First blog, whoaaa!
Never thought I’d be here, writing this, with my toddler on my lap eating her cereal. Mom life.
I am here just to introduce myself and share this crazy, little reality of what I do and how I came to do it.
I was born and raised in northern Michigan. I grew up in this itty-bitty, bubble of a town, called Mackinaw City. It’s the typical small, mid-western town, where you wave at everyone when you go on a walk, you know the bank tellers by name, and you can’t go to the store without running into at least two people you know.
I moved to Ashland, Oregon when I was 20 with my best friend. I don’t remember exactly how I started but I began to meditate every day for 20 minutes, and then that turned into twice a day, and then that turned into practicing the physical poses of yoga daily – all at home. I didn’t own a yoga mat; I didn’t go to classes. We owned one yoga DVD that I practiced religiously, then that turned into reading yoga books from the library and learning exactly how to practice the poses correctly, which turned into developing my practice at home.
Ahhh, I so cherish those days in our tiny little home in Oregon on a creek. That is where I developed my daily meditation and asana practice. Those are the days that I spent a lot of time doing a lot of deep inner work and healing. Through meditation, hiking, yoga, and writing. Oh, and dancing. We danced A LOT.
When I was in my early 20’s I ended up traveling a little bit. Not in the lavish, 5-star hotel way. No, no, no. From hitchhiking New Zealand, and camping for months throughout California, and backpacking Machu Picchu, I learned a little bit about the realities of the world and got a little taste of culture. I fell in love with deep-seeded religions and different Gods and different ways of life. I learned to respect and honor diversity.
After all of that, I decided I wanted to become a massage therapist. And I could lie and say I had this dream or vision of me doing it – but I didn’t. The reality is, at the time I went to school because it was 6 months long (not too long so, I could commit), and I wanted to make more money to travel. When I made this decision, I was living in Colorado in this town called Canyon City, it’s either a prison town or a white-water rafting town. I was luckily there working for a rafting company and the city of Asheville kept coming up. So, I looked it up, found a massage school, and bam, that’s how I chose The Center for Massage and Natural Health in Asheville, North Carolina.
So, by now, you’re getting to know me, I make decisions on a whim and just go with what flows. So illogical, it drives all my logical thinkers crazy.
I decided to move back home, just for the summer, after graduating from massage school to make fast money, and then I planned to head to Kenya for 6 months. My first job as a Massage Therapist was at a little shop on Mackinac Island that had things like Reiki, Tarot Cards, Sound Healing – and at the time I rolled my eyes, SO HARD, at all of that. Until I received my first reiki treatment and was zooming through my week like I never have before. Then I received my second treatment of reiki and I was like, “Holy, what is this?!”
Before leaving that job, I was offered a job in Sault St. Marie working at a physical therapy office as a massage therapist. So, I took it. By this time, I had enough money saved to go to Africa for 6 months as planned, but I remember being out with friends and saying something like, “I don’t know what is stopping me from buying my ticket, but it just doesn’t feel right.” Within 3 months, I was pregnant with my daughter.
Flash forward a year: I was broke, living at my parents’ house with my newborn, I didn’t have a job, and I had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go. I decided to get myself back into college so I could find a career that I could rely on and never have to worry about money again. So – I started nursing school. Within 4 months of moving in with parents – I started working two jobs, making the dean’s list at school, bought a car, and then the opportunity to start massaging at a local salon presented itself.
So I took it – and I ran.
I became certified in Reiki Energy Healing, Suction Cup Therapy, Life Coaching, Doula Support Person, Breastfeeding Basics, and a Yoga teacher. All within 3 years and while going to school to become an RN.
As Strait to the Roots grows, and I inevitably grow with it – my vision is becoming more and more clear. I am here to serve and to heal myself and assist in the healing of others. I believe in the power of looking at the body as a whole – connecting our breath with our body, bringing awareness to our body, and our thoughts, and our diet. I believe there is a time for western medicine – there is a time when we need medications or whatever it may be – but we must first start with our diets, with our thoughts, with our movement. We must start in our health journey but the simple task of being aware of what we are feeling.
By bringing focus, awareness, and healing to ourselves – it ripples into our world, which in turn promotes healing as a whole.
My work has given me so many opportunities for growth and healing on my own. Seeing the profound effect massage, reiki, and yoga has on healing trauma has been humbling and left me in awe. I often tell people how I fall in love with each of my clients because it takes great courage to honor your body, mind, and spirit. It takes great courage to put yourself first from time to time.
And I am still not sure if I will ever be able to fully express how humbled and honored I am to be apart another’s journey.