Chat With A Healer: Holly Baade

Check out our interview with Holly Baade, shaman and founder of The Joyful Warrior Shamanic Mastery School.  Here are a few key excerpts, and you can read the entire chat below.

Highlights

  • How did I come to call myself a joyful warrior, what does that mean? Well, you know, it's a journey that we're all on, and my journey began like so many of our journeys, beginning with deep unconsciousness being completely unaware of why I was being given the challenges that I was being asked to experience at a very young age. At a very young age, I was experiencing some pretty dark times when my parents divorced when I was a child.
     
  • My first shamanic teacher through that being Shakespeare because I found this anthology of all of Shakespeare's work in my grandparents’ library and this became my, I don't know, my personal meditation and medicine and it wasn't so much the stories although that was really interesting. It was the way that the writing captured the soul of something and had a thickness and a richness to it that, like, resonated and felt like it had true meaning behind, you know, just the words that were written down.
     
  • Well, I truly believe that we are evolving. That our consciousness is ready to receive the spiritual perception more clearly and that a critical mass of people are awakening to this truth that we live as condensed light, we are all condensed light forms that have been shaped into something – whether a bird, a tree or me -- and that we are now also able to perceive that which stands behind us, that which informs our form into being which is the spiritual essence that wants to come through our heart. And just like Shakespeare's words with artistry, pour through us and into the world through acts of beauty.
     
  • Well, there's portals of awakening that we’re all given, you know and I think that it didn't take crisis to push us into, you know, rubbing the sleep out of our eyes to see that we are creating a world that we call reality that it's not something that's externally happening to us but rather time... time reflects back to us what we create in such a way that we feel that it's happening to us and not from us.
    That we'll have thoughts and we'll have internal pictures and feelings, embodied emotions that we vibrate out into the world pond, you know, like the stone that's thrown into the lake and then when the ripples come back in time, we are mistaken when we perceive that something is being done to us -- it's really just the reverberation of the echo of our own thought forms, in our own creation and of course it's a mixture – like everybody is dancing this together and so this is what we're realizing.
     
  • And from my perspective, that's really the central fear that's guiding this clash that we're having between living a life of harmony and happiness in right alignment with natural resources and one another's well-being and this other world of mechanisms and systems that are beyond anyone's heart strings that have become disconnected from this soul consciousness that creates in a way that reflects the harmony and rather depletes and is destructive. It's like a... you know a machine that's driving without any driver behind it steering.
    It's really the fear that... if there is not something outside of me it says tomorrow I'm going to experience the same as I did today that is as good or better so that I have my food, water, shelter, I know and then it just kind of becomes elaborate: what kind of food, water, shelter, connection with others do I really need to feed me so, you know, get that a proportion as well?
    But even when we don't have proportion, we're not somebody that needs to feed off of others finding us significant, we’re not someone that needs to have a collegial experience with acres and acres of nothing and then gates all around to feel safety. We can live next to our neighbors and share our garden space and we're okay with that, but still we may fight to keep that, we may feel like we need something outside of ourselves like a job that is mindless that doesn't honor our value that we don't really get to bring our souls to keep.
    We'll trade our soul, our spirit, calling for security and then, you know, we're in this harmony, we're in this ease and we're marking time and tell something, something changes and never really changes until something is broken or something happens outside of ourselves to stop the inertia of our own not doing so that we can feel safe and there's no safety in that, there's no safety there, it's hollow.
     
  • When I help you (whoever it is I'm working with), connect more fully with your own spirit, it's not about me, it's about empowering the spirit that resides within all beings to become free and that's what’s central to my teaching.
     
  • The way I measure my own failure -- and I don't mind that I've had failure -- is that... in the moment where I have traded my sense of certainty with my spirit over external security like I've been saying or love or connection or approval and that had nothing to do with whether or not a business of mine has opened or closed, it's had everything to do with whether or not at the end of the day I have known that I followed that guidance.
     
  • The shaman is someone who sees with the heart, so there's no mental judging, there's no mental categorizing of who this person is by what they have done or what they look like or who their family is, it has to do with the taste of their soul and where their soul is, is their soul present with them in their body or is there something else that is inhabiting them energetically that has taken over their behavior and their way of thinking.
     
  • What happens when we are in a trauma or pain or heartbreak is the heart will close down as a form of protection. We feel that if we shut our heart down, we won't get hurt again but what happens when we do this is that we shut ourselves off from our own source and so we become anemic. We have no spiritual essence that's flowing through us from ourselves and we become a vampire and we see this in the world where everybody is an energy vampire and this really speaks to what you're talking about with "How does it help with the world we live in right now?" What we see is everybody is cut off from themselves because they closed their hearts, I shouldn't say everybody but you know in mass.

