Winnie Chan is a trauma-informed licensed acupuncturist who is also a Shamanic Tao healer, a Reiki practitioner, a shadow worker, and the co-author of Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work to Nourish and Grow Your Power. Her mission in life is to deliver LOVE AS MEDICINE – to help everyone discover their original wholeness. She does this by combining the medical science of a clinically trained acupuncturist with the spiritual knowledge of a shaman to help her clients process their trauma, which is the root cause of many physical and emotional illnesses.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
- The ways Winnie’s trauma-filled childhood provided the inspiration for the healing work she is now doing.
- How “soul loss” led to Winnie’s 3 suicide attempts.
- What inspired Winnie after her divorce with its dark nights of the soul to begin to help people through shadow work?
- The ways shadow work helps us to give up struggling and love the totality of ourselves.
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS WINNIE:
- How did your near-death car accident lead to your spiritual awakening?
- Can you give us an example of healing you have facilitated through shamanic healing?
- How is grief a sacred gift that brings us to deeper love with the Divine?
Winnie Chan: When We Honor Darkness And Integrate With Light, We Claim Our Gifts Of Source Power. And The More We Heal Ourselves, The More We Heal The World.
I hope this finds each of you so very well. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to interview trauma-informed licensed acupuncturist, Winnie Chan, who is also a Shamanic Tao healer, a Reiki practitioner, a shadow worker and the co-author of Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power. Winnie will be speaking to us from South Pasadena, California, where she is a professor in acupuncture at Alhambra Medical University.
Winnie’s mission in life is to deliver love as medicine to help everyone discover their original wholeness. She does this by combining the medical science of a clinically trained acupuncturist with the spiritual knowledge of a shaman to help her clients process their trauma, which is the root cause of many physical and emotional illnesses. I’m looking forward to interviewing Winnie about the ways people can heal all aspects of their lives by aligning their soul, heart and mind, energy and body, why she considers grief to be a sacred gift that brings us deeper love with the divine, her book Honoring Darkness and more for what is sure to be a touching and powerful interview filled with important healing insights with a very special woman. Winnie, a warm, heartfelt welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity.
Every time I interview someone, sometimes you get someone who’s special and you can feel it. We are going to have this wonderful interview. Let’s start with this question so everyone can get to know you and how you came about to do what you do. You’re very candid about your trauma-filled childhood. In what ways did it provide the inspiration for much of the healing work you’re doing?
Honestly, there was a time in my life when I dreaded therapy. I hated talking about it because my ego is so attached to looking good. I hated being weak, crying and all over the place. Until that moment, I realized that if I don’t heal myself, I’m going to pass all of my childhood trauma onto my children. Unfortunately, I’ve already messed them up a little bit. What they say is that a child’s subconscious is formed between ages 0 and 7.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have my spiritual awakening until my kids are 7 and 9. That means I perpetuated all the fear, guilt and shame that was given to me onto my children. For all the readers, it doesn’t matter if you have kids who are 2 and 4, 12 and 14, 22 or 24. It’s never too late to start healing your childhood trauma so that you can interrupt this pattern.
We call it ancestral karma when it’s like, “My great-grandmother gave it to my grandmother, gave it to my mother, gave it to me and then I give it to my daughter.” I’m going to say, “No, this trauma ends with me. I’m going to have compassion for all the ways I have hurt my children before my awakening because at this moment, what do I get to create and who do I get to be so that my children can heal?”
This is true. I didn’t learn to cook until I was 27 when my daughter was 8 months old because I was like, “I have to stop eating unhealthily. I don’t want to give my unhealthy eating habits to my daughter.” I think as a mother, there’s nothing more motivating than wanting to give the absolute best to your children. On my own, I don’t think I do the healing work but I got to show up for my daughters.
They are great motivations. I can say from my experience, I had a childhood deal with tremendous trauma. Someone in the family somewhere has to decide they’re going to stop the legacy. The only way they stop the legacy is to do their healing work and then pass that forward instead of passing the trauma forward. What was some of that trauma that you experienced?
