To call myself a wanderer of paths is as accurate as I can get in describing myself and how I journey through life. The linear direct path is not the way I travel. I've come to realize over time and through many failed efforts to fit myself into a linear mold, that wandering is what I do. To let myself be as I was created to be and unfold into my already present potential is the only path I am interested in now and I will make a million course corrections if needed to travel it.
So those of you of a linear mind I ask for you to have patience, I do get to the point. It just doesn't tend to be through the front door, or where you would expect the way in to be.
That's how I have ended up here; a Registered Acupuncturist with a clinical practice in Victoria, BC and the founder of an Emotional Initiative called So Sensitive (my previously most hated phrase, but I'll get to that a little later).
Originally I was trained as a Pastry Chef and spent 8 years within the hospitality industry working in kitchens, participating in pastry competitions and loving every minute of making beautiful pastries, wedding cakes and chocolates.
Anyone who has worked in a physically demanding job has perhaps experienced the toll it takes on the body and mine took a beating through all the repetitive movements and demands of the job. Eventually full blown tendonitis through my wrists, thumbs and elbows of both hands forced me to leave my job and enter a workplace rehabilitation program.
For 18 months, I did all the recommended therapies and after 2 failed return to work attempts, I had to finally hear and accept the conclusion of my specialist; that this work just might not be possible for my body.
At that point, still injured and now with no career in sight, I tried acupuncture for the first time. I went with very few expectations since my symptoms were so persistent by that point, and ended up having an experience that would open up a whole new path in my life.
Within an hour of the treatment (which is still the most sensation I've ever felt in any acupuncture session), all my symptoms had subsided, my forearms didn't look like Popeye from all the swelling anymore and I could hold a tea cup with no pain.
If this wasn't a no-brainer situation, then I don't know what one would look like. Acupuncture worked when so many other modalities had not. Off I went to acupuncture school!
To say that Traditional Chinese Medicine is very different than Western Medicine is just the tip of the iceberg. It's not just a different perspective, but it requires you to relearn how to think about and understand things. To say that metaphor and I have become intimately acquainted isn't even enough; studying TCM was my first introduction to a glimpse inside the inseparable and interconnected system of how humans work. Even the invisible parts are somewhere.
To be invited into a space where health is more than just about the body or mind, but about how those separate pieces interacte and impacte each other and then how the arising symptoms were a reflection of the imbalance of the functioning of the greater system rather than those symptoms being the problem that needed to be solved.. well that space and the idea of integrative health continues to blow my mind.
(and create massive run-on sentences more than occasionally ;) oops!
In my own tendonitis recovery, I also experienced how unprocessed emotions (very simply put; feelings that I had, but ignored, and for all intensive purposes didn't really allow myself to feel) can get stuck in the tissues of the body.
We had tons of acupuncture treatments as students, and the moment when one of my classmates asked how I felt about losing my career was one of those instances where I met every feeling I had suppressed about my injury. My arms felt that same familiar pain, inflammation and discomfort arrive in a split second and it was like I, all of a sudden, could see what had been there all along; that I was angry, sad and grieving the loss of my career and what had happened to me. It was more than being angry I was in pain. A whole lot more complicated.
Many who have had acupuncture experiences where you just have to cry it out on the table, know that it's just sometimes a thing that happens when the needles open up circulation through a physical space in your body that has been locked or contracted for a long period of time. That happened... more than once.
My interest in how our emotions get involved in our bodies was piqued you could say. Over the 8 years of my Acupuncture education and clinical practice I've kept an eye out and been drawn towards how those invisible emotions get caught up in our bodies and health concerns and how they sometimes become the block to complete recoveries and healing.
I've been down the rabbit hole of Inherited Family Trauma work (blog posts will come on this one), the energetics of essential oils, attachment theory, micro-traumas and mindset/meaning creation to name a few.
It was with a colleague who suggested a different emotional approach might be helpful outside of TCM that led me to the work of pioneer empathy and emotions researcher, Karla McLaren and her book the Language of Emotions.
This was another fork in the road for me, though I didn't recognize it at the time. I thought, ohh this is great work, something I can use in my practice and maybe a little helpful for me personally. Understatement of the century turns out!
Within the work of Dynamic Emotional Integration® I found a vital piece of myself that I had not ever known how to reach; and that there was more to just feeling all the feels, but an understanding of my emotions could be developed. If you would note that I didn't say my emotions have changed I would appreciate it, because they still flow and feel like they used to. It's my response and relationship that have changed in a way I had no idea I needed.
As a little girl, I was tenderhearted, sensitive and an openhearted child. Many of us remember those times, because we all start out as emotion filled little beings. I recall so many times that my sensitivity was highlighted through my youth, which left me in a tough spot of not knowing what I could do about it alongside having a lack of skills.
Our feelings come built in. Aren't they supposed to be there? Society would have us think otherwise, as would many cultures, industries and philosophies. Rather than get sucked down that path of the story, I'm going to just take it back to my little me at 4, wondering why when everyone kept on saying I was 'So Sensitive' and how I, for all those conditioning reasons, heard that as something I should get over or at least try not show.
Since we are all adaptive as humans, I took up the mantle of all the usual methods of avoiding, diminishing and suppressing my feelings. On the surface, it really worked. Successes were had and my life looked pretty good as the years rolled by.
Yet after I had been introduced to Dynamic Emotional Integration® there was no off switch to the fact that I could see huge areas of my life that weren't being lived fully like I wanted to do.
So I jumped in and really started doing the exercises and techniques on my own over a period of months. It was bumpy and slow, but over time I saw that my emotions were the paths to all the places I had been unknowingly searching for or trying to understand.
Have you ever had something just take root in your mind and not let go? This is what this book did for me and months later I blurted out loud, "Man I wish there was training courses for this work!" and guess what?!? There were!
On the education platform Empathy Academy I entered the Dynamic Emotional Integration® training program and have completed my Licensed DEI Trainer and Consultation Certifications. This community has become one of rich friendships and deep curiosity in which we can further our own understandings of emotions.
This brings me to right about the present day of launching my emotional initiative in the world, which will consist of workshops, private sessions, tons of informational resources, spreading the word and who knows what else will come, I don't have a crystal ball!
Naming this new space really was a struggle for me, nothing I came up with really held any oomph or power. Until one day, I considered what had been my inspiration to doing all this work for myself. It was about rediscovering that little sensitive 4 year old me and in a quirky state of redefining outdated myths of belief I decided to change what that old statement meant for me today and So Sensitive was now a real idea taking shape in the world..
Now every time someone takes note of my sensitivity, I say thank you. I tell them I appreciate that they notice because I've worked really hard on developing this asset into one of my most powerful resources. My sensitivity helps me stay connected to all the information coming to me from my internal emotional intelligences, and outside in the world navigate life and connect with other people.
All this sounds pretty critical to thriving in life to me!
Being 'So Sensitive' now means to me that I'm celebrating a deep connection to every part of myself (both that which is conscious and still not yet realized). As a result, I get to fully express my inherent design as I move through the world and hopefully be a light and guide for others who are travelling that same, yet uniquely personal, internal journey of their own.
This site provides general educational and informational resources on emotions. It is not a substitute for professional mental health support and does not claim to diagnose or replace the need for mental health treatment or medications. Speak to your doctor prior to making any medical decisions or changes to your health care plan.
Please reach out to your healthcare team or health hotlines in times of crisis for urgent care needs.
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