Touched by Loss – Healing on the Wake of Grief

A few weeks ago my hubby and I went to watch the movie Wind River. I was struck by every aspect of this movie, but one scene has been replaying in my mind since. The parents of the missing girl have just learned of her horrible death. The main character, Cory, who is a family friend, is standing on the porch with Martin, the girl’s father, and he says:

I’d like to tell you it gets easier, but it doesn’t. If there’s a comfort — you get used to the pain if you let yourself … I went to a grief seminar in Casper. Don’t know why,  just … It hurt so much, I was searching for anything that could make it go away …

That’s what I wanted this seminar to do — make it go away. The instructor come up to me after the seminar was over, sat beside me and said, “I got good news and bad news. Bad news is you’ll never be the same. You’ll never be whole. Ever. What was taken from you can’t be replaced. You’re daughter’s gone. … Now the good news — as soon as you accept that, as soon as you let yourself suffer, allow yourself to grieve … You’ll be able to visit her in your mind, and remember all the joy she gave you. All the love she knew. Right now, you don’t even have that, do you? that’s what not accepting this will rob from you. If you shy from the pain of it, then you rob yourself of every memory of her, my friend. Every one. From her first step to her last smile. You’ll kill ’em all. Take the pain … Take the pain, Martin. It’s the only way to keep her with you”.

My dad died on December last year, so this struck home. It was like my whole life I had shared a garden with him, a place we cultivated together. Some corners I loved, some I would have burnt down if I could — but it was ours. I went there every day, sometimes as a passing thought, sometimes in deep conversation. It was there, it was open, it was sacred. Until it wasn’t.

I remember that day perfectly. I saw the caller ID from my mom, though it was a little strange since we had just talked but we talk so often every day that I picked up the phone excitedly… “Andrea, your dad is dying. call your brothers. Tell Santiago (my older brother)  to make it to the hospital so he can say goodbye”. That was it. That was all it took. Like I had stepped into my garden to find it trashed to pieces, burnt, overturned, desecrated.

Shock. I think that is the first stage of grief. Shock. The frenzy of making calls, the impotence of being so far away, a whole country away. Waiting. Waiting for more news, waiting for what I already knew in my heart. Humoring those around me who insisted I wait for confirmation. But I knew. I already knew.

Then the madness hits. On the night plane going home. Fits of crying, of coughing, crying again. I still had energy enough to pity the woman sitting next to me. Madness. What did it matter what she thought of me? Madness.

Then I was home. I was sitting in my garden once more. Where a live plant once bloomed a broken stem lay. So started the work of rebuilding the garden. All I could speak then, all I could remember was how great my dad was. How he stood by me. His brilliance, for he WAS brilliant. I sat down in my garden to restore my beloved corners first. Reliving the memories. Against all odds, adding new ones, but still, it felt incomplete.

It was what Cory said, I had shied from the pain. I could stand to pick up a bit of it. Enough to praise my dad, enough to show him proudly to the world. But I was robbing myself. Disorganization, that’s the second stage. Deluding myself to think that my dad’s presence would always be as tangible as that first day after the funeral. Sensing my dad in the speaker, the books, the vase that I took back with me. Greeting him, dialoguing with him. Intermingling all this with crazy fits of anguish, hot tears and a conviction to get through the day. I was still working in my garden, still fixing those corners, but ignoring the berserk mess behind me.

Then it shifted. Life showed me that death is not merely changing someone’s physical presence for a spiritual one. My dad’s presence felt distant, his voice below a whisper. The speaker and books became empty objects laden with guilt. Things I don’t value yet can’t bear to throw away. Anger stepped in and it forced me to face the rest of the destruction. All the questions I will never get to ask, the stories I will create that my dad will miss. The void. The vastness of the void. The ridiculousness of how swiftly the world carries on without those we loved. His favorite table at this favorite restaurant lay empty. But not empty for him, not waiting, just empty. Meaningless. That day when we realize we don’t just have to face a world without our loved ones. We have to face a world that doesn’t remember them.

I received countless energy healings, read books on grief, attended support groups, spent hours crying, writing, praying, talking, trusting, stitching my soul back. Then I understood. That’s why we must remember them. We are the only ones that will. This is turning around and embracing every damn corner of that garden. Even the ones we hated. It means to rebuild them just as they were because they were good enough, they were true, and that is good enough. It means remembering the fights, the broken promises, the disappointment, even the tiredness that dealing with the illness brought. Because that was him. That was us. I would not be me without my dad and THAT, ALL of that was who my dad was.

“If you shy from the pain of it, then you rob yourself of every memory of her, my friend. Every one. From her first step to her last smile. You’ll kill ’em all. Take the pain … Take the pain, Martin. It’s the only way to keep her with you”.

That was when I embraced the pain. The pain of the loss yes, but also the pain of things being what they were, that I would never get to rewrite those stories. That a part of me wouldn’t even want to, that it doesn’t matter now. Transcendence, the third stage. Where I realize that I don’t get to live a life under my father’s wing, that although I feel his spirit with me I still lost him… and that that’s ok. That’s the paradox, it will never be okay and, that, is okay. I can live with that. I must.

Transcendence is the realization that the void does strange things to those who carry it. It whispers that life is precious, that now is the best time to do something, that perfect is stupid, perfect is whatever happens. The void made me kinder, it made me conscious, it re-wrote my dreams. It gave me back my father. The enigma of who he is, the person I am still trying to understand, the person I will always love and strive to love. It brought my garden back to life. You can still see the burnt, and some areas will never regrow, but it is once more, a place I visit every day.

Continue reading Touched by Loss – Healing on the Wake of Grief

What does a broken heart look like?

What does a broken heart look like?

When you were sure this person was your life?

When you gave everything you had?

When the last memory came from a broken place?

Where all they wanted was to hurt you?

It would look like your soul running away from the scene of the crime. Crying its essence in every tear, running home… except that WAS home… nothing feels safe, warm, nothing feels worth it anymore. Full of despair, devoid of strength your soul locks itself up, builds a wall around herself, once and twice and more and more until, in an effort to feel safe, it has cut itself off from the very flow of life that its raison d’être.

This was what I found in one of my Energy Healing sessions. A soul pain so deep that it gagged joy to the point the soul wasn’t reaching for it anymore. Of course this are my words, my understanding of the wound. The person requesting healing knew only that they had lost all sense of inspiration, that every task required a sisyphean effort.

Luckily, we had already worked together in the past. We had already created a bond of trust between our souls: I respected her path and her gifts and she trusted mine to guide her through these unexplored groves of life. This allowed my energy to be allowed inside her soul’s wall. From the inside we grieved together, I asked her angels to comfort her and after a while her natural vivacity peeked through.

Although keeping the wall down will be a conscious effort, I am confident that the spark that her angels, myself and her soul ignited will be a firefly path that guides her towards a wholesome heart.

Have you ever felt disconnected from life? Like you are swimming against the current? Don’t face it alone. Reconnect with the flow of the divine through an Energy Healing session and find the gifts that life has in store for you.



PS. If you are new to this series #EnergyVisions is an attempt to convey the effect of energy healing through a series of watercolor paintings I make based on what I see during my healing work.

Painting the Invisible: Translating Energy Healing

I consider myself an energy artist. I’ve weaved my life around understanding all things energetic: emotions, secrets, blocks, healing, divination… you name it. Of those many paths I fell in love with the art of dialoguing with energy (aka intuitive readings) and healing. I am inspired by the feeling of communing with something unseen and I am filled with gratitude for the effects I saw in those who received it.

Readings are insightful, fun and, since cards are one of my tools, tangible. Healing energy is very tangible for the one doing it, as it is for the one receiving it and the effects are easy to spot. So far so good, but I’ve always felt frustrated by my inability to convey this to those who have yet to try it. I’ve often exclaimed “What beautiful energy” or “I wish I could show you how this energy looks”… finally I’ve decided to try!

Along with energy, I am also a watercolour artist. So here in my “Energy Visions”  project I will be doing a series of small paintings showing key moments in energy healing (some details have been changed to maintain confidentiality, I share the work only)

Energy Vision #1  – Before & After


When this person came to see me I couldn’t help but notice her energy. I could only describe it as broken glass. No movement, severe disconnection and the aftereffects of emotional trauma had overwhelmed (shattered) her energy field.

After the session, the brokenness had been replaced with harmony, multiple colours were visible and, not only had we achieved a coherent flow but her natural connection to nature had been restored and countless flower & animal spirits were visible in her field. When she came back several months later, this was still so.

I hope you enjoy and learn from this painting series and that you’ll get to enjoy the touch of energy healing



A Manifestation Affair

In one of my recent sessions, I shared with a young woman the synchronistic chain of events that led to me and my husband finding the beautiful home we now live in. Afterwards I received a lovely email from  her commenting how inspired she felt by this story and asked if I would be willing to share some words on my healing and stories such as that one.

