I was fourteen, it was recess. I was about to go outside to join my friends when I noticed a classmate sitting on the floor. She was hugging her knees and rocking from side to side whispering, "They are all in my head, they are all in my head".
I felt her anxiety and panic. I sat down beside her and asked if I could help. She didn't answer at first, but then moved her hands to her head and said, “They want to come out. The voices. They need to come out". Looking at her pressing her fingers into her hair, I suddenly had an idea. I remembered she liked to write stories so I fetched her a pen and paper and said, "Stop the voices by writing them out".
This was one of the first times I was struck by the power of our minds.
I remember thinking a lot about the voices we have in our heads.
I kept wondering who is talking in there.
Before I left my home town to travel, I graffitied what I thought was a very important message I’d read somewhere—
“Tomorrow, something good is going to happen.”
Yes, I know. I was young and thoughtless. But I truly thought going away would set me free. Of course, I soon found out changing the scenery doesn’t change the voice in your head. My forever-restless inner critic went with me. Even in the most exotic places, my mind, my thoughts, my noisy brain kept racing. I saw so much beauty and wonder. But I wondered more about the suffering I felt and saw.
I returned home, earned a social work degree and worked in the mental health industry. It was a natural next step; another way to follow my strong curiosity of the human mind. It became even more apparent that we are all trapped in our minds, lost in thoughts…And I kept asking myself, “What is the way out?”
I trained to become an early childhood Steiner teacher. This deepened my connection with spiritual practice but still left me with many inner questions.
I have always been reflective and kept a journal, but deeply mindful observation only happened occasionally as part of other experiences. Then a huge crisis hit my life.
I was diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer.
It was “crunch time”, do or die.
There were no excuses.
Nothing more important.
I had to figure out how to heal.
I joined the healing group at the Tara Institute in Melbourne for weekly meditation sessions. These sessions changed my life forever. As I developed a daily meditation practice, I discovered I didn’t have to listen to (or believe) my busy mind.
By becoming aware of my thought patterns, I was able to notice and observe my fear-based thinking, my narratives and the reactions they produced in me. I noticed some of the things I believed to be facts were conditional on unexamined ways of thinking. What I believed in wasn’t always true, or at least it wasn’t the whole or only truth.
My hard knocks
I was astounded to discover things I never knew about myself. For example, how deeply critical I am with myself. I have always been a compassionate human being. It never crossed my mind that I was often hard-hearted and uncaring towards me.
Through regular mindfulness practice, I gradually learned how to identify toxic thinking patterns. I learned how not to suppress or resist thoughts, but witness them with conscious awareness. I learned to sit within myself and observe.
I learned how to respect and attend my feelings and emotions with kindness, tenderness and loving compassion. I learned these intense emotions are an invitation to stop and listen with great attention to the whisper of my soul.
By practicing mindfulness, bliss and grace started to flow naturally into my life. I felt centred and calm. My relationship with all that had amassed around me shifted and transformed. I was able to rest in awareness feeling safe and free in a way I have never been free before.
My health crisis became an opportunity for growth and profound transformation. I am now far more than a cancer survivor. I am a cancer thriver.
I know in every cell of my body that a crisis, any crisis, can stimulate real and sustainable change.
My therapeutic background combined with this powerful first-hand experience of profound healing to become my mission.
I want to bring what I have learned to as many people as I can.
I am now an accredited mindfulness and meditation teacher. I provide one-on-one therapy through my private practice, and run group workshops and courses. My areas of deep interest and specialisation are:
• Transforming emotional and behavioural patterns to new ways of being
• Inner child work and reparenting
• Discovering well-being through health and other crises such as emotional eating, stress, exhaustion, and working with women in times of transition such as pregnancy and menopause.
• Introducing mindfulness and meditation practices to the public.
Follow this link if you want to know more about how I came to heal through crisis.
With deep love and blessings,
Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher Accreditation
Moksha—Meditation Australia Registered Teacher Training
Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Education
Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education Foundation Course
Sydney Rudolf Steiner Parsifal College
Certificate in Anthroposophical Studies
Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar
Bachelor of Art in Social Work
University of Haifa, Israel