The first of a 3 part interview with Shaman and friend Jennifer B. Monahan, author of “This Trip Will Change Your Life”. Here, Jennifer explains the history of Shamanism, what it is and how it can help us heal, and introduces us to the mysterious stranger that led her to her calling
For the audio version of this interview, click here: https://www.aheartbasedlife.com/interviews/
Lorna: I’m here with my friend, and shaman, Jennifer B. Monahan. I would like to share some of her story with you and learn more about her at the same time. So, hi Jennifer.
Lorna: I’m so glad to see you again. So Jennifer just returned from Guatemala and she’s back in San Francisco for a couple of weeks before she goes on her next exploration, which I’ll ask her about. So, first thing I want to know is what is a Shaman? How would you answer to that?
Jennifer: Yes. Shamans have been around since the beginning of time and every indigenous culture in the world has their version of a Shaman. They may call it a Shaman or medicine man or woman or a witch or voodoo or whatever. But basically, what a Shaman is, is somebody who works with the spirit world to help bring about healing whether that healing is for an individual or community or even the planet.
Lorna: And that’s it. It’s that simple.
Jennifer: It’s that simple.
Lorna: (laughing) I expected it to be a longer answer.
Jennifer: No, it’s that simple but obviously there’s a lot more behind it. So, what a Shaman does is they will enter an altered state of reality. I use drumming. So, either I have a person there who is drumming for me so I don’t have to focus on that or I use an MP3 of drumming but that drumming allows me to get into a state where I’m more receptive and open and able to communicate with the spirit world.
Lorna: And is that still a state of awareness or would you call it a trance?
Jennifer: I’d say more trance than awareness. The way I describe it is that, you know when you’re falling asleep but you’re still awake but you’re in that in that kind of twilight zone and in between, it’s kind of like that but the difference is that I am still completely in control. I am fully aware of everything whereas in that twilight zone, you’re just kind of drifting along and you’re not really guiding anything. With a Shamanic experience, when I go on a shamanic journey and enter that altered state of reality, I’m fully aware and what I’m doing is I’m calling in my guides, my spirit guides, my power animals, ancestors. I’m calling in the guides of the person that I’m working with and say, “Okay, here’s what we’re working on today. Suzie Q. is having this problem and let’s work together to help heal it.”
What they do is they, 99% of the time, give me what the root cause is. So, I could have a client that I’m working with who is recovering from breast cancer and you could say, “Oh, the problem is cancer cells.” Well no, actually in a particular case of one client, the problem was that this woman didn’t know how to love herself.
Lorna: Exactly, and it was manifesting in the physical body.
Jennifer: So, and it manifested as breast cancer. So, they help me get to the root cause.
Then we work to begin the healing process. Sometimes the healing can be instantaneous and sometimes it takes time and I can guarantee you that pretty much every time, it requires whoever the individual is that I’m working with to make changes to their life.
Lorna: Right, to participate in the healing on their end.
Jennifer: They have to participate in the healing.
Lorna: And that state that you’re talking about like when you’re almost falling asleep, that’s kind of the state where sometimes a lot of answers come in—like answers to problems that you haven’t been able to figure out and you’re just like almost falling asleep and you’re thinking, “Oh my God. I know what to do about that.”
Jennifer: Yes and the reason for that is because in our human forms, we vibrate at a certain level. Let’s say that our level is 100 for lack of any other kind of description, right?
Jennifer: The ascended masters and the guides and things that are in spirit form are at a much higher level. They’re vibrating at a much higher level and let’s say 500, right?
Jennifer: When we are in that zone, whether it’s through a trauma induced trance or we’re starting to fall asleep, we’re actually shedding our … I’m going to say our physical body. We’re still part of it, of course, but we’re breaking free of the weightiness of physicality and we’re vibrating higher. So maybe we’re getting up to say 250 and these numbers are just an example. They don’t mean anything.
But then it’s easier for our guys to come down and communicate because it’s worked for them to lower their vibration and get heavier just like it’s worked for us to break out of our physical vibration level and move up.
So, it’s kind of a meeting in the middle wherever the middle ends up being.
And then, it’s easier for them to communicate.
Lorna: And so, when we are vibrating higher, aren’t we getting more in touch with our true selves because we are actually … we’re actually spirits…
Jennifer: Spirits, in a physical body.
Lorna: …in a physical body but it’s our egos and what we tell ourselves that bring our vibration down because if you take all that away or take even our physical body away, we would be vibrating high, right?
