Jewel Blackfeather always knew she was intuitive, although she didn’t fully acknowledge it until she became a Life Coach. In fact, during the first 20-hour weekend of her Life Coaching program at SWIHA, Jewel felt intuitively called to volunteer as the demo client for a fear-related exercise being led by master instructor Richard Seaman in front of a room of nearly fifty people. While there was a part of her that didn’t want to be put in spotlight, there was also a part of her that knew she was being compelled to step up and face her fears!
A Lion Among Wolves
And face her fears she did! During the demonstration, Richard asked her a series of potent, probing questions–which is one of the most powerful skills a Life Coach learns–that caused her to stop and look at what was stopping her. Once she shared a bit of her story, Richard used yet another incredible coaching tool–Transformational Listening–to weave a metaphoric visualization based on what she had shared:
If you, or someone you know, is a caregiver, it goes without saying that you could probably use more sleep. You are not alone! The statistics are staggering: there are approximately 43.5 million people in the United States who identify as caregivers!
Approximately 8.5 million of these primary caregivers are single mothers and 2.5 million are single fathers. These numbers don’t include the 1.7 million veterans who have returned home in the last ten years and who are now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or some form of depression—individuals who also need a great deal of support and care.
LaRie Hope has toured with bands, worked in freak shows and haunted houses, and been a body piercer and hairstylist… yet her biggest and boldest career move is happening right now, as she sets up shop in Arizona to offer her services as a Licensed Massage Therapist, energy worker, and self-described “Life Doula.”
While a doula is traditionally a person who is trained to assist a woman during childbirth and to provide support to the family after the baby is born, LaRie has given the profession her own personal twist by providing much needed help to families with or without children. She assists families plan and prepare healthy meals, provides childcare to individuals who need to work or be in class, and offers general emotional and mental encouragement by holding space for her clients. “If you need it, most likely I can help you with it,” LaRie says. “My nickname since high school has always been ‘mom,’ which is accurate because I have always been a mom to everyone when they need support.”
Certified Massage Therapist,
Licensed Massage Therapist,
SWIHA graduate Shashirekha Banavar, affectionately called “Shashi” by friends and family, is described by those who know and love her as sophisticated, sassy, shy at first, sensitive, and super committed to whole food cuisine. Shashi lives in India, where for the past 30 years she has served as a lawyer and a consumer activist, written a book entitled Shashi’s Recipes – Authentic South Indian Vegetarian Dishes, and received the President’s Guide Award for top performing Girl Guides (similar to the Girl Scouts in the United States) from the President of India. Shashi is a superstar by many standards, although she will blush hearing it said!
As one of the first students to graduate from the online 750-hour Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner diplomas, Shashi actually flew to Tempe, Arizona, to attend the September 2017 Gifts and Graces event, where she was recognized as being a one of SWIHA’s Great Graduates! She easily gets the award for traveling the furthest to attend graduation on campus!
South Indian Cuisine,
intro to gong
Having recently completed a two and a half week assignment of being granny-nanny to my three youngest granddaughters (ages 10, 8 and 3 years old) while my daughter in-laws served in Africa, the words to the LEGOLAND theme song “Everything Is Awesome” will be forever etched in my brain. Nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards, the LEGO Movie song is infectious with its catchy rhythm; it’s difficult to not start shaking from side to side as if your body has turned into a little block-like-structure, bouncing around uncontrollably, when the words flow through your mind:
Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
Everything is awesome when you're living out a dream!
Was I living out a dream while spending 16 non-stop, action-packed, emotion-filled days dedicated to childcare… days which could easily be likened to one of the roller coasters at LEGOLAND, where we spent part of a week? Certainly… if this adventure was designed to assess and define the progression of my mindfulness practice!
How did I not lose my mind? By consciously and mindfully choosing to use as my sanity mantra the words, “Everything Is Awesome!”
Yoga Teacher Training,
Way up in Anchorage, Alaska, SWIHA Graduate Kris Hwang comes from a family of entrepreneurs whose business has been running strong for 40 years. Growing up with that background had fostered a strong entrepreneurial spirit in her, as well as a desire to be her own boss and do what she loves on her own terms.
