COVEN. CALL. FOUR.
WITH HILLARY BRANOFF & HEATHER THURBER.
LISTEN: HOLISTIC HEALING NIGHT.
ABOUT HILLARY. Hillary is a Certified Massage Practitioner and Ayurvedic Body Therapy Specialist. She is also a Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Born in 1975, Hillary suffered from ill health from birth as the result of being raised on processed and fast foods. At the age of twelve she became interested in the correlation between the food she ate and her health. Using nutrition, Yoga, and Ayurveda, Hillary eventually cured herself and commenced her formal training in Ayurvedic body and lifestyle care. She completed the Ayurvedic Body Therapy programs at the California College of Ayurveda in 2010 and Massage Technician Training at the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing in 2011. In 2001 she completed both Yoga Teacher Training and Traditional Thai Massage Training. Hillary is most passionate about soothing the nervous system with Ayurvedic body therapies as well as the transformational detoxification process of Pancha Karma, advocating self-love through nourishing foods, rest, nature, and laughter.
ABOUT HEATHER. Heather Thurber is a 20 year traditionally trained herbalist, medical aromatherapist, organic farmer and Kripaulu-trained Ayurveda practitioner. Working with women and children since 1994, Heather's healing mission is "to educate and inspire optimal life fulfillment and fundamentally transform lives in which individuals consciously utilize and tune to their inborn abilities to heal and live in balance". Heather offers plant medicine consults, Ayurveda bodywork services and gardening mentoring at her farm on Martha's Vineyard.
Hillary: It's happening.
Sarah: It's all happening. The mute works, as well as the recording.
Hillary: That's an extra bonus.
Sarah: It's a real bonus. That was incredible. It was like we were hearing the sixth dimension, or something. It was so intense.
Sarah: Now it's clear as a bell.
Sarah: I've been not making very clear decisions recently, so I was so grateful when Heather just said, "Let's not do this." When someone takes the reins and goes-
Sarah: "This isn't working." Because I was just going to struggle through, you know? Like, no.
Hillary: Yeah. Then, for her, she had to make the decision for herself, because she knew she couldn't share what she wanted to share by having to talk in between these noises.
Sarah: Oh my god, the ghosts- It's like, "Are the ghosts done? Okay, I'll say something." Then the ghosts will talk, which really sucked. Okay, so we should start.
Sarah: It's five on the west coast, and eight on the east, and six in mountain time. Let's just ground, really easily. Let's just close our eyes. It feels really nice to do that, and to sit up straight, or whatever feels best. Just through your nose, take a deep inhale. Hold it ... And then exhale. Do two more of those. Deep inhale up, along the spine ... Through the crown. Exhale. Then one more deep inhale up along the spine, up through the crown ... Exhale.
Just really great, for the powers of the north and Mother Earth to hold us tonight and stabilize us in this work. The powers of the east and air for the inspiration that will guide us through this conversation to serve the collective. The south, our passion and desire and fire for this work, this work that will change, and is changing the paradigm. The west, the waters of intuition and rebirth and cleansing. The spirit itself, goddess within and without. Thank you for being with us tonight and guiding us, and this is in your honor.
I just want to thank Hillary for being with us tonight. This is Hillary Branoff, she's ... Well Hillary, why don't you tell them? Because you're such a new paradigm woman, that you can't put you in a box, girl. You do. You do a ton of things. I know you as a body worker. I know you as an Ayurvedic practitioner. I know you as the healer. I know you as a yoga nidra practitioner. I know you as a yoga teacher. I know you as a chef and a friend. How would you describe yourself?
Hillary: Thank you, Sarah, for having me. I feel so honored, I just want to first say that. Thank you for bringing us all together. This is amazing, what you've created, and what we've all co-created together by knowing you and saying yes. Thank you.
Sarah: Thank you.
Hillary: I feel like you just did a great job. You described the trainings that I've had, and the things that I do in the world. I'm definitely a multi-faceted person. I can't do just one thing. I have a lot of different things I'm passionate about, and they all make sense together somehow.
Sarah: That makes sense, yeah.
Hillary: Yeah, I'm a food coach.
Sarah: Right, a nutritionist.
Hillary: Life coach, lifestyle coach, nutritionist, lover of ... I love the scent of sesame oil.
Sarah: I remember ... I met you where I met Lara [Catone]. I don't know if you got a chance to listen to her call, but it got really special.
Hillary: I have.
Sarah: She's such a delight, but I met you guys at the same time. I told the girls how everybody stripped down to nothing, and that was very radical for me. I do it in my own home, but around men and women. You were this walking billboard for what you do. You were ... For health, you were a walking billboard for health. You're completely ageless, glowing skin, really strong body. It was very much, "I'll have what she's having." It took me a while, just when you're on the [inaudible 00:05:42]. When you know something is going to change your life, you kind of put it off until you're really done with the patterns that aren't serving, and then they kind of kick your ass a few more times. You're like, "I'm really done treating myself like shit." Then I called you, I think.
It was the first thing I was really interested in, was you as a nutritionist. Because, I was just talking to my friend, we didn't grow up knowing how to eat or take care of ourselves. I really came to you to ask you how I should eat. Not should, because you don't like that word, but how do I eat to feel better? That's good work. Because you didn't feel good for a long time growing up, right? Is that fair to say?
Hillary: No, I was very sickly from ... Pretty much, from birth. I could track being given antibiotics every couple of months, literally. I grew up in a family of nurses, so it was very Western medicine. I grew up with fast food on a daily basis, TV dinners, soda pop. I don't remember ever drinking water. I suffered a lot.
I had migraines from the age of three or four, which were the main catalyst for me to really take my health into my own hands. I was lucky, in a sense, because I was really curious. Back then, I didn't have the internet to just Google 'migraine' and figure out what to eat or not to eat. I had to listen to my body, and read books, and go to the library. I was definitely an interesting child. I would start asking my family, "Can you buy carrots?" Because I heard carrots were good. I would get the whole foods slowly, one little thing at a time, integrated into the house, so I could test them out.
Then when I moved out on my own when I was 18, I wasn't finished high school yet. Then I really dove in and started figuring things out on my own. Taking out dairy, and taking out sugar. I was like an experiment. I still am an experiment, to this day. I am constantly experimenting with my body. That's kind of what I teach my clients to do, as well, is to be their own teacher and experiment. Because I can help you only so much, and then, from there, it's in each moment that we know ultimately what's correct for us. Sometimes we need to learn how to do that first.
Sarah: You said a couple really interesting things, but one thing I want to touch on is that you were brought up in a family of nurses. Does that mean your father and your mother were nurses, or you had two mothers?
Hillary: I have a mother who is a nurse, and then three aunts who are all nurses.
Sarah: What I was going to say is there's a ... Oh, sorry, Hill. What?
Hillary: No, no, go ahead. It's okay.
Sarah: No, it's your call. It's your time.
Hillary: It's my time to share.
Hillary: I was kind of made fun of. I was the black sheep, of course. I was the vegetarian, and vegan at some points. I was always the one saying "Can I have this or that," at family dinner. Being made fun of, and not treated very nicely. Then Dr. Oz came on the scene, and over the years my aunts started asking me about different supplements, and things became more normal. I definitely had to go through the period of where I was the freak, which is fine. I'm sure we're all ... Probably everyone on the phone is a black sheep in some way, shape, or form.
Sarah: Yeah. It's such a complement in this society to not blend in to the society, to be the change. There's a lot of nurses, either that I come in contact with through this work, or actually even on the call tonight, who got into their field to be a healer because that was how you could fit into this society and be a healer. They learned Western medicine, but they're aching to break out and offer feminine intuitive healing. Eastern medicine of the body, body wisdom. I think that that blend is really interesting for them, that they've learned the tricks and the trades of Western medicine, and then they want to marry it with this massive feminine force rising in them that we each are our own healer.
Hillary: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I have so much respect for nurses. I love my aunts. They're just there to really- A true nurse. They're just really there to give and to ... They are just some of the most amazing beings on the planet. They just give of themselves so much, and they're so caring, and they really want to help. There's this amazing movement now, and I wish ... Right now it's not coming to mind, but there's different programs that nurses can take and learn energy medicine, and essential oils, and things that they can bring into the hospitals. Some hospitals are actually paying for them to take these programs to have ... They can give reiki to the patients, and they can ... Depending on the hospital, use essential oils. Not all will allow that, but it's a really cool new movement.
Because of people like Dr. Oz, who I just love because he is a doctor. When he has an alternative thing to say, people will listen. Not everyone will listen to the witchy nutritionist. It's amazing now that they are being integrated and I say suss them out because you never know what your hospital will pay for, or allow you to take different courses. It's a great thing to combine, for sure.
Sarah: I remember when I was taking one of my reiki courses at [Carpalu 12:30] and she had been a nurse, the woman that was training me. She told us a story about people in hospice, even, lying there for years under Western medicine ... Being treated under Western medicine. Then, a reiki practitioner walked in and touched them with this healing love. Not in a way of clinically, "I'm your doctor." Not in a way that they'd ever been touched before, whether sexually or in violence or by accident. "I'm intentionally touching you to heal you and love you. Heal your body," and people getting up off what had been called their death bed, and walking out.
Sarah: Yeah, those stories ... I believe that. I believe this woman. She was a nurse for forever. This is how she got into reiki. Someone came in, into her hospital, and did that. She was like, "I'm sold."
Hillary: That's a beautiful story.
Sarah: Yeah, so you had all kinds of sickness. You had migraines, and they put you on antibiotics for different ... What sort of things?
Hillary: I had migraines. I still, once in a while, have them as well. The antibiotics were more for ... I had chronic infections. Yeast infections, throat infections, lung infections, pneumonia, kidney infections. You name it. It was constant infection. I was on different intense medications for my migraines, where I had to be weaned on and off the medication that allowed the blood to flow faster through my arteries and my brain. It was really intense.
