About me (cont.)
My name is Luisa. I've got one daughter, and I live in central Portugal together with my husband and our 6 dogs and 2 cats.
I'm vegan and allergic to chickpeas (I know! No more hummus for me…).
I'm a passionate and idealistic person, with both feet planted firmly on the ground.
I used to feel angry and insecure and blamed others for my unhappiness.
Now, I look at myself and the world in a different way, and am more in touch with my thoughts and emotions.
I used to teach English and worked as a translator for more than 30 years.
I've done all kinds of different studies and trainings: English, Yoga, Ayurveda, Embodied yoga, Zumba, Yoga Nidra and Yin Yoga, plant-based cooking and more.
Some of my hobbies are reading, crochet, cooking and making jewellery, and I love to binge-watch series on Netflix. My favourite: La Casa de Papel (Money Heist).
I also read a lot. I love psychological thrillers and I'm a big fan of Stephen King.
Let’s go back in time for a bit…
I was born in Amsterdam on December 21, 1963, daughter of a Dutch mother and a Portuguese father. I spent my primary school years and the first year of my secondary school in Zaandam, a city about 25km north of Amsterdam. I have always loved to read, and I spent most of my free time reading books.
When I was 13, my mother and father got divorced. After my mother married again and had another daughter, my second sister, we moved to a small village in the south of the Netherlands where everything was different. I had to go to another school, where I had a hard time adjusting. I felt like an outsider.
From a very young age I thought of myself as stupid and ugly, which resulted in a long search for love and validation. As a result, for a large part of my life, all my decisions were guided by my romantic relationships.
When I was 32, my life seemed perfect on the outside: I was married and had a child, we owned our own home, and I had a job and an active social life. Then I started suffering from anxiety attacks. It was awful and scary… I didn’t understand what was happening to me or why! I was at a loss so I went looking for help.
That was when I found out that I was far from happy. I didn’t know who I was and learned that I was living a life that I didn’t really want.
With the help of a psychologist, I managed to overcome this major life crisis. I became an English teacher and later went on to university. My then husband and I divorced. I met my now husband, became a Zumba instructor and yoga teacher. In 2012 we moved to Portugal, where we had bought a piece of land with a ruin. My husband built us a beautiful wooden home and we lived a quiet and secluded life.
On June 14, 2017, a fire started in the village where we lived. Everything that happened on that day and the following days, had a major impact on my life. You can read about the fire here.
Although our house, me and all our pets were unharmed and people around me even regarded me as a hero, I became depressed. I hated myself so much, that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. The fire worked like a catalyst and brought other traumas that I thought I had long since overcome, to come back up.
In October of 2017, we moved to England for one year, for my husband’s work. One day I found myself sitting on the bed staring into space. I felt empty and dead inside and wondered if there was any sense in continuing with my life. I don’t know how long I sat there. At some point I forced myself to get up. I walked downstairs and went looking for help on the internet.
For a month, I sent long stories to a psychologist in the USA, contacted a gym where I then started working as a Zumba and yoga teacher and started a course in plant-based cooking. The psychologist said I suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt.
She also said that she couldn’t do anything for me, because I was already doing all the things I needed to do to overcome my problems.
With the help of dance, yoga, meditation and living more mindfully, I managed to climb out of that deep dark place. It was a hard, painful and difficult journey. Not just for me, but for the people who love me as well.
Back in Portugal, I decided to become a certified holistic coach because I wanted to help people who may have similar experiences and problems as I have experienced.
In that same year, I joined a holotropic breathwork group session. During the breathing part of the session I started crying without knowing why and without being able to stop. I was surprised about the profound effect of the breathing method, and it made me want to find out more about breathwork and the science behind it.
After some research, I decided to become a BBTRS® facilitator.
Through weekly breathwork sessions, I've been able to work through and release my own traumas. I've come to know, understand and love myself. I'm more aware of my emotions and feelings and know how to accept and work through them. I've overcome my addiction to alcohol and feel happy and free.
I now combine breathwork, yoga and coaching to help women heal on the inside, to become who they want to be and live a healthier and happier life.