THE FORBIDDEN PEARL
Nina Joy Rizzo
Written By: Sheri Hawkins
THE FORBIDDEN PEARL
Nina Joy Rizzo
There comes a time when one must take one’s life in one’s arms.
– Arthur Miller

It was March 19th, 1989, and Nina, Yogi Yoga Wear’s owner, artist, designer and creator of NJoyFractals®, was just 26 years old. As she put on her roller skates, her fiancé Gil went to get the heart-shaped locket she had given him on Valentine’s Day a month earlier. She had knotted and placed strands of her hair inside the locket creating an old-fashioned keepsake for him. It was the most sentimental gift she’d ever given to anyone, and when he had opened the gift, he loved it. Intentionally, he kept it hanging on the edge of the dresser, so he could see it at anytime. However, that night he took it from the dresser and hooked the chain around his neck and proceeded to lace up his roller skates that Nina had bought him for Christmas. Together they went with their two Akita’s Bakko and Isho, for a quick skate around the block. Little did Nina know, that moment would mark the beginning of the worst day of her life.

Girl Meets Boy

Nina had met Gil approximately a year earlier, at a Los Angeles based company, United A/V, where she sold blank audio and video tapes as a telemarketer. Gil used to come into her office to make himself some tea and raid her candy dish. One day while they were talking, he sat down and casually began to draw. Nina was mesmerized by how effortlessly his pencil grazed in long, fluid strokes against the paper.  IN less than ten minutes, he had created beautiful sketch of a dragon clutching onto a pearl, which he named, “The Forbidden Pearl.” Nina framed it and hung it on the wall next to her desk. This picture has traveled with her through many moves and would resurface in true “full circle” fashion, nearly twenty years later.

Much like Nina’s father, Gil was also an incredible musician. Pat, a famous saxophone player started a band in the 60’s called “The Cufflinks” He later went on to play with Sly and the Family Stone, War, Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra and many more. The musician’s life made sense to her, growing up in a rock n roll family so Gil was an organic fit. He often jammed on his guitar with her father, one time specifically, Nina remembers them playing different songs, yet somehow it “still worked”. There was harmony and synchronicity with Gil, unlike anything she had ever experienced. He was magical and their relationship was incredible. They had even decided to include her family into their wedding, by planning a double ceremony with her grandparents on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Much like Nina’s father, Gil was also an incredible musician. Pat, a famous saxophone player started a band in the 60’s called “The Cufflinks” He later went on to play with Sly and the Family Stone, War, Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra and many more. The musician’s life made sense to her, growing up in a rock n roll family so Gil was an organic fit. He often jammed on his guitar with her father, one time specifically, Nina remembers them playing different songs, yet somehow it “still worked”. There was harmony and synchronicity with Gil, unlike anything she had ever experienced. He was magical and their relationship was incredible. They had even decided to include her family into their wedding, by planning a double ceremony with her grandparents on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Surviving Tragedy

However, their plans for a future together were cut short on that dreaded March day. As they were roller skating up the street with their dogs, Bakko and Isho, running alongside of them, a car came unexpectedly speeding towards them. In her attempt to move Gil and Bakko towards safety, Nina pushed them towards the other side of the street where they could get up on to the curb. She skated as quickly as she could to the other side of the street with Isho. When the driver finally saw them, he slammed on his breaks, but lost control and began skidding uncontrollably across the road. Nina, now up on the curb, heard the car slide past her. The sound was horrible. In her mind, she imagined that it was rolling, flipping and sliding on its roof until it crashed, but she never could have envisioned the reality of what she was about to witness.
All she saw was the car, which was now perpendicular to the street. The entire front end up on the sidewalk, front axle and tires smashed against the rear ones.
All she saw was the car, which was now perpendicular to the street. The entire front end up on the sidewalk, front axle and tires smashed against the rear ones.

What a tremendous accident, I hope the driver is alright,” Nina thought to herself, “but where was Gil?” Skating towards the car, the driver opened his door and exited his vehicle. Nina thought to herself, “Thank goodness the driver is okay… but where is Gil?”

At that moment, Nina looked beyond the car, and there she saw Gil, his lifeless body lying in the street, with Bakko next to him. Neighbors came out of their homes and began to rush into the street to offer help.

