Originally from New York, I've lived in Corvallis for the past 13 years with my husband and 3 children. One of our goals as parents is to create balance and harmony in our family life as we nurture individual passions, goals, and interests.
A graduate of the Oregon School of Massage, I received my massage license in December of 2013. Thankfully, my training included lessons on how to stay safe and grounded within one's own body while giving to others throughout the day: "Feel the bottoms of your feet on the ground, allow knees to bend slightly and softly, gently pull navel to spine as you lift the pelvic floor in and up, sense your breast bone lifting upward along with the crown of your head, let your shoulders drop down away from your ears, relax your gaze, and breathe from your belly."
It is a challenge to be aware of our bodies' position in space, to notice how or if we are breathing, connect with others mindfully, and do things all at the same time. Yet....
There is great relief and comfort in living an embodied existence. Coming home to well-being, a grounded, and centered place inside one's self requires a kind and compassionate relationship to our bodies. Sometimes we look for safety and love from the outside while remaining emotionally detached or disassociated from our inner life due to trauma, habit, or lack of awareness. With regular practice and daily self-care, we can learn how to cultivate and inhabit sacred spaces within.
My intention with massage is to help clients heal the schisms we unknowingly create between our body, mind, heart, and soul. To bring the pieces of ourselves together, in harmonious alignment, as one softly pulsing vibrant creature of light. To connect more deeply and lovingly with all that we are in this moment.
How I Became Enamored with Embodiment
The Venettes Cultural Workshop, based in Wyandanch, New York, accepted me into their cultural arts program when I was 13 years old. I was the only white kid, and for the most part, I was warmly welcomed. The first formal dance classes of my life began here. The director, Mary Baird, once teasingly referred to me as the "token white child" during a tour of Europe during Black History month. I distinctly remember being in awe of her powerful presence and sharply focused intelligence, and trying to anticipate what she might say or do at any given moment. I am realizing now that Mary Baird demonstrated daily what it's like to be fully present in our body, unabashedly connected to one's genuine thoughts, emotions, and sources of creativity, and to fearlessly speak truth out loud. Empowering, enlivening, and most importantly, 100% authentic.
At the age of 17, I continued to study modern, ballet, and African dance, first at SUNY Purchase and then SUNY Brockport. At Brockport, I enjoyed performing in a traveling troupe called "Sankofa." After my college experiences, unexpected mystical encounters with Sufism introduced dance as both a spiritual path and a healing art form. My pursuit of standard modern and ballet dance technique was abandoned as I pursued an inner intuitive approach.
Twenty years later I continue to practice Sufi inspired Dancemeditation regularly and take time for retreats every year. Dunya Dianne McPherson (http://www.dancemeditation.org/dunya-mcpherson/) and Paula Byrne (http://www.PaulaByrneMusic.com) are my two biggest inspirations in the world of spiritual and transformative movement and meditation. (Paula is also an amazing jazz singer, taught by the famous Greta Matassa. Check out her website for info on her music gigs!)
Why I Am Drawn to Healing Work
Massage is a natural instinct to give kindness in the form of touch. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stress or injury all deserve our compassionate attention and mindful healing intention. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to go back to school as an older adult, studying the healing art of massage, and feel privileged to be a part of this profession. Currently, I have a home office in the beautiful and quiet Soap Creek valley, 12 miles north of Corvallis.
There are many wonderful places throughout town where you may find the McCullough family pursuing their passions and appreciating the passions of one another. Included are Donna Blatt-Ervin's Modern Dance classes, OSU Rugby, SlideMax, Saturday Farmer's Market, the public library, OSU campus and research forests,1st Pres Sunday jazz, Planet Boogie, and Ecstatic Dance, http://www.ecstaticdancecorvallis.com/, the Majestic and historic Whiteside Theatre, the Darkside Cinema, Laughing Planet, Bombs Away Cafe, and many more, not to mention special outings to Portland, the coast, and the gorgeous rivers and lakes of the high Cascades. Breitenbush Hotsprings Retreat Center is my personal favorite! The McCulloughs are all grateful for the abundance the heart of the valley generously provides.