I am a teacher and a mental health advocate. I’m here to share, from the very depths of my being, how I’ve infused pain into purpose and how it’s possible for you too. I made myself from all I’ve been through and so can you. I find that many women, especially young women, struggle to express their personal power; their passions, drives and desires, in real time. They would rather trade their “too muchness” - their aliveness, their creative urges and sensitivity, their powerful emotions and intuitive capacity - in exchange for emptiness; to be hollowed out, “normalized,” and stuffed into society’s box.
Well, for me, I was one of those young women: suffering from intense anxiety and depression; a bare-knuckled, hair pulling, heart-wrenching, insecure, kicking and screaming version of a young, functional alcoholic girl desperately trying to find her way back home. I defaulted to many numbing agents - self-objectification, weed and alcohol, rage-filled tantrums, promiscuity and meaningless flings - as the only way to contend with feeling too intense, too emotional, too crazy; unlovable and unworthy to the extreme. It was not glamorous. So, when suddenly I was taken from my bed in the middle of the night one dark, winter morning at the ripe age of 16 - legally kidnapped by two robust “transporters,” plopped on a 4:30 AM flight to Atlanta, GA, and immediately brought to “the wilderness” of Clayton, GA for what would become a two-year long therapeutic journey away from home - the only thing I could do was try and keep it together the best I could.
The program and therapies were formulated for each individual’s pathology, yet we were to brave our inner storms, collectively, in the middle of the dense, frost-covered, unforgiving Blue Ridge Mountains; with no heat, no shower, no pillow, and no way out. I grew to like my new home immersed in nature – the simplicity of it all, with only outdoor gear, a journal, and the inner workings of my mind to contend with. Yet, the brutiful (brutal and beautiful) process of coming to face myself without distractions was not easy; it set the stage for the deep emotional work I would do for 19 months afterwards.
The “work” continued at a “Leadership Development Emotional Growth” Boarding School in South Boston, VA. Here, full days of classes were peppered in with "extra-curricula’s” of individual therapy once a week, group therapy three times a week, and multi-day fully immersive workshops five times throughout the program, during which we learned mindset “tools,” practices and exercises to enhance our self-awareness.
I left Boarding School with a degree of Emotional Intelligence that I feel super-ceded even a PhD in Clinical Psychology or a wise old elder, yet with the social and interpersonal skills of a junior in High School, where I’d left off, and with some serious symptoms of PTSD to boot! My parents decided a gap semester in the South of France would help refine my social wellness and ease me back into “the real world” before thrusting me into the wild west of college. There, I was nestled in an other-worldly Southwest Mediterranean vineyard landscape under the care of a holistically-minded Director, who changed my life when she brought us to an Apothecary in Morocco where there were scents, teas, herbs, oils and “potions.” It was visceral; something in me shifted and I became instantly fascinated with this way of using nature’s medicine for healing. It was a continuation of the wilderness concept from 2 years prior.
I entered Skidmore College in 2010, straddling the lines of old-soul maturity with the innocence of a young needing-to-be-loved girl; half committed to wanting to “fit in and half committed to her personal growth and development. During Junior year, after I’d gotten the excessive drinking and one-night-stands out of my system, I became inspired to create my own extra-curriculum for healing in tandem with my Philosophy and Religious Studies syllabi - beyond the theories and scope of academia. I attended yoga, meditation, reiki and mindfulness classes and sought out mentors, most of whom were holistic healers and practitioners I was inspired by in the town of Saratoga Springs, NY.
Out of all of the holistic healing modalities I had begun to study and practice personally, my passion for nature and medicinal plants started unfolding beautifully. My experience at the apothecary in Morocco set into motion the creation of “Skidpothecary” (Skidmore College Apothecary) during my Senior year of College. Through Skidpothecary, I started making herbal tea blends and futzing around with oil infusions on my apartment stove to rave reviews. Post-graduation, I immediately became a 300-hour Advanced Clinical Aromatherapist, a three-times certified 200-hour yoga teacher trainer, a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and a Reiki 1 and 2 energy healer. I became an avid student of Positive Psychology; a sincere practitioner of affirmations, mindfulness, gratitude and self-care.
My philosophy, teaching and life’s work is a wholesome blend of this journey; including all of the practices, tools, rituals, and techniques I’ve learned along the way. My college-run herbal tea line has become a thriving and powerful (inner) beauty brand, Essential Rose Life - the goal of which has always been healing and growth through ritual. The axis of Essential Rose Life (the products) and the “inner beauty” RoseWork teachings is removing the stigma of mental illness by concentrating on how we build mental wellness. Teaching people to care for themselves, respect their feelings and emotions, and create balance is my soul's work.
I am honored to support you as you learn to recognize the depths of your soul’s beauty; healing, nurturing and loving yourself from the inside out.
COMPLETION "OUTDOOR WILDERNESS THERAPY," Second Nature Blue Ridge
COMPLETION "EMOTIONAL GROWTH" EDUCATION PROGRAM, Carlbrook School
2,000-Hour Self-Development Leadership Training, Carlbrook School
DUAL BA RELIGIOUS STUDIES AND PHILOSOPHY, Skidmore College
300-HOUR ADVANCED CLINICAL AROMATHERAPY, New York Institute of Aromatherapy
200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, Sivananda Yoga
200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, PRACTICE Roslyn
200-HOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, Westways Sea Cliff
MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION, Jon Kabat-Zinn
TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION, TM Institute
REIKI 1 and REIKI 2, Sacred Source Healing
10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES, Tory Burch Foundation and Goldman Sachs
CERTIFIED WOMAN OWNED SMALL BUSINESS, WBE