I am inspired to heal and teach women about their emotional and physical pain because I understand the causes, and I know the solutions. I have personal experience with events and traumas that caused pain, and I have overcome many difficult situations.
I was born to parents who both suffered with mental health issues. Their unhealthy life choices put me in many at-risk situations. Having moved from town to town in British Columbia, Canada, and attended eight different schools, I was on my own just after my 17th birthday. Even though I had all the street smarts needed to survive on my own, I did not have adequate emotional intelligence and I struggled for years to understand my many triggers, thoughts, and behaviours. I constantly searched to find a place to belong, but I never seemed to feel settled or secure.
Years later as I studied the human mind and behaviour while completing my psychology degree I began to understand that, for most of my life, I had been operating in survival mode. My limited emotional resources and confusing choices were a result of my subconscious need for pain avoidance instead of healthy pleasure seeking. My subconscious behaviours were reactive to my environment instead of responsive because my autonomic system was in survival mode and operating from the perspective that my world did not support me. Both consciously and subconsciously, I never felt safe. My brain and body were hardwired to see the negative aspects of my life instead of positive ones. This realization helped me understand why happiness was so elusive.
At twenty three years old I began my healing journey when my brother gave me a little book called "Adult Children of Alcoholics". As I read the chapter on co-dependent behaviours and, one by one, checked off all my behaviours that matched the page long list, I was both relieved and saddened to finally find some answers to why I was the way I was. The more I read the more determined I became to understand how my childhood experiences had shaped me. I was ready to delve into learning and to make sense of what I felt was wrong with me. That one little book led me to pursue a lifetime of studying the experiences that shape our choices and ultimately our lives as I moved forward on the healing path to make my life right.
That same year I began my university education and focused my learning on human behaviour to answer such questions as: Why do we think and act as we do? What motivates and hinders us both in our internal and external reality? How does the stress response affect our body systems? How can we relieve physical pain that is caused by unresolved emotional issues? How much of our personality is nature and how much is nurture? Since graduating with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Adult Education, my journey continues to find clinical answers as well as more questions. My 25 years experience working with youth at risk and women survivors of sexual and domestic violence has given me extensive understanding of how those clinical theories actually manifest in our daily lives.
Although my journey has not been all sunshine and roses, each part has been necessary for me to learn, practice, and integrate a new way of living and being in my world. There were unexpected life patterns that would repeat and hinder me. Major and minor health issues confronted me, and family situations confounded me.
Traumatic memories and unexpected life events would appear and feel like they were blocking me from moving forward. Self-limiting beliefs, old fears, and clinical depression arose and needed to be transformed and released. Each situation allowed me to learn and practice new alternative healing and coping skills which further brought understanding to the source and cause of pain in many life areas. This journey motivated me to become a skilled and effective teacher and healing guide.
As each layer of past trauma was peeled away I was drawn to learn different and alternative methods of healing, and new ways of being in the world. With each one I gained amazing clarity and experienced much needed relief. A new sense of self emerged and I no longer needed or sought external validation. As my life began to shift I positively embraced my authentic self and my sacred feminine. Thankfully, seeking healthy pleasure became my way of being instead of avoiding pain.
With the guidance of teachers, I knew one day I would be healthy, happy, and living the life that felt right for me. Fast forward thirty years ... to now.
I am happy, healthy, and living my right-livelihood in peace and balance. My gift is to share my knowledge and personal experiences and to teach other women so they too can heal from their past or present pain. I am profoundly grateful for my life experiences that have given me the understanding and opportunity to empower others on their healing path.
During my journey I used many therapies and treatments: eastern, alternative, naturopathic, and allopathic. I also attended many workshops and healing circles. Most provided me with relief of my emotional and physical symptoms and enhanced my self-understanding. I personally continue to use some of them, as well as refer clients to knowledgeable practitioners of others.
There were three somatic therapies and two methods that were so successful in providing me with quick, effective and long lasting shifts that I chose to become trained in them -
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or tapping)
PSYCH-K® (psychological kinesiology)
Sacred Intuition Journeying
Experiential Self-Reflective Activities
Each of these healing methods played a significant role in my journey to contentment and happiness. Each quickly provided the answers to the mystery of being me. I learned how to stop stress from ruling my life, transformed self-limiting beliefs, healed my heart wounds, and acquired the needed forgiveness of myself and others to completely release my emotional and physical pain.
What is somatic therapy?
Somatic Therapy is a holistic form of therapy that is grounded in the relationship between the mind and the body. The word “somatic” is derived from the Greek word “soma” which means “living body”.
