The Dao…always part of my being, except that I did not know it had a specific name, only that it was the roots that tied me to the earth to nurture me as a mother, when my own humanity had failed me. During my moments of giving up, there was a thread, Hope I suppose I shall call her whispering that there was, in another time, a different way. The time came and away I went on my journey.
Finding a complete fracture of my life, of what I had known it to be, and what I had wished it to become, I was halted in the middle of then, now, present. A phantom illness was squeezing my heart almost so tight that it was suffocating. This attack came on quick, but assuredly. A wind affliction as the chinese medicine speaks of it, moved around my body through my heart, my liver, my spleen and to my brain. All that I was, the climber, the soccer player, the yogi, the teacher, the mother was asked to step down and just be.
This metaphor of a story is a point in my life, a punctuated equilibrium with only one certainty, change. A malaria like pathogen had become blood born and as it broke apart the scar tissue that was holding a life-time of abuse and heartbreak, all the layers unpeeled at once. Fear came as the strongest emotion first. Fear of dying. I did not want to die, nor was I ready to die, and I was not prepared. I had thought with all my years of fighting to save the trees, fighting for clean water, climbing mountains, making choices everyday as a survivor had prepared me, but not for this.
Fear of death cripples life, and I was asked by my spirit elders, sitting in the sacred land of the Standing Up Pillars to chose, to chose life or death, but I could not live in fear of death any longer. I was given a vision as I walked up to those pillars of a medicine man riding a black horse, whose breath was beating the same as my heart. I didn’t know who he was or what this vision meant and so it came to be in its own time.
When the western world of medicine was telling me I was dying, I found a little chinese medicine doctor for the pain. In her space were walls of drawers with plants and roots and needles and all that she asked of me was to surrender to heal. She said you may never know what this is, but if you believe you can be healed you will. She continued to tell me “Find Qigong it will heal you” and so began my journey into Chinese Medicine, the old ways before TCM that included spiritual and sacred with nature and healing. Slowly I began to heal, living with this pathogen everyday, it became my teacher.
I searched for qigong but it always felt like an exercise not a healing. Until I crossed paths, serendipitously with, the monk, healer and horse farrier. We had both lived in Portland, but we had never crossed paths then. It took us both to return, to a moment that was right, to the right preparation then it appeared. Ironically at a church across from my house that I had lived in for 15 years, called it my home and lost just a year before. As I stood outside looking across the street, in tears, I knew deeply that what he was teaching, was the most sacred practice I had ever entered. So I moved to Santa Fe to live what I call a monk life, to practice deeply 4-6 hours a day, intensely walking the land in the desert to listen.
My journey has only begun and that was many years ago. The forms that I practice and teach today are inspired from a living energy that has carried down in its sacredness just waiting for those to arrive and find it.
Thank you to the moment, to the crossing that we all encounter to widely awaken.
Trainings & Certifications:
- MogaDao Qigong 2012 –
- Certified Thai Plant Medicine Therapy (60hrs), Baan Hom Samunphrai, Chiang Mai, Thailand 2012
- Chinese Medicine Study, Trauma and Pathogens, 2008 – present
- FYTT Foundation 275 hours – 2011, Boston, Mass
- FYATT Advanced 75 hours – 2011, Chicago, Illinois
- FYMentorship Training 50 hours – 2012, Newcastle, UK
- CE Houston 2011, Portland 2012 & 2013, Newcastle UK 2012, Denver 2012
- Yoga Alliance RYT-E200
- StreetYoga certified, Seattle 2010
- Mountaineering First Aid, Mazamas, Portland Oregon, 2013
- CPR current
- Red Cross Instructor Training, Louisiana
- Marine Offshore Survival Training, Lafayette, Louisiana
- Arizona Mountaineering Wilderness Medicine Responder, Arizona