Hospitalized Previously, Shelby Robbins Works with Trauma Survivors of Addiction, Sexual Abuse, Co-Dependency, PTSD)

Shelby RobbinsMy work is the temple I built from my obliterated space.

The seed of it all was planted from my lifeboat, as I was sailing away from my old life. I watched it all burn to the ground as I floated away. My university, my friends, my partner, my job, my health, my expectations… gone.

This devastation began with a sick heart. I was hospitalized for a while. It ended with recognition of my codependent behavior patterns. My father was an alcoholic.

I had been simmering in the crap-stew of addiction my entire life. All of my friends were addicts. The manipulation, lying, abuse, and heartache finally caught up to me. I was overworked in academia, in love, and in health. My mind, body, and spirit had collapsed.

After returning home, I grieved.  I knew that nothing would ever be the same. Eventually I emerged from this loss and I started to return to my gifts. I found my way back to what I knew. I stumbled into a few teachers and guides that gave me a blue print. And I started to build my temple.

In my core, I am a healer. I am inspired and enlivened by alternative healing techniques.  I’ve been in touch with the unseen energies of our world since I can remember. Right now, I am 22. I am fully invested in my healing business. I’ve healed my heart in more ways than I thought possible.

However lately, I’ve come to notice that something key is missing.  I work with trauma survivors – those who have trudged through the depths of addiction, sexual abuse, co-dependency, PTSD. All of these issues have thrown me personally into the fires of transformation – I am so fulfilled  that my own experiences and gifts can lift these people up and help them heal from these core wounds. Mostly, we sit with their pain from an embodied state. We work through the triggers.

I’ve referred many of my clients to massage therapists and it has become a key component for their embodiment practice, release of tension, and coming fully back home.  After seeing how effective this healing modality was and how well it complimented my work, I decided I wanted to master massage myself. Not only would it benefit my clients in a huge way – but it would also give me access to more advanced trauma touch therapies and training opportunities down the road.

I want to help people. I don’t want to just nudge them slowly forward, but I want to have the tools to help them go as deep as they want to go. I want to be able to provide an integrated healing service that touches not only emotional, spiritual, and relational realms but the physical realm as well.

Massage is flexible. It does not bind or hold you. No matter where my interests lead within the next 60 years, I have no doubt massage will be able to fit in with them in some degree. The body will never stop accumulating tension. Massage will never stop feeling good. It is an ancient art that has always been with us and will continue to be.

At first, I did consider other embodiment practices over massage. There are so many to choose from. As far as time commitment, cost, and availability, massage by far succeeded the others I considered. The market for massage therapists is growing where I live. It has gone up by 40% every year for the past five years.

For my already growing practice, it will provide me with credentials and a platform to reach mainstream audiences. I have not been able to afford to return to university and thus have no degree. I will be more financially secure and that much closer to relieving the burden of my accumulated medical and student debt.  I am not someone who bases their decisions solely on practical matters, however this information did help. After years of instability, security has become something very valuable to me.

Massage did not only satisfy my wallet and my mind – it satisfied my heart too. I found a small (not corporate) massage school within the heart of Boulder, Colorado. It was built by people like me – healers. They teach how to massage with soul and heart. They know how to honor the body. They understand the sacredness of the healing arts.  Through massage, I am now not only learning this practice but doing so with a like-minded community.

Learning massage is not only practical but integral in expanding my healing arts practice. Its breadth is wide enough to add to my personal development as a professional, student, and seeker. It is the next step in building my temple.

I work as a healer, speaker and teacher in the field of personal transformation. Focusing primarily on young people, I help unravel core wounds and seemingly complicated energies into simple aligned truths. Beyond my training’s and thousands of hours working with clients, my most valuable qualifications for this work come from my own personal experiences and healing journey.

All of my big life challenges seemed to happen at once. The first challenge was navigating the complexities of the ballet world. I was a dancer. However, the harm caused to the female form was shocking and unbearable to me. Eating disorders, self-hatred, and various forms of self-harm were common.

At the same time, my family environment was growing dysfunctional. Financial insecurities lead my parents through the difficult path of divorce, alcoholism and depression.  I internalized these issues, creating an inner atmosphere of shame, guilt, and anger.

Additionally, I experienced a series of sexual traumas. I have had complete memory loss of the experiences until recently. This internal shut down lead to extreme self-denial. Codependent behaviors were the only way I knew how to relate to the world.

The combination of these experiences lead me through a battlefield of abusive and unhealthy relationships. Addiction, PTSD and volatile emotional experiences were common for me. My gifts completely shut down. I allowed myself to become small, angry, and isolated.

In 2014, my body had finally had enough. I became extremely ill. I had a heart condition and a slew of other seemingly unrelated problems. I was forced to drop out of school in Vancouver and move back home to get well.

Months later, I was introduced to a healer. After a single session, she threw me threw the fires of personal development . I have since undergone deep emotional and psychological exploration, hunting down the places where I wasn’t true or loving. I learned what the word surrender really means.

My heart condition vanished. I felt energized.  Since, I have thrown myself fully into the healing arts. I have made extreme leaps with my inner world, healing myself of many personal demons. My relationships are compassionate and supportive, I have amazing tools to relate with others, and I have created a powerful relationship with my own healing gifts. I have cultivated a lifestyle of inquiry and curiosity that nurtures my personal and professional life.

I am deeply humbled and grateful for the blessing my experiences have been and continue to be in my life. It has been an opportunity to embody many tremendous teachings, and has been a beautiful foundation upon which to learn more about what it means to be a human being.

Shelby can be contacted through her social media pages here, here and here.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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