“Up until 2020, I spent 20 years practicing as a physical therapist in the traditional healthcare industry. But when the pandemic hit, my life was turned upside down. I lived in a very rural community in Vermont. I wasn’t able to work and I was homeschooling my children as a single parent. Things were tricky. At the time, it felt like a crisis, but now I see it was a real opportunity to reflect.
During that time, I was looking for community, I was looking for a sense of self, and I was looking for connection to something greater. Basically, I was looking for the next step. Through a series of synchronous events, I found NUSHU in the winter of 2020. I was interested in a person’s work who had led a NUSHU Thought Leader Series. I listened to the series and it just lit me up, so I ended up trying a few NUSHU Groups and fell in love with the format. From those one-off experiences, I knew NUSHU was a medium that was going to play a key and vital role in my personal healing, and it did just that. It changed my life.
I grew up on a homestead in Hudson Valley, New York, where I spent every chance I could outdoors. I wanted to be a doctor, a dancer, and an environmentalist. I attended Boston College where I graduated with a degree in microbiology from the pre-medical program. I also performed in Boston University’s dance theater program. I then pursued a clinical doctoral degree in physical therapy at New York University, but along the way, I’d lost a little of myself while pursuing and practicing traditional medicine.
During the pandemic, I’d begun reconnecting to nature again, which reconnected me to myself, dance, and my creativity. I started questioning this paradigm we live in, and finding NUSHU in that process lit a flame that further guided me toward my childhood. After participating in several NUSHU Groups, I immediately signed up for NUSHU Group Facilitator Training, becoming a Certified NUSHU Group Facilitator and most recently mentoring a training cohort.
Being a part of NUSHU allowed me to discover so many didactic lessons that helped me establish a foundation for listening to others. But even deeper, I came into my own personal understanding of how I relate to others and how others can relate to me, and how we serve each other in creating safe spaces to speak our truths and witness other people’s truths.
In discovering my truth, I came back into a space of knowing what I want, how I can exist as a person in this world, and how I’d like to serve other people. I spent so many years working in an industry that didn’t align with who I am, but NUSHU helped me realize I wasn’t aligned with the medical industrial complex and that I wasn’t able to deliver health to my patients in the way that I wanted. Had it not been for NUSHU, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to be able to say, ‘This is not for me. I can’t do this anymore.’ Part of my unraveling was a shift in asking myself, ‘What’s next? Where do I go from here? Who am I? How do I want to use my skills to serve the world?’
Since participating in NUSHU Group, completing the NUSHU Group Facilitator Training, and mentoring upcoming NUSHU Group Facilitators, I’ve taken these teachings and my experiences as a mother, a dancer, a naturalist, a fitness athlete, and a physical therapist, and I’ve pulled them into a space of holistic wellness. I started writing my book, Bodies of Earth, and I now facilitate my own group called the “Earth-Body Community Group.” I work with regulating the nervous system, so I begin with breathing, meditating, and grounding exercises, followed by the traditional NUSHU prompts and journaling practices. The beauty of the Earth-Body platform layered with NUSHU’s essence is that it naturally allows people to come into an understanding of themselves and who they are, and it gives people the opportunity to access their own emotions, stories, and limiting beliefs.
Having been through NUSHU Group Facilitator Training and having been a witness to my and other facilitators’ experiences and growth, I think there is no one who couldn’t benefit from being a part of this community. It was so astonishing to see the degree of expansion in these women that it gives me hope and a sense of joy for the future. Considering the polarized world we’re living in, I look to the future in a different way knowing that there are people in this world who are open to this type of communication and collaboration. I can’t say how important this work is. I really see NUSHU as being a way toward communicating, accessing, and sharing information. I look forward to watching NUSHU expand and deliver its potential because it is just really amazing.”