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I am Carisa Holmes
Author, Speaker, Musician and Coach
My mission is to inspire and empower people to lead more conscious and fulfilling lives through experiencing the creative and healing arts.
I help people tap into their creative power, release trauma-related blocks, and step into being more of who they really are.
I have overcome significant personal challenges related to trauma to become who I am today.
I lived with complex PTSD and ADHD that went undiagnosed for most of my life. Anxiety crackled like constant static in the background of my days, and I experienced cycles of depression that led to suicidal thoughts.
In youth, I was sickly and painfully shy, and learned to stuff all my feelings to create a false sense of safety. As a teen, I even ended up in the emergency room twice in one week as my first panic attacks had caused me to fear I was dying.
I am deeply grateful that along the path of my life, I found ways to heal through safe connection, music, and the healing arts. The animals, plants, and practitioners that worked with me and supported me in my healing process quite literally saved my life, and inspired me to become one who facilitates healing in others.
How Our Birth Experience Shapes Our Life
What we experience as we come into this world imprints us in profound and lasting ways. On the day I was born, I experienced a significant amount of birth trauma. My mother was in labor with me – her first born – for about 27 hours – and I was stuck in the birth canal.
While I have no conscious memory of this, I now know that I was terrified, and fighting for my life for hours on end. When I finally came out, I was not okay, and was rushed off to the NICU, where I was intubated, medicated and placed in an incubator.
While the medical staff eventually brought me back to consciousness, I never fully inhabited my body.
While I am grateful for the medical interventions that saved my life, this experience of traumatic birth imprinted me in a lasting and negative way.
How Birth Trauma and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) Impact Your Health and Success in Life
When we are very young, we interpret everything we experience as absolute truth.
For most of us, our birth experience is the first powerfully significant occurrence in our life. That means that if we go from the relative safety of the womb to a terrifying experience of being expelled, or being trapped where there is not enough oxygen/space, we come to believe at a very deep level that this is what human life is all about.
Our birth experience and our early childhood experiences are a time where we form our deepest beliefs about what it is like to be a human and how we should respond in order to survive; not necessarily thrive, just survive.
As little ones, we don’t have the ability to discern that this is just an experience we are having in life, and when it’s over, different things can happen.
We don’t have the capacity to think with that kind of perspective. We have no basis for comparison. All experience is absolute truth, and because we are locked mostly in a theta and delta brain states – states reached during deep hypnosis and meditation – for the first seven years of life, those absolute truths become the internal programming that drives our life.
So if we experience “not enough” or “stuck” during our birth, we become internally programmed with these concepts as truth.
The concepts of “not enough” or “stuck” can become repeating patterns in life related to not having enough resources or money, feeling stuck in our life progress or unhealthy patterns, or feeling like we are working hard and long for things that never seem to come.
And, we tend to feel helpless and powerless in those patterns.
Because that is the experience the infant us had at birth – a very stressful, highly emotional and significant experience – we take on the belief that “this is what life as a human is about.”
Unfortunately, that subconscious belief does not fade with time. It is stamped firmly on our psyche, as a part of our primary programming, and acts as a powerful attraction point for our life, until and unless we change it.
Coming Home: How I Overcame Trauma and Healed
Though I had a very traumatic experience during birth, I had no conscious memory that anything had happened to me.
I left the hospital and went home with my parents as if everything was fine, but it was not. I went through childhood and a good part of my adult life with chronic complex PTSD. I had massive anxiety and digestive issues. And, as I have shared already, I spent time in the emergency room twice in one week because I thought I was dying, but was actually just having my first panic attacks.
My nervous system was chronically dys-regulated, I was extremely shy and though I loved music and the performing arts, I was dogged by terrible stage fright.
As is true with most folks who’ve had early trauma, I also had very poor boundaries, which made me a target for bullying and multiple sexual assaults in my youth. I just couldn’t stand up for myself when I needed to the most, and a lot of the time, I was just terrified to interact at all with people.
During a time when I should have been having fun, socializing, and maturing, I had so much trouble relating with others that I essentially had no friends. I was an outcast and I didn’t even feel like I belonged on this planet, much less in my community.
I felt so lonely, but I was too contracted and shut down to reach out for the connection I so desperately needed. Things felt really hopeless.
The situation escalated until at several points in my life I even became suicidal.
I could feel that something was very wrong, but since I couldn’t consciously remember my trauma events, I thought that it was ME. I thought that I was just not acceptable, or that there was something bad or wrong about me.
I mistakenly believed that it was my fault that I struggled in life, and I just needed to “get over my fears” or “look more attractive and trendy” or, “be more outgoing.”
I mistakenly thought that I WAS the trauma imprints that I carried, rather than recognizing them as things that I had picked up in early life.
I thought I was to blame for my struggle, rather than recognizing my innocence. I had very little self esteem, and numbness followed by depression became my normal operating cycle.
I literally didn’t know what it felt like to feel joy, contentment, or true happiness.
Thankfully, when I was young I had access to horses and other animals, who became my best friends and four-legged therapists. And, I also had my creativity. I finally experienced safe connection with animals, and through the arts, I found the joy of self expression.
I have always been drawn to all things creative. From sketching images of my horse with charcoal to writing poems for speech contests at school, my primary channel for self-expression and healing has always been art.
