Wellness is becoming more aware of the choices you make for a balanced life. Wellness is the pursuit of continued growth and balance. In the previous post on my blog, we have gone over a few pillars of wellness and, my favorites is spiritual wellness. Spiritual Wellness, the basis of spirituality is discovering a sense of meaningfulness in your life and coming to know that you have a purpose to fulfill to read more check out this blog post below.
In this blog post, I had the honor of talking to Jupiteria an animist astrologer, reader, reiki practitioner, and death doula in training. This is a mini-series I am working on to teach you all about different ways you can heal and amazing people who can help you. Check back in a few days to learn about another pillar of wellness.
- What healing modalities are you into? Choose one and Explain
At a basic level, a death doula is someone who provides non-medical support to a dying person and their loved ones. You always have to keep your scope of practice in mind and refer clients who may need certain medical or mental health professionals, but we can offer emotional, spiritual, and physical support. This involves a really wide array of spiritual healing tools and rituals, it’s whatever your client is open to! Oftentimes when someone is getting a death doula they are also working with a hospice team, which can mean western medicine has done all it can for the person and the goal is to keep them comfortable. Reiki is the perfect healing modality that can come in as a last line of defense to provide relief.
- In a few words what started you on your journey?
This is a story with a lot of moving parts, but basically it started back in 2012 when I was a CNA in a long term care facility. I saw first hand how neglected and alone our dying population can be and it really struck something deep in my soul. I knew I wanted to work with death and dying in some way but didn’t feel ready to at the time because I had a pretty paralyzing fear of death. After recently coming to terms with and understanding my own mortality I finally feel ready to empower and help people plan for a peaceful death so that they can live a more peaceful life.
- Which spiritual principles steer your work?
First and foremost is the principle of service. I believe it’s such a powerful and loving spiritual gift you can give someone to be helpful to them- especially in sensitive moments like what you see as a death doula. Being able to hold space for someone and help them to transition peacefully from this life to the next is a very spiritual experience. The drive for honesty and justice is another one that really fuels my work. I have absolutely nothing against funeral homes, they are very necessary, but I have also seen where people can be taken advantage of by those in the funeral profession who don’t have the best intention. It is very important to me that people know all of their rights and options. My goal is to start hosting webinars and death cafes soon to help make people aware of these things. I truly believe that sharing this information and preparing for end of life, even if we’re young and healthy, can help give us a better sense of calm and help us feel more in control of our existence.
- Which non-invasive healing strategies would you frequently employ?
I love incorporating reiki into my services, even if it’s just for a consultation to help someone with advanced directives or death care planning. I also love incorporating other healing techniques like meditation, crystals, etc. I’m really down for whatever is most supportive of my client.
- How would you respond if your spiritual guidance was poorly received?
As a death doula I make sure to not project any of my beliefs or spirituality on to people because part of what were meant to do is help people get clear on their own wants and beliefs. However, if this were to come up I keep in mind that we are all our own sovereign beings and it’s okay if someone believes differently than me.
- What could spiritual work do to bolster community connections?
I think death work is just one of so many good things to consider when we’re talking about reconnecting with our communities. This is still practiced in many places in the world, but especially in more ancient times death was seen as a sacred right of passage that required the support from an entire village. Everyone helped out in some way or another throughout the process. We have become such a death phobic culture and push anything to do with dying out of sight and out of mind, which only enhances that collective fear. If we can meet death in a more sacred way and bring back that community involvement I really think that is a great step towards overall harmony and will help us not only connect deeper to our roots, but connect deeper to each other.
- What are a few challenges of building your business and your following? If you have any or advice for someone up and coming?
Getting people interested in what you’re doing can always be a big challenge- for any kind of business to be honest! The hardest part I’ve struggled with personally is pinpointing exactly what I want to offer. The pandemic has challenged me to really think about how I can still be virtually supportive of people going through one of the most vulnerable times of their life. I want to be able to offer so many things but there’s only so many hours in a day and so much energy that I have. I’m also an astrologer and when I started offering reading as a service the requests came in fast and I quickly got burnt out. My advice for someone up and coming would be to learn from my mistake and make a plan as soon as you can that outlines what you want to offer, what you don’t want to offer, and how many services you can reasonably do in a day/week/month without overwhelming yourself.
- How do you stay grounded?
Grounding honestly is not my strongest point, but I do whatever I can to try and stay in my body as much as possible! Some things that help me stay connected and focused are gardening, meditating, being with my family, reading books, and playing video games when I have time.
- What is the definition of rest to you?
For me personally, rest has a lot to do with boundaries. Not only boundaries with others but also boundaries with yourself. I can get burnt out from things very quickly because I usually dive right into things I’m passionate about. So, catching myself before that process starts to happen is the best thing I can do for myself, and I think a lot of people can relate. Rest to me means setting and sticking with boundaries to ensure I have enough time to be a person outside of my passions and peacefully enjoy my existence.