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About Leah

I spend my days holding space for some of the most vulnerable, powerful, and sacred moments of people's lives -- people just like you. It's a courageous step to reach out for support. Sometimes it helps to learn a little bit about me too.

 

Since I can remember, I struggled with chronic eczema. It was always something I 'managed' until I found myself flat on my back in a raging, desperate panic and realized I could not continue this way. I needed relief from this stress and anxiety.

I was exhausted to tears. It was hard to show up for life when I felt so out of control. I immersed myself in the studies of herbalism and natural ways of healing through food. I changed every product that I put on and in my body. But the vicious cycle of eczema, stress, and anger continued. I remember yearning for a teacher to help me make sense of life, emotions, and relationships. 

In college, I had a relationship that left me heartbroken and yearning to understand how our love had become so unhealthy. I spent a year studying and living abroad in Thailand. There, I was introduced to Thich Nhat Hahn’s monastic community. I was guided through the compassion-based practices of meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness allowed me to make sense of my emotions and gain control of my mind. It wasn't until I was in this safe space that I realized the information I was seeking was within me. And they helped me bring it all together.

 

This changed the entire trajectory of my life. I learned to quiet the inner voice that judged, criticized, and shamed. I learned that it was possible to free myself of past and future fear and anxiety. Through this experience a dedication to live and work for personal and collective transformation was activated within me. 

A few years later, I was working 3 passion jobs and suffering with eczema worse than ever before. Even good things in excess can throw us off balance. I drifted out of my mindfulness practice and found myself meeting the same challenges as before. 

 

Sometimes we need a total reset. I quit all the jobs, ended my lease, left another relationship, and signed myself up for a breathwork training to cleanse myself of the emotional distress. I did not know how deeply transformational this journey would be.

 

I went into the training not realizing the debilitating fears within me; or the anger, grief, and shame gripping me. Breathwork burst my heart open in a way I had never felt before. Rivers of tears from the past poured out. I was learning how to truly surrender to my body for the first time.

 

I rewired past experiences from my childhood, and integrated positive ones. I learned how to make space for my big emotions. I found myself again, and discovered more self-compassion, grace, joy, and purpose in the process. 

Fortunately I had a wonderful upbringing. I grew up surrounded by the old growth forests of Washington state. Dancing was my passion from the age of 5 until my early 20's. I have always been highly sensitive, empathic, spiritual, and found my authentic expression through dance and poetry. However, my life is a spiraling path, with many painful and powerful twists and turns. They say the wounds are where the light shines through.

I ventured deeply into own self-healing and self-loving journey. In the process, I have learned ways to dig up the roots of suffering and transmute pain and anxiety into peace and acceptance. Through self-compassion, my deepest hurts became my greatest wisdom.

 

Even still, life has a way of giving us challenges that offer us room to grow. A traumatic experience in my adulthood led me through many dark nights of the soul and the lingering effects of PTSD. In my own attempts to recover and heal, I was guided to pursue more extensive studies in clinical social work, trauma therapies like EMDR, body-based therapies, and energy healing. 

 

I am here to share the tools I have learned along the way. Soul Springs Wellness is a convergence of the many practices that have brought myself and others back to themselves, again and again. 

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says: "We should not be afraid of suffering. We should be afraid of only one thing, and that is not knowing how to deal with our suffering. Handling our suffering is an art."

We all have a hero's journey. I look forward to hearing yours.

In Kindness, 

Leah 

Skills & Expertise

  • Inner child healing/reparenting

  • Childhood trauma integration

  • Generational/ancestral healing

  • Stress

  • Emotional intimacy

  • Empaths/highly sensitive persons

  • Self-esteem

  • Relationship/interpersonal

  • Communication 

  • Breathing issues

  • Life transitions

  • Spirituality

Approaches

  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

  • Breathwork Therapy (Clarity, Rebirthing, & NUMA Somatics)

  • Applied Breathing Behavior Analysis

  • Usui Reiki and Holy Fire® Reiki

  • Shamanism

  • Strengths-Based

  • Person-Centered

  • Culturally-Sensitive

  • Trauma-sensitive

  • Mindfulness and Meditation

  • Somatic & Embodiment

  • Attachment Theory

  • Polyvagal Theory

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What I Am Rooted In

I am committed to the practice of loving-kindness and conscious awareness.

I am committed to personal and collective healing.

I am committed to the practice of integrity, accountability, and respect for all beings.

 

I am committed to inciting curiosity and possibility within the challenges and complexities of life.

I am committed to cultivating and listening to my intuition, heart and spirit.

I am committed to the continuation of my ancestors journey of liberation.

I am committed to softening and opening my heart to grow compassion for all beings.

 

I am committed to loving myself more and more fully so that love expands far beyond myself, creating a web of connection amongst all living things. 

I envision a world where everyone understands and experiences themselves as a vital part of one human family. A world where we all feel connected, to ourselves, one another, and the earth.

Educational Background

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Barry University

Trauma-informed clinical social work  

Currently a RCSWI

Professional Diploma in

Applied Breathing Sciences

Professional School of Behavioral Health Sciences

Behavioral Counseling, CBT, HRV Biofeedback, EMG Somatic Biofeedback, and Breathing Muscle Psychophysiology 

 

Certified Behavioral Breathing Analyst

Respiratory Psychophysiology, Breathing Habit Assessment, and Breathing Habit Modification 

BA in Cultural Anthropology

U. of California, Santa Barbara

Thesis: Buddhist Mindful Eating 

One-year abroad studying Thai Culture

Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand 

BA in Studio Art

University of California Santa Barbara

Professional Development

TRAUMA SPECIALIZATION

EMDR Trained ClinicianBasic Training & Education Course with THRIVE

Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR) Facilitator 

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Trained

Trauma-Informed Yoga Training

Yoga Behind Bars​

Healing Trauma with Dr. Peter Levine, 8-hour Workshop

NVC: Nonviolent-Communication

10-week Course

BREATHWORK

Certified Clarity Breathwork Practitioner

Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Assistant of Levels 1-4

Numa Somatics Level 4 Practitioner

Levels 2, 3, and 4

Elective: Trauma-Informed Equity and Diversity 

ENERGY

Usui / Holy Fire® Reiki 

Attuned I, II, Advanced and Master Practitioner and Teacher

Teacher: Dr. Lorri Santamaria 

Usui Reiki 

Attuned I, II, Advanced and Master Practitioner 

Teacher: Ashanna Solaris

Trauma Aware Reiki Masterclass

Teacher: Paty Mariposa

Spin the Room Facilitator 

Teacher: Lawrence Lanoff

Awakening the Inner Shaman

Teacher: Crystal Dawn Morris 

PARTNERS

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