I was introduced to music study at an early age as a soloist and member of a gospel choir under the direction of my father, who was the Minister of Music at our church. There I began the first steps toward using my voice without fear.
I began playing the flute in elementary school and then auditioned for and was accepted at the Stivers Music Magnet Junior High.
I then moved on to audition for and attend the Colonel White High School for the Arts, where I studied flute and voice privately and was the co-captain of the dance team. It was there that I discovered my natural gift for songwriting and crafting short stories, and began working in recording studios. I discovered the potent healing power of singing, and my confidence was building!
While attending Colonel White, I was featured in principal roles in operettas and musicals and received a voice scholarship from the Dayton Opera Guild. I was also chosen to represent the state of Ohio at the ACT-SO NAACP National Talent Competition in Los Angeles, California. I was beginning to receive recognition!
Upon graduation, I was the named recipient of the Leon Bates Scholarship for voice to the Wright State University and worked with major label recording artists in pop and R&B while attending college, honing my songwriting and recording skills. I was making connections and expanding into a network of nationally recognized professionals.
Then, when I was in my 20’s, my mother died of cancer, and it seemed all the progress I’d made was set back as I dealt with the profound grief and trauma of losing a beloved parent.
My mother had been my best friend, and we had been very close for my entire life. Losing her at such a young age broke my psyche and fractured my energy field in ways that would take me years to even recognize.
I remember the very palpable sensation of my awareness pulling out of my physical body, and most of my chakras shutting down when she was first rushed to the hospital.
It was like an echo of a sound barely recognized, and I now know I was not only living the trauma of the moment, but also re-experiencing trauma-based feelings from my own birth. I already carried a lot of fear around going to the doctor, or being inside hospitals. This intensified my fears to the level of phobia.
I was in no way prepared to cope with the situation. I just shut down.
Soon after death, I experienced a major health crisis and the initiation of the next phase of my healing journey. It was during this deep dive into holistic health triggered by my mother’s death that I truly opened the early trauma baggage and began unpacking.
I became devoted to my own healing, and sunk every dollar, every moment, and every ounce of energy I could spare into increasing my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
Through energy work, conventional therapy, addressing my diet and physical health, and receiving somatic work, I began to heal the trauma that had imprinted me at birth and throughout childhood.
I first addressed my physical health, then emotional, then mental and spiritual, recognizing how each area overlapped and intertwined with the others. I became vibrant, inspired, and I felt truly alive.
And, as I healed, my passion to help others in similar situations was ignited. I had found my true calling.
On fire, I became a holistic health business owner, first as owner-operator of an organic spa room at Harmony House Wellness Center (2004-2007), and then as an independent Holistic Health Coach.
Over the years, my healing practice expanded and evolved as I did, and become influenced by and integrated with my love for the creative arts. I was integrating and expanding.
Over and again, I have witnessed and experienced the healing power of the arts; from the power of music to move blocked emotions, to the potent activations that spoken and drawn Light Language can offer in mere moments. And, I have witnessed the miraculous transformations that occur when we combine the power of energy work with the potency of the creative arts.
Through this work, I have been set free!
I have cultivated healthy and rewarding relationships with others.
I create a safe and intimate healing container for my clients.
I provided music therapy for Mount Carmel Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Services.
I have written hundreds of songs in multiple genres.
I have released 3 albums/EPs, and more are in progress.
I write custom songs for weddings, special events and spiritual gatherings.
I have co-authored three full length fantasy fiction novels (the fourth and final book is in progress!) and I have created numerous visual art commission pieces and other works.
And, in my spare time, I am an avid organic gardener and founder of the Ohio Organic Gardening Club, a place where Ohio gardeners can learn how to grow in cooperation with Gaia.
Essentially, I have been unleashed, and I can’t stop creating!
Perhaps more importantly, I love to inspire others to touch that stream of magic that is waiting to flow into their lives and fill it with creative inspiration.
During my long years of study and experience in music, holistic health, energy work, bodywork, and human psychology, I have created a unique coaching method that is both practical and open to magic and mystery.
I love helping people overcome the impact of stressful events, birth trauma, and ACE (adverse childhood experiences) and break through writer’s block, get over stage fright, and free up their creative flow!
Working with Me
I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my crazy cool cat, Maya, and an ever-growing collection of house plants. I primarily work over Zoom, but I do offer some in-person sessions with clients in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Most people that are a good fit for my practice tend to feel a little hesitant or nervous about contacting me, and that is perfectly fine! It’s all a part of the process, and it’s actually a good sign that you’re on the right track.
- Reiki Master Teacher
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner
- Certified Massage Practitioner
- Certified Holistic Health Advisor
- Polarity Therapy Practitioner
- Guided Meditation
- Vocal Alchemy and Sound Therapy
- Voice: 6 years classical and jazz study, 35+ years experience
- Flute: 9 years classical study, 38+ years experience
- Music: 26+ years of songwriting, recording and producing experience
Remember – most people that are a good fit for my practice tend to feel a little hesitant or nervous about contacting me, and that is perfectly fine!
It’s all a part of the process, and it’s actually a good sign that you’re on the right track. Contact me now while you’ve got a moment, and we can take things at your pace.
I look forward to witnessing the power of art transform our world, one artist at a time.
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