In part 3 of my interview with Shaman and life coach Jennifer Monahan, she brings us into the spirit world she enters in order to help us heal and describes the ideal candidate to benefit from shamanic healing.
Listen to the audio here:
Lorna: All right, so this is part three of my interview with Jennifer . So when you do sessions with people, do you have to … okay this is going to sound weird but I didn’t know how else to say it, do you have to screen people before you do a session? Do you do sessions with anyone or are there certain people that you do sessions with? Do you ask questions to determine like, “No, you wouldn’t benefit from this,” or…
Jennifer: If somebody has some questions and wants to know if this is the right thing for them, I’ll definitely have a conversation. If they feel that it’s not right for them, I honor that but no, I don’t screen people.
Lorna: How do people find you?
Jennifer: I was just going to say, I feel like the people who come to me are the people who are, I’m going to say, ready for this type of healing. And I use healing loosely because a shaman works to heal the soul or the spirit which can lead to physical, mental and emotional healing but the focus is first on the soul or the spirit.
Lorna: That’s interesting.
Jennifer: So people who come to me are already open to the idea usually. And I will be honest, sometimes, I don’t know how people find me. I get a lot of hits from all over the world on my website. Every day, there are hits on my website and people are reading my blog. People are responding to what I’m posting on Facebook and something triggers them when they’re ready, when the time is right for them to reach out to me.
Lorna: Because I guess when they search, they could even search healing or spiritual healing or something and all sorts of stuff will come up but if they’re even searching that then they’re already attracted to the possibilities.
Jennifer: Yes, and then the other thing that has helped is the book. I’ve got a number of people coming to me after they read the book saying, “Hey, I think I need your help.” And for those people what I’m hearing is they feel like they know me. I’m not some mysterious person because they know a part of my story and I feel real to them and human and helpful and whatever else attributes.
Lorna: And part of what, to me, makes you feel so normal is that your book consists of journal entries, your journal entries. And most of us write journals. I know when I was a teenager, I had a diary, that kind of thing … so it allows us to see how the process unfolded for you and your experiences in your thoughts. And it seems it makes so much sense and it allows us to kind of get to know you as a person by seeing your own journal entries.
Jennifer: Right, exactly.
Lorna: So is there like an ideal person who would benefit from a session? Is there an ideal person?
Jennifer: That’s a good question.
I have worked with people with all different types of requests, I’ll say request. I’ve worked with people who have physical issues, I’ll say, cancer, heart problems, you name it, physical stuff. I’ve worked with people who have emotional issues. How do I heal from a broken heart? How do I heal from the loss of a loved one, type thing? How do I repair this relationship with another person? I’ve worked with people who have mental issues and all like depression and anxiety in there and I’ve worked with people who have spirit. Again, I hesitate to use the word issues but spirit concerns. What is my purpose in life or I don’t feel like I’m a whole person, what’s missing kind of thing? So, shamanism can work across all of those so I don’t think there’s one condition or issue that makes somebody a better candidate than another.
I do think however that ultimately I’m a conduit. The work that I do with the guides and everything starts the healing process but the ideal person to come to a shaman is one who’s also willing to take the next steps and manage his or her own healing going forward. That doesn’t mean they have to do it alone. As a shaman, I get people started. I’m also a life coach and so then I coach people like the person who had breast cancer and the root cause was, “I don’t know how to love myself. I’m not worthy of love type of thing.” We spent three or four months talking about, “Okay, how do you love yourself?” And creating an accountable relationship, if you would, where she was starting to learn how to love herself and it was small steps at first. Maybe it was treating herself to a $5 tchotchke that she liked or an ice cream if you felt like instead of feeling guilty about having an ice cream cone and then it moved up and those are simple examples to truly being able to look at herself in the mirror in the eyes and say, “I love you” and know that it’s true.
Jennifer: So that I think is more of the ideal candidate, if you will, somebody who’s open to this type of healing and then willing to start doing the work.
Lorna: To do the work.
Jennifer: And the work can be scary because we’re facing whatever it is that has dragged us down for however long it has been so this one would be the learning how to love. That’s something that started when she was a child, when she was a full grown adult so she had many, many years of, I was going to say, baggage and beliefs that needed to be released.
