Andrea Gerrard Dow 💃 Healing Arts Director at Creators Space
Meet Andrea Gerard Dow
Teacher, healer. creative. Making my mark on this crazy world with a wink and a smile.
Getting My Groove Back
I have been reclaiming my essential self and getting my groove back over the past two and a half decades.
I lost my groove slowly, gradually, and over so many years that I nearly forgot that I even HAD a groove! Taking many small steps over time has led me closer to my true nature so that I can live in better alignment with my life’s path and purpose. It took a tremendous amount of grit and resilience (and extreme stubbornness) to get here!
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in my late teens and with thyroid cancer in my mid-twenties. In the midst of surgeries and chemo and radiation treatments, I lost my brother and best friend, Rollo, to suicide when I was twenty-tree and six years later lost my other brother, Scott, again to suicide. Within a span of one decade, I went from a relatively carefree life in rural North Dakota to a life of what seemed to be a never-ending series of tragedy, chaos, and dis-ease.
Needless-to-say, my essential self (my groove) began to disappear.
To say that period of time was all bad would be untrue.
That decade of darkness in my late teens and early twenties, while difficult and tragic, also held some of my best moments of my life! My son Brett was born – my miracle baby insisted on being in this world after I was told my chemo treatments would leave me without the ability to have children. I found the love of my life inside the sterile walls of the Roger Maris Cancer Center, and we will be celebrating seventeen years of marriage this summer. I was set on a unique course in life that opened my heart and left me with immense compassion, empathy, and wisdom.
I learned at a young age that our time here is limited and uncertain but also that there can be beautiful moments found in the midst of suffering. The challenges that I faced gave me more reason than ever to give my best self to those around me. Being a young mom was one of the biggest blessings because I always had SO much to live for and to strive to be healthy for. I took my responsibility as a mom very seriously and wanted Brett to live the best life possible. I believe that my role as a woman and mom gave me superpower strength during times when I needed it the most!
However, over time the stress began to get the best of me. I was working in a stressful job and was not recovering from thyroid cancer as I should have been despite many surgeries and radiation treatments. There came a point when I could feel my strong and positive nature shifting toward fear and doubt. This was such an unfamiliar feeling, and I did not like it one bit! It became clear that major changes were needed to shift my life’s path – and it was up to me to make these changes. I knew that I needed to do my part to tap into my own healing potential.
Questioning the Status Quo
I began to question the medical approach I was taking. I asked myself questions about healing:
- Shouldn’t healing look and feel differently than this?
- Why am I continuing to pour radiation into a sick body?
- Why am I so afraid when I talk to my doctor?
- Isn’t there more to me than just these isolated systems and body parts?
- Why isn’t anyone asking me bigger questions about myself as a human – what my history is, about my loss, about my life, about my energy and spiritual life.
The more I asked questions, the more obvious it became that I had to take my health into my own hands and to become my own advocate.
Leaving no stone unturned, I combed through books, research, and talks about functional medicine and nutrition, energy medicine, guided visualizations, movement, bodywork, yoga, Ayurveda, and herbalism. Before I knew it, I was juicing my greens, sipping on apple cider vinegar, and making my own kombucha. I was implementing basic changes and began to use supplements. I was beginning to get my groove back by empowering myself to do my part in healing my life.
As I began to see positive results from implementing basic changes into my life, and then shifted toward asking more existential questions like “why am I here?”, “who do I want to BE in this life?”, and “how can I use the time that I have to do the most good?”.
As I was making changes in my personal health and well-being, I had a knowing that I would want to help others make changes in their lives too. I envisioned opening up a wellness center where people could actually heal. I did not know what it would look like, but I knew that it was needed. I trained to be a yoga teacher – yoga saved my life years prior when Rollo died, which led to a massage therapy program. The healing power of touch always made sense to me. This program led to the study of Ayurveda and Thai Bodywork. Over the years, I made peace with the loss of my brothers and while life would never be the same without them in it, I learned how to use my memories and experiences with them to shape my life. We are so much more than our physical bodies, and I feel their presence in my day-to-day life. Dare I say that I even have a relationship with them in a way that is impossible in the physical, material world!
One Last Piece of the Puzzle
There was one last piece of the puzzle that I needed to solve. It was time to finally take a leap of faith and let go of the job that provided financial security but at the expense of me living my true nature. The timing could not have been more perfect – my dear friend had been going through a major awakening of her own and conceptualized Creators Space. She needed help, and the vision called to me so much so that I quit my job nearly on the spot and began to find ways to be involved.
Taking that leap of faith was a critical step in getting my groove back. Surrounding myself with on-purpose creatives gave me the permission to create something of my own. I recently took the time to create a new program called In the Making – a wellness collective for practitioners and teachers who are focused on holistic wellness. The program is in its beginning phases but honors and celebrates the journey that comes with the transition into wellness. We are all on a trajectory of being in the making of our lives. Amazing practitioners and teachers have begun to show up to help others align with nature – and their true nature.
Claim Our Power
It took me many years to get my groove back, and it feels goooooood. It is essential that women not only get their groove back but that they deeply claim their power and embody their “essential coolness”.
We embody this coolness by being our truest versions of ourselves. And the truth is … we need one another, we need our shared stories to unite us, and we need the healing that happens when we lift one another up to SHINE. — Andrea
🎧 Song: Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (2010 Version)
Andrea Gerard Dow
Andrea is a healer, a teacher, and a creative that loves bringing people together to connect and collaborate. She partnered with her dear friend to conceptualize and build Creators Space – a creative community center and coffee house. Through that experience, Andrea remembered her vision to create something that honors and celebrates the journey of making a life. She recently created In the Making and dedicated it to wellness practitioners and teachers who are stepping into their power to help others live their best lives. Andrea is a spiritual gal who is using her special gifts through her teaching and wellness practices and is continually creating new classes, workshops, and experiences ‚Äì a podcast is on the horizon! Watch for In the Making, the Podcast soon!
In the Village: https://members.athenavillage.com/members/1245453