As I entered the final year of my undergraduate degree, everything appeared to be on track. I had a 4.0 GPA, was vying for a starting spot on the varsity basketball team, was an avid horseback rider, and had been nominated by my university to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship. I had a burning passion for improving global health and believed that pursuing a career as an academic was a critical first step for me.
My life path, however, was about to change.
In our second basketball game that season, I suffered a serious concussion with debilitating symptoms. I had an extreme sensitivity to noise and light, difficulty concentrating and reading, exhaustion, weakness, fogginess, and a constant headache. I was forced to withdraw from school as the symptoms continued to persist for months. On some days, even a walk to the corner store was so tiring I would have to go back to bed.
For the first time in my life, I couldn’t heal simply by rest, as Canada’s concussion expert advised, or by working harder. Nor could I escape through activities I loved like riding horses and running. By listening more to my body and my intuition, I was eventually able to get back to school full-time, but I still suffered from many of the same symptoms, especially exhaustion. I finished my degree and began work on a Master’s program at Oxford University. Even though I still didn’t feel better, I believed that if I kept pushing myself to work as hard as I could on what I was passionate about, my healing would take care of itself in the future. What mattered most was helping and healing others.
My master’s research inspired me to found a non-profit called Rhythm of Change between the UK and South Africa, with a mission to awaken the next generation’s potential to make a difference through a new wave of music, dance, and multimedia programs. But after two years, I finally began to realize the extent to which the concussion still affected me. I needed to find balance in my own life and the only way to do that was to make my healing work my first priority. Only then would I truly be able to help empower others.
I therefore began to try and understand what it was to heal myself fully, and to find balance from the inside out. I realized that in order to bring healing to others, I first needed to heal myself. This is when Reiki came into my life.
In the past, when I began something new, it was always full steam ahead. But this time, Reiki set up shop in a little corner of my life and gently, slowly expanded. I began training at the suggestion of a friend, and as I continued to work at the art and enjoyed practicing daily self-treatments, my life began to transform. The lingering effects of my concussion, including the fogginess and exhaustion that had challenged me for seven years, healed.
Reiki also allowed me to heal emotionally. I learned to be honest with myself, and my confidence in who I truly was improved. I stopped trying to be perfect and increasingly overcame a deep-seated fear of judgment. Years also peeled off my face and I became much more present. Reiki put me back in the driver’s seat of my life and I felt empowered to steer a course that would work for me on all levels.
Slowly, subtly, and steadily Reiki grew and grew in my life and became my path.
My experiences inspired me to train more so I could offer healing and harmonizing to others. Various loving and wise mentors then started guiding the development of my practice. Many women, with decades of experience, answered my questions, offered tremendous emotional support, taught me to listen compassionately, and helped me to get out of my head to trust my intuition. I studied extensively with Anita Levin, a 77-year-old Usui Reiki Master who studied with the granddaughter of Grand Master Hawayo Takata, the woman who brought Reiki to North America. But initial certification is only a small part of being a Reiki practitioner. What matters most is a practitioner’s continued training and inner work.
I began to learn more about energy healing and breathwork, studying with Shaman T’ameaux Brown, founder of the Universal Sisterhood. My strength grew as I discovered that I could find my way through anything, no matter how difficult, because I now knew how to listen to myself, fully and completely. I did my Reiki masters with the founder of the Tera Mai lineage, Kathleen Milner, with a special focus on working with horses. I also co-created a Healing with Horses and Reiki workshop with Wendy Golding, founder of Horse Spirit Connections and creator of the Facilitated Experiential Equine Learning Certification Program. I then began working with Master teacher KA’ryna SH’ha, a carrier of the Grandmother Lineage, and moved to a whole new level of practice, incorporating drumming, singing, and energy transmissions.
All of this guidance enabled me to create Samhara Energy Medicine™ as a system. Samhara is a Sanskrit word that refers to a process of liberation that has the power to destroy all illusion so that only love remains. Samhara allows me to pass on all that I have learned—and all that has helped me—to others. I look forward to walking with you on your unique path towards freedom through harmonization.