Like many SWIHA students, Kristin Apodaca’s path to SWIHA was full of trials and tribulations. Nearly seven years ago, Kristin and her family moved to Arizona for her husband’s new job, leaving her family and old life behind in Boca Raton, Florida. On the outside, she had it all: a loving husband, four beautiful and healthy children, a large home and many friend -- and yet, as Kristin revealed, she felt like she had no idea who she was as a person. Seven years of being a stay-at-home-mom took their toll on her.She spent that time feeling very resentful towards her husband for having to work such long hours, taking him away from their family and herself. All of these factors led her to a breaking point. “I had lost my identity,” confessed Kristin. After briefly using anti-depressants to help cope with her anxiety and depression, she knew there had to be a more holistic route available.
“I knew I had to find an alternative to the medicine; I needed to deal with and explore the feeling of emptiness I felt so that I could be the best version of myself and be the best mom I could be for my children,” said Kristin. After beginning to look into self-help retreats, a friend of hers mentioned the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She quickly logged onto SWIHA’s website -- www.swiha.edu -- and knew that this was exactly what she needed.
Kristin happily shared the excitement she felt upon discovering the college: “You mean that not only can I benefit from the training personally, I can learn to serve and support other people in their healing and transformation as well?! I immediately called to schedule an appointment to meet with an Admissions Advisor, and the minute I walked into the building I knew my life was about to change.”
Kristin enrolled into the two-year Mind-Body Transformational Psychology Degree Program. As a part of her degree at SWIHA, she has taken the Yoga Teacher Training program, Yoga Nidra, Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, and Reiki. In addition, she has chosen to complete 100 hours in Polarity Therapy as a part of her electives. Kristin shared that the reason she is so passionate her experience is because she knows first hand that it works. “My entire life changed from doing my healing work and getting back in touch with who I am in my soul.”
The Life Coaching program was the beginning of her personal growth -- it opened the door for her to begin soul searching by asking herself the powerful questions she had been avoiding. Reiki and Polarity both had a profound impact on her: “The energy work helped me to see that everything is energy and that our bodies store EVERY experience, thought, and situation we go through in life. If we don't deal with it, blockages are created in our body. These blockages inhibits the healthy flow within and results in an unhealthy flow of energy around us, which leads to dis-ease!”
According to Kristen, Yoga was the one modality that impacted her most. “Learning how to connect to my breath and still my very active mind was the most important part of my journey. In order to be able to benefit from all of the other things, I needed to be able to be still and connect within.”
Kristin beamed as she related, “Yoga really taught me how to LIVE to be present, to not to live in the past or to not worry about the future. I learned I must enjoy the NOW. My mantra became: BE right here, right NOW – That’s the true definition of yoga as I have come to understand it!”
Kristin’s business is named Soulfull Healing, a name she chose because it spoke to her personal healing journey. “When I listened to my soul I felt full of life, which led me to heal within. Soulfull healing is available to us all,” proclaimed this passionate yoga teacher and healing art practitioner! “What inspired me most to start my business was to my passion to bring the same awareness and healing I received to others! I want to empower people and help them to see that they hold all the answers they seek within themselves.”
Kristin incorporates different modalities of energy work, including Reiki, Polarity and Cranial-unwinding, as well as coaching, into every session -- No two client sessions are exactly alike. In addition, she incorporates crystals, sound healing, essential oils, guided meditation, and even intuitive card readings, into each session based upon the individual client’s needs. Typically, her clients are women between the ages of 25-50, being served out of her home in Queen Creek. Kristin also offers phone and distant healing sessions.
One of her biggest challenge in starting her business was charging for her services: “I think for most of us at SWIHA are so excited to be able to bring our gifts out into the world that we don’t always know how to ask for money in exchange for our services because we just want to give it to everyone. When I was able to look at money as a form of ‘energy exchange’ instead of it just being a monetary gain, I saw the importance of charging for my services.”
One of the biggest pieces of advice Kristin would offer to current and future SWIHA students is simple: “DO THE WORK! Whatever that may looks like for you -- whether it is to receive healing sessions yourself, making time to be still, going to a yoga class, or committing to take the time to do yoga at home – make a commitment to self-care. Make it a priority to observe yourself, your thoughts, and your actions! Check in with how you are feeling and explore what messages lie within.
Self-reflection is extremely important in this line of work and on this healing journey. This advice completely ties into how this education and work has changed my perspective of myself. It has been life altering for me, my family and my future. I do the work everyday in some way, shape or form! Every day I gain new awareness and insight into my life. I have gone from feeling empty inside, to feeling full of life! I know that the possibilities ahead of me are endless!”