Today we’d like to introduce you to Bree VanZutphen.
Bree, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I couldn’t stop moving my body when I was little so my parents enrolled me in dance classes. Dancing was the time I felt the most free and connected to the world around me. As I grew older, I was told I had the physique and potential of what could be a great ballet dancer.
I loved being told that I was good at something and wanted to succeed, I traded flowing free movement for the discipline, structure, and form of the ballet world. The unforgiving and critical nature of ballet left me unforgiving and critical with myself. I developed multiple injuries, an eating disorder, high anxiety, and low self-worth at a very young age. A brief year in a professional company led me to realize that I was nowhere I actually wanted to be.
After quitting movement altogether I entered a dark phase of my life. My saving grace came in the form of yoga. It nourished my mind, body, and spirit. It gave my soul hope and breathing room. It reconnected to me to the body and it connected me to something beyond it – it showed me how to nurture and nourish myself – it gave me a way to navigate the sometimes intense waves that life throws to us and for us -it allowed me to generate my own power and continue to harness it.
My practice is all about connecting to heart space and connecting to the places where I long to be free. While I teach a variety of modalities (yoga, meditation, active breathwork, and many other self-inquiry techniques) – I don’t stress the container so much but what we are filling it with – all maps designed to lead us home to ourselves. The ultimate aim of my personal work is learning self-love and embodiment, so this is what I share. I know that when we love ourselves, as I’ve experienced in my own life, all else will follow.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The path to healing is about making the unconscious conscious. My struggles all boil down to being unconscious that, at one point, my extremely low self-worth was manifesting itself in many different ways. Physically (eating disorder/injuries), mentally (extreme anxiety/panic attacks), emotionally (sadness/depression), and energetically (extreme fatigue/exhaustion) – at one time, I didn’t know how to hold space for myself.
I picked up so much programming about what it meant to be “worthy”. A lot of which reinforced that I needed to produce something externally in order to be validated. I was trying to live up to something I believed I never could be and this wreaked havoc on my entire system. So each time I would do my spiritual practice it was a clearing away of the scattered mind chatter to see the unconscious beliefs I was carrying that were holding me back. To realize that nothing was my fault, to forgive myself – was the open door that allowed me to shift these beliefs. I am still working through these deep patterns, but every day I love myself a little more – so I know I am on the right track.
When I am teaching, I bring my life experience into the room. I bring my heart into the room and invite others to do the same. These struggles and challenges are part of my resume and I share them openly. They have been my greatest curriculum and have facilitated the most growth in my life thus far. I know I went through it all, so I could hold the hands of others who are struggling with the same. I would say that I don’t think it gets easier – we just learn to enjoy and understand the process more.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Clarity & Calm – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My business is Clarity & Calm. I offer multiple healing modalities to help others have the tools they need to navigate their life. I lead workshops throughout LA and several retreats each year in order to bring like-minded individuals together in support of their personal healing, growth, and evolution. I lead both private and group yoga, meditation, and breathwork classes. I am currently adding online sessions and workshops to my offerings as well.
My life experience is what sets me apart from others. I speak and share openly all of what has led me to where I am. I don’t want to be perfect and don’t pretend to be. My commitment to heal myself is unwavering and it is my motivation for sharing with others how to do the same. I want only to show others techniques and hold space for them to learn how to love themselves and with that inevitably heal themselves. It is my instinct that this is what is most relevant to this moment in time.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am excited to be transitioning from less group classes to more individual-based work. It is a chance to dive deeper with students to address blockages head-on. I am also offering online sessions and programming so anybody can access it from anywhere. I am working on my online workshops that will include all of the modalities that have helped me (yoga, breathwork, meditation, and other various offerings I’ve picked up along my journey). Along with this, I am writing a workbook that will include writing responses and techniques for personal evolution and taking your power back.
Retreats and workshops throughout the year in 2020 all listed on my website.
While I am so excited to hold space for others in this new way, 2020 also brings a lot of personal retreat time and the opportunity to attend several trainings to expand on my teachings. I know that in order to hold more space for others, I have to be able to continually hold more space for myself. I am first and foremost always a student, so I am so excited to see what lessons this coming year brings.
- Website: www.claritycalm.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @clarity_calm
Photos by David Rosenblatt