Welcome! I’m the Heart Alchemist!
An “alchemist” is someone who can take one substance and transform it into another. And my life has been a long process of learning how to change “lead” (anger, sorrow, pain, rage) into “gold” (love, forgiveness, light-heartedness, joy).
I like to look at my life in a few chapters that led me to where I stand today: a coach and healer for others.
I started out my life as most of us do: with the tender, innocent, and open heart of a child. I was born in California but raised in the breathtaking Azores Islands, a little-known paradise in the middle of the Northern Atlantic, that belongs to Portugal.
From my earliest memories, I was what you might call “quirky”. I was extremely spiritually sensitive and solitary at times, my heart bursting with curiosity at all the miracles that life presented.
But that open-heartedness didn’t last very long.
Significant trauma early on in my life led to many years of dissociation, disconnection, depression, severe panic attacks, and anxiety. By my teenage years, I was so filled with rage, anger, and fear that I didn’t even want to be alive anymore.
Fast forward 15+ years and I was now living in New York City (then Washington D.C.), working as a Neuropediatric Physical Therapist. I received my Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from New York University and my Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins University.
I was now a clinician, trained to see health and healing in a “science-based” way: only what can be verified by science exists.
But something was deeply missing. On the outside, it looked like I was living a great life. I had the “Dr.” initials, a wonderful partner, a highly rewarding career, and lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
But life has a way of helping us heal, one way or another. And usually, this “healing” comes in the form of major breakdown and pain.
In 2013 my life fell apart with the sudden breakup of my marriage.