My name is Deanne. I am a healer, mentor and teacher and work with people who are committed to their personal growth and development. I’m also the creator of Self Love Woman – a platform offered to women with the sole purpose of providing an understanding of what it really means to ‘love oneself’. Read “The Path to Self Love”.
I share this with you openly and from a space of vulnerability. I invite you into my world so that you may understand that we all can heal, regardless of what our story is. What matters most is what we do with it. We have the power to change – if we want to. Healing is simple, but not easy. Learning to heal myself has been my life’s quest and greatest devotion. But it’s also been my biggest challenge.
Born into a life of difficulty and dysfunction, I’ve taken the long and winding road to self-acceptance and love. Slowly integrating the darker parts of myself, and moving into a space of wholeness, I live and teach self love (through healing) in a way that is different to how it’s usually perceived.
To me, it’s this:
Self love in its purest form is about cultivating a relationship with oneself that fully owns, and embraces – vulnerability, courage and compassion.
When I realised that learning to heal and love myself was the only way through hardship, loneliness, depletion and pain – I found the courage to prioritise myself, fully and unconditionally.
Today, I experience a rich and fulfilling life that I genuinely enjoy living. And regardless of your life’s circumstances, this is possible for you too.
There is not one, easy road to healing yourself. And there are days when loving myself still feels challenging and it’s natural that it does, this is all part of our human experience. However, I have learnt how to be and care deeply for myself whilst in the challenge, simply to embrace it rather than fight it. My journey has revealed a pathway to a clearer, more courageous and compassionate life and I feel drawn to share that with you.
Here I am.
I co-founded The Yellow Room in St Kilda, Melbourne with my fiancé, Benjamin in 2012.
Offering Reiki, Crystal and Vibrational healing, Meditation classes, Mentoring and Self-Discovery sessions, my passion for self-healing led me to teaching students to become Reiki healers. This work awakened a quietly growing desire to help individuals find their wholeness and integrity through healing, development classes and mentoring.
But my journey to the woman I am today started in a very different place. Sexually abused from the age of three by a stepfather who drugged, manipulated and controlled me, I wasn’t offered a promising start to life.
By the age of 12, my stepfather’s daily abuse had escalated to rape, and I had become disillusioned at the life I was part of, trying to understand why I was birthed into this family. With little refuge to be found in an emotionally cruel and physically abusive, alcoholic mother, I felt alone and ashamed, with no one to turn to.
But emerging ever so silently within me was an iron clad will to thrive. A desire to be the creator of my own destiny and to find my own voice in this midst of the madness I was born into. So at the age of 16 I told my stepfather that he could no longer touch my body. It took every ounce of my courage to make that declaration, but I knew that I meant it. And after some time, I realised if I were to look towards thriving in my life that I couldn’t continue to live with him. That period marked the beginning of what has become my beautifully messy and passionately curious life.
I look back on that time in my life now and I’m struck by the determination I had at such a tender age. But my conviction to not be defined by the things that had happened to me was tangible. I knew that I could choose a very different path to the one I had been born into. And I was determined to do it.
So like a warrior going to into battle, I consciously stared down the experiences of my past, not denying any of it. With the help of a counsellor, I cried, grieved and thrashed out my pain for the little girl I had been. I journaled to my wounded, fearful and vulnerable self. And I learned how to “nurture” my needs, and to honour myself with compassion and understanding.
I was committed to healing myself. Committed to finding the transformative power of compassion and understanding for a stepfather who had wronged me. And after years of “work”, little by little, anger was replaced with something else. I couldn’t quite place what this something was, but the charge that I once had for him just wasn’t there any more.
At the age of 24, my resolve was again tested. After chasing a dream to Australia at the age of 21, my beloved Australian husband of only two years, and the father of our young child, succumbed to an aggressive cancer. It was a devastating blow. But in the midst of his loss I knew that my purpose had been solidified. Loving my husband as he prepared to die showed me the power of unconditional love. But most importantly, it helped me to accept that while I couldn’t control what happened, I could always choose my response. I knew from that point forward I would always do my best to choose appreciation and love.
So when the call came to return to Canada, to deliver my stepfather’s eulogy, I felt only a calm willingness. The 20 years that had passed since seeing the man who had abused me had not made me bitter. They had made me better. I had become better.
In the months before my stepfather had taken his own life I had called him. He was shocked to hear my voice, but I offered him my forgiveness. And whilst he was unable to offer me anything in reply, his journey was no longer linked to mine. His actions, no longer a reflection of the woman I was.
I delivered his eulogy with care and compassion. A testament, not to the man he was, but the woman I had become. The strong, self loving and forgiving woman who no longer felt the sting of his choices. Who no longer felt the ‘charge’ of my family’s dysfunction. A woman who had journeyed through life’s losses with a conviction to see in life, oneself.
My story, while unique in its circumstances, it is not unique in its outcome. Whatever your path to healing looks like, a full, thriving life is possible. I know this through experience and I share my story as a testament to that potential. And to demonstrate the healing powers of fully and completely loving ourselves through our own pain. I invite you to embrace yours and to become the person you yearn to be.
In the beginning.
After completing tertiary studies in my hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, I decided to discover the world. At the ripe old age of 21 and with only a bicycle and a backpack, I travelled through the South Pacific until I reached Australia.
Working as a personal trainer in Melbourne, I saw first hand how directly connected our health and wellbeing was to how and what we believed about ourselves. A deepening curiosity to learn more about how our beliefs, emotions and thought patterns affect how successfully we live our lives, led me to study life coaching and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) at one of Melbourne’s most recognised organisations. Soon after, I transitioned into the position of Sales and Marketing Manager which grounded my practical business skills and led me to the development of my own business – coaching, mentoring and supporting women to reach their personal goals.
After experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul’ in 2010, I felt drawn to understand and know myself and others at a deeper and more profound level. Taking only enough personal belongings to “exist”, I took an 18-month sabbatical, in Byron Bay, NSW to learn and discover more about myself and my world. Immersing myself in Vibrational Healing, Crystal Healing and Past Life Regression, I returned to Melbourne to take the Reiki Masters and Meditation.
In 2012, I co-founded ‘The Yellow Room ~ A gateway to self-discovery’, in St Kilda, Melbourne with my fiancé, Benjamin Venes. Here, through meditation and healing modalities, we brought meaningful and lasting change to the lives of people who desire a better way of living.
Here I am now, simply standing as myself ~ Deanne Mathews ~ offering the culmination of my life’s work. This is embodiment of all that I have learned and seen along the way. It is the wisdom of every individual I have met and worked with. It is my life’s journey. It is the expression of my soul.
Now a mother to two grown boys, I am fully and wholly engaged in the abundance of life. I invite you to join me in encouraging connection with each and every person that feels drawn here, and in creating a space to heal and love ourselves well and completely.
Deanne Mathews, 2017.