The greatest is this suppression. This idea like, “I’m the parent, the authority and I know better than you.” That led to soul loss. It’s like when a mother says, “I’m right and you are wrong.” Think about the Japanese soldiers or the suicide bombers. Do they want to go hurt or kill people? No, but they’re tied to their loyalty. Their need to be loved and validated by the authority figure is trumping their consciousness.
My need to please my mother trumped my expression. What happens when a parent says, “I know better than you. I’m right. You are wrong,” it’s like Harry Potter where Baltimore splits his soul into different parts. Every time that happened, for me to stay under that roof, I have to cut off a part of my soul so that I can obey my parents, live the way they want me to live, speak the way they want me to speak and act the way they want me to act.
That’s very conditional love. I had the same experience but for you, it led to three suicide attempts. You were 8, 13 and 24 years old. Could you talk to us a little bit about those? You were in such despair to do that.
The first time it happened, a school teacher claims that I cheated on a test. First of all, I’m a girl with a fourth science degree. I went to MIT and I’m the valedictorian. To say that I cheated on a test is ludicrous. First of all, I can’t believe that the teacher claims that I cheated on a test. I’m done with my tests and I’m just wandering. It doesn’t matter that my teacher doesn’t trust me but my mom doesn’t trust me.
Your mother believed the teacher over you.
My mother believed the teacher’s accusation of me. She went home and spanked me. I was like, “Not only did you not stand up for me but you then gave me physical abuse as a punishment that I didn’t do.” I remember feeling nobody in the world understands me. I’m so isolated. I’m looking out the window and living in this apartment complex. I want to jump out of the window like, “What’s the point of living? Even the person who’s supposed to love me the most is not taking my side.”
Did you jump out that window?
I was very practical. I was like, “I live on the third floor. If I don’t die, I’ll be paralyzed and live a miserable life.” If I’m going to commit suicide, it’s going to be like clean and done. I’m not going to take any chances.
You thought about it. Did you ever quite complete it even when you were 13 and 24? Did you ever make a physical attempt like that?
It’s more of a romantic fantasy. For readers, since COVID we have had a significant increase in anxiety, depression and suicide, especially between the age group 15 and 24. This isolation that we had during COVID was so tremendous. If you have fantasized about giving up on yourself, know that it’s very normal. Before I became a parent, I would allow myself to have these fantasies. After I became a parent, I gave up that practice because my children depend on me. I can’t go give up on myself because I don’t want my children to have a mom that did that. In a way, you can say that my people-pleasing ways are also saving me because I gave up that kind of fantasy.
You also went through tremendous trauma when you got a divorce from your husband of nineteen years. You talk about that. You’re a little older saying the divorce through tremendous trauma but also significant gifts. Do you want to tell us about that?
I was in the most loving relationship with my ex-husband for nineteen years. I came here as an immigrant. When I found my husband, he was my best friend, my family and also my lover because when I came here, I didn’t know a single person. It’s like I am a refugee with a credit card. I had the money but I didn’t know a single person.
None of your family came with you. You came on your own.
I came on my own for political reasons. My parents said, “It’s not safe for you to be in your home country so here’s a credit card.” That led to all kinds of codependency and the relationship wasn’t healthy but when my ex-husband decided, “I no longer want to do the work to be in a marriage with you,” I was crushed because, for nineteen years, he was my rock. When I lost that, I didn’t know how to live.
Who’s winning without him? I had a similar crisis when my husband died, “Who am I without him?” I can understand that.
The gift is that we get to discover who we are. The definition of grief is love with nowhere to go. The gift of grief is it shows us how deeply we loved. I remember shortly after I had my divorce, I had his 83-year-old client. He couldn’t walk when he came to me. He was lying on my acupuncture table. He said, “I’ve never been married and had a significant long-term romantic relationship.” At that moment, I was like, “Wow.”
