We have a guest blog from a Tribe Women alumni, Molly Shanahan. I have been lucky enough to experience Molly's gifts as a shamanic practitioner. My first session, in many ways, was the beginning of an unravelling which I am still going through, 2 years down the line. That might sound like something I wish I would have avoided, however, it is the opposite. This work has been the hardest, richest and no doubt the most rewarding personal work I have ever done.
Can we heal the lost self
"Born in Canada, I journeyed over the sea in 2016 with 2 suitcases and my dog. At the time I couldn't identify a clear reason for the massive shift in my life other than the pull I could feel to jump into the unknown. I remember when the plane was taking off and thinking to myself - holy shit what am I doing? Eventually it became clear that I came here to heal and help others do the same. There was a lot that had happened and somewhere inside of me I knew I needed space, a ‘different continent with an ocean in between’ kind of space, to untangle myself from people, from events and from the past. Through connecting with my ancestral roots and the wildness of Scotland's land, I discovered a shamanic healing path and made a commitment to help those who are seeking to heal the effects of life's challenges.
I lost my Father in 2012 which sent my internal and external lives into chaos. The loss cracked me open yet I retreated into myself. I couldn’t quite function in the outside world, awkwardly fumbling between daily interactions, trying to hide how much I was in pain.
There was the pain of losing my Father and pain from other things that were rising up to the surface, emerging through the cracks of grief, from places known and unknown. As I navigated the waves of grief, I came face to face with the ‘what are you doing with your life’ creature that was skulking around inside of me. I had successfully avoided it over the years with the help of many unhealthy and self-destructive methods. Those methods weren’t working anymore and I needed to change my life.
Shamanic healing first appeared in my life on a frustrating afternoon when I googled ‘endometriosis alternative treatment.’ I had struggled with the condition for years and was tired of the cycle of pills and surgery. I could feel there was something just out of my reach that was connected to the physical pain. I read about shamanic healing- articles, opinions, tales of transformation. There were descriptions of some pretty out there things yet I had a niggling sense of familiarity that I pretended wasn’t there. I booked a session with a shamanic practitioner and I thought to myself- okay, I’ll go for a session but I’m not going to take a course or anything. I noted that it was interesting that I even had that thought. A few months later I began training with The Edinburgh Shamanic Centre and received my practitioner certification 3 years later in early 2020.
I was very resistant at first, mostly out of fear. I worried what people would think, that revealing myself as an alternative healing practitioner would fuel the fire that I was a bit strange. Or maybe I was afraid to reveal myself and be seen at all. The things I worried others thought about me turned out to be the things I didn’t accept or like about myself. I knew I had discovered something life-changing yet I was hesitant to acknowledge it. When I started training, the things I didn’t like about myself, like sensitivity, became the parts of me I needed to connect with in order to do the work and help people.
A few months after I discovered shamanic healing and experienced a session for myself, things began to change.
My years of struggle with endometriosis faded away along with the physical pain. My menstrual cycle completely changed. Patterns started unraveling and changing shape. I unexpectedly met my soulmate and fell in love. Experiences and people from the past didn’t have as much of a hold on me anymore. Synchronicities were appearing in my life at a rapid pace. Something had become unblocked and things were flowing. I began to see, feel and understand things differently. The world felt brighter and clearer, I had more energy and hope. The more I healed myself, the more creative I became. The things I didn’t quite believe were possible before- peace, balance, harmony, freedom- started showing up more often in my life and self until it felt possible they might actually stick around for longer than an afternoon. I thought I was pretty wild in my 20s, defining the term with too much partying and outrageous dating stories. I’ve since toned down that kind of wild and made space for another kind; it is quieter yet louder, humming with more life, connected to nature, enormous, the wildest I have ever been.
My work with people is rooted in empathy, empowerment, connection to nature and a dose of humour. I help those who are struggling with the life stuff- anxiety, depression, addictions, relationship issues, trauma recovery, grief, chronic pain. I help people who don’t know why they booked a session but something inside of them knows why and they listened to it. Shamanic healing gets to the root of things which is usually done by working with the soul and understanding how the soul has been affected by life’s experiences. It can take time to get to the root of something, there are often layers to work through before you get there, it can be surprising and unexpected, but when you get there, something is healed and things begin to transform.
I am a shamanic practitioner and artist. I have a creative background in professional acting and more recently writing and poetry.
As an ode to my artistic work and my healing work, here is a piece that I wrote that gives some insight into one of my own roots, something that I healed through shamanic healing.
Click on the link below to read the poem. Please note, the poem may be challenging to read for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse."
You can now find Molly working on Tuesdays at Tribe Porty, in the clinic space at Portobello Natural Health. Molly offers energy assessment talking sessions, energy sessions and shamanic sessions.
If you have similar experiences or want to learn more, please get in touch.