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2017 wrap up & why I’ve been laying low

Every year I set aside a bit of time over the course of a week or two to read through journal entries from the year, look at pictures I’ve taken, and spend some time acknowledging what’s been happening over the past 12 months.

Outside of life at Real Food Wellness, a few personal highlights I’ve chosen to share:

I stood along side many of you, near and far, marching in South Bend on January 21st in support of the Women’s March on Washington and have been astonished by what’s unfolded and surfaced over the past year personally and collectively for women at large, as womens voices around the country emerge in more fullness.

In the Spring, I had the absolute JOY of choreographing and teaching two beautiful women and friends their wedding dance this past Spring and I myself have re-committed to regular dance in my life. I’ve been having so much fun.

I met my nephew Rynn Rafael for the first time in July and re-connected with my brother who lives on the west coast. And in September, one of my closest friends, Sarah, had a baby, Maxim James, which touched me in a way I imagine only a biological sister would be touched seeing her sister enter motherhood.

My love came ‘home’ with me for Thanksgiving with my parents and extended family this year for the first time.

And overall I’ve experienced deepening of intimacy in friendship.

Feeling into this now, am so warmed by these happenings in my personal life.

I’ve also been studying my dreams more seriously and creating a detailed map of my own psyche, tracking the various parts, their relationship with one another, and my relationship with them. All this has been strengthening my consciousness and continues to re-organize much of my inner wiring. Whew – It’s been a lot and also very good.

As far as Real Food Wellness goes, a handful of highlights:

I was nominated for the 2017 West Michigan Women’s Brilliance Awards for my work with Real Food Wellness in the category of “Re-Invention,” which I attended with one of my childhood friends, now lawyer, Angela, and several people from her firm. Also, my friend Kara, who is a writer for the Grand Rapids Magazine, got the go ahead to publish an article about my work in the psychology of eating earlier in the year which was great to get out in print.

I started my professional training in Internal Family Systems therapy in the Spring, which I’ve been studying informally, for the past two years and have some out-of-state training early in 2018 to have things complete by April (!) You can read more about IFS here and the blog post I’d written about a simple application with eating here. I’ll be sharing more in the coming months about the opportunity to do this work together. It’s been keeping me juiced!

I travelled to Boulder this past Spring to study with Chameli Ardagh to explore the embodiment practices and mythology of the Goddess Lalita Devi, the archetype of the spiritually and erotically awake feminine. A few months later I made my way back to New Mexico to study with traditional healers (namely Rita Navarette) from Mexico and South America. We gathered as a community for ceremony, for lectures, for time in the temezcal together. In the middle of my time there I was lucky enough to score some Skype time with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk for an hour conversation. (Van der Kolk is one of the leading authorities on developmental trauma).

Other than that, things have been flowing along, seeing clients in person and remotely, teaching occasional workshops (Ayurvedic Nutrition a few times and a new one on the Shadow of the psyche) and I plan to organize more of this coming year. I had a lovely intern, Lauren, who just completed her time at RFW.

I’m still writing regular blog posts. The most popular this year were this one, this one, and this one. And I had lovely feedback on this mini video project from March. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll have to let me know what you think.

Laying Low

Chunked all together this might sound like a lot…maybe it doesn’t. I’ve actually been laying low for the most part, committed to study and gathering resources and direct experiences to map out a clear, personal methodology for client and healing work that, my hope is, leaves little out, or least includes more than nutrition alone or psychology alone.

At this stage in the game, through direct experience, I know that ongoing suffering of the eating variety (which is often limited to the body/intellect domain) is usually a placeholder for a more legitimate suffering of the soul and spirit. That being said, caring for the body in a down-to-earth, practical way cannot be left out (nutritional care). But within a wider framework, why we’re caring for the body and who is caring for the body changes.

I will always have a soft spot for those wanting to do good work with their eating.

Alright, I’m keeping it as brief as I can

If you’re still with me, thank you so much for reading and being with me yet another year and supporting Real Food Wellness! I’m a committed woman going on 9 years of doing this work…

I look forward to sharing more news soon and, like always, being of support and service to others in the best ways I know how.

Have a beautiful remainder to the year!

With love and respect,

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