Interviews with Energy Practitioners
Toni De Palma is a local writer who has lovingly taken the time to interview several energy practitioners in our area. Together we thought we would publish these interviews in an effort to inspire our readers and give an inside perspective on the lives, processes and experiences of these practitioners. They will be published individually in our news letters over the next few months.
This months interview is with Jennifer Kelder. Jennifer is a Reiki Master, Clairvoyant and card reader, she is also the proprietor of New Earth Healing Gifts. Please enjoy this open and honest interview .
Tell me about yourself…
I feel like the general theme of my work is to help people learn to love themselves. Imagine a world where love ruled and egos, dissension and separation were out of it. You see, we can only give what we have inside. So, the level of self-love and respect that you have for yourself is really all you can give out. The way the world has been, along with our conditioning, and our personal history has led us all to believe that there’s something wrong with us and that we are “less than” and someone else is more important, someone has more authority, someone’s bigger than you. We are all important. Yes, maybe someone has more knowledge in the area of business, but maybe someone else knows how to build a garden. We all have our individual gifts, but one doesn’t make any other greater or less than.
My job is to help people understand that they are Divine Beings and that we all deserve respect from ourselves and from other people. We have lifetimes to sort out. We need to look at our energy. If our energy is down in a hole, we need to look at why we are in that hole and why do we think we should remain in that hole. What can we do to make our lives better and how can we do more loving things for ourselves? That, in turn, allows you to help others.
What do you think about the way love is presented in our society?
It’s not real.
What is your definition of love?
Love is about understanding your self-worth, as well as treating others as you would want to be treated. Love is a respect, a kindness, and an openness. Openness is really important because the heart needs to be able to give and receive fully. This requires you to let your own defenses down, all the while being present for someone and without any restrictions in the giving and the receiving. We hold back for fear of being vulnerable.
Why do you think that people hold back from loving?
Holding back and not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, could be reflective of our self-worth issues. Allowing is primary and the only reason we don’t allow is fear. Fear is the opposite of Love.
Where does fear come from?
Fear is built into our humanity and into our DNA. As primitive man, our fear was necessary for our survival. We needed to develop our judgement in order to discern what was and wasn’t safe, the purpose of which was to keep the human body alive. We took it to another level where we became afraid of each other. This was a distortion that happened over time. I don’t think we were created to be afraid.
Fear also comes from the thought that we are separate from God. What I believe is that we are from God and also that we are God “Expressing him/herself as an individual”. If we understood that we are our own creators, there would be no fear. Along the way, however, that knowledge was lost.
If you love yourself and are completely content, you want that for everyone. There is no fear.
How did you personally come to this belief system? Was it always something you knew as a child? How was your childhood?
I grew up in an alcoholic home. There was no physical abuse, but there was emotional abuse. It was not comfortable and, like so many Healers often say, I felt like an alien in my family. I felt like I didn’t fit in and I couldn’t understand why people could hurt each other.
As a child, I also had thoughts such as, why do we need to compete for land, food, and other opportunities? Wasn’t there a way to share all of these so that everyone could have their needs met? I wouldn’t call myself a Flower Child or a Hippie, but some of those ideas made so much sense to me.
In high school, I continued to feel different. As my friends were striving, I didn’t understand why a person needed a college degree to be something. I didn’t want to go to college, but rather, I wanted to be a mother and wife. In my opinion, to be a good mother and wife was one of the best things you could give to the world.
Were you criticized for taking that view?
Oh, yes! Women’s Lib was really taking a foothold and people questioned why I didn’t want a career. I was actually at a college graduation party one time and, the mother who was hosting the party went around and asked each person to announce what college they had graduated from. I hid in the back of the room, but someone said, “What about Jennifer?” The woman started to stutter.
I did complete two years of college, choosing to study food and nutrition since I thought it would be helpful to raising a family. But it didn’t make sense to me to go to work, just to make more money, and buy more things.
How did you come to terms with the struggle between what you valued versus what the “world” was telling you you should be doing?
Within my soul I always knew that what I was doing was right for me. It’s not that I didn’t care what society thought – after all, I was raised with gobs and gobs of judgment – so my ego did worry about what people thought. As I got older, that became less and less.
Also, my mother’s family immigrated to the United States from Italy and her siblings, with the exception of my mother, didn’t make it beyond the eighth grade. My aunts and uncles were all entrepreneurs and, ironically, died quite wealthy. That always reminded me that you didn’t need a piece of paper to be successful in the world. The bigger question for me was when are you successful as a Human? To me that meant being a kind and loving presence.
So, you became a mother?
Yes, I had three children. My second child was born two months premature. He is thirty-years old now and multiply-handicapped. Over time, I came to look at my son’s challenges as a gift because his needs kept me grounded and out of the ways of the world as far as my perspective on the world, which was already different. His health issues over the years made me see what was truly important and allowed me to let go of the small stuff. And it all became small stuff because nothing was bigger than your child almost dying.
I believe my son agreed to be my son and that the circumstances of his life formed my view of life.
Which is what?
I believe that this life we are having is a gift and, while it shouldn’t be diminished, it is only a small piece of who we are. As a little kid, it seemed odd that we could have a complicated life and that when it was over it was over. What was the point of that? So from when I was a child, I believed in reincarnation. However, what I’ve come to believe since is that we are actually having multiple lifetimes all at once.
Since I adopted that belief, it’s made this life a little bit easier. I see that, in this lifetime, I am working out a certain set of lessons and this life is giving me a certain set of circumstances with which to do that. But this life and these circumstances are not who I am. Yes, it is something I am going through and experiencing, but it doesn’t define me and it is not all that I am. This has helped me relax. If I don’t get it perfect, it’s okay.
I love that you said it is not who I am because we certainly get caught up in the labels we give ourselves and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. When those things are removed from us for a variety of reasons, it can shatter that sense of who we are.
Well, I have a great story about that…
As I said, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. A year ago, my husband of thirty-five years announced that he didn’t want to be married anymore. Because I had so heavily identified with being a wife – his wife – and a mother, it shook me to my foundation and made me ask the question Who Am I Really?
You struggled with this even though you knew there was more to you?
Yes, even though I had my healing work and I knew I was more than a label, it was still a struggle. Ironically, in my work, I coached women that they should take care of themselves, telling them that, if they’re not happy, no one can be happy. I reminded them not to put everyone else before them, but that is exactly what I had done.
I still value those roles, but know that it is not all of who I am. By putting everyone before me, expecting way too little from others, and allowing way too much, I wasn’t demonstrating love for myself. Through this experience I am learning to love myself more than I did. Now, a year later, I see that this experience had to happen in order to shine a light on how I’d been limiting myself and my energy. Being a wife and mother is a part of my role here on Earth.
What you describe is a perfect example of being cast out of the comfortable and familiar, which then forces us to take a harder look at who we truly are. It’s illuminating.
Oh, yes. Unless you’re a child who’s being abused, I think that, as an adult, it is our responsibility to take a look at how we have contributed to a situation. We need to ask ourselves what part did I play in this situation, rather than to blame. Ultimately, we all have choices and our journey on Earth is to find our own power again. Self-love and self-empowerment are really the same thing.
If we want to do this – and we have to want to do this – our lifetime is spent peeling those layers back that told us that we are not valuable or that we don’t have power somehow. And when you do this work, sometimes it comes at a really high price.
What do you think stops a person from taking that responsibility?
Fear. It’s all fear. And that’s why I didn’t speak up in my marriage before. I did in little steps over the years. I became more vocal about my needs and what was acceptable or not but my fear was that, if I pushed it too far, he would leave. So, I hid my light and hid myself and my authenticity for fear of being abandoned.
And yet he left anyway…
And yet he left anyway. That was the biggest eye opener. Excuse my French, but…You, Mother F*^ker! I thought I was doing it all right and giving him the best and it still wasn’t good enough. What I realized was that it wasn’t good enough for him. But I was good enough. For me!
I’m now rounding that corner of the hurt, because I do feel I gave it my best.
I’ve found that what we view as perfect is different than what actually is perfect. Can you speak on this?
I believe that everything is in Divine and perfect order, whether it looks good or bad. Had I stayed in the relationship, I would have not met my full potential. I see the perfection in how this happened. In Divine and perfect order, he played the bad guy and he’s doing his own work now and I’m doing mine. Did I like it? No, because sometimes it feels really bad.
Yes, the saying “It’s all good” is fine for t-shirts, but it doesn’t acknowledge the pain and discomfort, does it?
Yes, we have to acknowledge our emotional feelings toward the experience. To say better luck next time or you’ll get over it, doesn’t serve. We are supposed to experience everything fully, even if that means sometimes feeling really bad. It doesn’t mean that that’s how you’re going to stay or that you’re doomed for the rest of your life.
But, I must say, it did come as a shock. Also, because of my work.
The fact that I couldn’t fix this or effect a different outcome for this really bothered me because I was always a fixer. What I learned is that you can’t fix anyone, nor should you try to fix anyone, but you can be a loving presence for them. That is what I think a healer is.
Again, we have to be that loving presence for ourselves first. Then, if someone is open and would like you to help them, you can be a loving presence for them. If they’re not ready to do their work, nothing you can offer can be effective. You can be an example, but they have to do their own work.
Healers don’t heal others. We can companion someone else, offer a mirror, kindness and compassion, but we all have to do the work to heal ourselves. And being open to love and light is what heals.
Do you have any advice for a person who wants to begin the healing process?
Self-examination is the biggest thing. If you can’t see what the problem or the story is, there’s no hope. If you’re blind to it, nothing is going to change. As you do the work, you have to chip away at old conditioning. Sometimes it’s just a ghost, not really how you feel anymore, but rather the old story that is running in the background and that is familiar. That is what we are all clearing out, that old story that is so ingrained in us that, even though our minds think differently, it still comes up.
Clearing the body of the old conditioning is something I’ve really been focusing on in my work.
We’ve been talking about that part of you that was a wife and mother, but clearly you have been on another journey as well. Tell me about your work.
All my life, I had always been interested in ghosts, the pararnormal and near-death experiences. As I was raising my family, I read a lot on these and other related topics. I was always interested in what was happening “behind the scenes” so to speak.
As a teenager, I was also intuitive. I would hear stories in my head.
What do you mean by stories?
I would know things about people. I would hear stories about them, their situations, their feelings. I was very good at reading people. A person could be smiling at me and I would know that there was something behind the smile and that the person was hiding their true emotions.
Sometimes, I’d sit on the beach and watch people walk by and I’d get a whole story in my head about them. To figure out if I was just making the stuff up, I started questioning people. I’d do it casually. For instance, if I got the feeling that the person liked purple or there was a connection with the color purple, I would mention that I had something that was purple and they’d say, Oh! I love purple! Purple is my favorite color! By doing this, I discovered that I was right on with a lot of stuff.
My intuition seemed to be more fine-tuned to tapping into a person’s emotional issues. I could see what a person had gone through and where their pain was.
One of my brothers came for a visit one day. He’d been to a class that he described as energy work. He asked me if I’d like to see what he’d learned. I laid down on my floor and he proceeded to do Reiki on me. As he did, he asked if anything was coming to mind. Without thinking, I blurted out, “I’m going to help heal people with my hands.” I had never had that thought before.
A few weeks later, a friend asked if I wanted to attend a Reiki class with her. At the time, I didn’t know what Reiki was and I certainly didn’t have the hundred and eighty-five dollars to pay for the class, but something inside of me nudged me to go to the class. Two days before the class, a check came in the mail for the exact amount I needed. It was a refund we hadn’t been expecting. As it so happened, I attended all four levels of the Reiki training and a check for the amount I needed and that we hadn’t been expecting, arrived in the mail just prior to each class. At that point, I realized that something big was happening and that I was being guided.
What strikes me most about your story is that you told the Universe what it was you intended to do. You stated aloud that you intended to heal others with your hands.
Yes, it was something I felt I needed to do. There was no thought involved.
So you continued following your intuition?
Yes, there wasn’t a lot of information around at the time. I didn’t even have a computer or the internet available to me. Most of it came from my internal guidance system, pushing me to look here and there. And I always did find the right piece of information or the right person.
One of these people was a woman who called herself a para-psychologist. She served as a mentor for me over the next three years. What I got from that experience was the beginning of my real healing from those childhood blocks/wounds that I carried. This would take many years and is still ongoing.
I was also offering Reiki sessions to others. Because the energy of Source is channeled through the practitioner during a Reiki session, I was also receiving the benefits of Reiki during these sessions. During Reiki, high vibrating energies shake up those lower vibrating energies, bringing them up to the surface so that they can be seen. This gives the person an opportunity to decide how or if they want to process it.
When you say a person can decide, is it conscious?
Sometimes we clear unconsciously. When you have a Reiki session, for instance, there can be healing/clearing by virtue of the fact that you’ve agreed to the session. But the more consciousness or awareness you bring to a session, the greater the depth because now you’re participating in the decision. It’s always up to the individual if they want to hold onto something or work to release. More often an issue is very deep and multilayered, requiring time and consistent work to clear it, rather than "one session and you're good to go", "all better now". Sometimes we do choose to hold onto somethings consciously or we are just not up for, not ready for the challenge of the work.
During this time, where were you in your life?
The years I was working with my mentor, I started teaching Reiki and I continued to read and study. As soon as my husband would go off to work and my children would go to school, I would sit on my couch, do Reiki on myself and then begin to read. I often felt as if I was hiding because it didn’t seem like a productive thing to be doing.
Hiding from who?
Hiding from my husband mostly. I didn’t think that he would understand or maybe he would think it was too weird or a poor use of my time. It was also my conditioning from childhood that you had to be "doing something" and usually that meant doing something for someone else. There was an internal push however, to keep digging because I wanted to understand how to identify a person’s problems and how to help them get through it. There was a strong drive in me to understand the human condition and to figure out how humans can be healthier and feel more whole. I couldn’t let go of it, I felt I was being guided.
As a result of being intuitive and doing Reiki and doing this work, I feel that my job now is to help people find their emotional blocks, decipher where these blocks come from, connect it to their behavior, and see what the real feeling is beneath the behavior so they can move forward. This seems to be my niche.
I imagine clients come to you with different levels of awareness. Are there those clients who come in, who have had therapy and who can identify their blocks, but can’t release it emotionally?
Yes. What I can offer someone like that is the energy to actually move the energy out of the body. For someone who is more aware, that is the next step. There’s a saying, your issues are in your tissues. The energy from our past emotional pain is stored in every cell of our body. When you release this lower vibrating energy, it creates more space to hold more light. More light means more awareness and higher vibration.
That is what we are all doing here now. We are dropping the lower density thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences that hold us down and, thus making room in the body to hold a higher vibration that then spirals up. The higher your vibration, the higher you reach and the happier and more joyful you feel.
Once that energy is released, is it released for good?
It’s that little tandem thing between the mind and the body. If you haven’t let go of the pattern mentally or emotionally, you keep recreating the same energy. Or, if you haven’t moved away from or corrected the situation that causes the thought, You can continue to recreate the energy until the emotional charge related to the situation is either reconciled or let go.
So our behavior and our thoughts are also very powerful and go hand-in-hand with the release.
Absolutely. We can’t separate out any part of ourselves. That’s why you can have all the talk therapy in the world, but if you don’t release it out of the body, it’s going to be this underlying program that is running in you that can make you feel sluggish, depressed, tired, and unhappy. The body has its own consciousness, but the mind is the awareness. Awareness is the first step, then releasing it from the body, and finally working toward not recreating it.
And we recreate because human beings like familiarity?
Yes, and because change is scary (there is that word fear again). That is why I see my current situation with gratitude at this point, because had I stayed in the familiar, I would have never moved past that place. And now I feel that I am growing in leaps and bounds. And if we are truly God, there are no limits, only those our minds create from fear.
There are a few gems I picked up about the word fear. One is, FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. Also, FEAR is the absence of trust in God. We give fear the power to limit us.
How did you gain the courage to come out of hiding, so to speak?
Interestingly, many healers have cellular memory of being either killed or punished or tortured for having psychic gifts. That program does run under the surface. It’s literally carried in our DNA and it keeps some of us down a bit. I’ve had some past life regression experiences and I’ve had memories of being persecuted for my psychic abilities. I feel safe enough now, but I continue to work on being okay with coming out fully. My husband was a Deacon in the Catholic church and, while I didn’t hide what I did, I did keep it on the down-low. But I’m going for it now and not censoring myself anymore.
When I hear the word authenticity, I think all the way back to my Divine Self. That is my authentic self. That’s who I would like to be on the planet. I’m still human. I still have hurts and I’m still letting go of some of the past year. I’m not perfect as a Human, but I’m doing the best that I can and immersing myself in this work.
When I interview someone, I’m listening for their story and for me, a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. So, when I think about the story you told me about the woman who was hosting the party and how that moment appeared as if you were going “nowhere”, I have to laugh because you now own a store in town. It’s on Main Street, right in the center of your town. That’s a pretty prominent place to put a business, is it not?
That was absolutely the message that I got from my Spirit Guides. We needed to become mainstream. The more people that saw it, the less scary, the less weird it would be. I was nervous in the beginning, but the more I do what I’m doing, the more I realize that this is what I’m supposed to do.
So, you were going somewhere, after all…
Yes, my somewhere.
Can you tell me about your childhood?
I am the product of Serbian - former Yugoslavia - immigrants. My father was a World War II Chetnik fighter. He was a Colonial, who fought in the mountains against Tito (Yugoslav Communist President). At some point the regime kicked him out and he couldn’t go back, otherwise he would have risked being killed. My paternal grandmother walked five miles with some supplies for him – a ham, a shirt, and some bread – and told him to flee. Once the war was over, via the black market, he was able to survive and somehow managed to make it to the United States. Once in America, he ended up in a steel mill town in Pennsylvania. Eventually, he made it to Cleveland where he met my mother. My mother’s mother also came from Yugoslavia and was pregnant with my mother on the ship to America. The whole immigrant family had to keep their roots together in order to survive. I consider myself first generation American, which has its own unusual circumstances around it.
What do you consider those unusual circumstances?
It’s a mix of the DNA of Eastern Europeans and the unique characteristics of each of my parents, which was not fun, but not unforgiveable.
Tell me about your parents?
In his home country, my father was being raised to become a bartender and a restauranteur. When the war erupted, the war essentially became his identity. He was a product of an environment where there was a split between Serbians and Croatians and he was very, very angry. When he came to America, he had barely begun to start a new life when he broke his back. After that, he drank a lot and had great difficulty finding a way to help his family survive. Eventually, he did by befriending a gas station owner who sold scratch off lottery tickets. Because the gas station owner was not allowed to profit from the lottery tickets his station sold, the owner would provide the tickets to my father for free, and then the two of them would share the profits from the winning tickets. That is how we survived for years.
It was a crazy time for all of us. My father drank because he was depressed and my mother was also profoundly depressed. That is what I mean by the combination of factors of being Eastern European, which has its own unique culture and texture, along with the circumstances of the time in which my parents were born.
Were there other immigrant groups in your community at the time?
Back then in Cleveland there was a near east side and a near west side. For the first four years of my life, I was raised in a near west community that had a mix of Polish, Serbians and Russians. We had a Serbian-Orthodox church right across the street from where I lived. We moved when the church asked my father to work as the custodian for the church’s picnic grove.
This move took us a bit deeper into suburbia and we remained there for a year until the house burned down. But, during that year, both my father and I were in ecstasy because there were forty acres of trails for me to explore. My father enjoyed it because he got to go on a tractor and mow the lawn. The two of us were very happy. My mother was still doing the best she could.
You were having these quite dramatic experiences. What do you remember about how you perceived the world?
My first memory is of my mother sitting at the window, crying. That was my first strong hit as an empath. I tried to comfort her and that started the process of many, many years of trying to comfort. The four-year old child that I was began to perceive through the lens of depression and, what I didn’t know, was that I was becoming depressed.
But going into the woods was my saving grace. It helped to balance out the sadness.
And what did you experience in the woods?
And what did that feel like?
Ecstatic. It’s the closest I’ve ever come with a mirror of Divine reflection that had no agenda and just expressed Divine grace, ecstasy, awareness and a clarity about Its job. Each part of nature understands its identity. There is no question about how to get food or how it is going to survive. It just is. And that was a real major download for me. I’m sure I needed it because otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here. I don’t think I would have made it.
But then the house burned down and you had to leave the woods. You went back to Cleveland after that?
We did. We ended up moving to downtown Cleveland. It was cold and dark and scary. My mother was traumatized by the fire and my father didn’t have a clue as to what to do. One day, on my way to school, I got lost. It was just one trauma after another that continued to influence my reality and my perception that life is just a series of traumas (this is something that I am still trying to clear).
I’m sorry…did I answer your question?
I’m sorry. It’s so rare that I get to communicate like this. I’m always the one listening…and I love listening…it’s my job, you know? To have an opportunity like this is unusual for me.
So, I’m imagining you as a little girl walking the streets of Cleveland alone. Did you have siblings?
One brother. Two years younger.
Did you also feel responsible for him?
At the time, I did. I don’t remember much because everyone was traumatized. I do remember walking with him to school and getting lost. I had to track down a mailman to get directions. I don’t remember much about my brother in those years. We were mostly tethered to each other for the purpose of survival because that is what we did as a family unit. I was trying to get cues on who I was and what I was supposed to be doing based on their confusions.
As you got older, did you find solace in other things the way you had found in the woods?
Some years later, we ended up moving to a suburb close to where the picnic grove was. So by that age, I was back and again had the chance to spend time in the woods. I’d climb trees, wander around, ate berries. And I connected. At that age, I didn’t recognize it as an inner spiritual experience. It helped me to keep going because everything around me continued to be riotous and atrocious.
From childhood to adolescence, what was your life like?
One teacher took an interest in me. She made me feel as if I had some version of meaning. I was involved in Junior Olympics and this teacher would take me to Junior Olympics training. It was an experience where I felt contained by somebody. In terms of the old Earth intelligence level, I was intelligent. Looking back, I probably tried to receive love by promoting my intelligence. It helped. However, my personality is such that, when it gets frightened or overwhelmed, I get a little bristly and I noticed that I didn’t fit in or become connected to my school community.
Did it make it difficult to make friends?
I’ve had friends, but basically the whole friend thing is confusing to me. It’s probably some kind of core wound that I’ll never understand. I’ve had friends, in different degrees, my entire life. I do believe I’ve been a disappointment to people and a lot of it is the overlay of depression that would ebb and flow and cause confusion for people because they wouldn’t know how to be around me.
When did you become interested in the work you do today?
The awareness that I am a Divine Being began early. In my church, there was a curtain. As a small child, I was in my father’s arms and I pointed to the curtain and asked what it was. My father said it was God. When he put me down, I started running down the aisle of the church trying to get behind the curtain because God was there. There was something triggered in the word God that made me think, Oh! This is it! So, even as I grew, there was always this sense of something beneath it all, that also kept me going.
It sounds as if there were two layers of existence for you. The family, the going to school and the everyday world was one layer and then the other layer being the Knowingness.
They were separated out for a long time. Because the world is so dualistic, they did appear polarized. When I had the reflection of Divinity, I was at home in that field. And when I didn’t have that reflection, I existed in the third-dimension school, just trying to figure out what to do, learning how to smoke cigarettes and causing all kind of trouble for myself, because I didn’t know what to do with an extremely depressed family. I acted out at a young age as a result, but the woods and the nurturing conversations with a few people helped me. So, yes, for a long time, they were separate.
You mentioned conversations with a few people sustained you. Who were those people and what were those conversations about?
I had a friend named Blue Jay. At the age of seven or eight, she and I would leave the picnics and wander around the woods. We would lay on our backs on a bank and we would talk to each other about whatever Divinity meant to a seven or eight-year old. It was very, very healing.
So, you found someone at a very young age that was validating you?
Yes. Blue Jay had her own version of what it felt like to be disenfranchised at an early age. And then we’d go into the woods and we would remake ourselves in some kind of Divine image through viscerally being in the woods with each other. We are still friends to this day and she continues to validate me. I adore her.
And then you had your teacher who validated you too, but in a different way?
Yes, my teacher made it possible to keep the personality on the planet.
As a young adult, did you remain with your family?
As soon as I could leave Cleveland, which coincided with my second year of college, I did. But, of course, I brought the whole identity with me. Unless we undo it, that’s how it goes, right? I got very, very wild during college, but I think that’s okay because I needed to.
What was that wildness serving?
It may have been an assertion that I wasn’t that condensed reality. It probably was the only way that I could assert ways to explore this reality aside from living it in a way that was completely conditioned. I don’t know if it worked, but, at the time, it was all that I understood.
What did you study in college?
I did a Bachelors and a Masters in Social Work and worked as a Psychiatric Social Worker in a state facility. Because I really thought that I’d end up institutionalized, I made a contract with God that, if I remained out of there, I would work as a Psychiatric Social Worker.
Given what you have experienced and your connection to Source, has that influenced your view of mental illness?
While I can’t speak for anybody else, I do believe there is both a beautiful and a horrible connection. The depression I experienced is a result of not being ensconced in my Divinity. What I understand now – a process that continues to this day - is that depression is a symptom of coming into a reality of not knowing who we are. As my identity formed more deeply into a true Source identity, the depression shifted and morphed.
During my time as a Social Worker, I loved my patients. I had an affinity for people who go in and out of this world and who don’t mentally understand this world and who are compromised.
Speaking of love… How do you define love?
Every opportunity that I have to gaze at another human being and enter a shared field that I know is the field of Oneness is what I recognize as love.
How did you transition from your work as a Social Worker to what you do now?
I married. My husband and I purchased twenty-five acres in a highly remote part of West Virginia. We built a cabin and we went off the grid. It was one of the most glorious experiences of my life.
Because of my confusion about being on the planet, I was addicted to smoking and drinking, but via a dream state, I met my spiritual teacher who helped me quit. It wasn’t easy. As I released my addictions, I went through a period of unfogging. I had the woods to do that. I would walk through the woods and just scream. Occasionally, a logger would hear me. The release of suppressed emotion helped me dismantle my strong aversion to being on the planet. Honestly, I still don’t do that well here.
As I got through that phase of my life, and the veneers began to drop off, things started to come together. I began to acknowledge that I am from elsewhere and that I have stellar consciousness along with my earth DNA. Things then started to click and I began to communicate with animals and feel deeply into other people’s realities.
Tell me about your spiritual teacher. You said you met him via a dream state?
A friend and mentor told me about Sai Baba (Sai Baba of Puttaparthi). She offered me a book about him, but I resisted, telling her that “I don’t do gurus”, because I had a great resistance to giving away my free will.
But one night, on my forty-sixth birthday, when there wasn’t enough wine in the cabin for me to get drunk, I had a lucid dream. I was dressed in white and dancing with a group of people, who were also dressed in white. At some point, I veered away from the group and, in a rage, I began beating a stick against the ground. One of the other people said, “What are you doing?” And I said, “I’m trying to figure out if I should go to Baba.” But I was furious because I didn’t want to give my free will away.
This first dream was followed by a second and, after that, began an egoic dismantling. Baba, accompanied by the smell of his incense that he was so well known for, showed up in the cabin. He was known to show up to people when it was time and we had a conversation. After that, he literally began to dismantle me.
In 2003, 2004 and 2007, I made three trips to India. This escalated the quickening process to help me understand that I am Divine and undo the false identities.
What does it feel like to undo false identities?
In my case, it was very hard and I’m still undoing the DNA of the ancestry that I was born into, which is poverty and depression and rage. I even married into poverty, continuing to play the whole thing out. Because it was so systemic and woven into every breath of my life, it was and still is very difficult to clear.
My job though is to awaken and let Source use me.
How do you view your role today?
People are starving to communicate and, from a right brain perspective, as a person empties out, I can see where the wounds are. As a practitioner, there isn’t a lot for me to do other than to hold a space for them and allow their soul to orchestrate their world in a way that brings them peace, grace and solace. The room in which I do my work is also alive and so everything around the person I am working with permits the person to communicate. As they empty out, there is someone home to feel their spiritual presence. And once they begin to tap into that, even for a second, the brain creates a pathway that represents the Divinity and it makes it possible for that neural pathway to co-exist with everything else we think is us.
Tell me about your childhood…
It was there when I was young. For sure.
My childhood was great. I grew up in Farmingdale, NJ, where the houses were set on acres of land. There were lots of woods where I lived and that’s where I played. Outside. At night it was dark, something I was accustomed to and something I loved. There were other kids, whom I played with, our dogs sometimes in tow, off leashes and running along with us. Everyone knew each other and when your mom wanted you, she would just step outside the door of your house and call for you. It was a wonderful and very free way to grow up. Life felt happy for me.
It was there in the woods where I felt really connected. I don’t have vivid memories of what I was saying or who I was talking to, but I would be talking up a storm. Out there, I really felt more myself and at home and more comforted being outside there in nature.
When you talked about feeling connected when you were alone in nature, did it feel somehow different when you were doing that compared to when you were playing pretend with the other kids?
Hmmm… Yeah, I’m trying to feel it now… I guess I knew when I was playing pretend and I knew when it was real. But they both felt similar in the way that it was magical both ways. But when I was in the woods and feeling connected, it felt magical but it was automatic…real to me.
Was it that one felt outside of you and one didn’t?
One felt of me…the one where I felt connected. And then one felt…when I made things up…I could create it, but it wasn’t already there.
How many siblings do you have?
I have one sister who is living and my mother did have another baby after me who didn’t make it…just a couple of days. And that really impacted my childhood. It wasn’t talked about a lot. I remember my brother being pregnant, being excited and then…I lose a lot of my memory after that. My sister’s death wasn’t spoken of.
Through my own personal energy work all of that is getting pieced back together, which is very interesting. I was four or five when it happened, but it wasn’t until I was eight-years-old that I understood that she wasn’t alive. Up until that point, I thought my sister was still alive because I used to talk to her.
What made you realize she wasn’t in-body?
At some point an adult told me that that wasn’t true and that I shouldn’t do that anymore (talk to my sister). I was also told that I was too happy and that I shouldn’t be that happy.
With regard to your sister?
With regard to life in general! I guess I was too happy of a kid and someone said something to me that just shut that down. So, at one point, I took my eight-year-old self – you know, the innocence, the happiness, the vulnerability, the joy of who I was – and put her away somewhere. And then, after that, I didn’t have anymore contact with my sister, who was in-spirit. And it all started coming back up for me through the work I do. It wasn’t until I was eight that I felt my sister’s absence. I had a great family, lots of love, lots of happiness. I was allowed to be a kid, but I think that time that I can’t remember – the non-memory time – was when my parents were going through their own grieving process.
What did the message “you’re being too happy” mean to you when you remembered it years later?
It really resonated with me. Yes! That is what happened! I was shut down! I took part of myself and put it away. That resonation comes with the feeling that I know that part of me is there. As an adult, I began tapping into it again, but only sometimes.
Can you describe what you were tapping into?
The radiance of me…that joy of my essence. But I could only tap into it. It could never fully stay all the time, so it felt like a piece of me that was there but put away, hidden somehow. And I wondered, why could I only tap into it once in a blue moon? And sometimes it would show up, without me having the intention of tapping into. Usually it would happen during energy work, or through true connections with people, through laughter especially. And that laughter would be so true and deep that it would uncover something deeper that I’m not even aware of. So I would have these instances – true laughter or a bubbling kind of effervescence of radiance that would come up through my body and express through me. And it was the most fantastic feeling!
I know people experience it here and there in their lives, but can’t keep it running as their energy. And to me, because I know it’s there, I want it to run as my energy because it felt so good.
What was adolescence like for you?
You get into school and you get into all of these interactions and you have all of this crap going on, with everyone’s ego and personality, and then you get caught up in that. I feel what happened to me – going into the sixth grade and on – that I was less outside in nature and less connected to the things that would ground me into myself and I became more outside myself. And then having to deal with everyone else’s “outside themselves”. This pulls you into a different world and I felt like I lost connection with myself.
Did you feel that when you were losing connection within yourself, there was still a desire to go within?
I was much more introverted, much more an observer in certain situations. When I was comfortable with people, with my family, my sisters or my cousins, who I was used to spending a lot of time with, I was very much outside of myself with fun. We were partiers. We were always looking for the next party! I had boyfriends and I didn’t really express my feelings very well and I kept my feelings to myself. The distractions of outside kept me busy and away from how I was really feeling on the inside.
Did you have glimpses of how you were feeling on the inside?
Oh yeah, yeah… I remember in high school, as I began to form my identity as a woman, figuring out what it meant to be attractive and feel attractive. My father was strict. He didn’t want me out there and it was a struggle. Like a lot of people that age, I got Mono, but there was a sense of shame from it, because you know they said I’d gotten it from kissing people. I think that struggle inside of yourself causes a lot of physical illness. A lot of separation between who they want me to be versus who I truly am.
What led you to being curious and being open to you work now?
Getting really sick. I was in my early twenties and studying psychology. I was fascinated with how the mind worked and how we made decisions. During my studies, I entered traditional talk therapy to focus on the anxiety I was experiencing as a result of the pressure of my studies. The only thing I did during talk therapy though was cry! I’d get relief in the moment, while I was talking to my therapist, but I felt it never really took away the thing that was causing me to have the feelings I was having.
After I graduated, I became certified as a massage therapist. I knew I was a sensitive person and that I could feel other people’s energy and emotions, but I didn’t know how to work with that. I was really interested in the physical body. It fascinated me how our bodies worked and how our emotions manifest themselves physically in our bodies.
The clients I was getting people, you can say, were already infiltrated into the physical. When that happens, it’s a little deeper and more work to get the blocked energy undone. Because the blocked energy actually starts out in our auric field and then makes its way into the cells.
But you said that you got sick…
Because I’m an empath, I got sick from touching people. Because I wasn’t trained energetically, when I touched someone, I ended up taking their pain on. I could take the person’s bad and give them my good. They would leave feeling better and I would be left feeling sick. I kept on doing that. I did it because I wanted to help the person, but then the ego gets involved. I thought oh wow, I could do so many great things and figured that was the way to do it. But it made me sick because I kept taking on everyone’s negative energy and holding it for them. I’d go home and feel drained. I also took on the physical ailments that the person had, such as a neck or shoulder injury. It ultimately manifested into fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
How did you realize what was going on?
I started going to classes about energy stuff. Reiki was starting to become more mainstream at that time and so I took classes in Reiki. That helped me understand how energy runs and how you activate yourself to be open to running energy.
What’s the definition of running energy?
I can tell you mine…I don’t know what the official definition is…ha ha! I feel that running energy is my ability to tap into your energy field and help you move energy that’s stuck or accumulated in an area and to open up that area to get that energy to move.
We are just flowing energy…that is what we are. So, when our energy doesn’t flow and gets stuck, it creates pain or sickness somewhere. I can tap into that and help you move that. When you get trained to use the Universal Life Force to flow through you and flow through me, a light worker can shift a person’s energy and transmute it. This can be applied to any modality and I used it in my massage therapy practice.
My training taught me that it’s not my energy that does anything. I’m just the vessel that can run Universal Energy through me and then tap into yours and say, hey, you want to run some energy and clear up? And your energy either says yes or no. It’s your agreement.
As you were coming into this awareness, what was going on in your life at the time?
I was still partying a lot and it was almost as if I had two different kinds of lives, being in the outside of myself and doing things that I thought were pleasurable and then I had the other side of myself and studying the body and how it works and being fascinated with energy. I was beginning to ask myself is that what we really are? I still wasn’t quite clear on things at that point. I don’t think I’ll ever be clear on things…though it is much clearer than it used to be!
As I worked on people, it was cool, people would teach me. If someone did physical labor like landscaping, for example, and that person came and got a massage and I worked on their muscle, that muscle would immediately release. And if I came across someone who maybe didn’t have a job, but was just riddled with emotional pain, their muscles would stay tight and would not loosen as I massaged them. I started learning that the emotional stress was much harder to move then the physical stress to the body. The emotional stress won’t release until the person decides to let it go.
Did you feel conflict or an incongruence between your two worlds?
Yes, but when I started taking classes I found people that knew there was more to us. I had to start connecting to those people to support me. Now, I see it clearly. It’s standing in two different dimensions of YOU. Being outside yourself is much more a fourth dimensional way of being and being within yourself is fifth dimension and higher. We span many different dimensions within us. I didn’t know all this now. At the time, it was a huge balancing act of ways of being and ways of understanding yourself and feeling yourself and other people and life. It was a huge conflict even though it was exciting to explore.
Did it impact relationships?
It did. I was always made fun of because I was into all this “woo-woo” stuff and it had no backing at that time. Anything energetic, such as Reiki, wasn’t really being done. I was teased by my family. If someone did something that was not so nice, someone might say, “Oh, that’s evil! Maybe Katie can take it out of you!” And they’d laugh. It would be a big joke.
What was ironic was that, if they needed something, I was always the first one they would come to. If they were emotional or hurt themselves physically, they’d show up at my door step.
How would you deal with those moments?
Honestly, I would get more introverted and feel more separated from that part of myself. It didn’t feel safe to be seen. I was also learning all about it and didn’t feel confident. When you’re a child, you’re allowed to be connected to flow and be fully expressed. Society allows it. As you grow up, you’re shut down little by little by little. It’s kind of sad.
So what came next?
I’m in my thirties and married at this point. A couple of years into my marriage, we built a house on the property where I used to play as a child. This is where things really got interesting!
The land was inhabited by Native Americans and now I realize that that was who I was connecting to as a young girl. When I went to build my house, I was reminded because the energy there got very upset. When we knocked down the trees on the land, the progress on the house was continuously blocked. The workers who’d come to do the framing – a job that should have taken a week or two – kept on running into snags and, after three months, the first floor hadn’t even been completed. I would be at my mom’s house, which was right next door, and I’d look out the window watching the men doing the work and I’d say to her, something’s wrong! They were walking around like zombies, aimlessly walking around and doing nothing. I brought in a Feng Shui expert to read the energy of the property. She discovered there were Native American energy there and they were very upset. There was a lot of water on the property and we had to balance things. We had to also ask for forgiveness and do a ceremony. We did a beautiful ceremony on the property with the medicine wheel and oils and sage and I saw the Indians. They came. There were two male Indians.
What did you see?
I saw in my mind’s eye two different images of Indians. As the Native American descendent that was there led the ceremony, the wind picked up and I could feel them there and then I could see them. I asked for their forgiveness for not remembering and having respect. I told them I would do what I needed to do in order to make up for what I had done. After that, the house went up!
And then you moved in?
Yes, and things started going crazy inside the house. The energy in my bedroom was super high because I came to find out that that was the location where the Native Americans had conducted their ceremonies. I couldn’t sleep and things were happening, energetic stuff like vibrations in my bed and T.V.’s going on and off. At this point, my marriage had broken up and I was living in the house alone. I brought someone in to read the house. Without me telling her what was happening, she described to me what she saw happening, confirming my experiences. Again, I had to make a request of the Native American spirits, this time asking them to perform their ceremonies outside of the house.
The fairies then moved in. Fairies like to play with you. I would put my earrings on the table and then they’d be gone the next day. I’d find them days later. They’d play up and down my stairs and in my hallway where I could hear them. I could see little dark gray smoke balls floating and hear little cracks. Thinking I might have floaters, I got my eyes checked two times, but my eyes were fine. The energy worker confirmed that I had fairies.
What were you starting to think about yourself? Was it total self-acceptance or did you question your sanity?
I did, but not a lot. One night, the mattress was vibrating from the knees down. I had a foam mattress at the time. I thought I was losing my mind, but then I would ask for help. Then a person (an energy worker) would come through the house and confirm that I was not imagining things and confirming that I had so much energy in my room that it was a wonder that I was even able to get any sleep. So, when someone comes along and validates you, you don’t feel crazy anymore. At this point, I was running my energy pretty well, I wasn’t sick anymore, I had an understanding that energy is everywhere and I knew that the Native Americans were so connected to the earth and had such respect for energy and for everything that symbolized energy – the trees, the animals, the sun, everything – that they were the ones who knew what was really going on and they were, in fact, teaching me.
And was this experience reminding you of childhood?
Absolutely! Yes, building that house and having that experience with that home brought me back to who I truly am, a connected, flowing, all-knowing – not necessarily mentally knowing, but energetically knowing. And I feel that we all do, but I feel we have cut ourselves off from that connection.
Do you feel like you’re getting better at being in the flow? Is it becoming more natural to you? Do you still have those stops and starts? And if you do, how do you get back into it? And what stops you from being in the flow?
I’m definitely more in the flow than I’ve ever been, but it’s definitely always work. There’s some naturalness to it, much more than there used to be, but then you’re always wanting more of that flow. You’re always wanting to level it up.
I do go through the stopping and starting, stopping and starting because life happens. When my attention is pulled out from inside me by trauma, by drama, from other people, my energy goes outside myself. And when it stays out too long in the crap that’s outside of me, I become not aligned with myself and I need to work to get myself back into alignment. It is happening quicker and quicker that I can bring myself back. I’m more aware of what does pull me out, specifically what do I allow to pull me out, because these are my choices.
It’s very tempting to want to stay inside that world. How do you balance that?
That’s the big challenge. How do I stay centered in myself and grounded in my own energy and still be with everything and everyone else. It’s something we are all learning. I want to teach that, but need to get better with it myself. Right now, in my work, I’m trying to open people up to the memory of being in alignment with themselves. I want to teach people that when life does come and you have to deal with something, you can still stay in alignment and deal with the outside circumstances.
My new big thing is – and I like saying this – we are all ass-backwards. We’ve all been outside ourselves and now we’re learning to inside and still deal with the outside stuff. We’ve been doing so much outside stuff, we’ve been avoiding the inside stuff. Nobody wants to feel anymore. They want to push everything down, not address it, not express it and, by the time they do, they’re explosive with resentment, anger or whatever it’s turned into. It’s been pushed down into their bodies somewhere.
I know that this is the new way of being. We are pulling more of ourselves into our physical, to expand into who we are. And who we are is mostly joy, love and peace. And if we’re expanding in that and the next person is expanding in that, then when we come outside of ourselves we are sharing more of that, rather then the crap we are seeing, which is fear and control and domination. We can let go of competition between people and come together instead in collaboration and connection because we understand everyone is experiencing the same thing.
We’ve been building the walls to contain ourselves and not be hurt by anyone else. That someone comes along and hurts you is a perception. That’s the ass-backwards part of things. You are giving someone the power to hurt you. We’ve never really been taught how to deal with our emotions. Emotions are energy and each emotion carries a different kind of energy.
As you’re doing this work, do you still find yourself having distinct emotions such as anger, fear, sadness?
Yes, and more intense but quicker. I can be so angry at something but it doesn’t last as long as it used to. I allow it now. In the past, if I didn’t want to sit with a bad or uncomfortable emotion, I would tamp it down and shut it somewhere. Now, I know that that doesn’t work. Now, I sit with it and feel it and observe what the emotion is. As I sit with an emotion that is intense or blocks me, it softens. This allows me to deal with it rather than avoid it.
The feeling of happiness is much more intense also. Happiness is something I am also learning to sit with. I ask myself how am I creating this and allowing this feeling to come up in me, as well as how do I stay in the creation of it?
Tell me about the emotion of heartache.
Each person that comes into your life and brings up heartache is your biggest teacher because they’re making you go deeper into your feelings and into yourself. About my ex-husband, I used to say, he broke my heart. But now I say he broke my heart open so I can go deeper. And if he hadn’t done that, I don’t know if I would have been at this point in my life. He made me go deeper and I had a choice. I could sit in my anger and the feelings of rejection and unloved and all those terrible feelings that come up with divorce. Or I could take a look at do I want to carry this for the rest of my life? I saw that it was my choice. I learned about forgiveness and asked myself, do I want to forgive him? And I realized the forgiveness was for me, not for him. And when I looked at this, I could see where I was holding heavy, dense energy in my body. We are all able to feel this darker, denser energy in ourselves. When you are aware of where you’re holding the energy in your body, you can focus your attention there and release it.
What is your work like now?
With the help of a lightworker, I was able to free up this heavy energy and I felt free. I began asking myself what do I really want to do and what is my gift and how can I serve? It was both curiosity and a sense of inner knowing that lead me to learning about crystals and taking a class in Light Language. This resulted in my activation to my star family. Light Language opened up something inside of me.
Can you define what Light Language is?
It’s a spoken language and it’s called Light. It delivers through tones, light through sacred geometry, and vibrations a frequency to the body that the body understands. It’s multidimensional and it’s speaking to the multidimensional parts of you, which is your energy, your DNA and your cells. Your mind does not get involved because your mind is linear. It speaks directly to your energy and your energy responds. As the light and sacred geometry comes into your energy field, it knows exactly what you’re ready to open up and what your energy field can handle. It reorganizes you so you are open and aligned to flow your own energy. It opens up memory in you that is your multidimensional self. It’s not hard to describe, but it may be hard to grasp because you are trying to understand it with your brain. But it’s an experience and that experience will show up in your life in how you perceive things. You might begin seeing things differently or it may open up your gifts. We all have Light Language in us because it’s a universal language.
What does it feel like when you’re doing this work?
I feel like higher aspects of myself are coming through and that separate beings of myself from other times and dimensions are coming through me. It’s me, but it’s not me, all at the same time.
You’re working with people. Do you ever think about the sense of responsibility you have to others?
Yes, I think it’s one of my lessons. What I’ve come up with is that my role is to support and that your energy is yours, not mine. When someone comes to one of my Light Language workshops, I’m asking them to open their hearts and feel and to get out of their mind and my role is to create a safe space for that. A lot of my work has been to empower people to stand in themselves and to teach them how to discern what comes in and out. I teach people that if something doesn’t feel good, they can say, no, you’re not coming in. On the other hand, if something feels good, I teach them how to say, yes, let me have more! When you stand in your own personal power, you can choose what you allow in.
Do you believe that once energy is released it’s released for good?
If you choose. We all have weaknesses in our energy. Awareness is the key. Once you build your awareness on many different levels, you’re stepping into your power.
How have you evolved as a person and what’s your hope for your future?
I’m becoming more authentically me. I know when I’m in in alignment with myself because things just flow. I’ve also learned that if you’re not in overflow of love for yourself, you cannot serve someone else. We are all learning to love ourselves on the way to becoming whole.
I used to go to bed every night and tell myself, I love you, Kate, but it was just a habit. And then one night, I actually felt it. The feeling of truly loving myself was so joyful! From that, I fell in love with everyone and everything I came into contact with. It became this great psychedelic-love experience!
What does being truly open to love versus shut down to love look like?
Being shut down to love, a person could be defensive, judgmental, and controlling. The person might take offense very easily, anger quickly and be disconnected to other people,. They could also put up airs in a way to protect themselves. However, when you’re open to love, you’re much softer and more forgiving of yourself. You don’t beat yourself up or pick yourself apart. You don’t compare or judge. You let people be who they are. You can still anger, but it’s not as extreme.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. Trust yourself and trust spirit. You don’t need to know something before you take action on it. You can take action and then get the knowing. That’s another ass-backwards thing we do. We always want to know first and then take the action, but it’s actually the reverse. Spirits are begging us to take the leap. Once we take the action, the knowing will come. Even if you don’t end up landing in the place you thought you would land, you have to trust Spirit is holding you and leading you where you need to be.
Hi my name is Katherine Montesano. I have spent the last 21yrs cultivating my expertise in the field of alternative health care by blending modalities of the mind, body and soul for increased health, vitality and
empowerment in life.
I am a Light Language Practitioner , have a degree in Psychology, a Licensed
Massage Therapist, certified as a Reiki Master, a certified Aromatherapist, an SRT practitioner, a certified Eden Energy Medicine practitioner, and a certified Eden Energy Medicine 101 & 102 Teacher. I am passionate about educating people on integrative healing practices for overall well being.
Being a channel for Light Language has been a true gift from Source. This work I remember in my heart. It came forth by an opening of memory deep within me, an activation from hearing Light Language myself 3 years ago. All the modalities I have learned and used over the past 22 years has been training in different ways to work with energy, to understand the language of energy, to be the open vessel I am for this energy, light, frequency to speak through me to others. It is my joy and privilege to bring this awakening energy to earth and you