I have been shaped and formed by many lineages of wisdom on hurt and healing. The work of healing is as old as the wounds that created the need and there is wisdom from many streams that are intersecting in this moment in time in the world in beautiful and powerful ways. This is why I call the work that I do a kind of mixed-method medicine - a way of healing that has been shaped by many streams of wisdom. My own work and process is deeply informed by my own Andean Indigenous ancestral roots.
I am a practitioner in the lineage of the Q'ero Paqos - healers of Incan ancestry that carry generations of wisdom, nestled in the mountains around Cusco, Peru. My primary teacher is Maestro Alejandro Apaza from the Apaza family of Paqos in the Q'ero tribe, and the last living Chumpi (healing stones) master. Within the tradition of the Q'eros I am known as a Nusta Paqo. I have also been informed by a number of teachers and wisdom within the Curanderismx lineage of Mexican healers, most specifically by the Limpia and Platica work of Erika Buenaflor, continued with my current study in her 1-year Curanderismo Mentorship Program through 2023.
I am honored by the wisdom of nature - most especially the wisdom of the Mountain Apus (sacred spirits) particularly the Andes of my birthplace in Colombia. I am constantly learning more from engagement with nature and its healing wisdom. Along with the wisdom of nature I have engaged the study of plant medicine - within the Paqo and Curanderismx lineages as well as via learnings through BIPOC herbal collectives including the Atabey Medicine BIPOC Apprenticeship and current enrollment in the Hood Herbalism program.
Other places of learning have included NYU School of Clinical Social Work where I received my initial training in trauma care through a western lens as well as the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training. Also, during my time with the Department of Veterans Affairs (and after) I built programming for trauma engaging the practices of meditation and movement, creative and expressive arts, and Equine-Facilitated Healing.
Through all these lenses of wisdom and healing I offer individual, community and organizational guidance and consultation at the intersections of healing, spirituality, and activism - prioritizing BIPOC/QTPOC centering space-creation. Some of the spaces you can find me besides here at my home base is in community with The Mystic Soul Project, a nonprofit I co-founded and co-direct centering BIPOC/QTBIPOC at the intersections of spirituality, activism and healing as well as TRACC4Movements - educating community and healers as well as supporting social movement communities through social movement trauma.
I have also written three books centering around the work of trauma, healing and journeying: Sacred Wounds: A Path to Healing from Spiritual Trauma, Mending Broken: A Personal Journey Through the Stages of Trauma + Recovery, and Going Naked: The Camino de Santiago & Life as Pilgrimage.
I am currently nestled in the intersection point of Osage, Cherokee and Shawnee land which is also known as Kentucky enjoying slower time on my front porch or backyard with my grandma-age Chihuaha-MinPin Faith and my baby Corgi pup Frida, watching them try to catch moths in their mouths under the slowly setting sun while I work on improving my stilted Spanish and baby-step my way into learning Quechua.
(for some more formal CV info see below)
Western conceptions of science, medicine, healing and spirituality push us to put what we do in the world into neat and tidy boxes, ones that are so allergic to interconnectedness or complexity that they never touch each other let alone overlap.
For years I spent trying to work within one box or the other, bouncing between what I felt passionate about and how I saw and engaged with the world and the work of healing. Especially in my early years in mental health care in the largest medical system in the United States, there were such rigid lines about what we did and what we called it.
I have spent years of my life decolonizing my relationship with those boxes and allowing myself the beautiful complexity of work, passion, creativity and relationship that embraces the intertwining of who we are and how we heal.
As I began to vision the best way to describe this space in-between places I struggled to find the right word or set of words to describe the whole. I aspired to create a space where I don't have to throw away the wisdom from my years of trauma and neurobiology study, but allow it to breath into the work of indigenous healing, and be symbiotic in its conversation with the somatic learning I have had. Where the healing dimensions of creative and expressive arts and the wisdom of nature, animals teachers like horses, spirit teachers of plants can all live in a village - working together....in a very Indigenous and organic way.
Ultimately I realized there is no set of words or names for a way of doing this work I do that explains it all fully or leaves space for everything - as well as the future evolution of what is - without the name itself being one of vastness and expansion. I reflected on the concepts within Mixed-Media art - work that stretches into multiple mediums to create something new. That felt most attuned to this world of healing I was leaning into and the work I see many other healers doing - particularly in BIPOC/QTBIPOC spaces - which is embracing ancient and new as well as multiple methods of wisdom.
