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This story is a little snapshot of my life, a moment that changed my trajectory.  We all have stories to tell...what's yours?

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What was Your Moment?

What was your moment?  The moment in your life when you realized that you deserved more… that you deserved to be happy?

Mine was in the mid-90s. I was still cooking professionally working in a bakery in Chicago.  I was living in a sea of emotion all the time, full-time survival mode with only slight glimpses of light. I felt like a victim to life. I was getting migraines multiple times a week, I was in pain all of the time, my relationships were chaotic. I was lonely and sad and constantly seeking outside of myself for someone or something that would just make it all OK.

One day, I was out running errands and I was having one of those rare days where I just felt really good and I remember thinking “Why can’t I feel like this all of the time? I deserve to feel this good all of the time. I deserve to be happy.”

I went home that day and pulled out the Yellow Pages because yes, that was still a thing, I found a counselor and I started therapy.

I was entering into my first Saturn return and I’m thankful that I had that year of therapy underneath my belt before that extremely tumultuous three-year period of my life. Within this timeframe, I decided to follow my heart more. I quit cooking professionally and I went back to college. I started on the path of the healer. I didn’t know where it was going to take me, but I trusted my heart and I took the leap.  My first Saturn return was about me, embracing my inner Woo, owning it, embodying it, and allowing it to have a say in my life and on my path. As it turns out, I’ve been pretty psychic my whole life, but it wasn’t until I opened my heart and took that leap that I was able to reclaim that vital part of my essence that I had locked away as unsafe and unworthy. 

There were many synchronicities during my time in college that further solidified my path.  

  • I had a professor hand-pick me to participate in her pilot course on Healing Touch. <This was strange to me because, at that point in my life, I was NOT into the Woo. She saw something in me, something that I had buried deeply.

  • I was studying Athletic Training but in working with the swimming and diving team, realized that I wanted to study massage, too.

  • In my internship year, I also attended massage school full time and graduated from both programs with honors.

  • I began teaching massage and anatomy/kinesiology after graduation.

  • Massage School reintroduced me to my body. And everything that entailed…it was… a lot. I learned more about energy work and trauma which led me to return to therapy–but this time the process was body-centered/somatic.  7 years of Hakomi, Internal Family Systems, Myofascial Release, and Craniosacral Therapy reintroduced my body to my soul.  

  • I completed the 3 year - 750 hour foundational course in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and my life would never be the same. 

Until I started walking this path, I did not have access to my body. My body was a vehicle. It was something that caused me pain, something that held me back, something that led me to make bad decisions… my body was the place where the pain lived.

It took me years to feel comfortable going within, to have the courage to sit with the little ones who held the trauma, and even more years to learn how to love them. But, one by one, I did love them. I learned to hold the space for them so that they could feel safe to share their stories with me.  And we grew together. They taught me so much. They helped me to see that what we were told about who we are, were all lies. Lies that built the foundation of my self-worth, and once I finally got to know them, and truly see them, those lies no longer held any weight. What I saw, and what I felt…the little ones that I came to know, were so beautiful, joyful, and so loving, honest, true, and genuine… I had this epiphany– this is the truth of the essence of my soul, that is who I am. I am not any of this other stuff that society wanted me to believe. The societal programming appeared like blankets trying to smother my light. Each time I was able to access one of my little ones inside, love her, and bring her forward so that she could tell her story and be heard and held and acknowledged and honored, each time I was able to do that I was removing a blanket. I was removing a bit of darkness that was trying to put out my light. 

I don’t want to mislead anyone by making it sound easy… it was not. I also don’t want to mislead anyone into believing that it’s fast.
     >>This is our life’s work friends. 

  • The uncovering of our light, 

  • the embracing of our heart

    • our authenticity 

    • our truth 

This is our soul and letting that shine? That is our life’s work.  

I feel from the depths of my soul that this paradigm is changing and I won’t lie to you here either it’s not gonna be fast or easy, because the change comes from within us, and is reflected outward. We have to be willing to take off those blankets and be vulnerable, to take off those blankets and let our lights shine, to take off those blankets and feel in our bodies the depths of whatever our inner children are holding, and honor it, embrace it, and love it.  Love it into our hearts, love it into light, integrate it into our lives, and allow it to shine through us. The more of us who do this work, the more the trajectory shifts from survival mode into joy and authenticity.

I will be forever grateful for that estrogen-fueled, ovulation bliss I felt that day in the mid 90’s. I am thankful that HeartSoul Essence capitalized on that moment to get my attention and wake me up so I could realize that there was more to this life than mere survival. 

What was your moment?
xoxo Maria


Educational Biography

Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Professional Cooking, 1990
University of Illinois at Chicago, BS Kinesiology/Sports Medicine, 1996
Healing Touch via UIC, 1995
Chicago School of Massage Therapy - swedish, sports, myofascial, trigger point, 1996
Biodynamic CranioSacral Foundational training, 750 hours, graduated 2003
Herbal Internship Shawna Wilcox, 2008
Herbal Internship Janice Marsh-Prelesnik, 2009
School of Evolutionary Herbalism, Astrological Herbalism and Materia Medica 2017
Lindera Energetic Herbalism with jim mcdonald, 2021


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