I get asked all the time what Tejomaya means and why I’ve chosen it as the name of my blog and business, and now feels like the perfect time to tell its story. I like to think that words find you when you’re meant to discover them, and this one traveled almost 17 years to find me, so it was certainly no coincidence or mere happenstance. Knowing what I know now, I’d go so far as to say that nothing ever is.
At the beginning of my first semester break during my Freshman year of college, I discovered Aromatherapy. I’d decided to try my hand at making bath salts for my family for Christmas and 2 half ounce bottles of total bliss came into my life in the form of lavender and sweet orange essential oils. I made my recipes and gave my gifts, but spent every spare moment over the next few years learning every single thing I could about the practice. I poured over the history, the chemistry, the methods of delivery and extraction. I’d spend hours lost in every plant and in my own fantasies of opening a unique practice where I could share this knowledge with others. I gave speeches and eventually wrote my college thesis on Aromatherapy as a viable compliment to Western Psychology. The professors at my conservative, Christian college were not ready for it, to say the least, but the science was sound and my heart appeared on every typed page, even if no one saw the value in it but me.
After graduation, adulthood set in. I took retail and customer service jobs to keep my basics covered, but I hated every second of it and cried when my alarm went off. Not knowing how to tell people you’re a highly sensitive, intuitive introvert when you don’t even know there are words for that, makes it hard to respond to people telling you that you need to toughen up and accept your fate. Eventually, I did just accept that going to work every day was going to feel like this and turned to alcohol, emotional eating, and prescription drugs to attempt to fill the big, empty void. It’s soul crushing stuff when you’re a big-hearted, creative type. No wonder so many people battle with depression!
Then came the final series of crushing blows. In the period of one year, I lost both of my grandparents, my childhood dog and was laid off at work. I was grief-stricken, I was lost and I was mad as hell. To say that I spent my days in total darkness would be a massive understatement.
When I did eventually find work after several months of interviews and no offers, I ended up back in a call center. It was basically as bad as I feared. They actually told me during my annual review that I cared too much, which was infuriating and stressful. The stress of it made me sick, in fact. So sick, I was out of work for 6 months with a chronic illness that didn’t respond to medicine. My immune system was garbage and my doctors were all totally befuddled.
I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands, and began re-reading my Aromatherapy books out of sheer boredom. I bought some oils to pass the time and it lead me to herbs and nutrition, and every healing modality I could feast my eyes on. Slowly but surely, as I taught myself how to get better, the light I thought had gone out for good was rekindled. I left the call center job and began working in the wellness department of a local natural foods store and soaked up everything I could, adding more oil to my lamp.
Eventually, I sought Reiki and Craniosacral treatments for headaches after moving from a sales to a corporate position where I stare at a computer all day. This became a defining moment for me, because after my treatments were over, my practitioner offered to teach me the beautiful, healing art of Reiki. It had done so much more for me than just fix my headaches. It helped me heal, and put in perspective a lot of the hurt over the past several years. It helped me find purpose and meaning in my life by repairing my relationship with my Creator. It helped me get real about my fears and reasons for not pursuing my passions. Of course I wanted to learn it! My soul was crying out for it! I wanted to learn other things, too. That certification lead me to certify in meditation, in pranayama, and in kundalini yoga. It lead me to ordain as a minister. It lead me to certify in life coaching and specialize in Stress Management. It ultimately gave birth to my vision, which started with a spark all those Christmases ago. A spark that hadn’t gone out, but just needed time to grow so it could fill my heart and my whole being with light.
Tejomaya, by the way, is a Sanskrit word that means full of light .
Dr. Maya Angelou once said “If you have, give. If you learn, teach.” Going from darkness to light was one helluva learning process! If I walked away from that and I didn’t try to give others hope and didn’t try to teach them how to restore light to their own lives, then I would have missed the lesson entirely. I’m grateful and humbled every day that I didn’t miss it. This thing that fills me to overflowing with joy, gets to be my life now. I’m not totally there, yet. I have a couple of kinks and an additional certification or two to iron out before it’s a perfect replica of my vision, but I’m gobsmacked seeing how far I’ve come.
As I make the transition from day job to dream job, I have a short-term and a long-term plan in place. I hope to begin offering some one-on-one coaching and healing services soon, both locally and online. I also plan to create some pretty neat tools and resources, lead some accountability groups and offer some fun freebies to help make your lives better. If there’s anything you need help with or would like to see me write about or teach, please let me know. Also, if you show up one day and see the website looking different, no worries! That’s just me chugging along, and spreading my special brand of love and sunshine. It’s all good!
Nothing would make me happier than to hear from you! Thanks for listening to my story and I hope you have the best week ever!
Wishing You Total Well-Being,
(And I mean that with my whole heart!)