In challenging times like now with strong collective grief, fear, and hopelessness in the world, those of us who identify as “healers” at our soul level feel called to show up more and offer help for others.
Identifying as healers at our soul level isn’t really about our professions. We don’t have to be a healthcare professional or energy healer - we could be a teacher, chef, parent, mid-level manager, or anything else. It simply means that we often find ourselves providing support and healing to those who are hurting in some way in our lives. In general, people who are suffering end up feeling better once they spend time with us.
One thing to remember as we are being called to show up more as healers is how we may be showing up as “wounded healers.”
Wounded Healers are powerful. They can tap into the unhealed, painful part of their own wounds to access the compassion and power to heal others. Oftentimes, some profound healings for others are facilitated by those of us who are operating as wounded healers.
The trouble of working as wounded healers is that it costs us. Constantly utilizing the unhealed parts of ourselves to access the energy to heal others isn’t quite healthy for our long term healing or thriving. Our own wounds don’t get enough care and healing to become whole, and it often compromises our own energetic boundaries and self care needs.
The better alternative is being able to heal as a “healed healer,” from the place of more wholeness and groundedness of our healed self. Taking the time to care for our own healing in this current time is absolutely necessary for us to show up for the long haul of this collective healing journey.
If any of this resonates with you, here are some practical ways you could shift from the position of wounded healer to healed healer.
Practice 2:1 Ratio
When you show up for someone once, you need to show up for yourself twice. One part of healing/care for others to two parts of healing and care for your own self, whether that is some time away from social media, being in solitude, getting extra sleep, or eating that burger while watching Netflix.
Be sure to be grounding yourself to the earth often and especially before you show up for others. Earth is the most powerful, physical source of healing energy. When we ground and draw the energy from the earth, we can heal and replenish our own energy. Earth is immediately accessible to us - spend some time outside, open the window, or simply visualize yourself connecting with Mother Earth.
Be Present and Mindful
When we get sucked into our own patterns of operating as wounded healers, compromising our boundaries, or neglecting to care for ourselves, these are often happening without our realizing. These are often our unconscious, conditioned responses we engage in, without even realizing. Being more present and self-aware of our own feelings, triggers, behaviors, and patterns can help us intervene sooner when we are operating as wounded healers. Regular meditation, journaling, or other mindfulness practices can help us strengthen our self awareness and healing abilities.
I hope these tips are helpful for you healers vibrate high and healthy during this time. Our work as healer is lifetime soul-calling, and our world needs us to take care of ourselves for the long haul. You are powerful, special and appreciated. Let’s love and care for ourselves as we do for others.
I'm rooting for you
Self publishing my book has been an enlightening experience! These are the lessons I learned.
#1. Start With The Book Proposal
A book proposal is what you need to submit when you are trying to get a publisher to publish your book. When you are self-publishing, you don’t REALLY need the book proposal, but I highly recommend going through the exercise of putting it together for your book anyway.
When I wrote “Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha” I worked on the book proposal thinking I would be pitching it to several publishers. While I ultimately decided to self-publish, to represent exactly the voice I wanted to share with the world in a non-compromised way, writing the book proposal was such a beneficial exercise for me.
It forced me to really look at myself as an author, the purpose of the book, the reader/audience, the content, and the marketing plan with critical eyes. Before working on the book proposal, I was naïve in thinking that I would write the book, and publish the book: the end. But by working on the book proposal I had to really get clear on what the book is about, who the readers are, why anyone would want to read it, what other books are in the market that cover similar topics, and how as an author I plan to promote the book. It was not fun. (In fact, I almost gave up.) While it was a challenge to look at all these details and realize, “oh crap, I am not really clear on these topics!”, having to get clear and write it professionally and comprehensively helped me later, because I was able to use that information for a press release, a marketing packet for bookstores, a fundraising campaign, and in other aspects of marketing my book--including pitching my book to various podcasts and conferences.
#2. Don't Let Planning Get In The Way Of Writing Your Book
Don’t let planning get in the way of writing your book--write the damn book first! It is easy to get stuck contemplating, organizing, planning, and researching ABOUT publishing your book, while not actually spending the time and attention needed to write the book. I have known people who've been working on the same book for years, some almost 10 years! Also, I am constantly approached by women who say they want to “pick my brain” about self-publishing a book and want to know all the logistics and details--yet when I ask, “Have you started writing the book?” the answer usually is “not yet” or “not enough.” The most important task of self-publishing your book is to write your book. Without your manuscript, it’s premature to spend too much time researching publishing options and other logistics like digital book conversion or audio book recording, etc. These resources and information are readily available for you once you complete your initial manuscript. It’s great to plan ahead and be prepared, but don’t use this as an excuse to distract yourself from actually writing the book.
#3. Hire Professionals
I have been reaching out to multiple independent bookstores all over the country to stock my book, and I’ve learned from them that many people end up with unprofessional self-published books. These are books without professional binding, a professionally designed cover with correct spine, barcode or ISBN, or with typos and grammatical errors in the text. Bookstores have told me that these types of self- published books automatically get rejected from being considered for shelf space. This can be avoided by hiring professionals to help you with your book: professional writers, editors, illustrators, book designers, etc. Sure, your Aunt Sally may be a great editor as an English teacher, but she is not going to be as experienced as professional editors who edit books like yours.
For “Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha”, I got writing and editing support from Emily, a professional writer and editor with experiences in writing for women’s online magazines on related topics and also owns a professional literary company. Mel, who did my secondary edits, is also a professional writer and editor with many years in publishing and journalism. My illustrator and book designer, Sarah, owns her own design company and has had many experiences working in print media like books and magazines, before mine.
Of course, working with these professionals costs more money than working with “amateurs” or friends or family—or doing it all on your own… but for a good reason. Just because you are self-publishing does not mean the book should be DIY all the way or be created with less experienced talents. The only difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is just that: who actually publishes the book. Make the investment to hire a professional editor, proofreader, illustrator, and designer. The last thing you want is trying to DIY or save money (aka: avoid investing in your first book) only to create a product that you are not proud of and that bookstores refuse to carry on their shelves.
#4. Your Book Is Your Baby
Your book is still your baby, so don’t check out mentally just because you have hired professionals to do their jobs. While I had a team of professional women committed to helping me with my book, I learned that I still had to be on top of the process. I went through a period of half-heartedly looking at different versions of the manuscript (because let’s face it, I’d written, rewritten, read the manuscript so many times by then, that at that point my eyes were just glazing over the words and lines). I even glazed over email communication back and forth between editors and designers, etc.
Don’t let that happen. Take a few days’ break from looking at your book and then make sure to set aside the time to review your book after it has been professionally edited, proofread, and designed, with a fresh set of your own eyes, as if you’ve never read it before. When I did this, I was shocked to notice a couple of things about the book I had never paid attention to before, particularly regarding the tone and frequency of certain words in my book. These were not grammatical or structural errors, so none of my editors or proofreaders caught it. It was something only I could notice and catch as the original author. I didn’t do this early enough--I did this after sending the file to the printer. When I stopped the press to make these little corrections, it cost me an extra $600--ouch! So don’t make the same mistake, be sure to do this BEFORE you release the print file.
#5. Get Organized
Get organized so you won’t lose your mind (and it’ll prevent costly mistakes). I thought I knew my manuscript inside and out--by heart. But by the time two editors looked at the manuscript and proofread it, and the designer made several edits and versions, it was almost impossible to know which version was for what by memory. While my designer and editor kept things organized, I started getting confused about which file went with what, and what version went with what. In self-publishing, you may have to upload the book in different publishing platforms (Amazon versus Ingram for example), and the specification for each may be slightly different. Make sure to keep track and get organized with Google Doc or Dropbox folders with very clear titles and names. Trust me, eventually a file name like “Cover_V2_Nov19” won’t help you remember what it was for. I should have named it like “Cover_V2_FinalApproved_AmazonUpload_Nov19”, for example.
#6. Marketing Is Your Responsibility
Marketing your book is your responsibility. Nobody else is going to do this for you. Always be ready to sell or talk about your book! Start working on your marketing plan as soon as your manuscript is in other people’s hand for editing, etc. With years of marketing experience in my previous career, and with large social media following, I still found this to be a challenging task. I got help from marketing consultants that specialize in self-published books/authors, as well as tapping into my sisterhood for social media marketing support.
Also, be the walking billboard for your book--now is not the time to be shy. I carry a pretty good sized box filled with signed copies of my book in my car, because just weeks after my book came out I learned a valuable lesson: I was invited to a little happy hour event hosted by a fellow coach friend, and she asked me to bring a few copies of my book. Knowing there will be only about 10 women, and wanting to “not look too eager to sell” I had shown up with just eight books. These women started buying multiples of my books, one for their daughter, or their sister or coworkers, and I quickly sold out of copies, missing out on more sales. I didn’t even have extras in my car! Because I played small and was “embarrassed” about appearing to want to sell my book, I only sold eight books instead of twenty. I am never making that mistake again. I carry my books in my car at all times, and a couple of copies in my purse. One night I was eating dinner at a big farm to table event with a friend, and I ended up selling three books on the spot to women who were sharing our dinner table, because they overheard our conversation and asked about it. I not only happily shared about my book, I said, “I have copies in my car out front if you’d like one!” Sold three. Hell yeah.
