Soul Sparks Episode #8: You Are Not Broken with Erin Telford

"In this episode we hit on: resilience, moving through grief, acupuncture, Breathwork, the loneliness of success, getting vulnerable in relationships, intuition vs. strategy in business.

Truth bomb: "It’s one of the most terrifying things ever to be truly unmasked and wildly vulnerable and sexual and emotional in front of another human being and not know if it’s going to work out even if they’re supposedly all the things on paper and in real life. I think that’s one of the scariest things ever, to be naked in front of another human being, on all levels."

~ Erin Telford

I have been following Kristin Lohr of We Are Soul Sparks for a long time.  Her Instagram account has become a sweet oracle for me.  Every time I scroll past her feed, there is always a divine and perfect message waiting for me that gives me a little synchronous boost for my journey.  She is a coach with a specialty in helping you find your strengths and get unstuck.  She asked me for my "pretty timeline" of how I got started to where I am now and that's where the conversation got real as there isn't ever just a yellow brick road that we skip along.  I talk about how I coped and grew from grief when my sister was killed in the middle of my acupuncture grad school program.  I talk about love and relationships and opening up and taking risks.  How I feel about social media (I like it.)  And much more...Enjoy the interview!  

 

The Joyful Approach: Erin Telford, Mother Earth Healer and Champion of Change

photo by Melodee Solomon

photo by Melodee Solomon

Joy Dushey is a student, colleague and friend and she has a gorgeous website full of rich information on her healing process.  She interviewed me recently and asked some great question! To see the full interview on her site with all the photos, click HERE!

Name:  Erin Telford

Profession:  Healer/Breathwork Facilitator/Writer/Acupuncturist/Reiki Master/Herbalist/Teacher

How many years are you in practice?  Seven years this June!

What led you to your path with holistic healing?  My parents were both TM practitioners and my mom took me to crystal healing when I was a little girl.  My mom was very mindful about organic, locally sourced food and low media consumption.  I had a really good foundation for how to take care of myself from an early age and leaned on that in my path of self-exploration.  I was always curious about what else was out there other than the traditional routes.  I was really anxious, sensitive, and depressed a lot when I was growing up so I was always looking for ways to find more peace and understand myself better.  My healing path emerged out of necessity for my own self-healing and then expanded to helping others. 

 

I know you have a background in fashion, can you tell us about your experience in the fashion world and your shift into healing?  I have always loved beautiful, well made things and great design.  I used to pour over fashion magazines and sketch out the outfits I was going to buy with my allowance when I was in junior high.  I worked as a buyer and in showrooms at a few luxury fashion companies.  It wasn’t until I moved to New York and ended up working at Prada than I hit my limit.  The working conditions there were completely unsupportive of being a human being on every level.  I thought I had my “dream job” and it was a rude awakening for me that it was not what I was meant to do at all.  I was exhausted and frustrated and confused.  My dream didn’t look or feel the way I thought it would and it pushed me into getting really clear on what I wanted in my life.  I started to pray and connect to the Universe in a deeper way and asked every day for help with finding my next step.  Eventually I got a very big sign to go to acupuncture school and that was the beginning of me doing healing work for a living.   

 

What do you feel is your most important purpose?  De-stigmatizing emotions and helping people feel things that feel scary without shame. 

 

What does a typical session with you looks like with Acupuncture /Reiki and Breathwork?

A typical session with me is going to spending some time figuring out what needs healing in your life.  I believe in helping you feel strong and capable of making the changes that will bring more peace, health and joy in your life.  Usually we have to clear out a lot of social conditioning and family programming to begin to be able to see clearly who we are, what we want and what is possible.  I begin with therapeutic conversation and then we move into the healing treatment-whether that is acupuncture, Reiki or Breathwork.  All are great medicines for different things.   

 

Can you compare the difference in benefits between a 1:1 Breathwork to group sessions?

In a one on one Breathwork session, we have the chance to work on exactly what you need whether it’s self-worth, sexual assault, trauma, your relationship with your parents, relationship patterns that don’t work anymore, karma, loss and grief, anything that your spirit needs to heal to lighten your burden.  You receive individual attention and energy clearing and we can move a lot in a single session.  You have the benefit of being witnessed, seen, heard and held through the entire process. 

In a group, you won’t have the individual attention but you will be held by the group energy.  Groups are a beautiful way to remember that you are not alone in your experience.  We tend to isolate when we feel bad because we’ve been taught not to be a burden or a downer.  It’s incredibly liberating to witness other people feeling the same self-doubt or anxiety or sadness.  There is a freedom of expression that you can find in a group for those who might feel a little self-conscious about a one on one session.  There is a lot of love and ego dissolution with groups.  I love working both ways!

