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As early as about eight months I was psychically sensitive and aware of beings from other dimensions. One being was Jow-el. When I think of him now, he seems a bit scary looking, but back then I found him very playful and I would laugh when he danced around the crib. We communicated telepathically; He could read my mind, and I guess I could read his.  He would tell me that everything was going to be okayand that he and others were here to protect me and guide me along my way. He was an E’nohrr, a type of nature spirit.

From the age of three, I grew up in a old, haunted farmhouse built in 1786. From my earliest childhood I sensed energy that allowed me to feel the presence of spirits and different spiritual realms. There was a legend about a man who was struck by lightning in our dining room exterior doorway as he watched a horse and buggy go by during a thunder storm.  I intuitively knew this to be true. In fact I received detailed information about the wicked yet handsome, curly haired Michael and his travels. Because his presence did not feel safe or healthy to me, I felt uncomfortable in his presence. Actually, my dislike of his negative energy motivated me to learn how to assist spirits cross over. 

There were a host of others. I felt the presence of my great grandfather who died in the parlor as well as my great grandmother. A part of my Great Grandmother had stayed behind mourning the early death of her only daughter, my grandmother, Mom Mom.  I called her Evelyn, as that was what she preferred. She came to visit me regularly in my youth-often in the spring or summer when we would visit in her flower garden or in the parlor. And there were many others that called our house, home.

As magical as this may sound, it was quite isolating. You see, my family was inclined to speak only to people they could actually see!  This both confused and frustrated me. For instance, "Hide and Seek" at my house took on a whole new meaning!  I also thought it was terribly rude that there were never enough place settings for all our "dinner guests."I joke a bit here but it was confusing to say the least. 

My Grand Mother Evelyn

  "Nature "Speaks" 

I have always had a strong relationship with animals and nature and still do. When I was young, I spent a lot of time outdoors and loved it. I felt the energy of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants-especially the plants and animals. I was constantly trying to bring animals home to add to the family. I would take my dogs for walks and go horseback riding in the backfield of my home. I had a natural reverence for all living things and was in awe of nature. I liked to climb trees, talk to them and even make up songs to sing to them.  

My favorite series of books was called, "The Little People." The stories were about the adventures of tiny, inch high people who lived under trees. To me, they were similar to the beings I now know to be Sprites and Devas, who lived under my favorite four trees in the back yard.

I remember one day I had gone for a walk in the field as I often did. I used to lie down and watch the clouds go by and think about life and how beautiful it all was. Occasionally I would roll over and watch the ants and insects and pick dandelions and grass. But one day I could literally feel the pain of the grass and heard it ask the question "Why?" I felt so bad I cried, apologized and asked whether it hurt when we walked on the grass.  I "heard" that the grass kind of “passes out” and then as our energy increases again it fluffs back up.

I was very confused by these experiences because although they felt deeply real they were very different than my "so called" reality. I knew better then to even try to talk about this stuff to my family. Maybe this is why, as I got older, I stopped talking about what I sensed and saw. Even more unfortunately, I also stopped "seeing" and "listening."

I spent my teens and most of my twenties living in two worlds. I knew I had a palpable connection to everything alive or dead - animals, the earth, and people.  I had no idea how to integrate that with the world around me so I shut down. At the age of nine I started taking cigarettes from my grandmother to numb myself. Later I would experiment with drugs and alcohol.

                                                                                    Paranormal Experiences Return

When I was eighteen I attended BBC and later NYU, and the Art Students League for Fine Art where I studied different styles of painting as well as color theory and the psychology of color. While working my way through school I started a decorative painting business where I created murals, faux finishes and other decorative art.

It turned out that decorative painting was a passion for me and I continued my business well after I graduated. While working in people's houses as a decorative painter, I started noticing that I often felt strange at work. I would be perfectly fine before a job but shortly after getting to work I would “change.”  Sometimes I would become extremely tired, angry, agitated, hungry, frustrated, sad or achy and sick. But when I got home and got a shower I would be fine again. This continued a long while and each time it took me longer to feel “right” again. It was terrifying not knowing what was going on with me.  