#7. Toughen Up
Grow a thick skin—in other words, be prepared to encounter some snobs. While more and more people are self-publishing, there are still those who look at self-published authors as less than professional. Everyone is entitled to their belief and point of view, and they may judge you or your book accordingly, but my advice is to let it go. Don’t take it personally. First, create a book you are super proud of, (see #2 and #3) and then hold on to that emotion and gratitude.
It’s not always easy though. I was at a party the other day, and my friend, the hostess, had graciously and excitedly shared my new book with her guests (I love her!) Then one of the guests started to talk about his friend who, (in his own words) “for REAL published a book through a REAL PUBLISHER.” (Eyeroll). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit miffed, and my feelings hurt, but I was able to just let it slide. Sure it hurts to be dismissed immediately for self-publishing, but maybe he was simply really proud of his friend who published a book the traditional way, or maybe he really has a dream of publishing his own book traditionally some day as well. Who knows, and who cares? It really has nothing to do with me or my book. As self-published authors, we can’t let things like that get to us. Just be prepared for some people to be snobbish, and let it slide. Some people are always going to be snobbish about something--your book may just happen to be one of those things, and that’s okay. They are not your people. There will be many more people out there who will love and support your book.
#8. Be Proud Of Your Work
Most importantly, once you have your book published, be proud of yourself. You wrote a book! And published it! You put it out there! How many people can say that? Out of those who contemplate, dream, and think about writing a book someday, only a fraction really make it happen. Out of those who judge and criticize others for their books, only a fraction are really authors of their own book. You did it. You are an author. You have a book. Make sure you remind yourself what an accomplishment that is and be proud to celebrate your accomplishment.
Shamanic healers, which are often portrayed in the media and our culture as “witch doctors”, are actually spiritual healers. Much like a medical doctor resets a bone after we’ve fractured it, a shamanic healer restores the spiritual force field around us. Most of us, either through difficult life experiences or trauma, develop limiting beliefs and negative energy. Shamanic healers believe that certain parts of our souls leave us after these experiences, which can prevent us from experiencing the emotions we so long to experience. Feelings of joy, vitality, and prosperity, become absent in our lives and become even harder to access over time. Shamanic healers, however, can easily (and with your permission only, of course), identify these holes and in a sense, patch them up.
In reality, finding a shamanic healer is not so different from seeking out a therapist or life coach. Much like these other individuals, their purpose is to heal you; to get you to overcome the challenges you face and work through those challenges so that you may access the best version of yourself. You may have to stretch your mind just a teensy bit, but the outcome could be well worthwhile.
Here are some pretty cool things about shamanic healing that may get your wheels turning:
1. Shamanic Healing has existed for thousands of years! Like many other healing practices that have existed for centuries, like acupuncture, meditation, prayer, and yoga, shamanic healing’s efficacy is backed up by the sheer volume of people that have benefited from it. Think back to before you started any practice that you had some doubts about. Shamanic Healing, like that other thing, may have to that same “experience it to believe it” quality.
2. Shamanic healers go through an extensive training period that looks slightly different from a conventional education or certification process. It includes intense self-healing practices and self discovery in addition to learning actual skills and principles of shamanic healing. Shamanic Healers can participate in a workshop that varies in time, but usually lasts about a year. In this course, healers in training begin with shedding their own beliefs (the ones that are limiting and self-sabotaging) and work toward making room for new and empowered beliefs. The training is complete with healers working toward finding their soul’s purpose.
3. Shamanic Healing happens at the subconscious level, at a person’s energetic field, and uncovers blocks that we not even be aware of. If you’re into spirituality of any kind (yoga and meditation included), you know the power of energy. The law of attraction dictates that when you put good energy into the universe, that good energy will surround you. Even those of us who are attuned to our energy and the energy of others could benefit from what happens at the subconscious level, because we couldn’t access it otherwise!
4. Your openness to Shamanic Healing can be compared to your openness to another culture that you know of but haven’t ever experienced before. Just because something is foreign to us does not mean we cannot ever understand or accept it. If you have tried many different forms of healing and have yet to find relief, an openness to something new may help you to uncover the true power of spiritual healing.
If you're interested in a Shamanic healing session, book with me!
Guest post by Sabrina Jugo
Sabrina is a millennial feminist that lives in St. Louis, MO. She is passionate about social justice issues and is currently pursuing her Master in Social Work. When she isn't writing, she enjoys reading, lighting candles, drinking tea, and having passionate conversations with friends about how to make the world a better place.