 

Do you have any advice for those embarking on self-exploration and self-discovery that bump up against resistance in their process?

It’s part of the deal.  No matter where you are in your self study, you will always hit resistance.  The trick is being aware when you are there.  We all have different “resistance” behaviors.  For me that can look like eating too much sugar or watching too much tv.  For other people that can be drinking too much or being late or “forgetting” to do the practices they know will help them.  We’ve never just going to effortlessly confront ourselves.  It’s not a straight line and we will put up a fight sometimes when it gets uncomfortable.  Eventually you will cultivate enough self-awareness so that you will know exactly what you’re doing when you are resisting your growth.  Forgive yourself and keep it moving. 

 

Do you have advice on “finding community” for those looking to shift to more of a spiritual path?

 There are so many people looking for genuine heart connection right now.  As a culture, we are starved for it.  Follow your interests and your curiosity.  Don’t be afraid to go into a space where you have no experience or where you feel like a beginner.  We are all beginners and we are all learning.  There are many doors to find community-yoga, cooking classes, meditation, breathwork, mantra, moon circles, dance classes, retreats.  Explore and have fun and you will eventually find people that you resonate with.  If you have a shortage of events where you live, start your own! 

 

A Bit about your personal life..

I love my life, even when it feels hard.  I’m very grateful for all my experiences because they have gotten me where I am today.  I feel like I am on the other side of a lot of pain and healing and really beginning to deeply enjoy who I am and what I have to offer in a new way.  I can feel a new way of living calling that I’m really excited about!

 

 What does a day off in your life look like?

Today I slept in and then went to a great yoga class that one of my students gifted me.  I was inspired to write about something that happened this weekend so I did that in between hunting for new songs for Breathwork playlists.  Then I went to Joanna Vargas for an LED light bed treatment.  My evening is cooking some nourishing food and getting prepped for the week.  I let my senses and my energy levels dictate my days off. 

 

Favorite Past times ..

Wandering

Reading

Conversations that feel like you are solving all your problems and figuring out the secrets of the Universe

Ritual

Earthing

Soaking in hot springs

Writing

Facilitating Breathwork

 

Favorite Travel spots..

Joshua Tree

New Mexico

Sacred Valley, Peru

Mom’s house in Eugene

Dad’s cabin in Northern Ontario

Anywhere where its warm and I don’t have to wear shoes

 

Your “dream” in a few sentences :  That everyone feels seen, heard and loved for who they are.  That everyone understands their emotions, what they mean, how to self soothe and heal.  That everyone feels creatively expressed and lives a life that feels wonderful to them.  

 

We Need a New Way to Work With Pain

We Need a New Way to Work With Pain

The first time I remember being deeply depressed was when I was 17 and went away to college.  Every time my mom would call me I would dissolve into tears.  I didn’t know exactly why I was sad.  I knew I didn’t want to be there and that I didn’t feel in control of my life.  Adult me knows now that I had just removed myself far enough away from the culture of my family to begin to start separating out what was me and what was them.  Another big piece was that I had just stopped drinking.  Taking alcohol out of the equation was allowing me to feel my feelings and they were leaking out everywhere. I drank heavily as a teenage girl to numb out and then decided drinking was for unevolved people when I got to college...a pretty lonely position to take as a freshman.  So, what do you do with a sad girl when you don’t know how to help her?  Therapy and anti-depressants, right? 

 

I said no. 

 

I knew that wasn’t the answer.  I knew there was something behind my feelings that was real and true.  The secret to myself.  All the healing I ever needed if I could just start to untangle the knots around my heart.  And so, I began the search to deeply know and understand Me. 

 

Over the past 25 years, I have tried almost everything-psychedelics, Buddhist meditation, yoga, hypnosis, past life regression, acupuncture, Reiki, herbal medicine, soul retrievals, shamanic drum journeys, sound healing, astrology, psychic readings, Akashic records, bio field tuning, crystal bed therapy, EFT, plant medicine, ecstatic dance, crystal healing, therapeutic massage, traditional therapy, Hakomi therapy, and books and books and books!  I threw the kitchen sink at my healing.  I followed my curiosity.  I followed my intuition.  I kept all three eyes open-always looking, always searching for the next thing that might shift things a little bit more. 

 

I didn’t do this in a feverish way or make it a second job.  I did it with the intention of finding peace in my spirt and in my heart, more joy and more freedom.  That is my one true driver of all the things that I do. 

 

And what I found after years of devoted investigation of self and seven years of clinical practice is that the evolutionary superpower of understanding our emotions appears to have been missed.  Identifying, owning and validating your emotional experience is essential to your healing.  Being in denial and dismissive to our emotional truth is a self-betrayal that creates even greater pain.  Nothing changes when you deny your history or your trauma, whether it is little t trauma or big T trauma. 

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