From Inner City Latch Key Kid To A Professional Yogi

We all come from different backgrounds, life circumstances, religions, and dispositions. Depending on the family you were born into or the place you were born can have drastic implications on the person you become… if you let it. I was born into a low income family with a schizophrenic con man for a father, and a mother who worked full time to pay the bills. Needless to say neither was around much.

I grew up in a small city in New England in a small house with a yard, which was a big step up from the surrounding houses that had been subdivided into apartments and the green gass paved for parking. Our home was an old carriage house, meaning it had been turned into a livable residence in the 20’s 0r 30’s and lacked basic things like numerous electrical outlets in a room, and if you plugged in a power strip to try to amp up your wattage usage the whole house would go dark. Or if you bumped into a wall you were likely to leave a large dent as the walls were horse hair plaster. The wall paper was yellowed from the previous smoking owners, and the bathroom was Pepto Bismol pink. Everything was that pink, the walls, the floor, the tub, the sink, the toilet… OK well maybe not the toilet.

But it did the job.My mother planted beautiful garden that I used to love to make bouquets from, There was a tree that we could climb, and it was often the central point for the neighborhood kids. Our house having been a carriage house was tucked in behind all the other houses on the block. There was a long narrow driveway and it seemed as though our house was the center of everything. Venturing off of the property was a totally different game. Men would drive by and try to lure you into their vehicles, the neighborhood hooker would yell if you walked on her corner, and older kids would often yell at us younger kids as we walked by.

We would ride bikes in empty business lots on the weekend, slide down our street before plows came by in the winter, and frequent the corner store where you could get candy or ice cream for a quarter. When visiting friends we would play in an intricate system of alleyways, and often spy on people through their windows. There was an abundance of life happening in all direction.

My parents had split when I was young, which meant walking city blocks to get from one home to the next. As I gained this freedom new doors were opened to me. I started frequenting the city library tucking myself into little alcoves and getting lost in a world of pages. I found out that if you went to the city art gallery before 12 on a Saturday you could get in for free and I would spend hours gazing at things so much grander than I could even understand. This was the beginning of understanding I could be more than my current circumstance.

Then my Dad died and things got rough. A world that had already made little sense to me made even less sense. I couldn’t understand it. I know now there is nothing to understand but at the time I was angry with no place to direct that anger. I was angry for years and it ate away at my soul. In the process I lost the things that had brought me joy and I melted away into a shell of the person I had been. And then I woke up on a random day 6 years later, a legal adult, living in a hovel and remembered that girl who had realized she could be more than a current circumstance. So I decided to move and enroll in college, and basically just get my shit together.

I know I am lucky to have had the will power to make those changes. If you asked why that happened I couldn’t give you an answer other than dumb luck, or a guardian angel, or dharma or I don’t even know. But I am so glad it happened.

So I went to school, and I got hella good grades. I worked full time and paid my tuition as I went. I met amazing people who 16 years later are still people I regularly talk to. I realized I love being outdoors and started camping regularly. In nature I found a peace that surpassed the one I found tucked away in a library or lost in a piece of art.

And then when I was 21 I accidentally went to a yoga class one day. True story. I thought it was a zumba class, but it wasn’t, and I was a pile of goo on the mat by the end of the hour. This. Was. Magic. How could I feel this good, this calm, this at one with myself? So I went to another class with another teacher and I was not a pile of goo at the end, and I realized that not all yoga classes are created equal.

Then I graduated college, and did some generally cool things. Like soul searching, define the person you are gonna be kind of stuff. I wanted to find my home and my people. I worked on a trail crew for the forest service, and backpacking around the country, and WOOFING in Norway, and all of these were amazing experiences and eye opening but clearly not what I wanted long term. Then I took a position for a year in an intentional community in VT where I lived and working with a Neuro Diverse population, and I ended up staying for 9 years.

In those 9 years I met my partner, had three babes, and found my life calling. While I was essentially a manager of a therapeutic home I became a social therapist and wove in my love of yoga into my work both in a restorative way for myself and as a mode of education and tools for others. I learned how to support others from a place of love with the ego removed. I learned to see each human beings higher light. I learned how to hone my tools of creative thinking, to soften my tone and my approach, to tap into my inner boss. I turned my love of reading and education to the world of yoga and mindfulness. That same drive that led me to kick ass and take names in college had now lead me to be a reliable and resourceful professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience in a niche profession.

And so here I am. Having started a business as a Kripalu based Meditation and Yoga teacher with a speciality in Neuro Diversity. And I love what I do. I know that what I do brings health and healing to the world. I know that I am able to support an underserved population, in a way that is unique that can be a mobility to change. And I know that I am honoring that young child that realized she was so much more than her circumstances.

So if you got nothing going on after you read this, or you would just mindlessly scroll on social media perhaps you would rather check out my new website and see what going on in the events, check out my other (slightly more) professional blog, or visit the gift shop to claim your FREE gift just for stopping by.

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