- Are you successful and fulfilled in some areas of your life but not in others?
- Do you feel positive most of the time but feel like something gets in the way of maintaining happiness?
- Have you ever practiced yoga or are you interested in adding it into your daily routine?
- Are you committed to personal growth?
- Are you open to learning tools to bring more peace and joy into your life?
- Have you experienced abuse, trauma, divorce or loss and that experience seems like one of the things holding you back even though you feel like you should be “done” working through that? If so, are you MORE interested in living your best life than in hanging on to the pain of the past?
Hi! My name is Carrie. That is a recent photo of me, at peace in a hammock in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
I am really glad you are here. I want you to know that the joy and peace in the smile you see in that photo have not always been a part of my life. In fact, I spent a number of years in physical and emotional pain. There were times when I thought I would never know what joy or happiness was. And there was one very awkward moment when the chiropractor asked what contact sport or car accident could have me so battered and misaligned. But there was no sporting event, no car accident. What there had been was childhood sexual abuse followed by a physically abusive marriage. This photo represents a milestone in my journey, a day in which I allowed myself to relax and revel in the peace that comes from understanding myself, accepting myself and being myself.
But on the initial day of my journey long ago, I had a lot of misinformation and many beliefs that were not serving me. It was easy to remain misinformed because NO ONE was talking about this stuff! If you could find someone who was talking about abuse, usually a therapist or counselor, they were not typically talking about HEALING. Even the books I sought out as resources emphasized that the effects of abuse may be with me forever. This left me nothing to look forward to. I thought I would always suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I thought I would always be defending and protecting myself. Occasionally, I thought about dying because living the way I was living was entirely too painful to tolerate.
I thought everyone could read my pain like an open book. I felt vulnernable, damaged and misunderstood.
So, I distracted myself with work. I was a classroom teacher for a number of years, which I loved, because kids have the best energy. They made me think of a happier time in my life and I did everything I could to ensure they felt loved and valued in the classroom. When I was with my students it was safe to be silly, enjoy laughing and have fun while we learned.
I was always able to achieve things in a way people valued, so this success in my career seemed like the perfect cover up for an otherwise unfulfilling life. When I was overwhelmed with saddness and fear, I turned to other work projects or even food. Food and achievement became my two best friends. It certainly was evident in my stressed out, overweight, tense body.
Worse than the physical stuff, I thought I would always feel like something was wrong with me.
I thought I would always feel self conscious about my body. I wondered if I could ever see the goodness in the opposite sex.
There was even a period of time in which I could not distinguish between what was really part of my personality and what was just an effect of the abuse. This inner conflict was very painful and confusing.
I didn't undertand myself, but was frustrated when others didn't "get me." I didn't accept myself, but was hurt when others rejected me. I didn't know who I was, so I couldn't be true to myself.
But some voice inside of me, that started out very faint and very small, suggested that my beliefs might be false; that true healing and joy were available to me.
Little by little I began seeking resources. I found it hard to know what to try, where to go, and who to talk to. I spent one evening in a "support" group for survivors of abuse and found myself surrounded by people who seemed to want to recount every painful detail of their experience and stay angry forever. I knew that was not the path for me, but it raised many more questions:
Where could I find people who understand what I've gone through but also understand the journey to healing and authentic living?
Where were the straight forward healers that could help me face the truth that the abuse I suffered had affected EVERY area of my life?
Who would support me when I realized that I was too lost, proud or misinformed to see the truth of my being?
Where were the solutions that would feel good instead of bad?
This voice inside of me became stronger and stronger and I continued reading, learning and growing for years. Even after I felt I had dealt with the issues stemming from abuse, I found I had just scratched the surface. After all, I'm not trying to simply survive. I am here to thrive!
Even though I was working a lot, I sought out ways to support myself through yoga, Reiki and the teachings of the Law of Attraction. I maintained a focused attention on healing. To me, healing meant understanding myself, accepting myself and being true to myself.
Even as I gained support and resources, I found myself struggling to find, let alone maintain, balance. I realize now that I had become a workaholic. I got away from all residual pain by taking on more projects, throwing myself into them and doing the best I could do.
Then, the one thing I loved, working with children, changed as jobs in my district shifteded under the struggling economy. I ended up in a place where I was misunderstood, unsupported and felt I had lost the one thing that brought me joy.I still welcomed the out of the classroom promotions within the district after that, but that meant losing a lot of the fufillment in my work. Losing joy in my workplace was a painful and frighening blow. It shifted my desire to achieve to other areas because the career as a whole was no longer fulfilling. In hindsight, I was trying to save the world rather than face the pain it would cause to save myself.
Without achievements what was left? Food. And facing myself and my issues head on.
I eventually chose my health and my happiness over the security of my career, although it happend in stages. First, I sold all my belongings and left the United States for an education position abroad. Upon realizing I had only recreated an unsupportive setting not conducive to growth and healing, I resigned, fully committing myself to healing. I continued traveling in pursuit of genuine balance and an authentic life. The situations that arose while traveling challenged the remaining blocks I had and I made rapid progress in the final stages of healing. Additionally, others began seeking me out for support, and I finally answered their call through offering Reiki, yoga and wellness workshops.
I began to understand, accept and become myself.
Under all that armour I had created to protect my vulnerable self, I found that precious girl that is loving, kind and generous. I found a peace in my body that I had never known, and I found joy.
In the process of healing myself, I gained valuable information and insights into how to support others with a desire to understand themselves, accept themselves and heal themselves. I discovered that part of my true calling is to be a method of support in the process of healing and prevent other women from suffering alone. You may have felt alone before, but now you have a safe place where you are understood, accepted and respected for who you really are.
So, now that you know why I do what I do, please let me introduce myself again. It has been a long time since I've told that sad story above, and you probably won't hear it come from out of my mouth these days as I have so much joy to share instead.
My name is Carrie. I am a Yoga Instructor (RYT 200) , Holistic Healing Coach, Reiki Practicioner and Retreat Facilitator. I coach women like you through the process of understanding yourself and accepting yourself to become yourself. To me, that is the definition of healing. I use strategies and approaches that were the most transformational in my own journey to expedite and ease your transitions.
I do not heal you. I coach you through the process of healing yourself. If you were told or have thought that it is not possible to heal yourself, you CAN, I am living proof. Isn't it time you took a step on your path?
The first step is listening to yourself and taking the actions you are called to take. This might include liking my Facebook page so that you have access to the free materials and resources as I post them. You may choose to sign up for my newsletter on the right. Use these as resources to get to know me and when you ready, I am here for you with a warm heart, ready to walk with you on your journey. If you are called to do so, you can reserve your spot in the next retreat (currently Maya Tulum, June 2013).
Please know that in whatever capacity we come in contact, if you are a yoga client, retreat participant or workshop attendee, I am here for you as a support sytem for life.
To learn more about my own journey of becoming myself, click on this link. It is a play by play of one of the best, and most challenging times of my life.