Hi. My Name is Toi Lynn. Yes, that really is my name…
I was born in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at the Air Force Academy where my father was a pilot instructor. He wanted to give me a name that honored his time flying in China during World War 2 and to remember a 5 year old Korean girl he had befriended during the Korean war. His love of the Asian cultures instilled in me a deep respect and perpetual curiousity about the world outside my own cultural bubble.
Nature is Home
Being born in the southern Rockies, and living part of my childhood in Germany inspired a passion in me for nature. It was in nature that I found nourishing solitude that was by no means lonely. In nature I felt connected to life, a part of a larger family of things. Nature became my home, my mirror, my safe space, my playground and my greatest teacher.
My own Therapy Journey
I first embarked upon the journey to self discovery when I entered therapy at 20 in order to make sense of what had been a painful and lonely childhood, and a new marriage that felt hauntingly the same. I’d been raised in a fundamentalist religion that felt constraining at best, and truly damaging to my self esteem and trust of myself, others and life itself. Even though I was the youngest of 6 children, my father was off at war most of my childhood and then left suddenly when I was 9. My mother entered into a profound and protracted period of grief where I raised myself for a while.
Therapy became my safe space for exploring myself with someone that held me with unconditional acceptance. My experience was so healing that I changed my major from Landscape Architecture / Park Administration to Human Development, and went on to get an MS in Clinical Psychology and a license as a Marriage & Family Therapist.
The Gift of Loneliness
I honestly believe that everything that happened in my childhood happened for me, not to me. It took years of deep inner work to understand that I was not abandoned, but that my parents each abandoned themselves for a while. Without the consistant presence of parents, I became intensly independent and grew to trust my own inner resiliency. I spent hours by myself in nature – riding my bike, observing bees in the pussywillows, hanging out in trees, exploring meadows, forests I consider myself blessed to have had seemingly empty space in which to become myself. The image of a flower growing in an open meadow….natural, wild and free comes to mind vs a cultivated garden. For this I am so grateful.
Healing the Mother Wound
During those young adult years, I also began to explore Meditation, Buddhism, Earth Medicine and Celtic Spirituality. As I became more present with myself, I intuited that I had a deep mother wound that could only be healed in the presence of other women. So, I called a women’s circle, which is still together 25 years later. This sacred circle of 6 women became another home for me, and inspired me to create the same experiences for other women. I’ve been leading women’s circles for 26 years now, and I truly believe it is where I fell in love with being a Woman, in the center of being held, reflected, challenged and uplifted by other Women.
In my early thirties, I discovered Yoga, and my eyes were opened to world of the Soma, the body. My body became my guide and the portal through which I began to experience the fullness and beauty of living. In my body temple I reconnected with my inner wisdom, found the courage to leave my toxic marriage, remembered my divine nature, grew my self-worth and sense of belonging in this world and opened myself to a loving marriage with a man who sees the Goddess in me every day.
This awoke in me a hunger for even more discoveries so that I could offer myself as a conduit for healing and awakening. So began a 17 year long journey of soaking up every training and experience I could to understand how we work, how we relate, and where we fit in this Universe. I became certified in Bikram Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa, and with my future husband, opened a large healing arts center that offered yoga and other healing modalities. I gained certifications in Thai Yoga Massage, Reiki and Transformational Hypnotherapy, and immersed myself in studies of Shamanism, Dreamwork, Jungian Psychology, Priestessing, Feminine Archetypes, Somatic Meditation and Sacred Embodiment Practices.
Deep Dive into the Liminial
After selling the yoga studio, Jordan and I lived for 5 years in Kauai on the North Shore where I spent the majority of time quietude, in deep introspection and rewriting of my past stories, and in an even deeper journey into the Soma, the body, and Nature. Not easy, and sometimes painfully messy, this was a time of clearing the fields, to become empty or what I thought of as a conduit or vessel.
Coming Full Circle
The last year in Kauai in an attempt to create income where it was a challenge, I immersed myself in building an online business and community that involved hightech tools, sales and constant social media presence. This was my final gift of unraveling. It took me going 100% into the complex, virtual connection and constant dings, beeps and pings to see how much I craved simplicity, the ease and flow found in physical presence with myself and others, and the quiet power of nature.
Sometimes when we are lost, we are actually simply struggling to find our true north, every mistake pointer to home.