Lorna: Yes, but she was in a place where she was ready to do it.
Jennifer: She was in a place where she’s ready to do it.
Lorna: Is there anyone that you couldn’t or wouldn’t do a session for?
Jennifer: There was one client I had, he was up in Canada and he was frantic. He wanted me to work with him. He was convinced that he was possessed and so I said, “Okay, I will work with you.” And I did a session and there was some negative energy attached to him. And I removed that negative energy and dissipated it and then filled the gap where that energy has been with positive love and all of that. And I called him back and I told him what I done and he actually felt better which was great. And then the next day he decided there’s no way I could have possibly have healed him. And when you have a mindset like that or when you have a victim mentality, it invites that energy back in. Like he was whole and healed and he felt it. He was shocked at the end of the session because, “Well, I feel so much better.” But then his mind which has been conditioned to thinking a certain way for a set period of time said, “Well, there’s no way this is going to be real.” And the minute you do that and he kept thinking it and thinking it and going back to when this energy was attached to him and everything, that just opens up the door for the energy to come back.
Jennifer: And it came back with a vengeance. And he actually threatened me and I said, “Look, I will do another healing for you but that’s what we were talking before, to be the ideal candidate, you have to be willing to do the work.” And it turned out that he was not at that point yet.
Lorna: So I was just thinking maybe he wasn’t, he wanted to be but he wasn’t at a point where he was going to open himself up to what he needed to really do.
Jennifer: He wasn’t at a point where he was willing to make the mental changes if he needed to.
Lorna: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer: And interestingly enough, I had another client, same situation. He actually flew out from the Midwest to meet with me for a week and we did a week’s worth of sessions and the difference was he was ready to start changing. So we did the session, removed it, he felt like a whole new person at the end of the session which was amazing. And then we spent the rest of the week where I did some little tune-ups on him but it really was focusing on, “Okay, now it’s time to start changing how you think.” I just give you the tools that you need so that you’re not falling back into that victim mentality. You’re not opening yourself up for some negative energy to attach itself to you and basically dim your own personal energy.
Lorna: Yes because there are a lot of people who want things to be fixed for them but they’re not … it’s really hard to admit things to yourself or face things that you haven’t faced when they start coming up. I’ve done this before too, just shut myself up like, “Uh, uh, don’t want to see that.” So I guess they’re not in that place yet.
Jennifer: We live in a society here in the United States where we go to the doctor, the doctor gives us a magic pill and whatever symptoms you have go away. Which means that we can ignore … I’m saying this facetiously, of course, we can ignore changing our diet so that we’re eating foods that don’t cause our blood pressure to go up. Or we can ignore the fact that we aren’t exercising which leads … it’s not giving us the release from our stress or our anxiety. We can ignore all these things because this magic pill is “curing” us. But what the magic pill is doing is it’s just covering it up. And it’s giving us an excuse to not face our role in our own healing.
Lorna: I like that, it’s an excuse. Yes, absolutely. Let’s see, well, that answers that. I was going to ask you, do people have to be spiritually connected? Oh no, maybe you didn’t answer that. Do your clients have to be spiritually connected?
Jennifer: They have to be open to this type of work but they don’t have to know who their guides are. They don’t have to follow one prescribed path over another. What I found is in the spirit world, they don’t care. These helping spirits that I work with, they don’t care whether you’re Jewish or Christian or Muslim or an atheist. They don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow, brown. They don’t care if you’re a man or a woman. They don’t care if you’re gay or straight or if you’re transgender, they don’t care about any of that. None of that matters. So I’ve done sessions on people that I know are Christians or Catholics, for example and Buddha has come to be one of the guys to help.
Lorna: That’s fascinating.
Jennifer: They don’t care because their whole purpose, I work in three worlds when I do my healing. I work in the upper world, the middle world, the lower world.
Lorna: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer: The upper world is how most people view like an afterlife or a heaven.
Lorna: And this is where you go when you do…
Jennifer: When I enter my altered state…
Lorna: And you call it journeying.
