May 23, 2013 by Christina Hamlett
A Conversation with Isabella Stoloff
“Healing is a matter oif time,” wrote HIppocrates, “but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”
Too often in the frenetic pace of day-to-day living, we make the mistake of believing that whatever is vexing us will eventually go away if we just ignore it long enough. Sometimes we may not even know what it is that’s off-kilter until it manifests to the point of jeopardizing our health, our relationships and our spiritual connectivity. Isabella Stoloff, Founder of the Orange County Healing Center (www.ochealingcenter.com), is a Shaman who guides her clients in the techniques of embracing a positive mindset and empowering themselves from the inside out.
Q: What, exactly, is a Shaman and how does this ancient-sounding practice interface with all of the hurry-up demands put upon us in the 21st century?
A: Very simply put, a Shaman is a conduit between the spiritual world and physical world. Shamans traditionally were the medicine men and women of the tribe. People came to them with their troubles, and ailments, and the Shamans were able to assist them using a variety of healing techniques. They prayed to the mountains and the earth for protection and guidance. Most of all they trusted their spiritual intuition to guide them. Today we are faced with different issues, many of which stem from disempowerment. When a client comes to me with their problem I assist them in releasing the issue so they feel better and can begin to see things from a different perspective. I work at the soul level so my clients reconnect to themselves and the planet in a whole new way. I give people tangible tools for creating more peace and tranquility in their lives. One of the techniques I teach is how to release the negative mind using the 17-second rule. Everyone today is talking about meditation and positive thinking, but are so wrapped up in the day-to-day life they have no idea where to start. After just one session, my clients feel clear and empowered again. I feel honored to be able to assist others in finding their true authentic self.
Q: What attracted you to Shamanism as your life’s calling?
A: In 2006 my mother had been in a home with dementia for over a year, and I was in Idaho getting my MFA in performance. It was as if I could hear my mother calling in my mind, asking me to help her. I would hear her voice say, “Get me out of here.” At the time I, too, felt very stuck in my life. I had been with the same man for nine years and there was no ring in sight, I needed to have knee surgeries and a liver biopsy and none of these issues were being resolved. When I heard my mother calling me I thought, “How can I help you when I can’t even help myself?”
Then someone suggested I see a Peruvian Shaman. I had never heard of Shamanism except in the Native American tradition, and really had no idea what they did, and a Peruvian Shaman felt even more farfetched. But my mother raised me to be very accepting of others’ religions and quite open-minded, so even though the idea was foreign to me I went for it. Within the first month after the healing, my mother passed. Within the following six-month period I had the knee surgeries, liver biopsy, broke up with the boyfriend and moved my daughter back to California. My life changed so dramatically, and so quickly, I felt I needed to take a deeper look into Shamanism.
I began studying the work of Dr. Alberto Villoldo and the Qero Shaman. Through my studies and trips to Peru and the Amazon jungle I realized this was my life’s calling. Now I assist others in finding their authentic self. This is truly an amazing time to be alive. Many people are finally realizing that their bodies and their minds are amazing tools. That consciousness lives in every single cell and that when we learn how to retrain our thinking our whole world will change. I love this statement for I feel it is so true, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”, and that is what I have done. I myself have been transformed, and in return I mentor and teach others to do the same.
Q: What were you doing prior to starting your business four years ago?
A: Prior to 1991 my life was very challenging. I went through some extremely difficult times. It is those challenges that have assisted me in becoming the Shaman I am today. Here are some of the things that I did to assist me in raising three children on my own during my education: While in junior college I started a group for women to be able to talk about their problems. I also put together a Students 4 Kids club to raise money for the building of the new children’s center. I practiced Louise Hay’s positive affirmations daily, and trusted that I was the creator of my world.
After getting my BA I founded an at- risk teen program called “For the Love of Acting” which taught students how to write their life stories and perform the monologues. I also worked for Campfire Boy and Girls teaching empowerment classes in the school district. Things were not always easy but I stayed positive and had my eye on the goal of a Masters degree. After that I went on to work as a gang intervention specialist. That was a tough job but I learned so much. I was finally accepted to a graduate program in Moscow, Idaho and packed up my then 10-year old daughter and moved. While in school there I taught and worked as a fundraiser for the Latah Trail foundation building a trail between the two towns.
I returned to California in 2007 and I found a job teaching Acting and Public speaking at Fullerton College. I performed in some community theatre productions and performed my one-woman show, Abreaction; a collection of women’s stories. I created that show by interviewing women and asking them, “What was the event that changed your life?” When I graduated from my Shaman training program, my daughter was about to go off to college at Parsons in NY and I was preparing for the empty nest. It was an interesting time of letting go and stepping into my new life all at the same time.
Q: How does one make a full-fledged career out of a pursuit that is so spiritual in nature?
A: That’s a great question. When I started on this path I had no intention of calling myself a Shaman or a healer because I believe we are all Shamans and healers of one kind or another; we have just forgotten how to tap into source. In 2009 I lost my job at the college right before leading a group to Peru. Rather than looking at it as negative, I saw it as a sign that spirit wanted me doing healings full time. I turned my home into the Orange County Healing Center and never looked back. At that time I knew nothing about business. I could barely turn on a computer! But I taught myself how. Every morning I would wake up and sit at the computer and tune into spirit. I would ask to be guided and I was. I truly believe I was taught by spirit and by trusting the process. In the beginning it was very hard for me to charge for my services even though I had no problem paying for my training and personal healings. I had to overcome many things, fears, insecurities, lack consciousness and most of all a negative mind. In my heart I knew that this was why I had come to the planet, this made my life up to that point make so much sense. I was not meant to teach acting; I was to teach people how to empower themselves by reconnecting them to their spirit and Mother Earth.
Q: Why do you feel spiritual healing is important?
A: We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We have just lost our connection. Many people practice religion but still feel as if something is missing in their lives. I feel this is in part due to how disconnected we are from the Earth, our Mother, as well as the fact that we are disconnected from ourselves. I believe that everything that has ever happened to us creates a memory imprint on our energy body and that unless the imprint is healed and cleared we will continue to access from that old wound. These old imprints reactivate when we are triggered by loved ones, society, jobs, and it’s like we are stuck in time, still stuck in the issue. Talk therapy is great because at least you are finally talking about the problem, but it is not enough. We must heal the scene from our energy body if we are ever to fully move forward and no longer be triggered. The work I do clears the negative imprint so I can bring back the lost part, whole happy and healed. These spiritual healings help my clients feel empowered to move forward in their lives.
Q: If someone had never been to a Shaman before and came to you for the first time, what might they expect from their initial session?
A: It is much like going to see a therapist. People come to me and tell me their problems. While they are talking to me I can actually feel their pain and I track their energy body to find out where they feel they lost the biggest part of themselves. After talking and tracking where the biggest blocks are, we go into my healing room and I set up a sacred space. I then use a rattle and a crystal and clean and clear their energy body so they begin to feel more of their own light. I then spiritually travel to either the current day issue or past life issue and heal it. I bring back the lost part of themselves so they feel whole again. In some instances I also bring a gift or power animal. It is very beautiful. After the session we talk about different techniques I have developed for staying spiritual fit.
Q: What types of healing are your clients typically seeking?
A: Some want past life soul retrievals, or chakra balancing or they feel heavy energy. Some come because they feel blocked and unable to move forward in their life. Others come because they feel something is not quite right. I also offer house clearings and blessings so from time to time I get hired to come and clear an office building, home or land. Many people have never seen a spiritual healer and have tried many different methods to feel better and nothing has worked. I love these experiences because when these people work with me they feel so much better and can actually see a difference. It is truly amazing.
Q: It’s often said that thoughts become things and, accordingly, people should focus their energies on positive experiences and outcomes. How, though, can they accomplish this and feel personally empowered if their lives seem to be one disappointment, frustration, or setback after another?
A: This is another one of the many reasons people come to see me, the negative mind. In our society we are subjected to so many things. The commercials on TV tell us we need all these different things to make our lives better. The magazines tell us we need to look a certain way or be a certain weight. Then our minds want to fix on what’s not working in our lives. Did you know it is easier to create a negative thought then a positive one? Why is this? I have yet to figure this one out, but it is true. A few years back I began to play with my mind. Whenever I wanted to focus on what was not working or judge or be negative, I would gently redirect my mind to think of something beautiful and positive. I found it was not an easy task. It is a daily job to constantly remind oneself to think positively, but it’s well worth the effort.
Every day find something to be grateful for. Keep your thoughts and vibration positive. Bruce Lipton has a book called The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles. In this book he shows how positive thinking can affect us at a cellular level. When I started teaching people about how to redirect their thoughts and talked about the cells as having consciousness, I had not heard of this book. I am happy that scientists are finally seeing the power of the body, mind and spirit. In answer to your question, I have personally taken myself from the darkness into the light using positive affirmations and forward moving action. We must learn how to focus on, and be grateful for every little thing in our lives.
