Trust the Heart: A Journey of Exploration
I’ve been interested in spirituality, consciousness, and healing since I was a little girl. My father was a Buddhist, so I was introduced to mindfulness and meditation from an early age from him. I am a descendant of Ukrainian witches on my mother’s side, however most of that lineage and my upbringing in those ways was overshadowed by the Catholic Church. So, I didn’t have the language or the learning to support what I carried in my consciousness and DNA. I just knew that I was meant to be a healer in some way, and since my family was a very academic one, I thought the way to go about it was by going into science.
I received my first degree in neuroscience, however after about 2 years of working in that field I longed for more interaction with people’s stories, rather than just their brains. I remember telling the doctor that supervised me at the time that I wanted to be a spiritual teacher and healer, but it was still going to be several years before I really knew what that meant.
Still feeling locked in by the status-quo and the scientific worldview, I went to grad school for social work, thinking that would be the modality through which I could more intimately and holistically connect with my clients. It wasn’t. There still felt like something was missing, some crucial element. I went on a several years journey of trying to figure out what that was. This included studying tantric yoga and meditation, though the most profound experiences and soul remembrance came from my studies with Native North and Central American shamanic practices, as well as heart-centered hypnotherapy and breathwork.
Now I finally feel complete in the set of tools that I have to offer (though I will always be a continual student!), because they address human suffering and healing from physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and soul levels. I have experienced the incredible healing accessible through these modalities, and I am continually in awe of what I witness in my clients and students who pursue this healing work.
Through this journey of exploration, I have discovered the core wounding of all humans, and it essentially comes down to power. True power is heart-centered. It is access to our divine potential to be aware, create, and love at the highest levels. When we are in our power we have the ability to respond to situations rather than to react, to have more agency over our mental and emotional experiences, and to interact with others with authenticity, integrity, and harmony.
This sacred power is our divine birthright, however it is compromised during the course of life because of traumatic experiences, or any instance when we feel victimized, overpowered, or unsafe. It is understood in many traditions that in reaction to such challenging life situations and relationship dynamics, parts of ourselves (soul parts) split off in order to stay hidden and thereby protected. This is a common situation that is well known in shamanic circles, and also spoken about in psychology, albeit in different language. The essence is that we cannot feel whole and healed if pieces of ourselves are missing, locked away in the recesses of our consciousness, hiding in order to stay protected.
Ceremonies are a profound healing tool in the process of reintegrating the lost parts of ourselves in order to feel whole and empowered. Ceremony opens a portal of energy that creates a safe space to support us stepping into this wholeness and power. We use different tools in ceremony and in healing that facilitate this work, and cacao and breathwork are two powerful modalities that help clear the heart and mind consciousness of old victim programming so that we can access our truest nature as divine creators.
Shamanic healing is essentially any healing done in trance, supported by the natural elements and spirits. Through the use of cacao and breathwork, we are able to drop underneath the limited perspective of the ego, which is what keeps us constricted and in protection mode, and in doing so we can open and access the energy of heart consciousness, which is the seat of our true power and the home of our Higher Selves.
There are many varieties of cacao ceremonies and breathwork processes. The Cacao + Shamanic Breathwork workshop I am offering November 3 at Sojourn is particularly deep experience meant for those who are ready and willing to dive into the depths of their wounding in order to transcend into a higher frequency of healing. In order to reclaim our divine power, we must have the courage to look at the places where we have lost it. Our wounding is not our fault; however, it is our responsibility to do the healing to transcend it.
This workshop is for those who are ready to take responsibility and who are seeking the next level of mystical, enlightening, and expansive experience. It’s not important to know what it’s all about beforehand, the only requirement is willingness. The mind will naturally create resistance in the form of doubt or fear, because that is what the mind is programed to do. When deciding whether or not you are ready for this next level, all you have to do is take some deep breaths and listen to your heart. Is there a stirring within? A soul knowing that “Yes, this is for me”? Then you are meant to do this work! Trust your heart, it will always lead you to the next right step on your healing journey.
Katya Lovejoy studied at Vassar College, New York University, San Diego State University, The Wellness Institute, and ISHTA (Integrated Sciences of Hatha Tantra and Ayurveda). She holds multiple degrees and certifications, and have studied with teachers of healing techniques from cultures around the world. Katya has worked with individuals ages 5-90 in studios, clinics, hospitals, businesses, non-profits, schools, camps, community events, and at both private and public events, classes, and ceremonies around the globe.