The definition of grief is love with nowhere to go. The gift of grief is that it shows us how deeply we love. Click To Tweet
I’m spoiled, entitled and not grateful to God. I’m so grateful to have experienced nineteen years of love and have had children. I’m so grateful to have had it and then lost it. At least, I didn’t waste my time on this Earth. I got to experience something so profound. Grief is telling us we had it good. Instead of lamenting the fact, “I’m a victim and nobody loves me,” be like, “I’m so grateful for all these years that I’ve had a rock in my life.” The first part of the grief is that it tells us how rich, colorful and meaningful we’ve had this deep, loving relationship.
If you didn’t have it in your life, you wouldn’t miss it.
The second part is that rejection equals redirection and protection. In this case, God was guiding me to collect all the love that my heart has and then redirect it to another person. For example, I can love myself, my mom, dad and brother. When I lost my husband, all of a sudden, all my other relationships improved. I healed my relationship with my mom and my dad because I needed to depend on them. I called them all the time.
Rejection equals redirection and protection. Click To Tweet
I also gave all my love to my clients. You pouring your love into the podcast. It’s the same thing. You’re pouring your love into your audience and how very lucky all your audience is to receive your love. Sometimes when we lose something, one chapter of our life is closing to make room for another chapter of our lives.
You go through your divorce with its dark knight of the soul and begin to help people through shadow work. What was that about? How did that prompt you to open that new chapter and delve more deeply into those dark places? Do you still have healing to do?
It’s funny because, before my divorce, I was a Reiki healer. I channeled love and light. That brings me to this concept called toxic positivity or spiritual bypassing where I’m like, “Love and light,” but I was avoiding looking at my shadow. I was suppressing my anger and fear. I wasn’t honest with myself. It’s almost like I’m lying.
You are sad that you were putting over it but the infection was still there.
When I had my divorce, my ego got crushed because what does this say about me when I don’t have love, peace and harmony in my marriage? It was like a wake-up call. Many nights, I stayed up and got honest with my internal unhealed stories as a victim of being judgmental, unworthy, entitled, manipulated, shame and all kinds of darkness.
You have to get honest with yourself. It takes a lot of courage.
It made me come face to face. It brought me down to my knees.
You’re so courageous and it’s wonderful that you did that because look at all the people that you’re helping. By removing those blockages and everything, you’re living and breathing-free. Talk to us about how shadow work helps us to give up struggling and become the fullest expression of the downs. I’m going to define it for people, which means to know who we are, trust who we are, know our gift and purpose and love the totality of ourselves, which to me boils down to self-love. Tell us about the shadow work you help people do and how it helps to give up that struggle.
I believe that everyone is a light. Sometimes we don’t see the sun when it’s covered by clouds. Sometimes we don’t know our true nature is love, compassion and forgiveness because we’re stuck in our stories and labels. This is significant because when we don’t look at the shadow, it turns into a disease. I’m going to give two examples of how doing shadow work heals diseases. I’m a doctor. The reason I wrote the book is because I wanted to assign it to my patients.
Sometimes we don't know our true nature is love, compassion, and forgiveness because we're stuck in our stories and labels. Click To Tweet
A lot of people don’t realize that when they’re very sick, a lot of times it is because of emotion. You stored something somewhere and where’s it going to go? It manifests into sickness.
In traditional Chinese medicine, we say 70% of these body illness is caused by emotions. That’s tremendous. For example, we say that anger is stored in the liver and the liver opens in the eyes. One time I had a client. She found me on Yelp and said, “Can acupuncture help with the eyes?” I said, “I don’t know if acupuncture alone can do it but if you will receive all my magic, I will help you. How long have you had eye problems?” She said, “Three months.”
I said, “What is the most frustrating thing that happened to you three months ago?” She said, “I had a fight with my sister. She set boundaries with me and then I felt abandoned. I’m angry because what gives her the right to decide when to have a relationship and when not to have a relationship? What about me?” I said, “You have a choice. You can be right that you are a victim of your sister or you can forgive your sister and yourself. What’s the sound of one hand clapping? You said something to piss her off and therefore she cut you off. You forgive her, yourself and you’ll have your eyes back. Which one are you going to choose?” She said, “I want my eyes back.” I said, “Good choice.”