 

Full Interview

Holly: Hello.

Marji: Hi, Holly. It's Marji. How's your day?

Holly: Hi. Good, how are you?

Marji: I'm really good, enjoying this beautiful weather and the sunshine. How are you?

Holly: I'm on my back deck at the ranch, there's birds singing, the sun is sunshine, we're lucky to have a little window before the next storm comes I think.

Marji: I think so and the birds are just so so happy today, the turkeys were out and the little man were like marching around for their women, it was so, just so so cute. It was so lovely to see and the bogs are coming up, it's really nice. I wanted to get a little bit of your story and share that on Basmati like how you became the joy warrior, what that looks like and feels like to you.

Holly: Well, great. Thank you for inviting me. I'm excited about Basmati and the great resource that you're becoming to the health community in our area and nationally even, it's exciting.

Marji: Thank you so much. Thank you for being a part of it. It's wonderful actually.

Holly: Yeah, I'm really excited to be a part of your team and offer some writings. How did I come to call myself a joyful warrior, what does that mean? Well, you know, it's a journey that we're all on, and my journey began like so many of our journeys, beginning with deep unconsciousness being completely unaware of why I was being given the challenges that I was being asked to experience at a very young age. At a very young age, I was experiencing some pretty dark times when my parents divorced when I was a child.

My mom needed to move for a time into pretty challenging ghetto environment which a lot of drugs and unhealthy environment for children to be raised in really. Through that experience, I was very young like 9, 10, 11, 12, I wasn't just doing drugs, some pretty hard drugs that a lot of people don't find 'till much later, it was like cocaine and methamphetamines. It just happened that I had an older sister and she had friends that were little older than her so I got brought into a world that was much older than myself, much too young and not good friends.

But it happened one day when I was 12, I got really sick like with the flu symptoms and I went into a really high fever and my mother, who was still finishing school, took me to my grandparents to be cared for there for a while, she couldn't took care for me and while I was there and sort of this furious delirium, I took a bath that my grandma drew from me and while I was in the bath, all of a sudden felt these wings wrap around me and I had an internal vision of this large white bird holding me.

As the sensation of being enveloped by these wings occurred, I also felt the fever, like the heat in my head, in one of the stages you know where you just like... I was just so sick, I just... you don't want to be alive, you know to still that... let's say we all have been there, the heat just kind of went down my spine so slowly, I could feel it and then it went out my legs and out my feet and I was free of a fever, it was almost immediately but slow enough that I could feel it receding and then I heard the voice inside my head like the sound but just the vibration of the words inside of my being and it said "Don't go home, Holly" and it was really interesting because in that moment I would never have guess that I would at 12 never live with my mother again.

There was something that was ominous and that felt like certainty within this voice that touch my heart in like spiritual memory. I didn't go home and you know my family would think that I was... I guess that's the moment when they started thinking I was crazy...

Marji: Yeah, that was the beginning of it, the beginning.

Holly: That was the beginning, yeah.

Marji: Those are fun moments.

Holly: We all have that moment.

Marji: We all have that moment.

Holly: Yeah, you know and it was a challenge because of course my mother... she's beautiful, she was really like a flower child, she made beautiful tie dye and fruit letter on back floors and she was just really young, she was only 18 when I was born and 16 when my older sister was born and she was just really young and over her head a bit by herself trying to raise these 3 kids, my younger sister too, and so I know a lot of...

I've been a single mother for quite a while and I know that, you know we can't always perceive what's happening from that child's perspective but... and anyway at that moment I had to follow this voice to reject my mother who is devastated by that feeling and my sisters were very mad at me and my father was somewhat distant at the time but also thought that I was acting crazy and... but my grandparents, you know they were just kind of practical, they said "Well, this isn't your home but you can stay here and you don't have to leave and we're happy to have you"

My grandmother always called me her little angel and it wasn't easy living there 'cause my grandfather was really strict, they are much older and he had been in the military, he was a pilot in World War 2. I kind of went from this total freedom of like running out round in the middle of the night being a wild child to being regimented and waking up at 5:30 and like you know doing homework right after school and not being allowed to go visit friends but interestingly enough.

My first shamanic teacher through that being Shakespeare because I found this anthology of all of Shakespeare's work in my grandparents’ library and this became my, I don't know, my personal meditation and medicine and it wasn't so much the stories although that was really interesting. It was the way that the writing captured the soul of something and had a thickness and a richness to it that like resonated and felt like it had true meaning behind, you know, just the words that were written down and...

