Reiki Master

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers...

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers on the Path

Nobody ever told me this.

In my 15+ years practicing Shamanic work, 12 years practicing Reiki and 9 years owning and operating my own business, not one single person ever gave me this piece of advice.

Which I find hilarious, because it's one of the most common pieces of advice that I'm offering to my Spiritual Mentorship clients.

As I continue to work with more and more people in a mentorship capacity (healers, coaches, practitioners, both those who are new to their practice and those who are well-established but wanting to serve more), one glaring commonality keeps coming up:

"I can't ____________________ until/because _______________________."

I can't start taking clients until I make a website.
I can't start offering sessions because I'm not totally clear on my niche yet.
I can't do healing work for other people until I've healed myself.
I can't take clients until I've practiced more and am really good at ______ first.
I can't _________ because I don't have a certification.
I can't quit my job because my healing practice isn't where I want it to be yet.
I can't shift the focus of my work because I'm known for __________.
I can't introduce this new practice I'm really excited about because it means I will lose clients who are used to me serving in a certain way.
I can't ___________ because the market is saturated and a bajillion people do that.

Do any of those sound familiar?

We humans are really, really good at coming up with reasons why we shouldn't do something that will stretch us, challenge us and move us in a direction of growth and expansion. I'm not sure if healer/coach/service-types are more prone to this (or if maybe that's just who I hang out with), but I can't tell you how many people over the years I have heard give all sorts of reasons why they can't offer their work.

Believe me, I do this, too! I have been through all sorts of my own versions of these statements over the years. They still come up, but I've learned to recognize them and move through them with a smile.

How?

Okay, so this #1 piece of advice actually comes in four parts. Here they are:

1. There is no "arrival."

Many of these "I can't" statements are conditional upon some sort of "arrival" or achievement--the idea that we must reach some sort of arbitrary finish line in order to finally offer our work or service.  Here's the kicker: the finish line keeps moving.

The more we know, the more we realize we don't know. (Or maybe that's just me.) We think that getting that certification will finally enable us to do this work, and then once we have it, we think we need another training on top of that, and then  we need to go study this supplementary practice, and then go train with XYZ expert in the field...

Guess what: we are never "done." There is no "arrival." There is no "I am finally qualified because I have all the certifications and know every little thing so now I can officially open my practice and start helping people!!"

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, or has stopped growing, themselves.

You don't have to have all the answers to be a good healer/coach/practitioner/whatever. And while there might be some fields where certification or licensure is required by law, for the most part, you probably don't actually need to cross whatever arbitrary finish line you created for yourself in order to serve the people you want to help.

In fact, by waiting to offer your work until you've "arrived," you are making yourself unavailable to the people who need you.

Which leads me to...

2. Just do the thing!

Yup. It's that simple. Just start offering your work. Don't wait until you figure out exactly what you're offering, don't wait until you have a website, don't wait until you quit your corporate job, don't wait until you've healed yourself completely (see #1).

...because the best way for you to figure out what you're offering is to get immediate, direct feedback from doing the work.
...because the best way to make your website is once you already have a clear vision of how you are supporting people.
...because the best driver and inspiration for you to leave your corporate job to do the thing you love is doing the thing you love.
...because we are never done our healing journey. It is possible to be a phenomenal healer and still be on the path ourselves. In fact, it is impossible to be a phenomenal healer and NOT be on the path.

By simply doing the thing, eventually you will...

3. Master your craft.

Mastery comes from practice. There is no shortcut. There is no other way around it. Stop looking for a magic quick fix.

...and enjoy the journey of discovery! What happens when we treat the process and practice as the goal itself, instead of any imagined end result?

  • We allow ourselves to be fully present within the process.
  • We treat ourselves with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We treat others with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We are able to practice our craft with curiosity and awareness, as opposed to judgement and comparison.
  • We release attachment to outcome and take pressure off ourselves.
  • We usually enjoy ourselves more.
  • We get really freaking good at the thing we are practicing.

When we treat Mastery as a journey of practice, rather than any sort of state of enlightenment, it becomes more accessible to us and to our potential clients. I can guarantee you that anyone would rather work with you, the human who is practicing and mastering their craft all the time, than the all-enlightened-super-perfect-master-on-the-mountaintop. You've got this.

Which leads me to (most important part!!!)...

4. Let your I AM be your Medicine.

In other words, let your most authentic, fully expressed Self be your service. Yes. It's that simple. YOU, yourself, are the best Medicine you could offer.

As long as I'm making guarantees, I guarantee that there is someone out there who needs you, exactly as you are, to support them on their path. Not the version of you who looks cool on Instagram. Not the version of you who seems to have their whole life together. Not the version of you who has finally "arrived." (See #1.)

You, in your I AM, as your fully expressed Self, are ready to offer your Original Medicine to the world. Let that be enough.

Because it is enough.

Because you are enough.

This is one of the biggest challenges I have faced, personally and professionally: the idea that my Self, my I AM, exactly as I AM, is the perfect Medicine for me to offer. That it can really be that simple.

And the more that I have embraced my I AM and allowed my Original Medicine to come through in my work:

  • I trust myself more than I ever though possible.
  • I AM supporting myself and my clients through even bigger life challenges and changes with ease.
  • I have dramatically upleveled my practice and my business to greater degrees of alignment, effectiveness and grace.
  • My work is even more subtle, even more powerful and more enjoyable for me and my clients.
  • I AM experiencing more freedom of choice, time, resources and abundance.
  • I feel more authentically embodied in my life and my practice than ever before.

What would that version of your life be like? What would that version of your practice feel like?

Can you let your Self be enough?

If this advice resonates with you, I would like to offer you an invitation:

Next week, on Monday, August 13, I will open applications for I AM Medicine: the fall iteration of my Spiritual Mentorship work that begins September 4th. There is space in this work for you to explore your own I AM and claim your Original Medicine.

Are you ready to release any sense of "arrival?" Are you ready to just do the thing you have been waiting on? Are you ready to master your craft? Are you ready to let your most authentic Self be enough?

Any good mentor is walking the path with you, and I promise that I AM right here on this journey, too.

The Door of Initiation

How do we interact with our initiatory experiences?

Many times, until we learn to recognize them, we don't recognize our initiatory experiences until well after the fact. We perceive them as struggles, losses, challenges and opportunities, yet it is usually not until after we have passed through the "door" that we realize the true significance of crossing the threshold.

A lot of the people I work with come to me after they have experienced an awakening initiation: they have stepped through some sort of doorway (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) and now find themselves in unfamiliar territory where the world is not the same... and neither are they.

These doorways of initiation and awakening appear in all forms: job opportunities, death of a loved one, relocation, kids growing up, new people appearing in our lives, financial losses or failed careers, or even just waking up in a different reality.

How we interact with our initiatory experiences usually depends on whether or not we're aware that we are currently crossing a life-altering threshold. Sometimes it takes everything we have to choose to step through that doorway, and sometimes it feels as though we are dragged through it, kicking and screaming.

I have found myself in both of these positions: taking a breath to center myself, then deliberately crossing a threshold into a new way of being--sometimes with excitement, sometimes trepidation, usually both--and also, I have cried, howled in pain and clawed tooth and nail to try to get back through certain doors of initiations in the Shadow.

I feel inspired to share these thoughts today because we've all been here. And we will all be here again. Every single one of us has felt the squeeze, the uncertainty, the discomfort and growing pains associated with an initiatory experience. Learning to recognize them makes it easier to approach with purpose and resolve, rather than dread.

What would it feel like if you knew that your current experience was an initiation in disguise? How would you interact with it then?

Journal prompt:

"What door is appearing to me now? How do I feel about stepping through it? How have I interacted with my past initiatory experiences? How can I claim and recognize them in the future?"

Don't overthink it, just write and see what happens!

Emotional Alchemy

EMOTIONAL ALCHEMY IS A POWERFUL TOOL.

During a session the other day, I enjoyed witnessing a client move herself through the process of some pretty impressive emotional alchemy. She has been working with identifying and transmuting a lifelong shadow pattern for quite a while now, and during our session, with a few nudges, she took herself through a powerful journey of redirecting her behavioral structure and programming.

She was able to shift her heavy shadow pattern (rooted, like so many of us have, in not-enoughness) and fully recreate her lived experience of this belief. With a little guidance, she formulated a new belief structure based in empowerment, self-trust and service. When she breathed this new system into her body, she felt her heart glow with the strength of this belief.

This process she experienced the other day is an example of emotional alchemy: applying the art and science of transformation to the way we feel about the world. In this case, she was able to transmute her wounded feelings and trigger response into understanding, compassion and self-love. As she practices and integrates operating from this new paradigm, it will shift her relationships, her confidence and her way of being in the world.

What would YOU like to alchemize? How can you apply these ancient practices to your own Self and way of being? What does emotional alchemy have to teach you?

Join me on Thursday for the FREE master class! You must register to receive the login information. All registered attendees will receive a link to the recording after the live class.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Master Class: Alchemy of the Soul

Alchemy, an ancient body of knowledge originating thousands of years ago, is not only the origin of all modern sciences but also a profoundly Spiritual practice. While popular understanding of Alchemy centers around the transmutation of lead into gold, this belies the core principles of Alchemical philosophy: in short, the transformation from Spiritual immaturity into enlightenment through harmonizing with Universal life force. The procedural steps of Alchemy, which eventually led to the foundation of modern chemistry, were merely the physical representation of the Spiritual journey of the practitioner.

Today, we apply the principles of Alchemy in the context of personal actualization and empowerment in order to transform ourselves and our lives to embody a state of grace, harmony and freedom. We employ ancient practices, surrender to the cosmos and align with the Universal Cycles of Power. We consciously ground Spirit into our bodies and our lived, human experience for the benefit of ourselves, of all beings on Earth and of the Earth herself.

Join me for a Master Class as we delve into the philosophy of Alchemy, its role in the modern context and ways that you can begin to awaken your own, inner Alchemist to align with the process of true transformation!

Come prepared with a journal and questions! There may be some opportunities for individual coaching.

Eleven attendees on the live call will receive a FREE gift from me!

Upon registration, you'll receive a confirmation email with login information for the class. I look forward to seeing you there!

Register here to reserve your space!

My Gift to You: Happy SOULstice!

This Winter SOULstice, I've been thinking about what I would like to give back to YOU, the amazing people in my life who inspire me to continue the work I do.

As work with Soul Contracts comes up big time during this darkest, most contract-ive time of the year, it feels more important now than ever before to clarify and clean up our Soul Agreements before heading into a new year.

So, I would like to invite you to receive a special gift. I am offering five FREE Soul Contract healing sessions to you during December 26-29!

Here are the details:
-These must take place in person at my healing studio in SW Portland. Address provided upon registration.
-Once you register, there are no reschedules.
-First come, first serve! Once these sessions are filled, they are filled.
-Register here to reserve your FREE Soul Contract healing session.

What you can expect from these sessions:
-We will journey into the nature of your Soul Contract to examine any clauses that are no longer serving you.
-If possible, we will erase and rewrite them with a healthy, new agreement.
-We will do energy healing work to help this contract alteration integrate gently into your lived experience.
-I will not be doing this work "for" you. I will be guiding you and holding space for you to claim your full power in stating the nature of your Soul Contract with Spirit.
-There will be an audio recording of this session for you to revisit at any time.

If you would like to claim your FREE Soul Contract Healing session now, register here!

Life Review: Birthday Edition

My upcoming birthday is prompting even more introspection and self-examination than usual! I'm turning 30 on Thursday, and as I prepare to celebrate my life and usher in a new decade of even greater awesomeness, I'm taking the time for some considerable life review.  (I also have a GIFT for you!! See below.)

One of the big things that came up as I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago was appreciating just how quickly change occurs. I was at SOAK (a regional Burning Man event which I have been attending since 2011) staring at the massive bonfire and remembering who I was one short year ago, and how I was in such a different place in my life. I continued to follow this train of thought back over the years and was struck with so much appreciation for the way in which change occurs much more quickly than we realize. Maybe this isn't new information to you, but it was a revelation to me. I know I tend to run around the world with a certain degree of impatience, always wanting to accomplish things as quickly and efficiently as possible because there's so much to do!! However, things only feel like they're moving slowly when I zoom in and look at the short-term. As soon as I was able to widen my perspective and take in the last year (and widen even further to take in the last several years), I felt enormously humbled for just how much change I have created in the last year. Let's take a look at some highlights (and lowlights, because those are important, too):

  • On my birthday last year, I officially began claiming my medicine in an even deeper way by calling myself Michelle Hawk and honoring the name that Spirit had given me.
  • (Just over one year ago, but it's so close that we're counting it) I successfully redid/rebranded my business and launched my gorgeous new website.
  • I went through the trauma of losing my home and my amazing roommate, was gifted with a safe place to land over the winter, and two months ago moved into an amazing Goddess Temple house in a beautiful neighborhood.
  • My wonderful witch mother, Rosemary, and I officially released and began teaching our Illumination Reiki™ curriculum. We've been working on this for YEARS and it feels amazing to put this out into the world!
  • We also began teaching our classes at a gorgeous studio space (Vibrant Studios) in SW Portland. If you haven't seen it yet, we'd love to have you join a workshop and check it out!
  • On the personal note, I took a deep look at my patterns in relationships. I learned hard and valuable lessons from a couple of boyfriends and did amazing healing work to heal and finally release some old trauma from an abusive relationship.
  • My wonderful sister Katherine Bird and I began our video podcast, Shaman Sister Sessions, which will soon be available on iTunes!
  • I successfully trained for and ran my FIRST ever race! I ran a half marathon (ran every step of the way, no stopping or walking) and finished just over my goal of 2 hours (2:01:13, which is pretty darn close). 10k coming up next!
  • I reworked my healing and mentorship offerings to include Spiritual Warrior Mentorship for my clients who are ready to fully claim the magic of their Divine nature.
  • I gave a twist to my New Moon Rising intensive program and am delighted to offer it in its newest incarnation this fall!!
  • I spoke at a conference for the first time, taught a breakout workshop at another conference, traveled to California to teach at a retreat and was invited to speak at another conference in October (I just learned that I'll be giving the closing keynote speech on the first day!!).
  • I finally started treating my work like a business, instead of "just" my life purpose and passion. I cannot overstate how huge this is.
  • I released a lot of old beliefs, did a lot of hard personal work, coached myself through heartache and tears, loved myself fiercely enough to hold my ground and speak my Truth, trusted myself and Spirit enough to take some big leaps and danced plenty along the way!

It is so important to look back every now and then in order to really appreciate how much we have changed, how far we have come and how darn quickly it all happened! Thank you for the part YOU have played in my journey. It is a pleasure to walk with you on this path. Let us continue to witness each other in our magnificent unfolding.

Many blessings,

Michelle Hawk Signature

Okay, your turn! And here's the GIFT part:

In celebration of my 30th birthday, I am offering you a free 30-minute call with me! One on one, your chance to chat with me about whatever you like. Life purpose stuff? Big questions? Important decisions? Spending half an hour just catching up and telling jokes? Sure! Send me an email (please include your phone number) and we'll set up a time to talk.

 

In addition, I have an invitation for you.

While this is not required for you to claim your GIFT call with me, I highly suggest doing this exercise before we talk (or anytime). Grab a journal, cup of tea and settle in for some life review of your own!

  • Make a list (like I did above) of the standout events, accomplishments, revelations, personal growth moments, low points, etc of the past year. 
  • After you have your list, give yourself a hug! You've done a lot in just a short time.
  • Next, rate each list item on a 1-10 scale in terms of emotional charge (1 is no emotion attached, 10 is very emotionally charged).
  • Everything that scored an 8 or higher, look at more closely. As you re-read these items on your list, drop into your body and your breath. Notice what sensations and emotions are attached. Do these things feel expansive or contractive? Are they associated with joy, fear, love, rage, grief, pain, euphoria or something else?

The emotional charge that we hold from these defining events informs our current experience and way of being in the world. Notice what revelations come up for you as you look at this list. If you choose to claim your GIFT call with me, we can look more closely at some of these things and identify how they're impacting your lived experience, and what alchemy needs to take place in order to integrate the lessons.

Turning Down Clients: A Practice in Devotion and Discernment

IT IS OKAY TO TURN DOWN A CLIENT.

I just turned down a potential client who was interested in working with me because it felt like the wrong fit. When he described the kind of coach he was looking for, I knew that we wouldn't be a good match. I referred him to a colleague of mine who I felt would be a much better fit, but he was reluctant to contact this amazing practitioner because he was very attached to the idea of working with a woman.

In the past, I might have told him that we could work together, happily accepted his money and then struggled through a series of sessions that may not have served either of us. There can be a bit of ego, savior complex and/or scarcity mentality that comes into play when healers/coaches/practitioners are learning that IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO TO WORKING WITH SOMEONE. I have definitely fallen into this category before.

"Sure, I can do that kind of work." "This person really needs help!" "I could use the money." These were some of the arguments with which I would convince myself to take on a client that didn't feel quite right. And, invariably, something would be a bit off in our work together, and I would end up referring them to someone else. Fortunately, I only needed a few of these clients for me to fully learn this lesson.

Turning down a client is a practice in devotion and discernment. By holding the specific vision of the kind of client you want to work with, you attract more of those people to you and get to go that much deeper into the kind of work you love the most. Think of it as refining the agreement you have with Spirit about the way you want to show up in the world. If you're a generalist, you will continue to receive a broad spectrum of clients coming your way. The more you narrow it down and get specific about what you are here to do, the more your potential clients will align with that frequency.

As long as we're on the subject, let me practice being very specific:

My mission is to fully embody and express my Divinity/God Self on every level through my Joy, Love and Purpose, and in doing so, catalyze other people to do the same, thus bringing Spirit to full, grounded actualization on the Earth plane. I work with people who are in the process of awakening to their own Divine nature--those who hear the call to step fully into claiming their power and offering their Sacred Work to the world. I work with Warriors of the Light who are ready to be initiated into the full unfolding of their Soul's Mission. I work with Divine Embodied Beings who, every day, are committed to living fully expressed lives of Joy, Love and Purpose.

...Is that you?

Danger Junkie of the Soul

My current practice: Sharing my process and feelings while I still feel vulnerable.

I avoid conflict. I take complete responsibility for processing my own emotions. I value my alone time enormously. I don’t like to ask for help. I need to know how I feel before I can share it with anyone else.

The total sum of these qualities means that, when any kind of trigger or bubble of fear/anxiety/strong emotion arises, I retreat. I go within myself to fully process the feeling and return to a place where I feel safe and grounded before I even bring my inner turmoil to anyone’s attention, which can be anywhere from 2 minutes to days after the fact.

I don’t think that I am unique in my behavior. Humans make foolish decisions when we’re afraid, and we don’t like to make ourselves more vulnerable while we already feel compromised. For most people, however, I imagine that this takes the form of stuffing down their feelings and never looking at them until they explode. For me, it means that I go quiet until I have thought through it all and can express myself clearly.

I exhibit this behavior pretty much exclusively in relationship. I didn’t realize that this was the case until the last guy I dated expressed some frustration that I wasn’t sharing my feelings in the moment. When I reflected on this with a medicine sister, she replied with astonishment that I am one of the best she knows at doing this in the context of healing work. Immediacy, perfect clarity and ease of expression come to me effortlessly when working with clients and anyone else in my life, but as soon as I have to practice this with a partner, fear wins.

I decided that I would like to cultivate that skill of immediacy and vulnerability in my relationship dynamics. It feels important to practice this valuable tool, even though it scares the crap out of me.

And so, I lovingly devote myself to sharing my crippling fears, my debilitating anxieties, my bursts of terror and my spirals of shame while I am feeling them at the time. I am currently exploring a new relationship with a wonderful man who has very compassionately witnessed my moments of fierce emotion, listened to my feelings and held me in a state of ease and grace as I fumble my way back to equanimity.

I am definitely improving at this skill. The presence and peace with which I am met in these tumultuous moments have allowed me to bring these dark, twisting anxieties to the light to discover that perhaps they are less unlovable than I imagined. I certainly process these feelings much more quickly than I used to, but I suppose that makes sense. Trying to hold your own safe container while simultaneously addressing whatever emotional imp needs soothing in the moment takes some significant energetic juggling.

I love doing the things that scare me. I experienced one moment in particular last week that literally rendered me speechless out of sheer emotion: terror, shame, grief, trauma and despair all coursing through my chest in equal measure. And even though it felt like the most gut-wrenching thing in the world, I collected my breath and forced myself to speak it aloud. I noticed with some detached fascination as I did so that words could hold so much power and potential for healing. Witnessing myself in my terror and pushing through what feels like some form of death, then discovering that I still draw breath on the other side of the experience, is an intoxicating super power. Maybe this is what danger junkies feel when they risk life and limb. Maybe I’m a danger junkie of the heart and soul.

Examining those beliefs that we all have—the ones that shriek “No one would love me if they knew!” fascinates me beyond measure.

What terrors and anxieties hold you fast in their grip? What fears do you clutch so tightly to your chest that they rot away at your heart?

Are you ready to speak them aloud so you can begin to loosen their hold on you?

From one Danger Junkie of the Soul to another, I’ve got you. Let’s do this.