Sometimes, pain is our greatest teacher. This was certainly true for me! In my early twenties, I developed chronic back pain. Many nights i went to bed early, just because I couldn't stand the searing pain between my shoulder blades for a minute longer. Sometimes I would hide on the floor of my office, because lying down was the only relief available. My shoulders were always tense, despite all my efforts to relax them. (Lesson one: you actually can't force relaxation.)
I wanted so badly to make this pain go away. I tried everything I could think of: massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation... you name it! Those things were all part of my journey, and I am grateful for the ways that I grew as a person and learned about my body. However, my pain continued. Many things helped for a while, but the pain always came back, usually very quickly.
As time went by, it started to dawn on me that this wasn't actually just about my body. This pain had deep roots in my personal history, my emotions, and my way of being (and coping) in the world. My pain was a signal to me, a symptom of something much bigger and deeper, and not something I could cure from the outside. My pain actually made perfect sense, seen through this lens. I believe this is true for all of us -- our bodies hold the stories of our lives. Our bodies can be sources of incredible information, and profound healing too.
I became really fascinated by the connection between body, belief, and emotion. Eventually, my insatiable curiosity about the body-mind connection led me to pursue a master's degree in Somatic Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Along the way, I stopped trying to fix my body, and started paying more attention to my feelings, my emotions, my relationships, my anxieties. And gradually all of those things - along with my pain - started to change.
That's the short version of a much longer story, of course! Along the way, I discovered my calling, which is to help other people connect more deeply with themselves, with their bodies and their hearts and their emotions, so that ultimately they develop a bigger capacity for enjoyable, comfortable, functional relationships with other people -- partners, lovers, friends, family, co-workers. Don't we all want that, in our deepest hearts?
I am very grateful for my own journey, and grateful to get to do this work with others. The journey is different for everyone, and that is part of the beauty.