I value support:
We all need it, and often we don’t know how to reach out, ask, or receive it. I know I didn’t. Four years ago I went through one of the hardest times in my life. My husband and I separated. We lived in constant chaos. He was traveling weekly for his job and we moved states 3 times within a period of 4 years... (read more below)
I value motherhood:
I didn’t know I had the capacity to Love like this…this powerful force is undeniable. It is also that…a powerful force! We will do things we never thought possible when it comes to our children. Somehow we make it work, somehow we pull through, somehow we make the change we never thought we could or would make. Love turns into action. We also AWAKEN to ourselves through birth and childbearing... (read more below)
My values are integrated in every part of my work. What I have experienced in my life and the healing journey that I have traveled are also very influential pieces in my work. I have shared here a few snippets from my story so you can better understand how my values have integrated into my work.
I value healing:
I am a nurse and deep down I’ve always been a healer…that’s why I felt called into nursing in the first place. I have worked in bedside care for 9 years, 4 of those as a Patient Care Technician and the other 5 as an RN.... (read more below)
I am a nurse and deep down I’ve always been a healer…that’s why I felt called into nursing in the first place. I have worked in bedside care for 9 years, 4 of those as a Patient Care Technician and the other 5 as an RN. After graduating in 2010 with my Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN, yes there’s an acronym for just about everything in the medical world) I started working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at a local hospital. I then moved to the medical/surgical/trauma PICU at a children’s hospital for the remainder of my nursing years as well as taught nursing students as a clinical adjunct for a university. This definitely qualified me as a nurse, but as far as my understanding of health and healing? Well that was a different story…
In 2014 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl…outside of the hospital. I received quite a bit of backlash from colleagues for this choice, but I had a deep knowing that this was the birth path I needed to take. I birthed at a freestanding birth center with no IV, no drugs, and minimal intervention. I birthed more then just my daughter that day, I birthed myself. I realized the power that lives within me and in ALL women. Despite having physically birthed, all women posses the power to grow, nurture, and bring life into this world.
"The process of curing is passive, that is, the patient is inclined to give his or her authority over to the physician and prescribed treatment instead of actively challenging the illness and reclaiming health. Healing, on the other hand, is an active and internal process that includes investigating one’s attitudes, memories, and beliefs with the desire to release all negative patterns that prevent one’s full emotional and spiritual recovery."
by Caroline Myss in Anatomy of the Spirit
Photo by @julietteordonia
Photos by @julietteordonia
After maternity leave, I went back to bedside nursing. It was extremely difficult for me. Birth was a profound experience which lead me to realize the immense capabilities of the human body apart from all of my medical knowledge. I had a new awareness of what HEALTH actually meant. I had a physical body as well as an emotional and spiritual one, all of which were interconnected and needed equal care. This caused me to feel ethically torn and emotionally burnt out working in the ICU and I decided to step out of the nursing field.
As I transitioned away from nursing, I became painfully aware of the self deprecating lifestyle I had developed. I had become an expert in care-taking anyone and everyone…except for me. I was physically depleted, mentally strained, and spiritually disconnected. When we don’t give life to ourselves FIRST, things can get really unbalanced. We become burnt out, resentful, self pitiful, and poor caregivers. I was one of those. I resentfully filled everyone’s plate but mine and then victimized myself when I sat down to eat and found nothing there; no food, no nourishment, just an empty plate.
Over the past few years I have been learning, slow as it may be, to fill my plate, strap on my own oxygen mask, and nurse myself first. This self care and healing journey has been beautiful and challenging, joyful and painful. Motherhood has taught me more then I could ever imagine and this is just the beginning. Healing is the ultimate work, and I believe it is the most important thing I will EVER do in this life! Since leaving the hospital I have studied different holistic health care modalities. Reiki and energy work have given me the insight to the connection I always felt was missing in the healthcare world. Our bodies are interconnected by this life force energy given to us by God or a Higher Power who is The Healer. We are ONE system, making health a holistic and sacred experience, and making the role of the healer one of the conduit.
We all need it, and often we don’t know how to reach out, ask, or receive it. I know I didn’t. Four years ago I went through one of the hardest times in my life. My husband and I separated. We lived in constant chaos. He was traveling weekly for his job and we moved states 3 times within a period of 4 years. We had our first child and had just had our second when life pretty much fell apart. He moved out and I was living at our home with our 2 children. I lived in so much fear and shame that I struggled to fully acknowledge the struggles we were facing. I knew I needed support…but I felt like I was underwater barely coming up for enough air to survive and I wasn’t even aware there was a lifeboat at the surface.