Jennifer: Exactly, exactly. What it does and when I do my Shamanic sessions, I recognize fully that I’m just a conduit. I’m going to say, I’m not actually doing the healing. The guides that I work with, the guides that my clients have in their life are working with me and they’re pouring all this energy through me and that energy is what brings about the healing, whether that person is sitting directly in front of me or if they’re on another continent. It doesn’t matter.
But that energy that’s coming through me is pure love, not like the love that we see in movies and whatnot. This is pure love with no restrictions. With no ‘I will love you if there’s no conditions or anything’, it’s pure love.
Lorna: It’s just pure positive vibrations, positive energy, pure joy.
Jennifer: Yes, and that’s what causes the healing. Because pure love can heal anything.
Lorna: So, did you always feel a kind of spirituality in you? Were you brought up to be spiritual? Were you always aware of everything you’re saying about the vibrations and everything?
Jennifer: Let’s say I had imaginary friends growing up.
Lorna: Love it.
Jennifer: That were very real to me and at this point in my life, I know that they were actually my guides with me and communicating with me. I was raised in a Catholic household but never had a strong affinity for any one religion. I tried on a bunch of different religions for size to see if any of them would ever work for me and I’ve walked away from religion, not that religion is bad. I know for a lot of people religion gives a lot of hope and peace and everything but I realized that I’m connected directly to the Source. So, why have an intermediary when I can go directly to the Source and just feel this pure love and have it go through me.
Jennifer: So, again, nothing against organized religion but I chose to go my own way.
Lorna: Because that’s sort of like an interpretation of it and you’re connected directly to it anyway.
Jennifer: Yes, yes and interpretation is a good word because your interpretation may be very different from mine.
So even when I’m working with my clients, when I get these messages from my guides or their guides about what the root cause is or where they should be focusing next or even what life purpose is all about, when I get these messages or I’m shown visions of things, I note them down and I try to remove my interpretation as much as possible and it’s more of a factual, “This is what they said.” “Here’s what I saw.” Because my interpretation may say, “Oh, well this means that you should go and do this.”
The messages for them is far more important.
Lorna: Wow. How do you separate yourself from that?
Jennifer: I have learned to not put any judgment or any censorship around the message that comes through because when I do … when I first started out I’m like, “Oh well, this isn’t important,” or whatever. It ended up being very important.
And so, it wasn’t until I said that one thing that I said, “Gee, I didn’t think that was important to mention that. Everything clicked in place for my client.”
And I’m like, “Oh no, now that you said that, this all makes sense,” and you could see the … I mean, we’ve done the healing through the session but you could see the physical understanding and healing come through.
So now, whatever I am shown, this is what it is. It’s not my job.
Jennifer: You should interpret it, right.
Jennifer: It’s my job to share the message.
It’s my job to flow the energy through and I’m being used with my energy to help do whatever it is that the person is asking for.
Lorna: And so, when you say that you are hearing the messages, and you’ve said this to me before, you’ve used the words, “I was told.” So, I was told to do this or I was told to share this and now you’re saying you get the messages. How do you get those messages? Are they words … what are they?
Jennifer: They come in a variety of different ways. So, sometimes it is words. So I will say, “Hey, what’s Lorna’s life purpose? Lorna’s trying to figure out her life purpose. Can you give me any guidance on what her life purpose is?” And sometimes, they’ll just start talking and then I just grab a pen and paper and I write verbatim. Sometimes I’m shown an image of something. So, for example I was working with one client and one of her guides came forward with like a crystal ball but it had all these rainbows in it. It was beautiful, this crystal ball and the guide said, “This needs to be incorporated into her heart,” and he gave me the reason why which I won’t share just for confidentiality but this crystal ball needs to go into her heart.
And so, I said, “Okay.” I’m working in a place where it’s pure love. There’s no risk. And so, I take this crystal ball, I put it in her heart and she was actually over in Europe and so I called her back after I’ve done the session and I said, “Well…” I said, “This happened, that happened and everything and by the way, one of your guides came forward and you had this crystal and it had rainbows in it,” she said, “Stop right there.” She said, “While you were doing the session, I felt compelled to walk and I walked to a crystal store in this little village that I lived and I’ve spent the last half-hour holding this crystal ball that has rainbows in it.”
Lorna: Cut it out.
Jennifer: I mean you can’t make it up. So they’re showing me an image and then I say, “Well, this has been put in your heart. What are you feeling with this crystal ball with rainbows?” She said, “Well here’s what it means to me.” And so, that just solidifies the message even more.
Lorna: So, that is allowing her to come up with what it means for her.
Jennifer: Which is more important than what I think it means for her.
