I love meeting new people, it lights me up.
And right now I’m in a 6-week group coaching experience with under 10 people, so this morning I started writing a short intro about who I am, and it turned into a long ass overshare, my specialty. It flowed out of me and onto the page and it felt really powerful to write. So that’s what I’m sharing here. Who I am and what I’m up to in the world.
I’m Harriet McEntire Lanka and I’m 41 years young and I’m an intuitive empathic healer and entrepreneur living my best life in Costa Rica with my husband and daughter. Currently I’m finding my voice as a healer and writer and following my life’s calling as a feeler of the heart, a sacred healer and guide.
Over my lifetime of being able to feel people WAY more than I have wanted to, I’ve learned to channel my touchy feely superpowers into being an incredibly gifted massage therapist, an entrepreneur and later a yoga instructor.
And what's interesting to see in hindsight, is that I am successful BECAUSE of my extreme sensitivity and because of the problems I’ve had physically and psychologically with my skin and body (something I hated before about myself). My pain and path(s) I’ve taken to heal myself are real, vulnerable, totally relatable, and sometimes sad but often hilarious. And realizing that my commitment to healing myself physically, emotionally and energetically, and sharing my journey IS my life’s purpose, has been one of the most profound realizations I've ever had.
As an expression of my purpose, I am also the owner & sacred space holder for a wildly successful day spa & wellness center in Park City, Utah called Align Spa. I started Align in 2002, just 2 weeks out of massage school and I expanded it into a day spa a year later. I found my way to my day spa because I’d had a lifetime struggle with bad skin and chronically sore muscles and I’d never found a 1-stop healing shop to help me, so I created my own. It’s truly magical there and the spa has a core staff of about 24 people, all who have been with me for 8-15 years and are like my family.
My husband Adam is 8 years younger than me, and he’s a lover, a wizard and a master of the now, and practices shamanic healing. Our life together often feels like 1 big beautiful and messy active healing ceremony, where rest is part of the practice. I met Adam almost 6 years ago at 35, when I booked a healing session with him after seeing his flyer for a “chakra balancing” session in my hotel lobby while on a yoga retreat here in Potrero, Costa Rica with Don Miguel Ruiz (author of “The Four Agreements”). When Adam and I met I was on day 5 of a five month sabbatical I’d chosen to take from Align, in order to go on a “Find Harriet” tour, because I didn’t know who I was outside of my business. Who would I be if I didn’t go to this job of mine everyday? What would I do? That’s what I went seeking the answer to, and I kicked my journey off with a trip to Costa Rica.
And two months into said tour, I surprised everyone, including myself, by saying yes to love and yes to Adam, and marrying him and moving my life and dog to Costa Rica. Yes, it was a little crazy, as healing journeys always are.
****Pause for a little backstory and me overcoming my resistance that I share too much*******
My healing journey really began back in 1994 when I was 16 and had a near death experience from rolling my Jeep Wrangler down a hill outside of Moab, Utah and sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury. My injury was bad enough that doctors told my parents over the phone that I’d be arriving to the hospital by helicopter and they couldn’t guarantee that I’d make it there alive. Not the kind of phone call any parent wants to get about their 16 year old daughter who you thought was on a group church trip.
But there was divine intervention going on because after only a few weeks in the hospital I shocked doctors and my parents with my recovery, and I got the opportunity to begin my life again. Except this time I was navigating the world as a confused, emotional, sensitive, intuitive empath, who didn’t have that language yet to describe herself in a positive way, and healing my brain & myself became my full time job. I hated being around most people most of the time because I could feel so much and I had no outlet or positive examples or guides to show me how to successfully heal from a brain injury. I had no scars on the outside and I looked fine, but I was reconstructing myself, with a new compass (love & healing) on the inside. So I found my own way to heal myself, by listening to, following and healing my heart as my healing path.
Fast forward through several healing, business and identity crisis (plural), and I’ve found myself exactly where I didn’t realize I was always meant to be. Here in Costa Rica, living a life rooted in love & healing, and doing what I can where I can to help others find their way along their healing path too. And I believe that through my presence and sharing my story, I can help teach others how to tune in and connect their head and heart, a distance that though physically short, can often feel like a mile apart. So yeah, a lot has gone down in my life and I’ve got loads of insights and stories to share from the journey.
Right now, my husband and I are building our ocean view dream home and new healing sanctuary here in Playa Potrero, and when it's complete we'll be hosting Soulcations for solo travelers, small yoga retreats, big yoga retreats, couples retreats, plant medicine ceremonies and any intentional gathering of people who dig exploring the boundless realms of healing & feeling the heart space.
And as I’ve shared several times, this blog is part of my daily healing practice; it's me showing up for my feelings and stories, instead of them always being on my mind and interrupting my life when I get triggered. This is also my time to be in the practice of choosing how I want to be in each moment of each day. Do I plug in and listen to my heart OR do I shut down and listen to my head, which is often my ego. Both have valuable lessons for me, but my heart is a way more enjoyable space to linger in. And depending on the time of the month, where all the planets are in the cosmos, and how much water or food I’ve had, some days are easier than others to be ME in full expression of light and share who I know I am.
So anyway, that was a lot. It's nice to meet or re-meet you and thanks for letting me unpack my life a little for the sake of connection.
Much love, Harriet