                                                               “I shut my eyes in order to see” - Paul Gauguin

I needed to find answers so I went to see a well renowned psychic, Jeffery Wands. He told me that I was naturally empathic and very intuitive. That I was feeling and reading the energy of my clients and their homes. He suggested I learn about Feng Shui and how to work with energy. He also told me that I had several Native American spirits who were my spirit guides, and that I should start communicating with them. I found this exciting because I had a strong affinity with Native American culture. He explained that I needed to meditate and reconnect to my childhood passion for nature. To better understand what was going on he suggested watching the movie, "The Sixth Sense." 

When I saw the movie, it was like a veil was removed. I just kept thinking…"That’s me." I remembered closing my eyes, pulling the sheets over my eyes, playing dead and praying for God to protect me. That was me! It brought back the terrible sense of fear I had experienced.  I had been wearing a protective shell and that night it just cracked open.

All that I had been denying, withholding or avoiding rose to the surface and demanded to be noticed. I began a painful yet liberating process the Buddhists refer to as "Unfolding the Lotus."  I sat with the many difficult questions I had been afraid to ask. I was finally getting to know the real Mary. 

As the saying goes, "When the student is ready the teacher will appear."  Boy was I ready! My soul family came together and taught me well. Piece by piece, information came together. I spent a lot of time outside and spent weeks in silent meditations at various retreats.  Not only did I incorporate Feng Shui into my life but I also studied with great masters such as H.H. Grand Master Thomas Lin Yun, Nancy SantoPietro, Mary Cordaro, Kathern Metz, Denise Linn, and R.D. Chin. I found friends and teachers that supported my intuitive nature and helped me to develop, control and improve my skills.  I studied space clearing, various healing modalities and learned how to communicate with nature spirits from Native American and Ecuadorian Shamans. I began reading everything I could to heal my wounds and get the answers I needed. I studied The Five Elements Theory from the Tao, The Body’s Energetic System, The Chakras, Color Therapy, Pranic and Vibrational Healing and Sacred Geometry. I learned about The Mineral Kingdom, Crystal Healing and Gem Elixirs.  Embracing my faith, I worked through my fears by reconnecting with the divine laws of nature.

                                                                                Creating Art Deepened my Spirit

During this time I began to paint canvases again for the first time in years. My art had always been important to me, yet now I began to discover the sacredness of it as my paintings began to take on an extraordinary life of their own. Art and creativity became the medium through which I could surrender and reconnect with my soul. I began to integrate my spiritual and physical worlds and heal and transform myself through my art.  

Throughout this process I saw, felt, played and danced with a sense of color, as I never had before. I was working on a mural of a Greek Island seascape in my New York apartment, when I spontaneously experienced a deeply meditative state. I had inadvertently discovered theta state consciousness. During the theta state, I learned that we could access knowledge normally beyond our human consciousness including information from other dimensions.

I began using what I now call "Internal Color Breathing" which floods the body, mind and soul with color in order to achieve a higher consciousness. I met and began a relationship with my spirit guides, co-creating with them as I painted. I would often find myself outside of my physical body, viewing the painting from above. Sometimes while painting, techniques and tools I had used for years began to feel foreign to me as if another person inhabited my body.  

Together, my guides and I created beautiful works of art from a palette of colors I would not previously have chosen. I drew strength and courage from the power and vibrancy of these new colors. Working with these colors became a new tool with which to deal with my fears and pursue my dreams and truth. Experiencing difficult emotions was not always pleasant, but the release of them promoted clarity and healing. I became so inspired and intrigued by the experience of healing through color that I began to research ancient philosophies about energy, the emotional response of color and other spiritual implications.

The title, “The Color Shaman,” was given to me by my Feng Shui teacher and friend, Nancy SantroPeitro. Because of my intense passion for color and natural ability to pull various elements together, Nancy said it was the perfect name for me. She realized that I was using color as a spiritual healing process. The name, “Sacred Space Healer” came from Rev. Lynn Van Ripper. My guides called me “Healer of the Soul” and explained that I've had many previous lifetimes as shamans, healers and artists and it has culminated in this life to aide me in my healing work. No matter the name, I embrace my role as a Spiritual Alchemist in what ever form it takes. 

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Note: Energy Healing is not a regulated medical practice or a practice that diagnoses or treats illnesses of body or mind, though it may be a complement to such practices.