What was wrong with her eyes? How had it manifested in her eyes?
She had difficulty seeing out of her left eye. We did acupuncture and also shadow work, forgiveness practice and with all of my empowerment channeling source energy and forgiveness.
She was processing and you taught her a little bit about boundaries.
In one session, her eyesight recovered. That’s the value of the shadow work. I want to be able to help people beyond local Pasadena, where I have my practice, which is why I have this course online so that people can join me on Zoom. You can also tell me about your shadow and we can transform them together.
Another example is I had a client. She had liquid coming out of her ears. She went to the ER and they gave her all kinds of medication, antibiotics, cancer meds, everything but nothing can stop the mysterious liquid that was coming out of her ear. In traditional Chinese medicine, we say that the kidney stores fear and opens in the ear.
I ask her, “How long has it been?” She said, “A couple of months.” I said, “What happened a couple of months ago?” She said, “I had to make a decision between selling my company and not selling my company. If I sold my company, I’m afraid that I’m leaving too much money on the table. If I don’t sell the company, I’m afraid I’ll never get the opportunity to sell my company.” I said, “Bingo.”
I said, “Where are you today?” She’s like, “I sold the company a month ago.” I said, “Do you see the emptiness of your suffering? You’re still stuck up in the fear.” I help her trust herself through the empowerment that I have as a healer. I’m grateful to various Dawas, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. I’m a nerd. I study a lot of spiritual traditions. Through working with my guides in one session, liquid stopped coming out of her ears.
You work with her guide. The other part I’m going to tell people is as a shaman, in addition to being an acupuncturist, which is the more traditional healing, you also have a gift. You can hear the guides of people and they tell you things that help you help that person.
One of my major gifts is medical intuition. Honestly, I haphazardly accidentally discovered it. It was very early in my acupuncture career and I have just learned reiki. I had a client who had gallstones. In Western medicine, the only way to heal gallstones is surgery. I said, “No attachment to the outcome but why don’t you let me try because there’s no harm in trying?”
As I put my hands over his body, all of a sudden, tears started coming down. I said, “I don’t know why but I’m crying.” He’s like, “I don’t know why but I also want to cry.” I’m like, “Great, let’s cry together.” I worked with spiritual guidance in terms of where to put the needles and chanted some healing mantras. I said, “Spiritual light turned stone into sand.” A couple of hours later, he went to bathroom number two and then texted me, “When I flushed the toilet, it was sand all around the toilet bowl.” Disclaimer that I know what I’m doing because I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m very humbled that through the many traumas in my life, I became an expert crier.
One of my superpowers is that I am able to cry with my clients crying and we cry together. It’s almost like the tears are melting the blockages that created this in the first place. Tears is a release. Scientifically we know that tears release oxytocin and endorphin. When I tell my clients, “There’s something here,” and he starts crying, then he’s also generating some internal healing mechanism.
That’s going to lead me to your book, which is called Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power. We’re starting to talk about it, no shadow work, nourish and grow our power by healing all aspects of life, including health and relationships, which is a good one. Also, finances. It helps to align the soul, heart, mind, energy and body. Tell us everything you’d like to tell us. Why everyone should buy your book? What they’ll get out of it? How that can help them?
The book is where you read about my childhood trauma, rape, divorce and parental alienation, which if you don’t know what that is, it’s the most painful thing that I don’t wish upon anyone. It’s also a textbook because I categorize the top ten shadows that everyone should look at. Having this four-science degree and also being a professional, I wanted to create a course and a systematic way of doing this work. Sometimes I feel like people go to a talk therapist for 20 years and they’re still going to the top therapist for 20 years. It’s not the top therapist’s fault but it’s just that you keep going in circles.
You’re cycling through but sometimes people don’t want to heal. They just want to hear themselves talking. They love the drama. They are into it.
My ego is so big that first of all, I resisted talk therapy for many years. Now I love it. I didn’t want to hear the truth about me. I didn’t want to hear that I’m an angry person or see the monster in me.
You weren’t perfect. What a shock.
I’m going to drop a bomb, go ahead and be vulnerable. One of my biggest shadows is I am or used to be the most judgemental person I know. Think about it. What makes me good with four science-degree is that I’m good at calculating, analyzing and judging. It’s almost like I see everyone like an Excel spreadsheet post. In every situation, I’m calculating, “What can I gain from this? What can I lose from this?” I’m always doing this almost like a financial planner, “What is the risk and the reward?” When I come with judgmental and also manipulative energy, it’s very difficult to be in a relationship because whenever I do something for you, I want something back.
You know a lot of people who are that way. When I was in years and years of therapy, one of the things that I was taught was you don’t do something because you expect something back. You do it from your heart. Whatever that other person decides, that’s up to them.
It’s laughable that I think about it. One of the things I remember that I talked about also in the book is the moment my ego got crushed because of the divorce, I realized that everything I ever judged and pointed a finger at my ex-husband was true in me. He was simply my mirror. If I said he has anger issues, then I have anger issues. If I think he’s selfish, then I’m selfish. Whatever my complaint about him is about me. Doing this work is so powerful because I used to be walking around and I’d get triggered left and right.
Now when I get triggered, I get super excited because I know that the other person is just a mirror reflecting what is unhealed in me. Whenever I get triggered, I’m like, “Great.” This is a tantric Buddhist meditation practice where they meditate on their anger or fear as a ticket to enlightenment.
We’re talking about shadow work, especially with relationships. You’re feeling angry. You’re in a relationship and all. How do you go about healing that shadow, recognizing what it is and making sure that that shadow isn’t tripping you up anymore and becoming more conscious? Is it through a combination of therapy and acupuncture or shamanic work? How do you process that? How does that go?
Picture the iceberg and the tip of the iceberg like the Titanic. There’s what’s above the water level and that’s our conscious mind. Usually, we have 2% to 5% access to our conscious mind. 95% to 98% is below the water. That’s the part that we cannot see. The Titanic hit the bottom first. When we get triggered by what’s happening, for example, anger is at the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s say I ask my daughter for something and then she said no to me and I got angry. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. When you meditate, you’re like, “What’s underneath this? How can I get angry at something so little?” Sometimes we sit in traffic and get angry for being cut off but you’re like, “Why am I getting angry at being cut off? That’s trivial.” That’s because there’s all this 95% that this is linked to.
For example, even though my daughter said, “I don’t want to go to the beach with you,” maybe that links to all the other times that I have been rejected and all the other times somebody said no. Maybe I wanted to get this job and I heard no. Maybe I want to be in a relationship with this person and they said no. Whatever I wanted but I didn’t get. We’ll have a lot of those where we want something and we didn’t get it. When we’re meditating, it’s like, “It’s because I am attached to getting what I want.”
You might get one step further, which is, “What I know is less than 1%. What I know that I don’t know is like 1%. What I don’t know what I don’t know, AKA my blind spot, is 99%. Who am I to think that I know better than God or the universe?” It’s ludicrous to think that at any given moment in time, I know what is the highest and best for me.
My blind spot is 99% huge. Usually, it brings me down to a place of, “I am a child of God.” Another way to say this is, “I’m a co-creator of this universe.” At once, I’m very powerful because I have the power to change my life by changing my mindset but at the same time, I also get to surrender to all the help and gifts that are out there. I get to practice trusting that the universe is always doing what is best for me.
You may argue, “I don’t think that’s true. Look at all this trauma that I’ve had in my life. The world is out to get me. I got to be defensive. Look at how many times in my life I’ve been raped. I’m a victim of domestic, physical and emotional abuse.” This is what I have to say. We get to choose. If we think the world is out to get us, that becomes our reality. If we think that everything happens for our highest and best interests, that becomes our reality. We get to choose if we want to defend and struggle in life or we want to just breathe, relax, have pleasure and received the abundance that the universe wants to give to us.