I was also this ... In one sense, this same idea now is that people will look at me now and go, "Whoa! You're the perfect image of health," you would say, but I still experience quite a bit of what I would say isn't the perfect image of health. Within saying that, I don't think there is a perfection. I don't know if we were actually put on the planet to be perfectly comfortable in our bodies 100% of the time. It's like, what we learn through these challenging times ... Maybe we'll never feel good, per say, in our bodies. We are not guaranteed that. There's people who live with different diseases and they still find joy in their lives. I think it's the point, just being in the moment and compassionate, and patient. Just giving it our best. Making choices that are loving for ourselves.
I don't know if I just answered your question or not. I forgot what you asked me.
Sarah: Yeah, yeah. The cool thing is that it leads to ... Well, there's a couple things. Your answer always leads to another question from you. This is the first [coven 15:42] conversations ever that I've done. I'm learning as I go because I plan on doing these and making them ... They're just so fascinating to me. I love sitting at your well, and drinking from it.
The thing is, just like when we talked with Lara, or we talked with Catherine. Catherine Hummel teaches on self love. Lara Catone teaches on healing sexual shame. They're all healing from their wounds, you know what I mean? You growing up sick taught you how to heal yourself, which taught you how to heal others. You wouldn't know how to heal others if you hadn't healed yourself and weren't constantly studying it. The body is always talking to us. Of course, it's going to say, "Well, we need help here. You took a wrong turn here." That's how my spirit is.
my sickness is depression. I'm like, "God, am I on the right track?" No, if I'm feeling really low. Yes, if I'm feeling good. That's my spirit tells me. "We really let someone overstep our boundaries," or "We gave our power away," or "We're not doing what brings us joy." Depression or joy is my spirit's compass. Or it gets so bad that when I feel attacked, my body actually gets attacked with lime. It's all just a conversation, right?
Hillary: I love that you said it's a conversation. That's true. It's ... To take the judgment out of that conversation, just like you would with your best friend, or with a child. You wouldn't judge them, or tell them they're bad or wrong, for not feeling perfect. Whether it's in their body, or their mind, or making the perfect choice. It's like, "Oh, that's the choice I made. I didn't feel so great after I made that choice. Isn't that interesting?"
Sarah: Right. Right.
Hillary: Rather than berating ourselves and feeling bad about it.
Sarah: Right. You're someone that I always feel as if ... I was just telling my friend, I got my final teaching this weekend that I really can't ... I can't really spend a lot of time with someone who isn't awake because it lowers my vibration. I try to normalize and then I get really sick. I make decisions that end up hurting me. I know that sounds sort of spiritually elite, or something, but it's really a form of ... It's just where I am. I have to be able to have this conversation. Like the kinds of conversations I have on the coven calls, to get to heal. That connection.
Otherwise, I feel ... I'm somebody that can feel very lonely in a room with other people, or with another person. I don't really feel lonely, alone, because I feel like I'm with God or myself. If I'm with somebody that I can't really connect with, I get really ... I start to feel sick.
You and I connected really fast. I remember once ... We had a mutual friend who studies feminine nutrition and she's amazing. We were going to her house for a tea ceremony, which is, if people on the call haven't done a tea ceremony, I really recommend them. They're these beautiful, meditative ceremonies where you can sit in silence, or with music, with other people and drink tea from the earth and take in its wisdom at 10 rounds of tea.
Someone like me, I have problems with discipline, so regular meditation is hard for me. But a tea ceremony meditation is really transportive and fun for me. Anyway, I was going to a tea ceremony, and I was sitting with you. I remember you talked about these dying phases and rebirth phases, in a way that I understand them. That made me feel less alone. Even on the call ... We talked this weekend, and the way you experience life ... I said, "I'm not feeling that great." What did you ... Do you know what I'm getting at? You don't judge the highs and lows ether. I said, "How are you doing?" And you said, "I'm doing great, but it's life. It's terrifying and exciting, but I'm starting to understand it better." Do you remember this conversation?
Hillary: Hmm. I mean it's a conversation I have quite a lot because I love ... That distinction, really. I think it's because it's a fairly new concept for me. I've been studying Buddhism for a while, and human design, and Ayurveda, and all these things that teach me presence. It's like, "What is present in this moment?" Is it bad to feel depressed? Is that wrong? Do I have to feel happy all the time? It's that distinction of just being with what is. Maybe I have the flu, or maybe I have cancer, or maybe I have depression. Whatever it is ... The judgment around it is what actually creates the suffering.
What I've learned is that, for me particularly, I'm supposed to go into this melancholic state however often. It's part of my make up. What happens is, when I go there, it feels like hell sometimes. Like, "Whoa. Am I going to come out of this? Is there something wrong with me?" You know, I get a little worried and anxious. That anxiety is starting to ease up a little bit because I know, always what happens is, creativity happens in that space. Deep wisdom comes. I don't even know what's going to come. It's so beyond me, it's so amazing. It's like I just open myself up to it when I stop the resistance of being in that spot.
Then, when I come out at the end, it's light and amazing. I have this compassion and love for myself, and for others, because I went into those depths. I think they're actually quite beautiful. In a sense, I was like, "Oh no, am I becoming addicted to these states of being because they're so beautiful in the end?" I mean, I'm not addicted to them at all, but I am starting to have more thanks and love for them. I don't always have that patience when I don't feel well, but what I'm noticing in my body right now is, when I have resistance to emotions that are ready to move through me is when I start feeling pain in my body. I get things like ... You could categorize as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue type ... Or depression.
If I resist those emotions, whatever they are. Fear, anxiety, jealousy, whatever ... It manifests in my body. I feel pain, I get the migraines. I get pain in my back. Now that I have that connection, it's like half the battle is over. It's not a vitamin I need to take. It's acceptance, and love, and awareness. Self-awareness. I can eat the perfect Ayurvedic diet, but if I'm not letting myself feel what I need to feel, then I'm not going to feel well, you know?
Sarah: Yes. Yes. I heard somebody just in time for this recent bout of depression ... I heard somebody. The depression all came from the resistance of feeling depressed, because I'd been feeling so great. I was manifesting so much. I was in the right vibration. Then, I fucked up my vibration. What my friend calls "spiritual perfectionism". I was doing A++ in the universe class, and now I'm like "A parking ticket. Damn it," or whatever.
Usually, my life goes pretty well these days when I'm taking such good care of myself. It's always like, when things start to go wrong, pay attention, but don't berate myself about it. Somebody just ... Matt Kahn, I think. He called depression an awakening. When he said that to me, I was like, "Yes," because when I'm underground, under the surface of things, I see what's not serving me. It's another ... My depression is another conversation. "What isn't working? What do I really want? What is my joy?" You're right. I come out new. I go into the coffin, I get buried, and then I come out new. The world looks different.
I'm definitely not addicted to it. I'm going into less and less, but I still go into it. Right, just like the mental body and the physical body, it's one. Like in any [inaudible 00:25:00], they call it "body-mind'. It's the same word. It's all related, and it's all a conversation. it's all about ... What the thread through all of these conversations is our relationship with ourselves. Our self-love, getting to know ourselves, accepting ourselves.
When I met you, you were heading home to do a panchakarma on a client. I want to back up, because we're going to get into Ayurveda for the second half of your call. I want to back up a little bit because when I met you, you were still at the threshold of completely being Hillary, the healer, right?
Hillary: As far as working ...
Sarah: Yeah. You've always been a healer, but you took a big leap of faith, right?
Hillary: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sarah: Can you tell us about that?
Hillary: Yeah. I didn't know if you were going to keep talking. Yeah, amazing. There's a Sanskrit where it's ... I'm probably not pronouncing it correctly, but it's "Prajna Pirada". That means, essentially, "crimes against wisdom." In Ayurveda, they believe that is the root cause of all disease. It can span anywhere from ...
Hillary: Oh, I unplugged my headset by accident with my foot.
Sarah: These calls keep me on my toes. I'm always like, "Oh no."
Hillary: Yeah, I'm here. Anywhere from, you know that you don't do well with coffee, but then you choose to drink coffee. That would be considered a crime against wisdom. Another crime against wisdom could be working at a job that's not fulfilling to you, and you start getting sick. You know, it's like, "Oh, the job is making me sick." It's not the job that's making you sick. It's the choice to continue everyday, to go to that job, even though you know that it's not where you belong. Or hanging out with that person that doesn't make you feel good. Or eating the McDonalds. Or whatever it is. Things that you know don't make you feel good.
I got to experience that, doing a job that was more like for financial security, which is great and I needed it at one point. Then, there was a point where it's like, "Okay. You got to take the leap." It took about 6 months, and I finally did release that. I had gone through waves my whole life of just doing healing work and then ... That has its own tool, being an entrepreneur, in that sense. Back and forth.
Long story is that, yeah, it was really amazing. It felt so free. I went from having one migraine a week that was clearly because of the job, to having maybe one migraine every other month. Clearly obvious. I was just so happy. Yeah, it's just that peace.
I wasn't wrong for taking that time to do it. It's just, that's what it took. I just had to love the process. If it took me 6 days, or 6 months, or whatever ... It's loving yourself through the whole thing. You can have a crime against wisdom to your body, and then judging yourself for it is not going to make it any better. It's like, "Okay. I'm choosing this coffee again. I'm going to feel anxious and have insomnia." Just being a witness to that. One day, you'll-
Sarah: Who are you talking to? God.
Hillary: Yeah, I know no one ever experienced that before.
Sarah: I know. I'm so back on the coffee wagon. I lie to myself now. I'm like, "Yeah, but it brings me joy, and joy heals."
Hillary: Yeah, that could be true.
Sarah: Yeah. Hillary, how did you get into healing? You were healing yourself. Then, did you start taking courses? What did you do?
Hillary: Like I said, I was sickly my whole life. Then, I started reading about different things. I had acne in high school, so that was another ... The migraines and the acne were the two things that I was like, "I got to get rid of both of these things." I did anything to take ... I had done the whole Western thing because that was led by my family. None of that really seemed to work.