Jennifer: Yes, I call it journeying, yes. Basically my physical body stays somewhere but my spirit body goes somewhere else. So the upper world is how most people think of like a heaven. There’s wispy clouds, there’s angels, ancestors are there, that’s where people like Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed and fill in the blank, they’re all up there. There is nothing but pure love in the upper world. There’s nothing there that can hurt anybody. The lower world is not hell, although some people, when you say lower world think of how we’ve been trained to think of hell. The lower world is actually a beautiful nature-based world filled with trees and rocks and waterfalls and oceans and animals of any shape and size including animals and I’m going to say nature beings that we don’t think are real.
So, unicorns and gnomes and fairies, the like live down there. This too is a love-based world and they’re all here to help us. They’re all here to help us on our journey. The middle world is the world that we live in and there is a … I’m going to say, an alternate reality side to the middle world which is filled with helping and not so helping spirits. And I’ll give you an example of a not so helping spirit, maybe an ancestor who said, “I’m going to hang around and watch over my family.” So they’re hanging around, they haven’t actually gone. They haven’t gone to that next level. Their spirit is staying on this plane. And so if I’m working with one of their family members, that person is very helpful. But if I’m working, with say in the middle world because I can go to any world to do my work, if I’m working with someone who is the sworn enemy of this family then that spirit might not be so helpful to me, understand the difference?
Lorna: Yes, totally.
Jennifer: Most of the time when I do my healing work, I’m in the upper or the lower worlds. There are times when I need to go work in the middle world so for example, when I need to do a soul-retrieval for somebody. We come into life and we’re perfect. Our spirit and our soul is perfect and it’s white and bright and shining but as we go through life, it’s kind of like having a brand new car and getting off at the lot of the parking lot. And you drive down and some mud comes up and then a bird goes to the bathroom on your windshield and then a pedal comes up and it cracks your windshield. We go through life and we have all this stuff come at us and some of it is easy. You go through a carwash and it’s gone but other stuff actually takes a piece away and that’s usually when we have a traumatic experience.
And trauma is relative. To a three-year-old child, a really bad thunderstorm can be traumatic. It can be terrifying. And if you go from there, that’s just one example all the way up to somebody who’s been a victim of a violent crime or has witnessed crime or has perhaps been on the battlefield and seen horrible things. All of those things bring trauma. Our soul tries to protect itself by saying, “This is too scary for me and part of it leaves.” So for example with my accident, that was a traumatic experience. A part of my soul left right before impact. I tell people that was the smart part of me and another part left after impact and I know this because I worked with a shaman and she retrieved the soul pieces. Soul pieces when they leave can go to the upper, the middle and the lower world. So when I am searching for a soul piece and I’ll talk more about that in a second, I’m guided to where that soul is. And sometimes I have to go to the middle world to retrieve a soul piece and bring it back and reintegrate it with the person I’m working on. What I found over time is the soul pieces are now starting to come to me and I don’t have to look for them as often.
Jennifer: But yes, so those are three worlds I work in.
Lorna: Okay. You’ve mentioned to me before … oh, first of all, can you do this with any age? Would you ever do a session with a child? Have you or would you or…?
Lorna: Yes you can do this with any age but the key is to have permission.
Lorna: Parental or from the child?
Jennifer: From the individual. So I have done … I did a session for a woman who was pregnant. And she was dealing with some things that she needed help with and she was also concerned about how it impacted the baby. So I went and asked the baby in spirit if it was okay if I could send it some love and I got a clear yes. So yes, I’ve also worked … it’s interesting because the way that we define life and the way that we define age, we think of everything as being very linear. But the reality is we’re living multiple lives at the same time and it’s more circular than linear. It’s hard to describe. I’ll give you an example. I was working with a client who had heart problems and this client wanted me to dissolve blood clots that had formed in his or her body and so I did that. But there was … as I was talking with this individual, there was something else that was … I was already getting an inkling before I had gone into the journey that there was something else that was causing this type of a physical manifestation. And I asked some questions and got some clarity around that and there had been a serious trauma and I fully expected on my journey to do a soul-retrieval.
