I did not think that we were going to have guests blogging on Shaman Girl. But guess, what? We are!
Here’s why: We all need spiritual nutrition in the form of Joy. Healing. Soul sisters.
So it brings me great joy to share our first guest goddess with you. Meet Dr. Devorah Feinbloom. She appears in Shaman Girl as Dr. V. She’s a light worker who uses her Shaman Girl magic through her chiropractor and NRT Nutritional Response Testing (which is changing my life). She radiates joy of living. She has a huge heart and a big smile and always dresses sparkly. Love her and would love to steal her wardrobe. And her jewelry. Isn’t she gorgeous and yummy?
Now the backstory.
When I went to see Devorah for a checkup last week, we were chatting about our 4th of July plans. Mine involved the Horrible Parade, a beach outing, and enjoying Bubbleville to the hilt. Hers involved travelling to Colorado for a celebration of her aunt’s life who had just passed. I commented on how much I appreciated her view of the end of life being a celebration. Devorah spoke of her aunt’s kindness and impact of her life in such a way that it reminded me of my mother-in-law, Junebug. Then I realized and commented that Junebug had passed one year ago, almost to the day.
Devorah asked me what I most appreciated about Junebug and how she had affected my life. Her question caused me to pause and reflect. I expressed how Junebug had been so curious and accepting about everyone she met. She made you feel really special. And she always held the point of view that everything would be fine. That by “knowing the truth” of a situation, that truth would well, eventually come to be true. Over the past year, I have opened myself up more to meeting new people and being curious and engaged with the world as Junebug was. It’s been my small way of sharing her legacy.
As I spoke these words, tears welled up in me. Periodically over the past year, I’ve missed Junie – but mostly I’ve felt at peace with her passing. Yet in this moment I deeply longed for Junebug. I had a tough week after getting a wicked case of poison ivy (in all the utterly wrong places). On the day I was feeling my worst, Shaman Boy bit his buddy, our neighbor, HARD. I would have loved to call Junie up and hear her laugh at my troubles in her good-natured way, then receive a few words of wisdom and a pat on the back. But, oh well, Junebug was gone so that just wasn’t going to happen.
I got off Devorah’s examining table and unconsciously brushed off the conversation – a chat in passing while taking care of the more “important” work of following up on my supplements.
Then on the 4th, I had the deep urge to go see Janeen Barnett, a friend, massage therapist and polarity practitioner. (Here’s Janeen on Devorah’s website – I swear this is all connected…) Our lives had intertwined over the years in inexplicable ways, but I had never had a session with her. For a few minutes I grappled with texting her on the 4th. It was a holiday. I only had tomorrow afternoon available before we left for New Hampshire. Should I bother her? That little voice within kept propelling to go, so finally I texted her. The worst that could happen was that she could say no.
The appointment fell into place and the minute I sat on her couch and began telling her about why I came to see her, the floodgates opened. Deep grief over Junie, which I hadn’t really allowed myself to feel. Guilt. Need for space. Fear over the future. Feeling ungrounded. About to go clear out my childhood home. All the changes in my body from the NRT. Comparing my amazing life to others “bigger” misfortunes and judging myself for it. Setting myself up to be “perfect” as a spiritual one and pushing aside my messy humanness. I could keep going… needless to say it was a big release.
Despite my aversion of the woo-woo, Junebug was right there with me on the table holding my hand. Literally. Well, energetically. (Well, hope you know what I mean. The veil was thin in that moment.) Jan’s tears mingled with mine. It was intense and beautiful and powerful for both of us.
In Jan’s loving reflection, I saw that my poison ivy wasn’t really about physically having poison ivy at all. It was my body asking me to get rid of all my fiery suppressed emotion. To slow down. To ask for some help. To take some much needed time and space for myself. The poison ivy appeared in all the exactly right places on my body, indicating just what I needed.
Love how that works (even while I was scratching and itching and hating how that works.)
And to think I wondered if I’d have a “healing crisis” with Devorah’s work…
Okay, hang in there… I’m looping back around to Devorah’s guest blog.
Off Shaman Guy, Shaman Boy and I went to New Hampshire, home to the perfectly awful wonderfully healing poison ivy. At the end of an amazingly perfect weekend, where I made peace with NH and its poison ivy, where I truly enjoyed being a mom, and being inspired about Shaman Girl, and giving Shaman Guy time to do what he loves, and him giving me quiet time and….
This email appeared in my inbox:
To my dear sisters,
I wanted to share with you what came to me to say to honor my aunt at her funeral. Each of you are dear to me and I thought you would like to know the impact that Auntie Debby had on my life. She brought the light and the possibility of true kindness to me.
Thank you for letting me share this with you.
Ready Shaman Girls? Grab a tissue…
Farewell to My Auntie Deb
When I think about my Auntie Deb, I could best describe her as a Spiritual Nutrition Bar, made with the wisdom of Solomon, a dollop of cheerleader, a pinch of Glenda the good the witch from the Wizard of Oz, and a heaping dose of the Dalai Lama. This nutrition bar was complete with soul food for every age.
My first memory of Auntie Deb goes back to when I was young, maybe 7 or 8 years old. She and my Uncle Irvin came to visit us in New Jersey and even as an 8 year old, I knew she was someone I would always remember. She was kind and she was interested.
