Interview with Leslie Tankersley Arboreda of Kizen Wellness. Lesley provides energy coaching, counselling and yoga classes. She is based online and in Denver, Colorado.
Alex: I love your website. It’s so simple. I love the way you take it down to, like, one word for each of your major themes – energy coaching, counselling and yoga. And that’s such a cool concept. Is that simplicity part of what you see as a theme for your work, your practice?
Leslie: I really appreciate that feedback because it has not always been an intrinsic part of who I am and how I practice. I’m often still accused of using way more words than necessary.
And maybe over verbalizing my enthusiasm to make a point or feel heard and those sorts of things. So as I have worked to really focus my business and how I choose to invest my energy.
“Life is really simple.
It’s not easy, but if it’s complicated, it’s because we bring our humanness to the experience.”
Like life itself, the thing that’s not whatever we’re bringing to the table is really quite simple.
Energy Coaching and working with Human Design
Yes, that’s true. So then one of the things I saw that you practice as part of your energy coaching practice is Quantum Realignment. So I was quite curious about what that is and how it works. I haven’t heard of that before.
Are you familiar with human design?
No. Well, unless it’s the generator and the…?
Manifestor, Projector and Reflector.
So one of the students of the original person who channelled that system of understanding has taken it, and as she describes it, added a feminine empowerment component to it. (Karen Curry Parker).
I came across human design maybe 15 or almost 20 years ago. And at the time, I didn’t have the language of astrology or energetics with the chakras or a real understanding of the true quantum connection that we all have in life. Right?
That ethereal thing. That’s all of us. That’s the same.
So like many things that don’t take root, it just kind of sat in the soil for a decade or plus. And then over the next 15 years, I acquired the understanding of physics on a personal level, not Math books and textbooks from College, that kind of thing.
I acquired the language and understanding of astrology and the idea of how the energetics that are ambient around us intersect with this beautiful physical example of one moment in time.
And through my yoga practice and studies there, I learned to understand the idea of the Hindu chakras, and the idea of energy is moving in us and through us. So at some point, all of that came back together.
And that’s basically what human design and the science of differentiation is. It’s a fusion of all of those different layers of who we are. And as I’ve grown to understand myself. I am this essence that’s the same of everyone else. And then my humanity, the meat suit, as my friends make fun of me for talking about. But the meat suit has all these different physical layers on top of that spirit or that essence. Right?
So a system of understanding that helps me peel back the layers was very insightful for me personally.
And I find myself very fired up in being able to share that kind of same personal transformation with other people. I have a degree and multiple degrees in counselling, and I think everybody should have a therapist, not because everybody’s crazy, but because we all need a safe sounding board to really express our current thoughts and then someone to hold us accountable for what those thoughts are. So that we can grow and expand into who we’re really meant to be.
So I really steer away from talking about what I do as therapy. It’s certainly therapeutic, but I talk about it as energetic coaching, because that’s really what we’re doing.
We’re understanding together.
You’re getting a better understanding of where your true energetic strengths are. As well as what your true purpose is here based on those strengths and your choices.
The meat suit still gets a vote, but there’s something that animates that humanity, that humanness. The meat suit. Right. There’s something that really creates the foundation for what I think we’re each here to do.
And my teacher, Karen Curry Parker, is the quantum human design teacher that I study with. And one of her great sayings that I love is that we’re all an example of this unique cosmic event that happened, and then we’re all swirling around each other, just like all the energies of life are swirling around each other, and we can live and die and never take a moment to acknowledge it, or we can live really empowered with how much of a role we play in that dynamic.
I’m of the opinion that I think we can live better and be better if we understand how that works. Energy coaching can be incredibly useful for a deeper understanding.
Counselling and grief counselling
My dad died when I was 21.
I got a phone call on a Friday that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and he died on a Saturday.
So I did not get the heads up to have an opportunity to breathe. And so my grieving process was pretty abrupt, and rather, I’m going to call it traumatic. And at that particular time in life, 21 is too young to be considered an adult and way too old to be considered a child.
So what I noticed from my own personal experience was there was this kind of this gap of support for this population of people that again, in this context, that are grieving. And so my pursuit for counseling and teaching and being a teacher shifted and focused towards this idea of grief counseling.
For a period of my life before I was a wife and a mother, I was a grief counselor for children. And in that population, there’s such magic happening because they haven’t put all the layers that we have a tendency to put on top of our spirit as adults.
And yes, grieving children is a very hard population to work with, but it also can be a really. beautifully empowering experience to be a part of. When you watch the spirit actually heal the physical vessel, and then you watch the child blossom again, or maybe, blossom for the first time.
That’s not just true for children. It’s true for everyone. It’s just a little bit easier to access it than with adults.
But as I shifted from that twenty one year old grieving child-adult into a mother and a wife and a middle aged woman who is relishing the fact that I’m halfway to ninety, I’m also really clear that I’m still a work in progress. Just like. everyone in any time of life, when we give them the space to grow and change.
I’m not the only one that’s walking around at forty-five, wondering what I’m going to be when I grow up. So there is a real opportunity to embrace that same ability to let your true, energetic strengths heal who you are. Whether you are a grieving six year-old. or a burnt-out forty-five year old. And so my experience with grieving children morphed into a personal need for a way to find balance with that.
Yoga in Denver, Colorado
Yoga. You studied so many different kinds of yoga. How long have you done yoga for? Tell me about your journey through yoga.
Yoga found me. I found yoga in my early 20s. Shortly after the death of my father.
I found yoga as a physical practice when I began to understand through a series of – what I’m going to call – energetic downloads. Although I didn’t call them that at the time. Because I didn’t have the language right?
My introduction was Vikram Yoga, so I was in a very hot room doing a very meditative, predictable practice. And I really, truly experienced some personal transformations. At the time I wasn’t sure how it was happening, but I know in retrospect that it was through the energetic balancing that happens with a physical practice that expresses a mindful intention.
Yoga practice is something that’s really weaved through my own life over the last 25 years. Very much part of my own self-enquiry, and growth, and understanding
I think we can all benefit from getting into an asana. Getting into a physical position, on purpose in life, with an intention to create some kind of outcome. And if it’s to create a tighter bathing-suit body, I support that intention, if that’s what you’re doing on purpose. If it is to create a tighter and more focused, energetic expression of your personal life purpose, yeah, I support that one also.
Yoga can be both a tool and a toolbox. It’s definitely an access point for some amazing transformations. As we continue to live in this Western society, it’s also a language that a lot of people think they already know. So it can be way to speak to them about things that maybe they don’t know how to speak about. Which is also a great way to benefit from a yoga practice, right?
So many people think yoga is the asana. But once you get in the asana practice with each other, you can start to talk about. some of the deeper, or some of the higher aspects of transformation and growth.
How did grief counselling lead to energy coaching?
Ja, sounds amazing. Beautiful. So you started off with counselling, and went to coaching. What was it that drew you to add coaching in to the whole mix?
A counselling perspective has a tendency to be more past-focused, and sometimes it’s about going back to the past, and then forward. Sometimes it’s about what’s happening for clients here and now and then working backwards. But in my personal experience is that a counselling relationship very rarely involves goals and future-focus.
As I get older in my meatsuit, I’m getting really clear that our time is finite, and it is an unpredictable resource. So rather than. living accidentally and hoping I get to eighty, I’d rather live on purpose and be ok with being forty-five and a half. If today’s my last day I want to live as impactfully as I can be on whatever might be my last day.
Energy coaching is a way to really access that intention and spirit of purpose.