MELISSA TRAVELING 2017
MY FATHER AT M.I.T. - 1960'S
My journey to sound healing is tied to my father.
His journey and my journey go together, hand-in-hand walking a long and troubling story; the kind that can't really be explained easily, it has too many textures and intensity for words to fully describe it.
At the beginning of my thirties, my father fell severely mentally ill and, sadly, never recovered. An MIT graduate and engineer for HP for over 30 years, my father was suddenly lost, ignored, and abandoned by a broken system.
During this time, I was paralyzed
by two polar extremes of
severe anxiety from the fear of my father's safety and
a very dark depression from the sadness of losing the father I knew.
As his journey worsened, my body and mind began to break down from the constant stress of anxiety. I suffered: insomnia, digestive issues, fatigue, TMJ, migraines, back and neck pain, coupled with emotional hardship and trauma.
Days stretched to months and months to years. I started to lose my hair, I had an uncontrollable shake, I wore sunglasses everyday all day inside, every day felt bleak.
Nothing brought me happiness.
I took unpaid leave and, by chance, walked into a yoga class where a crystal bowl was played during savasana and felt my body receive TOTAL relaxation for the first time in years.
I could feel my entire body exhaling.
It was in that moment, I felt a tiny sense of hope.
Maybe my life could be different?
Maybe I could feel healthy and happy again?
Maybe I could be different?
I immediately bought three crystal bowls and began to self-heal with sound. Soon, as my nervous system re-balanced, all the stress symptoms were alleviated: my TMJ and muscle tension disappeared, I slept soundly, my digestion system repaired itself, and my body became healthy again. The turn around was incredibly fast considering the years I spent suffering.
With space and time,
I received my own medicine. One that wasn't reliant on expensive talk therapy,
western pharmaceutical drugs, addictive behaviors,
or other things that left me feeling ashamed or depleted.
This medicine was within myself.
After a few months of my physical body healing, the real magic began when I started experiencing deeply meditative Theta brainwave states.
I had flash insights of deeper truths and was able to
finally metabolize the emotions and trauma of a very complex and unsettling situation.
It is hard to explain, but I am a recovering "do-er" and "perfectionist" and have always been a fixer. My father's illness could not be fixed or changed and it was hard to come to terms with this truth.
Sound helped me learn about the space of "letting".
Letting my emotions have their time.
Letting my body receive relaxation.
Letting go of the fixing and trying and allowing things to just be.
Letting life, beauty, and love back in.
Letting myself feel the entire tragedy so it could be integrated as a whole.
I could feel the depression lifting little by little. I could feel myself changing, with a more positive attitude, lighter way of being, thoughtful responses rather than emotional reactions, and I became a different person but, in a way, I became more of who I really am.
I realized I lost the dad I knew but gained a gift I didn't know I needed and continued
to heal and become healthier despite my father's condition
worsening, my capacity to handle it was much much bigger.
Depression and anxiety were eradicated out of my life permanently
and I haven't experienced either since.
It was through my own healing I learned how to play, I am completely self-taught and spent years self-healing before sharing with others.
It is strange to think my most difficult times, the darkest years,
gave birth to my vocation and passion of using sound as a therapeutic tool to help others
receive conscious relaxation, integrate difficult experiences,
and be guided by their own inner truth.
In receiving this work,
you honor my journey and my father’s journey,
They go together.
Yoga Therapy Rx Level 1 & 2 - 500 hrs - Loyola Marymount University
Yoga Teacher Training - 200 hrs - Yoga Blend
Yoga Therapy Practicum - 150 hrs - Dr. Amy Wheeler, PhD
Relax and Renew®: Level 1 - Dr. Judith Lasater, PT
Anatomy of the Breath - Leslie Kaminoff
Yoga Therapy Vinyasa Krama - 50 hrs - Dr. Amy Wheeler, PhD
Soft Tissue Assessment & Massage - Dr. Eden Goldman, DC
All about the Feet and Gait Training - Dr. Sherry Brourman, PT
Psychology of Anatomy - Russ Pfeiffer
Introduction to Yoga Nidra - Yogi Amrit Desai and Kamini Desai
Anatomy of Breath, Backbends, and Asana - Dr. Roger Cole, PhD
Sound Healing Mentoring - Jamie Ford
Cold Depression - Shanti Shanti Kaur
Sivananda Advanced Yoga Training - 50 hrs - Sivananda Yoga Ashram