I was also addicted to pain medication during high school because I had migraines every single day. That didn't work, so I had to leave home to have my own path. Then, I went to a chiropractor, and that was part of my headache problem. He gave me that book I love, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." It's one of the oldest ... Not oldest, but it's a common book. You could look inside the book and look up 'acne' and it'll tell you all the foods to avoid, and all the foods to eat, and all the supplements, and all the herbs. I was fascinated. That basically ... I have a weird fascination for that stuff, so I was lucky in a sense that I was a scientist. Wanted to know everything. I'd go to bed at night with piles of aromatherapy books beside me, nutrition books, yoga books, and my bed's still like that. I don't have a partner next to me. I have piles of books.
I've always been like that. I became a yoga teacher, and learned a little bit about Ayurveda and the yoga course. Then, became a nutritionist. I mean, I'm always taking courses, constantly. I just finished a yoga nidra course, which I highly recommend for everyone to do yoga nidra. I think I saw that you offered a free yoga nidra download, right?
: Yeah. My friend, Marie Bailey s a yoga nidra teacher. She did the bonus call and interview, and she gave them a free meditation.
Hillary: Yeah, please everybody use that. It's amazing.
Sarah: I think I will tonight.
Hillary: Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah, I just started taking course after course after course. My love of Ayurveda happened when I was ... I really got adrenal fatigue, or chronic fatigue, or whatever you want to call it. I was the most active person. I was part of every club, had 4 jobs, travelling here, taking this course. I mean, every minute of my life was full and filled. It was great.
Then, one day about age 32, my body was like, "This isn't happening anymore," and it stopped. I remember being a yoga teacher full time, and driving to a yoga class. In between teaching, sitting in my car, crying my eyes out. "How am I going to get enough energy to teach this next class?" I have no idea what had happened to me.
I eventually moved to LA and was in a relationship where the person said, "Oh, rest as much as you want." The more I rested, the more tired I got. Nothing was working, but then I had this pressure to get better. My partner said, "Rest, but get better soon. Rest, but don't take too long because I want to enjoy you." And I couldn't get off the couch.
I decided to go see an Ayurvedic practitioner and had one day's worth of treatment, and I finally felt like a half amount of my normal self after that treatment. I couldn't believe it. I was like, "Wow. Only one day and I already feel so much better?" Nothing else was working. I followed the diet, I took the herbs, I did exactly what they told me to do and I started getting better. That's when I knew ... I was like, "I have to do this with people because this actually worked."
I find that my favorite clients, or the people that I have the most impact on, are similar to me. Skinny, stressed out people who can't sit still for too long. The Western, typical, stressed out person with too much going on. I love working with people like that because I can share my experience, what works, and what doesn't work.
Sarah: You still rest a lot, don't you? You're not like you used to be, before 32, are you?
Hillary: No. I'm definitely a rester. I really ... I really tune in and I notice that a lot of how I made mu decisions in life weren't me making the decisions. It was a conditioning, you know? Really, when I started seeing so much of life is just conditioning from the outside world. What I should be doing, what my social life should look like, what people I interact with. I started to choose to tune in with myself. How am I going to spend my energy? Do I really want to be at this party? Do I really want to have this job, even though it's a great job? Starting to get so discerning.
Some people don't like it, but that's okay, because the more in tune I am with myself, the better I feel. Like you said earlier, you didn't feel comfortable hanging out with people that you didn't feel like you could have deeper conversations with. It's like, yeah, that is your ... You don't have to even have a reason. It's just, "This is who I feel comfortable hanging out with," and that's what you're going to do without feeling bad about it.
Everything from social eating ... Everyone in North America eats the same way. Why? We're all so unique, and going through that period of feeling bad, like, "Oh, I can't eat at restaurants all the time. I can't have dessert. I can't drink with people." Letting go of all that guilt, or something's wrong with me because I can't be like everyone else. To answer your question, yes, I don't have that same energy that I did when I was in my 20s, but I've been learning how to choose how I want to spend the energy that I do have. I do spend a lot of time being mellow at home, but I absolutely love it. When I'm in my little cabin, in Topanga, by myself, it's bliss. I used to feel bad about stuff, like, "I'm a freak because I want to be by myself so much," but I don't feel bad about it anymore.
Sarah: It's very ... The energy of the feminine is to rest and self-nurture. To womb in and take care of oneself. That's balance, to me. It's not really favored in our masculine culture. It does take being different and saying, "I actually want to stay home. I actually don't want to go drink." I'm still learning that "No" is a complete sentence. I'm still learning it's okay to not say "Yes" to everything, and to maybe offend someone by saying no. I'm 36 years old, and I'm still going, "Is it okay if I do what I want? Is it okay if I do ..." The conversation of the week is doing, not what you should do, but what your body and soul wants to do. It's usually very different.
You've talked about letting your freak ... You've claimed your freak, you've said. You're so okay with being different.
Hillary: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. The thing is, everybody is a freak.
Hillary: We're so used to this ... Doing everything that everyone wants. Who's to say that you have to have a child? Who's to say that you have to get married? There's so much pressure on women for these things. Or have a career that you ... This whole thing of making a difference. This pressure we put on ourselves. "I have to make a difference in the world." What is that?
Sarah: I don't know.
Hillary: It's good to ask yourself that, because I had that for so many years. "I have to make a difference," and stressing myself out to make a difference. How am I going to make a difference if I'm under stress and I can't even get off the couch because I'm so exhausted? I don't know. It's just good to question all of these things. I'm not saying there's a right or wrong. Everyone's going to have their own unique answer.
Sarah: First of all, you being in your joy and healing yourself naturally heals others. You changed my life, and then I changed someone else's life. Just by being you, and taking care of Hillary and doing what you love, now you're on this call, talking to 100 women. You're doing it without trying to do it. That's beautiful.
There's these questions of when you feel like you have to do something, or you might be breaking a rule. You really have to be like, "Whose rule is it? Who gave me that rule? Who's this perfect standard?" That doesn't even exist if we really ask the question of what standard we've set ourselves at. That person doesn't really exist, that perfect person we're trying to be like. Does that make sense? There is no standard way to live your life. Yeah. You actually are kind of talking about the ... Your characteristics relate to what's called the "manifestor in human design". Do you want to tell people a little bit about what human design is?
Hillary: Sure. Human design is one of my little hobbies that I love to study. It's a tool ... It basically boils down to self-love. Anything that is a tool that can help me love myself more is great. If it helps other people, that's great, too. It helps us to figure out who we are. you, totally unique being. All these funny quirks or things that we thought we were weird, or something's wrong. I started to really love every little aspect of myself, even the ones that don't, from the outside, seem nice or good or perfect. It's just about loving yourself and learning how to make decisions that are correct for you.
It's in depth to talk about, but it's basically this learning who you are. You're becoming self aware of who you are, and noticing all the conditioning around you. Then, loving who you are. Once you love who you are, then that's when you do actually make the difference in the world because that love can then be projected outward. I hope that makes sense. I can put a couple links up for whatever things that come up in our call. I can put them up in the Facebook wall, too, so if people are interested, they can check it out.
Sarah: There's a chart so they can plug their information in, just like their birth chart. Then they can see their human design chart. It's just a self map, and it helps if it resonates. We can put that information up.
Ayurveda ... What is Ayurveda?
Hillary: Ayurveda, human design, is another way to learn self love. It means the study of ... It's the science, it's the study of life. It's basically, in a really simple way, it's looking at the elements that all life is made of. Earth, air, ether, water or fire. We are made of all those parts. Once you understand the basics, it's just amazing, because it not only helps you love yourself more, but it helps you to love others more. You can see if your husband or partner, best friend, whatever, all fiery and agro and angry and frustrated. You can look and go, "Oh, they have a lot of pitta right now," which is the fire element. Instead of taking it personally ... You can start to choose what you're eating, depending on what's going on outside, which is also the elements. Then, the food are the elements, your body is the elements. It's just balancing the elements.
I'm going to give an example because I know it's conceptual without that. Vatta is one of the doshas. There's three doshas, vatta, pitta, and kapha. Vata is air-
Sarah: Hillary, let's stop. What are the doshas?
Hillary: Yeah, vata is ... What are the doshas?
Sarah: Yeah. What does that mean? Dosha.
Hillary: It's the constitution. Each one of us is born with a specific constitution, a unique constitution. That's that we're made up of all these different elements. There's the three main doshas, but we're made up of all three. We have different percentages in each one. Vata is the air and ether. There's pitta, which is fire and water. Kapha, which is earth and water.
An example of a vata person is someone who's the thin-framed person. Smaller boned. Maybe they're irregular, they're arms are longer. They're disproportionate. They might have dry skin. They're very enthusiastic, they talk fast, they move fast. Very creative, spiritual type being. Remember, we're a mixture of all of them, so this is just the basics of each one.
Pitta is the fire and water elements. They're more medium framed, medium boned people. They're very proportionate. They have more muscle, they can build muscle very easily. They tend to have skin that burns easily. They're very goal-oriented, they can attain their goals. They're very organized, very intelligent, quick-minded. They can get angry, frustrated when they're out of balance.
Then there's the kapha, which is the more earth mama type body, which is a bigger, larger boned. They have more extra tissue on them. They are really nurturing. They might love to stay home. They are very ... They don't like change a lot, they like to do similar things all the time. Yeah, it can go on and on and on.
We're born with it. For example, I'm the pitta, vata type. What I find is, a lot of people have a vatta imbalance, which means a lot of air and ether imbalance because of our culture. How everything's so fast. We're driving a lot, we're looking at our cell phones, we're looking at the computer. There's constant information coming at us. It's kind of chaotic, and everything's fast. A lot of people tend to have anxiety, insomnia. It's just extra stress in the world.
If you are already a vata type and then you're living in this vatta deranged world, then you're going to have a lot of extra air element on you. You want to learn how to balance that out, and that's what an Ayurvedic lifestyle coach can help with. To teach you these things and what you can do. I can go on and on with the different examples, but I find that that's the main issue with a lot of people. Just a constant busy mind. Anxiety, excess stress, digestive problems, constipation ... Depression and lack of energy, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia. Vatta's the seat of also ... Pain is represented with vatta. Arthritis ...
Sarah: I wanted to ask you ... Still suffering with chronic fatigue and depression. That is coming up everywhere. Regardless of our dosha, what are ways we could eat to alleviate depression and fatigue?
Hillary: Right, that's usually ... Generally speaking, is a vatta imbalance. How you pacify a vatta is following a vatta pacifying diet and lifestyle. Of course, everyone's different, but this is just generally speaking. You want to eat all foods that are cooked, so easy to digest. If these are your issues, I'd say grab a crock pot and learn how to make some nourishing soups. Throw stuff in there and Google 'crock pot soups', and learn how to do that. You just grab veggies that you are drawn to and throw them in the pot, and have them slow cook. Then you have this yummy soup that's available.
A lot of times, when people have these things, they find it hard to eat at regular times. That's another way to help, is to eat regular meals a lot of times, people are like, "I have so much anxiety. I'm tired all the time." They wake up and then they haven't eaten since 2 o'clock, or since they woke up and it's 2 o'clock now. That anxiety can be gone just by eating regular. Having breakfast at the same time everyday, having lunch at the same time everyday. Eating these cooked foods. Anything that's raw or cold can exacerbate people when they have chronic fatigue. Ice, or anything frozen ... You can experiment with your body. Eat some ice cream, or some cold drinks, and then take note how you feel. Does it make you bloated? Does it make you tired? Does it make you anxious? Go a week and only eat warm things. Only drink hot water, or teas without caffeine. Eat cooked foods only. Then, notice, are you bloated? How are your bowel movements? Do you feel more grounded? That's the best way to do it.
A lot of times people think that, "Oh, just by not eating cold foods, I'm going to get better." They think it's not really a big deal. The only way I can express how much of a difference that will make is to actually try it. One of the best things for people with a vatta imbalance, is to do self-massage every day. Getting sesame oil ... Usually the most grounding, especially if you're a smaller-boned, skinny person. If you're more of a medium-boned person, or a pitta person, you want to use coconut oil. I'll put a link up where it'll show you how to do self-massage. In India, they do that every single day. Not everyone in India, but people who are studying, practicing Ayurveda. It's been passed down in their families. They start with the babies, as soon as they're born, and do the self-massage every single day.
The oil treatments are called "snehana therapies". "Snehana", in Sanskrit, translates twice. It translates to oil, oil therapies. Then it translates again, and it means "love". When you are applying that oil, or when I get to apply oil to my clients, it's basically giving love. One of my teachers, Dr. Lodd, he'll chant to us in Sanskrit, and explain everything scientifically. Then, he'll say, "But, it all comes back to love." He pretty much finishes every little lecture with, "It all comes back to love." We can do the perfect lifestyle, the perfect diet, but if we're not doing it with a loving heart ... Compassionate heart to ourselves, or to our family, or to our clients, then it's not really going to work at all. It has to come from love.
Sometimes, we don't know how to love ourselves. We don't know. We weren't taught that. You do that thing, "fake it til you make it." You just start putting that oil on your body every day, and you're massaging your ankle. "Oh my gosh, this ankle is amazing. Thank you so much for holding me up and allowing me to dance, and all the things I do. Oh, look at this knee. Amazing." You just start talking to yourself. If you have a pet or a child ... I used to have a dog, and I never loved anything in my life like I loved that dog. I started feeling that way about myself, which I did not grow up knowing how to do. When I started really caring, really cooking for myself, and massaging myself, and just loving myself like I would a lover.
It's amazing. It took a while to learn that. A lot of workshops, a lot of therapy, a lot of books, a lot of things. It's a practice, it's not perfect. When you do apply these tools, whether you're doing it to feel better, feel more energy, or if you want to have beautiful skin. If it's a vain reason you start off doing it, that's fine, because eventually you'll end up doing it from a place of love. Hopefully. That's my wish.
Sarah: Yeah, I remember asking you once ... I felt like I'd lost my radiance. You gave me tips to get my radiance back. Do you remember what you told me?
Hillary: I don't, but I can make something up. Do you remember what I told you?
Sarah: Well, it's kind of ... I wanted to get this in. When we were talking this weekend, you were talking about ... Not in California, because of the water crisis, but you were talking about walking into most restaurants and seeing a glass of ice water. What do they say about ice water in Ayurveda?
Hillary: They say that anything that's frozen or cold equals death. That's a very strong statement, but it's true. We all have digestive fire. In Ayurveda, there's Agni, which means "fire". There's Agni in different parts of the body. Every cell has its own Agni, or fire. You think of your belly as a place of where ... Your creating ... Your food is going in and your body's breaking it down. It's turning it into the different elements, and all the elements are becoming part of yourself and essentially, part of who you are.
When you think about it, eating is the most intimate thing that we actually do. It's taking part of the Earth, or the elements, and putting it inside of you. It's actually turning into part of who you are. There's nothing else I can think of that's more intimate than that.
This Agni, we want to keep this digestive fire strong. Generally speaking, most of us have weak digestion. If you're more of a pitta person, then you might have excess fire in your belly. You definitely want to see an Ayurvedic practitioner about that, but generally speaking, we don't want to be having ice water with our food. That's conditioning, that we go into a restaurant, we sit down, and the first thing they do is pour you a glass of ice water. I'd say, "Take that away." Now, in California, they don't do that anymore because of the water, but when I sit down in a restaurant and they ask me, I say, "I'd love a cup of hot water with lemon." Then I sip on that during dinner.
I don't drink anything else. You know anyone that sells ... They have the ice tea, which is sugar and ice, which is even worse.
Sarah: What about room temperature water? Is that all right?
Hillary: Yeah, room temperature water. When you're eating a meal, though ... To sip on, just to help the food move down, but I wouldn't be gulping on any beverage because it puts out that digestive fire. It washes the enzymes. It's harder to digest foods. I definitely encourage people to drink water. Hot water, sipped throughout the day, will help detoxify the lymphatic system, which is the system that helps rid the body of ... Move the body's toxins out. Sipping on hot water all day long will help with that, and help to re-hydrate the body. Room temperature water ... I carry around a glass Voss bottle because I can fit a lot of water in there, and I put a little bit of sea salt in there because it helps to absorb into the cells easier. Definitely drinking enough water ... That's usually a big problem in people's lives. They could solve a lot of health issues just from having the correct amount of water.
Sarah: Back tot he crock pot thing, that is ... For somebody with excess vatta and go, go, go, it's all part of what we're talking about with the self-massage. How nourishing is it to make yourself a stew, or a soup, and root yourself? That's like, "I've got you, honey. Someone's got you." You know what I mean? When everything's out of control in my life, I'm like, "Oh my God. My inner child thinks it's armageddon right now. Put some fucking socks on, turn off the lights, have some tea or something really nourishing, and hold her."
What you had told me about radiance is that ... I was like, "I lost my glow." You had said, "Try drinking hot water with lemon in the morning." Why is the lemon so important?
Hillary: I don't know if I said that. I like people really to drink just hot water at first, with no lemon.
Sarah: Right. It's just programmed.
Hillary: Yeah, it's just ... it's not horrible. It's just, if I were to guide somebody, that's what I would say. If you take lemon water and pour it on a table, you're going to get a residue after. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you want to do is have at least warm temperature water. If you can, go that extra step and make it hotter, but have no lemon in it. That will just clear out the pipe, so to speak. Then, if you want to do a little lemon water after that, it's great. Not tons of lemon, just a small squeeze. Not like a half of a lemon squeezed in. You just need a little bit.
Sarah: Just a little. You kind of touched on this, but do you have any more tips for listening to our body? Starting a relationship with it.
Hillary: Oh yeah, so many tips. I feel like we could talk forever. One thing, when people work with me, I have them do and I say ... It's so important, and I almost won't work with them until they've done this homework. It's to have a log ... A little diary, or a log, and to write down everything ... It sounds anal and weird, but just to do it for one week because sometimes we don't even realize what we're putting in our mouths. People have huge awakenings when they write. They're like, "Wow, I didn't even know that I was eating this." Or the whole day goes by and they're like, "Oh, wow. I didn't eat anything."
It's in your face, you can see it. Not to make you feel bad, or that you're wrong, but just to have awareness because we don't know sometimes. We're just driving, shoving things in our mouth as we drive. We're preparing food and caring for our families, and we're just putting in our mouths. We don't even know. That helps, having that little log when you ... How much water you drink, how much coffee you drink. How did you feel after? Did you have a bowel movement? Did you feel bloated? Did you feel depressed? Did you feel anxious? That's really helpful.
Sitting down when you eat. To take that moment, sit down, see how you feel. Think of yourself like a scientist, where you're not there to be like, "Bad person. You ate that Reese peanut butter cup." You're not there to judge. Just look and, "Okay. Noticed I ate that. How did I feel?" Then, when you start to really ... I know I'm a little bit of a rebel, so for many years I still had it in me, "I'm going to do this just because I know I'm not supposed to." You start noticing those kind of thought patterns, too. "I'm going to buy kale, and I'm going to let it rot in my fridge." Nobody is watching this, you have nothing to prove to anybody. It's just cute when you start to look at yourself and giggle. Who are you trying to rebel against?
Sarah: Right, right.
Hillary: I hope that's helpful.
Sarah: Yes examining our kinship with our food. Really starting to have a conscious relationship with it. I know we have to wrap up, but we really could ... Every time, I never want to get off the phone with anybody, but are you also suggesting that your body will lean into something? You're talking about not betraying the wisdom of our body, right? I can tell, my body will reject a second cup of coffee, which is awesome. It's down to one. I'll move towards the second, just to be naughty, and it's like my body says, "Absolutely not." I'm like, "Okay." Starting to hear what it wants, right? What it's yearning for. Greens, or water, or just listening. Do you do that thing where you lean in towards something, or feel an attraction towards something?
