Volunteering to be this newsletter’s Member-in-the-Spotlight is part of my “getting out of my comfort zone” mode. Here is my story: Born in Notre Dame du Lac, in the province of Quebec, Canada in 1959, I am the youngest of eight children. Mother was a “housewife” and father supported our family with our small farm and lumberjacking, potato picking in northern Maine, and road construction. Not much work was to be had and my family struggled. In May 1965 my oldest brother got his green card and moved to Biddeford.
A few weeks later on June 15th, one of my brothers was killed, crushed by the tractor on our farm. My father and I were with him and witnessed the accident; even though I was six, I remember it like it was yesterday. Two years later in May 1967, with three children still at home, my family emigrated and joined my brother in Biddeford, Maine, where my father found work in the textile mill. An exciting time for me, as at age eight, I spoke only French and couldn’t wait to learn English. Learning the language quickly, I became a translator for my parents who never really learned. Tragedy struck again on June 14, 1969 when another brother drowned in the Saco River. It was devastating! My losses as a child led me on a quest for knowledge about life after death and the spiritual side of our being. As a result I am thankful for my Catholic upbringing, but I also borrow bits and pieces of belief systems of other religions. It has helped shape who I am.
After graduating high school in 1977, and marrying the following year, I went to work at Nike, Inc. I was there for six years as inspector, computer stitcher programmer, and supervisor. With two young children and exhausted from working full time, taking care of my family and not sleeping much at night, something had to change. In 1985, I left Nike to open my home daycare; it has been a blessing to have influenced so many children’s lives and to have made lasting friendships with so many wonderful families. A daycare provider for 30 years, I retired June 18, 2015.
In 1986 I became a US citizen. Through the years my search for ways of staying well opened my eyes to more holistic health care methods. Having had back and foot problems, I received Osteopathic manipulation and massage. My massage therapist became a great friend and mentor and introduced me to Reiki as a means to self-heal.
I became certified in Reiki I and II, practicing on myself, family, and friends for many years. Also, I received a couple of what I call “visions” or “divine messages,” where I would see my hands on people. At the time it freaked me out a bit...I thought I was pretty weird. Then a psychic I respected told me it was my inner guidance trying to make me see I was supposed to do healing work.
Interested in the medical field, I took a CNA class in 2001 and worked Friday nights at a local nursing home for a year, while still doing daycare. One night when I was going on break with my coworker, she said, “My feet hurt so bad!” Having learned pressure pointing a bit from my massage therapist I said, “Would you like me to pressure point your feet during break?...it would help you.” She looked at me like I had two heads and said, “You would do that?” I said yes and worked on her feet for 15 minutes. When we returned to work, she said, “OMG...my feet don’t hurt anymore!”
I left the nursing home shortly after that and ran into her about five years later. She didn’t remember my name but when I greeted her she pointed at me and said, “foot massage.” I had tucked that experience away and reviewed it when it became clear to me the time had come to retire from daycare. I thought, “If I could help her feet feel better when I didn’t know what I was doing, imagine what I could do if I did.” So started my interest in Reflexology. I knew it was right and meant to be when Myra was offering the class on weekends, enabling me to continue daycare while learning a new career. In August of 2014 I became a Reiki Master/Teacher. In September I attended Myra’s Treat Your Feet ~ School of Reflexology, which opened new possibilities for me and changed my life.
My home also started a transformation, compliments of my husband. His man-cave over the garage became my new office/studio; it has an ocean theme and reflects peace and calm. A new man-cave is being built in the basement. May 15, 2015, I became certified! My clients are of all ages and I go to the homes of those who cannot come to me. I love my work and find that Reiki and reflexology complement each other well. My specialty is in the areas of arthritis and plantar fasciitis since I have both. Having had much success with migraine pain and sciatic nerve pain, I love that I have been able to help my clients feel better and acquire better health.
As for my own health, my diet is now practically gluten free and dairy free as those caused inflammation in my body. I am pain free as a result. Cooking healthy meals and nourishing my body well are important to me, (I still cheat with sugar and chocolate, however) and my love of yoga keeps me moving. I also surround myself with loved ones. In the future, I want to learn Cranial Sacral Therapy, do deeper spiritual energy work, and maybe become an Herbalist, all of which I feel my clients could benefit from. I have enjoyed all the workshops I have attended and took something from all of them. As a professional MCR member, I have recently become the Recording Secretary for our organization (again taking me out of my comfort zone).
I love the wonderful reflexologists I have met through MCR and like knowing what is current in the reflexology field. My vision for reflexology and Reiki is that someday insurance companies will cover these treatments enabling more people to receive this. When I am not working, I LOVE to read! Other loves are the ocean (can never get enough), taking walks with my husband, hiking and bike riding. I also enjoy writing and have the memories of my daycare to draw from to write tons of children’s books. Look for this in the future. Someday, I would also love to write my great aunt Fabianna’s story. She was born with club feet and has always intrigued me. I believe she is with me in spirit and has guided me to do this wonderful work and inspired me in finding my business name...Fabianna/Fab.. Fabulous Footworks.
Love and blessings to all of you my fellow reflexologists. Sylvie Letellier