My name is Terri, and I’m on a mission to provide a safe space for others to own their own power, strength, and inner wisdom. I want you to find your voice, be heard, seen and valued for who you are , feeling comfortable in your own skin and confident to be your own unique self.
My life experience made it easy and safe to become invisible, swallowed up, hiding in the shadows. I know I’m not alone in this and maybe you’ve been nodding your head in agreement because you’ve felt the same things.
If so, I have something else, something even more important to say:
Even in the safety of the shadows we feel a deep desire and longing to be seen, accepted, wanted, and valued. And so, we feel the pain of this inner struggle and battle, wanting the safety found in the shadows, but longing to be in the sunshine, fully visible and seen.
My life journey has led me to be a spiritual seeker for as long as I can remember, seeking growth, new insights, experiences, and adventure.
Here’s part of my exciting journey:
- I walked across Spain by myself in 2009 when I walked the Camino de Santiago.
- I completed a year-long training in the expressive arts in 2015
- My 200-hour yoga trainging was completed in 2018
- I completed an additional 30 hours in accessible yoga training
- And 100 hours in yin yoga trainging
Yoga has helped to calm my anxiety, tap into my inner strength and wisdom, and stay present in the moment.
It has also increased strength and flexibility in my physical body.
It takes great courage to try something new, especially something that you think might be impossible for your body. One of the misconceptions many have about yoga is that it is only for the “young” or “fit” (whatever that means!) All can benefit from yoga!
If you would like to “dip your toe into the water”, I’ll provide the safe space for you to begin a journey of learning about yourself physically, mentally and emotionally through yoga ( and art, if you choose to participate in that as well).
I”m on a mission to help you own your power, your strength, and your inner wisdom.
For most of my life I lived in a constant state of guardness and didn’t feel safe-but I was unaware of it. This was “normal” for me. It’s just how life was. I had few opinions, at least few that I voiced. It wasn’t safe to have feelings, especially if they clashed with the feelings of others or might cause any kind of disapproval or confrontation.
Trauma was introduced early, at the tender age of 2, when my young and single birthmother placed me and my 4-year-old brother in an orphanage. Logical or rational reasons for this placement have no meaning to a two-year-old. A two-year old is not too young to question where her mother is, when she is coming back, why she is in this strange place, what did she do wrong, and why she can’t be with her family anymore.
Add to this trauma the layer of being placed in an unsafe orphanage. A place where young girls were sexually abused and then given medications for spontaneous abortions when/if they became pregnant. Although I would not have been cognizant of these atrocities at the time, this unsafe and dysfunctional atmosphere could have only added to my trauma and fear.
We lived in this facility for a couple of months before an interested couple and their 6-year-old daughter came to “check us out.” My brother was quite eager to accept this new development. He crawled right up into our future adoptive father’s lap and asked if he could go home with him. On the surface, endearing, but unknowing to those present at the time, a symptom of attachment disorder. I was not so quick to trust what was going on. This very same day of our first meeting, we were in the car with our future adoptive parents and heading across state lines to their home in Illinois. My mantra throughout the transition was “no, get your hands off me”, with an encore of puking all over my “new sister” in the back seat of the car. Happy April Fool’s Day! That’s right, it all happened on April 1st!
We were the first two of five adopted children added to the family with a few foster children here and there throughout the years. The other 3 children were older, harder to place children 6 and 7 years old. Two came from abusive situations. One had been in and out of 14 different foster homes before he came to live with us and eventually adopted.
Kids are resilient, they bounce back. Right? Don’t we hear this all the time? Yes, we are all resilient and have inner strength beyond measure. But there are some caveats. We need to be seen, heard, recognized, validated, nurtured, accepted for who we are, not what we do. We need to be able to speak our truth, feel our losses; speak about them without feeling shame or feeling responsible for making someone else feel whole.
I always knew I was adopted, but it was never a topic of conversation, ever. I was in my forties when my brother and I met for dinner and had our very first conversation about our loss and adoption. I remember I could barely speak about the grief I felt for fear of completely losing control of my emotions. I did what I had done all my life, swallowed it. I learned early in childhood to bite my tongue and focus on that pain rather than allow an outward show of emotion.
Our bodies begin to pay a price for keeping emotions “under control.” Whether it be aches, pains, disease, anxiety, depression, etc., we begin to feel the effects physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Emotions need to be experienced and expressed.
I never considered myself an artistic person. And yet, I am an accomplished seamstress, love photography, cooking, gardening, and within the last few years have discovered that I love to paint. I don’t paint landscapes, portraits, or still-life, but rather, engage in free-form intuitive painting. Painting for process, not product. It’s freeing, it brings the inner landscape (emotions, ideas, thoughts, deep desires) out onto the page. Anyone can do it, but you must let go of self- judgment and silence the inner critic, following wherever intuition leads you. This process begins to inform you about what’s happening inside, so it’s really not about painting at all…it’s about life.
Yoga has similar ways of teaching and informing us about who we are. Yoga is not about turning yourself into a human pretzel or competing / comparing yourself with the person on the next mat. It’s about owning your power, finding your voice and inner wisdom. It’s about embracing change in your life with the guidance of an instructor and support from your fellow students. As you find a still place within, being fully present to your body on the mat, staying in the moment, listening to your body’s wisdom, and letting this wisdom inform your movement, stillness and breath, an unfolding of all you have to give to the world begins to emerge. But it starts with giving to yourself. You have to know you are worth investing in, worth being helped, worth being inspired and worth the time, and effort to take beautiful care of your mind, body and spirit. Contact me today or register for a class now. If you feel inspired on any level to let me help you, take action now. Honor yourself now because we’ve been taught to put everyone else first and it’s slowly killing us.
Whether we meet side by side on the yoga mat or at the easel, know that you have a kindred spirit who will be present, listen, validate and protect this sacred space of being. Let’s grow together, adventure together. Let’s take on the world together and make it a better place!