Hillary: I think so, yeah. For me, it took a while to develop that because I had so many different food addictions from growing up. I didn't even know ... I thought it was normal to have a stomach ache all the time. I literally did not know that you weren't supposed to feel sore in your tummy after you ate. It just depends where you're at. That's why sometimes working with a nutritionist, or someone like that, can help guide you a little. Sometimes you don't even know what if feels like to feel good. Sometimes, all the different addictions are having you lean into this or that, and ... Does that make sense?
I think everyone has ... I totally believe that everyone is their own guru, in the sense that they know exactly what their body needs, but sometimes we need to clear the path a little bit and then hold hands a little bit, and have extra guidance. It depends where a person's at, but I definitely believe ... You have that experience so many times. "When I have 2 cups of coffee, I am crazy." It doesn't take that much to figure out that 2 cups is too much.
Sarah: Right. So Hillary, how do you think the feminine is, or can, heal the world? Or heal us?
Hillary: I believe that ... I think it's healing the world by allowing us to be without having the pressure to do. Being with each moment, being with our intuition, listening ... I don't know if that's a good answer, but it's a receptive place, in the present moment. When we tune in each moment, each moment, each moment, and we allow ourselves to be in each moment, each moment, with unconditional love ... All those moments add up. That's the healing.
Sarah: Hmm. Bless you. Thank you for that. You don't have a website, which I'm mad at you about, but they can-
Hillary: I know. I do have my menu and things listed on a website. It's not my personal one, but I have a menu there, which is Outback Yoga. It's outbackyoga.com. Eventually, I will have my own website.
Sarah: Okay. So if people want to work with you, maybe on the Ayurvedic diet ... If they're in LA, I highly recommend going to Hillary and getting body work. Getting your nutrition chart looked at, and meeting her. If you're not in Los Angeles, Hillary, you do Skype, right? You have Skype clients?
Hillary: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep, Skype, we can do. We create it however we need. Obviously I can't come and cook with you in your kitchen, but ... Which I love to do.
Sarah: Which is awesome, I must say.
Hillary: Yeah, it's so fun. Yeah, we do it through Skype and it's very unique to each person. It's really, really an honor for me to be able to help someone on their path, which is like I got all the help that I got on my path. It's a pleasure and an honor. I love it. I love the work.
Sarah: Because you've given me an amazing Shirodhara treatment, where I had hot oil dripped on my temple and then rubbed all over me and I went to another planet. I'm going to introduce someone else who's given me one of those. You guys can say hi really quickly. Heather?
Heather: Namaskar, Hillary. I feel like we're twins. I'm just sitting here, saying, "Yes, yes. Everything that you've lived through is my journey, too." We have to have face together at some point.
Hillary: Yeah, I feel like we will see each other in physical form soon.
Sarah: Hillary, I just want to say thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom. It was an honor.
Hillary: Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure and honor. If anyone has anymore questions, just reach out via the Facebook. You can friend me, you can ask me questions. I love, love, love helping people and doing whatever I can to be of service.
Sarah: You're really good at it. Thank you.
Hillary: Thank you.
Sarah: Good night.
Hillary: Good night.
Sarah: Okay, Heather. Hi.
Heather: Hi, Sarah.
Sarah: We can hear each other.
Heather: We can. It's a miracle.
Sarah: Oh my God. That was wild.
Heather: I didn't bring my dragons tonight, Jesse, if you happen to be listening. There shouldn't be any interference.
Sarah: You shouldn't be taming your dragons while we're trying to-
Heather: Yeah, sorry about that.
Sarah: They were getting ready for this full blue moon that we're on, that's we're coming up on tomorrow.
Heather: I guess so. Yeah.
Sarah: It's such an effortless move from Hillary into you, but ... You're on Martha's Vineyard, which is ... IF you don't know, that's where i call home. My ancestry is there. Heather is also, among many other things, and Ayurvedic practitioner. I call her an herbal healer, I call her a green witch, I call her a plant medicine woman. I call her a friend and a sister. She's taught with us last year at Joshua Tree, at the Wild Woman Gathering, the first one. I'm sure she'll be doing some sort of presentation this year at Ghost Ranch because the girls can't get enough.
Heather: I hope so.
Sarah: Yes, and she's even probably, 90%, going to start an online school this winter, which we'll get into pecking her brain about. For now, that's Heather. We've known each other probably about 3 years now. I met Heather when I was really sick, I had Lyme. I army crawled into her studio and found her to be not of this time, as a healer. Really embodying ancient practices, and really walking her talk as healer. She heals the community and she gives a lot of ... I don't know if you're doing barters these days, but really takes care of the island women who need it.
Heather: Oh no, girl. I do.
Sarah: You do? Okay.
Heather: That won't ever happen. That will never end because my heart ... It's part of who I am as a person. If I see somebody that's really ill, whether I know you well or not, and you reach out to me and you can't make ends meet monetarily, then there's always barter and trade. That's always an option. I'm very grateful to be able to have that in my life, and be able to be of service in that respect.
Sarah: You said that you related to a lot of what we just talked about. Is there anything that was burning for you, that came up?
Heather: If you would've had me on live, it was like, "Yes, yes." It was just the best. I guess a couple points that I would piggyback on ... If any of the listeners are fairly familiar with the dosha constitutions and Ayurveda as a healing practice, I just have to say vatta derangement is a very real thing. If anything that Hillary spoke about, with regards to feeling overwhelmed, or having the monkey mind, or any of those things ... It's really important to address vatta imbalance, for sure. I would definitely reach out to Hillary, or myself, or anybody in your community that works under the umbrella of Ayurvedic medicine. Definitely do your best to get that under wraps, because it can be very debilitating.
Everyone definitely ... I would say, most everyone struggles with vata imbalance because of the way our world is these days. The go, go, go. The constant use of electronics. Definitely can cause that part of who you are to go a little haywire every once in a while. I just love that she was touching upon that and that you asked about good diet, things that you can do for yourself. I was very pleased. She's like my soul sister.
Sarah: Let's just dive into the word "witch". That's something that you recently claimed outwardly, right? Or is that true?
Heather: I would say so. I think you're probably ... You are definitely, probably, one of the only women in my life that's really called me out on it since I've been living on the east coast. I would say I've always been a little ... "Hedge-witchy" would be the term that I would use. A solitary practitioner that works with plants and is very attuned to the rhythms of the earth. I've been that way since I was a child.
I think you were really one of the very first in my adult life to call me a "green witch". Of course, it made me giggle and smile. All I can say is, "Yes."
Sarah: It just seems bananas to me-
Heather: That's the truth, you know?
Sarah: Yeah. It's so obvious.
Sarah: I mean, come on. You're a healer. You have this beautiful relationship with plants. You have this apothecary of gems and herbs. You're always in the kitchen, rustling something up to heal others and yourself, which we'll get into. It just seems like ... When I became awake to this word ... We had that whole first call on it, so we know about coming out. Once I was out, once I awoke to the word, I saw witches everywhere. It's just we're clearly so programmed to be afraid of that word, because they would be killed or cast out. Remembering that, and feeling weird because it's been made weird.
I love the normalizing of this word, and the reclaiming and the love affair with this word.
Heather: I agree with you. I do have to admit, every single Halloween since I was little, I've been a witch. I guess it makes sense for me to be all right with outwardly being a witch everyday.
Sarah: Yeah, every Halloween you got to be yourself. Yeah. You didn't grow up on the island. Where did you grow up?
Heather: No, I didn't actually. I've been on Martha's Vineyard for ... I guess it's been about 15 1/2 years. I married a man that grew up on the island, and he is a 3rd generation islander. His family's been here for quite a few generations.
I grew up in western Kansas. I was raised in an agricultural family. I would really be considered 4th or 5th generation farmer because my family moved from Europe and they were farmers there. Then, came to claim land in the United States and continued the farming tradition. I actually grew up in a little, tiny town of 600 people in western Kansas. Yep.
Sarah: You experimented with plant medicine. Is that the right way to say that? In your teens.
Heather: I would say really ... I think probably ... The way that I would explain it is, I was very fortunate to come to plant medicines by way of grandmother heritage. I think it's really the term that would be used. My grandmother, and my grandmother's mother, were all community herbalists. My great-grandmother was raised by a family of ... I guess it would be pharmacists, but they really didn't work with medicines, because if you think about it, back in the late 1700s and ... 1800s and on forth, that was really when medicines that we know today, Western medicine, was created. They worked primarily with plants.
When they immigrated to the United States, they brought that work with them. Although they were primarily commercial farming potatoes, or grain, or cattle, that lineage continued with the women of the family. I've been very much immersed in plant medicine and medicine making since ... Well, some of my earliest memories are those. I think there was a lot of experimentation, for sure, as I got older.
Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Plant medicine is a really wide term. You heal people with plants. I have a huge care package. When it came, I called it "witch Christmas" from you, full of pinches of herbs for my Lyme and for protection and healing. I'm newly interested in plant medicine, as far as different psychedelics and things, as perhaps a way to heal. We're talking about a big spectrum.
The thing about you is, when you meet you .. When I met you, I was like, "This is a woman who's super got it all together." You run this beautiful Ayurvedic practice on the island, and you work like crazy. You have a ton of clients, but you had kind of a wild path, right? Is that fair?
Heather: Oh, I definitely did.
Sarah: That's what I'm trying to get at.
Heather: I can take you there. Don't even worry. I would say, to back-peddle or back history, I was raised ... I was adopted, and I was raised ...This grandmother that taught me all my plant medicine isn't blood lineage to me, but definitely was very much one of the elders that cared for me most of my life. I was very fortunate to have her teach me so much about plants. Not only the medicine part of it, but the energetic piece of speaking to the plants and having ... Sort of what [Shakdi 01:20:06] says all the time, "My ear to the ground." Listening to the vibration, listening to the plants. She worked a lot with stones. We spent a lot of time out on the Kansas prairie, wildcrafting.
