“I am filled with joy; no– wonder, really…at the perfect beauty of the sorrow in this world and the undying nature of the human spirit.”
Patricia A. Jones
I floated into my mother’s womb holding onto my sister’s hand. I can’t help but think that since we each wanted to become part of this family and were not ready to leave one another, we chose to enter this world as identical twins. Waiting for us was our sister Julie who reflected a beauty containing a wild nature and held a heart that was carefree and non-conforming. Our little sister followed our path 7 years later.
Life lessons from the shadows of our ancestral history happen when we’re not looking; they begin early whether we recognize them or not. Wounds are passed down in all their forms that plant the seeds and challenge us for the discovery of our strength, beauty and resilience. In my own life, I built adaptive ways of coping for a life that would see much joy to balance my sorrows.
I had just started grad school when my sister Julie chose to tragically die, leaving her life and all that came with it into her future. Shaken to the core, bereft of joy, I felt my world was ending and found strength in becoming bound to the destiny of my path as a psychotherapist. Simultaneously, following years of combating infertility along with the infinite challenges and inherent losses this brings, I became an adoptive parent to two beautiful children with their own cycle of life filled with joy and sorrow to experience.
From the gift of age and perspective, comes the ability to see that life carries abundant jewels waiting to be found and shine through the darkness of loss and trauma.
Since childhood, the shamanic path has always been within my reach just waiting for me around each corner of my journey. I think with the constant witnessing in my daily life of other’s heartache and receiving the intimate gift of being shown the incredible frailness and strength of the human spirit that comes with sorrow, inspired me to make my way into extensive shamanic study and practice. This is where my journey intersects with John’s, and in combining our strengths and passions, we bring into creation Soulful Sorrows.
Patricia A. Jones, LCSW-R, ACSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in East Aurora, NY. She has 30+ years of experience providing psychotherapy services to individuals of all ages integrating trauma informed care and spiritual healing practices into her work.
Patricia has studied extensively with Nan Moss, FSS, William Rand, traveled to Peru with Shamanic Voyages to experience the healing ways of Andean shamans, has trained with gifted teachers including Clarissa Pinkola -Estes, Daniel Foor, Betsy Bergstrom, Francis Weller; is currently apprenticing with Azul Thome, and has had other mentors too many to name who are forever in her heart.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too, have come into this world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”
–Mary Oliver, 🎞 When I Am Among the Trees
Working in Toronto as young paramedic, friends wanted to know about the tough calls. Sometimes I would tell them about the “Dead Poets Society”. In the film, Robin Williams as an English teacher, encouraged his students to live extraordinary lives through the use of poetry. My dead Poets were different. Through letters to loved ones and courageous last acts, my poets had encapsulated unfathomable grief. It would be years before I understood what I was being taught.
Over my career of entering into other people’s homes, I began to recognize a very common expression of love; the hanging images of loved ones. Images displayed on walls or stand proudly on bedside tables. I’ve seen countless black and white and fading coloured images of weddings, grandchildren, great grand parents and dear friends. Visual stories recounting connections to those who were loved or cared for; now witness the recording of an in-home death.
What often touched me is having knowledge of a persons last moments, while those who love this person, have no clue to what has just happened and may not realize their loss for hours to come.
We never know when and what life will bring to us on our path. I never thought I too, would be greeted by police standing in my doorway. My grief had taken five hours to find me.
John has a shamanic healing and reiki practice working with clients suffering from soul loss, extracting energies affecting life essence and compassionate depossession of suffering beings.
Zoom and in person appointments are available here.
John also supports the work of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and the Society for Shamanic Practice.
To call out the many forms of grief which weigh us down, steal our light and harden our hearts, and to lighten one’s sorrows as we are introduced to methods of soulful grieving and healing.
To inspire the exploration of grief; building greater resilience by developing hidden gifts in the face of loss; cultivating compassion and deepening connections to those who live on.