one woman’s healing story:
I love reading stories. books saved my life as a little person in some hard times (and lots of sensitives can relate to this), and I feel like humans have been learning and growing through stories shared round the fireside for millennia.
when we read a healing story, we’re changed by it. we heal, too.
the healing story below, shared in ‘poppy’s’ own words, is the result of deep, regular healing work with one of my beautiful clients over two years. I’d really like to share this work with you, because ongoing healing work in a strong container can change a life.
a link to the larger arc of this story is shared at the end of this article on the ‘magical life’ page. here is ‘poppy’s’ story, in her own words:
‘poppy’ and her story
‘I’ve participated in many healings and ceremonies with anna over the years; each of which will always stay with me. whether done as a group in community, or from a seed anna planted and nudged me to carry out in solitude on the land, the memories of powerful acts of ceremony are now cellular-level for me. I’ve physically dissolved old grievances in water, beaten drums in celebration with a circle of friends under the redwoods, and crafted healing mandalas from earth elements beside the ocean and in the forest, to name a few.
in 2020, I had a growing inner voice telling me that I needed to complete a very specific ceremony of my own after my deep work with anna. I grew up in a strict religious community, and the negative lifelong impact of that experience has been multifold. the part that always bothered me most was the feeling of a loss of agency, voice, and choice. more than anything, I wanted to feel free, but I felt frozen by a rigid oppression which had been programmed into my neural pathways for years (formative ones, at that). the words that haunted me most were being told as a child that my religious identity “couldn’t be changed.”
in contrast, I had the visceral experience of being changed at my core by ceremonies anna helped me perform. of taking a step across a threshold – maybe in a labyrinth, maybe through a wall of leaves blindfolded (you really never know with anna!), and of emerging a different person on the other side.
I knew I could change this.
in one of our calls, I talked with anna about my vision. and talked, and talked. “you’ve done this before, haven’t you?” I said at some point when anna offered yet another piece of perfect advice to help me name the big picture, and craft the smallest of detail. “once or twice,” she said with the characteristic twinkle in her laugh.
in december 2020, on the eve of the solstice and coincidentally (or was it?) on the same day I’d been baptized 23 years earlier, I held a Spiritual Freedom Ceremony with 12 close friends witnessing on zoom. anna guided the group through ceremony so gracefully, even though we were remote. it involved water, and candles, and roses, and blessings; but the most powerful aspect to me was being witnessed in loving and supportive presence as I read out the wrongs of the religious community, and made declarations about my freedom on a soul level.
and afterwards? well, ceremony is powerful, and doesn’t always immediately usher in happily ever after – though sometimes it does! this was a lot of stagnant energy to shake up in my life, and I experienced somewhat of a “healing crisis” as relationships, old roles, and my own core identity re-settled around and within me. anna had prepared me that this might happen, in her usual caring and gentle way.
more than a year later, I am so deeply happy to say that the things that once held a charge around this issue for me simply no longer do.
people, places, and thoughts that used to be triggers are no longer able to shake my inner peace and certainty of who I am – who I choose to be.
I feel so lucky that I had anna as my guide through this process. I can recommend no one better to help shape and guide your own personal or collective ceremony and healing, no matter what you are releasing, calling in, or celebrating.’ ~ ‘poppy’
I welcome you
‘poppy’ is a living jewel, one of my favorite clients ever, and her journey moved me to happy tears more times than I can count. she is a fine living example of what it is to choose hard life lessons, move through them with grace and skill, and come out the other side happy and well.
‘poppy,’ all of my love to you. your story will inspire many women, and in your journey, we all find our own healing. I honor you!
you can read a bit more about the larger arc of ‘poppy’s’ healing journey on the magical life page here. this work is deep and sacred, and if something within is calling you to make a change, and listen to your heartsong, I invite you to check out the magical life.
ps – do you know one or two folks who would benefit from receiving the dreaming otter articles and tips on living a magical life? if yes, please encourage them to subscribe to the email list here. I would be so grateful – thanks!