Q: Technology is not only making us more and more insular in our interpersonal relationships but, to a major extent, disconnecting us from Earth and nature in general. What are some ways that people can plug back into the things that are really important about the beauty of human existence?
A: Gratitude. Becoming grateful for simple things, for being able to smell, walk, or touch the earth. When we begin to look at linear time as a manmade construct and follow the cycles of the earth, we begin to drop back into a simpler time. Find some way to have a small garden and teach your children about GMO seeds and processed foods. Show them how to get their feet in the dirt and plant a seed, or eat off the trees and the interpersonal relationships will once again flourish. Community dinners and conversations about sustainable living will bring us back to the feeling of Oneness.
I also believe in fire ceremony and swimming in the ocean, or taking a salt bath. Since we are all made up of energy and sit in front of computers or on our phones, we are shortcircuiting our systems. We are becoming disconnected from our inner GPS. We no longer know the names of the streets nor teach our children this important skill. Nor do we memorize phone numbers or write letters. Simple things are being lost. These simple things helped our minds to be strong and creative. Fire ceremony is a great way to reconnect. Fire is transformational and a great symbol for release. Find ways to honor the earth, the mountains, and the sea, all creatures of the world. Begin to reconnect your spirit by paying attention to the animal kingdom, the plant world, your heart, and give thanks.
Q: For you, what is the difference between being religious and being spiritual?
A: I think religions are beautiful and a nice way to meet people who believe as you do. The problem I have found is they also create separation. People fight over religion and it creates judgments. For me, not being connected to just one religion gives me the ability to help many people from many different walks of life. My religion is found in the Earth, the mountains, trees and water. God is everywhere and in everything. I feel connected to every living thing.
Q: Tell us about some of the writing you’ve done related to spiritual healing and personal empowerment.
A: I’ve been writing for Awareness and Visions Magazine since 2010. Many of my articles focus on creating a positive mindset and environment. I recently wrote about our food system and how we must all become conscious around what we eat, and shop for local organic non-GMO foods. I have also written on becoming a Shaman in your own life. Many of my articles can be found on my website, some even have meditations written into them.
Q: What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
A: That I am really very shy. I had to work hard at getting myself “Out there” and even now there is still a very shy part of me. Perhaps it is why I am still single. My youngest always says, “Mom you are not going to meet someone in the house!” Boy is she right! I do love my home.
Q: Reading the papers, watching the news and even reading Facebook posts can leave us feeling as if humanity is down sliding to doom. What are your thoughts on the topic and what is your wish for making it better?
A: Again I will say focus on what is working instead of what is not. I do not watch the news or TV or read the paper. As a matter of fact, I do not even have a television in my home. When it is important, real news I find out. I dated a newspaper man years ago and when he enlightened me on how much real news was kept out of the public, I was shocked and decided to find things out for myself rather than allowing them to feed me. On Facebook I only promote or post positive things. Now you may say, ”Well she has her head in the sand.” I beg to differ. What I am actually doing is projecting out into the Universe what I wish for my world. I am creating it in every breath I take. I sign the petitions for clean water and non-GMO food or man made salmon, things of that nature. I stay on top of subjects that are important to me. But I believe that if I can create my own reality then I can also create my own world. The media feeds us so many things that are not true. We have to use our own intuition, our inner guidance to direct our lives. Stop allowing the media or other things to poison your minds. Use the time instead to create the thoughts and vibration you want your family to be in. This is my wish, I wish for everyone to wake up and see the truth. I always say if it is negative or makes you feel bad then it is a lie. If it is positive or makes you feel good, it is the truth. If every one of us began to come together as whole people in a whole world and fight for the betterment of Mother Nature, our planet and everything in it would be different. So that is what I am doing. I am working toward the day when everyone can call each other brother and sister. A day when humanity says enough is enough and begins to focus on how we as a population can survive on this beautiful planet of ours. A day when we can look at her as the living, breathing organism that she is. Our Mother Earth is a living being. As we tap into our spiritual nature, we will see this more and more and connect deeper to the magic that lives in each and every one of us.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
I have wanted to write a book for some time now, every now and again I get asked to write an article or do interviews, it is then that I can see it taking shape. So, I want to thank you for this opportunity as I feel this is somehow the book, in its early stages. Also for those of you reading this, who think no one can have had it as bad as you, I am here to tell you everyday I hear stories just like my own, Stories of heartache and trauma. We all have very similar stories. It is time to bring those stories to the light. Recover from them and move on. Now is the time. Create the life you have always wanted to live. It all begins with you.