We get to choose if we want to defend and struggle in life or if we want to just breathe, relax, have pleasure, and receive the abundance that the universe wants to give us. Click To Tweet
Someone’s been raped or had this terrible childhood and they’re not meditators. They feel all this anger or whatever they’ve been triggered like crazy. They want to believe the universe is providing them with all these wonderful positive options. Where do they go? What do they code it? Are there ways that you pull out those blockages? Are there ways that they heal it? That’s the shadow work. How do they go about that? That’s what you talk about in your book.
Thank you for asking me this very important question. In the healing community, we’re divided about whether forgiveness is necessary or not necessary for healing because some people are like, “I don’t have to forgive my rape person because I just don’t have to.” What I have to say about this is I don’t want to engage in an intellectual conversation about whether forgiveness is necessary or not because the body keeps the score. Your body is not going to lie.
For example, forgiveness in one session, my client’s eyesight fully recover. Many women have breast cancer, endometriosis, fibroid and cyst. People are like, “I don’t know where breast cancer comes from. I don’t know why I have endometriosis.” We think we are powerless victims of these physical illnesses. This is what I say, “I don’t need you to trust or believe me but I can tell you how good ice cream is with my words. Until you’ve licked the ice cream with your tongue, I can’t describe how great ice cream is.”
Forgiveness is letting go of ongoing emotion. It’s not necessarily forgetting.
That brings me to the question and I write about this in the book too, “I want to forgive so badly. I chant mantras, hours a day, ‘Forgive,’ but I secretly haven’t forgiven, which is why I’m spiritually bypassing. I know forgiveness is good. I want to forgive so desperately but I’m secretly suppressing it deeper down than to myself.”
The question is, “Why is it so hard to forgive?” We need to look at what is the benefit of staying a victim. This is an example. If my partner comes home tonight, I’m like, “I have had lower back pain for ten years. I’m having this bad flare-up. COVID is hitting me so hard and I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent. Can you please wash the dishes?” Versus, “I’m making so much money. I bought a new Prada bag. I’m going to go have drinks with my girlfriends later and follow by getting a massage. Can you please wash the dishes?”
When we are a victim, we can use our pain to manipulate other people to do what we want. That’s why we don’t want to give up the trump card, because why would I give up the ability to manipulate you to wash dishes for me? I don’t want to give that up. This is coming from scarcity. If I don’t have access to God, the universe and the spiritual realm, I think that if I give you $10, I have $10 fewer. I’m in this scarcity victim thing. What I say is if somebody raped me. Let’s say they owe me $100 in negative karma currency. If I don’t know God, I’m not going to forgive you because I want to claim that $100 back but because I know God’s source universe and by plugging into the source waterfall, imagine you’re getting $10 million per second pouring into you. You’re getting unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion.
My cup is not only full all the time but what I’m giving you, the forgiveness and love are the leftovers. I can’t even have more if I wanted to. I can forgive you very easily because God forgives me first. I’m a nerdy doctor. To me, it’s like my client comes in. They have liquid coming out of the ears. They don’t care if it’s Western, Chinese or spiritual medicine. They’re like, “Stop the liquid coming out of my ear. Do anything you want.”
In my nerdiness, I have done a lot of experiments. What I’ve concluded is that we are all very rich. Imagine God is this 24/7 ATM. You’re like, “God, give me the money,” and then God gives you the money. If you haven’t connected God’s source, the universe, spiritual, whatever tradition you want, that’s why I also study the Bible every day. I practice Dawas, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, scriptures and texts because I want to speak the language that my clients speak. Anybody who talks about love, forgiveness and compassion, we are all one.
