When I was twelve, I remember spinning on a swing. Before I knew it, I floated out above my body, saw a series of visions that I was to witness in the next several years of my life, and was plummeted back into my body with the impact of my fall to the ground. This was a fundamental event for me in my life. On the brink of puberty, I learned that I was not my body and that insight into the future could be witnessed beforehand. Not surprisingly, I have approached my life with an openness to the divine and a curiosity about my life purpose.
At the age of 19, I attended a personal growth seminar called The Sage Experience that included material focused on energy work and consciousness. It was at that time that I learned that all my life I had been picking up on other people’s physical and emotional material, not realizing that it was not mine. Without an awareness that I was feeling other people’s pain, I had no way of fully understanding my experience or of protecting myself. Criticized as a child for being “oversensitive,” I now understood that I was actually a “sensitive,” a “kinesthetic empath” and that this was a gift and a tool for healing. What a relief to know that I did not need to own all that pain!
In college, studying international environmental politics at the time, I would take a term off after every two to study psychic reading with Sylvia Brown or classes in massage and rebirthing. I was torn between my concern about future of our species and the environment and how pivotal it is that we learn to manage the resources of our planet, and the importance of waking up and healing as individuals. It was not until I moved back to Washington DC to find a job in international environmental politics that the way opened for me to begin my private healing practice. (While dating an international environmental lawyer, it became clear to me that we all have different gifts and that mine was one that could help others to accomplish theirs more effectively.)
As soon as I started to practice massage therapy, all the different pieces fell together. As soon as I started touching people, information and guidance came through clearly. Soon after my program, I met and married a man who was a counselor with whom we developed our own bodymind method of healing. I would do bodywork and come in to his office and do a channeling that often would summarize the therapy work that they had been doing for a number of years. My channeling work was flowed as I felt a powerful presence that guided the work that I was doing.
Within a couple years, Hakomi Body Centered Therapy came into our lives; the principles and methods of this work that were so much like our own were guided by the tenets of Buddhism. The work had been developed to help us to more effectively get out of the way of the process and to facilitate healing naturally and with ease. While in Chicago, I enrolled in a masters program (while simultaneously teaching Spiritual Bodywork in the program) in Creation Centered Spirituality and Counseling and used it as an opportunity to reflect upon my own issues with religion so that I was able to be more open to Spirit as it was coming through me in my life and my work.