“911 has been called!”, someone nearby shouted. Nina skated towards Gil and realized she was now following a 30-foot trail of blood on the pavement. When she reached him, she quickly knelt beside his body.

Panicked, but committed to stay calm so she could save him, Nina noticed his mouth was shut. Her first thought was, “He needs to breathe!” Gently placing her hand behind his neck, she lifted his head upwards ever so slightly. His mouth opened, but instead of breathing, blood poured profusely from his lips. “He’s going to choke on all that blood!” Nina thought.

Wedging her knees under his shoulders and back she nudged him onto his side, thinking the blood would dissipate. It didn’t. It not only continued out of his mouth, but then began pouring out of his nose, eyes and ears.

“Something is terribly wrong here. What just happened?” She rolled him back onto his back, and just held on to him, helplessly watching him bleed to death. The sky began to grow dark. She questioned God and everything she ever knew, in that moment. Not knowing what else to do, she said a prayer.

Wiping the blood away as best she could, she leaned on to his chest and gave him a kiss goodbye. There she stayed holding him until he took his last breath and someone finally peeled her away.

Wiping the blood away as best she could, she leaned on to his chest and gave him a kiss goodbye. There she stayed holding him until he took his last breath and someone finally peeled her away.

Devastation doesn’t come close to describing what Nina was living. Having never experienced such a deep connection with another person before, she had no idea how she was going to pick up the pieces and go forward. She couldn’t imagine her life without Gil. She moved back to Palm Springs, California, to live with her Grandparents. Many came and offered solace of all types. All she felt was numb and dead. Then, someone suggested she get a massage. She’d never had one before, nor did she anticipate that when she got her first massage it would be the catalyst which would change the direction of her life.

Channeling

Searching for any meaning or logic surrounding this tragedy, she was struggled to move forward with her life. A fleeting moment and memory came to her, one of many, but this was a quote that Gil commented on from one of  Shirley Maclaine’s books,

 

If you want the fruit,
you have to go out on a limb.

What did that mean? She asked herself over and over. It was during that first massage, when out of nowhere, the masseuse said to her, “You know, in life if you want the fruit you have to go out on a limb to get it.” Tears began to fall. Nina’s mind was blown. How did that just happen?  The masseuse then says, “Have you ever done any channeling?” Nina responded with, “What’s that?”

The masseuse explained and also gave Nina the contact info for a spiritual channeler named Evelina Rose. According to LiveScience.com, channelers, also known as “psychic mediums”, often use what are called “spirit guides”, friendly spirits who give them knowledge and help them on their spiritual path. Channeling is the belief that a person’s body can be taken over by a spirit for the purpose of imparting wisdom. As Nina describes it,

Channeling

Searching for any meaning or logic surrounding this tragedy, she was struggled to move forward with her life. A fleeting moment and memory came to her, one of many, but this was a quote that Gil commented on from one of  Shirley Maclaine’s books,

If you want the fruit,
you have to go out on a limb.

What did that mean? She asked herself over and over. It was during that first massage, when out of nowhere, the masseuse said to her, “You know, in life if you want the fruit you have to go out on a limb to get it.” Tears began to fall. Nina’s mind was blown. How did that just happen?  The masseuse then says, “Have you ever done any channeling?” Nina responded with, “What’s that?”

The masseuse explained and also gave Nina the contact info for a spiritual channeler named Evelina Rose. According to LiveScience.com, channelers, also known as “psychic mediums”, often use what are called “spirit guides”, friendly spirits who give them knowledge and help them on their spiritual path. Channeling is the belief that a person’s body can be taken over by a spirit for the purpose of imparting wisdom. As Nina describes it,

The channeler creates a ‘completely clear’ mental state, and they are then used ‘like a telephone’, enabling them to act as both receiver and transmitter of information between spirit realms

The channeler creates a ‘completely clear’ mental state, and they are then used ‘like a telephone’, enabling them to act as both receiver and transmitter of information between spirit realm

Nina further explained that, “the channeler also has access to your akashic records, which are the blueprints of your soul from previous reincarnations”.

It was through Evelina that Nina learned that she and Gil were not only star soul seeds but also twin flames, — souls who have been together in many previous lifetimes. They knew they couldn’t be together cosmically, but their connection was too strong to deny. They chose to be together, knowing that one of them would not remain and their time together would be cut short.

Nina learned a lot more from Evelina, which ultimately propelled her into her own spiritual reawakening.