So this is what I call Mixed-Method Medicine. Mixed-Method as a nod to the creativity of of Mixed-Media as an art form and a way of creating, organic and unexpected. Medicine as a way to honor that medicine in an ancient and ancestral way is not "medical" as we know it in the narrow Western scope. It is more than doctor's offices and medical procedures. It is Medicine for the heart-mind-body-spirit. It is from an eternal line of knowing and funneled to us through different lineages, but there are some elements that are true throughout lineages and throughout time.
If this ethic and process of healing work resonates with you - one that is tailored to what is needed from a wide variety of streams of healing - you can learn more about particular elements of my work in my SERVICES section. After you have investigated that space you can reach out via email to schedule an appointment and/or explore more of my community-based content on my "Mixed-Method Medicine" Patreon (link coming soon). This work is both individual and collective work. I love to support the work of community healing as well as one-to-one work. I am grateful for my journey and am grateful for the ways I can share dimensions of this journey with others.
Supporting my work helps me support others without the resources to seek healing, spiritual care and support for themselves and their communities. A LOVE OFFERING supports a loving and radical collective practice of equity for those that can to give towards the care of those that can't afford and supports the lifting up of BIPOC/QTPOC care providers who always struggle against systemic inequities towards their own resources. Give, if you can, in LOVING EQUITY.
You can also donate monthly via my Patreon.
DEGREES & CERTIFICATIONS
B.A in English Literature with a Minor in Women's Studies (and a focus in Creative Nonfiction Writing), Dec 2006
Masters in Clinical Social Work, New York University, September 2007
Acceptance to The New School's MFA in Creative Nonfiction (although deferred attendance to start work at Dept. of VA with PTSD treatment), August 2007
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training, Clinician Focus, Trauma Center, Winter 2008
200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga & Inner Peace, Sivananda Tradition, March 2009
Yoga for Vets Certification, Spring 2010
Traumatic Incident Resolution, TRI Center, Miami, Winter 2011
Clinical Supervision Certification (for mental health), Miami-Dade County, 2012
3-Yrs+ of Clinical Hours in tandem with an Equine Specialist in Equine Facilitated Pyschotherapy, 2011-2015
NYU Outstanding Recent Alumna Award, 2008 - for Yoga & Creative Arts/Multimedia Programming for Trauma with Combat Veterans and Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
Dept of VA, Vet Center Services, Award for Yoga, Equine and Creative Arts programming with Combat Vets and Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma, 2013
Rabbi Schalmann Interfaith Leadership Award, Fall 2016
8+ years of experience as a trauma therapist with the Department of Veterans Affairs working with Combat Veterans and Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (in NJ & Florida)
Co-founder and program creator of a trauma/addiction intensive outpatient program integrating creative arts, mind/body practices and Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP)
4 years as an Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy provider (EFP)
Experience working with refugees, survivors of torture, co-occuring issues of addiction, eating disorders and trauma/PTSD, combat veterans, activists and community organizers, People of Color-centered care (individuals and communities), international and interracial adoptees, survivors of religious trauma & cults
Experience working with creative and expressive arts (art, writing, photography etc) for healing, embodied care for healing (yoga and movement), mindful and meditative practices for healing, animal-based therapies for healing, intergenerational reclamation and ritual for healing
Crisis Triage provided for immediate post-deployment service members, at Standing Rock for water protectors, in Charlottesville for local organizers immediately post August 12, 2017.
Continued consultation provided for (mental health) clinical service providers and organizations, spiritual and religious organizations, activist and community organizers, spiritual and religious abuse survivors and communities, POC communities.
Equity-oriented consultation for spiritual and academic institutions across the United States with a focus on BIPOC/QTPOC and LGBTQIA+ centering and equitable space-curation.
Creation of unique programming for trauma-conscious care, embodied mental health, equine facilitated psychotherapy, trauma-conscious yoga, and more.
Co-creation of a trauma care for social movements and activists training curriculum and community supports through TRACC4Movements (trauma response & crisis care for movements).