First and foremost, Transcendent Wellness is the latest evolution of a labor of love and healing journeys. Michele and I met at an advanced level training for John Barnes Myofascial Release Therapy. This training was less focused on technique and more focused on our personal growth, both as individuals and practitioners. It quickly became evident that, through technique trades and time spent in conversation, there was a very deep and spiritual/soulful connection that to this day, 15+ years later, I find hard to describe verbally. From a personal growth perspective, overly simplified, it was an awakening in me a desire to become the fullest expression of my Self for her and, at the same time, to create the safety and support for her to become the fullest expression of her Self. Over the course of the last 15+ years, with many challenges, detours, setbacks, crises, successes, and celebrations, I hope I have been able to embody that desire and manifest both desires for Michele and our family. With this connection realized, Michele and I felt that we had to share the power of our love and our independent and interdependent healing journeys with the world, which led to my relocation from Miami to New Jersey to start our first healing center based on John Barnes Myofascial Release Therapy.
This venture involved a false start/detour from our purpose and subsequent realignment/evolution back to the authenticity of who we were individually and as a couple. In these businesses, our focus was initially on chronic pain and all the underlying medical conditions manifesting the pain. Very quickly, our practice evolved into supporting the healing of trauma, especially sexual abuse trauma, and how that trauma was manifesting in the mind, body, and spirit. When we treated individually and cotreated, we created the safety and support for our clients to explore their trauma, its manifestations in their life, and how to release and heal the trauma at the body-mind level. It is our commitment to continue to create that safety and support for each of our members at Transcendent Wellness, we want our members to feel the acceptance of who they are now, to realize their greater potential, and to have someone support them unconditionally in their own healing journey.
The Detours and Michele's Healing Journey
While we had a successful practice in New Jersey, the universe must have had other plans. Hurricane Sandy came through, devastating the Jersey Shore and dispersing our client base. At that time Michele had an opportunity to become trained in Polestar Pilates, a medically-based Pilates Therapy Program, in Miami, Florida. She was quickly invited to join their staff and faculty for both their physical therapy center and the international Pilates certification organization. Her role was to create integrated therapeutic programs utilizing the myofascial release techniques and the Pilates reeducation and rehabilitation movement therapy. While participating in her certification program, she suffered a disabling shoulder injury and began another healing journey. This healing journey, like all healing journeys, had many layers; and has gifted Michele with her deep empathy for and connection to her clients and their healing journey. The other thing that the journey gifted Michele with, due to some residual disability in her shoulder, is her academic preparation and licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. We always recognized the importance of the mind/body integration in our early businesses, and we both flirted with the idea of going back to get our mental health licensure, we are blessed that Michele actualized the trauma of her shoulder injury to realize that dream and offer her psychotherapeutic presence and skills to our center.
Our transition to New Bern followed a similar Hand of God/Michele & Brian Chaos. I made an offhand comment to Michele on a Friday morning that there might be a job opportunity in New Bern, NC, for me to teach science at Craven Early College. That afternoon found us leaving Miami for New Bern for Labor Day Weekend. We fell in love with New Bern, it felt like home and we were excited to move here. It took 3 months to transition and involved multiple trips to New Bern to hunt for houses, the rental market was not much better then. Finally, we rented a house sight unseen, completed my required notice from my teaching position in Miami, and moved here the week before Christmas 2017. As part of our integration/assimilation into the New Bern community, the first thing Michele and I did was join Hopeful Balance, where we were active members until it was closed post-COVID. Hopeful Balance was a beautiful space, a refuge for Michele and me, a date night on Fridays, and a commitment to our healing journey and to supporting our authentic Selves. When it closed, we felt the void. During this time Michele completed her mental health counseling coursework, internships, and licensure. She began working for/with several mental health centers in the community, opening and transitioning her personal practice, and trying to find her unique niche. It was during one of these transitions that Michele and Brian started exploring opening a true mind, body, and spirit healing center; a healing center that would focus on the resolution of trauma through somatic-emotional therapy and on the realization and expression of one’s authentic Self through yogic philosophy and practice. A chance meeting with Hope, from Hopeful Balance, crystalized that exploration. Within 6 weeks, Transcendent Wellness was opened, on New Year's Eve 2021.
