Welcome! I’m so happy you found your way to these wise elements that have been profoundly transformative in my own life.
I love delving deeply into what heals us — what makes us whole and well — what helps build our resiliency, what allows us to be courageous and vulnerable at the same time. I’m honored to be able to share these with people just like you and me — forearm deep in rich compost of our lives, creative thinkers, reflective leaders, and maybe just a bit off of where we know we can be, with a wee bit of discipline and a whole lot of wisdom.
In the past 20 years, there’s been tons of research showing how our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being are intrinsically connected. We know now that trauma, chronic stress, even just benign daily toxicity can change our DNA, zap our synaptic connections, bathe our tissues in a cortisol cocktail, cause systemic inflammation — in short, make us feel on edge or inconsolably sad or unsuccessful despite our many good efforts.
Had we known then what we know now, perhaps my own family would have had more access to the kind of healing practices that could have prevented their lifelong anguish and early deaths. My parents were genocide survivors who witnessed things they could never forget, lost everything and everyone they loved, and were geographically and spiritually displaced while still young. They would both find ways to create a modest and decent life; at the same time, they dealt with a never-ending stream of physiological and psychological challenges, as did many of the adults I grew up around. Perhaps it was their inner demons that killed them by the time I was 15, but I’m more prone to believe their deaths was at least as much a result of the medicalization of their trauma — the way their various illnesses were treated as distinct from their overall state of being, their repeated hospitalizations in environments that mimicked the persecution they experienced.
Dr. Rachel Yehuda, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies epigenetics found that cortisol levels in children of Holocaust survivors are as high as in their parents’ generation, and their DNA methylation highly affected by intergenerational transfer of trauma. My own life includes all the consequences of intense loss and absence that you could imagine. Some wounds were visible, and some — like yes, in fact, a shitty methylation profile — are only accessible thanks to advances in genetic testing.
All the practices that I offer are integrative — that is, they speak to our whole being — from how we feel inside our own skin, to how we perceive ourselves and our possibilities for growth within our chosen families and communities, to how connected we feel to the natural world and our creative essence. They let you be who you are, rather than just any one physical condition you face or any one situation you’re wrestling with.
There were many times when the only thing that has stood in the way of me and a hole I was digging myself were one of these wise elements. There’s no miracle in anything I have used or offer now, but if you can find some measure of consistency, your life — and God willing your neural pathways — will begin to shift.