I recently uprooted myself (and my partner) from our cozy lives in Richmond to pursue graduate schooling across the country. This decision wasn’t one I made lightly for many reasons, but the biggest one was that I was starting to consider Richmond a kind of home. As someone who moved at the difficult age of thirteen, left home to attend college in another state, and moved three times in the past three years, I’ve weathered all sort of transitions. The trouble is, transitioning from one thing to another, no matter what it is, is a challenge. Whether it’s changing jobs or moving cross country to pursue something totally new, changes can feel disruptive at best and debilitating at worst. The past ten weeks or so have reminded me of how hard new challenges can be but have also cemented a few guidelines that are helping me through my transition. I write in hopes that they are something you remember when you experience transitions of your own!
1. Set realistic expectations for your transition.
Not so long ago, my therapist told me that for the average person, transitioning from one city to another takes about six months or so. I’m sure tons of helping professionals and researchers will come up with their own timelines, but I’ve held on to six months. It’s been important for me to set this expectation in my mind because this funny little thing happens when we’ve settled into a routine—our minds completely wipe all of the stress and difficulty it took us to get there. Upon leaving Richmond, where I spent the last two years, I was filled with confusion and doubt about whether or not I was making the right decision. It was a place that felt like home. What I neglected to remember was the near year it took for me to feel like it was any kind of home. I struggled to create a network, keep up steam at a job, and create the kind of life I wanted. It wasn’t until I finally got connected to some wonderful Richmonders (shout out to my boss Seo!) that I really started to feel grounded and secure. The point is, our minds plays these little tricks on us to protect us from the fear of messing up a good thing, all to protect us. A large part of the last few weeks has been affirming and reaffirming that building something new always takes time and that creating the life you want doesn’t happen overnight.
2. Paint a new picture of what your community will look like.
Before moving out across the country to start my program, I was stoked to meet some amazing folks who were going to be “my people”. These people were going to care about the same issues and enjoy delving into social justice-y concepts over dinner, just like me (here are these pesky expectations again!). When I arrived and didn’t immediately find that, I began to blame myself for not thinking my whole decision through and even questioning if I really belonged (more on imposter syndrome in a minute). It was advice from a close friend that helped ground me in the reality of my situation: even though my community was no longer a short drive away, they were still there. They were still my community, they were just a bit more scattered. This advice was like a revelation to me! I had kept in contact with the people who mattered most during my other life transitions and I would do the same now. Maybe I wouldn’t be grabbing dinner and drinks with friends or seeing my weekly movie at the Criterion theater, but I would still be connected to the people that mattered. In many ways, I would be putting some friendships to the test, and not in a resentful, angry way, but mainly in an accepting and loving kind of way. In a lot of ways, it has felt like creating a new community can be so daunting; in another way, I am simply reframing the role that my community has in my life, for now. And that’s OKAY.
3. Impostor syndrome happens to (almost) everyone.
Impostor syndrome is the overwhelming feeling that most people have when after starting something new, you start to feel as though you do not belong, an “impostor”. This can take a variety of forms; in a new job, at a new school, or in a new community where you don’t feel like you connect with others. I think rather than diving into impostor syndrome and what it looks like here, there is one thing I do know: after building slow, intentional relationships, and making connections with others, you start to gather that most people feel like impostors in some way. It just comes in different forms. I may feel like an impostor because I haven’t made strong connections with people that I thought I would, while another person may feel like an impostor because they’ve landed themselves at a high-profile institution and are thinking, how did I even get here? Regardless of the reason, know that your peers or colleagues or loved ones are either feeling what you’re feeling or have once felt it too.
4. The universe has my back.
The most important of these mini-lessons is that the universe has my back. Even in the most chaotic moments of this transition, meditating, journaling, and connecting with my community has made me feel most at peace. A lot of this has been creating an intentional manifestation practice and staying in high-vibration energy, using the tools that Seo and other experts have guided me through. Thinking back to what life looked like at the start of the year, and so many of the wonderful things that I manifested, I know the practice works. It’s not just a matter of staying committed to the process and making an intentional practice out of it. If I can manifest a graduate school acceptance, a kick ass new job with supportive women, and a fulfilling relationship, I can also manifest a smooth transition for myself.
Moving cross country after establishing a community I loved in a place I loved was a difficult choice for me. Transitions may be challenging, but they are also an opportunity for immense growth and growing closer to the self. I am here to carry out my soul’s purpose and know that this chaotic feeling of change is temporary. The four little mantras above have helped me to work through these “big feelings”. I hope they may help you too.
“One of these days you just might look up and realize: oh my word, I am exactly where I’m meant to be.”