You had a near-death car accident. It led also to that spiritual awakening that I hear over and over. You are sourcing that spiritual awakening. It brought you an awareness that you needed to live in the present, not the past and the future, which is also part of your honoring darkness. Tell us about that because that was such an important experience for you.
If you’ve never meditated a day in your life and don’t know God and spirit, join the club. I was one of them. For the first 37 years of my life, I was a girl with four science degrees. I didn’t have any faith, never meditated and don’t know anything about God in spirit. I had this near-death car accident. I remember going into the accident three seconds before I see this car turn into a raisin. I was like, “I’m going to die.”
I wasted my whole life with anger, holding grudges in the past for all the things that I’m angry at my ex-husband. Also, all the fear, which is like all the possible things that can go badly in the future, which hasn’t even happened but I’m in fear about my daughters and how they’re going to turn out. I spent my whole life living in anger at the past and fear of the future. I haven’t been here. I haven’t enjoyed the gifts of breath. I haven’t enjoyed my life and love. I’ve spent my whole life angry and scared.
Will you want to give us an example of the healing you facilitated through your shamanic healing work?
Sometimes people are in denial of things. I love talk therapy and I encourage everyone to do talk therapy. If you’ve never worked with a shaman or a spiritual healer, they can tell you things that you don’t even know about yourself. That’s helpful.
How do they know these things? Is it because your spirit guide is speaking to them?
Yes, speaking through me. One time I had a client. She lives out of state. This was a telephone session. She said, “I’m referred to you. I’ve had a cough with phlegm for over a month. I’ve gone to CT scans. The lungs show negative on pneumonia but I don’t know why I keep coughing and I have phlegm.” In the beginning, she couldn’t complete one sentence coughing twice. I’m like, “Poor woman.” In Chinese medicine, grief is stored in the lungs and coughing. I said, “Tell me about grief. What are you processing right now?” She said, Winnie, “I’m a reiki healer. I’ve done a lot of work. I don’t have any grief.”
I said, “I’m not going to solve this problem in the human realm. Let me check in and see what they say.” When I tuned in, I heard that there is a romantic relationship where she’s not quite over. She said, “Two years ago, my boyfriend broke up with me but I think he made the wrong choice.” She secretly still wants to get back with him but she’s even suppressed it because she wanted to move on so badly. Later, I tied it back. She told me she’s had this rash that starts from the nose and goes up into her eyes. She’s had a non-stop runny nose for two years.
The clue is that she’s had a non-stop runny nose for two years. It’s because she was broken up with her boyfriend. That’s what I mean. The body keeps the score. We think we’ve moved on from that breakup but no, you still have lung stuff and rash out of your nose and coughing. What we did was through the spiritual practices, the downloads, empowerments and transmission, by the end of the call, she talked for half an hour with no coughing.
You would do all this on the phone with her?
It’s fantastic. I’ve been part of shamanic work. It’s fabulous and fascinating. You say that grief is a sacred gift that brings us into deeper love with the divine. Would you like to tell us about that?
It is in my darkest moments that I get to know God’s source, universe and spirits. I write about this in the book, “I haven’t been suicidal for many years since I had my kids but one month after the divorce, I was like, ‘What’s the point of living? If my rock is abandoning me, then why am I living?’” It’s funny because I remember that this thought happened on Easter Sunday.
I normally don’t go to church but I’m so desperate that my brother’s like, “You want to go to church?” I’m like, “Sure.” I pray to Jesus, “I’m going to go do some deep shadow work to look at the part of my psyche that is suicidal. I trust that you’re going to hold my hand and not let go because I know I’m not going to make it out of the tunnel without you being my guide and loving me.” It’s so funny because when I came out of that shadow work session, I’d never experienced this profound piece. With the piece that I have, I can give it to other people.
The grief was the gift that got you to delve deeper into your shadow work, pain and blockages.
It strengthened my relationship with my guides. It is in our darkest moments that we are the most sincere in our prayers. It’s like, “I’m hurting. Do something.”
