Ella was a lovely young woman who in a short period of time had gone through an acrimonious divorce with two small children. She had begun taking meditation classes and gone through a spiritual awakening in the past year which had drastically changed her outlook on the world and her relationship with her husband. He responded by telling her that she was crazy and requesting a divorce, citing in court documents that he should have full custody because her interest in meditation, acupressure, and owning sets of tarot cards made her unchristian and unsuitable to be a mother. Within this same period of time her father passed away who was a significant resource and support, and she found herself unsatisfied and unfulfilled by an office job that she had held for several years.

Although some situations are not as tumultuous as Ella’s, we all can relate to periods of our lives that were overwhelming, stressful, and traumatic. We all have periods of trauma, emotional situations, and stress that were so severe that we felt like we were never the same after. We all have aspects of ourselves that feel frozen, not whole, fractured, disassociated. Although Ella came to me for understanding regarding her spiritual awakening, one of the first things that we did together was a series of Soul Recovery sessions.

Soul Recovery is a powerful way to “retrieve” aspects of ourselves that have left due to traumatic events. Let me explain. When we go through a huge amount of stress, a trauma, emotions or experiences that are too overwhelming in order to survive the situation our minds create a fractured reality. At our core, we are a whole, we are all healed, we are all embodied. But when we have an event or circumstance that is too painful, our mind takes us away from this understanding of wholeness.

This understanding of Soul Recovery is somewhat different than the common “Core” Shamanic thought and techniques of Soul Retrieval in which pieces or aspects of the self actually leave. In my understandings and working with healers from many different cultures I have found that the thought of something actually “leaving” and needing to be “retrieved” is a simplistic and untrue thought. Rather, I have found that at our core we are all whole, we are all healed, our mind creates stories and fractures to take us away from this understanding in order to survive. Our mind has an inability to logically process on a physical and mental level events that are too overwhelming and so creates a reality of being separated or fractured from the spirit in order to survive the state of overwhelm. What then happens is that even though the event may be long over, the mind does not know how to reintegrate and let go of the belief of being separated from the wholeness of the soul. It needs a guide to allow that remembering and reintegration of mind, body, and soul to occur.

Instead of “retrieval” the work I do is more of a processing and remembering, a recovery of the understanding that we are whole. A processing in a gentle but powerful way of the energies, emotions, traumas, and circumstances that caused the mind to create a story of being un-whole. A change in the story, a letting go of the traumatic story and circumstances that created this fracture, and either a reframing of the story in healing terms to take the power and strength of that situation or a letting go of that story altogether. Finally, a remembering of the true self, the whole self.

I previously worked within the confines of the understanding that a part of us actually “left” and found that this system of thought gave the shaman or spiritual healer the power and created a relationship in which the experiencer felt powerless. While reasonably effective, the belief that parts of souls actually leave creates a system in which the person can never be whole- there are always experiences and understandings that would cause our soul to “leave” or be frozen. Instead, when we come from a place of understanding that we are whole, we are always whole and always have been, that our mind simply fractures our reality because we logically are unable to process difficult life experiences, that we have forgotten that we are whole because we are not in touch with our spirit, it can be a beautiful and powerful remembering.

When we remember that we are whole, when we remember who our true self is, and are given the tools to access this true self and our souls on our own it is an extremely powerful and life-changing event. Once we remember our soul, the true essence and wholeness of who we are… we know when we lose it and can simply recall the memory and the understanding. This allows for the experiencer to facilitate their own soul recovery, to process all of their unhealed traumas with perhaps an experienced guide, rather than going to a shaman who goes out and gathers up soul pieces that have escaped to somewhere else to bring home each time we experience trauma. Soul Recovery allows for us to shift perspectives- to see from the layer of the Soul and from the inside out. Soul Retrieval looks from the outside in and further facilitates the belief that there is something “missing” “broken” or simply “wrong” that we must go to another to fix for us. Through Soul Recovery we are guided to heal ourselves, we understand that we are whole and our spirit stronger than any trauma. I have gone through so much training, so many experiences, and had so many teachers… and the basic understanding that empowerment of the self equals unparalleled healing is something that I try to pass on to each patient, to each student that comes my way.

Ella, through a series of Soul Recovery sessions over the course of six months found her strength as a single mother. By accessing her true self during her court case she was able to achieve calmly her goals of primary physical custody. By accessing and coming into line with her soul she was able to see how her previous traumas and fracturing led her to her ex-husband and was able to release any ties with him. She is now in a new relationship with a man who suits who she truly is, has decided to become a midwife, and has learned Reiki. She understands why she is in this world, the needs of her soul, and her true identity. Like many of my patients, she is able to recognize when she is separating or leaving who she truly is in this world and has the tools now to simply bring herself back to the understanding that she is whole. She is now a force to be reckoned with, and although she still has ups and downs, she is truly happy and at peace for the first time in her life.

Mary Shutan L.Ac, CST-D, CZB, ABT is a Spiritual Healer that empowers others to realize their wholeness. She works with people via distance healings (via Phone, Skype, or through Email) with Soul Recovery as one of her tools to help people become who they truly are in this world. In order to book an appointment, such as a Soul Recovery done via distance (Phone, Skype, or email), a consultation via Email or phone/Skype or a paid reading is required to ensure that we are a good fit to work together. Due to the busy nature of my practice and my ethical standards, I only accept people who are ready for this type of significant healing and who I think I can be a significant resource to. You may contact me here with any interest.