I made this space for you.
You have life experience. You work so hard. You have a pile of commitments. You’re a potent person who makes good. Makes things happen. You have a big, full life. So full, that—ironically— you sometimes lose track of your place in it.
You’d like a little more room for you. You want to feel like your dreams and desires matter. You want to feel
more joy and contentment in your life as it’s happening. You don’t want to be on a mission all the time, you also want to feel connected and have fun (remember fun?). You want to feel healthy and like your body is an ally. But you’re not interested in someone telling you to “follow your bliss.”
I get it.
Hi, I’m Annie Bray.
I'm a registered massage therapist, yoga & meditation teacher, anatomy geek, mother of two, wife, semi-recovered save-the-world type, keeper of a messy kitchen and a tiny, beautiful yoga studio.
I’ll never advise you to “follow your bliss.”
What if you don’t know where to look for it in the first place? Stressful right? Plus, I don’t believe that perpetual bliss is for real.
What I do believe in is deep engagement.
We all have the potential to wholeheartedly show up in our lives and feel joy, happiness, and pleasure amid all the fear, grief, and sadness. Listen, I’m OK with feeling good (even blissful!) —I want you to feel good—I just think that feeling truly, deeply good rarely happens when we avoid the hard stuff.
It's OK to admit that life can be really hard.
I often find things hard. I’m sad a lot. I think a lot. I’ve had anxiety and depression on and off my whole life. I fear for our world because I look around and see a shitload of mess. I believe we’re collectively traumatized because of it. Yet, in the midst of it all, I really love to laugh and celebrate and have family dance parties in the living room. One story does not negate the other.
I know that what I’m proposing—to feel your feelings—is a pretty tall order. Who has time for that? It’s scary. Terrifying even. But what I know, from years of personal experience, is that this business of engaging wholeheartedly is rarely a solo journey. We need company along the way. Maybe you’d like me to travel with you a while?
I may not be some light-hearted bliss-being, but I'm here to serve.
I offer the following services:
A lot of people come through my places of work—mostly The Tiny Studio and Kars Massage Therapy—and realize they’re somewhere they can be cared for. Sometimes life can be really hard, for all of us. I believe that magic happens when we join forces and learn new ways to care for ourselves and each other. Creating space for this kind of connection is what I do.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish!!!
Imagine if you could attend to yourself. Wouldn’t things be different?
Maybe you drink wine, you love hot dogs, and that one time you tried meditating you couldn’t stop thinking about buying cat food... so you’re pretty sure you’re not the right candidate for the work we’d do together.
I’m here to tell you that what you eat or drink—or most anything else—is not going to make you ineligible to work with me. There’s no club (though there is a lovely community) and there are no set rules. And, if it makes you feel better, I went out for high tea this past weekend and ate twelve pounds of crust-less sandwiches. Bread hangovers are real, people.
‘But Annie, I just don’t have the time,’ you might be thinking.
So often we let ourselves crash to legitimize down time. And then we only feel entitled to do the things people who’ve crashed do—like watch Netflix with soft pants on, comfort snack (from the banned list) in hand. So, we associate down time with guilty pleasures. But it’s not true down time, it’s crash time, and it might feel kind of weird and shameful.
Now, I love Netflix and snacks (there’s a time and a place for that goodness), but what if you had nourishing down time and didn’t have to crash? Time that helped you go after that something more in life that you’ve been hungry for. Life has been flying by and maybe you’ve been holding out. But you want to quit it with the toe-dipping. You want to dive.
What if you decided not to over-think it and just made the time—booked the massage, tried the yoga class, signed up for a retreat?
I have seen how, so often, this can feel intimidating and impossible in a million different ways. All I can say is that I’m here cheering you on, waiting to welcome you. We can create a plan for your well-being, together.
This is what I bring to the table:
>> In 2003, I completed a 750-hour Jin Shin Do acupressure program (including Chinese medicine and counselling) at the Canadian Acupressure College.
>> I earned my yoga teaching certificate in 1999 from the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre and have taught consistently since.
>> I've studied and practiced with many excellent yoga and meditation teachers. Michael Stone has been my primary mentor for meditation and yoga for the past seven years.
>> I've done countless other personal and professional development trainings over the last 20 years.
>> I'm the proud owner of half a degree in Social Anthropology, Women's Studies and Human Health Sciences from Dalhousie University, which I'll happily complete when I'm an old woman with leisure time.
>> My evolving practice of yoga and meditation, as well as my personal experiences form the backbone of my work.
>> Also, as a human on this earth, I've learned the most from life itself—from whimsical younger days, from heartbreak and love, from mothering, aging, and all the glorious stuff life throws down.