When I was four years old, I lost my baby sibling to a miscarriage and experienced my first devastating loss. I didn't know what to do with that pain. It's taken me a lifetime to grieve that death. I still look for this little soul in human beings I meet throughout the world. I've gotten really, really close.
I was the kid in "resource" in elementary school. I was a slow learner and internalized this label 'til I was about 27 years old. This inspired me to become a teacher, where I made sure all of my students believed they were smart and capable.
While I had miraculous caregivers in my childhood, when I was 3 years old I had a babysitter who traumatized me with her rage. Turns out she was an alcoholic, and with that addiction and lack of presence, whenever I had an accident or made a mistake, she would lash her anger out on me with yelling, hitting, and spanking. Her rage made me believe in my bones that I was a bad girl.
And this my friends, gave birth to my core wound: "I'm bad." Any time I make a mistake today, or act, or perform, or coach, less than perfect, I'm taken back to those scary times and I brace for impact. My inner critic is extremely harsh. My work over the past 10 years has involved somatically releasing that stuck, 3 year old's trauma from my body. Every day I get closer, and closer to trusting myself and the world again.
I'm blessed and cursed as an Empath. I don't just empathize with others, I feel their pain and internalize as it in my body as if it were my own. When I was in the fourth grade my grandmother came to live with my family after my grandfather died, and I felt her pain so deeply that I took on her arthritis inside my body. It's taken me years to get a handle on this, but I'm happy to report I know how to distinguish what is mine to feel, and what is yours.
I experimented with bulimia and all sorts of disordered eating throughout college because I hated my body and ate all of my feelings. It took years of therapy and a profound somatic 4 day workshop for me to love my body again. I now know how to love food and love my body, without any impulse to purge.
Here's a hard one... I offer a trigger warning with love.
When I was 21 years old I was traveling in Europe and found myself flirting with a charming chap from the U.K. After making out with him, his friend pulled me aside to tell me his friend had a serious girlfriend. With strength and confidence, I confronted this man and set up a boundary with these exact words: "I found out you have a serious partner. Out of respect for her, and for myself, I will not be kissing you anymore, and I will definitely not be sleeping with you tonight." An hour later I was drugged and woke up the next morning in an unknown hostel room bruised, bleeding, and raped.
It was the worst morning of my life. In that fuzzy moment of realization I stopped believing in God and knew in my bones that this was my fault. I made up stories like, "If I wasn't such a flirt, this wouldn't have happened." Or, "I was asking for it because I was drinking." I also developed the belief that setting boundaries would cause me harm, since this man literally punished me for saying "No."
I went down a very dark road after this night, with zero boundaries and no self respect. It took me 2 years to reveal this secret to my family and community and a lifetime to feel comfortable again on the table for my pelvic exams at the Gyno. It took me 9 years to reveal this story online, which radically altered my purpose as a coach for the better. I'm happy to say that I have 95% healed from this rape, and the remaining 5% will come with time. I trust my process.
One of the most empowering moments for me was giving my shame a voice at "Take Back the Night" on UC Berkeley's campus where I spoke to hundreds of survivors about my experience and healing.
It's now my purpose and greatest honor to support other women who have unresolved pain from the past to release their trauma from their bodies in my workshops and retreats.
More about me...
I have a Masters in Urban Education and Social Justice, and it was during my teaching career that I discovered I cared about human behavior, feelings, and belonging WAY MORE than the academic standards. In my Kindergarten classroom I developed awesome facilitation skills that I still use today, because turns out adults have inner 5 year olds who deeply need love, too.
My "Saturn Return" was a heavy, heavy passage, with so much loneliness, humiliation, and transition - and I wouldn't trade it for the world. In my 27th year I went through three breakups. 1 with my teaching career, the next with my boyfriend of 4 years, and the 3rd with prescription medication. I moved 3 times in the span of 14 months. "A Woman's Worth" by Marianne Williamson got me through those nights.
I'm 34 years old now, and thought my Saturn Return was over... But OH BOY WAS I WRONG!!!
Let me try and explain...
Over the past 5 years it became my badge of honor to be "medication free," - but when my clinical depression and anxiety came back with a vengeance in September of 2019, I went through a huge ego death that welcomed anti-depressants back into my body. My brain is SO thankful to be seeing the light again. Turns out I can do my spiritual, healing work AND take medicine for my brain, without any shame.
The biggest turning point in my life was choosing to turn my depression into art.
Comedy became my outlet for healing during my darkest days, and in March of 2018, I took a HUGE risk and put on my first ever Comedy Show. I gave my depression a voice and helped my audience of over 200 people laugh (and cry) at the human condition.
More about me?
I've been *that* person on an airplane who facilitated a medical emergency and kept the whole plane calm when no Doctor was present. Turns out somatic awareness can be life saving.
My partner and I canceled our wedding and took the budget to the travel the world for a year. Best choice of my life.
I've been to Burning Man 10 times and got "playa" married there in 2018.
In college I got a tattoo of a carrot on my foot because I wanted to win a contest. I'm VERY competitive, it's both my shadow and strength.
I used to be a Division I athlete at UC Berkeley. I threw the javelin. No joke.
Oh yeah... I'm a Somatic Empowerment Coach.
The first step in working with me is scheduling a discovery call. I can't wait to get to know you and hear YOUR story.
I honor and thank my teachers. I am me, because of you. I've trained with you, meditated and prayed in week long retreats with your instruction, I've learned from you, I've transformed with you, parts of me have died with you, I've grown up BECAUSE of you.
COR Experience: Thank you Britta and Lee Eskey and Rajyo Markman for initiating me into my leadership and training me to hold impeccable space for men and women's Rites of Passage in a the most grueling and rewarding 7 year training that allowed me to facilitate thousands of participants at COR Woman, Noble Man, and Radiant Woman. I could not coach, facilitate, or take the stage without your love, teachings, and Grace. Gina DeVee thank you for teaching me how to build and successfully run my coaching business, and for your unyielding faith in my comedy on the stage. The late Father Thomas Keating: Thank you for introducing me to my False Self and the ever healing practice of Centering Prayer. Meditation was just a concept before your retreats, and now it's in my bones. I didn't think stillness or peace was possible. Now it's here. Ginny Muir thank you for your Medicine and the teachers you brought with you to help my old stories die and so my power could be reborn. Sarah Durham Wilson thank you for midwifing me and thousands of other women through the Maiden to Mother passage as we self actualize into the rooted and fully bloomed mature feminine. Thank you Landmark Education and in particular Joan Bordow and the late Ron Zellar for the lessons in integrity and self responsibility, and the distinctions that help me "get off it" in an instant rather than years. To my Therapist, Kim, for *everything*. To all my professors and facilitators at UC Berkeley, Paula Argentieri and John Hurst, I found my voice in your classrooms and I haven't shut up since. And Jamie Donohoe, my Senior English teacher in High School. If more teachers were like you, we'd have a very different world.
One million thanks to you all. And two million thanks to *your* teachers. I will honor you with my life and I'll pay forward your work with my teachings.