MY ROOTS & WHY I’M HERE
From the moment I was born, my life has been one of extremeties. I am a dark-skinned girl born into a very white family, in a very white middle-class village, abandoned at the age of two by my unmarried, teenage, birth mother, a decision which would separate the family, and weave a dark cloud forever hanging over us. I was saved from the adoption services and life in care by my maternal grandparents, however, these two aspects shaped my entire existence. My earliest memory at the age of three, is coming home from nursery school, and asking my Mum (my Grandma) – why am I different? – as my colour was often remarked upon as was the questioning of why my mum was ‘older’ than the other mums. I always stood out! I was marked as different, as not quite belonging, always on the edge. So I spent my life observing, always observing those around me, their behaviour, their beliefs and always questioning without really understanding, why none of it made sense.
As I reached Menarche, the questioning deepened, and became more violent and intense as I began to rebel with force, through being exposed to close encounters of sexual abuse, deep emotional manipulation, racism with my peers at school, and went through my parents divorce which left us financially broke, and having to move from our comfortable middle-class family home and into a council house, yards away from a rough, drug-infested estate. During this time, my older brother, who I adored had a serious motorbike accident which left him in a coma and gave me my first initiation into the realm of death. These events fueled by fury and hormones, took me down the disastrous path, of sex, drugs and abortion, and a very unhealthy relationship with myself and others.
However, our wounds are our teachers, and this constant questioning, striving, searching, and seeking for all the answers to all the whys I had collected over the years, took me into the world of Academia, and a degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies, hoping I would finally find the answer to – Who Am I? However this experience, in and of itself, left me equally more disillusioned, more marginalised, and with even more questions about who I was and the imbalances of the world I found myself in, questions academia couldn’t answer as it fed the one-sidedness of a male-dominated patriarchal viewpoint. What it did give me though was a passion to research human behaviour, and why we do the things we do, along with a fascination into the criminal mind, and a love of multiple personality disorder, all three, of which, gave me a fundamental foundation into the exploration of the psyche.
In my early twenties, I was burnt out and fucked up, and moved to London to start afresh and clean myself up, and it was where I met my soul-mate, best friend and long-standing partner. However the mother wound, the abandonment, a series of heart-breaking deaths, and my own relationship with motherhood through multiple abortions exposed me to depression and suicide, and when the doctors tried to prescribe me with drugs, I refused, steadfast not to go down that path, steadfast I could heal myself, as I’d witnessed first-hand the damage prescribed medication for emotional imbalances could do.
This drive and will within me, opened me up to my own inner knowledge and wisdom in ways academia could not. I explored through deep inner interrogation the imbalances within myself, exploring the patterns, the observations, the triggers, and the polarities and their physical, mental and emotional effects. I began to consciously engage with my period, documenting and noting how I felt every single day, and seeing within this a pattern correlating with the cycles of the moon. I worked with herbs to heal the depression and come back into right relationship with my body.
This also piqued my interest into the feminine, and then I was introduced to Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I was 27, and this book changed the course of my life. It became my bible and I worked with its wisdom to connect deeper with my own wisdom. Analyzing, exploring, deepening through my own experiential process and finding the answers to those questions which have plagued my life.
I’ve never been one to explore the work of lots of different teachers, and pathways, for me personally I always knew I had all the information I needed inside myself, and besides, I have Pluto in the 11th house and so fortunately, or unfortunately, a blessing and a hindrance in equal measure, I am able to see the dark side in every organisation or structure which always deters me from diluting my energy and giving my power away to others. However when I was introduced to the Shamanic Path I knew I was coming home. Something opened within me and stirred my soul. Shamanism helped me connect to the universal concept of nature and its interconnectedness weaving the eco-system through the cosmos. It also supported my exploration of the shadow, soul, and psyche, and how they are all entwined, helping me get in touch with those fragmented parts of self, buried deep, and in doing so opened me up to all the magic I held inside. Although, after graduating an intensive 3-yr Practitioner Training, ready to continue onto another, I was guided to leave the school, and find my own path, my own strand of magic, and the work I came here to do.
And so I did, and here I am with Shadow Walking – a body of work which has come into form over 20-yrs of deep inner experiential exploration and which has taken shape and form with the guidance of my kith and kin beyond the veil and the many clients I have had the good fortune to work with.
A body of work which challenges the traditional therapeutic setting of Psychotherapy which keeps one in long term therapy at a huge financial cost. It also challenges the role of the Shamanic Healer, shattering the long-held belief we need someone else to recover those lost, fragmented parts of self.
Shadow Walking recognises we are all on this path of individuation, we all have everything we need right inside us, and that we are our own healers, and we are our own teachers. We do not need to stay in long-term expensive therapy and it’s time to stop giving our power away to others, expecting everybody else to ‘fix’ us and get on with the beautiful and profound process of fixing ourselves, from the inside out.
If we truly want to know what it means to be a human BEING, we are going to have to get to know ourselves intimately first, we are going to have to let that false sense of identity unravel from our very being, and die a thousand deaths before we can know how to truly live.
I’ve gained a deep understanding of the depth of trauma from conception through birth, through the wounds of our mothers and of our father, through the ties and binds of our families. Through the lines of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Through ancestral healing of the maternal and paternal lines, across lifetimes, cultures and lands. I’ve unraveled the lines of poverty and poverty consciousness and come to a deeper understanding of how money and power work on an individual and collective level.
I’ve explored, healed and integrated the imbalances of my own dark side, and yes we all have one, we have not always incarnated ‘good’, we have not always incarnated as male or female, and if we dare to dig deep enough we will come to understand how we have been the oppressors, the abusers, the colonisers, and those who dominate over others for power and control. I have come to know death intimately, and how our attachments in life keep us in need of love, comfort and support, and in fear of death of self and of our loved ones. I know the depth of suicide and mental health challenges, and the thin line that exists between sanity and insanity and how these are perceived, controlled and conditioned within society.
I’ve lived the extremes, I know the extremes, profoundly and intimately because I have quite simply dared, unconsciously and consciously, so I can bring all this wisdom back and share it with those who equally dare, to find out exactly who they are without their stories, their wounds, and their traumas, who they are without all those deeply intricate threads of their conditioning, so they too may return home to self, to soul, and to living a full and embodied life.
BA/BSc in Psychology and Women’s Studies from London Metropolitan
Way of the Shaman – Sacred Trust
Soul Retrival Training – Sacred Trust
3-yr Professional Shamanic Practitioner Training – Sacred Trust
Way of the Melissae – Sacred Trust
The Spinners & The Weavers – Sacred Trust
House and Land Healing with Cait Brannigan
The Shaman’s Journey From Wounded Healer To Wholeness – Imelda Almvqvist
The Shaman’s Way of Healing Spirit Intrusion – Imelda Almvqvist
Advanced Ancestral Healing – Imelda Almvqvist
I’ve also walked a deeply enriching personal path with homeopathy and evolutionary astrology, Vipassana Meditation, Somatic Experience, Tantric Practices for Women, along with 5 Rhythms and Chinese Medicine.
I facilitate Shadow Work events, workshops, and retreats online and around the globe. My first book, ‘Shadow Walking – Empower Your Spirit, Liberate Your Soul with Shadow Integration Work’ is due for release soon.
If you would like to bring my work to your area, then I would love to hear from you, so please do get in touch here.