My journey has been deep with riding the waves of life. My work, intention and vision stems from the core of who I am in this world but is profoundly affected by the experiences I have been challenged and blessed with during my life.
I have been teaching since the early 1990’s and have watched my style and direction evolve. In the mid 90s Sound Body Wisdom was born and a commitment to exploration on all levels of being human and with so many tools. As a musician I was aware of the powerful affects of sound, rhythm and music. As a curious one I studied and was certified in ‘Sound Healing’ because I felt there was something else below the surface. As a ‘seeker’ I explored and immersed myself in so many spiritual, religious, mystical and meditative traditions, practices and communities. As a dancer I knew the wisdom and connections of the physical body. As a performer I believed in the transformative nature of imagination, magic and power of the mind. As a teacher I heard the call in me to be an ally to others and saw the beauty in the space we create together, either one on one or in a group workshop. As a traveler I experienced the beauty of our diversity as humans and yet our common threads. As a student of life I learned and continued to learn about sound healing, chant, wisdom traditions, mind/body practices, Somatics, therapeutic touch, breath and more. All of these fueled my curiosity and exploration, allowing me to evolve and my teachings along with me.
In 2000 I had one of those ‘game changing’ moments, some people call it the ‘dark night of the soul’. I can now simply recognize it as a crossroads and life changer. I was presented with a choice to sink or swim. And even though I couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to swim I did what felt impossible. I heard my wise voice within me speak as I was on the shore of Lake Michigan with a symphony of other voices at a deafening pitch. I was feeling overwhelmed by all the inner noise that I stopped and suddenly spoke out loud, asking them to all be quiet for a moment. It was the first time I addressed them directly. I don’t know how or why but it suddenly occurred to me that radical self love was the only choice I could make. There was no other direction and to be honest I was so far down I didn’t have anything to lose.
The words and clarity that emerged from me I am still in awe of considering how dark those times felt. My wise woman spoke and declared to this ‘tribe’ of parts and voices inside that I would be their mother, friend, lover and ally. That I would, from that moment forward, love them (myself) unconditionally. I made the commitment to do this for the rest of our lives. I couldn’t believe what I was saying but most importantly I felt within me the necessity and potency of it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep this promise and learn how to do it but I gave all my focus and curiosity to learn how to love myself without conditions. Every single one those voices and parts of me was included in this love. No exceptions.
I learned to breathe again. To be in this skin again. And I noticed my skin had ‘changed’ because I had to recreate myself from ‘nothing’ and intentionally choose how I wanted to re-grow myself and be in the world. I developed tools and skills. I learned by trial, error, patience and persistence. The practice, reinventing and love that this took was deeply intentional and highly focused for many years. Every skill I had ever learned in my life I now would ‘MacGyver’ and reengineer to learn my unique needs and unfolding. It was amazing to realize that I found out how to fall in love and stay in love with myself as a survival mechanism. I had to choose between drowning or something radical and inconceivable. I took the leap towards love, and towards my self and the ultimate mystery. I had to let go of control because these were new waters I was swimming in.
I think it was 2006 when I had the realization that I hadn’t had a self-deprecating thought in a long time. That any habit or need to beat myself up had been shifted or replaced with loving myself. Acknowledging where I fall short but ultimately meeting life and inner mechanisms with more love (see my writing about my ‘Inner Love Posse”). This blew my mind and I wondered how long it would last. Here it is almost a decade later and this is still my truth. Believe me, life has thrown some curve balls along the way, but this core evolution hasn’t wavered. It is my constant compass.
It is astonishing to remember and feel all of this as I reflect and the courage it took for me to leap. To feel this wise voice emerge from within me and stand up for this potential renaissance. The voices and energy I felt and heard in those early days guided me on this path. They in effect ‘saved’ my life and certainly forever changed it. I am grateful that I could hear this guidance, whether it was my own wisdom, a survival mechanism or energies from beyond doesn’t matter. All that matters is I truly love and appreciate the person I am constantly growing into and the tools, skills and life I continue to cultivate with humility.