This post is the sixth in the 'How She Started Her Healing Business' series, where 7 inspiring young entrepreneurs share the story of how they created their holistic careers - giving you inspiration, advice, and a window into how you can do it too!
Today's post comes to us from Melissa DeLynn, a yoga teacher, intuitive healer, and sensual mama whose full of committed connection to All That Is.
Why I love Melissa:
Melissa is a special soul, there is no doubt about it. As she mentions in the article, I met Melissa in Cape Town, South Africa, where we were both working internships, and being exposed to extreme poverty. While not working, I was drinking, partying, hanging on the beach - you know, the usual when you're 19. So were most of the young people I met there. But Melissa was different. She was wandering around the city solo, learning photography, conversing with locals, going to yoga - she had this mysterious edge to her, she made you think. Years later, we are still very much in touch (and I'm so glad) - and I've had the pleasure of watching Melissa blossom into a full on sensual, powerful yogini who I'm quite sure makes anyone do a double take. She's that beautiful, and that powerful.
Why I love this article:
Well first off, I was really intrigued to find out that Cape Town was also the place that sparked Melissa's awakening. I love this piece because it's raw. It goes into how we can access our greatest healing powers through our shadow. It's grounded, truthful, and shows you how interrelated starting your healing business is to... everything. It's not just an aspect of your life, your work flows from the very core of your being. It's a part of the greater tapestry of you. Read on to learn more!
The evolution of my healing business has been exciting, devastating, hilarious, heart opening, life shattering and awakening.
I recently began my 500hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. One of the faculty members and fellow yoginis shared this with me over tea - “Healers have the most to heal and teachers have the most to learn.” A soul quake occurred as this simple and complex phrase rippled through me. I finally understood how I found myself where I am today.
I was hurt, traumatized, depressed, anxious, broken and lost. And I was cracked open to the healing powers of the Universe, of Love, of Light. When you lose things, when you let them go, you make space for other things. Whether things are yanked from you or you willingly give them up, there is then a space that you can fill. “Things” here could mean anything- literal physical things that are weighing you down, relationships that don’t serve us, negative thought patterns or behaviors, even the ways we don't treat ourselves well. But as those things leave, the spaciousness and openness that exists in your wide open heart then allows you to make the choice to elevate and serve others.
The story of my awakening happened in 2009. My grandfather, my “Pop,” passed away and the series of life altering events began to domino into every corner of my life. The devastations that occurred led me to leaving the country to get as far away as possible from everything and everyone that I knew.
In 2010 I was living in Cape Town, South Africa - also where I met the beautiful Beth! I honestly feel as if I was asleep at the wheel until this time, I was barely existing. My experiences of awakening truly began here. I was living in the beautiful metropolis of Cape Town and working about 30 minutes outside of the city in Khayelitsha or “new home” in Xhosa - a township city only 14 sq. miles and home to more than 400,000 people. Home to some of the worst poverty, violence and pervasive HIV rates in the world. “WAKE UP!”, the world screamed at me.
She shook me awake.
Look at the devastation. I felt like my inner suffering was being spewed out and reflected back at me. I got out of my experience and felt the true hurt and experiences of others. I have never seen anything as beautiful as that hurt. I was truly woken up.
I began practicing yoga with a few other Westerners I knew once a week in Cape Town. Yoga was my first Tool of Transformation. I continued to practice and when I came back to the states to finish college, one of my dear friends had recently started a yoga teacher training. And so Yoga stayed. And my friend taught me yoga. And then when I was lost and without purpose about what to make of my experience I realized it. Yoga had saved my life and served me in ways that no lyrics could describe. I had to share this gift. I had to help the suffering in the world somehow. I had to help people get free. I had to drag people to the light. I had to help people wake up. I had to hold space for others.
Four years later after my teacher training, I am a full time yoga instructor and intuitive healer.
I teach many classes a week and work as the Yoga Teacher Training coordinator at my home base yoga studio, Savannah Yoga Center. I now host retreats, give private lessons and host workshops. In the works for this coming year- a podcast with my two best friends and healing women, hosting Tarot reading workshops at a local record label- Graveface records, and hosting several retreats this coming year.
As I have developed my professional life as a healer and as an agent for change, my biggest lesson can be described in one word- Diversify. This world is full of opportunities- things to be tasted and experienced. We cannot limit ourselves any longer. We do not fit in boxes, we are not designed to be uniform. Where there is space, there is opportunity for it to be filled with brilliance.
As a Yogi first and foremost, my hope is to infuse every aspect of my life with Spirit. To me, everything can be a spiritual act. Sometimes we lose perspective but when we are living in Service to others, we have to seek balance and intention in all things that we do. Starting your healing business means acknowledging your own personal power. Knowing and believing in your own strength and abilities is what will draw abundance to you in enumerable ways. Starting your own healing business means that your Dharma(purpose) is to serve others and the world around you.
A few tips to keep you on track:
- Take care of Yourself. Go to Yoga, take a bath, eat healthy food, drink enough water, sleep, learn something new, spend time in nature, be with people that you love, buy yourself something beautiful because you deserve it. You can’t take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. You have to be awake and clear to be able to heal others.
- Know Yourself. You will meet yourself when you begin to spend time with yourself. Not with your phone or the TV. Spend time ALONE. Listen to your body. Your desires. Your intuition. Be still and listen to your inner stirrings.
- Write. Journal. Blog. A to-do list. Anything. Get your ideas out. This is the first step in manifestation!
- TRAVEL. Traveling floods you with inspiration, new experiences and new people. Traveling provides you with the space to find yourself and reignite your fire. We have to step away from the labels, roles, schedule and normalcy of our lives and get perspective sometimes.
- Find Your Tribe! Surround yourself with Light. People who make you feel amazing. People who are seeking the same things as you. People with high standards and good character. People who are silly and make you laugh. People who inspire you! Your tribe/Kula/sangha/community is the glue that holds you together. They help you when you are lost, lonely, broken or just having a terrible day.
- BREATHE. When we are devastated and confused, we have one thing that can keep us going- breath. When you are overcome with beauty, love or, pleasure- drink in each beautiful unique breath. Feel its uniqueness. Feel it fill you up. Fill yourself with breath and light and positivity and let the things that don't serve you go. Empty out the darkness, the hurt, the stories, the past, the swirling thoughts. Let it go. Keep breathing.
- Find your teacher/Guru. This can be a life-long search. Search with an open heart and mind. Everything and anyone can be your teacher- traffic, a friend, a stranger, a memory. But a true Guru, teacher or mentor is an important component to your vision.
- Practice. And most importantly, practice what you preach.
- Lean into it. When you finally turn your life over to the Universe, when you realize you are part of a huge plan- a beautiful and intellectual plan, you realize that there is only a certain amount of control you have. You can control how you react to life but not what happens. No matter what comes up- beauty or bullshit- lean in. And breathe!
- Get paid to be who You are. You are special. You have gifts and passions. You are a worthy recipient of abundance. Be open to receiving.
Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free and May Our Lives Contribute to that Happiness and to that Freedom.
I am so grateful to be a part of this experience!
About the Author:
Melissa DeLynn is a healer through and through, based in Savannah, Georgia.
Melissa's life was forever changed by the gift of yoga and meditation which facilitated her "waking up!" With this incredible gift, she had to share it.
She now teaches Yoga full time, hosts retreats and uses many divination tools for transformation. Some of her favorite spiritual practices include Yoga, meditation, Tarot, crystals, plant and food medicine, aromatherapy, astrology, writing and many more. Facilitating awaking and transformational in others is truly Melissa's dharma (purpose.)
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