Many years ago I found myself recently divorced, burned out from my career, feeling trapped and on the verge of a panic attack. Despite having a good job as the director of a mental health agency, living in a place that most people dreamed of in Southern California, and being relatively financially secure, I was completely lost living a life that no longer felt like me and was beginning to make myself sick from feeling stuck in this 'box' I had created. And although I loved helping people and feeling a sense of purpose in my life, 15 years of working in government social services and mental health had depleted a lot of my optimism, energy and spirit.
So what did I do ?
I sought the help of a therapist who also used energy healing and over a period of 6 months, I made plans to quit my job and to do what I had always wanted to do—travel the world. To make matters even more interesting, I felt a strong calling to work with elephants during my travels, eventhough I had no idea why and had never thought about working with them before, so I did my research and planned to volunteer with elephants in Thailand during my world trip. Additionally, during these 6 months through my sessions with my therapist, I was also opening the pathway to my own energy healing abilities although I didn’t quite know it at the time.
And so I unknowingly created my own version of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ by quitting my job and heading out to travel the world to places like India, Bali, Thailand, Cambodia and South Africa. I practiced daily meditation and stayed in an ashram for two months, volunteered at a rehabilitation center for elephants, walked through the jungle with baby elephants, hiked in the Himalayan mountains, rode a camel through the desert and volunteered at a wild animal reserve. And by following my instinct to work with elephants, I met someone who changed my life and geographic location forever, causing me to move to Paris-- another life dream.
Through this relationship I discovered my hidden intuitive energy healing abilities which I believe could only emerge once I took my leap of faith to quit my job and travel and follow my deeper knowing and intuition. It was as if life was saying, ‘Ok...so it seems you’re ready now.’ And so by uncovering this new aspect of myself and by taking time in my life to heal from the long-standing burnout, I regained my passion and love for helping people—but now in a different way. I realized that the best way to help people was through the mind, body, spirit connection and that my own process of healing had only come about because I had finally listened to all three parts of my being. I also understood my deeper purpose in life and began to learn more about alternative healing methods becoming certified in hypnosis, massage and Reiki and working with different energy healers.
I am grateful for having listened to my instinct over 5 years ago, having the support of a therapist and healer and meeting someone who supported my own purpose as a holistic healer. I am also thankful for having my professional training and experience as a therapist which I use every day in the work that I do offering my clients not only the benefit of my education, training and over 10 years experience as a licensed mental health therapist, supervisor and director, but my intuitive energy healing, hypnosis, massage, yoga expertise and finally, real world experience. Nothing prepares and assists you in working with people in changing their lives more than having done it yourself and continuing to walk this path each day.
If you’re struggling in any way in your life, take the chance to reach out for support and to start listening to your needs and dreams again. You never know what can happen or what’s just around the corner until you take the chance.
I wish you love and the courage to follow your own ‘elephants.’