Marji: Well, they vibrate a certain frequency for sure, right, as you read them, I call it like the space between the words, it's not just the words, it's the feeling and the meaning behind them and within that kind of crack us open sometimes or they resonate really well either way, right?

Holly: That's exactly right.

Marji: Which is beautiful, yeah.

Holly: Yeah, and you know at that age I had no idea what he was talking about.

Marji: I know, I was thinking about I was like "Some hands", that's impressive but you felt it, you knew but yeah, you knew.

Holly: I mean, yeah, I could feel the soul, the richness of the soul that was put into the art.

Marji: Yes.

Holly: Then I also was drawn into music and they had a piano so I just... I think I was brought into a slowdown, the pace of my life slow down and there wasn't anything to do except to fill that space from the inside out and so I got to meet myself more and of course there's this vision of the bird. After that vision with the bird in the bathtub, the bird would come to me various times. I remember one time at school I had just gotten done running the mile and I was sitting on a fire hydrant and I look up at the sky… it was a beautiful day like today with puffy clouds and all of a sudden there was this silhouette of this large bird staring back at me.

Of course it was only in my mind's eye, it wasn't something that my friends could see but the bird in this moment was challenging me, he was challenging me to acknowledge that I could see it looking at me. When somebody catches your eye contact and they challenge you to look back, we all know how that feels and it feels real. In this moment, maybe I was 13 I had that experience of the spirit challenging me to acknowledge his presence as I did and I said "Yeah, you know so what, I see you" all of a sudden I found myself up in its embrace and angelically and it consciousness my mind flew to mine and I was looking down at me. Then it took me for a ride and flew around my... the middle school and this was something that happening to me as a child. I had no idea what it was about. Of course I didn't tell anybody and...

Marji: I can imagine actually at that age especially, yeah.

Holly: No, I didn't tell anybody.

Marji: Was that hard for you or did it feel more natural just to accept that this was happening and allow it to just unfold, you know?

Holly: Well, I think it was a certain amount of living in denial which I've seen a lot of people employ as a technique for not getting too carried away.

Marji: Survival, yeah. Right, they think it’s survival, don't you think? It's like a way of like being able to try to control what's happening because of the unknown, especially at 13. Had anyone talked to you about shamanism before?

Holly: No, actually... I never heard the word shaman until I was 35 really.

Marji: Yeah, so.

Holly: Yeah, so no, it wasn't like that. It was more like, you know if we live in a tribal culture where there was a wise person. A man or woman in the tribe that would observe the children, you know the east generation arriving and they would be paying attention to whether or not they had vivid dreams or if they had any sudden out of body experiences, you know they would tell their dreams, they would share their visions and... right. If someone such as me was seen early then I would've received the proper apprenticeship training or guidance early, yeah.

Marji: Or just even the safety of being able to share, right?

Holly: Right.

Marji: Which is very unknown in our culture but it's becoming more and more aware and people are starting to... I mean hear and feel about it a little bit more, don't you think?

Holly: Well, I truly believe that we are evolving. That our consciousness is ready to receive the spiritual perception more clearly and that a critical mass of people are awakening to this truth that we live as condensed light, we are all condensed light forms that have been shaped into something – whether a bird, a tree or me -- and that we are now also able to perceive that which stands behind us, that which informs our form into being which is the spiritual essence that wants to come through our heart. And just like Shakespeare's words with artistry, pour through us and into the world through acts of beauty.

Marji: Yeah, that's beautiful, that is so beautiful…I agree with you. It's a really beautiful time to be here and be a part of all of this, right, and not just through... I mean just like our whole world and all the different realms available and that people are actually embracing it and allowing it in, right, or allowing themselves out and it through them, you know, like I think it's just a... it's really just such a beautiful time.

Holly: Well, there's portals of awakening that we’re all given, you know and I think that it didn't take crisis to push us into, you know, rubbing the sleep out of our eyes to see that we are creating a world that we call reality that it's not something that's externally happening to us but rather time... time reflects back to us what we create in such a way that we feel that it's happening to us and not from us.

That we'll have thoughts and we'll have internal pictures and feelings, embodied emotions that we vibrate out into the world pond, you know, like the stone that's thrown into the lake and then when the ripples come back in time, we are mistaken when we perceive that something is being done to us, it's really just the reverberation of the echo of our own thought forms, in our own creation and of course it's a mixture – like everybody is dancing this together and so this is what we're realizing and it's actually pretty exciting because it's empowering and then of course it requires accountability and then that's really...

Marji: And of course some responsibility, right?

Holly: Yeah.