At that point, even as a young kid, say ... 10 or 11 years old, she would point out things like the wild psychedelic mushrooms that would grow around the cow pastures. Or different roots that you could use that would have sedative and narcotic properties. Different things like that. Of course, as I got older and into my teen years, I definitely began to steer clear of any kinds of warnings or safety rules that my grandmother had taught me. I really began to experiment in a great way with making cannabis tinctures and mushroom teas.
I spent a lot of time ... I would say, I began my junior year of high school ... The summer between my junior and senior year, as well as pretty much every summer from there on until my 25th birthday, I worked with a non-profit group, which I'm sure many of you have heard of, called "Woofing", which is "Willing workers on organic farms". They'll place you in different places across the US, or even overseas. You can go to England and Scotland and Ireland. I've spent a lot of time working with this non-profit as a gardener, and getting to help establish medicine gardens on farms, and different things like that.
It took me to the southwest. I finally decided to jump in, and even though I was making all of this medicine and sampling it every once in a while ... The mushroom teas, or I got very, very good at one point, making mushroom caramel that I would put on cannabis, or marijuana, brownies. I got very creative at some points with intermixing medicines.
I had a wonderful opportunity to work in Sedona, Arizona, as well as a few different places around New Mexico, working with the Native American reservations and tribes, going in and doing re-installations of gardens and different things. I had a wonderful opportunity to work with several medicine women and men. Got the opportunity to do a lot of peyote work, and sweat lodge work. That definitely blew me wide open to my own personal ... What I like to call my "wise woman awakening", or my "wild woman awakening". I spent many years, from age 20-24, taking psychedelics on a regular basis.
Sarah: What did you learn from this?
Heather: I'm sorry?
Sarah: What did you learn from this experience?
Heather: I think probably a lot of what has made me who I am today is honing into that primal intuition. Being able to really feel every single part of myself, from the tingle on the end of your fingertips, to the hair on the top of your head. Every organ in your body. It helps me really hone into who I am, even though I think there's some people on this call that do know me personally, I have a hard time being completely grounded. I kind of hover above the ground a little bit.
I would say, at that point in my life, that was really what it did for me, was bring me into myself. At that point, I was able to project whatever it was from myself that could be a service at that moment to whoever I was around. It really helped me learn my craft, I guess would be the word that I would plug in there.
Sarah: How would you describe your craft?
Heather: I would say I'm very similar to Hillary, with the respect that I wear many hats. I guess the root of all of the different things that I do, or different professions that I hold ... Between being a community herbalist, working as an Ayurvedic practitioner, being a mom, being a partner ... All of those different things. I guess my craft ... I would consider it intuitive medicine. I wouldn't necessarily say ... Even though I have studied a lot, and I have college degrees, and I've studied with herbalists everybody on this call has heard of before ... Just done a lot of, I guess, what would be considered secondary school work ... None of that really matters because it's just so deeply ingrained in who I am. I believe it's very much a part of my DNA, or my ancestral line, that it's just ear to the ground, listening for that vibration or picking up on something very subtle that maybe not every other person would.
I know that you said you army crawled to my studio when you were so ill. You had been familiar with this corner of the island your entire life, because you pretty much grew up on the island, whereas I didn't have that attachment to the island.
Sarah: The story about the old place across from your farm is that my mother first saw James Taylor there. She swears he flirted with her at Sepiessa. She loved it after that, so we always got dragged there, just in case he was there again. That's why I ended up loving it. Anyway, go ahead.
Heather: You came to see me several times over the first year, before you eventually relocated to the west coast. You saw me and we became friends over that period of time, but I would always know when you were coming because the crows would let me know. The crow ... I have a family ... I wouldn't call it a "murder" because it's not hundreds of birds, but I have a family of 8 crows that live in the pine grove where my farm is. They will always let me know when somebody like Sarah is coming to visit me. I wouldn't necessarily say ... I mean, that may sound freaky, like Hillary was talking about, but it's just honest. They don't cry for everybody that comes over. I would always know. They would caw and then she would pull up the driveway.
I would consider that being in tune, or being plugged in, to the cosmic communication center. Whatever you want to call it. That's my craft.
Sarah: You know that meme that circulates around on Facebook, that's like, "Witches: Healing what doctors can't since the beginning of time." Do you know that meme?
Heather: No. I've never seen that.
Sarah: It's a picture from I don't know when, but the 1800s, of a bunch of witches standing around. The witches have been healing what the doctors can't since the beginning of time. Do you ever have that? Someone coming in ... You've told me that you've helped heal people with cancer. You've definitely helped me with my Lyme. Do you have people that feel like Western medicine hasn't met their needs? Then they end up coming to you? Does that happen?
Heather: It has happened, actually, more often than not. I am a big supporter of Western medicine. This is just me speaking on my own, of my own personal health journey. That's something else that Hillary and I have very much in common. I was not a very well child. I wasn't adopted until I was almost a year old, so I lived in an orphanage and was not very well cared for. Very malnourished, I have hearing loss due to not being cared for well before I was adopted. I have a very similar path, in that respect, of being constantly filled with prescription medications and different things like that.
I am not a sole practitioner of only folk medicine or Ayurvedic, eastern medicine. I depend on allopathic medicine. I have a cardiac condition, and it can't be addressed with just plant science at this point. I feel, in that respect, since I do have a condition where I have to take Western medicine to keep me upright and not in the hospital all the time, that I feel I'm a good practitioner to work with people who come to me, saying, "Oh my God. I'm on my 6th year of chemo. I'm terminal, but there's no end in sight." I am able to be that ... What would it be? That little bit of ground for them to stand on, for them to feel well in the present moment. Feel really well for 10 or 14 days, or however long I can help them to feel better. Whether it's a little topical cream for their bed sores, or if it's a tincture for their fibromyalgia, or if it's an Ayurvedic treatment like you came to see me for.
I've had this huge ... I don't know what the word would be. I've had a huge pull, my whole life, to be of service to people. I know you and I talk a lot, Sarah, about my personal work and my personal journey right now, which is to learn to receive. I have an incredibly hard time receiving or asking for help. I'm very, very good at giving. I think, in some respects, the work that I do, I receive from that as well because I know I'm helping someone. Yes, I am that additional person to help people get along their journey. That was a really weird and long answer. Sorry.
Sarah: No, no. You're hitting on such chronic problems that so many healers can't receive. So many of us that are trying to be of service, it's hard for us to receive. That's our work to be balanced. That's the work of the priestess, is to balance within so that without-
Heather: Well, it's true. Touching back on "Witch Christmas", when you received what I was calling your "giant medicine cabinet" of stuff that I knew ... I just knew in my gut you needed every single bit of that. You said, "I don't even ... Are you sure?" You just weren't sure because you're similar to me in that fact. You're like, "I don't deserve this."
Of course, God damnit, you definitely needed every single thing in there. It was for you, and I love you. I was so glad that you accepted the medicine. End of story.
Sarah: Received. Something that really interests me with working with plants, either doing plant medicine or green smoothies, whatever ... Getting into a relationship with plants is getting into a relationship with essentially the mother. That intuition in us gets stronger when we work with her. Would you say that is true for you?
Heather: Oh, yes. You know this about me well enough, even though we haven't seen each other for some time because you've been out west working. You know, just from knowing me the bit that you do, digging your toes into the earth and spending a little bit of your time with a plant is just ... Our plants are in a garden, or walking barefoot in the grass on a beautiful summer evening. All of that is so connecting to the earth mother. It's some of the most grounding and healing self-work you can do for yourself, for sure.
Sarah: They call that "earthing".
Heather: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sarah: Right. When did you realize that you had a relationship with plants? That you could talk to them and hear them.
Heather: I would say i was probably 2 or 3 years old. It's one of my very first memories. I often have it as a dream that I'm thinking of. I'll sleep and dream about that same moment, but I remember growing up on my big farm that I lived on when I was a little girl in Kansas, we had a very beautiful lilac grove that had a small, little path that you could walk between. You were surrounded, literally ... Think about being 3 years old. You're this little human and you're surrounded by lilacs everywhere you can see. I remember sticking my face into the plant, and taking a big deep breath, and hearing the lilac bush sigh with this great release of love for me.
I have this memory of that, and any moment that I had, I was with my gram, making medicines or riding in her car, delivering medicines. A lot of the time was spent processing the plants for my grandma. I got to know plants. My hands and my heart got to know plants at a very early age.
Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). If I came to you heartbroken, what sort of plants would you offer me?
Heather: Hmm. Well, I definitely would work with rose. It would be one of the very first that I would work with, for sure. I usually call on the flowers, are the ones that I work with mostly when it is sorrow or heartbreak. Something that's related to love or loss. I normally call on the roses, would be the first and foremost. Then, I often will ... There's just so many. I would often ... Probably marry the rose with lavender, since it is such a relaxing and comforting plant. Those would be the first 2. Of course, I always have to combine stones with my work. Most people know rose quartz is such a beautiful heart stone.
It would depend so much on what your heartbreak was related to, as to what I would probably suggest. Those would be my top 2 plants.
Sarah: If it was over a romance, that would be different from healing my heart with grief.
Heather: Yeah, definitely. I would call on different stones. Probably, I will always work with rose because rose is such ... It is a heart plant. It can be something that can be used to uplift, and bring joy and love into your heart even in happy moments, but it's also one that I always call on. Whether heartbreak is grief, or death, or a lover lost. There's so many different roses you can work with. Each one will bring a different vibration of healing into a tea, or an elixir, or a glycerite. Whichever way is your method.
Sarah: When people stop you in the grocery store, what is it you talk about?
Heather: You're so funny. What do people talk to me about in the grocery store?
Heather: What Sarah's talking about is, we have one local grocery store chain. For some reason, the chip aisle happens to be an additional office for me, for some reason. People stop me always, and it can be a varied question, or it can just be a comment often. I'll have people ask me, "My child's sick and congested. We've tried A, B, and C. What would you suggest?" Often, it'll be plant-based questions. I'll even have one of my female clients ... With my Ayurvedic body work, I only work with women. I do have some children that I work with, giving Shirodara, but I only service women within my bodywork business. I'll often have their husbands or their lovers stop me in the chip aisle of the grocery store and proclaim their love for my work. To continue to do whatever I'm doing because they had the best sex of their life the day she came home from her treatment service.
