About Me

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The morning my mom died, she gave me a ride to school, and I had her drop me off a block away because I was ashamed of our car. I still regret this today.

But, it was fair that I wanted something “normal.” My childhood was traumatic: from the sexual assault I experienced at the hands of my stepfather at 4-years-old, to myriad forms of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse my brother, sister, and I suffered at the hands our crack-addicted mother. 

I “held it together” through all of this by being a perfectionist about school (straight-A-student), writing a lot, and listening to music. When things got really bad, I could retreat into the world of a song, or hide in nooks and crannies and write. 

I was 13 when my mom died. Two years later, my brother and sister were officially placed in foster homes, and I went to live with my grandmother. I am so grateful to my grandmother for the years of peace and stability she offered me. She has continued to be my biggest cheerleader, most trusted confidante, and best friend. 

I didn’t experience the full effects of my troubled upbringing until I graduated with my Master’s in 2010, when I had a complete nervous breakdown. I couldn’t sleep; I was having panic attacks 24x7; I was experiencing flashbacks, and more. When I look back on it, I realize that I was probably suffering from delayed onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It was here, in this dark place, the lowest, most frightening place I’ve ever visited, that I decided to face each of my traumas, one-by-one, and heal myself.

That is how I discovered mindfulness meditation and yoga; practices that taught me how to be present with excruciating emotional pain; practices that taught me that pain could awaken and deepen my empathy and that human connection is better than building a wall around my heart. 

With a lot of hard work, over a number of years, I began to experience an emotional shift toward joy. So, this site – this whole project – is about opening my heart and soul to you, dear reader, with the hope that my honesty and vulnerability might inspire you on your own path of personal transformation. I also know, in the deepest layer of my being, that no one is free until we all are free, and I feel called to do my part.

So, if you’re new here, thanks for visiting, and please let me know how I can help. I would love to share the healing combination of yoga & meditation, writing, and the arts that continues to enrich my life. So, let’s connect! Check out my blog! And let’s be friends on Instagram. And check out my events page, so we can create and explore in person. I am based in Philadelphia, PA, so that’s where most of the events will be.

With my heart,
melanie

 

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