I grew up with a very religious, spiritual mom and a very logical, scientific dad.
As a young adult in the 1970s my first profession was medical technology – working in hospital laboratories. I also learned to meditate and studied the yoga tradition. This began my journey to help me put the spiritual and the scientific together.
I wanted more – not just a job, but a career.
So, I pursued a doctorate in clinical psychology while walking the walk in an Ayurvedic lifestyle. And in the 1990s I commenced my study of Ayurveda as a practitioner, a sister science to yoga. I moved back to my birthplace of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to create a holistic private psychotherapy practice.
The privilege of presence in my journey.
I have now had over three decades of experience as a holistic psychologist and also as a practitioner and student of the Vedic sciences. I have had the privilege of being in the presence of great teachers, authors, and spiritual people – that transmit even more than the knowledge: Mātā Amritānandamayī Devī , often called Amma or the hugging saint, gave me my spiritual name of Vaishnavi. Others were Maya Tiwari at the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, Dr. Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute, the wonderful faculty with the Maharishi Ayurveda program for Health Professionals, Sam Sadasiva Geppi of the Academy of Vedic Arts and Sciences, and more, as time went by. I am a perpetual student!
Bringing my Knowledge to Serve Others
In 1998, I opened the Ayurveda Center for Natural Healthcare. The Center had numerous teachers, practitioners, events, speakers, and more over the next 20 years. We offered psychotherapy, Ayurvedic consultations and treatments, massage therapy, yoga classes, cooking classes, kirtans, speakers, and much more. It brought me great joy to bring the Vedic tradition to East Tennessee – even if I was a little before my time. In fact, I met a mental health professional who was a little fearful about integrating such things into her practice – even though she was alternatively-minded in her own life. She said, “I will wait until you build a bridge and then I’ll walk over it.” In other words, I was into it way before it was cool!!
Solo Again – Still Studying, Teaching, and Serving
Eventually, I sold the Center building and scaled back my business to be just me. (If you want a more mainstream presentation of my resume, see PDF of curriculum vita – sometimes pops up, sometimes a download.) Now I am a Certified Vedic Astrologer, Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Vedic Counselor. I am reinventing myself once again as the Vedic Counselor in order to bring all of my knowledge and experience to work with you!!
My Mission Statement and Approach
My mission is to facilitate a collaborative journey with my clients and students. My goal is to support, educate, nurture, and inspire others to make authentic changes toward one’s true potential, fulfillment, life purpose, and ultimately toward a realization of one’s true Self. Coming from my story, you can see I value and use the best of both ancient and modern knowledge and experience to help people develop a practical but flexible approach to their own evolutionary stories.
My approach involves preparing myself to work with you by keeping up with my own self-care and spiritual practice. In addition, I continue to learn more about the Vedic sciences of consciousness every week. During our meeting I hope to be connected to that higher aspect of my Self that “speaks” through my intuition, as well as with all I know and sometimes more. Last, I have a plethora of suggested resources and handouts to supplement the knowledge and practices I recommend. I want you to have what you need to succeed.