The overwhelming darkness of depression combined with the stranglehold of self-destructive behavior is not something everyone overcomes. To overcome and then embrace a parallel, enlightened version of yourself with a full and shining heart is an experience even less embrace. To overcome, embrace and then become an empathetic, guiding inspiration to others you enter an even more elite group.  But this is exactly what Emily Maggard has done.

So the story goes with many young adults, Emily went to college with family-imposed (and self) expectations of being a smart, successful woman measured by her grades and then career.  The weight of possibly not meeting expectations was heavy and about 7 years into her Master’s in social work is when she acknowledged she was living a lie. In her studies, she was learning things relating to therapy that weren’t the answers she needed to affect change, even for herself. Faith in how what she was learning could help others was tenuous at best. Living a double life, she carried on in school regardless of her creeping doubt while accepting domestically violent relationships and heavily self-medicating.

Despite graduating and moving into a path of teen mentorship that should have been a new start, she kept the façade as her alter-ego pulled her deeper into depression.  While out of state, a near-death experience during yet another domestic violence round finally gave her the well-deserved kick she needed.

“The sky changed colors and an entity appeared like thunder rolling through the clouds,” Emily remembers and was told she is perfect and worthy. She was given the deep feeling that this was an opportunity to step through the window of change gracefully with no questions and if she did not accept it now, future change would be much more difficult.

Emily has no idea how she got home.  Leaving everything behind but her ID and $40 in her pocket, she accepted her new reality without question and within 6 months, she was a completely different person. Throwing herself into intense detox and self-discovery, Emily embraced God. A power greater than herself had infused her with love and lifted her out of the murky recesses she was living while giving her the healing energy she so desperately needed to begin learning self-love and self-value.

With eyes wide open to possibilities never seen before, Emily welcomed all ideas.  Reiki and Acupuncture along with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Akashic Records are fields that put the much-needed tools in her toolbox to move beyond her long-ingrained belief system and heal herself from the inside out.

Emily felt cleansed and healed on the inside but wanted to also detox on the outside.  Elm Tree Wellness was born out of necessity to provide this avenue for the natural exterior healing she wanted to complement her soul healing.  Carolyn A. Jones of the Holistic Institute of Wellness planted strong seeds that there was a community of people seeking the same thing. Now the newest piece of her journey to help herself detox from soul to skin is now helping many others realize the same thing.

Throughout this journey, Emily has had a constant by her side, Pookie the Pomeranian.  Through thick and thin, her 7lb furry friend has shared in everything from tears to full-hearted joy.  Pookie watches as Emily strives daily to become the next, best version of herself.  As someone who has overcome her former self-shadow that knew violence intimately and perpetuated chaotic behaviors, Emily has let her old belief systems go and embraced her true-self. With her own beliefs firmly in place and love in her heart, she steps into the role of consultant and looks forward to being a conduit that can help people. Pulling only the pieces that apply from her education and combining that with her now-full toolbox of methods, she guides people to find the answers they seek on their own.

Emily is a true inspiration as a survivor of mentally medieval times that can give us profound hope for our own future.