Thankfully many divinely appointed people entered our lives at that point in time. We started getting the support we needed for our marriage and we were able to reintegrate as a family. A few months later I was still really struggling. I felt like “We did all this work, all this therapy, and I’m still feeling like I’m drowning. Why am I still drowning?” The reality was, I had never really invested in myself as an individual. I was 100% committed to my family, so much so that it became 100% of my identity. I had lost my essence, what made me ME before I got married, before I had my beautiful babes…but did I even know who I was then? My identity was so wrapped up in achieving and working as a nurse and staying with in the confines of the boxes I had learned were acceptable, where was my essence? WHO WAS I?
I was searching for something… I didn’t know quite what it was, but I was searching. I started looking for a therapist who could help me with my daughter…because I still wasn’t aware that it was me who really needed support. I found a woman who was a therapist/spiritual life coach who I thought would help me “fix” the issues my daughter was having and low and behold I realized a couple sessions in that meeting her was actually for ME. HA! I worked with her for one year and it was like tilling the soil of my soul, it was major preparation for what was to come.
Photo by Fully Alive Photography
As I was working with her I realized I had been sorely neglecting myself in all ways. Self care was not on my radar at all, until I decided to change that. I started working with an energy healer who specialized in Biomagnetism and she helped me start to unearth and identify conflicts and generational patterns I carried in my body. Concurrently I met a woman who was a Reiki Master and I started going to sessions with her as well. I decided shortly after that I would like to get trained in Reiki so I could start to become more aware of my own energy and help myself to balance it. I started my training and then shortly after, an opportunity came up for me to go on a retreat. The retreat was logistically something I never felt I could do, leave my kids for 5 days and invest a large sum financially into…well…myself! But despite the barriers, I CHOSE ME, and I went on retreat. The retreat broke me wide open, it was absolutely transformational.
So much shifted after that. I continued dedicating time and resources to my own healing and caring for myself, which is something I had not done much of before. As I did this, I started remembering pieces of myself that had long since been buried. I started feeling empowered to be ME. I did this with A LOT of support from the many women who have come before me and paved the way. In the process I realized that I was holding back big parts of my voice and my gifts from the world. I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore – so just like these women created a space of gentleness and grace for me to heal, I wanted to do the same for my community…thus this private holistic health practice was born.
Below are links to each of the healers and coaches mentioned above
Therapist and Spiritual Life Coach: Kate Lally
Reiki Master Teacher: Tamiko Ruby J
Biomagnetism Practitioner: Joanne Baldwin
Retreat and Healer: Jules Blaine Davis
Did I mention I’m a PK (preacher’s/pastor’s kid)?? Yeah there’s bound to be some preaching going on at some point in time around here. In all seriousness, growing up in Evangelical Christianity has had it’s fair share of damaging messages, but God is Love is not one of them. Did you notice this passage says God is Love NOT God is a white man in the sky? Sadly this is what many of us have been indoctrinated to think about God. Where does this leave women and mothers? Through out history religion has put many things in boxes that are limiting and exclusive; God, women, justice, sex, gender, marriage, money, work, service are just to name a few. I’m not going to profess to be an expert in theology of any kind. All I can speak to is my own experience, and motherhood has showed me what Love truly is time and time again, and it is Holy.
I didn’t know I had the capacity to Love like this…this powerful force is undeniable. It is also that…a powerful force! We will do things we never thought possible when it comes to our children. Somehow we make it work, somehow we pull through, somehow we make the change we never thought we could or would make. Love turns into action. We also AWAKEN to ourselves through birth and childbearing. There is a reason our babies stay in the womb for 9 months (actually 10 if you count the month of conception)…it is a time of awakening for us. We feel them move for the first time and we realize that LIFE is growing there. It is no longer just us, but then it is all about us. We realize that if we don’t eat they don’t eat, if we consume something toxic they consume something toxic, if we are unsafe their lives are as well. We learn a whole new side of Love we possibly never understood before.
"God is Love. "-The Bible
Photo by Fully Alive Photography
We can only love others as much as we love ourselves, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I had learned my whole life that loving yourself was selfish and that God loved you despite your unworthiness. Hmmm, things were not adding up, either I had God in a box again or Love was in there, or for Christ’s sake maybe they were both in the damn box.
Yes, I’m sure you guessed it, they were both in the box! There has been a lot of re-learning for me in and around self-love, self worth, self-care and God. I connect to God, Source, Spirit as MOTHER now. She is fierce, just, gentle, nurturing, the complete essence of what love is. She has taught me that if we Love ourselves this enables us to Love the world. Our feminine gentleness and fierceness is desperately needed to balance the scales of thousands of years of worldwide culture being dominated by God as Father.
"Love and justice are not two. With out inner change there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters."
–Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams
The more we learn and practice loving ourselves, the more able we are to love others. The more we pursue our own inner healing, the more we can contribute to collective healing.
"We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves."
-Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection