The first time I realized I could heal myself was when I was a child. I was quite daring and a bit of a dare-devil. It was a time when Evil Kenivel was popular and so were his stunts. I would set up ramps and jump them in an abandoned lot near my grandmother’s house in Queens, NY. Needless to say I fell a lot. I would get up and using my belief that it didn’t hurt. I would go on. I now realize that I used the power of faith, or placebo effect as some like to call it, to minimize the pain.
I started meditating and reading about healing and the like in 1988, when I was in my early 20’s and my father had recently passed. I was trying to make sense of my loss.
I began reading books like Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain and Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss.
I also began praying for guidance, something I never thought of doing in the past. I also began following the guidance I received which usually came in dreams. I started reading the tarot cards and moving my energy using color and visualization. I could put my hands on someone, visualize a color and their pain was gone. I began to start believing in my gifts.
Between 1990 and 1991, my whole world came apart, my marriage fell apart, and I got sick and needed surgery.
In 1990 I also took my first trip to Tulum Mexico and felt this incredible connection with the place. I could see all the colors and the energy emanating from the ruins. In 1991 I had Pelvic Inflammatory disease which blew out my right ovary and blocked my left tube. I was a mess. I had exploratory surgery which left me with a large scar down the midline from my navel to my pubic bone. I woke up in extreme pain physically and emotionally. This opened up my emotional wounds. I was so depressed and angry, I felt completely hopeless. I was unable to care for myself and for my two children. I was completely emotionally, spiritually and physically raw. I was also informed by my doctor that I was now sterile and could not have any more children. After a tremendous amount of self-healing, which I discussed in the first manual, I realized that I could no longer see energetically, which was traumatic. I no longer felt gifted only wounded.
In 1992, I took a trip to Florida with my children. I was finally feeling a little better and wanted to start living and enjoying my life again. While I was there I went to a psychic fair for fun. I saw an amazing psychic who told me I was a high priestess many times in many lives and that I was a healer, and that I would be going back to school for many years. At that time I was thinking of back to school but didn’t really know for what. I had so many interests. She also told me that in a past life I was in Central America and I was killed because I gave too much information before the people were ready for it. She had said that was one of my challenges this time; coming off as a “know it all”.
Given the information, I decided to go back to school to CW Post, LIU, that fall 1992. I took some classes in Art, music, dance and psychology, only to realize I could incorporate them all and become a Creative Arts Therapist. During this time I also began my treatment with an amazing art therapist, who I discussed in the first manual. During this time, I began uncovering many aspects of myself that I didn’t realize were there. I was a talented artist, writer, and dancer. I also realized I had the potential to become a good therapist someday.
I also realized that something else was missing in my life. I was nearing the end of my 20’s, I was doing well in my work, I had a boyfriend I loved very much and for the first time in my life that I could remember I was feeling somewhat happy, yet something was missing. I started longing to have another child. I knew I was sterile and really shouldn’t bother. I was plagued with chronic yeast infections and bladder infections and my gynecologist had been trying to convince me to have a hysterectomy, but I refused. I really believed I could have another child.
I began to pray every night and as often as I could remember during the day. I prayed for help and for guidance. One night I had a dream of my grandfather, who had passed in 1990, holding a beautiful baby. I can remember his luminous blue eyes shining so brightly as he held this little bundle of love. When I woke up, I of course rationalized and psychoanalyzed my dream. I thought for sure it was because I was doing so much inner child work the baby part of me was coming out. Lo and behold, 3 months later I was pregnant, wow, what a surprise for me, my boyfriend and my doctor. He told me, well these things do happen sometimes. Of course I attributed it to my praying and visualizing holding a baby, my baby.
I was in my last year of school to finish my Bachelors of Science in Art Therapy with a minor in Art and Dance, when I was told by my doctor that if I didn’t stop everything I was doing, I would lose this baby. For the second time in my life I stopped everything. I stopped working full time in the family pharmacy and I needed help to take care of my children. My boyfriend moved in and my new life began.
This was truly a healing crisis. According to my doctor, if I made any fast moves or walked too much the placental wall would separate and I could self abort. This was not the pregnancy I imagined. I went from being a strong and confident woman to feeling like an invalid. I wasn’t able to do very much for myself and was so used to doing everything myself. This was a huge lesson for me to STOP and BE! I was so used to doing and being on the go, go, go all the time.
I was on bed rest for 6 months, so I read. I read every book I could get my hands on about energy healing, the chakras, meditation, shamanism, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, herbs, homeopathy, and natural remedies. I even applied to The Barbara Brennan School for Healing, though the timing wasn’t right.
After a tumultuous pregnancy; I was in the labor room 7 times before I was finally in labor. I gave birth to my last son. I took a semester off and began school the following semester nearby at Marymount College. I thought this was a better idea since I was still nursing. This was a huge adjustment, new school, new baby, new county, and new home. We made the move to Westchester.
Towards the end of my first internship at a nearby psychiatric hospital, there was an incident and one of the therapists had been beaten up badly, suffering brain damage. This disturbed me and my husband very much. I began to rethink the line of work I was going into.
During the same year, the dean of The Art Therapy Program was let go, and I was having a difficult time applying for my second internship, as all the Art Therapy Programs were closing in the nearby hospitals. I took these incidences as signs that I needed to make a change. During that same year, I did a research paper on emotional release and bodywork. I needed to know more about this. I did a lot of research at the New Center which had an extensive library on bodywork, the mind/ body connection and healing. I felt very comfortable there, right at home. Little did I know that would practically become my home for 4 years.
Upon finally completing my degree, not in Art Therapy but in Psychology, I took the summer off to think. I knew I didn’t really want to be a Creative Arts Therapist anymore, but didn’t know what I wanted. During this time, I got pregnant again. It was a little over a year after my last child and I was elated. That was until I saw my doctor. He and my husband felt this could kill me and like in the last pregnancy, the placental wall would tear if I kept the baby. Like all women who make the decision to have an abortion, it was not an easy one. I cannot blame my doctor, husband or even myself, because I know that if I didn’t go through this the next step in my healing probably would have never happened.
I had the abortion and right after my heart rate would not stabilize and I realized I was not as strong as I thought. I had a severe reaction to the anesthesia. When I got back home I felt different, extremely unhappy and gained 25 pounds that month.
I also began having dreams every night about this little Asian looking girl. I would see her face when I closed my eyes. I thought I must be going crazy.
I began seeing my therapist again, doing art and energy work. I also told him about my thoughts of going to school to become a massage therapist to get my license to touch to release emotions stuck in the body. It was during this time that he went from being my therapist and started becoming my mentor. In 1997 I began the massage program at what was once the New Center soon to become the New York College for Wholistic Health Education and Research. I also began a journey in finding out who this little girl was that I kept seeing in my dreams. I had never done any type of actual bodywork before this point. I had been doing energy work since the early 90’s and besides the research paper had little or no knowledge on it. When I worked on someone or they worked on me I felt sick and irritable. It was horrible, not at all what I expected and researched.
I did however absolutely love my introduction to Chinese medicine. This I knew I had to do. The massage I felt was like a stepping stone to get my license to touch, but Chinese medicine had all the answers, or so I thought. I still kept having the dreams of the little girl; she seemed to be a little older now though, which made no sense to me. I began doing a sculpture, little by little allowing this little girl to evolve out of the clay. When I finally finished the sculpture, I realized the little girl was me. I was birthing me. A new me. I me I never knew existed before.
In 1998 I began the Oriental Medicine program, along with the massage program. I was in my element; I was so happy, learning new things every day. I really didn’t study, somehow I retained the information even though I was taking 8-10 classes at a time, 3 kids at home and working on the weekends. It was really a recipe for disaster. I realize this now in hindsight.
