Shamanic Healing Finland
I've been working as a holistic therapist for over a decade now alongside my own personal healing journey, in fact one could not exist without the other. I've studied many different therapies, taking onboard what resonated with me and discarding what didn't until eventually I have my own particular way of working. Holistic healing is always a two way relationship, I couldn't be an effective healer if I were passively repeating a set procedure. Over the years my healing practice has become broader and much simpler as I've begun to recognise that if I can step back and let nature do its work then the possibilities for healing begin to border on the miraculous.
There is a science behind shaking people out of their routines, I'm not going to pretend that I'm a scientist but I would recommend Norman Doidge's “The Brain that Changes Itself” which thoroughly examines how we have the ability to literally and physically change our minds about how we think. Be warned, it's a little bit hard reading about animal experiments but worth persevering.
When guests come to the Retreat they collect water from a well, they use a bio-composting toilet, they wash in a sauna that they have prepared and heated themselves with firewood and water taken from the lake. There is no light pollution, the most powerful thing which hits guests is the silence, even if the air is filled with bird song, somehow it still feels like silence. All of these things set the brain to learning new skills, the set routines are interrupted and because guest are on holiday they don't panic about the absence of routine because they are safe in the knowledge that their family, job and home are all waiting for them upon their return.
To mirror this “breaking” from routine I am stepping into what I would call Shamanic work because to work in the shamanic tradition one must be able to let go and accept all. We see our journey through our own symbology and perceptions hung on our own unique framework of available concepts and as far as we are able to remain limitless and free of arbitrary boundaries we can ride the waves of energy. Shamanic healing has very few preconceptions, it embraces pure Nature and includes everything making it a perfect tool for understanding the nature of my guest's energy and the perfect tool for interpreting and translating.
When I sit with my guest I am open to all of my feelings, even the ones which I would probably judge to be inappropriate for a healing session but now that I have thrown off artificial boundaries I can allow them to be present and because of the work I do with myself I know that I am able to have those seemingly inappropriate feelings present without fear that I will act upon them. Thus, when my energy turns up as whole and unrestricted then because of the law of resonance my guest's energy has the possibility to turn up unencumbered by their inner controls and self restricting boundaries. Literally as we are sitting there together discussing their case we are already embarking on a Shamanic journey together whether my guest is aware of it or not.
With the intention is to turn this into a healing tool I learn to return from this journey without needing to hold on to what has been experienced during that time, I have spent years honing my trust that if there is an energy flow relevant to the healing situation then it will make itself known when and exactly when it is required. The Shaman is the master of emptying themselves of all notions of how things should be.
One of the greatest Shamans in the Northern Lands was Odin himself who hung for 9 days on the world tree Yggdrasil without food or water. Imagine how that would require you to let go of all notion of who you think you are and what you believe yourself capable of. After the 9 days Odin was given the knowledge of the worlds and he brought them back as Runes.
Over the years the runes have themselves evolved in this world to becoming an alphabet. How interesting it is that our very words are themselves made up from the very building blocks of the nature of truth, little wonder there is such power in Word. Even one of the world's biggest selling books tells us that “In the beginning was the Word”
Wyrd from my Anglo Saxon heritage branch roughly speaking means my destiny, which makes sense as it is my words that represent the symbology of my inner concepts, they are spoken out from within as both thoughts and spoken to represent my intention. My intention is both borne of both who I perceive myself to be and who I intend to step into, both of which are already present because the Universe (all that ever is, was and will be) doesn't change, I am that which flows through it, making it what it is (as we all are)
We create magical spells, it is no coincidence that we spell words because our words contain all. All of us have the ability to hear the huge difference between an impassioned speech and a bland reading given directly from written text.
So as I step into my Shamanic practice I see that I am progressing from being a writer to emerge as a story teller!
It was a natural evolution of my healing practice that I started to use my own life events, and there are many to choose from, to put an idea in front of my guests. When working with somebody who is seeking healing on an energetic level one must use your own energy wisely. Most folk who come to me don't know that they are seeking healing on an energetic level, instead they have sat at their computer knowing that they are looking for something, although their own knowing has been such a vague dot on their conscious awareness as to almost be behind some kind of perception filter, and in a way it was. Our minds have defensive systems and controls in place to save us from perceived dangers and in our modern society those dangers are fed to us as a hotpotch of other people's agendas and based on a fairly limited world view for most.
The most common way that my guests arrive here is through an internet search that brings them to my website and when it opens to them something inside them just knows that this is the place! They don't know why, they don't even know how they arrived at my site but they do know that this is the place! Fourteen years ago when I set up my healing retreat I did lots of advertising and would always ask my guests how they had come across me so that I could hone my marketing but they kept telling me the same story so that eventually I stopped advertising!