Interestingly enough for this individual, a young child came forward like seven years old and then an adult version came forward like in their 50s and I worked with both of them and healed both of them and reintegrated them back into the person. And just as I was wrapping up the session, a teenage version of this person came forward. And that was the one that I had been expecting because of the trauma that the person had told me about. And this teenage version was pissed like in my face screaming at me, pissed. And so I said, “Can I work with you?” And the teenage version said yes and I worked to help this teenager release the pain as a result of the trauma and then reintegrate it back into the person. So I’ve worked with physical children as well as the spiritual children that need healing.
Lorna: Got it, awesome.
Lorna: You mentioned to me once that … well, and maybe these two questions are related, you mentioned to me once that spirit work can be exhausting and you also and I also wondered … well, just answer that one.
Jennifer: Yes. Yes. And then to give a little context of that, the work that I do now as a shaman is not exhausting for me. It’s when we are learning, when we are going through some kind of spiritual transformation and we all go through this in our lives, whether it’s an awakening and where we’re expanding and growing. And maybe we’re getting messages in our dreams or we’re starting to notice the synchronicities in our lives, it’s all very exciting, right but at the same time, what we’re doing is we’re getting a download. So think about we’re plugging into this higher source that is helping us grow and learn and expand and we’re getting this download of energy and messages and love coming into us and sometimes, it takes our physical body a little while to catch up.
Jennifer: And that was actually another lesson for me with the accident. I had had a very intense year plus of training, very intense and my body needed time to integrate it all. And so the accident actually gave me that time to just stop and relax and not be getting this download while still working and getting on a plane every week and all that so that I could integrate everything.
Lorna: And it makes total sense that when you are even, yes, when you’re learning so much and connecting with stuff that you haven’t connected with before, that emotionally, all these vibrations and physically the vibrations, its vibrations in your body so it can alter the way your body feels.
Jennifer: Yes. Yes, so you can be exhausted, maybe you get headaches, maybe muscle aches or something.
Lorna: I get kind of nauseous and sort of upset stomach sometimes when I’m working through something really intense. Something that I have to release or that I realize that I need to let go of, yes like, “Why has my stomach been upset for three days? And I’m noticing that’s it’s in conjunction with something that I’m working through.
Jennifer: Yes. It’s not any different, think about when you say you’ve been working for a little while and you quit your job and you go to a new job. And even if the new job is focusing on something you already know, those first few days at that new job, you go home at night and you’re fried, you’re exhausted because you’re learning a new people. You’re learning new ways. And even though you got the expertise you go home and you’re like you just need to sleep; it’s not dissimilar to that.
Lorna: Yes. And so I was wondering how you hold space for your clients without disrupting your own energy? Like a lot of clients I’m assuming come to you because they are in turmoil or wanting answers to something that’s wanting help with something that’s keeping them down. And so is it hard to hold space for them and not let it affect you?
Jennifer: When I do my work, I am channeling pure love and so it is very easy for me to give love to everybody that I work with. And so it’s coming through me and a matter of fact, most of my clients when I call them back, they say things like, “I’ve never felt so peaceful before or I’m feeling happy and light.” Or some of them who are perhaps a little bit more intuitive say, “I could feel the love coming through you.” So from that perspective, I’m going to say connected to them, I’m connecting through love. But ultimately, I know that the job of healing is their job. I’m getting the process started or to the next step, they’ve probably have already started before they’ve found me. I’m helping them take the next step but ultimately I know that it’s their job.
So similar to a post that you had on your website the other day where you had a video where you talked about one of your patients who came in and needed to do some care and he was not ready to do it, you held his space for him. You said, “Okay, tell me why, we had a good conversation, you were able to connect and then you released him.” It’s that same type of thing.
Lorna: You’re right. Yes I just decided instead of trying to force my opinion on him that he needs this treatment that I would just try to connect with him about what his feelings, “What are your thoughts about it? Just tell me what your thoughts are on approaching this? And whatever you want to do, that’s fine.”
Jennifer: It is not my job to force somebody to take that next step. That’s really their purpose.
