“The most important words you will ever hear are the words you say to yourself.” – Marisa Peer.
I used to think that transformation was all about creating permanent lasting change. I know now that nothing is permanent except change. Transformation takes time, patience and persistence.
My healing journey started when I found yoga. I was a small-town girl from the Rockies. I struggled with anxiety and depression and, to be honest, felt entirely lost in my life. I dabbled in post-secondary; I first thought I’d be a lawyer but dropped out to go to Mexico. I later moved to Edmonton and thought perhaps journalism would better suit me. During my first semester back, I walked through campus and saw a poster on the wall for a 40-day trip to Thailand. The company was called “LIFE BEFORE WORK.” You can guess what happened next.
I dropped out of school for a second time, and I went off to South East Asia. It was a life-altering trip. I made lifelong friends and incredible memories, but something unexpected happened when I got back. I suffered from post-travel depression that felt tenfold what I had ever experienced before. I was bartending and overheard some coworkers talking about “hot yoga” and thought I would try it. I have this inextricable memory of feeling immensely happy after taking that first class. I felt like the heavy fog weighing me down had been lifted, and HELLO endorphins, I was hooked.
I had developed two obsessions in my twenties, travel and yoga. Getting onto my yoga mat felt like an escape from the daily humdrum of Edmonton life. It was the only thing that kept me sane, and traveling was legitimately an escape. But that escapism mentality was short-lived and short
sighted. Every time I returned, it hit me. The reality was that I was still struggling financially as a bartender and didn’t feel I was fulfilling my purpose. I had mad wanderlust and no direction.
And then, after returning from a trip to Indonesia, I had a yoga teacher suggest I become a yoga teacher. I thought, “Hmm, this could work. I could travel and work instead of work to travel.” That suggestion became a serious focus for me and I became dead set on becoming a yoga teacher with the aim of teaching yoga retreats in Thailand.
I put massive action behind this focus and I took my first teacher training and talked a friend of mine, the guy who owned Life Before Work, into helping me launch YogaLife Tours. I went to India, lived in an Ashram in Rishikesh, studied more yoga, and got my second teacher training. A few months later, I ran my first yoga retreat in Thailand. Over the course of two years, we went from having three people on the retreat to being sold out. After my last retreat in Thailand, my boss invited me to Costa Rica. We were going to hit up a festival called Envision. Later, I was going to teach at a digital nomad residency in Nicaragua.
Afterwards, Life Before Work was hosting their festival called Island Life in the San Blas Islands in Panama, where I was to teach yoga and meditation. However, our villa was robbed on the third day of our trip. I had just launched my first website and planned to film and launch my online yoga while in Central America. I had just spent all my money on camera equipment and a computer. I was on a tight budget, to begin with, and then all the gear I had purchased on a credit card was stolen. I did not make the savviest money decisions in my twenties.
At this point, I was in financial ruin and felt defeated, but I continued and taught at the festival. When I got home, I needed to find a job that paid a liveable wage. Many of my yoga students loved my adjustments in class, so I thought perhaps becoming a massage therapist would be a more sustainable career choice. I also very much wanted to be a professional and be taken seriously. I felt I needed more knowledge. I thought I had just scratched the service with my yoga certifications. So I suppose a “Thank You” should go to whoever robbed me in Central America because that was the catalyst for me becoming a thriving massage therapist at Wellness on Whyte.
But the tale doesn’t end there. After graduating from Massage Therapy school, I thought I had it all figured out. But low and behold, six months after landing my dream job, the Pandemic hit. One day during my yoga practice, I herniated two discs in my lumbar spine. OUCH! First, the Pandemic and then I sustained a severe spinal injury. I was like, “Okay, Universe, that’s enough.” But then, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease a year after the initial injury. My physician and chiropractor told me that I might need to think about changing careers. There was no way I had come this far, only to come this far!
I’ve struggled with chronic pain for the past few years, but I’ve been hyper-vigilant about healing. I was not ready to give up on all that hard work to change careers the year after graduating from school. I knew no one would do the work for me, so I took matters into my own hands. Although I feared all was lost and would be in pain for the rest of my life, I persisted. I worked with a chiropractor regularly and still do. I did IMS treatments for almost a year every week with my physiotherapist. I worked with a personal trainer weekly.
I went through a massive identity crisis letting go of my yoga practice. It’s been a humbling process. There were things I used to be able to do, like back bending, that once upon a time felt so liberating and now are utterly detrimental to my body. After doing all of the work with a team of specialists, I discovered a lot about my yoga practice that was harming my body. Letting go of the vigorous vinyasa practice gave me the space to surrender. It opened me up to maybe even more important areas of my yoga practice. I thought if I couldn’t move my body the way I used to, how could I still practice yoga. Thankfully, asana is only one of eight limbs of yoga, so I leaned into my meditation practice.
My meditation practice allowed me to tap into my innate healing abilities and use my pain to get to the root of the problem. I believe western medicine has its place, but combined with holistic healing and preventative medicine is the key. I knew I didn’t just want to mask the pain. I was trying to heal. So I started doing neuro linguistic programming and hypnosis to help manage my pain and discovered command cell therapy with Dr.Joe Dizpenza and Marisa Peer. They were teaching ways to heal your body with your mind. I found it fascinating.
I worked with a psychologist and regularly did CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), which has helped tremendously to reshape my mental processes. Instead of feeling anxious and fearful because of my problems, I feel empowered to face them head-on and excited about starting a new chapter in my life. I also made the radical decision to live sober. I know that alcohol denatures your cells and amplifies anxiety, and it no longer serves a purpose for me. I am all about regeneration and healing.
I’ve been on a mission to create a life that I don’t need to escape. I knew I needed to find a career that would be sustainable both financially and physically. I was searching and persisting, doing everything in my willpower to heal my body just so I could keep working, which has been a blessing in disguise. I don’t know if I would have been as adamant about healing if my career didn’t entirely depend on it.
I had grappled with what I was going to do next. I didn’t want to give up massage therapy altogether. I knew I wanted to find a way to continue to serve clients that also allowed me to preserve my energy and wasn’t as physically demanding. I reached out to a friend of mine who is a hypnotherapist. I asked her to help me test the efficacy of hypnotherapy for myself. I wanted to anchor my decision to become sober in my subconscious mind and answer some questions about my potential career change. After just one session, I can 100% attest that it works. I’ve never felt more confident and empowered about a decision before.
As a result, I have made the decision to take Marissa Peer’s Rapid Transformation Therapy program and become a Certified Hypnotherapist! This therapy combines NLP, CBT, EFT and hypnosis. It’s all of the things that have helped me heal. I recently had some medical imaging done. There has been no further degeneration of my spine for the last year and a half, and I am happy to report my pain is almost completely gone. I genuinely believe we are capable of miraculous healing.
I will be enrolling in the program in the fall and will soon be a Certified Hypnotherapist. I look forward to offering Rapid Transformational Therapy to my list of services in the future.
Trust yourself and the divine in you. Know that all things are working together to support you in living your best life. ―Lisa Nichols