Diane Imabeppu, BA, BSc (OT),
Registered Occupational Therapist, Integrative Health Practitioner, Student of Life
With deep gratitude for lessons learned by:
- formal studying and teaching: Bachelor of Arts (University of British Columbia) Double Major in Psychology and Family Science (1996), Bachelor of Science (University of Toronto) in Occupational Therapy (2000); 19 years of courses in rehabilitation, feeding therapy, attachment and mental health; teaching workshops for the TDSB, Montessori schools, Tyndale University and other community groups. I learned that mind-knowing is different from heart-knowing; both are important sources of information. Learning is mutual between people, regardless of their roles as teacher and student, if one remains open.
- working with children and families in various roles over 30 years: childcare provider, autism therapist, respite care provider, and 22 years as a children’s therapist. I learned that both little and big people are truly doing their best, with what they know, feel, and are capable of, at any given moment. I learned what the little child in each of us needs to feel content and whole: to be seen, to be understood and to belong.
- studying and practicing birth psychology through the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. I learned about an essential and overlooked piece of our history! The circumstances under which we are conceived, carried, and birthed deeply and profoundly affect us! Our earliest experiences are encoded in our bodies and can impact all aspects of our lives. Wish I’d known that before…
- becoming a mother. Experiencing health complications for each child born as well as for those unborn. I learned to feel an indescribable kind of love… also hopelessness and deep despair…
- having a baby with perplexing health issues that could not be treated effectively by conventional means. I learned about parental devotion and discovered the effectiveness of energy medicine, which led me to….
- 12 years of learning and practicing energy medicine (including Reiki 1 & 2, Integral Healing, BEAM Therapy, Medical Intuition, Emotional Freedom Technique, soul work). I learned how to see and trust in that which is invisible. I learned that we truly are souls that are eternal. I learned that the true healer is the one who is suffering and determined to be well. The answers we seek, such as inner peace, are truly within us (and definitely NOT on google in the wee hours of the night!). I learned to get quiet inside, still enough to “hear” that inner voice by…
- practicing conscious living, mindfulness, and meditation. I learned that with practice, you can learn to experience life more fully with presence, which includes both the joys and sorrows of life. I learned how complex and vast our soul experiences are. I learned that you can practice mindfulness, meditation and gratitude for hours a day, but that you can not escape or bypass any suffering that is stored in your body or soul.
- living with symptoms of depression and anxiety at various points in my life. I learned that the body does indeed “keep the score” of past suffering, and how to cope in seemingly hopeless and dark times. I learned that healing and spiritual transformation can sometimes look and feel like illness. Self-compassion, self-care, and trusted help are vital during times of deep suffering.
- caring for and eventually losing my father to brain cancer. I learned that healing does not always mean a cure. I learned about dying and death of the physical body. I learned that tucked in, amongst suffering and immense sorrow, there are hidden blessings, a cosmic design far greater than we could have ever imagined. I learned that there are no shortcuts to moving through grief – the only way is to go through.
- adopting and rehabilitating Barney, a blind senior dog with years of traumatic history, which prompted me to study intuitive energy medicine and soul communication with animals. I learned that animals have much to teach humans about love and living in the moment. I learned how to better keep my heart open to all of life’s joys and sorrows.
I’m keeping my eyes open for my next life experience…..