I believe that the Universe brings us beautiful things just when we need them. People, kind words from a stranger, experiences, a piece of art or a song. Things that move us in the right direction and make us a little braver. Erin Telford's work found me several years ago and I am absolutely better for it. Every piece that she sits down to write resonates with me on a very deep and spiritual level. I almost feel like she's a conduit for the Universe - she has an openness and honesty about her that allows healing to occur on a core level. And I love women like her - women who have trusted the voice of intuition and are dedicated to making the lives of others better.
Hers is a journey of trust and faith and the power of honesty. Standing in her own truth has given me courage to stand in mine.
As she states on her website, Erin is "an alchemist, catalyst, facilitator, witness, healer, secret keeper and your personal cheer squad. My more formal titles include acupuncturist, herbalist, Reiki practitioner, Breathworker, coach, teacher, and writer."
An inspiring woman, this one.
It is my absolute honor to share an interview with her today. After the interview, please be sure to check out her work here. If you are on Instagram, you can find her here.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Doing healing work was never in my plans. It called me and life made sure to take everything off my plate until I was in a place of asking, “What the hell am I supposed to do with my life?” I was in New York working myself to the bone for a corporate luxury fashion brand. It was what I thought I wanted to do with my life. A series of world and life events forced me to really look at how I was living and to begin to connect with Spirit to see what was next. I received a huge sign that pointed me directly to acupuncture and I’ve never looked back. I knew immediately that it was the first step on this path.
Since I graduated school, anytime something blows my mind, I learn that healing modality so I can share it with others. I keep adding to my bag of magic in this way and it keeps things interesting. I now work primarily with women on clearing any emotional/mental/spiritual blocks to being the highest expression of themselves. We do this through the physical vessel with acupuncture, Reiki or Breathwork and therapeutic conversation/coaching. I also do Breathwork groups a few times a month. Breathwork is a really incredible active meditation technique that helps to release grief, anger, and anxiety and open the heart.
What are some things you are deeply passionate about?
It’s really important to me that women understand that they are not crazy. We have been so highly socialized to believe that how and what we feel isn’t okay or just due to our wacky hormones. When you don’t believe that what you feel is valid, you totally disconnect from your intuition. Your emotions and your body intelligence are your guidance system and when that’s turned off, things can get really dark and hard. I’m passionate about helping people see their strengths, find their faith and reimagine their experiences from a more powerful position. I feel strongly about connecting with your heart and your spirit. The mind doesn't heal the heart. We have to feel things, really really feel them to be able to heal them. It’s scary but it’s worth it.
What are some non-negotiables for you when it comes to self-care, and what does self-care look like for you?
A good night’s sleep, organic food, alone time, yoga, connecting with nature and receiving healing treatments are my non-negotiables. I give a lot in my work and I like to show up present and ready to love. I take life pretty slowly and take lots of time to get ready in the morning. I don’t try to do too much in a day. I don’t put a ton of pressure on myself. I have a lot of quiet time so I can hear what my next moves might be. I make sure to spend time with people that enliven me rather than drain me. I receive some kind of healing work at least a couple of times a month.
What makes your heart quicken and stir with passion?
Singing and music really stirs me. Possibility. Adventures to new places. Teaching to a group for the first time. The ocean. Romance. Sensuality. A knock it out of the park kiss.
Did you resist your calling to become a healer/acupuncturist/herbalist/Reiki practitioner? Or was it a very natural and fluid transition?
Not at all! I was praying for something to come in a save me from what I was doing. Acupuncture was the lightning bolt of change I was looking for and I went full force from the beginning. That’s usually how I do things ;)
What brings you joy?
I love seeing people remember what it feels like to feel really good. When someone comes in for a Breathwork session and they’ve been depressed for months and in one hour they remember what it feels like to feel deep joy and gratitude-that makes my day. Connecting really deeply with other human beings. Feeling part of something much larger than myself. Making people laugh. My friends, family and my community.
What would you tell someone who has been told over and over that she is too sensitive?
There’s no such thing as too sensitive. I was told that my entire life and I had so much shame around it. I finally realized that sensitivity is a superpower. It makes me a better friend, lover, teacher, creator, daughter, sister and healer. It is not easy to be sensitive because it takes a little more work to know yourself and your limits with light, speed, sound, crowds, people, and need for down time. It pays off in increased compassion, empathy, and intuition if you nurture it and can see it as a gift.
Any books/resources that profoundly impacted you that you’d like to share?
I am a voracious reader and consumer of uplifting information. It all unfortunately starts to blend together into one inspirational funnel so I can’t backtrack to everything that has touched me along the way. Anatomy of the Spirit was the first book that I read that really blew my mind about the emotion/dis-ease connection. I’m really loving everything on Mysticmamma.com, ThePowerPath.com, Lee Harris monthly energy forecasts, and a therapist named Kelly Brogan right now.
What women have profoundly affected your life and why?
So many! My mother of course. I believe that we choose our parents before we incarnate and she has pushed me to become who I am, whether I was pushing back on her or being inspired by her. Sarah Durham Wilson is a writer and witch and friend who finds the exact words to express everything I feel. Her writing moves me to bring my writing to another level. My coach Cherie Healy is pure magic. She holds space for me and guides me in a way I’ve never experienced. I’ve uplevelled my life under her care. All of my closest female friends have been lifelines for me when I’ve been grieving, lonely, anxious, afraid, or on the edge of really big change. I don’t know what I would have done without the deep friendships I’ve been blessed with.
How important do you feel connection and community are? Especially for women?
They are essential. We have forgotten that we are tribal by nature and that we really need other people. We’re taught that being dependent on other people is a weakness and a bad thing. We need other humans to thrive and survive. I read somewhere that we need ten hugs a day for emotional health and growth. How many of us ever get that many?? We need to know that we are not alone in this world and community is where we can see that. For women, I think there is a lot of comparison going on. You can see another woman and think - I bet she doesn’t have dirty dishes in the sink or clothes all over her floor, she never gets depressed and she probably meditates at sunrise every day. In my group sessions you find out that she’s anxious too and maybe she’s in the middle of a breakup and is working really hard on loving her body. You never know that everyone feels the same things until you connect in community to find out.
In your newsletters, your writing and your emotions are so authentic and honest and the truth you speak is truly inspiring. How do you connect with your deepest truth? What is your process when you sit down to write?
My deepest truth is never far away. I’ve been with myself for 41 years. I’m connected to my truth because I’m present with myself. I don’t deny myself my emotions and I don’t make myself feel bad for what I feel. My writing process is pretty simple. I committed to my self a couple years ago that I would write once a week. I look for themes in my own life, what I’m seeing in my practice and my groups, and what’s going on with the planets. I wake up at 8 a.m. on the day I’m going to send my newsletter, make a cup of coffee and write. It usually takes about 45 minutes from start to finish and then I send it. I try to write how I would talk if I was speaking to a friend and that makes it flow more easily.
How important is vulnerability to you?
I wouldn’t be me without it. I’ve never managed very successfully to have my guard up or hide my feelings. I always wanted to be able to do that. I admired people who could hold it together or carefully reveal pieces of themselves. That’s not me. I don’t feel like I’m being myself if I’m not being honest about my feelings. I’m always emotionally responsible about what I’m bringing to a conversation or with something I’m writing. I just don’t see the point in hiding. I find that vulnerability heals and people are aching for it in this world of painstakingly crafted expression.
Erin, thank you for your honesty and taking the time to share your wisdom. I am blessed by your words. - Ashley
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann