The Healing Journey is a series born out of the reality that we all have our own path to healing. When we share our journey two things tend to happen, we often find freedom in sharing our stories and we always inspire others. There is power in speaking up and it is time to tap into that power.
The mission of The Healing Journey is to provide a platform for women to connect, inspire one another and empower each other. Together we will stimulate conversation, create awareness, healing and stand together knowing that each and every one of us are unique, gifted and powerful.
This Goddess is by far one of my favourite people, let alone my favourite yoga teacher (true story!). She is a teacher of the slower forms of yoga and a coach, focusing on mindfulness and making joy a priority. I am in awe of this gorgeous woman and all of the healing work she does both in and outside of the studio. It is my honour and my pleasure to introduce you all to Samantha Warren.
For those who don’t know you, what is your story?
I am a Jill-of-all-trades kind of gal with my hands in many different pots, but most people primarily know me as a yoga teacher specializing in The Art of Slowing Down (aka slow yoga such as restorative, yin, chair and gentle hatha). My whole life has been dedicated to being of service to others, so it’s no surprise that I became a yoga teacher. I’ve gravitated towards the slower forms of yoga because it’s what helped me throughout my healing journey (plus we already have so much Vinyasa/power styles of yoga that we also need the option and the space to relax and chill out).
Back in 2011, I was dealing with heartbreak of a soulmate and the diagnosis of contracting HPV from said soulmate. I was drinking and partying a lot, dealing with a ton of stress, self-worth issues, and my immune system was totally compromised – I’m actually quite surprised that my body didn’t fail me in other ways. I now know that my ex came into my life to start me on my healing journey; without him I wouldn’t be where I am today, nor would I be the person who I am. I am incredibly grateful to him and my journey.
When did you become aware of your womb/ womb space?
I’ve always been very maternal. When each of my nephews and my niece was born, there’s always been a small moment shortly after when my hormones and uterus got excited that I was holding a baby; I always knew that I wanted to be a mother and to carry my own child(ren) but I never had “this is it!” moments.
It’s not until very recently have I really, truly listened to my womb. Back in April I was in a float session and I asked my higher self what we’d like to do today in the session (cause sometimes I like to meditate, or play, or sing) and my hands went straight to my lower abdomen, my womb space. I visualized a Spirit of a little girl gently knocking on a door just waiting patiently to be invited in. Since the float session, the internal baby switch has been turned on and everyday I’m conscious of the space that resides in my sacral chakra centre; I’m aware of the power that my womb has and how much divine femininity exists in this space.
During our chats you mentioned that your healing journey was more of a physical one first, then mental, emotional and spiritual. Could you share with us how your journey morphed and evolved? What were some of the catalysts that lead you to change?
Like I said above, I was diagnosed with HPV. It doesn’t sound like it was a big deal, but left untreated and unhealed it could have lead to cervical cancer. I took charge of the situation and gave full permission to myself to allow my immune system to heal, which meant slowing things down, getting back into my body through exercise, yoga practice and mindfulness; it meant learning how to eat to make my body happy; it meant laughing more and being with people who made me happy; and most importantly it meant learning new ways to cope with and perceive stress. I traveled quite a bit to understand and get to know myself more outside of the confines of my home, the city I grew up in and my family. I had to heal my physical body in order to transcend myself into other realms of my being.
While the physical aspect was underway, I left to live abroad in Australia in 2012 where I ended up taking a coaching course that changed my entire world. My mental capacity and perspective(s) on life, myself and the world was challenged more than I every could have imagined. I was learning, growing, laughing and being good to my body and my womb space. In essence, I grew up and started on the path to womanhood, though I didn’t really know that then.
Fast forward to last year 2016. I was not in a healthy space physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. I felt like I was having a life crisis! My yoga practice, and teaching yoga wasn’t helping me the way that it used to, nor were my friendships or my relationship with my partner, and I just didn’t feel great. Enough was enough, and I sought out the help of a psychotherapist who was and still is my angel. This is where my emotional healing came in. Healed the trauma of my past and my present; she encouraged me to dig deeper inside myself and look at my inner child; she gave me the space to realize and understand that I am coming into my womanhood; she held me as I navigated my way into the murky waters of the stage between no-longer-in-your-twenties and becoming a woman. With her help, I was able to reconnect back to myself and my spiritual journey came soon after and I’m still in the process and journey of it right now. It’s been a wild ride, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.
What has shifted or changed since you actively began to connect to your womb space?
I find myself intuitively resting my hands on my lower belly and then catching myself that this has happened; I listen to my womb and I ask what it needs when I’m feeling discomfort during my cycle. I honour my womb space when I menstruate and am gentler with myself. I think about, feel and intuit my womb space much more. When I sense the little girl knocking on the door patiently waiting to be invited in, I acknowledge her and let her know that she is more than welcome to join us in this physical space when she is ready to come. Both of us know now isn’t the time for me to become pregnant and I like how we can communicate to each other and be on the same page – despite her persistent and patient knocking haha!
You mentioned stepping into your feminine power, how have you done so? And what does this new powerful space feel like for you?
Me stepping into this beautiful feminine power has been one of pure divine timing. When I was ready to accept that I am becoming a woman and shifting into womanhood, it was only a matter of time that the feminine power came soon after. In February of this past year, I was at a full moon yoga + writing ceremony and during the Savasana at the end, I heard a powerful message: Step into Your Power. At first, I thought this was about my yoga business and teachings, but no, this is about stepping into my feminine power. The place where strength and softness meet, and how powerful you can feel just by embracing these two parts of your being. This place that I am sitting in is so different from the space I was living in for the past 2 years. I felt lost (though I knew Source was guiding me), uninspired and unfocused. Beautiful, divine feminine power feels bold, unapologetic, strong, soft, graceful, centred and also totally receptive, open to let go and receive. I’m still in the early stages of this experience and I’m sure there will more to learn and feel as I go along, but this is what it feels like for me now.
How has being a yoga instructor impacted your journey? (In regards to your healing)
Teaching has been a very different gift in my life – in a very good way! It hasn’t taught me confidence, or power, or competency but rather it has taught me compassion and acceptance towards myself and to others. Teaching has taught me the power of words and the power of energy, of holding space. It has taught me to be myself, to honour and respect myself and the gifts that I can offer from walking this journey as well. The impact that teaching has brought to my journey is that I teach what I need to learn (most of the time indirectly). It’s not till after the class when I reflect, or a comment from a student, or casual conversation with a peer that I realized how much teaching is part of my journey through not only being human but also becoming a woman. By honouring, respecting, loving, and cherishing my journey I’m setting the example for my students, and my students are a reflection of where I am in my journey.
Are there any healing modalities that have helped you along your healing journey?
I am not someone who subscribes to strictly one modality or philosophy or way of life. I like to try everything out and see what works best, and generally it’s a combination of (a lot!) of different stuff.
Acupuncture helped me quite a bit, along with mindfulness and a yoga practice; dancing is such a huge part of my healing journey that allows me to connect to my whole body and flow that is inherent in my womb space and my hips; I also enjoy getting creative with crafts or painting; nutrition was a big part of it and learning which foods work best for my body (and they have changed quite a bit in the past 2 years); talk therapy, nature, tarot, body work such as massages, cranial sacral, and EFT, and energy healing are also part of my healing equation. Gardening has been a fun process lately.
I love alchemical healing as well. I find that all the practices above encompass what alchemy is about and how we can transform and transmute the lead within ourselves into the gold; so long as we seek to become better, we can transform our hearts and mind into gold. We all have the power within, it just depends on which modality supports it for you.
How do you allow yourself to feel through experiences? (When a feeling comes up how do you work through it?)
Before, I used to feel the emotion, let it out and that be that. I thought that I was OK after letting it out. I also never identified myself as an angry, sad, lonely or bored person. Boy, was I wrong! As of late I’ve noticed that I never allowed myself the time or space to truly feel through it. I hated feeling lonely, bored, angry or sad, and I would immediately find something to distract myself from feeling those emotions; I would eat, watch tv, drink alcohol, smoke pot, party till the sun came up, etc.
Now I sit with it. I give myself full permission to be sad, or angry, or frustrated, or lonely, or whatever it is that I’m feeling. It’s OK to be feel uncomfortable with an emotion, to move through it and to know that you will come out the other side, possibly with a smile on your face or at least the lightness that comes with this release.
We have been conditioned to believe that these emotions are “bad” and unwanted in our experience, which is totally not true! We need these times to not only work through it, in order to learn and to grow and become stronger on the other side, but we also need these moments to inform us of what the opposite looks like: joy, content, happiness, love, fulfilled, etc. Life is always much sweeter when we accept the sour.
What is your message for anyone in the midst of or about to enter their healing journey?
Surrender. Accept. Receive, don’t push or force anything. Be grateful for all that you have. Trust the process. Be compassionate and gentle towards yourself. Find ways to love yourself whole heartedly and unconditionally. Listen to when your body, your womb space, your heart is talking to you; listen to the messages you receive; listen to yourself. Connect to your heart, your womb and your higher self; connect with others and find the people who you feel safe with that you can share all aspects of this part of your life with.
Do you have any messages for anyone reading this post?
“Do not regret or deny your journey. It all had to be what it was in order for you to find your path” – Gurmukh
Deep gratitude and love to you Samantha for sharing your journey and your honesty and transparency while doing so. It can be challenging to be this vulnerable and open, but there is such power in it. I am in awe of you and your healing journey and I know that your words have touched many, as you have.
Reiki Restorative with Clare Kenty & Samantha Warren
This summer (and hopefully beyond!) Samantha Warren and I are offering Reiki Restorative, a restorative yoga class with Reiki. It’s a beautiful class, one where relaxation, restoration and nourishing the body is at the forefront. Join us on Saturdays at The Yoga Village, it’s PWYC (pay what you choose, suggested $12-$22) from 2.15pm till 3.30pm. Come and slow down with us July 8th, 22nd, 29th and August 12th, 19th and 26th, 2017.
Want to connect with Samantha Warren?
Womb Wellness & Workshops
Looking for support in your womb healing journey? Click on over to the Womb Wellness Program. This is a program that requires you to dig deep, to face what is stored in the womb and work with it to heal, release and receive. The program combines integrative health coaching, deep womb work and Reiki to support your healing. Read more…
Not ready for the full program? Check out Womb Wellness 101. A series of workshops that educate and empower women not only to reconnect with their bodies but learn how to heal themselves naturally. Together, we look at simple ways to make changes in our lives that benefit our health and wellness. From what foods promote womb wellness to how to decrease your PMS symptoms, Womb Wellness 101 will encourage you to take a proactive role in your health. See what WW101 is coming next. Read more…
Want to share your Healing Journey?
If you are interested in sharing your Healing Journey along with Samantha Warren and other powerful Goddesses, please email info(at)clarekenty.ca with “The Healing Journey” in the subject line and include a little about yourself and your story, or fill out the form below and I will contact you. Please be aware that The Healing Journey series is primarily about womb healing and womb wellness.