Is that what you mean, Sarah?
Sarah: I'm asking because whenever I think of you, I think of the movie "Practical Magic". I think of people and the way that you have a house in the woods. It's like the townspeople all actually go to the witches, but they don't really talk about it. Now that it's like, witches are more out and it's pretty cool to go to a witch, or a medicine woman, or an herbal healer. It's like, what's it like being the local witch? People are like, "My heart is broken," or, "I have a fever I can't break." They come to you with life ... It's really life problems.
Heather: I love it. It's something that I've done my whole life. I wouldn't say necessarily when I was in grade school or junior high, but even as a young adult in my later years of high school, it was that way. That type of approaching me established very early.
You know just as well as I do, Sarah, there are many witches on this island. There's actually a couple witches in this coven that are on this island, that do a lot of beautiful healing work. I would say we all collaborate, and all work as a group, which I think is a beautiful thing. I am very much, I would say, within my plant science, a solitary practitioner. People do come down the little country lane to come and pay me a visit.
Sarah: Right. Do you do spells?
Heather: I do actually. I would say ... I was lucky enough to be recently introduced to your encyclopedia of spells, which I had never seen before in my entire life. That has been my everyday read for a decent hour or two a day. Checking that book out. I would say, just in my own ... Throughout my whole life, I would say I was doing spell work without really using books, or guidance, or anything like that.
Sarah: How do you do a spell without ... So many people come to me and they want to know the exact spell, blah, blah, blah. But you really don't need it. Don't you just need your intention and your intention behind your work?
Heather: You do. Just your intention, and your complete focus. Just have a clear quest, whether it's a question, whether it's something you're specifically working towards. Can I give an example, Sarah? Would that be useful?
Sarah: Please do. Yes.
Heather: I've always done, which I'm sure many people that are part of the coven calls, I'm sure you've done things like burn ceremonies, or smudge work, or different things like that to clear yourself of things that are no longer needed. I've done stuff like that off and on my whole life. Probably even without knowing when I was younger.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the call, I've been blessed to know and be married ... I guess we had a hand fasting. I've been hand-fasted to a man that lives here and has lived on the little farm where we live. He's never lived anywhere else his entire life. This is the only place he's ever lived. I'm very lucky and fortunate to have such a wonderful partner, but every relationship has ebb and flows.
Recently, on the Scorpio full moon, I was really going through a grieving process with growth in our relationship. I was having parental issues, health issues. So I wrote it all down, I went outside, I drew a giant pentacle in the sand, I lit a fire in the middle of the pentacle, I ripped all my clothes off, I read everything that I wrote down out loud, and I lit it on fire. It's amazing when you have that type of intention where you're putting your whole physical self, your mental self, your soul, your spirit ... Everything into it. It's amazing how so much can shift immediately.
Things have changed in such a massive way since then, and that was really not that long ago. Maybe 5 or 6 weeks ago. I don't know. I lose track of time on this little island. Just putting your whole intention into spell work, or incantation work, or mantra. It's powerful. It's a powerful thing.
Sarah: Yeah, Lisa Leester talked about that. Lisa, Lisa ... I think that was an '80s band. Lisa Leester talked about she wanted her soul mate, she called him in ... I think it was the full or the waning, and she said, "I want this in one moon phases' time. By the next full moon." She did it with her whole being, and there he came. He showed up at her door.
Heather: I'm a huge believer of that. That's real. I'm not a big believer in coincidence. You know this. It's all fated. Me meeting you is fated. Me having the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful summer of calls was fated. I just don't ... I'm not a big believer in coincidence. It's all about the power of the mind and the soul and the heart, and all of it, you know?
Sarah: We talked a little bit about you working with Native Americans out west. When i got out here, I was like, "What the hell are you doing out ..." I never thought I'd be in New Mexico, but when something wants to happen, it happens. Suddenly, I was in New Mexico. I realized, here I am in this enchanted land. Literally called "the land of enchantment", New Mexico, and surrounded by spirituality. Native American spirituality, which is totems, animal spirits, a dedication to the Earth, the honoring of the seasons and the cycles. I was like, "I'm here to study this because it's so in relation to what the witch does," which is honor the Earth, have spirit animals, totems, honor the cycles, the moon and the seasons.
I was amazed at the correlations. Have you ever realized that deep thread between the two?
Heather: Oh, yes. Very much so. It's something that I've been fascinated, and studied. I consider myself ... I don't consider myself a master at anything. I am a life student of everything that I study. There's always so much more to learn. There's a million ways to work with every plant, every stone. I've always had this huge love ... Almost, desire, to be a part of that ancestry. You do that Earth work and that medicine work through Native American spiritualism.
I know I told you, it was of recent, I do know my biological family. My parents are still married. I do have some [Sucseka 01:46:56] lineage on my father's side. My great-great-grandmother was Sucseka, which is a part of the Blackfoot tribe. That was something that I've always known, or at least the last 20 years of my life, I've known. It made so much sense to me because when I found that out, happened to be during the time that I was living in the Southwest, and doing a lot of the work that I was doing, and getting to have these opportunities like learning how to roll traditional sage smudge. Learning how to assist in a sweat lodge. Getting the opportunity to learn traditional chants and working with peyote. Working with different plants, and learning about totems.
It was a beautiful thing to find out. Even though it's watered down, it's still a part of my origin. It's a beautiful place where you are. You're very lucky. You're definitely in the land of enchantment right now.
Sarah: Well, I'm homesick. I wanted to get back a little ... You just mentioned peyote again, and I wanted to tell the story that you haven't always been this amazing healer who makes candles, creams, tinctures, heals people with her body, stones. Then we'll get into something else you do that I think is really amazing.
You actually were having so much fun that once, didn't you wake up under a school bus by the cops?
Heather: Yes, I did. I'm in my early 40s, and I was definitely part of that end generation in high school where I got introduced to the Grateful Dead. I went to my very first Grateful Dead show when I was 15 years old, and became a devout follower, pretty much, that first concert.
Often, during the slower months of doing volunteer work on ag-farms, I was often ... You would find me on Dead tour. I saw many, many shows, and went many, many summers all through the Midwest and West Coast. Spent a very large amount of time on LSD and peyote and mushrooms. Probably to the point where I was doing ... I guess I can honestly admit that I would use psychedelic mushrooms and LSD probably ... Every day for ... Two years.
Heather: There was no point where I was honestly sober. That specific story that I shared with you was probably the lowest point, because the group ... The family that I was traveling with, we had a school bus. None of us were in our right mind at all, ever. There happened to be some issues with the police. I had no idea what my name was, and was sleeping underneath the school bus with the dogs because they were my pack. Then I realized, maybe it's time to reel it in a little bit.
I don't know if I would necessarily say that there was much of ... I don't know. It's a hard thing to really understand, I think, if you haven't experienced that much time being on psychedelics. I was definitely very much in need of that experience, or that one foot in reality, one foot in this completely soul journey space. Projecting myself out to the universe on psychedelics. It was a hard ill to swallow when you don't even know who you are. That was an interesting couple of years, in my early 20s.
Sarah: Did that bring you into ... Was that sort of the dark night that brought you into who you are today? Would you say ... That was obviously a necessary part of your past. Did it ... When did the true healer arise out of that dark night?
Heather: When I stopped abusing myself, I think. A lot of that was just ... Other women ... I know that the gals that spoke last week talked of that constant need to be switched on, that party lifestyle. Go, go, go. Definitely, that was where I was at that moment in time. I didn't have much of a care for my own self. I had no problem helping other people, even when I was completely flying above everyone on my mushroom high, or whatever. I was still able to prescribe this for this rash, but I was never caring for myself. I think having that rude awakening, and then realizing, "Oh my God. I'm 20 years old and I've spent the last 2 years eating mushrooms every day, or doing this or that."
I was tiny. I weighed maybe 90 pounds. Wasn't really eating. I was just really abusing myself. I really had to come back into myself and re-find myself in a way. It was definitely a corner ... The corner I had to turn, in order to begin the journey on the road that I'm presently on right now. That's 20 years worth of work on myself, as well as having 2 sons. Relocating from the west coast to the east coast. It's been a journey, let me tell you.
Sarah: What heals you, Heather?
Heather: I can totally ... This is probably the other thing that spoke so loudly to me when I was listening to Hillary talk, is rest. Making sure that I take time for myself. Even though, in all points of my life, I feel I could hear myself, or I could hear that little whisper. Even if I was ignoring it, you can still hear it if you're at all in tune with who you are. I've had to learn over time, as I've gotten older, that it's not even a whisper anymore. It's screaming at me. "You need to put that bottle ... stop decanting tinctures and go lay down. Go take a nice walk on the wooded path across the way from the farm."
Nature heals me, but also taking a moment to reflect and physically relax and rest is what heals me in this moment. It all comes full circle, Sarah, to me learning to receive. I'm trying very hard to ... Probably not as hard as I should be, but I'm trying to open myself up to beginning ... To begin a regimen of self care by receiving reiki, or going to get massage, or saying "yes" to going to lunch with somebody when they ask me. I'm very good at saying "no", and I've become very good at saying "no" over the last 15 or 20 years of my life.
I would really consider myself my own best friend. I don't really ... I'm a very solitary person. I don't really spend a lot of time with other people because I really like to be by myself. That was definitely something that Hillary said about her little cabin in Topanga, and wondering if she was really weird because she likes to be by herself the most. I'm very much that way. Learning to find a happy medium, if that makes sense to you.
Sarah: Yeah, and something you said ... You said, "I should be trying harder". I immediately thought, "You should be trying more softly to open up."
Heather: Yes. Well, you know me. I'm pedal to the metal.