Marji: Then in that, I think, you know, I picture you at 13 or 12 with this bird, right, it's beautiful, white and not only with it, in your mind's eye outside of you trying to get you to look at it, it was inside of you already and you were sharing that resonance. Do you feel that way? Like that's how I feel, I feel like it was already, there's just this beautiful part of you and...

Holly: Well, you the bird’s spell, yes and also yes and... be on things from within me. Also a contract that was setup with spirits that are guiding and protecting me and always have been and we all also have these contracts in our relationship that we can open ourselves to when we're ready and you know in that moment I was in a place of real great need without even realizing it, you know being too young to realize it that there is a lot of people that grew up in the neighborhood that I left that ended up far worse situations than me because they didn't receive on act on guidance given.

I think we can all remember a time when we were given guidance and then knowing that we choose not to act on, you know, I certainly haven't always acted on my inner guidance when I thought that there was something else I needed that was going to bring me love or security or space for you know... so I would trade this feeling of that inner certainty that resonance of heart for something that I thought would be better for me in a practical day to day life situation, you know what I mean.

Marji: Yes, oh, absolutely. I've done that multiple times... like you've said I think we all have, right?

Holly: Yeah.

Marji: Like there's that knowing that we have and it's... and sometimes there's a fear of stepping away from that especially the security I think part, right, that we’re so familiar with the idea of that but...

Holly: Yeah. And from my perspective, that's really the central fear that's guiding this clash that we're having between living a life of harmony and happiness in right alignment with natural resources and one another's well-being and this other world of mechanisms and systems that are beyond anyone's heart strings that have become disconnected from this soul consciousness that creates in a way that reflects the harmony and rather depletes and is destructive. It's like a... you know a machine that's driving without any driver behind it steering.

It's really the fear that... if there is not something outside of me it says tomorrow I'm going to experience the same as I did today that is as good or better so that I have my food, water, shelter, I know and then it just kind of becomes elaborate: what kind of food, water, shelter, connection with others do I really need to feed me so, you know, get that a proportion as well?

But even when we don't have proportion, we're not somebody that needs to feed off of others finding us significant, we’re not someone that needs to have a collegial experience with acres and acres of nothing and then gates all around to feel safety. We can live next to our neighbors and share our garden space and we're okay with that, but still we may fight to keep that, we may feel like we need something outside of ourselves like a job that is mindless that doesn't honor our value that we don't really get to bring our souls to keep.

We'll trade our soul, our spirit, calling for security and then, you know, we're in this harmony, we're in this ease and we're marking time and tell something, something changes and never really changes until something is broken or something happens outside of ourselves to stop the inertia of our own not doing so that we can feel safe and there's no safety in that, there's no safety there, it's hollow.

Marji: No, it's very hollow. With your teaching and sharing your space with people, how do you... what's the best way that you get to share that with people to help them find that in themselves?

Holly: Well, the hardest part for me personally has come from walking a path to where I can become worthy of offering myself as a teacher because what that means is that I have to embody something, and so it's taking me a long time to move through my own vacillations of trust and insecurities to get to a place where my certainty always resides within my spirit speaking and I live that, I live that. And I exemplify that and when you stand next to me, you can feel that and when you come visit, you can see that and when you hear me speaking to my children, you can experience that.

When I help you whoever it is I'm working with, connect more fully with your own spirit, it's not about me, it's about empowering the spirit that resides within all beings to become free and that's what’s central to my teaching.

Marji: That is so beautiful, and you know just so you know I can hear it in your voice as we speak right now and that resonates out and I know that you know that but it is definitely... it is your being, you are that and it's a beautiful gift that you're sharing with people.

Holly: I've had to follow them a lot and step back up to love myself enough, to let it be okay, to have faltered and so it's interesting. I've opened two studios, the Joyful Warrior] and Wellness studio, once and full [inaudible 00:25:17] Joyful Warrior Yoga, both of those closed. I also had a yoga studio up in Lotus that closed and there's other things I've tried and fail that. I think some people, you know, who see my like career 'cause I have a lot of people that have kind of step with what I'm doing over the years good or bad.

You could say "Well, you know I haven't seen early succeed, Holly" but it's interesting because the way I measure my own failure and I don't mind that I've had failure is that... in the moment where I have traded my sense of certainty with my spirit over external security like I've been saying or love or connection or approval and that had nothing to do with whether or not a business of mine has opened or closed, it's had everything to do with whether or not at the end of the day I have known that I followed that guidance. 

You know sometimes I haven't because I wanted to do something that was contributing, usually form it comes from the desire to contribute and extend more than I have to give. That's why I have that within me, I just want to help with everybody. I remember one time I was walking down the street in downtown Sacramento in J Street and I was on my way home, I was married at the time and my husband my cooking dinner or his boss that was coming in like an hour and I knew this and I was in a hurry but I see this woman.

