Breathing Room

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Perhaps best known for her work as Expert & TV personality on the popular and critically acclaimed A&E's series Hoarders, Dr. Melva Green is a board-certified psychiatrist and spiritual healer specializing in REAL LIFE living. She is the co-author of Breathing Room: Open You Heart by Decluttering Your Home, a wonderful blend of personal stories interwoven into a clear, practical guide on decluttering - mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Her dynamic approach helps us to demystify this cluttering business, release the judgments when things start to pile up and honor our sacred messiness as a Path to greater self awareness --- an opportunity to make conscious connection to the things that really matter when we come back home...to our hearts.

My Story

From the outside looking in, my life was perfect. As a Johns Hopkins- trained, board-certified psychiatrist, I’d been through all the rigors that are required of Western medical practitioners. I’ve had my own private practice, offered private therapy sessions, made medical refer- rals, and written prescriptions. I had all the accolades and prestige that come from years of devotion to my craft. I had the respect of colleagues and the attention of the media. But inside, I felt like an imposter, living someone else’s dream. From childhood, I have been a spiritual intuitive. I was born with a persistent inner voice guiding me to see the inner life that dwells within all human beings. Yet that voice, powerful as it was, was not what I considered the call to worldly success. So I dampened that voice. I pushed it down and proceeded down the career path clearly laid out before me—I felt I would risk everything by letting my inner voice out.

At the time, I lived in a beautiful home that I shared with my son. He was perfectly content, but I was anything but. Though I was surrounded by people who loved and respected me, deep down I felt completely alone. One day, I felt I could no longer live a lie. How could I continue to nurture my son when I could not nurture myself? What good was my career when I felt that I was shrinking inside? So I made a decision that most people would consider crazy: I closed the practice I had worked so hard to build. I left the beautiful home that I had paid for with the proceeds of my practice and moved to Costa Rica, where I would have the breathing room to rediscover myself and reinvent my life. I let go of everything I knew in order to discover everything I needed to know.

I deliberately moved to a home where the electronic connections I had previously valued were hard to find. Phone lines were frequently down. If I wanted to use the internet, I had to trudge through a rainforest to get to the closest town. Once I was away from people constantly having access to me, I finally found my breathing room. I had space—pure, open space. All I had to do was mother and meditate. With these two practices, I got to the work of finding breathing room. I opened every dark space within myself and took honest inventory of what I had been holding inside for years. In the process, I went deeper into those internal spaces than I had ever gone before.

So imagine my surprise when, in the midst of this life transition, the popular A&E show Hoarders called me. At that time, they were in their fifth season, with traditionally trained therapists. I thought the full disclosure of my spiritual solution for healing anxiety conditions, hoarding syndrome, and other behavioral disorders would send them running for the hills. But it had just the opposite effect. They loved it! It was, in their words, “refreshing, exciting, and engaging.” They were right—and the viewers felt the same way.

The rest is history in the making. I've taken more than a dozen years in helping people transform and heal their lives in all of the traditional medical practice methodologies and married that invaluable knowledge and skill set with a Wisdom that only REAL LIFE living can provide. These are very exciting times.

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