Integrating the Shadow – A Shamanic Food Medicine Journey

After recently catering an EFT  (Emotional Freedom Technique) retreat in Ojai I was re-connected to my passion to provide food for people doing healing process work. Learning to eat well and take better care of myself was a huge step in my own personal healing journey. Years of child sexual abuse had lead me down a path of self medicating with drugs and alcohol, over eating, smoking and anything to keep down the secrets, shame and deep, deep sorrow I experienced for most of my life.

For many survivors the role of abuser is often taken on as an internal form of negative self talk or continued abuse through harming ones self with any or all the methods mentioned above.

The false belief that we deserve to be hurt or are unworthy of love can be the source of continued negative patters throughout ones life, manifesting in unhealthy relationships with people, food or drugs.

Decades after the abuse, memories and new connections began to unravel the truth of what had happened to me. I made the choice to face it rather than end my life or continue suffering. During the intense time of “integrating the shadow” I called upon just about every healing modality I had access to. Hypnotherapy and essential oils for anxiety and panic attacks, reiki energy healing for learning what peaceful states of being were really like, yoga to help reconnect to my body, art therapy and sound healing to release rage, shame and sorrow. Psychics to help put things into a spiritual, karmic perspective, cranial sacral for TMJ and all types of trauma release massage and bodywork. You name it I did it.

But the foundation for all of my healing work was the simple act of self love practiced by preparing beautiful, healthful food for myself everyday.

I had already been a vegetarian for many years and my new revelations about my childhood only made my dedication to that lifestyle deeper. As a survivor I was so empathic and sensitive to the suffering of others that I could not support an industry that abused and torchtured animals. (See my article on How Avoiding Dairy Honors the Sacred Feminie for more on that topic).

After loosing my beloved aunt to cancer and another close loved one in the same year I decided to dedicate my life to making healthy food for people as a way to support them in their quest to heal themselves. My personal healing journey eventually lead me to the Inka Medicine Wheel. A year long shamanic training that worked on all levels of being from physical to emotional, mental and spiritual. I had always been open to different beliefs and spiritual practices and this called to me in such a way that I knew I had to do it.

Many of the rituals and wisdom teachings had to do with healing family karma, “tracking” the source of harmful patterns and behaviors, receiving rites and becoming more sensitive to the energies all around us. It was a powerful experience. One that helped me find an answer to questions like: What is my “medicine”? How do I want to share it with others to create a better world? In between the retreat intensives our tribe would break for meals and ground ourselves from all the deep work we were doing. The beautiful food that was made for us was so incredibly nourishing and supportive during that intense time of healing.

On another shamanic healing retreat I did in Esalen with Aviva Gold, I was again inspired and held in such sweet space with and experienced guide, the beautiful surroundings and incredible food. I knew then that I wanted to either work at a retreat center preparing  healing food for people or providing this service as a food medicine caterer – which is what I am doing now. Now a full mesa carrier, I am empowered from my painful past and feel so much gratitude and excitement as I step more fully into this soul work. By providing people with pure high vibration foods during their healing process and having the courage to share my own hard earned truth, we will all continue to transform more darkness into light.

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