I began my journey into Shamanism & Healing, as many have, by walking the path of the archetypal ‘Wounded Healer’. In my mid-20’s I underwent what was supposed to be a minor medical procedure. This resulted in severe complications leading to 32 days in a coma on a ventilator. To save my life had 6 emergency abdominal surgeries.
I was close to death on several occasions.
During this time I journeyed into the spirit world where I relived several deaths where I remembered other times in other lives when my soul left my body. Some were peaceful deaths where I was surrounded by loved ones, others were violent and brutal.
I left the hospital broken. I had to learn to walk again, and lived with a huge open wound on my stomach. A year later, another major operation. This time a plastic mesh was used to hold my abdomen together. I prepared for this complex surgery with self hypnosis and holotropic breathwork facilitated by a wonderful psychologist.
By 1997 physically I had started to heal. However, obviously I was traumatised with PTSD and Dissociative Disorder and I was struggling to regain my emotional wellbeing. I found myself detached and dissociated from family, friends and work.
In an effort to begin to heal my emotional and soul trauma I was guided to Spiritual Healing. I felt so grounded, connected and calm after healing sessions that I wanted to explore this world further. I studied Spiritual Healing (Chelation method) & transpersonal therapy at the Hands of Light Institute in Dublin and even though I was still only in my late 20’s I found deep empathy and compassion flowing towards other people’s suffering.
In my early 40’s I had another life changing event, this time more emotional than physical. The distress ultimately brought me to the brink of suicide, feeling completely lost and alone.
I now realise I experienced an ego death. The dismantling of everything I thought I was, this meant I had to go on an inward journey, dropping what was known and embracing my true self. I learnt how fragile we are and how tenderness is needed for healing. I’m really speaking about ‘self love’.
The 21st of December 2012 was an auspicious date of transformation.
It was the date I first went to Dunderry Park, home of Shamanism Ireland. That night I began a series of Shamanic initiations. The first was a winter solstice firewalk. I pushed fear aside and stepped onto a path of 500ºC burning coals.
The winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, I had experienced many such dark nights of the soul. But here I was taking my first steps to a bright future.
For the next few years the study of ‘core shamanism’ became my life. Martin Duffy, my teacher, guided me with his knowledge and wisdom.
In 2015, just when I was getting ready to put into practise all I had learnt, the universe had one more teaching.
I was hospitalised with acute spinal pain. The diagnosis was degenerative disc disease, where I had 4 prolapsed discs and the specialists said I was looking at a life of constant pain, medication, surgeries and even possibly paralysis.
I couldn’t believe it! But I couldn’t ignore it either. With acceptance I began to heal my damaged body with diet, exercise and herbal medicine. Through a plant based diet and a rehabilitative yoga program I lost over 35kgs and most importantly eliminated 90% of my physical pain. Going through this, I saw that each of us has the ability to take control of our destiny. Difficulties, even when they appear insurmountable, can be overcome.
I realise now, the above life experiences were Shamanic Initiations and the gift I have been left with is compassion and a deeper empathy for others. I am able to directly relate to many of my clients experiences.
Over the last number of years I have trained as a Certified Transpersonal Therapist. This is a holistic approach to mental health. I deeply believe we all have an inner healer and working with the spiritual, mental, emotional, creative and physical needs of clients, we unlock their own healer.
I am particularly drawn to work with clients in crisis, many with some form of chronic illness or trauma (PTSD). I also refer to nutritionists and herbalists where appropriate.
Intertwined between the difficult challenges I have had many amazing adventures in life too. From running a pirate radio station, to driving across deserts in Africa to learning to fly a plane to doing creative lighting at music festivals. As I healed my trauma i became more aware of the joys I have experienced in life which for many years had been overshadowed by trauma. It is so important that we consciously remember the joys of life, even when we are going through the darkenss.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story… So far!
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