Welcome! My name is Cathleen, I’m a mostly stay-home mom of 2 spirited kiddos- Eliah and James. I also occasionally escape my mad-house by working as a holistic/integrative physical therapist and wellness coach as my free time allows. I grew up being very active in sports and eventually enough injuries and therapy brought me into the field of physical therapy. I went to Hope College in Holland, MI and later received my doctoral degree in physical therapy from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. My rural, blue-collar upbringing in East Jordan, MI has given me much drive to study, travel, and experience life in ways that drastically differ from my family. I have always wanted to see the places they have only dreamed of and do the things they never had opportunity to do. I’m glad to say I’ve been living out those ambitions, and I’m so grateful for the country I live in that makes it possible to pursue our dreams. Life also brought me on a journey of self-realization, health/healing, and a spiritual quest thru the experience of chronic disease in myself and children. It’s been a wonderful and challenging ride that I am embracing more each year. Transformation of self is what my mortal journey is all about and I love to help others through this divine process of rebirth.
My husband Michael, is one of the most pure, kind-hearted, charitable men I’ve ever met. He is full of ambition yet has the most tender heart. He is so supportive of all I dream of doing and always tries to help me bring my goals into fruition. He is the emotionally stable one of the family, thank goodness. I think it is largely due to his engineering background that helps him stay rational and focused during times of distress. He wears a lot of “hats” in his work. He’s an engineer, businessman, entrepreneur, inventor. I guess sort of a renaissance man. He is a self taught pianist, singer, and dabbles with guitar. He grew up in Hillsboro, OR, served a mission for our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), in the Czech Republic and went to college and graduate school at BYU in Provo, UT.
Because my spiritual side is the cornerstone to my healing journey I feel it important to describe my background. Although Mike grew up in the LDS faith, I grew up describing myself as a non-denominational Christian, however I led a lifestyle for many years that would seem hypocritical of the tradition Christian lifestyle. I had always been in search for a church home where Christ was a center-point, but also allowed the freedom to question and pursue other cultural viewpoints of the divine. When I was 30, I felt strongly that I needed a regular guided spiritual practice. And I soon found the LDS church. Ironically, the structure and organization gave me an inner freedom and peace I had never before experienced, while provoking a thirst to understand doctrine from other ancient traditions/religions. I had finally found my church home and a spiritual base to be a foundation for my passion of seeking Truth. My conversion story is complex and beautiful. And it hasn’t stopped on the Mormon “train”. I also enjoy reading the teachings of Buddhism, yoga and specifically the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, Daoism, Shamanism and the Great Truths from around the world. It is easy for me to discern the common “bridges” between various doctrines and cultural view points. It’s been a gift of mine to see the shared commonalities rather than the differences of religious viewpoints. I am the most eccletic Mormon I know and somehow I make the spirituality of the great teachers fit nicely into my foundation built upon my LDS faith. I’ll share more in a post sometime. A short time after I became a member of the LDS church, I met my husband, Mike, and the rest is history. We love participating in a community of fellow believers in Christ. It has brought us much opportunity to love and serve and to most importantly learn to emulate the teachings of Jesus. Although we belong to the LDS faith, we both have many friends of all faiths and we love to have shared discussions that involve the Great Truths that are taught by many religions. It is fascinating to see that “all truth circumscribes into one great whole.”
Our family of four currently resides in beautiful (4 months of the year) Hood River, OR. We have two children- Eliah (Elli) and James. They have brought us much joy and have taught us much about the purpose of life. Most of my blog will be devoted to the things I am learning along the way about how to handle motherhood and the trials it brings. Elli and James both have complexities about them that are further described in my “spirit kiddos” page.
As for my health condition I write so much about, I will say that it has been the greatest teacher I could ask for. And I also know that it is not a life long challenge I will have. The key is to learn the lessons so that I can let the health challenge go. My purpose for this blog is to share my journey on healing from an “incurable” disease through various epigenetic influence focusing on various belief systems, behaviors, and lifestyle choices. My belief is that my biochemistry is far more influenced by these factors than by medication. I also believe that my genetic “hiccups” may just be the key to healing, as it allows me to find other paths to health through the often un-explored territory of trust, faith, hope, and love as focus points for treatment of disease.
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A few favorite pics of my family over the years: