Journey for the Senses: An Interview with Colleen Ordonio of Om in Bloom
Colleen Ordonio is an integrative healer that incorporates Yoga, Reiki, sound meditation and plant medicine to create an accessible form of healing for her personal practice and that of her clients. Colleen is one of five healers featured in Sojourn’s upcoming Healing Hour event: Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. We were lucky enough to share some of her time and get to know her better!
Congrats on finishing Yoga Teacher Training!! Tell us more about your wellness journey and how you found Reiki, Herbalism and Yoga as a means for healing?
Thank you SO much! I cannot express how beautiful it is to grow in continued spiritual knowledge and exploration. For those who are here to learn about my wellness journey, my tangible wellness practice began at the tender age of 16, when I attending my first yoga class and fell in love with the way it allowed me to find stillness of the mind but invigoration of the heart and body. Like many, this became my gateway to holistic study. From that point, my curiosity grew and my innate desire to learn, to absorb, to practice all things wellness has only grown with time. I realized quickly, “The more I learn, the less I know,” which not only humbles me - but inspires me to explore all that I can in this lifetime, because why not? I will warn you now that my story may not be extravagant or extraordinary, but I am content and present with it because it allows me sweet moments of bliss, hope, and beautiful aspiration towards moksha.
As I explored wellness within my own personal healing journey, I found time and time again that I wanted to share the beauty of it with others. I began Om in Bloom, and through my studies of various modalities, began to share via writings, blogs, poems, and other informative material. Being amongst healers in my family, I became exposed to Usui Reiki Healing. Attuned by my cousin, Melanie Esperon of Reiki Room San Diego, I became certified as an Usui Reiki Practitioner and a year later - an Usui Reiki Master. Working with life force energy allowed me the first extension of wellness, if you will, helping to open my mind and broaden my perspective of personal growth and self-healing.
Reiki has allowed me to dive deeper in to my personal self-healing - if you haven't tried self-reiki yet, it's magical to add to any sadhana, spiritual practice. Through reiki, I was really able to open up my relationship with the local wellness community. By acting as a channel to help facilitate the movement and balance of the chakras of another, I am able to not only help someone else along their journey, but also able to increase my self study. Self-study, especially in the realm of learning how to separate and differentiate my energy from another person's. It helps me to stay grounded and to be in tune with my own feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Reiki also taught me the importance of an even energy exchange. I am a firm believer that any offering could be countered by an equal offering - simple. This creates balance in the world and helps to have good relationship with personal karma.
Plant medicine came simultaneously as I studied herbalism under John Finch & Jane Richmond, of Self-Heal School of Herbal Studies & Healing. They carried with them teachings from beautifully renowned herbalists, like Rosemary Gladstar. Wanting to introduce others to plant medicine, I began Herb + Nectar Botanic Supply, along a dear friend Jenn Rose. We used tea as a familiar vehicle so that others may also learn how to heal through consumption of the abundance of herbs the Earth has to offer. From making plant medicine inspired tea blends with Herb + Nectar to creating plant medicine for my own home, there is always something to be done, herbs to be blended, and all things of the like. I seriously geek out when I get to say, “I have an herb for that!” - finding amusement in not only the convenience, but also joy in knowing that the Mother has provided all that we need to heal. Likewise, our bodies are equipped with the tools to do so, so long as we learn how to use them, nourish them, and love them.
What is the meaning behind OM in Bloom?
In 2016, Om in Bloom began as a simple dream of sharing wellness with all. "Om in Bloom" signified the beginning of a wellness journey - unfolding. This was true for me, as well as many of my audience. Om, sound of the universe, is a beautiful word that showcases, beginnings, as well as ends. "Yes," it says, just as Shiva + Shakti exclaim at the birth of creation. My journey is forever unfolding - blooming - and will continue to do so for as long as I am here on this planet and beyond.
I’m passionate about is creating a space for wellness that is accessible to all beings regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status - along any point in their journey of self-exploration & conscious growth. It’s an initiatory - or ongoing - dive into wellness and the Self. What I have to offer you is this: a channel to help facilitate your wellness journey with the tools I have to nourish the physical body, subtle body, and the energy beyond the vessel.
You incorporate several modalities in your healing sessions with clients? What is the benefit to integrative healing?
To me, integrative healing makes for a more holistic and rounded experience that stimulate the senses. From Reiki to Yoga, each modality plays a specific role within this sensory journey. With reiki + crystals, we stimulate the sense of touch and aura. With instruments, we are able to kiss the sense of hearing with beautiful, vibrational sound. Aromas of carefully selected essential oils allow for accessing the sense of smell - pertaining to the effect we select for. When combined with herbal medicine, we can stimulate not only healing through consumption, but just the simple element of taste. Finally, with yoga - we are able to SEE, feel, and touch, not only with the physical body, but with the third eye center as well.
In my sessions, I try to integrate what is right for my client based on the offering I am serving them in that moment. When we stimulate the different senses, we can begin to digest healing in many different ways. This allows for optimal absorption of healing therapy - because we are able to speak to all access points.
What is plant medicine and why is it important for health and well-being?
Plant medicine is an ancient, sacred practice across many cultures worldwide. In fact, much of the world still operates on plant medicine instead of allopathic medicine. Most allopathic medicine is inspired by, or contains elements of plants. Plants are the source of unadulterated healing, gifted to the world from the Earth. (Which is why we need to take of her!)
I believe it's important to embrace what plants have to offer - as they don't just offer benefits to the body, but to the mind and energy as well. Plants can be used consistently to maintain optimal health in the body (i.e. elderberry for immune support, gotu kola for clearing brain fog). Each plant also has an energetic expression, a gender, a spirit - and by building relationships with these plants, we are able to reap the energetic and spiritual benefits as well.
Much of plant medicine comes through in cosmetics + skin care. I truly believe that the world could benefit from making the switch to more natural products in both consumption and topical application because of the simple fact that it comes from the Earth. Why saturate our bodies with unnatural substance?
Thank You Colleen!
Interview by Taina Berardi