She was a large African-American woman, just huge, I affectionately call her like a bear of a woman because she was just this... she just embodied this bear energy and for me that's the way I sometimes see people through the animal that they connect with spiritually and I could see this beautiful bear in this woman and she was bald, she was a grandmother age and she was just wearing a sheet which the white sheet and she was pushing a walker.

I thought to myself, you know no one's grandmother should be just wearing a sheet on the side of the road. I stopped and I said, you know "What do you need?" and she said "Well, the hospital just released me and they take in all my clothes because they were so old and smelly and I didn't have anything to wear so I just put the sheet on," and I said "Oh my heaven, get in the car." I put her in the car with me and we went over to the local store nearby and I went inside, she didn't feel comfortable going inside but I went inside and I found all of these like house dresses and sort of large Terry Cloth Robes and I don't know I must have spent 500 dollars on all these random things.

I said, you know "Where do you live?" and she said "I'm homeless" and I said "Okay, well, I’ll put you up for the weekend in a hotel" so we drove and this is the funniest thing, I just have to share this with you because it was such a joy. I stopped for gas and inside I got one of this little booklet of like the local motels and things, it was in my neighborhood.

I was looking through the motels and I'm like "Where do you think looks good?" and she said "How about the Marriott, that looks nice" and I was like... her name is Mary and I said "Mary, I think that might be a little out of my price range," you know, and she's like "Well, you know, my mom always said never hurt to ask what you really want." We had just like a fine little banter and eventually said along something of some kind and I left her there for the weekend with a bunch of cash and she could walk to eat.

Anyway, my husband was so mad and rightfully so... but this woman meant everything to me in that moment and I eventually helped her to go to the social security office and it did some paperwork to help kind of get her back into some public assistance and you know I didn't really see her again after that encounter. I don't know what happened but I know in that moment that I always have to show up for her in that way.

I didn't have the money, you know, and I didn't have the time and I got a lot of grief for it but you know it's something to me that's a treasure to experience of meeting her was a treasure. I think it's… I count my successes in that way, how many lives have I been able to help just try a little brighter, that's how I count my successes.

Marji: Well, what a beautiful thing and what a beautiful thing you're doing for humanity because gosh, if we could just have 5 people doing that in the Sacramento area, could you imagine what that would change, right?

Holly: Yeah.

Marji: Just even being present and kind and loving and...

Holly: The thing we don't realize is it feels so good, you know, to let the love close through us.

Marji: Yes, it does.

Holly: It feels so good and it heals...

Marji: It heals on multiple levels not just within ourselves and who we are sharing that with but that is sharing and spread out and I wish that you could just put that in something and when you touch someone, they could feel that and be able to say "Hey, let's all do this even if it's just for 5 minutes today" and feel what energy is resonates with that and not even from... but it opens other doors within ourselves that we may have locked. When we let love flow through us that way, right?

To our own self-protection mechanisms so when we are in that space and feel that, it's like "All of those things are gone" you know they're not holding us back anymore or a 100 percent present and love is not... there's no like cap on it or you know conditions or I only have so much to give, it is... there's an abundance of it everywhere, it's in us, it is part of our nature and nature itself. It's just that, I'm so grateful for that story and for you because it raises the consciousness overall, you know.

Holly: Well, one of the things I think that is central to what I teach either in personal life coaching or through the shaman training, is how to open the heart and to see with the heart. The word shaman means to see with the heart or to see in the dark. That's the essence of the word. Regardless of what point of origin, what cultural group has stayed true through their indigenous root to nature based wisdom.

The shaman is someone who sees with the heart, so there's no mental judging, there's no mental categorizing of who this person is by what they have done or what they look like or who their family is, it has to do with the taste of their soul and where their soul is, is their soul present with them in their body or is there something else that is inhabiting them energetically that has taken over their behavior and their way of thinking.

Is their soul with them or is it free that the edges that stuck in other places, through trauma or there's even the idea of the spirit seed, that's what I call it which is like this... it's like the seed of our spirit that's meant to come into our physical form and take roots and then bloom in our heart. For many of us, so many, so many people I've met that I've been so... so many have trauma in childhood, so many different varieties of trauma that doesn't allow that spirit seed to actually come in fully and to open up in their ready soil of their being and take root.

Then they don't have access to the flowering of their spirit in their heart and so this has... this is a part of what I offer through shamanic healing is the... the energetic removal of that which is not view in your body and then the reconnecting oneself with their spirit seed and helping it to take root so that the soul of you is all in your body.

We know Eckhart Tolle, most of us love him, he's a pioneer of our generation for this consciousness soul, he talks about the power of presence, the power of now but, you know, it's not really possible to have presence if part of you is missing. He doesn't talk about and my point is that the role traditionally of the shaman is you bring the spirit back home so that you're all energetically present and then you’re the vitality of your very life force expense from your spirit is what is offering the healing.

Marji: That's so so beautiful. How did you become a shaman?

Holly: Well, I can't take credit for any of it.

Marji: Why do you call yourself that, how about that?

Holly: Well, what happened for me is that I was going through a hard time in my life when I got a divorce when I was 33. I'm now 44 so about 11 years ago. In my emotional process of grief and recovery from that experience, I took up this practice of staring at the sun every day. I didn't read it anywhere, I just compulsively emerged each day at sunset to look at the sun and watch it set for a few hours and while this is happening, usually I was bawling, I was crying. I was just letting myself feel and me and the sun were in this experience together, you know 'cause the rest of the time I was holding it together, you know.

Marji: Yeah.

Holly: I was holding it together for my kids and in front of everybody and I wasn't letting anyone see me sweat, so to speak, you know.

Marji: Yeah.

Holly: I would bring my sadness to the sun. One day after doing this for a good number of months, I decided to take a nap instead so about 3 or 4:00 I lay down and I let the sun tuck me in and I just... the exhaustion just took me over and I went into a deep dream but in it, I woke up and what happened was this Native American medicine chief was sitting across of me in about... with a bonfire in between us in the middle of the night in a forest.

Through the smoke and he had obsidian black eyes, very soft cheeks and forehead with no wrinkles, like no stress in his mind, calmly with like this feeling of protection and power, he says to me kind of like Sean Connery "Now Holly, stop playing the fool" and I don't know why I always think of Sean Connery when I say that line because he was so... like he had a Scottish accent or something which is ominous "Now Holly" he was like he was talking to me like a daughter, you know.

Marji: Yes.

Holly: "Now child" and then after he said that, I felt this like heat inside of my body 'cause that his words were spoken but also the vibration of what he really meant came over me and what he meant really was stop pretending and at the same time my life up to that point was rolled out in front of me so that every frame in my life I could see me and how I was acting and I was acting and that's what it was bringing brought to my attention, I saw how... as a child I might feel one way but I would pretend to feel another way so that I would match energetically the emotional vibration I was getting from the people around me.

So that I would be in connection with them and that they would love me. I saw that I did this as a teenager, you know, in my 20s and like every frame of my life I could see how... I felt something different inside and I was pretending something outside and I was seeking connection and safety and security and love. I was playing of heart and it started so early like 5. I remember there is just only a couple really experiences where I was really in alignment. Those were usually when I was in nature by myself or there are some sort of artistry happening.

In any event, it's really this reflection. I felt something else behind it and it was a presence that was very soft, very sweet that was completely attentive and listening and sending love with unending patience and beauty. As I tasted this presence, I realized that this presence was me, the true me, that I was soft and kind and loving and allowing and gentle and curious and courageous and I felt my own self for the first time.

Then as I'm coming to this realization of the presence behind this personality that I had been, the chief hands me, I call this Native American spirit who I still work with daily. I call him a chief. The chief handed a pipe and he says to me in his mind that I'm to bring it to my lips.  I see that in his mind, he showing, he draw this pipe to my lip then so I do and it's a strange pipe because it looks like a stick, it doesn't look like a native person's Chalupa sacred pipe.

It looks just like a dowsing rod, stick or something but, so I'm like "Okay, I'm not sure" I bring it to my lips and I inhale and as I do, I am hit like a sledge hammer from the inside of my heart – I would  burst forward this like stitch force that it feels like I am literally being hit from the inside out. At the same time in my waking world, in reality, ordinary reality, my doorbell rings and I sit well upright so I come out of this dream with like a [panting] and I'm like catching my breath and I'm feeling this relief in my chest and then I... the experience somatically came from the dream into reality with me.

Marji: Yes.

Holly: I get up, I go look at the door, there's no one there but all of a sudden I hear music. I hear melody and I don't know where it's coming from and as I look around and I started looking outside, it changes as I move depending on where I'm looking or my attention is and I have no idea what's happening until I realized it's... the melody that's coming to my ears from my heart, from the inside of me, my heart is singing.

I can hear the melody that's coming from all of life that surrounds me. The trees are adding their particular part and the birds and the sky and everything is alive and singing to my heart and I can hear it. I woke from that dream with my heart blown open by breathing in the pipe of the spirit that I call the chief.

The next two years I worked with him every day in the morning before my children woke up. I woke up and I would lay down and try to connect with him. That experience brought me eventually to a drum and a drum brought me to works and books that explain the drum and to the word shaman. When I started reading books about shaman, I realized that what I had gone through in my life up to that point was very similar to many stories that indigenous shaman had experienced.

Further, I had already gone to most of the places that I read about in the book to where you could go and the things you could experience in the shaman consciousness, through the shamanic consciousness. I had already been working in that way for a couple of years. When I asked the chief, you know "What should I do with this?" he said "Shaman" and so I say "Shaman" and that's fine.

Marji: That's so beautiful, that is so incredibly beautiful. With the training what does that... not the details but if I am in Alabama and I want to train with you or if I'm right down the street, what does that look like and I'm going to add a couple more questions in there just because I feel like that this is such an appropriate time for all of this to being shared and I'd like your insight on that.

Not only with the energy that have been available to us but the energies that are here and more people being more open and just some of the current political stuff that's out there that's trying to keep us safe and secure in our little gate, right, and in our box and … but what does that feel like to you. I guess just give us an idea of what the training would look like if I'm, you know a thousand miles away from you or next door and how you feel about the timing, okay. I know you have so much at one time, I know. Yeah, I feel like it's going to mold together a little bit in that so.

Holly: Well, I think the best way for me to address that is to talk about what happens when you work with me through the formal training that I offer whether you're... so I offer a shaman training program, I call it the Shaman In You. It's designed to help people connect with their inner shaman. It's a program about empowerment, so it's not about becoming a shaman like I'm a shaman to the path that my spirit took me through but rather it's a path to uncover what's already happened for you.

My hypothesis is that we all have been given clues and when we're ready to follow the clues, you know, our bread crumbs too that we can find our way to our own spirit speaking and with this connection develop our own shamanic consciousness, our own ability to connect with the shamanic state of consciousness and work in the spirit world with consciousness and work in the world of the material with consciousness and off to bridge the two.

The program of Shaman In You follows 5 foundations that I've created, that are both my original material and also is... we've been what anyone could get from a core shamanic training like some of my colleagues, mentors and friends offer because there's a lot of great teachers out there right now. But what I offer that's really unique to my training is the level one is called sensual sight and shamanic flight.

I focus primarily in this first level on teaching people how to bring their spirit into their body and to perceive the spirit speaking through the body.

So I've spent a lot of time on helping people uncover where they are numb in their body because where you are numb in your body or where you've rejected yourself physically, you can't feel and then you cannot use that part of your body to make sense of spiritual information that's coming to you. The body is the instrument of making sense of the spiritual world; it's not about going outside of the body and having some trip or vision.

In fact that can happen through LSD or Ayahuasca or maybe the random, spontaneous experience and deep meditation as well but unless we're able to take the vision and still it in the body as it's coming in. We cannot decipher the meaning and so that's why we have to go to books and what does that animal mean and it just stays in the concept, it stays conceptual instead of personal, yeah.

So I spend most of... I spend a lot of time on this piece and this is come to me organically just by asking spirit and the chief. If I were to unpack what happened to me in that moment of the dream and so the same gift who everybody I meet, where would I start and this is what I was told to do. Then the second level is power and protection, so I spend a lot of time on how do you become empowered spiritually, how do you stay safe and how do you journey, how do you use the journey method to connect with your spirit and to the spirits and to the land and nature.

Level three is ancestor work and angels so we work with the higher realms and our ancestors. Level four is healing; I teach shamanic healing and how to do the shamanic healing work. It's the primer, there is other more advanced classes that are required... this is sort of like the 5 levels or the introduction and for shamanic healing to go deeper, it requires a great amount of study but we talk a lot about it in the level four.

Then level five, it's magic and manifestation which is kind of like that, little cherry on top. We talk about "Okay, well how do you bring your dreams to life?" and my life is a living testament to that so I can bring a lot to that conversation from how I embody living my life here as if I am also in a journey where I'm following my spirits knowing and seeing everything is a sign and a symbol that is speaking and letting life open doors and create the current underneath the feet so we don't have to work so hard for everything.

That's the five levels of the shaman training and that's what you would get with me if you signed up for that program whether it's online or if through retreat or right now I'm doing some special programs locally and... Auburn area when is just about to start at March and that's really a gift because you get to go through the whole thing with me once a week and I'll be offering those kinds of trainings as well so you can do it in person with me once a week when that opportunity arises and fits in your schedule or you can do it online and you can also come to a retreat base format.

My focus right now is really on developing this program, I've taught it for 10 years in different format and so it's really getting honed and beautiful and so far I've had tremendous results of helping people step into the shaman that they are. I have friends now who are practicing shamanic practitioners because they've gone through my training and it change life that's really has. Then I want to address, how would... look, if you work with me just one on one and that can be done in my... I have a retreat center that I live on and I invite people to come and work with me personally here or I offer over the phone and through the internet.

In that case, what I focus on is not a duplication of the shaman training, it really has to do with working through personal traumas and pain patterns but from an energetic point of view. It's not talk therapy, we do a lot of work to just remove the patterns from the body whether they're karmic from past life or this life so that the body is not held by the frequency of the pain.  We remove that and then I spend a lot of time focusing on how to open the heart.

What happens when we are in a trauma or pain or heartbreak is the heart will close down as a form of protection. We feel that if we shut our heart down, we won't get hurt again but what happens when we do this is that we shut ourselves off from our own source and so we become anemic. We have no spiritual essence that's flowing through us from ourselves and we become a vampire and we see this in the world where everybody is an energy vampire and this really speaks to what you're talking about with "How does it help with the world we live in right now?" What we see is everybody is cut off from themselves because they closed their hearts, I shouldn't say everybody but you know in mass.

Marji: In mass, yeah.

Holly: Yeah, in mass and then they're feeding off one another trying to get, you know a little bit more something to feel like they have enough so the answer to this is that we open our hearts. Opening the heart is the way to connect with the source which is our nutrition, it's our soul food and when we have that, we have everything that we need and then everything comes to us effortlessly.

The work is done by maintaining the open heart and then everything else has much less effort. The greatest protection also comes from being connected to the source of love, what you are saying in the beginning of our talk so you know come in full circle it comes back to the power of love and how when we're in connection with our source we’re in love and that keeps us safe and it keeps us guided going in the right direction so that we can be drawn into this future that is an alignment with the vibration of love and of through safety.

On a personal level, this is what my coaching is all centered around and it happens to offer healing because when we're in our heart and we're connected to our life source and our vitality, we naturally begin to heal. It's very personal, it's a very personal journey for everyone that works with me and of course my goal is really to always work myself out of a job to get people to be to a place where they're empowered, you know that's my... for me that success is when there's no need for me because you can connect directly with you in a way that you know you can and you feel confident to and you feel courageous enough to listen to what your source is saying to you. That's the other piece is that I act as a courage coach you know because I've been here before and it's hard to do but sometimes you...

Marji: You're sharing your wings with people and say that they can soar, that's how I vision this like the white bird coming around you is being, you know you're showing everyone to have to get their own wings or I'm using that, you know... so that they can fly.

Holly: You know I call myself a joyful warrior but the chief he calls me little white feather and that's I think because of this idea. You know it's like... just this idea that those symbols of white... you know the neutrality and the peace and how we're all meant to share that with one another. I'm really excited to bring my work into the world in a way that helps to change things and you know I just wanted to speak to one of the things about the world's crisis that we're in just briefly say, it has to do with the vibrations that I living with in that as you've already stated.

As we open our hearts and we're courageous enough to create a life that is soul made, then the universe, the one song that is being sang must conform to that vibration and we don't have to fight that which wants to destroy life. All we need to do is to create life from the inside and extend that and trust that if we love and if we extend love, then love will be what we receive and so this is the journey that we're all on together to come into wholeness and into peace and you know I'm happy to be a part of that journey.

Marji: I am grateful for you, I'm grateful for this chat. I’m really looking forward to many more of these ahead and sharing this with everyone. I think it's just a wonderful gift and I'm truly honored and loved that you are sharing this with us. I feel very very humbled and grateful for you aligning to your soul's purpose and listening at a very young age of 12 in such a hard situation, you know, what a beautiful strength and courageous person, just thank you.

Holly: Well, thank you and thank you for reaching out to me. I'm inspired by you as well because I know that Basmati has come from your listening to your spirit's calling and so we can enjoy this journey together and encourage each other's heart because you know staying in trust and being open to what wants to come to us. It's not about what are we doing, it's are we ready for what's already coming, you know.

Marji: Yeah, are we? I know that they can find you on Basmati but if someone wants to reach out to you directly, can they...? Do you have a website that they can look up? I know that they can look and obviously find you on Basmati but is there something that you could tell them too right now?

Holly: Yeah, just the Joyful Warrior.com is where you can find me and also Facebook/JoyfulWarrior.

Marji: Okay, perfect. Thank you so much Holly and I look forward to talking to you again.

Holly: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

Marji: All right. Have a beautiful day.

Holly: Okay. Bye-bye.

Marji: Bye-bye.

Articles published by Basmati.com are no substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider before beginning any new regimen. For more information, please visit our disclaimer page here.

Add new comment