I remember she sat me down and started to interview me. She gently worked her magic asking question after question and listening to my every word like a good friend or a therapist. She was curious about everything I was doing. She wanted to know what I liked, what I was into, who my friends were, what I liked about my teacher and school. She wanted to know where the BEST toy store was and could she take me. And when we got there she wanted to know what I wanted her to buy me. As you can see, she really got my attention.
Over the years I shard with her just about everything, from frustrations and upsets in my life, to milestones like going to chiropractic school, getting married, buying a home, having and raising a child and even having a Bat Mitzvah at age 56. She was excited about each event and wanted to hear every last detail.
When my husband asked me the other day how much time I spent with my Aunt, he was very surprised to find out it was not a lot of time. I saw her 4 times over the last 20 years and yet something transforming happened. Built on a foundation of non-judgment, love and respect, my aunt became a trusted friend, a confidant and a spiritual sister. She was that way with my whole family. Our relationship grew over the telephone with hours of discussions that included Torah, Judaism, the latest episode of Shalom TV and some questions she had about the prayer book her daughter gave her.
If we use the analogy that people who come into our lives are mirrors, reflecting back to us our own qualities that perhaps we are blind to, my aunt always reflected back unconditional love and acceptance, goodness, that I mattered deeply and I was unique and special. It was a very healing relationship.
I believe my aunts’ mission on earth was a very spiritual one. The Dalai Lama said that spirituality is concerned with qualities of the human spirit; love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, patience, concern for others’ well-being, and having a sense of responsibility. I think he was describing my aunt as she embodied these beautiful traits with such humility and selflessness. Auntie Deb was supremely grateful for every moment and whatever she became passionate about she gave of her self 100%.
I was very blessed to see my aunt in December. I arrived at her home to find a very sick person who could hardly get out of bed. The circumstances might have made anyone very depressed but somehow we both accepted and came into harmony with the way it was. When my aunt felt a little bit better or had a little strength, I would lie down next to her in bed and gently rub her back or feet and sing some Jewish chants I learned at my synagogue. We spoke for short bursts of time and I was so happy I was able to give back to her. And somehow when I reflect back to that visit I feel a deep sense of fulfillment. There was no disappointment, only unconditional love and acceptance. Later my aunt told me she felt SO cared for. She and I entered this new level of bonding and I felt absolutely at peace and light-hearted when I recall our visit.
Yesterday when I got off the plane at the Denver airport, I went down the long escalator and was greeted by a huge billboard of the Dalai Lama. The billboard said, “He doesn’t just WISH for peace. He WORKS for it. My Auntie Deb didn’t just wish to make this world a better place, she took responsibility to make sure all who came into her sphere, whether you had 2 legs or 4 were uplifted and cared for. Personally I think she should be called the Dalai MAMA.
I immediately wrote Devorah back, in tears, and asked her if I could share what she wrote with all of you. She summarized what I missed most about June. That easy, unconditional mama love. The one we most often find in soul sisters.
Now you have got me crying.
I hadn’t thought my sharing of this beautiful soul who has departed could open up more healing. For that reason, I would love to share my words…maybe it would open up something for someone else.
I can’t wait to hear more about your discoveries of the poison ivy connection to all this stored grief. This is something so fascinating to me. When you write about it, i’d like to put it in one of my newsletters!
I am so glad we are sharing this sacred journey together.
Warm hugs, smiles and so glad Junie is so alive for you.
And there you go my friends. I am just so struck with how being yourself, sharing what is in your heart – the loss, the joy, the sadness, the celebration, opens up more doors for healing. I often get caught up in thinking I need to create a website or edit a book or (fill in the “important” to do) and yet this spontaneous conversation between Devorah and myself created great healing. It healed a hole in my heart and then it travelled back to hers and now onto you. It’s allowed Auntie Deb and Junie to keep sharing their light and love even though they are no longer at the other end of the phone. They are on the “other side” which is right here, in all our hearts.
There are about 16 other pieces and connections and nutritional spiritual goodness to this story. (Including me posting this on Shaman Girl even though the website isn’t ready or edited or perfect – ha!)
The joy and love and healing and the soul sister connections aren’t waiting for us to be ready or perfect or whole. All this spiritual nutrition is here, now, yours for the asking and taking and giving and receiving. They already spreading and healing and working their magic.
So I’m asking you, Shaman Girls, to pass it on. Not necessarily this exact story (although that would be great too), but pass on being yourself, sharing your heart, being present for others. Being kind, curious, open, broken, vulnerable. To value all the million “little things” you do as a mom, wife, sister, lover, aunt, daughter, friend – whether it’s really listening to your child, or rubbing your honey’s feet, or hardly being able to get out of bed. It’s all perfect. It’s all in life’s plan for us. You matter whether you think what you are doing today matters or not.
Thank you for travelling this path with me soul sisters. I literally couldn’t – and wouldn’t want to do it without you.
Op, gotta run, Shaman Boy is calling.
Here’s to more joy, more healing, more Shaman Girl sister friends.
Love, love, love. And big hugs,
P.S. If you haven’t yet come play, post, laugh, moan with us on Facebook. “LIKE” us at the top of the page while you are there, won’t you please?…