Marias Story - Healing after suffering sexual assault, discovering herself and somatic experiencing

Hi, I’m Maria. I’m a former professional singer turned somatic healing coach. Needless to say, I used to live a much different life than I do now.


I worked within the entertainment industry for about 10 years and during that time I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Performing allowed me to literally get paid to travel the world and it was all so exciting! I was making friends, great money, and actually living my dream of performing professionally after so many years of auditioning and waiting tables before that. It felt like I was finally living the life my 8 year old self had always dreamed of.

But what happened next was more of a nightmare.

One night, while away on a gig, and after one too many drinks, I was sexually assaulted by someone I thought was a friend.

I was so shocked that at first I thought it was my fault. I was embarrassed, confused, and so angry. It didn’t take long for me to realise these truths (and they happen to be the law): There is no consent when you’re unconscious or blacked out. Period.

After the incident, I was a MESS. I couldn’t get on stage and perform because everything felt so heavy and dark. I couldn’t sleep because I had night sweats and nightmares. I felt unsafe yet disconnected from my own body - riddled with shame, guilt, and anxiety. This experience also forced me to quit my dream job and step away from entertainment.

The shift

Thank goodness I walked away, because that’s when I finally began my path of healing and transformation.

I moved back in with my mom, and by chance, found a local yoga studio offering a teacher training. It wasn’t a chosen career path at the time of course, but I saw it as an opportunity to self-soothe and go within myself for healing. What happened next was truly a divine intervention.

Thanks to my combination of yoga, talk therapy, and break from the spotlight, I began to finally feel like a new version of myself. But she wasn’t new-new. She is the Maria that I sense I’ve been all along, but she was just buried beneath layers of trauma, stress, shame, self-doubt, you-name-it.

My big aha moment:

I realise now that it was in bringing my body into the equation as a vessel for healing, that I truly began to transform.

My journey with yoga and therapy led me to believe there was something further I could do to continue to shed and unpack my PTSD from the assault. Trauma-informed yoga is great but I was finally recommended to something even more profound. It’s called somatic experiencing - a remarkable body-based modality for renegotiating trauma coined by Dr Peter Levine - and it carried my healing trajectory leaps and bounds past where I ever thought I could be.

These strategies were transformational for me because not only did I feel better physically, but they also taught me how to cope with my shame and anxiety that I experienced from years of toxic relationships and low self-esteem.

What I know for sure:

Our bodies have an innate wisdom and capacity to heal, but with trauma our survival energy can get trapped in a loop in our nervous system - and can even be stored at a cellular level. Somatic experiencing is a way to clear unresolved trauma from our nervous system and body (soma) to bring us back into balance, harmony, and overall regulation.

This healing work both inspires my own resiliency, but it also happens to be one of the main modalities I now use when I work with clients (spoiler alert, I can help you heal from within, too with these same powerful modalities)!

Where am I now?

I’m now proud to say that my transformative healing journey led me to my most inspired life’s purpose as a womxn’s somatic healing coach! I combined the top healing principles that changed my life and now share them in somatic sessions for survivors like me - and you.

I feel so incredibly honored to accompany womxn on their own personal healing journeys and I’m excited to announce that I’m joining I am Arla on their panel of experts. I’ll be dropping in for an IG live this Tuesday to officially introduce myself and I’d love to connect with you there!

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