Kris’ work as a bartender had left her feeling emotionally and spiritually drained. As an empath and highly sensitive person working in the service industry, it can be easy to give too much of yourself and take on the energetic and emotional baggage of your customers. Kris found herself seeking balance and looking to grow, and so she began practicing meditation exercises and nurturing a personal yoga practice— her first steps towards beginning a new chapter of her life.
Mind Body Wellness,
Yoga Teacher Training,
As a licensed massage therapist, I can’t imagine why more people don’t choose the career of massage. According to a very reliable source*, the massage industry has boomed in the last ten years, doubling its yearly revenue from $6 billion to over $12 billion since 2005. Yet, while this is true, skilled massage therapists are still hard to find. I often hear from those who work in the SWIHA Success Center that there are many more listings for massage therapists positions than graduates actively seeking those positions.
With this in mind, let's consider the top five ways a career as a licensed massage therapist can help you create a life you love:
#5 - You get to create own schedule!
One of the reasons I became a licensed massage therapist is because I needed a career that had flexibility so I could be more present for my son. I now have the luxury of creating my own business and setting my own schedule. This is not to say that being an entrepreneur hasn’t been challenging; however, I have found that all my hard work and determination has made the experience worth it. Having more time with your family or being able to shuffle things around in your schedule to better suit your needs is certainly more appealing than a 9 to 5 job! When you own your own business, you get to call the shots.
holistic health care,
Certified Massage Therapist,
Licensed Massage Therapist
Entrepreneur and Life Coach Sheera Gersh has been in the beauty industry for 20 years. Her business, Addicted to Nails, has a huge clientele of ladies that trust her with their nails and their personal stories, dreams, fears, and problems. Sheera has the privilege of working on someone’s outside while getting a glimpse into what’s going on inside of them. Remembering one such conversation, Sheera recalls, “I had a client whose husband was terminally ill. We talked for a long time during that session about death and mourning and what life would be like for her after he passed away. When we were done, she told me that I have a gift and should go to school to become a life coach. This conversation stayed with me, and I thought about it a lot. After a while, I did some research about classes and that’s how I found SWIHA. Soon after that I made an appointment with an admissions coach, and signed up for classes!”
Have you ever found yourself standing with your index finger pointed at the heavens, demanding an answer from the divine?
To be perfectly honest, I have! There have been times that I have looked up in total frustration, as if to say, “Could ya just give me a clue?” Other times, I can be found more gently pleading, “Oh come on… just give me a little sign! Help me to understand what I already know!”
If you’re wondering if there actually is a way to harness the energy of “wanting to know,” the answer is YES— and it’s called Spiritual Kinesiology! This practice is a form of muscle testing that will allow you to pretty clearly know what you believe deep within. It involves your right index finger–your pointer finger–which I refer to as the “god finger.” It is called the “god finger” because when we come to a crossroads where we really need to have clarity about something, many of us pray to God and look for divine signs of guidance and confirmation. Your index finger could just as easily be called the “divine finger” or the “finger of knowing.”
Alaska native Sabrina Hargrave had been working in finance for most of her life. She has spent fifteen years climbing corporate ladders, moving from position to position, increasing her salary… yet not her happiness. Stressful jobs had left her feeling disconnected from herself, and although she had meaningful bonds with other people, she didn’t feel like she was following her purpose. She was living a life created by belief systems that had been embedded in her since a very young age. Talking about that corporate grind, Sabrina shares, “We’re taught that these are the types of jobs that you can do that you will be successful and make money at, yet often our hearts are over there with these more passionate, creative jobs. I was a very creative person when I was younger, and I shut it all down to follow the route of ‘this is where you’ll be happy because you will make the most money.’ I pushed really hard and was good at it, yet felt like something was missing.”
Often, the only way Sabrina could find some respite from the stress of her job was by receiving a massage. However, after being injured during a deep tissue massage, Sabrina found herself afraid to get another massage and risk being injured again. “I was so upset because previously, massage had been the only thing that could really get me to relax and calm down. Then a friend suggested cranial unwinding, and I never looked back. It worked perfectly for me,” she says.
Licensed Massage Therapist,