One of the first homework assignment of my Whole Life Healing Coaching class was to ask people in my life who I am. Most people were confused with the question and wanted some clarification on how to answer it. Many of my characteristics are written through this website. They help people to classify me and perceive what I may be like. Are they me?
To understand who I am and what I cherish and love, takes a little more than a website. I’m a spiritual being in a body whose purpose it is to serve God in a way that brings love and light to my family, friends and children everywhere and brings glory to God.
I grew up in Detroit, MI and my parents and grandparents were Italian. My first five years were spent living with grandparents, my aunt and uncle and my parents, so my first language was Italian. Our large extended family visited every Sunday, so that was party time. It was a loud social gathering of very opinionated individuals with a lot of drama. Holidays were filled with laughter, food, fun, music, dancing, and games. Life was fun, loud, and passionate.
We visited my dad’s family in Italy every 5-7 years and spent the entire summer there. When I returned, I spoke, dreamt and thought in Italian. I was even regarded as a slow learner in my younger grades. I think I was a bit confused and disoriented much of the time.
As I bonded with my parents and relatives, I was passionate about being close to them and developed an intuitive nature. When I was in the U.S., I could transport myself (in my mind) to Italy and be with my grandmother, who I treasured. I had cousins, aunts, uncles and friends in Italy, along with a totally different cultural experience. Here, I was an only child with a loving extended family.
As a young child, I can remember being able to move my body through space without walking. To this day, I still believe it is possible that I did that. I even remember the method that I used. It’s kind of like swimming through air. Perhaps, I had a near drowning experience and my ability to survive it became a neurological pathway for survival, in my brain. Not sure, and I’ve never spoken to anyone else who has had that experience.
My parents were super strong individuals, creative and super loving. They had a strong work ethic, and they were dedicated to our family. My mother raised me as a Catholic and my father, who was Catholic, pointed out the hypocrisy in religion. There was usually a pull/push between the two of them as they sorted out their relationship and how they felt about things. As an only child, I found this both stimulating and frustrating. My father was passionate about his beliefs, while my mother simply smiled, knew where she stood and let dad talk.
College became a goal of mine and I wanted to go away and live on campus. That was impossible with protective parents like mine. Even though, I filled out applications for far off schools, I knew that I would never be able to attend them. So, I went through undergraduate school while living at home. Somehow, I finagled graduate school away from home, with a lot of protest and crying, from both parents. It was like I was cutting the umbilical cord at the age of 23.
Wild and carefree was an understatement of who I was at that time. I traveled the U.S. in a tent and did many of the things that I imagined would be fun. And they were fun! I also learned a tremendous amount about myself and others and the world around me. I also learned quite a bit about God and His seed in my life started to flourish.
Marriage brought me to my knees as I became connected and in love with a loving friend. I was addicted to love and the bond that it held. This relationship had satisfied the need in me to be controlled, and a need to break free. As always, relationships are complicated. We both felt a need to give to children and took in foster children for the first 6 years of our marriage. To say that this was a challenge is an understatement. I have no regrets and I know that this is what those children needed at the time. I’m happy that we were able to provide safety, security, discipline, fun and genuine caring for some children who had been through extreme trauma at an early age.
Children of our own, (two sons) brought great happiness and a feeling of a secret treasure discovered. My life’s purpose is and always will be to be a loving parent to my sons. There is no greater love than to be a mom and hold an infant in your arms and feel that miracle of life. My favorite memories involve playing with my sons, bike rides to the park, picnics, swimming, vacations, reading late night stories and a million other things we did together. Even now, when they’re grown, I still feel that same love and affection for them, except now, they can return that love in a more mature way.
My marriage shifted at some point after 21 years, and my heart was broken. I have no regrets, about the sadness or the struggle to keep the marriage together. Life is a journey and we passed through this tunnel of darkness to find some light at the end. I think anyone going through a divorce knows what I’m talking about. Although I do not believe in divorce, it was something, I needed to do to survive and to give an example of light and love to my sons. Life is God’s gift, and it is meant to be enjoyed and shared with an open heart.
Single momhood is always interesting and took strength beyond what I thought I had. We survived! We flourished. We became who we are today and I’m so proud of my sons! Congratulations to all of us!
Destined to be alone, after all the heartache and struggle, I plugged onward to find some happiness in relationships that I felt would be fun, but not serious. Yet, God had more intensity planned for me. I met my current husband of 15 years and fell in love. I’m still in love with him and thank God for him every day. I also met and became the stepmom to another son, who is phenomenal. We’ve been able to enjoy our extended family through so many experiences.
My career carried me through all this living, both financially and emotionally. Teaching Special Education children is something I always enjoyed during those 30 years. I still look back and want to write a book about the many incidents that transpired during those fun times. My specialty is Emotional Impairment and so I had quite a few children who had experienced trauma, had physiological impairments, were adopted from disadvantaged countries, or had homes which were less than ideal.
After retiring, I felt fortunate for the time and space to be free and make choices. After a time, I yearned for more. I felt a need to be involved with children, to study God’s word, and to become healthier. So, I joined a yoga class and made it part of my day, every day. I was even there when the snow was so high, that no one else came. I was that student! Eventually, I became a yoga teacher and have never looked back. I love every minute of teaching and am excited to give this gift of movement united with spirit to others. I try not to be obnoxious about this passion, but sometimes, I just cannot hold back from telling people how much they can profit from this beautiful practice.
Beaumont Hospital and Community Bible Study have graciously let me volunteer with children and families in several capacities. My expression of caring for children continues and is nurtured by God.
Life Coaching came into the picture recently, during our lockdowns and many other restrictions, I decided to take the Whole Life Healing Class for several reasons. I knew Bethany Perry from Red Lotus, the yoga studio we taught at, and she also taught me how to teach Yin. I saw her website and listened to her speak and was called to think strongly about this path. Which to me, means to pray and see if God wanted me to go in this direction. After weeks of prayer, I woke up one day and knew that this was my path. The class was astounding, beyond belief! As I moved toward my final project, I had to decide on a niche. It seems evident now what I would pick, but at the time, I had no idea. Children are the ones who need my skills, caring, compassion, patience, and fun. Children are my primary clients and adults who need me or who have children who need me will become my secondary focus. Children are our future and children are the purest vessels of God’s grace. It’s always been about the children.