What brought you to Continuum Movement?
I had been a practicing veterinarian for 13 years when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2002, I took a year off to go through the medical treatments that I needed. I did chemo and radiation. But also, because I had trained in veterinary acupuncture a few years earlier, I knew acupuncture would be a good supplement during the process. During that year I also incorporated other complimentary medicine modalities like structural bodywork and Reiki in to my healing regimen.

After it was all over, because I had done so well, I decided to start a veterinary business that was mostly acupuncture and bodywork based. In the process of starting this business I ended up reconnecting with a veterinary friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in years. When we reconnected, she was very excited to tell me that she was studying to be an energy healer at the Barbara Brennan School of Energy. At the Brennan School she had met an amazing healer who was over in Jacksonville. She had been working with him and wanted to bring me along to one of her appointments. The healer’s name was Don VanVleet. 

On the way over to see Don, my friend also told me about this thing called Continuum Movement. She had been learning about it from Don. She said it was some kind of movement thing associated with water and that this amazing women, Emilie Conrad, had developed it. Somehow this thing was supposed to be healing.  It sounded interesting to me. So, when I started working with Don, I asked him about it. He tried to work with me a little using Continuum but it was difficult for me. I was totally embarrassed to make sounds in front of him. It was just too foreign. 

But luckily, it wasn’t too long before Don told me that his sister Donnalea was having an “Intro to Continuum” workshop. I was able to attend that and because it was a group of people making sounds, I was able to do it. After that I started attending Donnalea’s weekly Continuum group. At the time Donnalea was bringing Emilie once a year to Jacksonville but I wasn’t able to a workshop until 2007. 

In 2007 my life changed forever. I met Emilie Conrad in the parking lot before the workshop. Her energy was so clear, magnetic, and effervescent that it drew me in. I was so excited to meet her that I ended up verbally vomiting out my life story about being unhappy as a veterinarian to her. I was instantly horrified about all that I had said. I had just committed the ultimate fangirl faux pas. She was so kind. She just laughed this loud contagious laugh. And then she told me that she and her dentist often talked about their dream job and that it would be to start some kind of cool dog retirement home.  At that moment we had an instant connection. 

After that, the next thing I knew, I was in the practitioner’s program. And then I followed Emilie to every workshop I could go to all around the U.S. until I eventually got certified as a practitioner. And I kept going to workshops until I finally became a teacher. Emilie authorized me to become a Continuum teacher at Donnalea’s Water Studio in 2010. I still continued to go to as many Continuum workshops with Emilie as I could until she passed in 2014.

What are your favorite breaths and why?
I have three favorite breaths. 

The first one is the Blur. First off, this breath was the most difficult breath for me to learn. It took me a long time until I finally got it. And sometimes it is still difficult for me to do. I love the Blur breath because it blurs history. I love it because when you do it, it stops all thinking. I love it because it is omnidirectional and has no shape. And with no shape, there is no history associated with it. And mostly I love it because it can directly connect you to the cosmic anatomy.

I also love the Puffed-O breath. When I went out to Santa Monica for the practitioner’s training, Emilie had just started really focusing on the Puffed-O. So we did a lot of them. To me, it feels like a direct entry in to the fluid system. It is so internal. And the very act of puffing out the cheeks really works with the polyvagal system to calm. I just love it.

And last but not least is the Lunar breath. I love the gentle calming effect of the Lunar. I love the spreading and diffusing that it causes. And I especially love the softening effect of it. I Lunar myself to sleep every night. By the way, this is one of the very best breaths to do with animals. 

What is your favorite Emilie-ism?
I have two: “The demon is the deliverer.” and “To be an artist is to be in discovery.” It took me a long time to really understand both of these. When I eventually told Emilie about all the traumatic things I went through related to veterinary medicine, she said to me, “the demon is the deliverer”. She meant, if all of those things had not of happened, I wouldn’t have come to Continuum. And that is the truth. I am thankful for all that has brought me to Continuum. And then later she talked about a true artist is always in discovery. I didn’t really understand that until I experienced it. She meant remain curious and you never know what you might experience. So I try to be in discovery in doing Continuum and also in every aspect of my life. Thank you dear Emilie!