DISCOVERING CONNECTION

Nina returned home and began to search for more signs and meanings, and sure enough, she found them. She noticed a paperback book that Gil had been reading on Gestalt therapy. He had only just begun the nightly ritual of reading before bed, it wasn’t something he had commonly done. She picked up the book, and the passage that was on the page that had been left open, face down on his nightstand, was a quote from Arthur Miller that read: “There comes a time when one must take one’s life in one’s arms.”

Gil had started a drawing of her which was left in the study room, where he would practice. It was left unfinished, just as she was, unfinished. The pendant. He took it with him. Nina is certain because it was never found, despite the hours and hoards of friends that she insisted help her comb the accident site. She believes he took the pendant with him as a keepsake of  their love. It was just that,  a keepsake of their time together on earth.

DISCOVERING CONNECTION

Nina returned home and began to search for more signs and meanings, and sure enough, she found them. She noticed a paperback book that Gil had been reading on Gestalt therapy. He had only just begun the nightly ritual of reading before bed, it wasn’t something he had commonly done. She picked up the book, and the passage that was on the page that had been left open, face down on his nightstand, was a quote from Arthur Miller that read: “There comes a time when one must take one’s life in one’s arms.”

Gil had started a drawing of her which was left in the study room, where he would practice. It was left unfinished, just as she was, unfinished. The pendant. He took it with him. Nina is certain because it was never found, despite the hours and hoards of friends that she insisted help her comb the accident site. She believes he took the pendant with him as a keepsake of  their love. It was just that,  a keepsake of their time together on earth.

LEARNING BODY WORK
After her powerful experience with channeling, and the profound massage, Nina decided to learn about massage therapy as well. By helping others she figured out that she would be able to help herself in the process. She enrolled into the Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego, earning her license under the tutelage of the late Bill Mueller.
In March 1990, while working at a spa just six months out of massage school, a friend of Nina’s named Russell introduced her to “Ortho-Bionomy®”. When she asked him to explain what it was, Russell replied, “I can’t, but it’s like magic”. Nina attended the class and immediately connected with it.
LEARNING BODY WORK
After her powerful experience with channeling, and the profound massage, Nina decided to learn about massage therapy as well. By helping others she figured out that she would be able to help herself in the process. She enrolled into the Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego, earning her license under the tutelage of the late Bill Mueller.
In March 1990, while working at a spa just six months out of massage school, a friend of Nina’s named Russell introduced her to “Ortho-Bionomy®”. When she asked him to explain what it was, Russell replied, “I can’t, but it’s like magic”. Nina attended the class and immediately connected with it.

I don’t know what these people are doing, they’re like magicians, but whatever it is, I want to become one of them.

I don’t know what these people are doing, they’re like magicians, but whatever it is, I want to become one of them.

She took their course flyer home and attached it to her fridge with a note that read, “This is what I want to be when I grow up.”

Ortho-bionomy® is a gentle, non-invasive, osteopathically-based form of body therapy, which is highly effective in working with chronic stress, injuries and pains or problems associated with postural or structural imbalances.
Ortho-bionomy.org

Ortho-bionomy® is a gentle, non-invasive, osteopathically-based form of body therapy, which is highly effective in working with chronic stress, injuries and pains or problems associated with postural or structural imbalances.
Ortho-bionomy.org

Life slowly continued to move forward for Nina. August 1990, she gave birth to her daughter Samantha. And in 1995 she moved to Arizona and attended culinary school in Scottsdale. Shortly after graduation, she took a job in Phoenix, with a mom and pop company called “Chez Eynard” where she sold cheeses, oysters and high-end gourmet foods.  As a self-proclaimed “hustler and survivor”, Nina worked nights and weekend as an exotic dancer, determined to do whatever she needed to do in order to provide a good life for her daughter and herself.

ortho-bionomy® or die

However, the dream of learning ortho-bionamy never left her, and after nearly twenty years, it finally came to fruition.  After thirteen arduous years in Phoenix, it was the driving force that led Nina to her current hometown of Sedona, where she attended the Sedona School of Massage and pursued her Ortho-Bionomy® certification.