Three decades of research in the fields of neurobiology and psychoneuroimmunology have demonstrated the powerful connection between the mind and the body. Imaging technology and brain science has revealed how embodied the mind really is, and how the fight, flight, or freeze response arises in our emotions and memories.
These approaches access subconscious stress and trauma along with memories of fear, pain and anxiety that are held deep in the body beyond the reach of talk therapy. The embodied mind is expressed through a muscle or tissue contraction or a loss of free flowing energy in a body area that is connected with the event. For example, our neck and shoulders may automatically tighten when we come into contact with someone who actually is a real “pain in the neck” to be around.
Gentle techniques and clinical tools are used to release and transform the subconscious stress that is stored in the autonomic nervous system of our body that is causing emotional and physical pain.
Somatic therapies are used in many cultures and arise from ancient eastern practices as well as recently developed western techniques. Simple interventions based on movement, images, and breathing are taught and applied. These help to calm the nervous system and re-direct negative emotions that arise, quickly bringing you back to emotional balance and empowerment.
Somatic therapy releases and transforms stress from our daily living that we keep inside us, and transforms and heals painful memories of events, situations, and traumas that have happened since birth. It is a highly effective therapy that uses the power of your unique emotional and physical cues to serve as your guide to effective and long lasting healing.
What are Emotional Freedom Techniques - AKA Tapping?
Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping are a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern energy psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system and body simultaneously. The practice consists of gently tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points on your head and upper body while talking through traumatic memories and emotions attached to an event or situation. The techniques are powerful yet easy to learn and apply.
The act of tapping on the acupressure points sends a direct signal to the stress centers of the mid-brain where the amygdala resides. This area is commonly known as the “fight or flight” response and is the part of the brain system that initiates your body’s negative reaction to fear. The fear is reduced when a traumatic memory is recalled, and the fingertip tapping on acupressure points sends a message of safety to the body that neutralizes the emotionally arousing memory and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Tapping creates an electric charge that travels through the body’s connective tissues and soothes the body’s stress response. Painful memories are neutralized and new neural pathways are created. This process can often result in rapid desensitization of psychological distress accompanied by beneficial cognitive shifts.
Once the distress is gone, the body knows how to rebalance itself and accelerate healing. Studies have demonstrated the effective and quick ability of EFT to alleviate emotional imbalance, post traumatic stress disorder, physical pain, and illness.
What is PSYCH-K®?
Your reality is created by your beliefs - beliefs which are usually subconscious and often the result of lifelong programming. Neuroscientific studies have shown that 95% of what we believe are our 'conscious' actions, beliefs and behaviours are in fact governed by our subconscious mind! It is the subconscious mind that stores our attitudes, values, and beliefs. And, from our subconscious beliefs we form perceptions about the world and ourselves. From these perceptions we develop thoughts and behaviours which influence all our life choices which create the life we live today.
Based on Brain Dominance Theory and split-brain research PSYCH-K® provides a variety of ways to quickly and directly communicate with the subconscious mind and uses processes and methods for quick whole brain integration. PSYCH-K® is a simple and direct way to change self-limiting beliefs at the subconscious level of the mind, where nearly all human behaviour - both constructive and destructive originates.
Using a unique blend of integration tools based on ancient mind/body wisdom and contemporary neuroscience research, PSYCH-K® is a modality that transcends the standard methods of visualization, affirmations, will power, and positive thinking.
The process quickly changes self limiting beliefs, which then changes our behaviours and habits. The result is enhanced wellness, stress reduction, and life empowerment.
What is a Life Coach?
A Life Coach is someone who is professionally trained in effective methods that help you reach your goals and make significant changes in your life. They guide you to take action in the areas of your life you wish to change through a process of asking well timed and powerful questions that prompt you to evaluate and decide which steps are needed in order to reach your goals and make important changes.
A Life Coach is:
Your personal motivator who provides inspiration and support to help you reach your full potential. Think of your coach as a personal fitness trainer for your mind, guiding you to stay on track to accomplish your goals.
Your goal strategist who asks specific questions about what you want to accomplish, and assists you to re-focus and re-frame your thinking to ensure you are advancing in an effective and meaningful way. A Life Coach will help you reach your goals quicker and with less effort, so your momentum continues toward creating the lasting changes you desire.
Your accountability partner who holds you accountable for reaching your goals and making positive changes. Your coach maintains contact throughout the process to ensure you are progressing effectively. In partnership, we both keep 'your eye on the prize' and move step by step toward your vision.
Your Life Coach is with you from beginning to end, from the planning stages all the way through the execution stages. Our focus is to help you create your vision and reach your goal in the most efficient, effective and rewarding way possible. We guide you through the road blocks, give you encouragement, push you when you're stuck in a rut, and celebrate the wins with you along the way!