Lorna: So it sounds like they’re actually taking their traumatic energy or whatever, whatever you would it call it…
Jennifer: Whatever we’re working on that session.
Lorna: Yes you take that and you’re kind of the intermediary that’s transmuting it into love, sort of. I mean I’m picturing this funnel that it’s going through and like you’re seeing how it can be transmitted to them through a message of love or something. No? What would you say?
Jennifer: Kind of, kind of, what I’m doing is I’m removing what needs to be removed, I’m retrieving what needs to be retrieved whether it’s a soul piece or a power animal. I’m getting the messages that will help this person take the next step. I’m relaying all of that to them and then I’m saying, here…
Lorna: Here’s the information.
Jennifer: Here, this is what I’ve gotten and it’s really up to you to decide what to do and I’ve had a number of clients who then go away and I don’t hear from them for a few months.
Lorna: They’re processing that.
Jennifer: And then I get the email or the call and it’s like, “I have just been processing it and now I’m ready to take that step.
Jennifer: And I’m just giving him the space because if I said, “You need to go do this right now,” they would react exactly as I would have reacted if anybody says that to me which is absolutely not. If you’re telling me that I need to go and not stand in front of traffic, I’m going to go do it because you just told me not to.
Lorna: Right yes.
Jennifer: So we’re human and nobody likes to be told what to do.
Lorna: Yes. Yes. And like I’ve worked in offices before where if that patient didn’t accept treatment then we were going to dismiss him as a patient and instead because he was refusing treatment for, but instead I just approached it like it’s his decision. And I want to give him the freedom to make that decision just having all the information that he needs to make it and he’ll come around in his own time because I believe that when patients, when people if you just share with them the information and let them make the decisions on their own, it’s always a decision that’s right for them at the time. I don’t know anything else about what’s going on with him and you might need to work through some other stuff.
Jennifer: Exactly. Exactly and that’s the approach that I take and I’m coming from a place of love and care and compassion but ultimately, I want them to have that freedom.
Jennifer: I want them to figure out for themselves what is best because how I interpret it might be completely wrong for them.
Lorna: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer: So the other part to your question, there are times where I have clients who tell me stories that do break my heart. I had a client recently who was nine months pregnant and the baby died and was trying to heal from that kind of a loss and that just broke my heart. That’s the type of pain that nobody wants to go through and it just broke my heart. But even then love, compassion, here’s what I got; you take it and do with it as you please. And if you want to reject all of it, that’s your choice too.
Lorna: Yes, totally. It sounds like a way of life, a good way of life, period, for all of us to learn from.
Lorna: Just let people evolve in their own time and let people make their own decisions and just send out love.
Jennifer: As long as you’re coming from a place of love…
Lorna: Y es then it’s the right thing, yes. Yes, so my last question is what’s next for you?
Jennifer: Oh, what’s next? I am three quarters of the way done with my next book which is picking up from where the first book ended and it is really about me, stripping away these limiting beliefs and living fully and authentically and in my life also living with as much freedom as possible. So that should be done, the first draft should be done in another month or so. And then I will start talking to publishers and that process takes another year. But so book number two is in the works and as you mentioned, I was down in Guatemala and I ended up buying some land and a house down there, building a house down there and that will be a landing spot for me for I don’t know when, how, how it’s going to work out but I’m trusting because I got a very clear message that I needed something down here.
And I think that’s probably because one of the things that I am working on pulling together now are a series of retreats. And these retreats would be down in, say, the Yucatan or down in the Guatemalan jungle and were tying together the Mayan archaeological sites with shamanic ceremony and one-on-one shamanic sessions to help people find their life purpose and leave with a plan to help bring more joy into their lives. That’s what’s next.
Lorna: Awesome, and you mentioned Japan.
Jennifer: Oh and then I leave in another week, a little over a week I’m going to Japan and Cambodia and just connecting to the spiritual energy there.
Lorna: Well, I want to thank you for talking to me about your experiences and for helping us understand more about shamanism and how you found your purpose and you’re an inspiration to me.
Jennifer: Well, thank you. Thank you, thank you for interviewing me. This is a lot of fun.