Stepping out from my studio one morning, I could see for 100 miles to the snowcapped mountains, and drank up the beauty and my blessings, before the sun fully crested the horizon in the East. In that moment, it was the distance that was more clear in the dawn's light, a helpful reframe in a moment of doubts and longings for all the wonderful years in the Sebastopol area, and all the hardships faced being a stranger in this new land.
Reflecting on the journey that started three years ago, in which I embarked into the world of academia and licensure in the interest of building a bigger foundation and combining the language of professional psychology with the more cutting edge alternative work that I offer, I re-orient to one of my distant peaks. My initial inspiration was to increase the avenues for my teaching to help validate breathwork as an approach for psychological somatic healing, bringing it into the therapy office. It's taken a long view to commit so much time and resources, and sometimes easy to lose sight of why my path diverged off in this direction when my life and work was just fine before.... and then, on a clear day like this one, I watch the new day break upon snowy mountains, and remember.
There's a lot of other breathworkers out there but not that work with trauma and one's personal truth in quite the same way. Fifteen years of clients taught me to titrate to levels that are more digestible and stabilizing. This approach is what I'd like to see brought into therapy rooms to help people unify their mind, body, soul, spirit... or inner energy, for my non-spiritually-identified clients. Helping you connect more deeply with yourself, trust yourself, and love yourself do not require a buy in to any particular spiritual teachings. I'm all about direct personal experiences and honoring what each person believes as their paradigm, and where they are at and what they are ready for, and that right there makes my work different... it's still critically important however that any breathwork practitioner you receive support from has had their own spiritual or heart awakening, along with the experience of pure love and joy. Without becoming that lighthouse, it's just a method... we can only take others as far as we have gone ourselves.
It's been quite a wild ride, with another couple years to go with PhD courses and dissertation work. The sheer volume of writing I've been churning out I wish I could share with you all, but is dense and rich on the topic of psychology and personal material, needing to be re-written for public consumption. With all this work and pursuit of knowledge, it's had it's affect on me, and I notice how much I've grown and changed, feeling even more capable than before.
A few months ago, I accepted a therapist position in a community mental health clinic to work towards my hours for licensure, another distant peak. It's an intense shift from alternative experiential healing work to emotionally acute therapy work in a high need area, but all part of the long view, when I shift all this experience and credentials back to my primary focuses. And, I am grateful to meet and help some of the most wonderful people with some of the hardest lives and most complicated cases, bringing my light, compassion and love to help them restructure, heal, and reclaim their lives.
All my years of holding a space of compassion and unconditional love translates into a healing space that has no doubt impacted how fast my client load ramped up. Sometimes I feel like an angel placed here in a high acuity position, just being of service. This love is to me the magic ingredient, a word tossed around so easily that it's a cliche... yet, underneath the saccharin sweet way it's treated, it's actually tremendously powerful, if not the most powerful aspect in our healing journeys - healing past wounds, healing our relationship with ourselves.
Learning to authentically love yourself and others, is what I feel our world needs right now. In general, we haven't learned how to do that in our culture, believing love is something we need to win, to deserve, to withhold, to be selective about, or that it's outside ourselves so we try to fill that hole with material objects. So, I am doing my own small part working with an underserved population to bring the healing power of love.
The way to the long view includes a few more milestones... I'm starting to formulate my dissertation, an original research project to contribute to the field. In a couple weekends I walk to receive my Master's diploma, a real celebration for all this work. I have enjoyed every minute of this experience, and also look forward to what will come next when not dogged by assignments and papers!
I still delight working with my private soul work and breathwork clients both online and in person - with my next trip coming up to Sebastopol July 18-29 for residency week at school. I have time for a few more in-person sessions Friday July 19 & Sunday July 21, feel free to email, call or book yourself in my calendar here.
I always appreciate hearing how you are and staying in connection. My Facebook page or Instagram is also a great place to interact. (My art page is here.)
Wishing you a blessed, relaxing, and love-filled summer!