I’m not going to lie… The road that has brought me to this very point is very long and winding. I have a whole lot of ‘Switchbacks’, ‘Do-Overs’ and ‘Lord I hope I never had to do that again’s’’. In my 46th trip around the sun, I’m just now finally figuring out what I want to do when I grow up… And that, dear reader, is very exciting indeed! While I am thrilled to share with you my passions, understanding a wee bit about my journey might give you some perspective, so let’s start there.
My story begins WAY back in my childhood when my parents indulged my rather eclectic reading tastes and purchased two books for me… The first was, ‘Focus on Crystals’, by Edmund Harold circa 1987, and the second book, ‘Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation’, by Jess Stern, circa 1965. Keep in mind this was in the 80’s when crystals nor yoga were very acceptable, or well tolerated… Shockingly, I still have both books, which is rather remarkable in and of itself… But those two books were the beginning of a journey that I am still on. I have wondered in passing, if my love of all things esoteric is because of these two books, or if my love of all things esoteric is why I purchased the books… I will probably never know. But I am thrilled that those ‘interests’ have turned to passions and that they have led me to where I am today. But, I digress.
As time passed, I added other books and interests to my collection- learning about herbs and energetic healing and spiritualism, all in the hopes that I’d find my niche’ and settle in… But I never did. I went away to college and settled upon a degree in Conflict Management, thinking that a peaceful means forward would show me the way to my future. Sadly, I ended up unemployed, with a diploma and a mountain of debt, still having no idea what I wanted to do…. In a fit of desperation I took a sales job selling vacuum cleaners (not joking… ) and then with a multi-level marketing company that saw me flitting around the country with no real aim or focus other than trying to sell herbs (the legal kind) and trying to keep myself fed. It was terrible, or maybe just I was terrible at it… Either way, it ended badly, and I quit in the height of winter years later after being shifted from Phoenix, Arizona to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was miserable…
As fate would have it, my neighbor mentioned a job at a local nursery, where I applied immediately. I loved it… Every minute of it! But sadly, being surrounded by beautiful plants and fantastic flowers doesn’t really pay all that well, and I was forced to pack up my car, and venture forth again in search of my grown up calling. With no job and no place to live, I ended up driving all the way to Washington, DC. Long story short, this was in the spring of 2001, and I began working in travel right up until 9/11 when all of the sudden there was no more travel. So, there I was… No job (again), and I decided to go back to school. (Because, you know… That had worked so well the first time….).
I must side step for a few moments, to interject two rather important, but until now overlooked points. First point, being that I was in a very bad car accident in the ice and snow of Northeastern Ohio in 1995. I sustained a serious head injury and totaled my car when I was hit by a semi, who never felt the need to stop. I hit my head badly, and have suffered from migraines ever since. Second point is that once again I was hit (this time in 2000), by one of those HUGE dump trucks while stopped at a traffic light. (And no, I don’t blame you one bit if you are thinking you should never ride in the car with me… ) This time I made the mistake of standing on the break in the hopes that I wouldn’t hit the car in front of me, and I compressed the vertebra in my lower back, causing immeasurable pain and suffering… I tell you this by way of explanation, nothing more, because they affect the decisions I made next.
So, I’m in DC, with no job and at this point no insurance and my back hurts and my head hurts. I tried all the traditional methods offered to me, but I found no pain relief for either, so I decided to try non-traditional methods. And they worked… I was amazed. So amazed in fact, that I went back to school for my Masters Degree, in Holistic Health. The only school in the country I could find that offered a degree program in alternative medicine was The American Institute of Holistic Theology in Birmingham, AL. All the coursework was remote, so I enrolled immediately! I loved every moment of my learning.
