Just a few years ago, the words “Shaman” and “Shamanism” seemed to show up everywhere I turned. It wasn’t a concept or label that I was very familiar with, but each time it popped up, I took note and listened. I began to casually explore the wild west of the Internet attempting to define and wrap my brain around the idea of Shamanism. Digging through resources and trying to find reliable information can feel really overwhelming. Much to my amazement, once I got serious about the topic, I found concrete resources right under my nose. As I have now learned, this was one of those situations where the Universe was sending me exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it.
At this time in my life I was working really hard to heal my body in as natural a way as possible. My system was under attack from the inside out, and healing was taking more energy than I ever could imagine. My diet was strict and limited, my physical constitution was more sensitive than ever, and my body was changing at a rapid speed. As everyone around me commented on the shape and size of my body and the food I was (and wasn’t) eating, I felt like I was floating through a bizarro world. I was trying to do the things that I was told would help me heal physically, but mentally, my brain couldn’t quite keep up with this new experience.
Shamanic healing can be described as a spiritual restoration practice that includes engaging with specific cultural traditions, the environment, elements, meditation, visualization, Spirit, and nature. There are many different practices and definitions that can be included in this; I love the broad scope covered in this idea. The expansive definition gave me hope, and provided me with tools to explore an entirely new territory in the world of healing. Shamanic healing became the practice that connected me in a new way with my true self, my spirit, and my sparkle.
Much to my amazement, when I began searching for healers in my area, I found one that served clients at the medical practice where I was already working with an amazing medical team. I had no idea that what I was seeking had been right under my nose all along! When I made my first appointment for Shamanic healing, I was not sure what to expect. My appointment was with Katie, a Shamanic healing practitioner who would inspire and support my own exploration and study of energy and healing work. Prior to my first session, I meditated to gain some clarity about what I sought in this new, mysterious endeavor.
Upon laying eyes on Katie, I immediately felt a sense of warmth, peace, and purpose. It was clear that she walked the walk of this calling. I shared with her my intentions for our work together, which included:
- To continue to come home to my true self
- To become comfortable and peaceful in my skin
- To further embrace my healing and physical changes
- To learn more about who I am and who I have the capacity to be
- To gain insight about my path, the evolution of my career, life plans and purpose
- To clear old traumas, unhealthy habits, and patterns that no longer served me
- To strengthen my centeredness and intuition
- To acknowledge and honor my sudden desire to explore Shamanic study and healing
In our process to get to know one another in this initial session, Katie showed me some of the possible tools used in Shamanic healing work. There were feathers of all different varieties, Himalayan sea salt candles, tobacco, rattles, oils, waters, and drums. She explained to me that specific birds might make an appearance in the visualization of the process to play a role in my healing (igniting my passion for Animal Medicine!). And the most beautiful part, from my perspective, was the role of song. Katie shared that some of the songs were passed down from her teachers; others may be songs that she has never heard before, but that come through specifically for me from Spirit.
Initially, I was curious and intrigued by the possibilities of this work, but I quickly became enthusiastic and passionate.
To begin, I lay on a massage table, closed my eyes, and took some deep breaths, per Katie’s recommendation. As the process of healing through these tools and songs began, I could feel an energetic vibration in my body like nothing I had ever experienced. Songs were sung, feathers swept, and essential oil infused water sprayed over me as I embarked down a new, potent trail of healing. The songs were so beautiful, and the emotions that I felt were so authentic and true. As we closed our healing process, tears of release, joy, and light were streaming down my face.
After the healing ritual closed, Katie and I sat together to discuss our experience. Three feathers were used in my first healing process: raven, parrot, and turkey. Songs were used for clearing, self-love, and calling in light. Much of the hard recovery work that I had been doing over the years needed to be released, so Katie’s clearing energy helped prepare me for the next phase of my healing. We talked about my meditation practice and possible visualizations to support my clearing and releasing of old habits and patterns that were no longer serving me. We also talked about the efforts I was making to heal my SIBO, to love myself, and to come home to myself, all of which are themes connected to the solar plexus chakra.
After my first Shamanic healing session with Katie, I felt lighter than I had in years. In addition to the feeling of lightness, I felt like a light bulb went on in my soul. I had spent years, an entire lifetime really, battling myself in every way, numbing with food, hating my body, doubting my sanity, and allowing myself to be over-medicated with substances that my brain did not need. All of this was in an attempt to release, cleanse, and heal old stories. This single session sparked a new, empowered hope in me that there was SO MUCH MORE to this life than I believed. This hope led me to deep dive into an entirely new realm of study. On that day my life changed. It was on that day that I truly embraced the power I have within me to heal.
Since that first session with Katie, I have had additional healing sessions, each just as beautiful, healing, and empowering as the first. I studied the introductory level of Healing Touch with Katie, where I began to wrap my brain around the evidence–based concepts behind energy work. I learned more and more about the chakra systems, and discovered that I have abilities within me not just to heal myself, but to also support others in their own healing work. Through this training, along with other classes and workshops, I unearthed my passion and purpose in supporting others in healing.
There are times in our lives when we can feel overwhelmed with just how much there is to learn when we discover a new topic that lights us up. This was how I felt when I found Shamanic healing, Katie, and energy work. But it is the process of learning that leads us through our personal healing path. From reading recommended books about Shamanism, chakras, and healing to investing in more classes and workshops to understand and honor energy, Spirit, intuition, and nature, I have filled my time with a study that has awakened a new facet of my sparkle. This facet nourishes every cell of my body, mind, and spirit.
We all have a healer within us. When we awaken these sides of our sparkle, and ourselves, we truly can begin to remember the wisdom in our histories, of our ancestors, and in our cells. Are you ready to awaken this power within? Exploring energy and healing is one of my most favorite practices to untap my sparkle. Unsure where to begin? Let’s walk together in this awakening.
Let’s Sparkle Together.