Karen Rezai, MPH
Hi, I'm Karen Rezai. I am a virtual assistant, wellnesspreneur, speaker, lifelong student of psychology and philosophy, and homeschooling mom. I believe that our emotions can be our greatest asset in life, although we sometimes allow them to have a life of their own. My passion in life is helping others become more resilient to stress and live balanced, joyful lives.
My own crash-and-burn experience shortly after college fueled my desire to help others find harmony in both their professional and personal lives. I see so many others out there who, like me before my journey, aren't able to fully offer their creative gifts to the world because stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and fear are getting the best of them.
I had just graduated with honors from Yale University and felt like I was on top of the world. I thought for sure I would set the world on fire with my enthusiasm and idealism. On the outside, I appeared to have it all together. On the inside though, I was a mess. Two short years later, you wouldn't have recognized me. I was sick both mentally and physically, and it took everything I had just to get through the day. I was exhausted, burned out, and weighed only 80-some pounds. I looked like a shadow of my true self.
Did something happen in those two years that triggered the dramatic change? Nope. The truth is that I had been feeling stressed out and overwhelmed for years, but no one noticed because I hid it well. Although I loved what I was doing and was successful at it, it demanded a huge price. I couldn't remember a time when I wasn't anxious, tense, or depressed. But instead of asking for help, I compensated for low energy and mental overwhelm by living an imbalanced lifestyle. All nighters and caffeine were the norm.
I knew that if I wanted to stop my downward spiral, I had to learn how to live in a more balanced, stress-free way. And it was important to me to do it in a natural way. I had had enough of "forcing" my body to do things just for the sake of getting things done. For once, I wanted to listen to what it wanted. And I wasn't willing to give up being me --- I have always been (and always will be) highly motivated to learn, work, and create in the world.
And so began my journey towards a more balanced, healthy lifestyle. It was an adventure that led me to some amazing tools, including nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractics, homeopathy, essential oils, yoga, meditation, and more. Some of my favorite means though (simply because they worked so well for me) were flower essences, Reiki, and Shamanism. Those are a few of the techniques I integrate in my own wellness care practice today.
The beauty of my journey is that today I am even more productive than I was before. Not only do I get things done, but my creative side finally has a chance to come out and play as well. People share that they enjoy working with me because I'm able to interact with them in a grounded, drama-free way. Now that the stress cycle is broken, I have the time, energy, and vision to go after all my dreams in life.
And for those of you who want my "formal" bio, here it is...
I graduated with honors in psychology from Yale University in 1992 and earned a Masters of Public Health degree in Behavioral Sciences with a specialty in International Health from UC Berkeley in 1997. Before opening my own business, I worked for years empowering multicultural communities around women's health, cancer prevention, and tobacco-free living. I am a champion of integrated holistic approaches to health.
I received First and Second Degree Reiki training in 2008 and 2009. I completed the Flower Essence Society's Professional Course in 2010 and have also studied essences with Jane Bell and Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer. I completed a Shamanic apprenticeship program with Sylvia Nachlinger in 2012 and earned my certification as a movement specialist from the Sugi School of Health and Fitness in 2015.
Community leadership is a passion of mine, and I have served in numerous leadership roles in both public health and holistic health arenas. I founded the (then-called) East Bay Area Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network which is now in its 10th year. I served as a Past Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the American Public Health Association and on the leadership board of the San Ramon Chapter of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce.