What is Shamanic Healing?

On the top of the Pyramid on the Sun at Teotihuacan, Dec. 31, 2014
On the top of the Pyramid on the Sun at Teotihuacan, Dec. 31, 2014, Dawn of a New Dream, with the don Miguel Ruiz family

Most folks have known me over the last 25+ years as a highly driven lobbyist. Though I am no longer a lobbyist, I am still in the field of public policy, as Director of Public Policy for a local non-profit, educating folks on important public policy issues impacting long-term consumers. I am also a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, a Shamanic Healer, founder of a spiritual/charitable non-profit and an ordained minister.

Whew, that’s a lot of hats! But I like it that way. I have always worn lots of hats. From a shamanic standpoint, we call them masks. Each one is a part of who I am. Together, with a lot of other masks, they make up the whole of me. But yet, not quite. I do not identify myself with any of them really – they are all labels, words to create an understanding, a picture or a story of me, and I am not attached to them. We all create and wear masks as a part of our ability to relate with others and to identify ourselves to others.

I bring all of who I am to every aspect of my life – to my public policy work, to my business and to my charitable work. I am always my authentic self, I just do not put every label or identity on myself for everyone I meet. There were times in my life where I was very attached to many things, such as to the identity of being a lobbyist. I allowed it to define me and who I am.

When we are able to detach from identities, beliefs and things, we can heal and balance ourselves. This is part of my life coaching and shamanic practice. Through this process, working on myself first, I have healed myself in so many ways and found a great sense of peace and happiness. Sure, things happen in life, but I am able to navigate the rougher waters and transform myself in the process, creating new beauty in my life.

A great book on the topic of attachment is from don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., The Five Levels of Attachment. It explains how we attach ourselves to beliefs, others around us and the world to the detriment of ourselves and our authentic or essential self. Overly attaching to things, people or situations, also ties into issues with having and maintaining healthy boundaries. In drawing on ancient wisdom for finding your true self, don Miguel, Jr. explores the five levels of attachment through which we cause suffering in our own lives, which are: Fanaticism, Internalization, Identification, Self Preference and Authentic Self.

I also recommend The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz and The Fifth Agreement by don Jose Ruiz, “be skeptical but learn to listen.” The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

The Ruiz family members are shamans, practicing in the Toltec tradition. I have studied with them online and in person. Over the last 15+ years, I have had extensive shamanic and metaphysical training from many organizations and teachers, including intensive studies with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. (read more on other pages at http://www.sheribilderback.com). And yes…all this while being a lobbyist too!

I do all of my life coaching and shamanic healing sessions via phone, which has proven to be quite powerful for my clients. Shamanic healing done in this way is called “distance shamanic healing” – an apt term. The idea behind distance work is that all times are one time and all places are one place, that energy connects everything like a web – think of the internet and how it connects everything, kind of like magic!

But what is shamanic healing?

The idea behind metaphysical, shamanic or spiritual healing is that over thousands of years our ancestors from every continent learned how to access spiritual sources of power, compassion and wisdom, which otherwise are ordinarily accessible just through dreams, myths, and near-death experiences. The shamanic, spiritual or metaphysical practitioner is trained to contact these sources, in what is called non-ordinary reality, and bring back healing and answers for the benefit of the individual and the community in what is called ordinary reality.

For more on this, you may wish to read Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner. Through his extensive anthropological work, Michael Harner distilled the core principles and concepts that proved consistent between indigenous societies around the world, into what he calls Core Shamanism. He created the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

As a practitioner of metaphysical, spiritual and shamanic healing, I use drumming, music or rattling, to enter the shamanic state of consciousness to access spiritual sources of wisdom to be used for the benefit of the client during the session together, or to guide the client on a meditation. This may involve various metaphysical methods and/or core shamanic healing methods, such as power animal retrieval, shamanic divination, spirit ally ‘medicine’ retrievals (i.e. energies from the spirits), shamanic extractions (i.e. removal of things that don’t belong in the energy bodies and that can cause disease) and soul retrievals (i.e. we can lose pieces of ourselves through trauma and various situations in life, which can cause illness or hurt our ability to heal from illness).

Author Louise Hay gives a great description of the word disease as “dis-ease.” The idea is that when we have disease or illness, there is an unease or a lack of ease with ourselves and our body. There is something that is disconnecting us and our mind, body and spirit connection resulting in or contributing to illness in the body. When we work to heal the mind, body and spirit connection, we can aid in our healing. Life coaching and shamanic healing work helps us heal the mind, body and spirit connection.

There are many sources of studies and many traditions of shamanic healing and other methods for which I have been trained and that you may wish to research (shamanic healing, crystal gemstone healing, Reiki and more). Please note that these are metaphysical, shamanic and spiritual services. I am not a licensed physician, and my services are not medical treatments. A good basis for the concepts involved may be found in the article/interview with Michael Harner, Shamanic Healing: We are Not Alone.

There is so much more that I could share here! I think this provides a good overview. Wishing you love, happiness and health!

P.S. If you’d like to learn more and perhaps schedule a session with me, you can email me at bilderbs@earthlink.net for a free 30 minute “Let’s get started session.”

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