Awaken ~ Embody ~ Heal
Embodied Healing for Women
Encouraging women in their deepest embodiment and in cultivating an unconditional experience of self-love.
Effectively blending yoga, movement, meditation, mindfulness, and natural health and wellness, Embodied Coaching sessions are a unique avenue towards holistic healing. Compassionately meeting women where they are at, Alison draws from her wealth of personal and professional experience in these realms to create a life-honoring and individualized session for clients. Based on the premise that when we are in our bodies, even for the challenging moments, we are able to tap into that inner resource, that inner strength and respond from a powerful, clear, and embodied place. Our bodies are imprinted by all of our life experiences, patterns, emotions, and are the most powerful gateway towards uncovering our authentic and radiant selves. With gentle and steady support the possibilities are endless.
Radical and Soulful Self-Care:
A tremendous piece of my work is in the realm of what I call, Radical and Soulful Self-Care. As women, we are naturally caregivers, putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. I learned many years ago that that way of living is not sustainable and cuts one off from our life force. It actually inhibits our ability to give to others when we are not taking care of ourselves. As a single mom for the past 7 years, I have had to get creative and unwavering in my self-care and know that when I am tended to by myself, I am a more caring, nurturing and patient mom.
Radical and Soulful Self-Care doesn’t mean taking spa days or vacations regularly. One does not need to have extensive resources in order to engage in this level of self-care. It is about tending to ourselves at a core level, our souls, through simple practices and rituals. We are tapping into our innate bodily wisdom and our hearts stirrings on a soul level. It means feeding ourselves through our senses and finding true nourishment in our everyday choices.
These are radical acts on your own behalf.
“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel”.
Embodied Support for Women in Recovery from Eating Disorders:
I honor women as individuals.
I acknowledge the sensitive nature of recovery.
I support and meet women where they are in their process of unfolding.
I advocate for women in tapping into their innate wisdom and power.
I encourage women in their deepest embodiment and in cultivating an unconditional experience of self-love.
I support women in recovery to honor their bodies without restrictions, rules, and regulations.
I celebrate and honor women in their hunger for life.
I am passionate and compassionate.
“The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come”.
Embodied Support for Women Unwinding from Traumatic Life Experiences:
My philosophy in working with women to unwind trauma from the body, nervous system, and mind:
~You have to feel it, to heal it: this leaves plenty of room for interpretation and absolutely does not mean that we need to recapitulate every traumatizing experience that has occurred. This means that we need to allow our full range of emotions to surface, acknowledge, honor, and release.
~Trauma takes time and patience to sequence through your body and the various emotions.
~Compassion for self along each phase is essential.
~The body holds the key to our unraveling, unfolding, and empowerment. We must continuously refine our ability to listen to what our bodies are saying and honor that inner voice of need.
~It takes work, consistent practice, determination, and an unwavering belief in self to embody and empower.
~Regression is natural. The subconscious patterns and beliefs need to be re-patterned at a deep and sustainable way.
~ We must embody life – embody ourselves – all aspects of ourselves to grow, heal, and become fully alive.
“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become”.
I became aware of my weight and the fact that I weighed more than my other 8 year old peers, in 3rd grade, when our teacher posted the numbers on the scale for everyone to look at and compare. I grew up as a dancer and was very aware of my body and its evolving curvature pushing and poking out of my leotards and tutus. I was in high school on the drill team and our uniforms were mini skirts and go-go boots in which we had to wear to school on Fridays. I was quite aware of the size of my thighs in comparison to my fellow Flyerettes. I grew up in a healthy household were there was no junk food allowed — A wonderful way of being raised. As soon as I had an ounce of freedom I was hitting the drive thru’s and bingeing on junk, grease, and sugar. I went to college out of state away from most of my friends. I had to make my own food choices, as most college co-eds do. I chose to order in take out in the middle of the night. I was partying, eating, and feeling horrible about myself. The cycle imprinted. I went home after my freshman year, looked in the mirror at the “freshman 30” I had gained and vowed to get rid of it…to get rid of myself, really. I went the opposite direction and became obsessive about not eating and working out until I dropped. I returned to college my sophomore year, 40 pounds lighter and felt the increased male attention immediately. It registered that thin was good, fat was bad. I vowed to myself to never be fat again.
