Wellness has always been a main topic of conversation in my household. I learned about the world of healthcare, listening to my parents recount their workdays seeing patients and running wellness programs. My father, a physician of Allergy and Asthma, taught me from a young age how to work hard and find meaning in my daily grind by helping others. At age 77, he is still in practice, working hard to make a difference in the world. I grew up watching my mother run the first residential/day treatment for those with traumatic brain injuries in northern Nevada. I spent most of my after-school hours at her clinic: supporting other kids and adults with disabilities. I was reminded, daily, how lucky I was to be alive. I knew very early on that I would always use that knowing to help others. My mom is a healer: a therapist, and she was also a boss: a leader. She serves the world from a place of compassionate care, and she has always shown me how to be an advocate for those who were often unable to be that for themselves.
These teachings all came full circle when I was diagnosed with auto-immune disease at age 12. Ulcerative Colitis: a chronic condition in which my immune system: my body’s armor and safeguard, the system that's prime purpose is to protect and serve my human form, rebelled and began attacking my body instead. I had always been on the same side as the medicine people, and then I suddenly found myself as the one needing intense care. I spent my free time in hospitals, at appointments, traveling to other states for specialized doctors. A lot of days were spent in bed, and near a toilet. Normalcy became taking 30 pills a day to feel just: okay, but never safe enough to fully relax and take a an honest breath. Now, I count my blessings that I only need to give myself a shot in the thigh every two weeks.
Today, I look back on my life with incredible gratitude. I recognize: to become a healer, I had to learn what it means to heal. I would need to understand the cloak of darkness that an illness can veil over one's life. How physical pain, is tangibly mirrored in emotional wounding and mental illness. How my disease seemed to echo hardships onto every single person who loved me. I learned that illness isn’t at all black and white. That our body cannot heal if our mind is in dis-ease, and that our mind requires strength of our body to carry out it's dreams, goals and achievements. It has taught me that healing of mind, body, AND soul will, for many of us, be a life-long journey.
I've learned from my own experience, that with practice: we can begin to walk the empowering journey of reclaiming our health and happiness. It takes work and dedication, but in the end, we discover that each of us is responsible for weaving our own version of holistic wellness.
Our pasts weave a strong theme in our story-line. For me, it made sense to immerse myself in the teaching of health: a study that allowed me to help others, and provided wisdom to put my own pieces back together. I received a Bachelors in Community Health Sciences, focusing on health communication. I then went on to complete a Master’s in Public Health, emphasizing Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. As yoga had always been an important medicine for me, I immersed myself in multiple summer and winter series through my universities to deepen my practice and expand my understanding. I went on to write my graduating thesis on yoga interventions in the workplace. I had always desired to share this moving meditation with the world, it had always served as a close friend on my journey. In 2014, I completed my first yoga teacher training in San Diego, CA. This past year, I completed a second YTT through Portland’s very own: Yoga Refuge. Here I learned from a collective of very wise and knowledgeable teachers including Kate Sanderson- Holly, Todd Wilson, Emily Light, Fawn Williams, Kelly Sunrose, and Julianna Scholl-Wallace.
Continuing my journey of holistic wellbeing, I dove into other ways of therapeutic learning. In 2015 I enrolled in David Frawley’s American Institute of Vedic Studies to certify as an Ayurvedic life-style consultant, and I received certification as a Health and Wellness Coach through Wellcoaches of America. In Portland I trained with one very holy medicine woman, Tatianna Sakurai, to receive certification in Lightwork- Energy Healing, and discovered very quickly that these teachings didn’t only serve my personal wellbeing, but also greatly supported my coaching conversations with clients. Through my immersions with a true devotee to the feminine awakening, Sedona Soulfire, I've learned the sacred undulation of my female form. I've learned to dance in true surrender to the raw power of my sensuality, and open myself to unchartered devotion in this work of embodied prayer. I immersed myself in two quarters of the Goddess Rising Mystery School’s Moon Sisters Temple where I learned the teachings of ceremony, initiation, and sisterhood. My relationship with Kundalini Yoga began here as well. For the first time in my life I took on a daily practice: committing at first only to 40 days. As of today (June, 2018) I've only missed three days in a little over 222. Full circle, I'm now practicing Kundalini with one of my very first yoga mentors: Chelcy Pine, who also owns a card company I recently started writing for called: Poetic Pulse. I have a long history with doctors, but have found some of the most therapeutic benefits working consistently with my favorite witch doctor, Jenna Bowers. She has held space for me to unravel some of the darkest layers of my psyche and infused those empowered weaknesses with the pure light force of her magic. It's something special when you're taken gracefully through some of the oldest corridors of memory and illusion: often times these guide become not just a mentor, but also a friend.
Through this journey I discovered true, lasting restoration. I learned that a trusted guide with honest intention, can help us unlock our own greatest power of healing, not just for ourselves: but for others, as well. By seeking guidance, I'm learning how to offer it. By listening, reading, reflecting, and integrating, I'm developing my own wellness practice so that I may be a leader for others on a similar journey.
I have been on a lifelong exploration of the healing arts. It's what gives me purpose and energy to show up every day. My curiosity is wisdom, and I have an unquenchable thirst to learn the inner-weavings of our mind, body, and soul. My word, always, my wand: my tool: my craft. My way of breathing, interacting with the world around me, conversing with something greater then myself.
Eliana, in Hebrew, means; spirit has answered me. While my parents had their own reasons for my naming, to me: it's a totem of my soul's incantation. My north star dedicated to guiding me home. My hope is that through my own inquisition, I may provide some insight for your own questions and curiosities. I know that through this exchange I will also be able to learn from you, too. Reach out, connect, and be- well.