I was thrilled with the idea. It was such a rich topic yet it felt that I would be selling it short if I focused solely on how things came to me and not on the inner-learning that opened the door to them. You see, the more I pondered on the events that led me to find this jewel of a house, to do work I love and marry a man I love deeply, the more I realize I was doing less manifesting and more co-creating.

Through my work doing intuitive readings I’ve have been privy to many people’s dreams. Their professional dreams, love dreams or even travel yearnings. Some of them come true and bring plenty of happiness. Some delay and make the dreamers feel stuck. Except. They are not. I know this because as an intuitive I have the gift of seeing someone’s energy.

Someone who is stuck has an energy that lags, that disconnects… like seeing someone so lost in thought that you feel the urge to poke them out of it. Many of this people just don’t feel that way. Their energy is high, it moves fluidly, it mirrors the emotions they are feeling yet they keep repeating “I’m stuck. Nothing’s happening. I must be blocked”. I’ve come to think of this as “drive-through manifestation”.

This is when we approach manifestation as a process through which we make our desires known, and the generous universe we live in finds the best way to give them to us, aka we place the order, pick it up and drive ahead. Yet there is something intrinsically at odds with the idea of living in a universe wise enough and powerful enough to materialize our desire yet passive enough not to talk back to us. That is the limitation of this approach, it doesn’t clarify what to do when the order doesn’t come through.

I’ve come to think of manifestation as co-creating. In my head I see myself in the middle ofmanifesting a lofty artist studio, full with canvases, oils and clay and next to me is another version of me. She is more artistry, she’s covered in paint, has a brush stuck behind her ears and is always grinning from ear to ear. Meet my higher self. She’s wise, she’s powerful, she’s generous and she’s my friend. She, like me, is also very stubborn. When I come to her all excited and tell her the beautiful dream I want to create she smiles, and heck if I know what will happen next. You see, she’s a very gifted artist, she won’t create something tacky just because I ask her to. Not even for me.

When I was a teenager and was struggling through depression I prayed that we would move to a different town. She said no, and instead she made me get lost and wander into a bizarre store where I bought what I thought was a knitting magazine (I don’t knit it just had a lovely cover) that turned out to be the most beautifully drawn comic book I’ve ever seen. That’s when I decided I would learn how to draw. That pulled me out of the depression and made me discover I was an artist.

When I was scared of the spirits I would see around people, I asked for it to stop. She said yes, but that it would only be for a while. It is that ability that now allows me to do the healing work I do. Thank God she didn’t really listen to me!

She doesn’t always say no. Sometimes she thinks my idea is not that bad, and she’ll pull an all-nighter to do the impossible for me. Like the time I decided I wanted to be an Angel Therapy Practitioner© and she made it so I was accepted into the program right away, when a lot of people had to try for years to be accepted.

Like the time I sensed I was not living my purpose and decided to go study abroad and she helped me make a last minute change in my application that got me accepted into one of the top universities in the world. For free. Oh and that was the second time that happened, almost the same thing happened in college, where a scholarship I had never heard about, or since, and that I did not apply to, found it’s way to me.

So here’s what I’m trying to say. Manifesting is real. It’s the way the universe works, but it’s more than a mechanism. It’s a language. It’s the universe’s smoke signal that you need to interpret. This is what often gets missing in the drive-through approach. We hear a no when it’s a “Not now”, we hear a no when it’s a “Not quite like this, you should consider  _______”, we hear a no when they are saying “Yes, but you need to heal this first. Otherwise it won’t work”, we hear we’re in the wrong path when they whisper “Stay where you are”. Sometimes we even hear failure when the answer is indeed “No, this is not for you”.

And that is the other beautiful, mysterious side of manifesting. It’s a love affair between the universe and you. You get to ask, so does she. I had asked to be a veterinarian, then a doctor, then an ecologist. No, no, no she said. That is not your path. It hurt. It still stirs something within me when I see people in those paths, but I trust her. When I do my work, when I place my cards, when I plug into someone’s energy… I feel the presence of spirit. I know I am doing my work. Work only I can do. This is what was meant for me and I love it. And those other loves are not wasted, my love for nature became my spirituality, my love for medicine became my quest for healing. I am grateful for them, but in my path they are windows to look through, not doors to walk into.

I hope my words encourage you to manifest, to ask, to engage and above all I hope they encourage you to listen and trust to your inner artist who safeguards you and your path in life.

Happy manifesting!



Love’s True Colors

Does he love me?

As an intuitive and psychic this is a question I hear often. It’s an important question. Without love there is little to nurture the growth and learning that happens inside a relationship, love is the fuel for the journey to widen our heart. Yet it’s a misleading question, not because the question misleads, rather because what brings us to it is often mislead.


We are used to to think of love as something that grows out of our hearts, something new that has been brought into existence. Out of my years as an intuitive and energy healer I’ve come to understand love as something that exists outside of us. Love is intelligent. Love has a will. Love seeks new places to manifest. A slight, yet significant difference, love is not born but manifested. Love does not die, we disconnect from it. This understanding allows us to reach out to love, confidently, as many times as it takes. We know that love has never hurt us anything that hurt us was unloving, was perpetuated outside the nature of love.

To use an example, this would be like watercolor paint and the water that mixes with it. Though watercolor tubes have vibrant colours, were they to be applied directly to paper the result would be terrible, but when touched by a drop of water? Ah! They come to live, they flow and mix in ways that hypnotize. So do we. Each of us is like a tube of painting, full of potential, of lovely qualities, yet wholly inadequate outside of love. It’s through love, and only through it, that we discover what we are capable of: how much we can love, how much healing we can bring, how much joy we can share. Yet it’s a conscious act from the painter to continuously touch the brush to water and pigment before returning to paint. It is a conscious act from each lover to reconnect to love, then to ourselves, then to the relationship.

This journey is vital. In our example, neither water by itself nor the paints create a painting. We need the beautiful clear water infused with the properties of the pigment for such magic. Yet some pigments refuse to mix. They stay dry, they come out in clumps. The formulation was unbalanced and what should be natural becomes difficult. So it is, sometimes, with ourselves or our partners.

An ideal partner has a well-nurtured inner-self and will accept the flow of love. Not just romantic love, all love. This implies an ease at giving and receiving acts of love: helping, keeping your word, accepting intimacy, laughing, enjoying a clear sky, sharing about your bad day, acknowledging mistakes, apologizing, being creative. They are all instances of being loving to yourself or doing something hard that will be loving for those around you. These acts often happen quickly and frequently, allowing an observer to gauge how wide is someone’s connection to love.

I’m not suggesting you find someone with an impeccable relationship to love – I’ve yet to meet such a person. Life changes us and perfect is boring anyway,  a quirky pigment can be fun to work with, it can force you to take risks. So don’t look for perfect. Your best partner is someone who relates to love like you do, or in a way that enhances your own.

To find out which way of loving enhances your own relationship to love and, hence, makes the love between you richer, we need to establish that someone who resists relating to love is not someone incapable of feeling love. It’s someone for whom love is not an isolated element. Their memories of love are overlapped: a possessive love, an wishy-washy love, jealous love, cold love, narcissistic love… make no mistake all of those lovers can, and often do, have a relationship to love, but it’s not just love. Going back to our art analogy, their shade of love is not a pure pigment, it’s a shade with an undertone of a different pigment, say a bluish-green, or an yellowish-red. They connect to love yes, but through like muscle memory every time they connect to love they also connect to rage, fear, loneliness, etc. giving you a consistent cocktail of colors. This is why you find yourself asking: “Do they love me? Then how can they act this way?”

The risk is that you might learn from them, that your own shade of color will change. That after months, or years, together, the next time you reach out for love, some angers leaks in as well.

If you can, choose a partner that has a first-name basis connection with love. If you are already in a relationship, remember that their way of loving is not love, it’s just their way of loving. As long as you can distinguish that someone’s feelings (or expression) towards you is not love, but a mix of their memories with the flow of love. Then you are free to develop your own connection, to learn to open up to love, and as you change the water that touches you changes. This change might ripple into your partner, or might open new doors in your life. It’s not always easy, it’s necessary: before all else, connect to love. After all is done, connect to love.

What has been a moment that you felt connected to love? That you felt the presence of love? Write your comments down below.

5 benefits from Energy Healing

How can you know if an Energy Healing is right for you? Although there are many beautiful varieties of energy healing, all of them share the same foundation. So check out this five ways getting an energy healing can improve your life. healing-premabirthing_large

  1. Cut cords from the past: We all have something we can’t let go of. Unsatisfied with the way it ended, the way we acted, we constantly rewrite the script in our head. Energetically speaking this is a sign that whatever happened fractured us. That a part of us is currently living outside ourselves, reinserting itself to that memory. Holding on. This can be painful, draining and can deprive us of the focus and clarity we need to create something new, yet through Energy Healing it’s possible to re-integrate all parts of yourself; To close wounds and connections that keep us from the present.
  2. Facing a New Situation: Sometimes life feels we are ready before we do: You receive a promotion at work and after the initial excitement wears off the reality of your new responsibilities sinks in. You keep second guessing yourself and can’t shake the feeling that you are not adapting as fast as you should. Through Energy Healing we can, momentarily, bypass all your thought-circuits and go directly to source. Your higher self knows what you are capable of, it has all the knowledge you will ever need to face any situation in your life, and although it is possible to access this on your own it can take time, whereas through energy we can “download and install” this information in one go.
  3. Increase your Intuition: Intuition is the ability to know something without knowing why. It’s the ability to go from A to Z without stopping at all the letters in between. The quality and speed of our intuitive abilities is directly proportional to our connection to our guides and higher self. Each time we tune in with our intuition is like dialling to a divine hot-line and, trust me, you definitely want this particular hotline in your speed dial. Since everyone is born intuitive and everyone has guides the only thing that can block our intuition is our energy centres which connect and translate in between. As the base work of Energy Healing is harmonizing these energy centres it consistently strengthens our intuitive sense.
  4. Heal pain and trauma: Time heals all wounds. We’ve all heard that before, and although I’m skeptic that all wounds would heal by themselves, it’s undeniable that times does help. But how long should you wait before you let go of pain? How long do you shy away from relationships and experiences while you heal? As little as possible. I am not advocating that you shouldn’t feel your pain or honour your loss. These are sacred teachers after all, and it is not the aim of Energy Healing to keep you from experiencing the full range of emotions. On the contrary, Energy Healing is to pain what Physiotherapy is to wounds. It’s there to ensure that it heals in the best way possible.
  5. Reconnect with your life purpose: Your energy is older than you. Your soul is older than you. We can often forget this facts when we are feeling stuck. We look outside ourselves for direction, and forget that within us we have access to an infinity of resources from soul contracts, past lives, and other resources that can remind us of our life purpose.

Connecting with your Life Purpose: How to read the signs

What is this my purpose?

You know the feeling. We’ve all asked ourselves this question many times before. If we feel we are getting closer it’s like being on fire, we are unstoppable, we know we are on to something BIG.

Until the doubts creep in… We wonder if we made the right call, if we missed our chance, and our energy starts to drain out.

So how do you stay on track? When we speak about life purpose we recognize an intelligence behind the design, and while I make no claim to understanding what that intelligence is I can see it’s work all around me:

In good times that have led me to realize how I can inspire and impact those around me.DIGITAL CAMERA

In my bad times when I realize my own strength, resilience, and ingenuity. My capacity to grow my heart back.

And in my painful times when the light has shown not on me but on those around me. These times have shown me what love is, that pain connects, that sadness heals, it has made me grateful for the amazing people and opportunities in my life.

We all hear that everything serves a purpose… yet isn’t it humbling to see it play before your eyes? so then, what about you?

If “little” things keep aligning without fail wouldn’t whatever is pulling the strings on that put all the more effort into the purpose of a human soul? wouldn’t it make sense for this design to be fail proof?

If you were to design something for a specific purpose then every piece, every movement, every aspect would reinforce that one thing… and truth is that is exactly the case with you.

It’s your nature to act on your purpose. You can’t help yourself. It’s your purpose.

  • When you have free time… what do you google?
  • What part of the news catches your eyes every time?
  • When you need to restore your faith in humanity… where do you go? what do you do?
  • When you wander into a library, which section do you gravitate towards?

It’s obviously not black and white but the more you trust that these impulses are not random, the more you allow yourself to connect with these innate wants the more you drift towards your essence.

In my case I first gravitated towards religion, later towards studying medicine, when I became interested in businesses I became passionate about HR, when I studied sustainability I wrote a thesis on social sustainability. In spite of my best efforts I kept being magnetically attracted to the why’s and how’s of people’s behavior.

What about my free time? I gladly spent my time and financial resources doing spiritual training, intuitive training, devouring spiritual books, learning about human development, etc. All the pieces were being neatly stacked through my actions, even if not through my awareness.

The only credit I claim in this quest is that I have, generally, found it hard to resist my impulses… so intuition-wise I’m probably an easy piece to work with. But we all have this mechanism inside of us.

Try this experiment: For the next month keep a detailed log of your daydreams, book purchases, online reads, Facebook starred events, etc. and try to look at it through someone else’s eyes. What is your core interest in? What is your burning question?

Relax, have fun and let yourself be guided

Andrea F. Woodhouse