Recently, I had a very short, but very powerful encounter with a loved one of a good friend, and that experience sparked me to share a little bit more about how I discovered I was a psychic medium.
A lot of times people think of mediums as people that can bring spirits from the other side on demand, but I don’t use my gift or market myself in that way. When I do act as a psychic medium and connect with someone’s loved ones, it is always to deliver a loving and healing message from the other side to serve my client at their highest good.
I discovered that I was a medium when I made contact with my late mom-in-love, whom we lost very suddenly a few years ago. My relationship with her had been complicated in the past because, although she was always a loving and caring force in my life, my relationship with my own mother was not. It was difficult for me to trust my mom-in-love based on her love and patience toward me and I had created massive boundaries and walls around our relationship.
All of the spiritual awakening and personal growth and healing work I had been doing was starting to pay off, and I started seeing how I was stopping love or refusing love for the fear of disappointment and conditional love. At the beginning of 2016, I set the intention to “take down these walls” and love my mom-in-love with open heart and more importantly let HER know how much I loved her. Then only a few weeks later on February 3rd, she had passed away suddenly.
I can’t describe the emotional hole and regret I felt around our relationship. I had built all these stupid walls around our relationship for over ten years, and when I finally decided to lose the walls and love her fully, I was too late. It was too late. We had lost her.
They do say something devastating and heartbreaking like this experience can trigger or speed up deeper spiritual awakening, and that must have been how it happened for me. A few months later I was taking an online class that introduced us to psychic mediumship. During our group exercises on how to open our channel for connection meditatively, my mom-in-love made the connection with me right away. It was as if she had been waiting for me to finally open myself up.
The messages she gave me was so validating and loving...and so specific that I had to believe it was her. I had been wanting a piece of Mom’s jewelry as a momento, but with my sister-in-love in possession of all her jewelry, who was grieving and having a difficult time, I knew it would be a bit tricky to ask. During the “conversation” with mom, she acknowledged my desire and gave me a ring (a vision of a ring) as a gift, something that was silver, carved with butterflies, then said “here is a ring you wanted, now let Amy keep all my jewelry.”
It took me some time for me to “come clean” and come out of the “mediumship closet”. It was a powerful, healing, and loving experience for me to connect with my mom-in-love, and for a while, I just wanted that moment to stay between me and her. The trouble was, I started getting more messages. The second came from a young man named Billy.
I had never met Billy while he was alive. I had only met his mom once briefly and had heard weeks later that she had lost her son. But when his spirit connected with me, it was as clear and direct as he was alive and standing right next to me, talking nonstop wanting me to deliver all his messages to his family.
When Billy came, it was more like he pushed his way in, pulled up a chair in the middle of my thoughts and started talking about what he came to talk about. Billy had this way of just showing up and claiming the space, and a charming way of commanding attention. There have been times when I tried to “explain” why he shouldn’t just show up whenever - (I’m standing in line at Starbucks), (it’s 3 am, dude, WTF?) Or (you know other spirits wait until I put up “open” sign.) It didn’t seem to bother him at all.
Billy is an important spirit to me because he really helped me to push past some of the fears I had around my mediumship gift. Having such a strong connection and presence from Billy and receiving so much validation and gratitude from his loved ones when I had shared his messages really helped me gain my confidence as a psychic medium.
Many people often ask me to connect them with a spirit or loved one as a medium. To me, this doesn’t feel like the best way to move forward and heal from the loss. Actively knocking on that door to connect, or relying too heavily on these messages to help us grieve doesn’t feel right.
I believe it’s important not to seek that connection and validation as our main means of healing - it’s something that can help us, but we need to go through the process of grief and healing on our own in this physical world too. I describe getting messages from the loved ones who have crossed over as an unsolicited love notes or hello notes - we don’t anticipate, seek, or demand these notes when we receive them. When they arrive we accept them with joy and love.
It is an exciting time in the world right now - more and more people are discovering their spiritual gifts and deepening their connection to the divine/spirit/source/god. This energetic shift has allowed more and more people to seek out their own intuition, openness, and curiosity with their potential gifts. My hope is that with the right tools and resources, and mentorship from other people who have experienced similar spiritual awakening, more people can connect with their soul purpose and gifts and serve people and the world at deeper, more magical level. And maybe some of you too will find out a gift of mediumship.
I am available for spiritual mentorship and coaching for those of you who are going through your own spiritual growth. Message me if you’d like to learn more on how I can help you with your journey.
Meet Seo Kelleher, an intuitive coach for life and business, committed to empowering women. "I am passionate about helping women find the courage to transform their lives by embracing their vulnerability and taking the responsibility."