This is my story.
This is my favorite photo of me. A humble selfie. I’m not made-up or coiffed or Face-Tuned. It’s not a particularly well-composed shot by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not Instagram-ready. But in this photo is the woman I was born to be, and it took me 48 years to meet her.
See that river behind me? Up in the Himalayas, in the northern part of India, there are five rivers. Those rivers flow down and merge into two rivers. And then those rivers, one calm and one raging, flow down and merge at an ancient, remote, tiny town called Devprayag to become the River Ganges.
(I promise I’m going somewhere with this.)
The point at which the two rivers merge to become Mother Ganga is considered sacred. There, it is said that if you dip into the Ganges three times, you will clear your family’s karma through every generation.
The water was about 50 degrees. The rapids coming in meant that you had to hold onto a heavy chain in order to keep from being swept away. But I did it anyway. And when I came out, I felt a solidity, a stillness, a peace inside that I’d never known before.
I stood on the landing overlooking the river and thought about all that had come before, all I had known and all I had lost. And on that landing, I knew this couldn’t have happened any other way.
Sometimes you have to lose it all to gain everything.
I had degrees, a husband and beautiful daughter, a lovely home, a high-visibility job, lots of wonderful friends. I had an active social life and was a hard-working community volunteer. I looked from the outside like I had it all together. But on the inside, I was a messy tangle of fears, insecurities and resentments. I was hustling for approval, overperforming in some areas of my life and yet completely underperforming in others, sweeping under the rug anything I didn’t want to see. I had a deep and abiding sense that I was fundamentally broken, that there was surely a great cosmic memo everyone had gotten but me. I was passionate, intellectual, and driven – but I was also buckling under the weight of two tons of toxic shame. The shame was winning.
My life was out of my own control. And I was angry. So angry.
Then a miracle happened: I started losing everything. (And yes, my use of the word “miracle” is very intentional here.) Within a span of two years’ time, I had cervical cancer followed by a hysterectomy, got divorced, had to sell my house and move my daughter and myself into an apartment, got fired from my job, had a falling out with a close friend…I know, it sounds like a shitty country song.
But I would not take any one of these things back if I could.
I had to lose all these things, or I would have kept just whistling past the graveyard. I would have continued to neglect important relationships, relationships I cherish. I would have continued to deplete my own resources in a constant effort to feed the approval machine. And most significantly of all, I would not have had the tools I needed to slay the dragons of generational trauma to stand in my absolute truth. I had to learn radical accountability, I had to create boundaries, I had to accept myself, I had to re-learn joy. I had stop wasting precious time and energy hating myself.
On that landing where the two rivers meet in Devprayag, I saw clearly the divine providence in my path.
I had to lose it all to gain everything. I had to start over.
Heal yourself, heal the world.
I’m a licensed master social worker; 500 RYT certified yoga teacher with additional training in Yin and trauma-informed practices; a Reiki master; and a transformational coach. I’m here because yoga, meditation, breathwork, energy work, and therapy saved my ass, restored me to the people who care about me, allowed me to envision my highest self and show up as her. I want to share these tools with you, too – because the world is broken and needs every one of us. The world needs your strength, your compassion, your wisdom, the gifts only you possess, for the betterment of all.
I didn’t make up any of these technologies. Some have been passed down for thousands of years; some are derived from evidence-based practices in neuroscience. But I can show you how to use the tools I’ve learned to heal what hurts. And then together, we will heal the world. THIS is my “why.”
Thanks for reading. If this story resonates, please reach out. I’d be honored to walk with you.