Degrees and Certifications: MA Applied Healing Arts, Reiki Master, Postpartum Doula, Certified Yoga Teacher, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Certified Doula, Gena Kirby Rebozo Certified, Certified Sacred Pregnancy Instructor, Certified Sacred Postpartum (placenta remedies).
My journey of personal growth through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, reiki and other practices of energy and body awareness began in January 2009 when I started the Applied Healing Arts Masters degree program at the Tai Sophia Institute (now the Maryland University of Integrated Health). I was working at my “dream job” doing non-profit work for environmental and conservation education after teaching science for seven years in public and private schools. I was doing work I was passionate about; I wanted to plant the seeds in the youth of Baltimore City to save Mother Earth, but I was stressed out, burned out and overworked! I was getting frequent migraines, anxiety attacks in the middle of the night, I was a control freak with my family, and I was not prepared for the complicated role of marrying a man who already had a son (who is one of my wisest teachers). I remember rushing to get to yoga class, totally panicked and I was nowhere near living mindfully. I quickly learned that my dream job was not helping my wellness and I moved to a less-demanding job as a teaching assistant, yet found myself in a chaotic, very unhealthy environment without community, compassion or mindfulness. Luckily during these two years I began practicing and studying mindfulness meditation, I received a lot of acupuncture, I practiced breathing and body awareness, and learned about Five Element Traditional Chinese Medicine and how to apply them to my life. During the second year of working in a chaotic environment, I got pregnant, and for the sake of my daughter in my womb, I increased my self-care, continuing acupuncture, adding chiropractic care, regular prenatal yoga classes, eating more mindfully, and having a daily meditation and mindfulness practice. I was able to live mindfully and be surrounded by chaos, yet not get sucked into it, thanks to daily practice. I resigned from the job in June to stay home with my daughter, who was born at home in the summer of 2011, and I had a beautiful and empowering birth experience.
I loved prenatal yoga as a student, and in March of 2012 I took over Yoga for Moms in Catonsville, MD, after being trained by the founder, Ann Israel, and my yoga teaching and birth worker journey began.
I received my 85 hour prenatal yoga teacher training with Heather Brown, and for the first two and a half years of my daughter’s life I finished up my final project for my master’s degree, Developing Community for Rituals and Practices During Pregnancy, Motherhood and Beyond.
In 2013 I became certified to teach Sacred Pregnancy classes, and during this retreat is when I met other inspiring and amazing women in the birth world, deciding that I really did want to pursue more training in supporting women through the journey of birth and motherhood. I continued this journey with the Sacred Postpartum training, and then started my doula training with Nicole Schwartz of Sudharma Institute. This training is unique and spoke to me because of her emphasis on mindfulness, not only for the client but for the doula- we need to be in practice if we are going to be our best support for our clients. I practiced as a birth doula for a year and a half and then transitioned into postpartum doula care. I really see the need for postpartum doula care and am happy to have the opportunity to offer these services, and am completing my postpartum doula certification with Sudharma Institute.
The 200 hour yoga teacher training and Reiki Master level training through the University of Medicine School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine I completed in 2014 continued my never-ending life education and journey. This experience has been extremely powerful and has given me a new trust in my inner voice to create the life I want to live and to take some brave leaps to get there, the biggest leap of moving my family from Baltimore to Colorado to continue and re-start our life here in 2015. Reiki is now one of the most valuable and unique parts of my practice, offering monthly Reiki classes (Reiki 1, Reiki 2, Reiki Refresher, and Intro to Reiki) and private Reiki sessions.
Community is a huge and very important part of my life, and my promise in life is that in my presence, life shows up as all-inclusive, compassionate commitment. I have always been a connector with my friends, and I love holding the space of a trusting friend who will keep in touch and connect friends with other friends. When I was pregnant with my daughter, one concern I had was that I did not have close friends who were pregnant. I expressed this in my prenatal yoga class and I was assured I would find my mama tribe, which I did, quite quickly, through people I met in prenatal yoga, new moms groups and new connections. Every mama needs a mama tribe, and I feel blessed that I have my original one, in Baltimore, and quickly found my tribe of support here in Colorado. I love helping and encouraging my clients to find theirs.
My pregnancy and birth of my daughter is what really inspired me and helped me find my true calling in life, to support and guide women and families to listen to and trust their internal wisdom through simple yet powerful practices through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. I have had a healthy transformation and continue to transform and grow in how I choose to react to life, and attribute the shift to the practices I have learned, continue to learn, and practice daily.
My family’s move to Colorado in 2015 has brought new amazing people and opportunities for my own personal and professional growth. I am happy and proud to be a collaborator at A Moms Space working closely with Stacia Synnestvedt, learning more amazing practices and tools as a student in her classes. I have brought this work and these tools to my own personal growth as well as to my clients, my Reiki practice and my Reiki classes. A Moms Space is the perfect space to teach my classes and be part of the birth/postpartum/family community of wellness. My family loves living in Lafayette and slowly finding our community and roots here- and I never dreamed I could actually manifest such amazing professionals to be working with, collaborating with, and growing with, including the Sanctuary Postpartum Doulas group I am proud to be part of, for the sake of the 7 generations, the moms, babies, and families I have the honor to work with and support.