I was in the backyard on my swingset, everything green around me, sun setting, thousands of crickets chirping, and out of nowhere a firefly flew into my mouth and I accidentally ate it.
(I tried to throw it back up, it tasted horrible, but apparently the universe had other plans.)
That’s how I got my superpower: helping people find their light.
OK, I’m not exactly sure that’s true, because I spent most of my childhood feeling miserable. By the time I graduated high school, anxiety and depression were my oldest and dearest friends. I was high functioning, and by my sophomore year of college, I’d had enough. Aside from counseling, I was given a yoga VHS tape featuring some lady in a green unitard. I did her routine daily, sometimes twice a day. I started to feel better, and decided yoga wasn’t as lame as I originally thought.
That next summer I went to a festival, and saw people having way more fun than me with big hula hoops.
I thought they were ridiculous, yet beautiful, and that was strangely appealing to me. Rather than try it there (yep, I was shy), I waited until I got home to make a big heavy bruiser of a hoop to practice in my basement by myself. I did it for exercise at first, and when I learned a few tricks I started dancing with the hoop. I became festival girl with hoop, and the best part was that it kept the creepers at a distance.
Is this the part where I tell you that hooping changed my life? Yeah, that didn’t happen…
But it was the first step towards really embracing my weirdness.
And so I kept going.
By the time I was done with college, I felt more passionate about hooping and yoga than I did about having an art degree in drawing. I considered Yoga Teacher training, but decided I wanted to do something different, so I trained to be a Hoop Mentor with Anah aka Hoopalicious. People thought I was ridiculous, which hurt a little until I realized I thought it was ridiculous at first too (I was still learning how to not take other people’s opinions so seriously).
On the final evening of hoop training, we had a fire circle…
I had the opportunity to try a fire hoop. I was humbled by the intensity of the flames, and immediately forgot everything I knew about hooping. I was scared shitless, but I kept going until the flames died, and aliveness was born. The obsession to tame the flame began, and I stuck with it to conquer my fear.
A month later, I found myself in a 200-hour training at Discovery Yoga Center in St. Augustine, Florida. Deepening my understanding and practice of yoga helped me finally feel at home in my body and at peace in my mind, and it was then that I became a training junkie.
Today, my practice is an unusual blend of bodywork, yoga, and circus with one bold, audacious, slightly hairy goal:
To help people come alive, reconnect with themselves, and feel damn good in their own skin.