The Breathing Spaces Team
Founder & CEO
Cyndi’s passion for supporting caregivers was ignited due to the deeply personal and overwhelming experience of watching her mom care for her dad. Years after his passing, Cyndi began caring for her mom through illness while simultaneously caring for her brother through a serious illness of his own.
Recognizing that she needed to care for herself during that time, Cyndi joined a walking group supporting caregivers through local health organizations. Seeing the potential for additional support services, Cyndi quickly found herself leading the program and building a robust, successful offering.
Upon her mom’s passing, Cyndi used her business and marketing background along with the wisdom gained through direct experience to develop Breathing Spaces as an ever-expanding resource for both family caregivers and professional caregivers alike.
“As a caregiver, the art of life balance is crucial. No one should ever go through this journey alone.” Mariner states. “Self-care begins with a breath.”
Mark has over 35 years of healthcare experience having served as both a senior level hospital and health care executive and well as a consultant and entrepreneur. In addition to working with Breathing Spaces, he is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of SRHO – The National Association and as President/Co-Founder of Summit Senior Solutions. His past positions included President of Socius Health Solutions, Managing Director with PwC, Founder of AlphaHealth, and serving in numerous senior hospital leadership roles with Novant Health and Presbyterian Healthcare.
Mark has had the opportunity to guide a number of healthcare start-ups, lead the development and operations of two ground-breaking new hospitals, lead the operations of large physician practices and provide strategic direction to over 75 healthcare organizations. Mark earned his Bachelors degree in Business from Virginia Tech and a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration from Duke University, and is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (FACHE) as well as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA).
Caregiver coach & Educator, Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioner Tanya received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Rochester and Master’s in Nursing from Boston College. In addition to providing comprehensive healthcare for elderly, she has received recognition for training healthcare providers to provide quality palliative and hospice care. Tanya has been invited to speak at local, state, and national conferences and senior living retirement communities about advance care planning, decision making, dementia and more.
When Tanya is not working as an NP or caregiver coach, she invests time in understanding how conscious healing can improve people’s health and help them to have healthier relationships. Tanya has assisted many families, and caregivers to make sense of complex medical conditions, navigate challenging healthcare settings, and find some light through their pain, suffering, and grief through her website, www.EnlightenedAging.org.
Catherine M. Harris
Art Therapist, Mindfulness Teacher, Yoga Instructor
Since 2007, Catherine has worked as a board certified art therapist, a master’s level mental health professional engaging clients in their own art-making, creativity, and self-inquiry to help find ease among life’s many challenges. Catherine has long incorporated the practices of mindfulness in her sessions and, after completing a 200hr yoga teacher training in 2019, has most recently included mindful movement as well. For 8 years, Catherine worked in Nashville, TN with TriStar Centennial Medical Center, where she witnessed the profound benefits of art therapy and mindfulness practices on mental and physical health while working with individuals admitted to the hospital’s services in oncology, pediatrics, bariatric and orthopedic surgery, and intensive outpatient mental health. This came as no surprise, as Catherine has experienced first-hand the benefits of a regular yoga and mindfulness practice herself when facing moments of grief and loss, chronic pain from surgeries, and difficult life transitions.
Catherine continues to share these tools for healing with others through her private practice, HeartSpace Wellness Studio LLC. Through her practice, Catherine provides virtual art therapy sessions for individuals, classes and workshops for organizations, and clinical supervision for recent art therapy graduates. Her individual sessions focus primarily on adults facing distress from medical diagnoses and the healthcare workers and loved ones caring for them facing burnout and compassion fatigue. Throughout all of her work, Catherine utilizes practices in mindfulness, yoga, and mindful self-compassion to help her clients relieve stress, cope with anxiety and depression, restore energy, and discover simple and practical ways to begin feeling more like themselves again.
Liam has a broad background spanning the fields of both science and spirituality. He began his training in a decade long Shamanic/Buddhistic apprenticeship. He is a meditation guide with over 20 years’ experience incorporating multiple systems and modalities. He has a BA in Psychology, trained as a paraprofessional counselor, and became a trainer of other counselors for a crisis counseling hotline. He has an MS in Human Nutrition, is a licensed dietitian and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. He is a PhD level epidemiologist and published researcher in the field of critical care nutrition and study design. His robust scientific background provides a flavor to his spiritual teaching that is down to earth, and evidence-based wherever possible.
Liam demystifies ancient traditions to make their core Teachings absorbable regardless of other religious affiliations. We are all reaching for the same thing. We want to feel freedom from the shackles of what our life has become. Liam helps you operationalize the techniques that take you there. He does this through his web site www.BodyMindTapping.com where he posts articles and videos, holds weekly live meditation trainings and Clinical EFT Tapping Circles. As a collaboration with Breathing Spaces, Liam is is building tools specifically designed to diffuse the suffering and difficulties of those who devote their lives to taking care of others. He is very excited to share the skills that have helped so many people with this deeply worthy, but often underserved population.
Meditation and Mindfulness instructor, Yoga Teacher
Katie comes to Breathing Spaces with a background in education. After gaining additional certifications as a meditation and mindfulness instructor, mindfulness at work trainer, and kids mindfulness and yoga teacher, Katie left the elementary school classroom to pursue her dream of sharing these life changing practices with others.
While teaching elementary school, Katie began to experience burnout as a result of extensive mental and emotional stress. As a result, she committed to daily meditation and mindful living practices, and quickly experienced a transformation in her interactions with her students, co-workers, and, most importantly, with herself. Katie now experiences a state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance. She is able to manage stress in a fresh and healthy way, which has inspired and empowered her to share the gifts of these practices.
In addition to her expertise on our team, she teaches tools and provides individuals, families, and organizations with simple everyday solutions that have tremendous benefits. She shares these offerings through her website www.inhaleexhaleconnect.com.
Behind the Scenes
Wordsmith & Social Media Maven
Melissa came to Breathing Spaces to help with social media and do some editing, and immediately felt like this is the place she should have been working all along. Her knowledge comes from twenty years in the mortgage industry followed by over a decade on the editorial staff of various ezines. She has been a family caregiver, one step removed, and has trained rescue dogs for animal-assisted therapy. When she’s not promoting Breathing Spaces’ programs and philosophies on the internet, she’s a writer, podcaster, and voice actor. She fosters rescue dogs for an organization in Texas, where she lives with her husband and their three permanent pack members.
Clay has worked on the communications side of the tech world for over a decade in industries ranging from marketing to non-profits to healthcare. His initial engagement for a quick website refresh for Breathing Spaces has led to a much longer, and much more satisfying relationship with this amazing caregiving community. When not navigating the digital currents of the internet, he can be found assisting with running a non-profit improvisational theater, taking photographs, or helping to herd urban goats.