My story


My Mission: Have Miracles, Will Travel

I have done a lot of things in my life, (see below!) some more corporate and some more holistic.  I have known what my mission is for at least 25 years – and had been tragically over-thinking it until I managed to burn out completely in the job I loved-  being a Hospice Chaplain.  I’m deeply grateful that whilst I had to give up my career as a Hospice Chaplain, my wake up call didn’t come too late in order for me to learn the invaluable lessons I had been offered and to realize that what I wanted was to share those insights with as many people as I can:

Working with hundreds of people as they were dying gave me the privilege of sharing the priceless perspective of what really matters when people look back on their lives. Here’s what I learned:

At the end of their lives, lots of people wish that they had spent more time doing things they enjoyed with the people who are most important to them. They wish they had worried less about what other people would think if they followed their secret dreams.  I heard people’s regrets about the choices they made and the priorities they had followed without ever really stopping to think about what was important to them. I learned that too many people get caught up in pursuing one aspect of success only to discover, sometimes sadly too late, the high cost of neglecting their health or their relationships along the way to the goal they thought was so important.

I really loved my job, I was very successful in it and I felt it was important work so I ignored the invaluable advice I was getting and the warning signs that my own health was suffering until finally, I burned out completely.    After which I spent a long time thinking about what I am going to do, how to make enough money?, should you even charge money from healing?, what is my elevator speech?, do I need a niche? and other very frustrating questions.

It finally dawned on me that actually all I have to do is come out of the closet in my full healing regalia, complete with glitter and just get on with this unconditional love thing.  It’s just that simple.   Don’t need to worry my pretty little head a moment more about the targeting, the marketing, the niches, the imaginary corporate people in the imaginary offices who might not approve of me.   I can leave that to people – err- beings well above my pay grade.    And that, is how it came to be that I am at age 48 and 3/4, embarking on the biggest adventure of my life,traveling the world on a mission to love, heal and inspire as many people as I can and trusting the process.

Have Miracles, Will Travel.

You can contribute to fund THE LOVE SEAT world tour here:  

 

Qualifications and Experience

  • Former journalist and published author, graphic design for national publications print and DTP
  • Blue chip FMCG and B2B Marketing, PR and Advertising Experience
  • Organizational Development: Trainer and Executive Coach
  • Counselor with experience in Trauma, Bereavement, Sexual Abuse, PTSD from inpatient Psychiatric clinical to private practice
  • Facilitator with worldwide experience creating and presenting workshops and retreats for adults and adolescents
  • Educator:  Curriculum Development, lecturer and trainer in Adult Higher Education and Continuing Professional Development
  • Professional acting, radio, television and voice-over
  • Master Of Theology: Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • Board Certified Healthcare Chaplain
  • 4 units Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Critical Incident Stress Management: Certified facilitator of individual and group interventions
  • Life Coach Certification
  • Certification in Leadership Development Coaching in International Management
  • Professional Practitioner of Therapeutic Massage
  • Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Facilitator Mantram Meditation
  • Facilitator Kindfulness (mindfulness + compassion + gratitude)
  • Reiki Master, Healer, Thai Yoga Massage, Barefoot Shiatsu, Reflexology

the very long story

I was born Helen Sophia Elizabeth White to a Greek Mother and English Father in the South of England in the late 1960’s.  We lived in England and went to my mother’s village in Greece every Summer.    From a very young age, I wanted to be an actress but my mother had firm opinions and so instead of drama school, I attended the University of Birmingham, studying English Literature as a major and also Ancient Icelandic, Byzantine History, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology and Media Studies.

Most of my time at university however, was spent acting and writing.   I volunteered to write for the local arts and entertainments magazine and as a result ended up landing as my first job the position of editor of a national consumer magazine.   In addition to journalism, I taught myself desktop publishing and went on to work in advertising and public relations.

In my early 20’s, I moved to London and had two life changing encounters.  The first was to meet the future father of my children and the second was when I volunteered to do some pro bono PR work and was invited to swim with a solitary wild dolphin off the coast of Northumbria.  The experience was a spiritual awakening for me, I remembered who I was meant to become and recognized the gifts of healing I was meant to offer.    I had always been interested in healing, I used to love hear stories of my maternal grandmother who died when I was a baby, who was the medicine woman for my mother’s remote village in rural Greece, dispensing herbal remedies.   My cousin has told me that she and others in our family were also known for their intuitive gifts, which as a child I had experienced a sense of having shared.

For his work, we moved first to Scotland and then France where my two children were born in the early 1990’s.  There I studied screen-writing and worked as a freelance writer and editor and marketing consultant. Shortly thereafter, we were relocated to Philadelphia. It was in America that I began to work in the field of organizational development and was a partner in a consultancy specializing in action-reflection learning and leadership development.   I became interested in personal growth and in January 1998, I went on the Woman Within training weekend.   It was a powerful experience, I started to volunteer immediately and then to train as a facilitator.  I received my certification in 2003 and have staffed over 75 weekends all around the world since then.

I started swimming with wild dolphins again, first in Florida and then in Bimini in the Bahamas and was leading week long retreats there in the early 2000’s.  I revived my interest in complementary healing, working as a massage therapist and becoming qualified in several modalities and writing and recording a CD: Meditations with Mirabai: guided meditations for healing and deep relaxation.   I also became interested in deepening my yoga practice,  I found a home at Yoga on Main in Manayunk with David Newman (Durga Das) and Shiva Das and went on to do my Teacher Training there. As David began to chant in class, I fell in love with this practice and it became my favorite form of meditation and singing and dancing is one of the greatest joys of my life.  It was some time later that I put two and two together and realized that the mystic poet Mirabai, that I had been named after, was most famous for her ecstatic love songs to God and reviving the practice of Bhakti, known as the yoga of devotion.