It leads me to this question but you’ve answered it, which was to explain how pain is our sacred clairsentient channel and how our body is a vehicle for enlightenment. Everything that happens to us is a signal to instead of suffering and complaining about it, think, “What’s brought that on? What’s the source of that? What is that triggering that I need to heal?” Please explain this statement, which also resonates with Winnie tremendously, “The more we heal ourselves, the more we heal the world.” You could say that’s the mission of the show.
I want everybody to picture the infographic of the patient zero and COVID. One person walks around with COVID and then they go to a restaurant. All of a sudden, everybody was exposed to COVID. Healing works the same way. If I have experienced God and I know how to experience unconditional love and peace, when you read my book, take my course or work with me in private sessions, the way somebody can give you COVID, I can give you that experience of unconditional love.
Once the COVID virus is in your body, it starts replicating. Once you’ve experienced the unconditional love in your being, you are going to start being the unconditional love. You’re going to walk around and give it to your family, company and community. That’s the science of how healing can be amplified. That’s why I’m like, “Please take my course and read my book because I want you to be the person who brings this healing into your family and community.” Think about how much flourishing can happen in your life.
Once you've experienced unconditional love in your being, you are going to start being unconditional love. Click To Tweet
What about if unconditional love, lack of judgment and acceptance was like a virus? We could pass that along to the world instead of the anger, frustration, complaints and all of that. What a different world it would be. Tell us about this eleven-week course you teach that allows a person to systematically rebirth each shadow into light. You teach this course online.
I’m a doctor and one of the things that I think very firmly is that healthcare should be available to people regardless of income level. That’s why I first started with the book for $28. There are these ten shadows and there are exercises at the end of every book. If you can’t afford the course, you can still benefit by doing the exercises at the end of each chapter. Working with me on the course is a faster or easier way if you can afford it.
Trust me, you’re going to get 40 times your financial investment back. All of a sudden, your health problems are gone. Maybe you start losing weight. You finally attract that boyfriend or girlfriend that you want and then your business is flourishing. When you get connected to unconditional love, it’s so powerful. The course is hybrid. It is on Zoom and in person because I love in-person and Zoom.
You got a great personality. You project great through Zoom also.
I’ll invite you Irene to teach the grief class for me next quarter. It’s important. This isn’t the Winnie course but this is the community’s course. Like a podcast, I feature a different teacher who has expertise on that particular subject matter. You can be the grief expert.
Grief is also something that you can choose. You’re never going to heal it. It’s never going away but you can use it as a motivator to find all the places. For instance, on a scale of 1 to 10. If your grieving is on 15 or 20, it has roots in your pain and other stories. You can use it as a motivator, which happened to me, to do healing all the way around for all different types of issues in your life, find freedom, joy again and all of that. Do you also have additional courses in classes or do you want to talk about this eleven-week course?
At the moment, I am focusing on the shadow work. I’m in the process of birthing another book called Unlocking Light. This one is in the work. If you also want to unlock the light, then you want to follow me on social media so you can find out when the book comes up.
You’ll come back onto the show and we’ll tell them about that one. What is Winnie Chan’s tip for finding joy in life?
For me, I close my eyes and open my ears to receive the totality of the present moment. What I find is when I do that and I gaze into my heart, it’s almost like I can connect to this fountain that’s blooming out of my heart. It’s almost like I can see the lotus in my heart. It’s the most beautiful lotus. Everyone has the lotus in their heart. Whenever you need joy, take a moment and close your eyes. Look into your heart and picture that lotus.
I love this quote from your book, Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power, “If you want to have harmony in the world, then please look inside your heart. We’re talking about the lotus heart. Start loving, accepting and forgiving yourself.” Winnie, thank you for empowering people to enact positive changes in their lives by healing all aspects of their lives. Thank you from my heart for an insights filled touching interview. Here’s a loving reminder, make sure to follow us and like us on social @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to click subscribe on YouTube so you never miss an episode. As I like to say, to be continued. Many blessings and bye for now. Thank you so much, Winnie.
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