During that year my good friend Julie gave me a book called Sastun, about this healer in Belize. I looked it over, but didn’t fully read it, as I had so many reading assignments. I did however remember that as a child I had a burning desire to go to Belize, but I thought it was in Africa. I actually used to search the Atlas and maps for it but could never find it. In 1999 I was finally at the tail end of the massage program and in clinic. I loved and hated clinic. I loved feeling like I was working, having regular clients coming in, but I hated the fact that I would often go home feeling, grumpy, sad, angry, and often in tears.
I felt like I was taking all the pain from my clients and feeling horrible for them. I remember one of my clinic supervisor’s took me to the side and said we needed to have a talk. She explained to me all about grounding, cleaning your energy with salt. I had read about all these things years ago but forgot about them, never actually applying them. I began applying them, washing myself daily with salt scrub, grounding before each client and taking time every day to go outside and be in the sun even for a few moments. I started noticing a difference, finally. I felt happier and healthier.
As part of the Acupuncture program, Qi Gong and Tai Chi were required. I tolerated Tai Chi, but I loved Qi Gong. It felt so effortless and expansive. This practice made me feel so alive, so full of energy. I also began to see again. I hadn’t been able to see for so many years that I let it go. I was able to see now but in a different way, I could also energetically feel at the same time. During my last semester of massage school I was taking a class given by a wonderful Holistic Nurse practitioner, and Amma Therapist, Cathy Lipsky. During that semester my daughter woke up from a nightmare and came to my bedroom, scared and crying. My first response was to rub her belly. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing, I was half asleep, but it seemed to help and she went back to sleep.
The next day, after class I spoke with my teacher about what happened the night before and asked her what suggestions she may have if she had been in that situation. She asked me to show her what I had done so she could give me feedback.
I showed her how I rubbed my daughter’s belly and she asked, “Where did you learn this technique?” I told her I was half asleep and didn’t know. She then told me she had just gone to learn this ancient technique in Texas called Maya Abdominal and Uterine Massage. I was speechless. I didn’t realize at the time, but she learned this from the same woman who wrote the book Sastun, my friend Julie gave me the year before. I had a prolapsed uterus since I was a child caused by a fall from a tree. I had a history of ovarian cysts and fibroids. I had developed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in 1991 and had exploratory abdominal surgery, which caused my Uterus and Bladder to further prolapse and adhere together. I was told I would need a pessary, a plastic invasive device to hold up the uterus, if I didn’t do surgery. I couldn’t do the surgery because my reaction to anesthesia.
I took this as a sign to heal myself. I gave it a try and after three months of weekly sessions my uterus and bladder were no longer adhered. My hands were always cold for as long as I could remember, but after the Maya Abdominal work I had circulation. I was truly amazed at how quickly I was healing. I also knew I had to go to Belize. I still didn’t know why, but I knew I would. I found out through my friend Dea that there would be a class in Belize called Spiritual Healing that March and I knew I had to go. I finished the massage program in 1999 and took my state boards January 2000. In January I started the advanced Amma Program.
In March 2000, I went to Belize with Cathy, Dea, and my good friend Cynthia, as well as 8 other amazing women for the first Spiritual Healing Class given by Dr Rosita Arvigo. I had no idea what to expect. I was in complete awe. I was finally living one of my dreams, to go to Belize. I didn’t realize I was there to heal me and become a Spiritual Healer. Spiritual Healing addresses the causes and treatment of chu’lel (life force) and four major spiritual illnesses of the Maya: susto (fright), pesar (grief), tristeza (sadness), and invidia (envy), and the uses of healing techniques such as prayer, herbal bathing, and incense.
It was my first experience with spirits and spirit guides. Up until that point I had only had guidance in dreams, not intuitive guidance or with spirit guides.
During the life transforming trip, I released the baby spirit that I had aborted in 1996, along with the help of Rosita, Ms. Hortence and Ms. Beatrice and a multitude of Spirits and Guides, in what was a replica of Shaman Don Eligio’s hut. I learned to heal spiritual diseases with prayer, spiritual baths, and copal. I realized from my Greek Orthodox upbringing what my grandmother did weekly was spiritual healing on the house and us. Little did I know it at the time. I also learned to release spirits from individuals, sending them to the light. I became a Ghost buster! Who Knew?