Lorna: And then that allows whatever she needs to come up, to come up.
Lorna: Okay. So you’ve just got me thinking about two things. The fact that you say … you got the guides, is it your guides or is it her guides? Who are the guides and are the guides different every time for every person or do the same guides come forward for you?
Jennifer: I have a team that I work with at all times. So, I have my power animal which in my book, This Trip Will Change Your Life.
Jennifer: I call him 444 because he’s asked that I not share his identity. But he is with me at all times, he’s like sitting right next to me right now, kind of at all times. When I do a session with somebody, Archangel Michael comes forward every time for me and he’s here just to protect me and keep me safe. He’s also there to protect whoever it is I’m working on because when we’re in our energy bodies, a little extra protection is always good, right?
Jennifer: And quite honestly, you never quite know what you might be coming into when you’re working on somebody’s energy body. So, I’ve worked for example with some people who’ve had negative energy beings attached to them and you have to remove those and so it’s good to have a little extra protection around when you’re doing that. I have a Native American woman who works with me often. There are several other animal guides who come forward and then there’s other guides, depending on who I’m working on and what the focus of is. So Buddha has come and worked with me, Moses, Jesus, Mother Mary, Isis. There’s a small team. They’re not all there every time but depending on what it is that we’re doing and what type of healing is needed, they come forward.
Then my clients have their guides. So, we may share some like Archangel Michael is probably shared between the two of us. But then they may have different ancestors. Well they do have different ancestors who they may have an ancestor that comes forward. For example, I had one client and she was working to heal a problem with her mother. And when I went to do the session and I started the journey, there was this line of women and they went back and they spiraled around. Then as far my eyes could see, there’s line of women and they were mother to mother to mother to mother to mother to mother going back to who knows how far and they were all there to help her heal this relationship.
Jennifer: And so, that group came forward then. I’ve had people’s grandmothers come forward and share messages and grandfathers or parents. So, those are obviously very unique to my clients and then they may have other guides. So, everybody has guides through life. It’s interesting because over the last month-and-a-half, that’s a common question that I’m getting from clients. “Can you tell me who my guides are?”
“I need to feel connected to them. I know you’re saying that we’re all being watched over but can you tell me who they are?” And so then I’ll say, “Okay, who’s coming forward now that is perhaps the right guide to be working with Susie Q. at this time, right.
Lorna: Yes. And you also mentioned being able to do this at a distance, like you don’t have to be with the person in the room and is that because you work with energy which is just a vibration in the universe?
Jennifer: It’s because I work with energy, it’s also because we’re all connected. And so, the best way I can describe it is we each have like a cord coming out of us and it’s an energy cord and all these cords kind of link together. I can ride along the freeway of cords to get to a person. Some of the cords are big, some of them are small. So for example, the cord you have say with your mother is probably pretty big which is why your mother even if she’s nowhere near you, she could be in another country, can call you or email and say, “What’s wrong? I’m sensing something’s wrong,” right?
We’ve all been there, the mom has done that.
Lorna: Totally right. Right, yes.
Jennifer: That’s because there’s a very strong energetic connection. What she’s doing, although she may not fully realize it is that she’s tapping into your energy and feeling a change in your energy and saying, “Okay, something’s not right here. Let me pick up the phone and call.” And then other cords are very weak. So, maybe we go and we get a cup of coffee and the person who hands us the coffee would say, “Hello, how are you?” We have a three-second conversation. There’s a beginning of a cord. It’s like a tiny thread as opposed to a giant rope.
So, when I work with my clients who are distance, by us starting to talk and communicate, we’re connecting our cords together.
Lorna: Oh okay.
Jennifer: Then I just ride that cord to them.
Lorna: Because I know with me, when we did our session, we talked for about a half an hour on the phone and then we hung up and you called me back.
Lorna: So you journeyed…
Jennifer: I journeyed to your higher self.
Lorna: Yes. Oh my God.
Jennifer: Yes, yes.
Lorna: Awesome. Okay, first of all, I guess I should ask you how did this Shamanism come up for you? How did it first happen? How were you first introduced to it and were you aligned with it right away and thought, “Oh my God, this is what I am meant to do?”
