She has faced major adversities including having depression and learned how to overcome them by practicing ancient holistic modalities.
She has experienced what many today can relate to and used these lessons to develop unique approaches to inspire others to lead an impactful and meaningful life. Sandy specializes in integrating ancient wisdom and modalities with modern day living. Her teaching and work stem from AMI Meditation, the modern link to the World’s Oldest Health and Wellness Tradition called Yoga Science. She has a national clientele base of students and professionals, including therapists, entrepreneurs, leaders, creative freelancers, holistic experts and individuals on the spiritual path of surrendering to their Highest expression. Sandy receives her training at the American Meditation Institute and studies from Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), one of the world’s most knowledgeable and respected meditation masters and mind/body medicine pioneers teaching today. She is also the founder and host of the top-rated transformational podcast called Dear Self & Co.
As a creative, kitchen singer, yogi, storyteller, writer, and big believer in humans; Sandy is on a mission to teach holistic tools that help others work through and overcome obstacles while guiding them back home to their true Self.
In this episode, Sandy shares how her life spiraled out of control starting when her father abandoned the family when she was a child. She faced other loss along the way, and ultimately lost herself in drugs, alcohol and depression. At her lowest, she found Meditation and the path to reaching her Highest. She shares her powerful journey and the inspiration for you to find the same growth within yourself.
Key Points from the Episode with Sandy Vo:
- Sandy grew up in a happy, immigrant household with parents who were very open about what they went through in Vietnam.
- Her mother is half-African-American, half-Vietnamese, with her father being deployed in Vietnam during the war. Sandy’s mother never knew him, and grew up seriously mistreated because of her mixed-race and different looks – including by her own mother (Sandy’s grandmother).
- Her father grew up in extreme poverty as one of 13 kids who barely had any food to eat.
- Sandy’s parents worked incredibly hard to provide for their family, and built a successful business that fell apart in the financial crisis in 2008.
- Her father ended up leaving to try to pursue better financial opportunity for the family, but instead he just abandoned them. This was crushing to Sandy as she was so close to her dad growing up.
- Her mother, two younger siblings and her went to Washington to try to get their father to come back, and he refused, which was devastating.
- Her mother relocated the family to New York, and Sandy connected with an older cousin who helped Sandy through this incredibly tough time as she was facing depression.
- Sandy soon found out that her cousin was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, so Sandy went down to Virginia to help her cousin, who was able to live two years despite a prognosis of only six months.
- This marked the second major loss in Sandy’s life, and she soon suffered the third loss, which was of herself. She stopped studying, starting drinking and doing drugs, eating terribly and was just overcome by stress and anxiety that was so bad that her hair started falling out. She gained 45 pounds, and finally looked at herself and realized she needed help.
- She saw a school psychologist, who just prescribed her an anti-depressant. Sandy had seen friends take these drugs and become zombies, so she refused them. She felt like, at the end of the day, she wants to be here and be better, and not lose herself.
- She started to fix her own life – she eliminated the things that weren’t serving her, including the alcohol, drugs, wrong foods and people. She ended up getting into fitness, but that became a new escape for her, so she started training intensely, including signing up for a body building competition.
- Despite the success with her fitness, Sandy’s depression was actually growing and she became suicidal. She was living to exist, as she puts it, which felt like a form of suicide in and of itself, and she eventually went five days without sleep and lost awareness of who she was.
- Her best friend’s mother stepped in to try to help, eventually bringing Sandy to a holistic, Ayurvedic doctor who spent three hours with her, asking questions she had never been asked before, and eventually directed her to meditation, and it just made sense to her.
- The place he sent her was the American Meditation Institute, where she met Leonard Perlmutter, who became her teacher. Meditation brought her clarity, peace, equanimity, safety and comfort that she had never felt before in her life, and likened it to being in her mother’s womb.
- She found herself wanting to answer the questions of who she was, where she was heading and how to do it.
- She decided not to pursue the marketing path she was studying for and instead pursue meditation, which became her full-time path.
- She realized that she is here for a greater purpose and bigger reason, and used that to find the strength to stick to the better choices she needed to make.
- Sandy has recently reconnected with her father, which taught her that when you do the inner work and understand the meaning behind things, you can get through the darkest things in your life and move ahead.
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