What makes me qualified to teach trauma informed yoga? Coach nutrition? Offer spiritual guidance? Some of my personal experiences that I have overcome through these practices include severe anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder as a teenager. As an adult, I experienced severe trauma both physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Growing up, I always felt that there had to be something more. The idea that life was meant to be lived by waking up early, going to school, doing homework, lather rinse repeat style was agonizing. The concept that I would have to continue to do it as an adult but going to work, was true torture. I pursued a career as an artist, and that felt much more authentic to me. I developed a spiritual practice largely focusing on meditation through the advice of my partner, and was happy and proud of the depression I had begun to manage. I felt like someone who had opened up a new sense for the first time, such as someone just discovering taste, and I wanted to try it all. Not coincidentally, this was the time that I also transitioned to an entirely plant-based lifestyle, even while having an intense schedule of training jiu jitsu two hours a day.
I felt better than ever. My energy was great, and I was thriving. However, life was not ready for me to settle! The trauma I experienced as an adult sent me into a year long existential crisis. It seemed as a teenager, I had many issues and had realized that many of them could be solved by changing my inner landscape. Now I was experiencing such severe trauma from the outside, how could I handle all this darkness coming in?! Was it something I was doing wrong?! It seemed I had been doing so well to overcome my mental and emotional struggles and that I was being tested unfairly. Everyone has struggles and their own baggage, but even talking to other adults through therapy and support groups, it seemed that many of my experiences went above and beyond the typical range of what was "normal," particularly in such a short time. In less than a year's time I experienced a near death experience via a car crash, a second extreme car crash less than two weeks later, mental illness, a broken knee, getting divorced, emotional abuse from a mentally unavailable partner, and in all that, somehow managing to not completely lose my mind. I knew how hard I had worked to overcome my depression as a teenager and was determined to not let my heart harden. Searching for answers on why this happened, I wondered how I could find peace after going through so much.
Growing up and living in the United States, in the Western mentality which focuses so much on only the things we can see with the five senses, those answers were hard to find. So I reabsorbed myself in my spiritual practice completely, this time with a different focus. I knew I couldn't just look for "love and light," but that I had to go deeper, understand the hard things too. From there, everything blossomed. I re-read many spiritual texts, attended lectures, and joined spiritual circles. I found people that weren't interested on just suppressing their trauma, but could use it as a catalyst for personal transformation. As in the idea of sink or swim, instead of living in denial or allowing myself to sink, I learned to swim. It was such a joy to me to not only experience these many new facets of spiritual practice but to experience the direct revelation that these different types of meditation and shamanic journeying offered me. By not blocking out the "darkness" I began to understand in a new way the yin and yang of life, I could see deeper and grasp the thread that connects all. In some cultures they talk about the web of life, in others they talk about the big bang. But in every origin story, you will find the same archetypes, the same underlying story of the great breath of consciousness, the expansion and contraction of the universe, and the cord which connects to all. I still have triggers, but instead of being restricted by them, I can now use them to go deeper within myself and find understanding, compassion, and recovery. My quality of life has increased tenfold, and in an authentic way. I no longer turn a blind eye to the things I don't want to see, so when I experience joy, it is not at the expense of blocking something out. It is pure, as it is meant to be. It has uncovered my passion for healing, and not just experiencing this myself but to pass it along to others. My excitement for this work goes beyond the limits of time!
My experience and registrations include:
Certified Reiki Master
Registered Yoga Teacher RYT 200
Yoga for Self Regulation and Trauma Certification with Hala Khouri YACEP
Yin Yoga Certification YACEP
Restorative Yoga Certification YACEP
Shamanic Journeying Course with Sandra Ingerman
The Shaman's Way of Healing Course with Alberto Villoldo
Personal Yoga Practice since 2007
Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Professor Roberto Traven
This is Clementine, my executive assistant! She is an expert traveler, true companion, and she might say hello during a Zoom meeting!
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