Welcome to In Reverence.
On this series we ask 10 questions about self-care to folx we hold dear, honoring all kinds of voices and their Self Ceremonies.
We’re interested in digging into the ways self-care has helped people evolve past their own blocks, trauma and social conditioning. We believe in the deep healing path of vulnerability and compassion and how this can help us enrich our beautiful community.
For this edition we're honored to welcome Megan Ferreira.
1. What's your name and where do you live? Share a small bio to help us get to know you.
My name is Megan and I live in Northern California. I currently work as a registered nurse on an inpatient floor in a local hospital. I live with a husband, a dog, and a cat, in a wonderful little home where we battle it out for who can be the cutest on any given day. You can find me at @iammeganelena <3
2. When did you start taking conscious care of yourself?
I was always physically and academically active growing up, so those aspects were always pretty well defined. It wasn’t until I faced a true crisis of my soul and self that I realized that I didn’t know how to take good care of ME and my spiritual self. In 2009, I felt the mask around me crumbling. I had always put others’ needs ahead of my own. I truly had no idea what I really wanted. I was in a deep depression, I was having panic attacks, I hated my job, I was in an unhappy relationship. It all fell apart, including me. I entered into an intensive mental health outpatient program, which quite literally saved my life. The following spring I began nursing school. I enrolled in an online course about the Mind-Body connection, which was a huge turning point. I began learning about practices and beliefs from all over the world that resonated with me. I realized there were so many ways we can heal and thrive.
However, it wasn’t a linear journey. I have fallen into that dark despair more times than I can count. The last 3 years in particular have been my most painful and terrifying, but also the most beautiful. I can honestly say that as of this moment, I am at my most joyful and at peace. I am hopeful. It always comes back to the mind-body-spirit connection to me.
3. What is your definition of self-care?
Self-care for me is acting in accordance with my intuition. It looks different every day, every hour. It is an active practice of coming back home to myself over and over. It is remembering that I have everything I will ever need inside of me already. Some days I show myself a great deal of compassion. Some days I push myself out of where I feel most comfortable. I ask myself frequently, “What do I need right now?” and listen quietly for the answer. The answer always presents itself.
4. How does self-care affect your life? How do you heal?
Self-care is at the core of my daily life. Healing is an ongoing process because life is always changing. I use as many tools as possible to support my own healing. Meditation is my non-negotiable daily practice. It is so ingrained in how I live, I do it all throughout my day, even when you can’t tell. I have always had a love for yoga, and am getting back into that practice. I loooove plant medicines and have found deep healing and support from so many plants. I have more recently gotten more in touch with my own mystical gifts and am continuing to build those. I am sort of self-trained in energy work, which I am practicing more regularly now and am very excited about. I make conscious connections to those who are sometimes called ascended masters, and they guide and support me. God/source energy is the most powerful healing force, and it is EVERYWHERE. Sound healing, crystals, earth connection, dance and song, scents/aromatherapy, cacao, creativity, journaling, food as medicine! Gosh there are so many tools and ways to connect with source, I could talk about this forever!
I want to add sort of a “p.s.” here as well - I can’t completely erase my use of antidepressants in this discussion. For me, they served a purpose in my life. Therapy is huge as well! I have a lot of feelings and beliefs about pharmaceuticals. Only 6 months ago I was able to get completely off of all prescribed medications and that is what is right for me. But I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed for using “non-natural” means for their healing. It was a very long process for me because I was started on medications at a pretty young age. I don’t regret it. I didn’t have other tools at that time. Everyone’s path is different and I honor the path that each of us take <3
5. What is your current favorite Self Ceremony? How does it feel, smell, look, taste like? Please share as much as you like and feels comfortable.
My current favorite Self Ceremony is herbal smoke blends. My favorites are The Heart and The Shift. When I am tapping into source energy, I love using these blends to enhance my connection and open my heart. I love the smell of herbs and how that smell changes when fire is added. I fill a small amount into a rose quartz pipe and set my intention. (It’s Ok if that intention is just to feel good!) I inhale the warm plants and let their medicine flow through me. The hint of rose or lavender lays cozily as an aftertaste. I extend my gratitude to the earth and her many gifts. I thank myself for choosing this moment of self-care.
6. How do you know when you’ve been slacking? How do your red flags look like?
Pain and anxiety are my red flags. I have experienced varying degrees of chronic pain for the last 4 years. Pain is no longer a burden to me, it is a message. Anxiety is usually there to tell me that I am ignoring or delaying some sort of obligation, however small. Sometimes it is a hint that I have some unprocessed trauma lingering. With my work, I am around sickness, sadness, and pain for 12+ hours at a time in a confined space. People are sometimes abusive or violent. People sometimes die. It is a job requirement to not be present with those emotions in real-time, otherwise how could you even function? So I have to be vigilant about processing as soon as it is most healthy and safe for me. To cut those energetic cords daily. My Taurean nature is stubborn, and that has translated to holding on tightly to these experiences in the past. Empathy was my superpower until it became my illness. There is such thing as too much empath-ing, and many of us who are very sensitive have experienced this. I have learned that it is a choice how much we hold onto, how much we absorb.
7. What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
Ok, so this is where I get very cliche and then a little dark... Life is so magnificent and beautiful! I am inspired by so much. I am most deeply inspired by the earth and animals, they are my greatest teachers. At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I am inspired by myself. My healing journey inspires me to help others. I know what it feels like to want to die, to be hopeless. That is part of what fuels my love for life. There is so much more on the other side.
8. What have you learned this past week / month? What are you getting better at?
I am learning pottery! Oh wow, this is unlike anything I’ve ever done. I have always been creative and artistic, but never super good at anything in particular. This path of creating pottery has unfolded in such a cool and mystical way. I saw it in my mind and felt it in my soul and less than 2 months later it was happening. It wasn’t a systematic “I am going to learn pottery” journey. It was my desire being planted like a seed and then one day a friend pointed to the flower right in front of me. It is one of the most natural things I have ever done.
9. Tell us a fun fact about what you do, or something people may not know.
I met my husband on Twitter! Back in 2010. He was in NY and I was in California. We were out there in the world telling silly jokes and never imagining we’d find love there. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this year. He is so much more than I ever could have dreamed of when imagining my ideal partner. He teaches me so much. Our relationship is the easiest thing I have ever done. He is so patient, kind, creative, and loving. He makes me laugh more than anyone I’ve ever met. I am bursting with gratitude for love. I wish everyone could experience this.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is your message to the world?
I have been given a lot of advice and have probably taken very little of it at the time. I will never forget something my mom told me when I was younger and trying (one of many times) to make a relationship work that wasn’t meant to work. She said to imagine it like sand in my hand, the harder I squeeze to hold on, the more it slips through my fingers. Wow, the wisdom! I still think of that when I find myself striving or trying to control. The path is almost always “ease”. My life goes so much more smoothly when I ease up. Surrender. Flow.