Upon my return from Belize, I was working in a spa in Larchmont, NY. Rosita had told us, not to worry; when you are ready the clients will come. Well my first client back had lots of issues that I had learned about, difficulty sleeping, bad dreams, etc. So I asked him, if he would be interested in Spiritual Healing, he said Sure. I started saying the prayers into his pulses and as I did what looked like snakes were moving under his skin. I was truly creeped out. I tried not to be scared and only focused on the task at hand. I continued the prayers and as I said them the movement stopped. He came back a few more times. He said he felt much better and that his nightmares had stopped and he was sleeping for the first time in many years. I completed the Self Care and Professional classes in 2000 and started working as a Maya Abdominal Massage Practitioner. In 2000 I met my good friend Lindsey Sass- Aurand at the Self care class. We hit it off immediately. She was my cubicle neighbor and we would take long walks together. She is an amazing clairvoyant, having been hit by lightning twice, no less.
She had been telling me about a Healer she was working with and was encouraging me to meet him. His name was Jacques Tombazian. When I met him I felt comfortable around him but also felt a very strong presence, like I didn’t want to get too close. I didn’t know why. He seemed very nice and helpful. Over the next few years I took a number of his classes; The Development of Clairvoyance, Esoteric Healing, Inner alchemy 1-3, Healing Sexual Issues and Healing Relationships. I learned so much from him, how to be a healer, fully using my gifts, and senses and unlocking my potential.
In 2000 I also met Mercedes and Geraldo Barrios, Maya Elders from Guatemala, Keepers of the Calendar. We performed a fire ceremony in Washington, DC, linking the Shamans of the North and the Shamans of the South, connecting the eagle and the condor. I didn’t think it so profound at the time, but in hindsight it created the template for the healing of many. In 2001, I was starting to feel the wear and tear of my life, going to school, working on the weekends, 3 kids and learning to be a healer.
My back gave out in the spring. I literally couldn’t move. My knees then went out. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in Qi Gong class doing a warm up exercise, when I felt a pop in my left knee. My left knee had always been my weaker knee since I was a child. I had injured it numerous times in gymnastics, soccer and dancing. I went home and then within 2 weeks tore the cartilage in my other knee too. I was a mess. I tried physical therapy, acupuncture, all kinds of energy healing. I agreed with my doctor that if I didn’t get better my way, holistically within 1 month, I would do surgery.
I also took this as a sign that if I didn’t stop my frantic pace I would get worse. I finished the Advanced Amma Program and dropped out of the Acupuncture program. This was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. July of that month, I had surgery. Upon seeing the second MRI my doctor was astonished by how well the so called “alternative healing” worked. I still underwent the surgery. It turned out that my ligaments were also much more overstretched than we previously thought and I had unhealed hairline fractures on my femur, probably from my dare devil antics as a child. It took me 6 months to walk normally without crutches or a cane and 1 year to be able to run again. 2001 also was a turning point for so many around the world. I started working full time as a healer that year, helping spirits go home after 9/11. I also started my healing practice.
Since then I also took a Galactic Counseling Course with Jelaila Starr. She taught me discernment and not to be a love and lighter. There are many gifts that can be attained by healing ones own darkness, and I am thankful to her for it. I also apprenticed with Laura Shurts, a Native American Grandmother, Elder. She taught me about being a warrior and about the true meaning of healing, not fixing. I have learned so much from my clients in the last 8 years it’s impossible for me to write even half of it down. The more experience I have working as a healer and facilitator the more I learn there is more to learn. I have recently decided to go back to school and finish my Masters in Acupuncture. This time in a way I have always wanted but didn’t know existed, Classical Acupuncture, in an oral tradition. I look forward to see what the future holds.
I have realized in my journey that every day is an opportunity to heal myself. In doing so it brings me the greatest gift of becoming an alchemist, transforming my personal lead into gold.