As I look back on my life, childhood is almost palpable. I remember the smell of paximadia, a small delicate version of biscotti, baking in my Granny’s oven and souzoukakia, spicy meats, on the stove. All my great aunts, sitting around the dining room table digging into Granny’s rice and giblets. Mom running up and down the stairs from one house to the other. The men, as was usual in Greek families, were hard working, they were either waiting to be fed or not yet back from work. A woman’s day was full: cleaning, cooking, shopping, and talking all day long, the children running in and out of the house to get a bite of something coming straight out of the oven, then running back outside to take a drink of water from the garden hose. It was straight out of a Norman Rockwell.
I was born smack dab at start of the ’60s. The typical Greek family was changing. The typical conflicts, such as who a daughter was going to be married off to, shifted to women standing up for themselves. At 9 I declared I would never get married! What dominated the coffee klatches were complaints about men, and I heard everything. Even as a tiny child I wanted to help. In kindergarten when asked what I wanted to be I said: “A psychiatrist! To heal my Mother.” I thought if I healed her then I would be happy. My Mother tells me that at 4 years old I was kicking her under the table to speak up when my Father was talking on and on. But she did not. Guilt was the all-pervasive answer to taking responsibility.
By the time I was 12 years old I was brash and outspoken. At the same time, I read Krishnamurti’s Think on These Things. Angrily I came into the kitchen and said to my Mother, “Why is everyone lying to me? Everything I have been saying is here in this book!” The mind of a child—so certain that its worldview is everyone’s. It took a few more years to realize I needed to take responsibility for my own healing and stop expecting it from my Mother or any of the women in my life. I said out loud to myself, “no matter what it takes.” Even though it scared the heck out of me, I was going to find a way out of all this conflict.
What had been evident to me as well was that healing came from seeing something I could not see. At 15 I started to play a game called “Spot the Lie” with my friends. I would tell them a story wherein I was conflicted, and they were to find where I was lying. But they took a side, saying things like I was justified which only deepened the conflict. I remember my teen years arguing with my Mother. I once took responsibility for acting like a spoiled brat, once again hoping she would take responsibility for herself, she only said “yes you are!” Blame, guilt, and victimhood drove me to distraction. I wrote in my journal “why all this conflict?”
In my 20s I graduated from University and went straight into the family business. I had begun alternative pursuits early on: Silva, channeling, and Yoga while working 80 to 90 hours a week. I loved reading and travel, which dominated most of my free time. A mystery illness struck me at 27, I began fainting. My aunt who did channeling work was the one who was able to help me get back into my body, and I stopped fainting at 32. At the same time, I left the family business and traveled to Cyprus to attend Daskalos’s talks (he channeled John the Beloved) in Nicosia.
A few years later I was living on an Island in Greece working in a little boutique. I meditated, read, and was studying the archetypes of the tarot. Unwittingly I gained a reputation as the local “Magisa” (witch). People came out of the woodwork to ask for advice and healing. This was something that my friends and family did but having lines of people coming to talk to me gave me a whole new perspective on myself. A friend gave me the best advice I had received until then: “Eleftheria [my name in Greek], it is just as hard to do what you like as what you do not like to do.” In that moment I knew that my natural talents were something that I could actually do for a living.
Through twists and turns of fate I went to live in Paris then returned to Montreal. In the brashness of youth I began to work as a healer, no experience, no training, my intuition guiding me all the way. My own healing ability was exhausting. I would connect my heart with the heart of the client and a wheel of light with binary codes running through the layers of the wheel and the spokes would appear. At points where the binary code would break, a metaphorical drawer would open up and what needed to be worked with would pop out such as a past life. It would enter my heart to be healed. It would take me hours or days to go through the process.
As the years progressed, out of a need to alleviate my body, I learned Reiki and massage, and taught a series of courses. I developed a system of Tarot reading that I continue to teach today. In 2003 my cousin telephoned me saying, “You have to take BodyTalk. It is similar to what you do but you will not be drained. His name is Dr. Veltheim.” A familiar electricity shot through me, and I said sign me up. A few years later I was to meet Esther Veltheim, the founder of BreakThrough, and my lifelong quest for someone to spot my lie was answered. My journey as an international instructor began. But that is a whole other story.