Michele’s healing journey, the previous iterations of Transcendent Wellness, and its current evolution have been highlighted above. My healing journey and drive in the creation of Transcendent Wellness have not been less impactful. Yoga for me has always been, in addition to a physical practice, a spiritual drive. I started attempting to teach myself yoga in high school in Fayetteville, NC in the late ’70s; saw the potential for applying yogic principles to chronic diseases in the ’80s, especially in cardiac rehabilitation programs; began teaching in the ’90s, and was integrating yogic principles into the myofascial release therapy practices in the early 2000s, particularly the integration of bodywork and yogic principles in support of the healing of the body, mind, and spirit - the actualization of the authentic Self. In the late 2000s, my journey at this time took a different path, I focused on initiating and developing my high school teaching career to support my new family and growing the business with Michele. I was able to apply my deep presence, integrity, clarity of insight, and teaching skill in a high school science setting; but it was not in alignment with my true purpose or authentic self. I began to suffer from high blood, pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and other high-stress/lifestyle medical symptoms/conditions I had prostate cancer (physically recovered), triple bypass surgery (physically recovered), and carotid artery surgery (physically recovered). I indicate that I am physically recovered from each of those life-threatening events because I am still recovering from each of those mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew, at some level, with each event that I was not living my purpose, living in integrity with my authentic self; and I rationalized that knowing away. This rationalization and the development of a martyr persona have had tremendous costs. Costs to my physical health, my mental health, and my spiritual health cost to my marriage and my family; and it became very clear to me in the Fall of 2021, that it would cost me my life. I knew if I did not reclaim my integrity and authentic Self, I would be dead before I could enjoy the retirement I was trying to build with my teaching career before I could retire and sail the Caribbean before I could show Michele how much deeper I could love her and our family. That is the true cost of martyrdom and lack of authenticity, it is a cancer that eats away at your core and everything you love, the only cure is authenticity and the realization/expression of your Authentic Self. Transcendent Wellness is my healing journey, it is my journey in the reconciliation with my soul’s purpose and my Authentic Self. I know the journey will still have obstacles, challenges, detours, and setbacks, but those will only enrich the journey as long as I walk it one step at a time with joy, wonder, integrity, authenticity, and most of all love.
Brian and Michele
Transcendent Wellness was created out of the deep love Michele and I hold for each other, a love that extends to each one of you individually, to our community and world. From the beginning, our belief was always the strength and power of our love for one another would and could be a beacon for everyone seeking to realize the same love within themselves and hold others in that container of love.l A love that is only possible when walking the healing journey of realizing and expressing your Authentic Self. It is our hope that when you walk into Transcendent Wellness, you feel the love, the integrity, and the authenticity. We want you to relax into that love, integrity, and authenticity; and feel safe in that embrace, so that you can begin to imagine your healing journey to your Authentic Self. Michele and I by no means feel that we have completed our healing journey nor are we perfect at it, we are walking it every day, still stubbing our toes, tripping, falling down and getting back up, and continuing to walk the journey. We would simply like to invite you to walk it with us, celebrating each muddied/bloodied step. Each of us has our own healing journeys to walk, sometimes our individual healing journeys intersect, and sometimes they diverge. Let Transcendent Wellness be an intersection of our healing journeys, let us enjoy the companionship and community of sharing a journey, and let us trust that each of our journeys will be richer by walking it together. When our journeys take us on separate paths, let us celebrate the shared times and honor the emerging Authentic Self in the other, never grieving for knowing we are all One.
While this may or may not have answered the question, Why Transcendent Wellness-How Did It Come To Be? My hope is that we can continue to have the conversation, as Transcendent Wellness is continuing to emerge and evolve; and needs you, your healing journey, and your Authentic Self to realize its full purpose, as does the world.