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,
By definition, a dream is described as:
a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary
More often than not, each new day in our modern lives comes with an overwhelming number of responsibilities and duties that have to get done: work, school assignments, childcare, cooking, cleaning, doctor appointments... the list goes on and on!
Unfortunately, our contemporary fixation on being busy leaves very little room for dreaming. Whether we aspire to find a better job, meet the love of our life, be the first in our family to pursue a post-secondary education, or even to open our own business as a holistic entrepreneur, the reasons we all desire success are as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Many times, however, the stark reality of our current lives keeps us fixated on our fears, causing us to avoid our futures and to stop dreaming. Dreaming requires the intentional devotation of time to a vision of a better life and self; it is, in itself, part of the process of change.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts,
Michael Sclafani had always known he was into the mystical arts. While growing up in New York and attending Catholic school from pre-school through seventh grade, this passion always made him feel like an outsider. “I liked going to church and singing in the hallways, and I was also the kid with the Ouija board out at recess,” he says. “I always felt a sense of Magic.” His first real entrance into the world of the mystical was when one of his mom’s friends left her tarot deck at their house when he was 10 years old.
Mind Body Transformational Psychology,
"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, and you're not afraid to show it, clap your hands!"
If you know these words, you've probably either been in Sunday school at some point in your life, been to one of my yoga classes, or you know my grandkids! This is one of my favorite theme songs…
And they are also the words that broke me wide open recently.
“If you’re happy and you know it…”
At our household, we sing all of the verses and variations! “If you're happy and you know it… stomp your feet, say AMEN, scratch your head, rub your belly, pretend you’re jelly!” And we often run through all of the emotions of the Pixar movie Inside Out: Joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and many more, often resulting in hold-your-belly laughter!
After a particular round of singing, laughing, and hilarious antics, one of my granddaughters spontaneously said to me, "What’s gay, Granny? What does gay mean?"
Yoga Teacher Training,
the just be love project,
trauma sensitive bodywork
Kaye Bahr spent 15 years teaching in the Arizona public school system. As an elementary school teacher teaching third to sixth grade, Kaye loved the daily interaction with her students and watching them grow and change throughout the school year. However, like most teachers, Kaye found that there was very little time left for her family or for herself. After experiencing some changes in her career, she began to develop depression and digestive disorders.
When she reached the point that she could no longer stand the situation and her suffering health, she went in search of a counselor. In that search, she found a Mind Body Wellness Practitioner. When she made the call to set up an appointment, Kaye heard the words that she so needed to hear that day: “You will feel so much better when you leave my office.” After her first session, she did feel so much better; the fog began to clear and her physical and emotional self found relief. “When I left her office that day, the experience changed my life,” says Kaye. “It took another few years for me to leave teaching, yet I knew in my soul that I had found my life’s work. I wanted to provide that same healing experience for others.” With this in mind, Kaye sought out SWIHA, enrolling in the Mind Body Wellness Practitioner Diploma program with an emphasis in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching. She graduated in November 2016— the start of a whole new life on a path that she felt she was destined to take.
Mind Body Wellness,
Nereyda Varias was a passionate seeker of wellness who wanted to share her gifts with the world and expand her knowledge. Before enrolling in the Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner program, she dreamt of learning the skills, scripture, and wisdom utilized by great sages, mystics, and scholars. She felt that she was meant for greater things and that helping others was her path. Nereyda knew she would be part of something bigger that would help to aid the world. “I knew deep within I was a part of a movement to aid our world and all of its brilliant divine human and non-human beings upon it— to be a catalyst of transcendence and evolution,” she shares.
integrative healing arts practitioner,