I am proud, honored and humbled to welcome Erin Telford to the Joyful Approach. Anyone who knows me has surely heard me rave about Erin constantly. I began seeing Erin a year and half ago for Acupuncture and then followed her Breathwork workshops. Furthermore, I took my first Healer Training in Breathwork with Erin. When I’m able to get to one of her Breathwork workshops, I am there, as I always have a profound transcending experience.
Erin is a mother earth healer paving the way for holistic medicine through the very modalities and tools that she is so well versed and experienced in. She is also the author of inspiring, evocative writing. I consider Erin one of my most sacred mentors as she holds the qualities of a powerful healer and female leader leading the way for positive change.
Erin’s work is revolutionary in her great understanding that we need a new way to deal with pain. She helps her clients and students have a great understanding of how to peel layers through therapeutic talks as well as through her intuition. She then uses modalities of Breathwork, Acupuncture and Reiki to facilitate the work. She guides her clients to be able to heal themselves through this process as she holds space beautifully in a safe and sacred place. She is a wonderful addition to the Joyful Approach family and I am so proud to call her a mentor and friend.
Profession: Healer/Breathwork Facilitator/Writer/Acupuncturist/Reiki Master/Herbalist/Teacher
How many years are you in practice? Seven years this June!
What led you to your path with holistic healing? My parents were both TM practitioners and my mom took me to crystal healing when I was a little girl. My mom was very mindful about organic, locally sourced food and low media consumption. I had a really good foundation for how to take care of myself from an early age and leaned on that in my path of self-exploration. I was always curious about what else was out there other than the traditional routes. I was really anxious, sensitive, and depressed a lot when I was growing up so I was always looking for ways to find more peace and understand myself better. My healing path emerged out of necessity for my own self-healing and then expanded to helping others.
I know you have a background in fashion, can you tell us about your experience in the fashion world and your shift into healing?
I have always loved beautiful, well made things and great design. I used to pour over fashion magazines and sketch out the outfits I was going to buy with my allowance when I was in junior high. I worked as a buyer and in showrooms at a few luxury fashion companies. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and ended up working at Prada than I hit my limit. The working conditions there were completely unsupportive of being a human being on every level. I thought I had my “dream job” and it was a rude awakening for me that it was not what I was meant to do at all. I was exhausted and frustrated and confused. My dream didn’t look or feel the way I thought it would and it pushed me into getting really clear on what I wanted in my life. I started to pray and connect to the Universe in a deeper way and asked every day for help with finding my next step. Eventually I got a very big sign to go to acupuncture school and that was the beginning of me doing healing work for a living.
What do you feel is your most important purpose?
De-stigmatizing emotions and helping people feel things that feel scary without shame.
A typical session with you looks like with Acupuncture /Reiki and Breathwork?
A typical session with me is going to spending some time figuring out what needs healing in your life. I believe in helping you feel strong and capable of making the changes that will bring more peace, health and joy in your life. Usually we have to clear out a lot of social conditioning and family programming to begin to be able to see clearly who we are, what we want and what is possible. I begin with therapeutic conversation and then we move into the healing treatment-whether that is acupuncture, Reiki or Breathwork. All are great medicines for different things.
Can you compare the difference in benefits between a 1:1 Breathwork to group sessions?
In a one on one Breathwork session, we have the chance to work on exactly what you need whether it’s self-worth, sexual assault, trauma, your relationship with your parents, relationship patterns that don’t work anymore, karma, loss and grief, anything that your spirit needs to heal to lighten your burden. You receive individual attention and energy clearing and we can move a lot in a single session. You have the benefit of being witnessed, seen, heard and held through the entire process.
In a group, you won’t have the individual attention but you will be held by the group energy. Groups are a beautiful way to remember that you are not alone in your experience. We tend to isolate when we feel bad because we’ve been taught not to be a burden or a downer. It’s incredibly liberating to witness other people feeling the same self-doubt or anxiety or sadness. There is a freedom of expression that you can find in a group for those who might feel a little self-conscious about a one on one session. There is a lot of love and ego dissolution with groups. I love working both ways!
Do you have any advice for those embarking on self-exploration and self-discovery that bump up against resistance in their process?
It’s part of the deal. No matter where you are in your self study, you will always hit resistance. The trick is being aware when you are there. We all have different “resistance” behaviors. For me that can look like eating too much sugar or watching too much tv. For other people that can be drinking too much or being late or “forgetting” to do the practices they know will help them. We’ve never just going to effortlessly confront ourselves. It’s not a straight line and we will put up a fight sometimes when it gets uncomfortable. Eventually you will cultivate enough self-awareness so that you will know exactly what you’re doing when you are resisting your growth. Forgive yourself and keep it moving.
Do you have advice on “finding community” for those looking to shift to more of a spiritual path?
There are so many people looking for genuine heart connection right now. As a culture, we are starved for it. Follow your interests and your curiosity. Don’t be afraid to go into a space where you have no experience or where you feel like a beginner. We are all beginners and we are all learning. There are many doors to find community-yoga, cooking classes, meditation, breathwork, mantra, moon circles, dance classes, retreats. Explore and have fun and you will eventually find people that you resonate with. If you have a shortage of events where you live, start your own!
A Bit about your personal life..
I love my life, even when it feels hard. I’m very grateful for all my experiences because they have gotten me where I am today. I feel like I am on the other side of a lot of pain and healing and really beginning to deeply enjoy who I am and what I have to offer in a new way. I can feel a new way of living calling that I’m really excited about!
What does a day off in your life look like?
Today I slept in and then went to a great yoga class that one of my students gifted me. I was inspired to write about something that happened this weekend so I did that in between hunting for new songs for Breathwork playlists. Then I went to Joanna Vargas for an LED light bed treatment. My evening is cooking some nourishing food and getting prepped for the week. I let my senses and my energy levels dictate my days off.
Favorite Past times ..
Conversations that feel like you are solving all your problems and figuring out the secrets of the Universe
Soaking in hot springs
Favorite Travel spots..
Sacred Valley, Peru
Mom’s house in Eugene
Dad’s cabin in Northern Ontario
Anywhere where its warm and I don’t have to wear shoes
Your “dream” in a few sentences :
That everyone feels seen, heard and loved for who they are. That everyone understands their emotions, what they mean, how to self soothe and heal. That everyone feels creatively expressed and lives a life that feels wonderful to them.