“It was all about taking the leap of faith. It said that the fear that stops us from doing what we really want, is often not based on reality. We shape our fears in our heads, yet things are so much easier than we think.” - Effrosyni Moschoudi, The Flow
Life can often give us a bad hand, and we try out best to navigate through it. It can often be compared to a valley, with high highs and low lows. With the right energy and motivation, we can lift ourselves out of these hardships, and into what we were born to do. Great Graduate, Michelle Brown, of the Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner program, has done just that. Michelle describes some of the hardships she had to go through to get her to SWIHA, and how her life has drastically changed since she made the decision to enroll.
“Like so many others here I wanted a career I would love, and it all began in 2010 when I told my mother who had just been diagnosed with lymphoma that I would be alright and could make it and she would not have to worry about me. We had about 10 years prior of traumatic events, one on top of the other many over-lapping. When she got sick I enrolled in a school. I knew I wanted to work with people and preferably something in some kind of counseling dealing with stress and life skills.”
With what seemed like one tragic event after the other, Michelle ended up being diagnosed with Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome) and heart failure. Her anxiety grew, she found herself not wanting to leave the house. Having thoughts that her friends and family would be better off without her. Michelle became homeless and ended up moving in with one of her adult children. She knew she had a decision to make, and she knew she wanted to move on to some sort of life coaching program. Michelle began to take steps to carry her life forward. “I was offered a camper for $1500 and snatched it up. I was allowed to pay it off. However, a year into living in my camper I had over 5 to 7 mini-strokes, leaving me with some memory issues and a few cognitive issues. I studder and misspell words.” she continues, “I began looking for my next school, yet nothing seemed right. The people I worked with did not allow me to give up after my strokes and through their encouragement really pushed me to believe in myself. Still, there was nothing I liked and then SWIHA came up. I have to say it was a difficult situation. I want to take everything they had to offer although the Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner Program really caught my eye, especially with the Advanced Clinical Hypnosis concentration. It was perfect to design the career I knew we needed to help others like me.”
There were several schools and life trials that eventually led Michelle to SWIHA. Michelle states, “Attending SWIHA was definitely the best educational and one of the best life choices I have ever made. It transformed me in so many ways. I am not going to lie, it was hard, having trouble writing and keeping my thoughts straight long enough to write a paper, and reading and rereading information over and over to stretch my neuroplasticity and to top it off diving deep within my own mind to not learn and uncover my own deep-seated issues was tough! It was also the most rewarding and inspirational thing I have ever done in my entire life.”
Michelle recalls that the day she looked through the course material that lay ahead for her, she knew that SWIHA was the right school for her. It was a reassuring reminder through each course that affirmed to her she made the right decision to attend SWIHA. “I have experienced growth in most areas of my life. Perhaps the greatest was dealing with a very difficult situation. I was able to allow myself the right to feel, make sense of it, forgive myself, learn from it, forgive the other person and release it. We were deep into a couple of classes dealing with trauma and here I was in the midst of this traumatic situation and dealing with my initial trauma and uncovering repressed memories. I never felt released until those classes. Now I feel free and uplifted!”
Not only did Michelle’s experience at SWIHA transform her, it also helped her overcome some of her fears as well. Her journey really allowed her to take a leap of faith in multiple ways. In one way, Michelle was able to overcome her fear of flying in an airplane. She is now looking forward to a trip to Greece! Michelle asserts, “I got on a plane this last year, something I swore I would never do and since then I do not allow fears to hold me back! Not only that! I have been so inspired by my instructors, my fellow students, my personal, mental, and spiritual growth that I have regained many of the cognitive skills that were damaged when I had my strokes. I have learned to love life and myself and most of all learned that there is nothing I cannot do!”
Currently, Michelle is the proud owner of Ground & Anchor LLC which is based out of Bryson City, North Carolina. Michelle’s private practice offers a variety of holistic healing modalities such as Advanced Clinical Hypnosis while integrating a combination of Aromatherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Earthing, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Toe Reading, Art, and her herbal product line to “help people conquer their pasts, live better lives, manage stress and pain in a healthy manner, and more!”
Upcoming for Michelle, she is looking forward to meeting with a local foundation about grants for organizations that positively impact the community. She is also finishing up a course in herbal medicine and is getting ready to go to production with her own line of Chakra-based and Aromatherapy-based bath products. Michelle is also preparing to start a couple of support groups and women’s circles. Michelle says, “I am super excited about it. It is such a stretch from the scared person I once was.”
When looking back at her time at SWIHA, the greatest lesson Michelle learned was “I really think the greatest lesson I gained is the knowledge that if I can do it anyone can. My time here has been such an amazing experience and everything I have learned will allow me the honor of helping others create not only better lives but the lives they want to live and I look forward to seeing each smile.” While reflecting, Michelle also states that Linda Bennet, the Hypnotherapy Program Director, was her favorite instructor. “Linda was so extremely supportive. She really was not only an excellent teacher, she cared so much about all of us and provided such excellent guidance. I do think my favorite classes were NLP and Linda's Past Life Regression class, which is incidentally sort of funny because there was a week in that class that was impossibly difficult on me for personal and religious reasons.”
For any potential and future SWIHA students out there, Michelle’s piece of advice is: “I would just tell them it is and will be the greatest decision they will ever make. I would encourage them to dive really deep and hang on to every lesson because it will change everything in their life. SWIHA changed my world and how I view it and really made me a practitioner who can truly impact the people who come to me and help them create better, more fulfilling, and complete lives.”
Want to connect with Michelle Brown?
Facebook: Ground N Anchor