About me

(I change this page from time to time, because I change, and how I know myself and share myself with the world changes as well.)

My current favorite quote is this:

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life.… I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive. ~ Joseph Campbell

That’s what I’m about these days. One of my friends calls me an “aliveness blogger.” I like that a lot. “Wellness blogger” is acceptable as well! I’d like this blog to be a resource in offering information and inspiration to help people live healthier and more authentic lives that overflow with well-being.

For years I worked in office jobs. In my free time, I practiced yoga. I meditated. I danced. I learned how to eat healthily. I saw healers of various kinds. I worked on healing myself, from past trauma, unhealthy habits and relationships, ignorance, sedentary work, the culture’s excesses and demands, my own vata monkey mind.

But deep down inside, my soul was not well.

One day, it became clear that I’d had enough of the office job lifestyle. I looked around and saw colleagues who were good people, also doing the best they could, but whose hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits were not that well. Those who knew it felt stuck making a sacrifice in their well-being for a mortgage, health insurance, financial security, their children, their self-image. Most were not leading self-directed happy lives.

They didn’t seem to question the price they were paying. I did, especially after several people I worked with died. It sure looked to me like stress had something to do with it.

I gave notice at my job 17 months short of retirement, sold my house, and bought an awesome vintage trailer, remodeled it, and moved in.

After being accepted into acupuncture school, I instead decided to become a licensed massage therapist after a friend who was a gifted healer asked me to work on him. He told me afterward that I needed to get a license to touch people with my hands. About that time, an observant artist whom I hold in high regard told me that I clearly was a healer. A psychic also told me I’d been a healer (as well as a writer) in many previous lifetimes.

I tried on the belief that I was a healer and liked how it felt, even though it felt bigger than I customarily saw myself. It felt like a blessed calling and one that I would constantly strive to live up to. I knew that I had nurtured the healing ability within me that had steered me to make healthier choices. I knew that gifted healers had often healed themselves first and somehow were able to transmit their healing energies to motivate others toward health.

I made the leap, and here I am, learning every day.


Sixty to 90 percent of doctor visits are attributed to stress-related illnesses and symptoms (Humana, 2009). I have no idea why more is not being done in our culture about addressing stress as the root of illness and dis-ease.

It appears to me that since business, government, health care institutions, media, schools, and churches aren’t adequately addressing stress and the cost to individuals, families, and communities, it’s pretty much up to each person to understand the connection between their behavior, choices, and well-being and to adjust their lives accordingly. What kind of life do you want?


Here’s another one of my favorite quotes:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. ~ Ernest Hemingway

I am one of those people who has experienced and grown from some major struggles in life. Some of the circumstances I’ve worked on healing include:

  • the murder of my six-year-old sister when I was 11, followed by undiagnosed trauma symptoms for many years, followed by an accurate diagnosis and inner healing work
  • being gluten intolerant, something I only discovered about 2006 through a wonderful chiropractor (getting gluten out of my diet resulted in a quantum leap in well-being, and I’ve made other proactive dietary changes)
  • having mild scoliosis from which I got untwisted with chiropractic help
  • being born with a mild impairment to my left hip, which I work on with Functional Movement
  • having a dad with mild autism

It’s not like I’m perfect now, but I learned some important components of healing first-hand: for instance, that trauma is stored in the body, that the food we eat literally provides the building blocks for our bodies, that our beliefs are powerful in shaping our lives, that healing is a never-ending journey with many decision points, and that Mystery is present in healing as well.

I still work on honing my diet, on physical alignment issues, and on cultivating my healing energy for my own well-being and for those I interact with.

To recover from trauma (after memories were activated by bodywork I received), I started working with my dreams and then with a therapist, and also with journaling, researching, reframing, reconnecting, growing up, and literally shaking a major energy block out of my body. Even now, I see a Somatic Experiencing therapist to work with myself with more skill.

If you want to recover from trauma, I recommend reading Waking the Tiger and other books on trauma recovery and finding a Somatic Experiencing therapist.

To recover from the scoliosis, I worked with an upper cervical chiropractor. To work on related alignment issues, I’ve worked with a craniosacral therapist, an applied kinesiologist, an acupuncturist, a chiropractic bodyworker, an integrative healer, a Rolfer, and done my own long-time yoga, dance, strength training, and awareness practices.

Along my path to wellness, I have studied and practiced meditation, Zen, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Reiki. I’ve experienced various types of massage and chiropractic, Rolfing and myofascial release, Feldenkrais, and the Alexander Technique.

My search for wisdom has included studies of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Enneagram, mythology, poetry, tarot, enlightenment, anatomy, and various bodywork modalities. Other influences include Carlos Castaneda’s tales of Don Juan, the Fourth Way of Gurdjieff, and ancient and modern shamanic practices.

What else? I’m a 7th generation Texan baby boomer who hasn’t traveled nearly as widely as she would like to. I’ve raised a daughter and am the grandmother of another girl, so I am a matriarch.

I’m politically active especially on behalf of cleaning up the environment, ensuring the food supply is safe, and equal rights.

I’ve earned degrees and certifications. I’ve worked in publishing, government, software, hardware, telecommunications, and manufacturing companies. I’ve led a women’s writing circle and been on the board of directors of a couple of nonprofits. I’ve helped run a couple of meetup groups. I’m running my own small business.

I live frugally in a vintage Spartan Carousel trailer in Manchaca, Texas, a quiet village just south of Austin. (Follow Mr. Money Mustache for more on living frugally.)

I eat a Weston A Price Foundation diet, work with a nutritionist, and am fascinated by the new research being published about the gut microbiome’s influence on health.

I like dinosaurs, monkeys, whales, elephants (especially baby elephants), some cats and some dogs, native plants, and flowers of all kinds. I love the sky and trees and wish to acknowledge that I am continually amazed at the beautiful miracle of our planet’s blue sky, how day and night chase each other, the phases of the moon, stars, and clouds, and seasons.

I wish I was taller. I wish my gray hair would turn white (it’s been graying since I was 19!). I dislike loud noises, hate sudden bad news (especially when it’s delivered badly), and appreciate wholeness, authenticity, health. I have close to perfect pitch. I am a social creature who appreciates some solitude daily. I’m happily single but would definitely make time for a male companion who matches me well.

MBTI type: INFJ.

Enneagram: I’m a Five (curious investigator) with Four (artistic) and Six (scientific) wings. I go to Seven (the magic child) in stress and to Eight (the embodied challenger) in security.

Sun: Aquarius. Moon: Scorpio. Ascendant: Virgo.

Lifeprints: Deciphering Your Life Purpose Through Your Fingerprints life purpose: being of service.

Strengthsfinder strengths: Maximizer, Adaptability, Relator, Activator, Futuristic.

One of seven billion human beings on Planet Earth.

Unfaithful to my sorrows.



Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved.

14 thoughts on “About me

  1. I hope our paths cross some day.. maybe in Austin?

    From an INTJ Aquarian (and fellow trauma survivor who’s done a bunch of the same healing modalities you have, although I’m intrigued by the ones I haven’t)!

  2. I’d love to meet, Sue, and I am interested in hearing anyone’s trauma recovery story — what has been most helpful, what hasn’t. Time does heal, but it sometimes needs a lot of assistance.

  3. MaryAnn, Thank you so much for sharing this information, you have a fascinating journey. I was especially intrigued at the Spartan Carousel you shared that your friend Barbara purchased and fixed up. Do you still keep in contact with her? I would love to purchase one of these and especially the pink interior to me is beautiful. Can you put me in touch with her and her ask her to email or call me if she should decide to sell it…Thanks Donna Dwyer

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