Two decades prior, when she had attended Mueller College for massage therapy, the profession did not have the same licensing standards that it does today. She was grandfathered into the program, however, in order to obtain a current license to work, she needed more academic hours.  Nina went full-speed ahead, completing hundreds of hours to obtain a current license as well as concurrently completing the Ortho-Bionomy® program of which she is now, a registered and Advanced Practitioner in the teacher training program.

ortho-bionomy® or die

However, the dream of learning ortho-bionamy never left her, and after nearly twenty years, it finally came to fruition.  After thirteen arduous years in Phoenix, it was the driving force that led Nina to her current hometown of Sedona, where she attended the Sedona School of Massage and pursued her Ortho-Bionomy® certification.

Two decades prior, when she had attended Mueller College for massage therapy, the profession did not have the same licensing standards that it does today. She was grandfathered into the program, however, in order to obtain a current license to work, she needed more academic hours.  Nina went full-speed ahead, completing hundreds of hours to obtain a current license as well as concurrently completing the Ortho-Bionomy® program of which she is now, a registered and Advanced Practitioner in the teacher training program.

The practitioners were too confined in their gridlock of perception and approach and Nina believed the program could be developed further.

The practitioners were too confined in their gridlock of perception and approach and Nina believed the program could be developed further.

So, she did exactly that, by writing her own curriculum and working as an apprentice under her current mentor, Dr. Luc

Doctor Luc

While working in private practice as a practitioner in 2011 Nina also had a massage chair job at the local grocery store. There she interfaced with the community and many people would tell her that she had a “great touch”, that the way she worked and knew how to touch the body was different from those of other bodyworkers.  One day, a client came to her who was paralyzed from the sternum down, and he wanted some cranio-sacral work done.  Not having enough expertise at that time, Nina referred him to Dr. Luc, and requested to sit in on the client’s appointment. She did just that.

After the therapy session, Dr. Luc asked her, “Do you want some homework?”.  Nina jumped at the opportunity to learn more and, not only returned several days later for the next session with her client but with the homework done, and having taken the initiative to complete further self-study and research.  Impressed by her ambition and willingness to learn, Dr. Luc began to mentor her, thus commencing the beginning of an 8-year long relationship. Dr. Luc continues to serve as Nina’s mentor up until this day.

Somewhere around mid 2012 upon Dr. Luc’s recommendation, Nina went to study with Upledger & Barral, the same people he had studied with when they were developing their osteo work back in the 1990’s.  She has now completed the Upledger Cranial Sacral Institute curriculum and the Barral ‘Visceral Manipulation’, curriculum, both which operate under the same umbrella of the International Alliance of Health Care Providers and Health Care Educators’.

Doctor Luc

While working in private practice as a practitioner in 2011 Nina also had a massage chair job at the local grocery store. There she interfaced with the community and many people would tell her that she had a “great touch”, that the way she worked and knew how to touch the body was different from those of other bodyworkers.  One day, a client came to her who was paralyzed from the sternum down, and he wanted some cranio-sacral work done.  Not having enough expertise at that time, Nina referred him to Dr. Luc, and requested to sit in on the client’s appointment. She did just that.

After the therapy session, Dr. Luc asked her, “Do you want some homework?”.  Nina jumped at the opportunity to learn more and, not only returned several days later for the next session with her client but with the homework done, and having taken the initiative to complete further self-study and research.  Impressed by her ambition and willingness to learn, Dr. Luc began to mentor her, thus commencing the beginning of an 8-year long relationship. Dr. Luc continues to serve as Nina’s mentor up until this day.

Somewhere around mid 2012 upon Dr. Luc’s recommendation, Nina went to study with Upledger & Barral, the same people he had studied with when they were developing their osteo work back in the 1990’s.  She has now completed the Upledger Cranial Sacral Institute curriculum and the Barral ‘Visceral Manipulation’, curriculum, both which operate under the same umbrella of the International Alliance of Health Care Providers and Health Care Educators’.

THE CURRICULUM CREATOR

It was throughout this process of intensely educating herself and working closely with Dr. Luc that Nina recognized that the “ortho-bionomy world” wasn’t willing to be flexible by allowing her to bring in other osteopathic tools and methods.  This prompted Nina to begin creating her own curriculum for submission to “NCBTMB” (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks), a nationally recognized provider for continuing education for bodyworkers and massage therapists.