My life and path were altered profoundly by encounters with three more people, two around the same time.    The first was Junpo Denis Kelly, my first spiritual teacher and the person responsible for re-naming me Mirabai.  The second was a man named John Talmo.  He came to learn Reiki from me and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 36.  I supported him and his family through his illness and was present with them for the week before and at the moment of his subsequent death less than a year later.   This profound experience led me to discern a calling to work with the dying.  I almost went into nursing until by chance I learned about the role of the hospice chaplain.    The third person was Steven Rudnitzky who became a wonderful step-dad to my children for several years.

Right before I was due to start my training and embark on a second career as a Healthcare Chaplain, I told my friends about a premonition I was having that I might have an accident possibly a very serious one and a few weeks later,  Christmas 2004 I almost died when I suffered a pulmonary embolism.  During my long stay in the hospital, I had a dream in which Neem Karoli Baba appeared to me and told me that I needed to stick around as he had a job for me to do, (I will write about in more detail about this another time).

A few months later, once I recovered, I studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Cooper University and undertook my residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, during which time I interned at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and pioneered the role of chaplain to the Palliative Care Team.   I was working part-time at Children’s Hospital when I was head-hunted to work in Hospice.   I then went back to school, received a Master in Theology at Cardiff University and attained board certification from the Association of Professional Chaplains and spent seven years working in hospitals and hospice specializing in trauma, end-of-life care and stress management.

In the fall of 2012, I resigned and sold and gave away 80% of my possessions in order to move back to Scotland to be with my children in their last year at high school and returned back to Philadelphia in late Spring 2013, to take up another Hospice Chaplain position with my friend and former boss who had started another branch of Holisticare, the hospice I originally worked for.    Soon after I returned to the US, in August 2013, I created The Love Seat, a pop up healing experience which combines performance art, spiritual practice and psychoneuroimmunology.

I loved my hospice job and was very good at it.   I cared very, very deeply for my patients, perhaps too deeply because I started to feel more and more affected by their deaths.    In the Spring of 2014, I was suffering from increasing levels of stress and was hospitalized twice in six weeks for life- threatening infections in my hand and also for pneumonia.  The first week of April, I fell and broke a bone in the same hand.   In retrospect, I think my body was trying to tell me something.

The absolute irony is that I was delivering educational programs about Avoiding Burnout at the time.   We always teach what we most need to learn it seems because in the  late Summer of 2014, I burned out completely and had to leave my hospice job.   A couple of months after, just as I had regained my strength, I received a phone call informing me that my mother had fallen in England and was critically injured.  Although I was already on my way to an airport and immediately diverted for England, tragically she died before I was able to reach her.   I spent the next few months dealing with her affairs and processing what this, my own wake up call, should mean for the rest of my life.

In the Spring of 2015, I was invited to South Africa where I presented a workshop called Spectacular Circles for Maximum Healing and Growth for Women for Afrika.   One of the attendees was an incredible woman called Lindy Dlamani, a medicine woman, with whom I was very honored to spend some time. It was Lindy who delivered the invitation to step up into my full power as a healer.  So I got back to the US and I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what it looked like to do that, what to call myself and how to describe what I do.   I worried a lot about this, because although if you asked me what I do I would have said without a moment’s hesitation, “I’m a healer”, I would always follow it up with  “But I can’t put that on my website – I’ll never get hired for corporate work”…by the imaginary people in my head who worked in imaginary corporations, lol!

This all culminated in a very embarrassing teeny tantrum that appeared as my facebook status at the time.

“We interrupt our normal programming of gratitude and generally uplifting stuff to give you live coverage of the teeny tantrum I am throwing today. Pouting and petulant, I’m channeling my inner toddler and teenager. At the same time. Feel like taking my toys and going home – in an existential sense. Totally frustrated because I just don’t understand the decision to put me in charge of logistics when God, of all- err -people , should be fully aware that I am much more use at the healing counter. Is it really too much too ask that I could be allowed to just get on with my job? All I want is to be free to move about the planet dispensing hope, comfort, peace, joy and miracles leaving only smiles, footprints and a sprinkling of glitter in my wake, instead of stressing about all that third dimension stuff. It doesn’t seem to be a wise use of resources to me. Just sayin’ ‪#‎canIblamethefullmoon‬?”

Not even a week later, it hit me.   It has been staring me in the face for a VERY long time.    And I’d just like to add  at this juncture, “Thanks God, it was awfully nice of you not to say ‘I told you so’.  Especially since you have actually been giving me the answer to this particular prayer for at least the last say 25 years.”

And I have been tragically overthinking it ever since … until now that is.  When it finally dawned on me that actually all I have to do is come out of the closet in my full healing regalia, complete with glitter and just get on with this unconditional love thing.  It’s just that simple.   Don’t need to worry my pretty little head a moment more about the targeting, the marketing, the niches, the imaginary corporate people in the imaginary offices who might not approve of me.   I can leave that to people – err- beings well above my pay grade.    And that, is how at the end of this very long version of the story I am poised to embark on the biggest adventure of my life, to take the Love Seat on tour, to give away my healing and trust the process.

 

These days you will find me traveling the world on a mission to love, heal and inspire as many people as I can.     Have Miracles, Will Travel.

You can contribute to fund THE LOVE SEAT world tour here:




 

 

 

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