People often ask me when my "spiritual" journey began. Initially, my desire for personal healing led me to explore spirituality. Years later, in New York City, I completed Helix, a four-year psycho-spiritual therapist training program, leading me to start a healing practice in 2005. At a certain point, my interest in the psychological realm was superseded by my desire to fully connect with that which was bigger than my mind. Exploring spirituality became the focus of my life. The teachings in my background are varied, from foundational psychology to metaphysical study, South American earth-based practices and healing modalities to Buddhism, Universal Science of Mind to Gestalt Therapy and Jungian Dreamwork, Master level Reiki to Intuitive Energy Work. Over the past decade, I have taken a deep dive into Hinduism, Vedic teachings, yoga, traditional Ayurveda, and Tantra, while fine tuning my energy healing work.
I grew up in Minnesota and spent my young adult years crisscrossing the U.S.A., searching for more life. After leaving the corporate world in 2009, I began to receive intuitive messages about moving to another country. In 2012, I put fifteen years of New York City living into storage, packed two bags, and left for an indefinite stay in the small village of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, sight unseen, with the intention of sustaining myself by growing my healing practice fully. My way of life changed 100%. Within a couple of years, I was invited to join the world-renowned yoga center, The Yoga Barn, as a residential healer. I sat privately with clients, led weekly meditation classes, and hosted numerous workshops and retreats in Ubud for over five years. I was drawn to Bali Hinduism, invited to sit regularly with Balinese Hindu priestesses, witnessed rituals, and visited sacred grounds. I also studied with a lama of the Tibetan Dzogchen Buddhist tradition in my last years on the island. My gratitude for this period is immense.
In 2016, after years of solo study and experimentation, I was led to a teacher in India, ShriNandan, a Master of Swatantra. ShriNandanji pushed me beyond what I thought was possible, fed my hunger for wisdom that I couldn't find in books, and pointed me toward True Freedom. In June 2017, I left Bali and moved to India. There I intensely explored my personal spiritual path, expanding my knowledge of traditional Ayurveda, Yoga, and Tantra, and fine tuning my healing work. Two of those five years in India were spent in consistent one-on-one time with ShriNandanji, and the last three years were spent in relative isolation.
I'm often asked what Swatantra is. It is a question that is hard to answer because it isn't definable by words, only by experience. The word Swatantra can be translated as finding one's own technique or practice. It weaves the ancient knowledge of the Rishis and Seers with an individual's karma, genetics, and personality, guiding them toward their personal path to Freedom/self-realization. There is no dogma and no renunciation. Through self-discipline, commitment, and the guidance of a guru, Swatantra has given me a container for all my accumulated knowledge and experience, resulting in the focusing, purifying, and strengthening of my inner wisdom, intelligence, and life force energy.
In 2023, I was drawn back to Bali, to continue my journey reengaging with the world as a guide, energy worker, and harmonizer.
Now, in 2024, four of my Helix classmates and I have begun the relaunching of the Helix program - ready to train those around the world by challenging the status quo of Western clinical modalities, blending psychotherapy and spiritual teachings. I am a managing director of the Helix Healing Collective, and a faculty teacher of the Helix Training Program. We will relaunch Helix in an online platform in 2025. (You can contact me for more information, and I will post links soon.)
ShriNandanji gave me a Sanskrit name, something that is commonly done in the East: Jnana Janani. Jnana means wisdom, and Janani means Mother: Mother of Wisdom. I hold this name with reverence as I continue to step into it.
I am humbled daily by the magnificence of this existence. I stand in awe of Nature and Cosmic Intelligence and live as harmoniously as I am capable of.
"You have to love the Truth of who you are enough that you can stand in the face of any experience and not lose yourself to it." Rupert Spira