Over the next many, many years I cycled between starvation, closet bingeing, working out incessantly (I had to drop out of school one semester as I was at the gym twice a day for hours, sweating through several changes of shirts, and that was priority…school was not), inevitably failing myself and my unrealistic expectations of how I was “supposed” to look, act, eat, and work out and I would “need” to punish myself as a result. It was a never-ending cycle of self-destruction and I was in the middle of it. I could not see out, I could not get out; I was wavering from one end of the pendulum to the next. I could not hit the pause button and over the years I just became more entrenched in the throes of the cycle.
By some miracle, in my 5th (and final) year in undergrad I found yoga and meditation. I was still partying, shoving food down my throat, working out obsessively, and desperately trying to find some connection to myself. I landed in a yoga and meditation class, at an old restored church filled with stained glass, love, and compassion. My teacher taught me how to breathe, smile inwardly at myself, and feel my body. This foundation remained with me over the years, was my home base, and truly carried me through the following tumultuous time. It was my stream of light and one that I could always feel no matter how dark I was.
By the age of 24, I had successfully moved 4 times (since graduated college just a few years earlier). I was a mess. I couldn’t hold down a job. Things would feel really good and exciting as soon as I landed in my new home, I would feel in control of the eating disorder, I could actually show up for myself and my life. Inevitably, I would get triggered by something and would fall right back into the cycle of destruction, as I hadn’t healed the core of it. I just kept running by moving locations – feeling that if I could just live somewhere else, have different friends, a new job, etc. THEN I would be good, happy, at peace, in love with life. A SET UP FOR DYSFUNCTIONAL DISASTER…and that is exactly what I was. I was in therapy 3 times a week at this time and was not getting any better. I knew I needed to do something drastic. I will never forget that rock bottom moment of surrender. It was actually an act of self-care, of self-love, a declaration to myself, in that moment, that I was better than how I had been living. I knew that I had to take a radical act on my own behalf or I was heading, most likely, towards death. This was no life I was living.
At 24 years of age, I packed up my life in Colorado, loaded up my beloved dog, and drove across the country to deposit my belongings and my life’s responsibilities with my parents. I boarded a plane to Tucson, Arizona and checked myself into a residential treatment center for women, which became my home for many months, not just once, but twice after a relapse. Mirasol saved my life. I unwound, I cried, I released the pent up anger, I moved my body and my emotions in the arms of safety and compassion, I found my voice in power, I shared my heart with strangers who could relate and hold me in my brokenness, I learned how to nourish myself through food rather than just shoving down my throat as a means to an end. I woke up to a piece of myself that I had never known before. I was raw but I was alive and grateful.
Re-entering my life was challenging to say the least and I quickly found myself obsessively eating chocolate chip cookies and vowing to punish myself for doing so. The eating disorder voice was still there and had not yet found an expression in this new way of being. I tearfully and humbly returned to Mirasol shortly after leaving. This was a massive imprint in my being and I needed consistent support.
Tucson became my home as I got an apartment and admitted myself into outpatient care. I needed to, that was clear. I also knew that I needed to be in a supportive community as I transitioned out of the shelter of loving kindness I had been blessed to be in. I chose to go to bodywork school. I registered myself at the Providence Institute of Holistic Bodywork and yet another year of healing began. I had no idea the impact touching others and being touched would have on me. Most days I was in tears. These were not “bad” tears by any means. I was unwinding on a somatic level. I was releasing memories, thoughts, emotions, and experiences from the tissues of my body – the cells of my being. It was a profoundly healing journey and one that was unexpected. I did not know if I was going to practice bodywork after graduating, yet became clear as I went through my own releasing and rebirthing that year, that it was my destiny to support others in embodying themselves through various modalities.
This was 2001 and I have been committed since to my own path of unfolding, growth, and embodiment. I have gained many new skills, have learned an immense amount about the body through my personal practices and in working with others, have extensive knowledge about natural health and healing, and have an unwavering and deep compassion for women who struggle as I did for decades. Life has sent me down many roads, many of which have not been easeful. I have learned how to navigate these experiences and situations tapping into a wealth of tools I have gained over the years and responding from an embodied, integrated, and empowered place.