Sarah: Yeah, but I think we're all speaking ... For all of us, this is a very like-hearted group of women. We're solitary because we're different, which is good. You have to be different to make a difference. We're all, in some way, different for a reason because things need to be different. Because we give so much to the world, we need that time to rest and restore, perhaps more than others who don't give as much and heal as much. That's what they say about right workers, is the light needs to recharge and change its battery.
Even this depression that we were talking about earlier on the call. That's really just like the moon going dark. It's all part of the cycle.
Heather: It is. I spoke of my heart malady. That created itself. It's been 1 year, last Wednesday, that I've had this pretty major medical condition. I think that was a huge emotional and physical awakening for me to stop in my tracks, take some deep breaths, and look at myself and say, "It's your time, too, Heather, to be of service to yourself. It's time for you to make sure that you're okay. If you're not ... If your heart's not working, then you can't be here to be of service to anybody else."
I think often, it takes ... At least for me, I can only speak for myself. It takes big, huge events like that for me to listen to that intuitive voice, saying-
Sarah: Yeah, that's why we get sick.
Sarah: We get sick so we can heal ourselves.
Sarah: You do something really cool on the island, or you were doing it for a little bit. Speaking of the cool parts of being a witch, and also ... I still get emails every day about that "13 signs you're a witch". One of them that I wrote for Rebel Society years ago, when I was what I call a "baby witch" ... When you're coming out of the closet, you're in "baby witch" stage, and then you move to "priestess". Then you move to "Get off my yard!" crone. You get the cool walking stick and the raven on your shoulder.
Heather: Or your family of crows that call to let people know that they're coming.
Sarah: They're like, "She's on her way." Yeah. You have a sensitivity to spirits.
Sarah: You were even called upon to clear a few houses, right? Is that true?
Heather: I do. I still do that work. It's periodic, because we had a couple freaky moments where the other practitioner, who I would say is definitely part of the crone coven here on Martha's Vineyard, she got super freaked and was like, "Okay, we're going to put this job on pause for a moment."
Yeah, I had the wonderful opportunity of working with another woman named Holly, here on the island. There's a couple Hollys that I would definitely consider part of my fold. One, which owns and operates an herbal medicine school here on the island, that I'm so lucky to be a guest teacher at. Then, also, another woman named Holly Nadler, that is an intuitive and reads Tarot, writes books, and everything. She is quite well known for her haunted Cape Cod and haunted island books that she has published.
She approached me and asked if I would be willing to go with her to a few different houses. She works with real estate companies here on the island. Often, the homes will be very old. Some of the old family homes up island. Probably fairly close to your family, Sarah. Your family's compound. A lot of the homes up that way are very old and built in the 17 and 1800s. We would go in. She was always fairly scared to do a lot of the work in some of these older homes alone. She approached me and asked if I would come in.
My work with her is, I set up the space for her to be the medium. She speaks directly with spirits. She sees spirits. I come in to clear the space with smudge. I work with stones in the space. I definitely do the best that I can to make Holly feel balanced and grounded and ... So she's able to get her work done. She sometimes works with her cards as the conduit, but often it's just her and spirits speaking. I've definitely have learned some things within that craft with her. Now I'm starting to develop ... In that respect, I would say I'm a baby witch, because I'm beginning to develop those skills with my clients here, at my Ayurvedic practice.
It's interesting work. Yeah, I would like to do more of it.
Sarah: It's a very haunted island, so you'll be able to do a lot more of it.
Heather: She got a little scared, so I don't know if I'll do it with her, but I'd like to be able to pick up where she left off if she chooses ... I'd like to get my team of witches together, because there's quite a few.
Sarah: Count me out of that. We have to ask ... We have just a few more minutes. I wanted to ask you, if you were to teach an online school this winter, which there's a lot of people asking me all the time. "My friend just had a miscarriage. My other friend is just starting to hear plants and working with them." A lot of my friends are always asking me, "What gem will heal this? I have a broken heart." Or, "I want to call in love." Or a lot of friends are asking me stuff, specifically. I'm just like, "You need to message my friend, Heather."
There's a big need for a school of herbs and gems, like you would teach. Have you really been thinking about doing that?
Heather: I actually have. I've talked to some people since you and I had that personal conversation about it a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to feel my way through what would be the most economical way to go about it. It's hard for me ... You know this about me. It's hard for me to ... How do I explain myself? I want everybody to be able to learn. That's really important to me. I know all kinds of stuff ... A lot of it can be weird, a lot of it can be boring. I definitely ... Plants are something that I love to teach about. I can just talk all day long about all kinds of plants.
I'm definitely considering doing something like that, and I would love to. I just need to make sure that I have the proper platform to offer, so that everyone is getting at least something out of the experience. You know that i will keep you in the fold.
Sarah: Great. Keep me posted. Heather, how do you think that the feminine can, or is, healing the world, or us?
Heather: Hmm ... I think that we're just so fortunate to be who we are in this time and age, because I feel that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the energy that's rising. From the planet, itself, as well as the universe. I feel that being a person that's ... My service, my entire life, has always been for women and children. I do work with men in the medicine capacity, but my whole life journey, whether it was being a birth doula ... Whether it was working as a medicine gardener. Often, it was always such a call for the feminine rising, that I feel ... I don't know. It's such a hard thing for me to answer. I just feel that we're all coming together, whether it's to be present in the moment, like Hillary spoke of. Or whether it's to shout from the rooftops that women are here to heal the planet.
I think any small step, whether it's to be to send out that little bit of love out to mother ocean, or whether it's to cry your eyeballs out and lay your face in the earth. Every little thing that you do, every step that you take towards healing yourself, healing that sick woman. Every bit of that, all of that energy, helps to heal the masses. I believe that.
Sarah: My last question for you is, what wound are you healing? I believe that the wound that we're healing, heals the world.
Heather: I have so many, Sarah. That's such a hard question. I have so many wounds that I'm healing, I think. I think my wound, definitely, would be 3 wounds in one. My abandonment wound is a huge one. I've had that wound my whole life, feeling very abandoned or orphaned. Even though I am so very fortunate to be one of those ... To be an adopted person and knowing all my family. The family that raised me, as well as the family that birthed me.
I have a very big father wound. Then, just the self-love is a work for me all the time. It's such a hard job for me, specifically, to make sure that I'm taking good care of myself so that I can take care of my family, my clients, and my community.
Sarah: Heal yourself to heal the world. Yeah.
Heather: Yes, I live that. I'm a walking billboard for that. You know that.
Sarah: Can you give us a fun, witchy spell for self-love? Or what you would tell someone to do for self-love, whether it be herbs or gems?
Heather: I would say what I do for myself the most ... I can really only speak for myself, in that respect. I definitely make sure that I make eye contact with myself throughout the day. That's not a very easy thing for me. I've had a lot of self loathing my entire life. A lot of people have been really very unkind to me. I really do make a point of looking in my own eyes everyday, and telling myself that I love myself.
Then, I'm just huge on all my stones. I work a lot with amber. Amber's probably one that I wear everyday. Our girl, Jeanie, who is another wonderful healer on the island that Sarah and I are so incredibly blessed to know. If she's here, I don't know if she's on this evening, but she's definitely part of the coven conversations as a listener. She's introduced me to a lot of stones I hadn't worked with before. I wear a lot of cyanite, which is very much a self-loving stone. Constantly purifying your chakras, and your aura.
I spend a lot of time with the plant, Hawthorne, purely because of my heart being so sick. It's very much, I would say, Sarah, very personalized for each person. Those are my plants and my stones and my work right now. Trying to be more gentle. Not trying so hard.
Sarah: Yeah, right. The more self-love you have, the more your heart will heal. You're right, for each person it's personal. I'm just saying, maybe, encouraging us all to have a ritual of self-love that we practice.
Heather: I know we need to get off because we're a little bit over time, but you know i have a big ritual for Tuesdays, which I did prior to getting on my call. I would consider that a self-love ritual. I do live in a house with 2 teenage boys. I don't get a lot of time by myself when I'm not working. They know that I'm part of this process over this summer.
I put the "Do not disturb" sign on my door, and I lock my door. I draw my bath, and I take a big, long bath. Then, I do a self oblation abayhanga and I have my cup of rose petal tea. I sit with my big hunk of lavender and listen to the calls by candlelight. I would say that's very much self-loving, and self-nurturing, by taking that 2 hours to myself on Tuesdays.
I think beginning any kind of small ritual that you can for yourself is a huge movement to self-healing and then healing the world.
Sarah: I would love to actually hear people's self-love rituals. I hope they post them in the coven and I'll add that tonight. It just keeps coming to me to say, should we have roses in our house? Roses in our house for love? It sounds like something I should do.
Heather: It's not a bad idea to. That was one of the very first plants that I planted when I moved here to this little farm. Sarah knows this, and so do some of the other ... My wolf pack. My wild woman wolf pack ladies that are on the call. I live on a farm with all men. I have 2 sons, my brother-in-law lives here, my husband's uncle, and his father. I am it. I am the only lady. No lady animals, no, nothing.
Roses was one of the very first things I planted so that I could have that self-love radiating towards my heart, but also out to the men. It was like my peace plant.
Sarah: Right. It's the symbol of Magdalene. Mary Magdalene's flower. I'm about to pour myself some hibiscus love tea from Heather's Breezy Pines Farm. I wanted to tell you guys about her Breezy Pines Farm. Is it breezypinesfarm.com?
Heather: It's breezypinesfarm-mv.com, and I guess .
Sarah: Okay. It's got an amazing menagerie of what Heather sells, but she's also available online. I mean, on Facebook. I highly recommend going to her with almost any ailment or problem, because she really is that ancient medicine woman that knows all and directs us into our own ancient medicine woman.
Thank you, Heather, so much for this call.
Heather: I love you, Sarah. Thank you for including me.
Sarah: I love you, too. Blessed night on Martha's Vineyard. I know it's late there, so tuck in with some self-love. Thank you so much.
Heather: Thank you for having me.
Sarah: Good night, honey. Good night, everybody.
Heather: Good night.