Instructor Spotlight - A Guest Blog Post from Heather Dellaero
"When we operate from our hearts, we can better serve ourselves, and in turn better serve those around us. And that is the journey I am not only talking, but I am walking. Not in front of you on a podium, but right along side of you. Every step of the way.” — Heather Dellaero
I’ve always known on a spiritual level that I am here to help people, but I also knew that before I could, I had to make myself a priority. We've heard it before; place your oxygen mask on before assisting others. In this case, it meant committing to taking care of myself, mind, body and soul.
I’ve struggled with social anxiety for as long as I can remember. When you were a child, did you know what it meant to feel “anxious”? I didn’t. I just knew I was tired and my tummy ached, I was terrified of crowds, and couldn’t excel at school if I even showed up at all. This led to being misdiagnosed and put on a countless medical cocktails I didn’t need, mislabeled with sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and ADD to name a few. What I’d come to learn later from my Healer, was that I am none of those things; I was born sensitive. Having been raised by a young single mother and my grandparents, I was exposed to an array of energy and emotions, and as an empathetic child, I’d mistake those feelings as mine. So when asked “how are you feeling?” I’d answer with their emotions, rather than my own. Socializing, getting on the school bus, all of these things were so overwhelming, that I’d know nothing else but to say I felt “sick” and panic. Looking back, it wasn’t a prescription I needed; I needed guidance, grounding, and an outlet.
I had to lose my everything to find myself. I lost my grandfather in 2007, and then my mother in 2008, losing myself entirely in the midst of it. For six years following their passing, I feared returning to a therapist because I’d never felt understood, so I’d self medicate my grief and anxiety, living in absolute fear of answering my phone or leaving my apartment. Following my sister’s lead, we stumbled into the office of a Psychic Medium, in hopes we could connect with our mom’s spirit. That day is where everything began to change. Slowly, but surely. It brought me tremendous peace, and was a catalyst for my healing thereafter.
I saw the sign and asked for help. A year or so passed after our spirit connection, and I kept hearing the Medium’s website repeat in my head. I made an appointment with her, not knowing what it was that I needed from her, yet I couldn’t deny the pull to her office. That day I learned that she is also a Reiki Practicioner, (an energetic healing practice), and to this day have been going to her weekly since 2013. With her help, I have worked through my addictions, and continue to work through emotional trauma. I’d often say that she saved me. But what I’ve come to realize is that I saved myself. I just needed to ask for help again. The past proved that traditional therapy wasn’t for me, but that didn’t mean it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t mean I couldn’t be helped. I didn’t give up myself; I found another way. I found the help that I needed, and am forever grateful that she showed me I can step into my power to take control of my own feelings, and my own narrative.
You can’t spell healthy without the heal. None of this has been easy. Not a single day of it. But just as I found the power to release and heal inward, I found that I could move my body with the same force and I could feel GOOD doing it! Not only that, but it amplified the inner healing process by putting energy behind it. For me, my fitness journey was never driven by numbers (although that was a bi-product). It instead was about taking time out of the chaos and dedicating myself, my efforts, my energy back into me. I do it for my inner child who desperately needed somewhere to “put” those feelings that burdened her. I’ve cried beside you all more times than I’d like to admit in these dark studios. I’ve felt things release right up and out of my mind, body, and soul with the support of everyone in that room without them even knowing. JoyRide has become the outlet I've always needed. Being able to drive myself to peace and sanity through physical release was such an “a-ha” moment for me, that I knew I wanted to help other people feel it too. Just last Summer, on my 30th birthday, I knew it was time for me to give back, and I signed up to audition to be an instructor.
Taking on my role as a leader and guide, I aim to provide riders with a safe place to feel themselves. Together, we hit times of resistance, but we push back even harder. Together, we lend our neighbors energy simply by owning our own. Together, we disconnect from the day and pull into our bodies, and ground down deep. Because as you’ll hear me say after every class; when we make space in our bodies, we make space in our minds, making room for us to drop into our hearts. When we operate from our hearts, we can better serve ourselves, and in turn better serve those around us. And that is the journey I am not only talking, but I am walking. Not in front of you on a podium, but right along side of you. Every step of the way.