Jennifer: Yes. I’d never heard of Shamanism until I went on a two-week vacation to Mexico several years back. And on my third day there, I was walking, I was in the Yucatan. I was trying to get to the center of town and I got lost which is typical of me. A very nice man was leaving a hotel. He worked at the hotel, he was done for the day. He said, “Where are you trying to go?” I told him. He said, “I’m going that way, I’ll walk with you.” And so, we’re talking. He’s telling me about his family, expecting a baby, blah, blah, blah. We get to the town square and he says, “I need to introduce you to somebody.” And I was like, “Oh, okay. Who is this person?” He said, “He’s right around the corner here.” Well, it was daytime. There were a lot of people around so I figured, “Okay. I’ll go see who he needs to introduce me to,” and he introduced me to a Shaman
Lorna: Just out of the blue?
Jennifer: Just out of the blue, introduced me to a Shaman.
Lorna: By the way, this story is in your book, ‘This Trip will Change your Life.’ But I want you to share with others.
Jennifer: Yes, yes. The first thing the Shaman did, he was helping a … he was working in a store that sold like jewelry and carvings and stuff like that. The first thing he did was he took my hand in his and he curled our fingers around one another and he said, “What is it that you’re doing that … how do you make your heart so big?” And before I can answer, he said “This is the symbol of the Shaman,” pointing to our curled hands and he told me all about Shamanism. He told me how he had been marked to be a Shaman. Then he said, “I’m going to do a healing on you.”
Lorna: This is this guy you’ve never met before.
Jennifer: Never met before and I was like, “Okay.” We’re in a store, he asked me, “Lie down on a brightly colored Mexican blanket.” Shoppers are walking around me while he’s doing his thing and everything. The whole time, all I keep thinking to myself is, “I wonder how much he’s going to charge me for this,” because, it was my third day in Mexico and while I had travelled extensively, it never occurred to me that Mexico wouldn’t take credit cards. And so, I went down there with maybe $100 if that much worth of pesos on me, to discover that there’s no credit card machines in the taxi cabs. The main sites like Chichen Itza don’t take credit cards. They only take pesos. And so, every day I was going to the ATM and taking out like the maximum amount I could and it was spent.
I had to use it for everything, my food, my transportation, admission, everything. This is at the end of the day. I don’t have a whole lot of pesos on me. So, that’s going through my mind while he’s chanting and blowing on me and using crystals on me and anointing me with the oils and all of this stuff. Until, he says, “Okay, here’s what’s blocking your energy.” And he proceeded to tell me about two events that happened to me. One when I was a young child and one when I was in my late 20s, early 30s and there was no way he could have known those. He gave enough detail that I knew it wasn’t just a lucky guess. I’m like, “Well, this guy is for real.” So, he finished the session and he said to me, “I’ve done for you what would normally take four or five sessions. I was told by the spirit world I had to do it all in one night.” I said, “Okay, thank you.” And it was intense. The session was very intense. I said, “How much do I owe you?” He said, “Nothing.”
Lorna: Wow, I knew you’re going to say that.
Jennifer: I know, I know. He said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” So we got together a couple of days later and we’re talking. He’s telling me more about Shamanism. I’m finding it interesting but it wasn’t quite clicking for me apparently because I left the next day and I went from the Yucatan over to the Maya Riviera, South of Cancun to get some time on beach time resort kind of thing.
And he came. My last day there, he came to the resort and he gave me a gift and that gift is about a … I don’t know, eight inch tall sculpture of the Mayan God of creation, Itzamna. It was carved from a stalactite from a million-year-old cave about 1,200 years ago and it’s been used in Mayan ceremonies by Shamans for the last 1,200 years. And he said, “This is for you.” And he gave me the background and I knew how … I knew it was a very valuable gift, not necessarily just financially but in terms of the spirituality of it and I was overwhelmed. And I asked him, “Why are you giving me this? Why did you give me this gift?” He said, “Because you are meant to become a Shaman.”
Jennifer: And so I was like, “Okay.” And as soon as I said okay, my training started in earnest. He trained me some. I took some courses but most of my training came from my spirit guides and it was constant, for about a year.
Every night when I was trying to sleep or even when I was sleeping, they were training me.
Giving me messages and showing me what to do.
Lorna: Wow. It seems like that walk you took and the guy– he just stops and says, “I need to introduce you to somebody.”
Lorna: It was all like orchestrated, sort of.
Jennifer: It really was. What’s funny is, I asked the shaman afterwards because the guy left and I never got his name or anything and I asked the Shaman. I said, “Who was that guy?” He said, “I don’t know who he is. I’ve never met him before.”
Lorna: Oh my gosh.
Lorna: So that’s how it started.
Part 2 of my interview with Jennifer B. Monahan, Shaman and author of “This Trip Will Change Your Life”, where Jennifer tells us about the life altering event that thrust her full-force into her new calling. Coincidence? I don’t think so.