Hi, my name is Timea Urban.
Otherwise known as The Urban Healer. I’m an Orthopedic and Neurology RN by day, yoga teacher and Reiki Master by night (unless I’m working a night shift, in which case those roles are reversed). You might describe me as a science nerd who’s spiritual with a splash of sassy.
To give you a bit of background, after graduating with my Honors Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto in 2008, I was totally lost. I was passionate about science, didn’t want to become a doctor and had no I idea how to use my degree doing something I loved. At the time I was working in the banking world, absolutely not loving what I was doing, and felt very conflicted on my next steps. My natural response when I am overwhelmed is to go missing and tune out all the extra noise while I make an intuitive decision on how to proceed. So I spent two years globe trotting, jumping from country to country and vacation to vacation. Partially finding myself, mostly running from the parts I wasn’t ready to face. I was having a great time but sadly did not come to any epiphanies. I needed something bigger, further and more powerful to get inspired and dive deeper into self-exploration. An opportunity came up to travel to Australia…and I took it. I learned a lot about myself and healed many hurting parts of me.
I also chose to pursue nursing as I have always been drawn to the art of healing others. I obtained my Honors Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Toronto and started working at St. Michael’s Hospital as a Registered Nurse in Neurosurgery and Trauma. Neuroscience has always had a special place in my heart so furthered my education and obtained a certificate from George Brown College in Neuroscience Nursing as well as my Canadian Nurses Association Certificate in Neuroscience Nursing.
For a while it was exhilarating. I took pride in the time I invested in my education so that I could use it to help others. But eventually I started to feel an emotional disconnect with my nursing role as I continued to get more and more burned out. While I was helping heal people physically there were still obvious gaps at a mental and spiritual level that if addressed, could help them heal holistically. I continued to power through numbing my inner struggle and ignoring my own physical and spiritual needs. Getting lost in time and feeling pressured to further my education, I decided to go to the Trauma Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit.
I was hoping that would be the answer since I loved neuroscience and giving people my undivided attention while focusing on details and providing personalized care. Looking back, I giggle as this was NOT my answer and a huge lesson for me in hindsight. Diving deeper into a medicalized model took me further from the holistic care I was so passionate about and so desperately needed more of. That was the final tipping point. I stopped (or more like painfully crashed and burned) as I realized I had been ignoring all the signs that my life was slowly unravelling and was living in a constant state of chaos. I found myself drowning, disliking all aspects of my life and wanting to start completely fresh. Nothing was working. Nothing. I was far from happy, and most importantly I was done living a life I didn’t love. Life is too precious for that, as the ICU experience further cemented into my brain.
I had such a life crisis that I even contemplated leaving nursing for good as I pursued my healing journey. I took some time to really evaluate what makes me happy and fills my heart with joy. Luckily I found it and to my surprise the answer was always right in front of me: yoga, Reiki and breath. All packaged together in gratitude, mindfulness and soulful inspired movement.
Yoga has always been my medicine. I first discovered it in University when I was 20. It it really piqued my interest as I have never felt more in touch with my body or breath before. But it took years for me to create a consistent yoga practice. I would run to yoga for comfort whenever I felt overwhelmed or was going through something particularly challenging in life. Yoga allowed me to delve deeper into mindfulness, spirituality and inner peace while giving my mind, body and soul exactly what it needed. Sadly whenever I felt “better” I would return to more grueling exercises since I was attached to the belief that yoga wasn’t “really a workout”. Over the years I have dabbled in so many forms of exercise and worked through more injuries than I want to admit. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 when I truly devoted myself to yoga. I had always wanted to obtain my yoga teacher training certificate but allowed my excuses to hold me back. I had enough and for the first time really listened to what my body was trying to tell me for a long time. I registered for my 300-hour yoga teacher training at Ahimsa Yoga, obtained my Reiki Level 1, 2 and Master Usui certification from Tasha Rooke and participated in an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and 2 day intensive for healthcare professionals at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.
The transformational power of yoga, Reiki and breath are life changing if you trust and allow it to guide you. The combination of those three healing practices allowed me to slowly feel whole again so that I could make the necessary changes to pull my life back together. Through my own healing journey, I realized that those practices were the missing pieces that would take my ability to heal others to the next level.
Fast forward a bit and now, you’ll find me running around Toronto with my loud giggle, yoga mat and crystals along with a big smile, sprinkled with essential oils. People often assume I have perfect life. Little do they know there’s much more to me than what meets the eye. Behind every smile there is a story to be told and a lesson to be learned. I have deep gratitude for every one of those lessons as it got me to the place I am right now. Is my life perfect? No. Do I love my life as it is? Yes. I am still a work in progress and I am proud of my journey thus far. I let go of striving for perfection as that does not exist and cultivated acceptance and a deep appreciation for living in the now.
Despite what life has thrown at me, I make the conscious effort to show up as my most vibrant self each and every day. That’s not easy. It takes a LOT of personal development and self care. By committing to my own healing journey I’m here to inspire you. Happiness is a choice you make every day and it comes with consistent practice and sometimes homework you don’t always want to do. You are the writer of your story. You are the one that chooses if you will have a good day. You are responsible for your own happiness. Choose to live this life to the fullest. Although you may not see it yet, know that whatever you’re going through you will be ok. Allow me to be your inspiration to make life more magical and guide you as you create your own holistic self-care tool box.
I’d like to take a moment and express my heartfelt gratitude to the beautiful souls who have inspired, supported and continue to support me on my journey, including:
Michelle Tamblyn-Sabo helped me heal parts of me that I did not think could be revived. Her guidance and love gave me courage to face my fears, let go of what no longer served me while reconnecting with nature on a deeper level. Thank you for helping me unleash my fierce inner goddess and learn to never back down from fear.
JP Tamblyn-Sabo’s teacher training empowered me to live a bigger life fueled by love and connection. His teachings go above just the asana practice and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am thankful for having the ability to take the yoga teachings off my mat and into my daily life, while knowing I have the power to manifest my greatest dreams into reality.
Tasha Rooke introduced me to my first taste of Reiki and was my personal practitioner. Through her various healing modalities I healed some of my deepest wounds and learned to love my scars while accepting my past. I am filled with gratitude that Tasha continues to mentor me as a Reiki Master today.
I serendipitously walked into Bryonie Wise’s New Years Eve class in December 2015. I had never met her at this point nor taken any of her classes. I clearly had no idea how her carefully chosen poetic words and nurturing energy would forever change my yoga practice. I am so lucky to practice Reiki during Bryonie’s yoga classes and her flows continue to inspire me, while her magical words fill my heart with tenderness.
Please note there have been countless souls who have supported me while I have been at my best and completely broken, at my worst. Know that I love and appreciate each of you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.