and vast that my gypsy nature has done well here, traipsing around, always finding something new to explore and then bring back to my clients. A huge piece of this exploration has always integrated mind + body + spirit, laying the essential foundation for my entire career.
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 as I built a small, successful wellness business in downtown Milwaukee, WI.
(By the way, if you prefer, you can see my career-in-a-nutshell list of training & education HERE.)
My 30's: Honing My Craft
I loved what I was doing through my 20s. But I started getting itchy—yes, right around the good ole’ Saturn Return. Of course, right? Alas, I felt a significant change was in order. I moved to Boulder, CO in 2001 for the Contemplative Psychotherapy program at Naropa University. While in school, I dropped personal training, continued to teach a few fitness classes here and there, but focused mostly on building a new massage practice. It turned out that the Naropa program wasn't quite the right fit; I stayed in the program for only a year. But what I found in Boulder, were mountains, blue skies, and a huge dance community. Total life-changer. Dance 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 push and a competitive drive—I realized there was something else to tap into that felt better. 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.
So as I entered my 30's, I was dancing, hiking, and building my massage practice. I worked at 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 my Signature Integrative Sessions, I needed to change up the deep tissue work. After playing soccer for 15 years and dancing for a dozen, I decided that Ashiatsu Deepfeet Massage Therapy might be a perfect fit as it allowed me to use my feet(!) and gravity (overhead bars are used for balance) instead of my hands for deep tissue massage. Super cool. Super fun. And loved by clients!
In addition to providing massage, I was looking around trying to find something else that 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.
I pursued training in the ever-evolving field of nutrition and lifestyle, finding a framework in Deanna Minich’s work, Food & Spirit, that beautifully integrates the clinically-focused Western ideology with the intuitively and symbolically-focused Eastern philosophies. Integrated into my bodywork practice, I use the Food & Spirit principals, my Masters in Counseling, and intuitive practices in the Deep Dive Sessions with clients, using the body as a portal to explore their well-being and dis-ease, and offering sustainable diet and lifestyle suggestions to meet short and long-term wellness goals. I love these sessions!
As I mentioned, the other piece of my life that is so dear to my heart is dance. I have been so moved by the profound experiences that dance has had on my life, that I really wanted to offer dance, to bring it to others--hoping that it found its way to others who would feel equally as opened and enamored by it. I trained with the TranceDance and Charkadance™ folks for inward, spiritual journey kinds of movement experiences to offer. And for the other side, I trained with the SHiNE™ Dance Fitness crew, for a bootie-shaking, Top 40's, smile-and-laugh-a-whole-bunch kind of dance. When it's right and good, I hope to offer one or all of these to the community soon!
Offering Beautycounter and Floracopeia to my clients is also new for me. I love sharing these cosmetics and skin care, sunscreen, hair, and kids/baby products with folks because it's so important to know what we are putting on our body--as important as what we are putting in it. I'm totally on board with Beautycounter's mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, taking that mission all the way to Washington by lobbying for (much!) higher standards in the beauty industry. And Floracopeia is an amazing small company out of California with an amazing skin care line and my favorite essential oils and flower essences--I love using these and offering custom blends to clients to support them emotionally and physically.
Offerings For The Seekers
For now, this feels like a very full offering. I like to call it Lifestyle Medicine which intends to integrate wellness into every aspect of my clients' lives--self-care on every level through bodywork, energy therapy, the foods they eat, how they eat them, how they rest and rejuvenate, how they take time to reconnect to their true soul purpose, how they move, 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.
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 make self-care a priority or those who are really trying to implement this into their lives. (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 Truth-seeker and Magic-weaver and explorer of the many, many realms.
I tend to draw out, enhance, boost, raise, elevate, unwind, and guide, and catalyze small and big transformation in and around you.
Most days, We will traverse the sacred and divine, between sky and earth. other days, you will have a damn good session and not know where you've been. ;)
All this, and I absolutely look forward to supporting your journey in whatever way that I can to help you.
Your Biggest Fan,