The work I do is for those who really want to travel deep, who are looking for something that they know not what and they know not why but when the next step appears before them they know it from a deeper place....in fact for some people just the experience of a tangible event to experience that inner feeling and make it real is enough to take them forwards.
So many of my guests arrive seeking that spiritual/energetic aspect of themselves that they believe will guide them with integrity. They believe that they have no connect with this aspect and yet there they are sitting right in front of me, having been guided here by that very aspect....and again, for some that recognition is enough!
In reality all I am doing is translating what they already have/know into appropriate words and symbologies based on that person's personality, life style, culture and history so that they begin to recognise and connect with that which they already have. We are all mind, body and spirit, we cannot change that but we are free to experience ourselves as whatever we intend.
I began to recognise through the early days that telling somebody how to change themselves would put me right up against their defences. Quite rightly, if you turn up in the middle of the forest and this person starts telling you about doing this and that, there isn't anything to give my guest a safe place to stand in, they don't know me, they are in a strange place, they are disconnected from their modern world, they have to draw their water from a well, their water is filtered by the forest, they have an outside bio composting toilet and they prepare a sauna for their washing instead of just stepping into a shower. All of their structures, boundaries and controls are being shaken resulting in their defensive systems being on a higher alert than normal.
This means that their conscious awareness is on a higher alert than normal, one might say that they are beginning to stir from a slumber of convenience. If I go marching in there with my preaching boots on then no matter how loving and constructive my advice may be it will be resisted because I cannot make my guest think, feel, recognise or experience anything that they don't already have and I cannot make them unthink anything.
If somebody is afraid of the dark, I can't just say, hey this is a safe place, then switch off the lights and expect them to just get over it based on my word! No matter how powerful my word may be unless I bring the person along with me, meaning that unless my guest is owning the experience then it is useless to them.
I found over time that when I shared some of my stories, my own experiences of life and in particular my experiences after my cancer which was a springboard for me to look inside myself, that these stories would be able to touch a part of my guest in such a gentle way as to cause them to make connections for themselves. I wasn't preaching anything or selling anything or most importantly not putting out any energy that said I can fix you because as I learned myself over time there isn't anything to fix!
Each guest already has everything, to cut away part of who you really are is not possible but it is possible to experience yourself as less, so my job, as it were, is to help my guest to not only recognise those seemingly lost aspects of self but to assist them in having a very real experience of them, a tangible experience that means something to them that they can draw on and build on going forwards.
Luckily this wasn't something that I had to figure out with my mind, it has just evolved and unfolded naturally over the last 24 years (my 29th birthday was a bit of a “there has to be more to life than this” opening moment!)
I still have all the healing foundations of reiki, energy healing, angelic healing, distance healing, past life regression, inner child healing, entity release, psychic surgery, yoga massage, foot reflexology, Qi Kung and many different meditation methods but my craft has become centred around the natural aspects of my surroundings.
When I relate one of my experiences my guest is listening and engaged, their defences are passive as I am not pushing anything towards them and they are free to relax their minds. They hear my story in their own mind made up of their own images and interpretations thus allowing them to make their own connections and perhaps draw some conclusion....but there is no intention for this, I am merely relating a story of mine.
How does that work?
Over time my experiences in life have taken on new and bigger meanings as I place them into a bigger picture which gives me a clearer perspective, so over time they acquire a certain symbology to me whilst maintaining the rich mixture of feelings and emotions present within them.
I am sitting with my guest in various ways over their week here, sometimes just for a few hours a day in a timed session, some stay with me in my house for a full on exposure and some share meals with me. Each is free to choose their own level of interaction. My guests are free to choose if they wish to share a sauna with me, free to choose to be naked or cover themselves, free to choose to follow me into the lake or not. Opportunities are placed for them with no expectations or requirements for how they show up for them and this means that my guests are as aware as they are currently able to recognise who and what it is that may be preventing them from doing something they may wish to do.
My energy is reacting to my guests energy. I grew up believing that I needed to be a perfect person in order to be accepted and loved in this world and so I had made it my life mission to turn up as the perfect person for everyone. In that process I almost destroyed myself, any sense of self or safety was buried or eroded and it was only the kick up my arse from my cancer which finally alerted me to the fact that I was literally eating myself (this is what cancer is)
My healing journey is recognising that instead of throwing away my old habits I saw that my abilities to feel around another person's energy field without poking it was also a wonderful ability to help others.