Those subjects and classes that I couldn’t get correspondence (keep in mind, this was the time when AOL was king, and dial-up was the only internet around), I took in person in DC, Virginia or Maryland. I was in the most amazing place in the world to study and explore Holistic Health and both Traditional and Non-Traditional means of healing from all over the world. I was in seventh heaven, and took certifications and courses in Reiki, Spiritual Response Therapy and Metaphysics just to name a few. I began meditating, and doing yoga. I walked labyrinths and followed ley lines. I learned as much as I could as fast as I could, and in the midst of it all I “Fell In Love”, and everything came to a screeching halt.
Looking back, now that I have children, my kiddos would tell you that I ‘Zinged’. I knew the moment I saw my husband, that he was ‘The One!’. It was like the heavens open and the angels sang. And everything else just sort of melted away. Instead of studying, I found other distractions, and quite honestly, were it not for him, I might never have graduated. He pressed me to finish my final few classes and celebrated with me when my diploma arrived. Not long after we became engaged, and then married the following year. In the meantime, I’d settled into a traditional job that I enjoyed with people I liked, and we started to talk about the future. I’d been making jewelry which I loved (remember the crystal book) and was selling quite a bit, when he was offered a job in India.
So, off we went to India, with our 3 dogs and 8 pieces of luggage, and we made a life in Tamil Nadu. I was sadly unable to continue making and selling my jewelry back here in the US (India has very persnickety laws), and so I shifted my focus to fabrics, local herbs, Ayurveda and Yoga. India is an amazing country with an incredibly rich tradition of healing naturally, and I learned as much as I could. In and amongst all this, we had our first child, and it was time to come home. With a second on the way, we tried our hand in New York, but ended up back in Virginia, where we happily went about having child number two then quickly thereafter, child number three. And that is where everything went south.
I will not bore you with details, but suffice to say that the pregnancy did not go well for either one of us. I developed a pregnancy related heart condition (long since remedied, but exceedingly dangerous at the time), and we both became desperately ill. Our son was born incredibly early, and I was forced to deliver after suffering a cardiac event. It was horrible. At this very same time, our eldest son was diagnosed with an immune deficiency, and I felt as if I was battling on two fronts, just to keep everyone healthy and alive. For days on end while our youngest was in the NICU I would hold his head and feet in the incubator and pray. And I used all the healing means at my disposal to help him get strong and thrive. Those were some of the darkest days of my adult life.
But as the days passed, our younget grew stronger and eventually came home. Our older son however, seemed to be getting sicker and sicker and no one had answers. At 18 months he’d been on more antibiotics than most adults had their entire lives, and I was told there would come a day, sooner than later, that the antibiotics would no longer help him. I will never forget his doctor looking me in the eye and saying that I needed to have a ‘Plan B’. WHAT?!? That was the exact moment, I realized I could no longer solely depend upon medical professionals to be responsible for the health and wellbeing of my family. So, I did what any mother in my situation would do, I began formulating a plan. I’d become the expert, I was unable to find… I’d study every form of healing I could, until I found a way to keep my family safe and healthy… I would study healing from every corner of the world, no matter how old or new. And so I once again became a student, but this time out of necessity.
It took me quite some time to find courses on the subjects that I needed, and I searched- A lot. Truth be told, I was even willing to move, if I found courses or a program that had what I needed. But as fate would have it, my husband suggested I look at schools ‘Overseas’ and it was then I stumbled upon the Kingdom College of Natural Health. They have a non-traditional remote PhD program that I was able to tweak to include everything I wanted and more. Three years into the program, I am about to commence writing my dissertation and I’m thrilled. I’ve added bits and bobs along the way, like a Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching certification, as well as certificates in Teas, Herbalism and Aromatherapy. And I’ve spent literally thousands of hours studying natural healing methods and herbal medicines. I have created syrups, teas and oil blends using traditional ingredients backed by modern science. (I even have a recipe in Rosemary Gladstar’s latest book!) I’ve tried to use all the means at my disposal in safe and natural ways to maintain the health and wellbeing of our family. And now, after all these years, I feel I am finally ready to share what I have learned. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my journey and my knowledge and to help as many people as I can, live Happy, Healthy and Well! So, let’s begin!