As a young child, at the age of about six or seven, I was fortunate to be living on a farm.
I had the run of the land from dawn to dusk. One day, I was lying in tall grass, looking up at the sky having a moment of simple presence. The view above me seemed vast; blue sky, billowy clouds floating, and a column of turkey vultures spiraling ever higher. I can still feel the warmth of the ground beneath me, the cushy and sometimes prickly wild grasses, the smell of earth, and the sun shining above. I was holding a stalk of sour weed, a ubiquitous spring plant that created a patchwork of color along with other spring weeds and wildflowers in the pastures. I loved to chew and release the tart juice of the appropriately named plant. On this stalk was a small ant, paying me no attention and going about its business. My attention would shift from the vastness of the sky to the miniature world of the ant. I had an awareness, a full body knowing which filled me with wonder and peace. I was large enough to be insignificant to the ant and so small as to be insignificant to the sky. This thought filled me. I felt complete, connected and a part of everything around me. The idea that I was separate from anything was gone and I knew I was the sky, the ant, the ground. I drifted there, content. After a time, I got up and moved on about the day. Never sharing this, it felt normal at the time, not special, no big deal. So how does this memory connect to my vision for my own work and the collective work here at the Center? The connection derives from my own journey of trying to understand my life and make sense of health challenges. There are very few among us who go through life without experiencing health challenges. I had health issues both as a child and as a young adult. The way I was treated as a child and young adult in the health care system confused me and left me distrustful and ultimately with few answers as to how to support my body and mind. I eventually found some good health providers; a wonderful therapist, a trusted OB-GYN, and a later, a massage therapist. It is so exciting to contemplate the opening of Spring Hill Holistic Wellness Center and what it can mean for our community here in Hernando County. The center is staffed with like-minded professionals offering a variety of skills, together in one place. A place whose mission is one of healing, learning, connection and more. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Clinical Trauma Provider. My role in the center’s holistic landscape is to offer compassionate, integrative services for those who can use support meeting life’s challenges. I am passionate about being part of a collective of providers who understand that we all are affected by a matrix of factors that affect each of us in our own particular way. How we think, perceive, imagine and behave is an outgrowth of the culmination of our life experiences, whether we are three days old or 110 years old. The life experiences include, but are not limited to: our physiological make-up, the environment we grew up in (the actual area of the world), our gender, race, ethnicity, language of origin, size of our village or metropolis, family history and size, all interactions with other people we come into contact with, our religious or spiritual grounding, education, health care, and economic status from birth to current. In other words, all of our experiences affect us and everything is connected. It is this sense of connection that is rare in today’s healthcare landscape and it is what we seek to offer here. In my work as a therapist, I often hear how people feel isolated and disconnected. They tell me how trying to find the help that makes a difference is a challenge. It is this sense of connection that can be an important missing piece in today’s health care system. So I come full circle. My early experience of connection has manifested into this opportunity to bring a holistic approach to health and healing.