And so my transition to Shaman began, after all a Shaman is just another name for a storyteller. We travel to other worlds and bring back the answer to our guest's question but it is not in a form that we would instantly recognise. During the time I spend around my guest.....and this process begins even before they have found me via the internet or word of mouth, I am shaping myself around their energy. Imagine my guest's life and experiences, who they are, expressed as their own particular and unique bigger picture, so it contains every aspect of them even those they currently have no awareness of.....I am now that which occupies the void beyond their picture.
I am just the other side of their comfort zone, I am weird and a little bit scary...but not in any way which would freak them out, there would be no healing ability in that! I am a strange old lady that lives in the middle of a forest in a magical land, who grows her own food, swims naked in lakes, shares herself and exposes herself (physically, mentally and emotionally) has a wicked sense of humour and may swear a bit too. That is the beauty of the Shaman, my guest can come here to experience healing yet I pose no threat to their old world should I turn out to be “not what they were looking for” They can dismiss me as “mad” and push away any unwanted thoughts that have arisen during their stay and return once more to their safe old world. It's a wonderful system, I couldn't have created anything more powerful to give this place a sense of safety if I'd tried.....but of course I didn't create that system, it just arose naturally as I followed my path. When I first arrived here I put out my intention for my retreat to be safe place for people to find themselves and the power of intention showed me the way. It was there long before my mind finally saw it and recognised it!
So, I represent the void, the darkness beyond the known....and for sure that makes me scary, so to complete the whole, the other aspect of me turns up as the completely open and vulnerable person sat before you. As I said, sharing my experiences has naturally evolved as an integral aspect of my healing practice. I don't sit here professing to be perfect, I sit here being me, showing up and crossing my own comfort lines to stand naked before you because I would not ask anything of you that I would not be willing to do myself.
This year I faced my ultimate fears using my own inner symbology, I jumped out of a plane completely reliant on the person I was strapped to. I am terrified of heights, my body literally seizes up when I reach my limit and I'm stuck there in my own personal hell, so to leap from an aeroplane 4 kilometres up in the air is an act of insanity for me but it represented letting go, falling and trusting, so I put my money where my mouth is, I walked my walk and did it.
I was shocked at just how terrified I looked when the camera caught me in a moment when I hadn't realised I was being filmed (1:28), I saw how I covered my fear with humour when others were looking. That's ok, we turn up as the best that we are able to in all situations, that is what my guests are doing and I respect them for that, I am able to recognise it in them because I have allowed myself to see it in myself.
By the time it was my turn to jump the doorway from the plane had become the monster, the other jumpers appeared to be sucked out as if swallowed up. I really don't think I could ever have jumped but that was the whole point of tandem, I didn't have to, I just had to trust the person wrapped around me and to trust the Universe that had brought me to that moment. The best I was able to do was to follow the instructions I had been given, I had been warned I would be dangling outside the plane for a few seconds before jumping so I gathered every ounce of strength I had and for that I had to close my eyes very tightly as you can see from the film and go to my core. Because I was able to be kind to myself in those few moments I empowered myself, I trusted myself, gone was that old mind aspect that had tried to bully and coerce me into facing my fears.....I think it was that aspect that got sucked away by the power of the air as it flowed over me as I fell at 125mph down through it.
This is the energy I hold for my guests, I am the person they can strap themselves to for that jump, they can only do that if they trust me. I knew when I drove up to the airfield that everything was reliant on how my energy field would react to my instructor and of course I wasn't disappointed.
That is how it is for my guests, I can take them on a wondrous journey with stories on walks through the forest but the inner experiences they have and the symbology they use are all theirs so that when they leave this physical place they take everything with them. I am merely the catalyst for their reaction, I'm there to hold their hand should they momentarily need it, I am their guide, their translator and their bridge from the old to the new.
Guests give their intention by showing up, they have given their time and energy to reach this place, they have asked for my help with an exchange (usually money but not always, I do a lot of different exchange work) and as the week unfolds our energies dance around each other finding the place wherein we meet. In a way we are both learning the language of the other so that by the end of the week we are able to exchange something quite profound and deep, usually so deep that the ripple effects will go on across our lives for a very long time.
That is why I use a week because a large stone dropped into the lake will cause great ripples to cascade for a long time creating a profound effect but the first effect is total chaos, sinking and drowning. There is a fine line to be found between shaking up old structures and just pulling the rug out from under somebody!
The other beautiful aspect of being a Shaman is that even guest's old mind structures will allow you to be odd and do strange things, it's almost de rigueur for a Shaman and that in turn opens up their energy field.
When we are able to be open and vulnerable we have a greater ability to change. This is what I have been practicing for the past decade in stark contrast to when I believed that I had to be perfect to be a healer. I'm so very happy that I have rescued my self from that ridiculous and excruciating personal version of hell.
Now begins the time to pay it forward.
Witness the birth of Shaman.