The first curriculum she wrote was an advanced craniosacral protocol working with the Dural, osseous and sutural restrictions of the cranium. It was approved and she has already taught it in Los Angeles to a group of 16 students. On March 2nd and 3rd at the Sedona School of Massage, Nina will be teaching her second curriculum and course, An Introduction to The Electrical Brain and Body Connection. If you would like more information contact Nina at Hands That Hear You or The Sedona school of massage.

THE CURRICULUM CREATOR

It was throughout this process of intensely educating herself and working closely with Dr. Luc that Nina recognized that the “ortho-bionomy world” wasn’t willing to be flexible by allowing her to bring in other osteopathic tools and methods.  This prompted Nina to begin creating her own curriculum for submission to “NCBTMB” (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks), a nationally recognized provider for continuing education for bodyworkers and massage therapists.

 The first curriculum she wrote was an advanced craniosacral protocol working with the Dural, osseous and sutural restrictions of the cranium. It was approved and she has already taught it in Los Angeles to a group of 16 students. On March 2nd and 3rd at the Sedona School of Massage, Nina will be teaching her second curriculum and course, An Introduction to The Electrical Brain and Body Connection. If you would like more information contact Nina at Hands That Hear You or The Sedona school of massage.

THE FORBIDDEN PEARL

In 2009, twenty years after Gil’s untimely passing, Nina was still wounded and had never stopped searching to put some remaining pieces together. She attended a women’s workshop called, “The Changing Woman” which was led by an art therapist and astrologist named Veronica Vida, also one of the instructor from The Sedona school of massage. Veronica is an expressive art therapist, astrologer, workshop facilitator at Living Heartfully. One day during the workshop, Nina shared with the group, her the drawing that Gil had sketched for her when they had first met, the dragon clasping a pearl in its talons — “The Forbidden Pearl”.

For nearly two decades, Nina had been trying to understand the deeper meaning behind that drawing. Veronica, having fresh eyes and being outside of her emotional situation, had a clarity which Nina had been lacking. She simply said, “YOU’RE the forbidden pearl”. It’s not that she had to go to a jewelry store to buy one or go outside of herself to find it.

Suddenly it all made sense, and the final piece of the puzzle finally clicked into place.  Nina realized that it was Gil’s death that propelled her forward into body work. The same hands and arms that had cradled him while he took his last breath, she was using to help and heal others.

THE FORBIDDEN PEARL

In 2009, twenty years after Gil’s untimely passing, Nina was still wounded and had never stopped searching to put some remaining pieces together. She attended a women’s workshop called, “The Changing Woman” which was led by an art therapist and astrologist named Veronica Vida, also one of the instructor from The Sedona school of massage.   Veronica is an expressive art therapist, astrologer, workshop facilitator at Living Heartfully. One day during the workshop, Nina shared with the group, her the drawing that Gil had sketched for her when they had first met, the dragon clasping a pearl in its talons — “The Forbidden Pearl”.

For nearly two decades, Nina had been trying to understand the deeper meaning behind that drawing. Veronica, having fresh eyes and being outside of her emotional situation, had a clarity which Nina had been lacking. She simply said, “YOU’RE the forbidden pearl”. It’s not that she had to go to a jewelry store to buy one or go outside of herself to find it.

Suddenly it all made sense, and the final piece of the puzzle finally clicked into place.  Nina realized that it was Gil’s death that propelled her forward into body work. The same hands and arms that had cradled him while he took his last breath, she was using to help and heal others.

The most tragic event of her life became the catalyst that initiated her soul’s calling and helped define her path.

The most tragic event of her life became the catalyst that initiated her soul’s calling and helped define her path.

Although she still struggles to talk about Gil without getting emotional, Nina has found the meaning behind it. She has discovered life in death, joy in mourning and clarity amidst chaos. Much like the proverbial grain of sand that wedges its way into an oyster shell which over time, creates a pearl, Nina has found a way to create true beauty out of her adversity.

HANDS THAT HEAR YOU

If you would like to attend Nina’s Introduction to The Electrical Brain and Body Connection class happening March 2nd & 3rd, contact Nina today!

For more information on Nina’s Advanced Osteopathic Manual Therapies, you can follow her group here.

 

HANDS THAT HEAR YOU

If you would like to attend Nina’s Introduction to The Electrical Brain and Body Connection class happening March 2nd & 3rd, contact Nina today!

For more information on Nina’s Advanced Osteopathic Manual Therapies, you can follow her group here.

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