Instead of rambling on about how many trainings I have done, what teachers I have studied with, or my achievements, I got a funny idea to tell you all a few things you may not know about me. So, here goes. Better get some tea and settle in.
1. I was born breach (butt first) with dislocated hips.
Yep, on Halloween night in 1967 I decided to be born and came into the world ass backwards! Makes sense now. I came out folded up with my head between my legs and the left femur severely dislocated from the acetabulum. The right was slightly displaced. The doctors back then, I am sure did the best they knew how. They got right to casting me from my waist to my ankles. It’s called a Spica cast and I wore it for about 8 weeks, having to have it cut off and replaced every few weeks for growth and well…diaper rash. After the 8 weeks, they put me in the Pavlik Harness and from there into braces while learning to walk.
All this said, I don’t remember any of it and my hips are totally normal today although a bit tight in Baddha Konasana for a yoga teacher anyway. It is traumatizing for any infant to have and injury. Thankfully I found Body Work & Yoga to help release this trapped trauma. Our Issues are in Our Tissues!
2. I used to rescue Wolves & Wolf Dogs and worked at a Wolf Sanctuary in NM.
My first love was dogs of any kind as a small child. I would let our family dog lick my ice cream cone, then a lick for me, then a lick for her. Sharing with my pack. I trained my first dog in high school, Moose. He was 110lbs of fur and snuggles. Half German Shepherd half Husky. Oh did I love that dog!
I moved up the canine ladder to a Wolf/Husky/Shepherd then a Wolf/Malamute mix. I spent countless labors of love rescuing Wolf Dogs across 4 states, but you can’t save them all and it started to drain me and break me physically, mentally and financially.
I moved to New Mexico and started working at then called Candy Kitchen Wolf Rescue. Now renamed Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary (www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org). Boy did I get a lesson in Canine 101! Wolves are pack animals and teach you about how to work as a unit. They care for each other, feed each other, raise the young and take care of the old.
I learned the what to do, what NOT to do in the presence of wolves of all shapes, sizes (140lbs +) and histories. Life is black & white in the wolf world. If they want your lunch, they will take it, and you let them. If they want your hair band, they will take it, along with a bunch of hair. And you let them. Sanctuary is about quality of life for animals who have not had the best go in this world. I loved every minute of it and I still howl when I get the chance!
3. I love horses! I have been riding since the age of 4!
Again, my love of animals comes though. My dad never drove a car, but he rode horses in Central Park and took me on my first ride. The smell of horse sweat, saddle leather, the anticipation and energy of a huge beast beneath you waiting to be set free, the barn dust and hay, the snorts and hoof beats and saying “Yaaaah!” Love it!
I worked every job I could to learn the ins and outs of horses. Mucking stalls, grooming horses, driving tractors (Yep, I can drive a tractor!), throwing hay bales, tangled lead ropes, biting ponies and dealing with hyper sensitive owners. I graduated to owning my own horses. Just let me say this, it is better to let someone else take care of them and you just enjoy the presence of this magnificent although sometimes stubborn beast. It’s a love/hate relationship! It shaped me into a pretty tough skinned, but well rounded young woman that was ready to tackle the world! From the back of a saddle:). I also learned Equine Massage and have had many a Happy Horse clients!
4. I used to compete in Martial Arts! Let the injury list begin…
Yeah, it started with being married to a guy who idolized Bruce Lee. Who doesn’t? Then we both took Tai Chi and Kung Fu from a gentle but solid Mandarin teacher “Master Ming Der Lou” in Boulder. From strained hamstrings from roundhouse kicks, broken teeth from too close of a punch in the face to torn ligaments in my fingers, the reasons I did it allude me today. That was my 20’s.
In my mid 30’s I decided to give it another go. I signed up for Tai Kwon Do at the fitness center I worked at. Enter “Sensi Lee”. This young guy grew up on the streets of New Orleans. He was trained by some of the roughest characters out there. I trained with him for about 4 years and progressed though the belt system of Tai Kwon Do. I went to tournaments and would “psych out” my opponents by air boxing doing 3 finger pushups. Funny I know. I was little so I had to use a mental strategy to win. I learned a lot about Control in these years. And it’s not about winning, it’s about losing with Grace. Martial arts training is about learning the art of self control. Controlling your anger, frustration and stress and learning to breath through it. It taught me how to turn it into patience, understanding and compassion.
Fast forward, When I got to Purple Belt (2 steps below Black Belt), I tore ligaments in my finger (I know, just a finger). And, as you know, being a massage therapist you need your fingers to work. So I decided to give it up. I still enjoyed moving my body and was looking for something with less impact. That in turn led me to Yoga.
5. I love, love, love Music! And to Dance! And sing, especially in the car, or at home or in yoga!
Dancing is movement. Dancing is Soul Movement. It allows me to express a part of myself that feels like being a child again. To feel the base and move my hips, to wave my arms like a great bird in flight, to just let go of the day to day linear movements of life. It is pure heaven. I used to watch my parents dance at dinner clubs, weddings and parties. It’s as if we transform this form and shape shift into anything we choose. My heart soars when I hear horns! I cry when the violin tells it’s soulful story. To connect to the undercurrent of Music, is to connect to all life. It is connection to Prana, our life force.
Chanting and singing is a big part of my essence. I do it mostly while walking in the woods. I hear the trees silent chorus calling to me to join them. I sing in the car to all my favorite 80’s songs! Cheesy I know. I sing while I cook with Frank, Nina Simone, Journey, Prince, Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson.
My love of music, chant and sound has taught me much about finding my voice. I used to think I had a horrible voice. Until I started chanting in Sanskrit. There is something about language and tongue placement that feels like I have done it before.
Thanks for humoring me and reading this rant. If you’d like to share 5 things I Don’t Know about You, send them to me. I’d like to get to know you better.