And how my signature Body Dialogue coaching sessions were created
When my career as an interpretive dancer was waning, I started teaching Pilates. My job was to help clients develop body awareness and control by incorporating as many muscles as possible into each person’s workout. For some, it was fairly straightforward—flex this, push that, develop strength, feel better—but for others it was more complicated—it was more like a puzzle of re-membering all the different body parts and how they work together. The process seemed mysterious and frustrating.
For these people, I noticed that the gap between their body and their brain was quite big. It was like they would forget certain body parts even existed. At first I chalked it up to a lack of exercise, but no amount of exercise seemed to fill the gap for them which usually made them feel defeated. There was no roadmap for how to re-member these parts, not for them or for me, but I was determined to figure it out. What I didn’t realize at the time was how important it was that I heal my own relationship with my body.
I dedicated years of study in all different directions, not sure what I was looking for; hands on, hands off, therapeutic, esoteric, you name it, I tried it— including five years on staff at an integrated health clinic. I had access to incredible amounts of knowledge, each modality promising to have the magic ingredient, but never quite hitting the mark. Eventually, I started to study trauma and the nervous system; and things began to change.
The nervous system transmits a complex and ongoing conversation between brain and body with physical, emotional and social information. By understanding the different ways our body collects and responds to information it then becomes easier to address the disconnect between body and mind. It’s the basis of most healing modalities.
At this point it became clear to me it was time for me to attend to my own nervous system; I had been hiding chronic pain and mysterious health conditions for so long (since I was young). I didn’t know how to share my pain without either feeling like a burden or a lost cause. I felt broken and because I worked in fitness and wellness, I also felt like an imposter.
At my worst I was dealing with fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, incredible face and jaw pain, depression and anxiety. I had weeks, months, without having energy for climbing stairs, or getting out of bed. There was real disconnect between my belief that I could improve my health and the belief that I was broken and a deep sense of betrayal; I had done all the ‘right’ things—diet, exercise, healers, specialists etc. (photo of me with a hot towel compress after getting injections for my pain)
I needed to do some deep soul reckoning; I quit everything and started becoming unfiltered and unapologetic. I started allowing myself to feel ALL my feelings—without the pressure to feel better. It was the first time that I had given myself permission to feel bad, and it was the only way I would develop true respect for myself. Searching for ‘better’ was making me miserable.
There was immense freedom in telling the truth and in allowing myself to be seen in my vulnerabilities. It was the first time I really understood what self compassion was. My conditions were there to teach me a lesson—well many lessons—about myself and what I needed to do to heal. My illness has helped me become a fuller version of myself and recognize where I can help others.
I’m here to offer something different, something deeper—to sit with others who feel at odds with their own body, who have forgotten what wholeness feels like. I’m here to help others get to know their bodies better—outside of what our culture expects from us. I designed a way that we could relate to our bodies on a physical, emotional and social level all at once and dance seamlessly between them as needed.
I use somatic (body-based) tools in combination with neuroscience principles to help your brain re-member your body. I fill in any gaps you may have in anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation or developmental movement patterns. I connect you with your impulses and intuition. Because I’ve seen all sides, I can see the gaps between what you hear from others—your therapist, your physiotherapist, healer and coach, social media—and I can help you integrate it all in a way that make sense in your bones.
But the most important thing I’m here to do is to be with you, human to human, and help you remember that your body loves you.