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CHAPTER NINE

Kendra & Gustavo

With every year of this transformation, I could feel myself changing.  A little spiritual growth would lead into emotional health.  Emotional health aided my mentality.  My mentality allowed for the desire to move actively.  Then it would continue to cycle.  Getting in shape physically lead to more discipline and drive in other aspects of life.  The more I accomplished in other areas, the more possibility opened up before me.  Getting into Crossfit inspired me to begin a massage specialty with athletes.  I wanted to be able to bring balance into my community.  They all knew how to workout, but I wanted to help everyone take care of themselves outside of the gym.  As a gym owner, Tim was looking to offer this sort of balance to his members and asked me if I knew any yoga instructors that might be interested in teaching at his gym.  My response was I definitely know someone, and signed up for my 200 hour yoga teacher training. 


One of my final elective weekends for my yoga teacher training was an energy based course with Ray Crist at the beginning of 2016.  Being a huge fan of energy work, I was particularly excited for this workshop.  I made sure to bring some of my most special quartz crystals with me to help magnify the energy.  I got to the class a little early so I could set up my space, crystals displayed at the front of my mat.  Other students were filing in and getting set up.  It was a full classroom.  Then a beautiful woman I had never met before came right up to me.  “Hello,” she said.  “I’m sorry if this is weird but I was just drawn to come over and talk to you.  Are those your crystals?”  This was an amazing compliment to receive right from the start.  I introduced myself, explained my crystals, and shared that I am an energy worker and a massage therapist.  She introduced herself as Kendra, and she was in the 300 hour yoga teacher program at the same school.  She was also very excited to hear that I was a massage therapist and asked if I’d be willing to come to her house to massage her and her husband.  It just so happened this was during the time I was preparing to become self-employed and was taking on new clientele.  We exchanged information and scheduled appointments for later in the month.


Kendra & Gustavo were instant favorites of mine, and we became close.  They are worldly, educated, and fascinating.  Kendra’s energy easily pairs with my own, and we share a lot of the same interests and values.  Gustavo is from Brazil and has such an interesting perspective on most matters, and has always really made me think.


Early on in our relationship, Kendra mentioned she had participated in a workshop called the Landmark Forum.  She said it had really resonated with her and was helping her view her life in a different way.  She said it was something I would probably really find interesting, but left it at that.  About a year later Gustavo took the same course and he was blown away.  When I saw him for the first time after he had done it, he couldn’t stop telling me about it.  He said, “I can’t believe Kendra has lived with me for an entire year without me speaking this language with her!”  From that moment on, every time I saw Gustavo he would talk about Landmark, how much it had impacted his life, and how much he thought I’d like it.  I wasn’t opposed to it, but it also wasn’t at the top of my financial priorities.  I had gone self-employed and was taking other certification courses to enhance my career.  I kept it in mind as an option.


One Thursday when I was meeting with them, Gustavo was asking about how my little sister was doing.  He perked up when I mentioned she was 13 and said, “So Landmark only hosts one teen class each year, you have to be at least 13 to take it, and the one this year starts tomorrow!”  I was caught off guard.  I was leaving for Europe the next week and didn’t know how I’d be able to manage bringing her back and forth between Carver and Quincy 3 days in a row with my client schedule, never mind pay for it.  He said, “If money and driving weren’t a problem, do you think she would do it?”  I couldn’t answer that question for her, and said it was up to her and my mother.  In order for a teen to take the course, a parent or guardian needs to also take the course.  I called my sister and spoke with my mom, telling them that my amazing friends had offered to put Rhiannon in this incredible program and cover the cost and rides.  They also signed me up and covered that, thinking I’d count as a guardian.  Later that day Kendra called me saying that I unfortunately didn’t count as a legal guardian, and also offered to sign my mom up as well.  I was so taken aback by their generosity, and their care for me and my family.


My sister took the teen course in September 2017, and I took the adult Forum in January 2018.  I went in with an open mind and happier than I had ever been.  I came prepared with all my healthy meals, tools for mobilizing while I sat for the three 13 hour days, and a desire to learn more about whatever it was they were going to teach me.  I wasn’t expecting things to come up for me the way they did and I got very uncomfortable.  So uncomfortable that I called Kendra the second day boiling over.  She was kind and empathetic to what I was saying.  She told me to hang in there, and that she didn’t know for certain but was thinking something with my father might be trying to surface.  I knew she was right and that something was there for me to discover, so I stuck with it.  Having Kendra & Gustavo in my life to continue instilling what I learned that weekend was invaluable.  I was able to work through what came up for me.  A few months later, I reconnected with my father whom I hadn’t spoken with for almost 14 years.  Then with a little more guidance and self reflection, I was able to help my mom get to the Forum in March 2019.  I was being braver than I ever thought I could be.  By this point in my life, I would often say there is no ceiling to the potential for happiness and knowledge, but this experience lead me to believe I wasn’t standing in a building with no ceiling.  I was finally climbing my mountain.


I view Kendra & Gustavo as dear friends and mentors.  I thrive off of being around them, and always learn something new.  Kendra helping me work through tough spots I struggle to figure out, and Gustavo helping me bring tough spots to the surface I didn’t know were there.  My life has dramatically improved and my quality of spirit enhanced just in the few years of knowing them.  They are role models for relationships, humanitarianism, communication, and self-responsibility.  I will forever be grateful for their generosity and wisdom.

Chapter Ten