Addressing Grief, Trauma, Fears, Chronic Stress with Rooted Spiritual & Plant Based Medicines

A THREE Part Post – Morning Reflections in Nature On The State Of Society Questioning How Do We Move Forward – A Successful Case Study Involving the Transformation & Integration from Grief & History of Domestic Violence – Benefits of Blackberry & Burdock From My Morning Reflections- Tips for Triggers, Stress & Fears – Tips Around Food Scarcity- Why Work With Me

I do not know about you, the intensity that has been climaxing has been quite difficult to navigate no matter where we are in our lives. I sometimes like to write my processes and thoughts after certain experiences.

This morning I was reflecting on the sad state of our society and how on one level how hyper triggered & stressed folks are and on the other level how toxic so many folks are expressing their pains by projecting them onto vulnerable populations such as victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, homeless or low-income populations, folks with certain religious beliefs, and women. The growing misogynistic vitriol on women seems to be the most vile I have ever witnessed. It is sometimes hard to witness as if I am reliving the early days of the Burning Times of Witches or as if I am watching Chapter 2 of the Handmaid’s Tale play out.

Why am I sharing this? We can’t heal old wounds or create policy change by sticking our heads in the sand. I am not about band-aid approaches, because frankly we have seen how well those have worked out for us haven’t, we.

Humans in general are resistant to change and we are experiencing evolutionary times on so many levels simultaneously which can be difficult for the average person to adjust yielding lifetimes of lessons to be addressed.

The current energies of Saturn and Pluto retrogrades are amplifying this construct through at least October 2022 when Saturn stations direct. Pluto won’t go direct til 2023.

However, for folks who are struggling with chronic health or mental health challenges or implications as a result of trauma or faced with systemic oppressions, or folks who are faced with one adversity after another without the ability to come up for a breath – this can feel extraordinarily burdensome.

In this post I want to share a couple of experiences I have had this week in hopes it inspires us as a culture to SHOW UP better.

I personally like going into nature start my day and for some reflections. This morning was of no exception. I live on land of the original Massachusett & Wampanoag First Nations. It is rich in wildlife, nature, and medicinal plants – that some would call weeds.  There has been lots of incorporating herbal medicine this week in my life & in my work.

Client Story

Earlier this week, I spent a half day with someone in deep pain and surmountable grief. They are a survivor of past domestic violence where the system failed to protect the children now grown adults.  They thought their life was finally on track with a new marriage and stability in their life.

However, when they came to me the other day, they were struggling with immense grief-stricken trauma associated of losing a spouse and child in a short span of time compounded by the fallout afterwards and old wounds were opened and bleeding out.

They have been stuck in a downward spiral with their overall health for over a year now with little support structures in place, felt like they were about to break, and nothing they were doing was working.

After incorporating a multidisciplinary approach over several hours including:

  • spiritual coaching & guidance,
  • somatic trauma healing and recovery work,
  • a holistic health assessment,
  • outdoor nature therapy,
  • a customized herbal medicine plan including a custom herbal medicinal tea blend as shown here.

The next morning, they reached out to me to tell me their nerves & anxiety were calmed, a lot of their physical symptoms were not present, pain noticeably diminished, and had the best night sleep since they can remember … sleeping through the night without any additional medication or aids.

They are initiating new daily protocols to help themselves navigate moving forward.

Hearing all this make my heart jump for joy. Meanwhile thinking to myself, how do I share WHY folks need to consider these very approaches in their lives to break to toxic cycles they are stuck in.

So, when I was out for my walk in my very large diverse backyard this morning reflecting upon society, I struggled with the notion that how few Americans find value, or seek out THIS type of help with a seasoned experienced healer and that makes me sad.

Then I get the calls for help and guidance from folks. We do the work. We get results and I am reminded that folks are seeking this out – they are seeking an alternative way of healing – of being – of living – of working etc. and I put my ego in check and go back to work honoring my path and this sacred work.

We have a lot of work to do and the Universe if forcing us to evolve. Old ways of BE-ing, working, living, and how we relate to ourselves, each other, the world around us MUST CHANGE.

However, just like that my once heavy heart was lifted by the surrounding plant medicine around me this morning.  Like an inquisitive child, I discovered a new wild blackberry bush while I stopped in my tracks to admire this gorgeous burdock lavishly making her presence & medicine pronounced & loud.

From there, this post was born.


Blackberries are not just yummy. They pack a host of amazing health benefits.  Some of the benefits wild blackberries include:

  • low glycemic index – this means that is likely to spike blood sugar levels.
  • nutrient dense – such as Vit C, Vitamin K, and manganese
  • high in fiber – That’s a problem: A low-fiber diet has been linked to digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. And according to a 2013 study, not getting enough fiber may increase your risk for heart disease.
  • may boost brain health & prevent memory loss according to a 2012 study
  • one of the top 10 highest-antioxidant foods
  • a 2013 study showed anti-inflammatory & antimicrobial benefits in oral health and a reason to add blackberries to your diet.
  • May Prevent and Slow Growth of Cancer

and more … Here is a good source for more on blackberries for health


The plant that led me to find the blackberry bushes was this gorgeous burdock – a plant we often “weed it out” as a nuisance, but it’s medicine is one of my favorites  for its support in liver health, promotes circulation and combats inflammation. Burdock root helps to strengthen the immune system and speed healing.  Some of the benefits include:

  • tonifies & “purifies” blood/liver
  • effective in removing toxins from blood/liver as proven in a 2010 Study
  • Nutrient dense
  • antioxidant rich including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids
  • inulin rich – prebiotic that aids in digestion
  • according to many studies, it may inhibit certain growth of some cancers such as pancreatic cancer.
  • Strengthens the Lymphatic System
  • Natural diuretic
  • improves arthritis according to a 2016 study

and more …

Tips on addressing triggers & stress

1) Stop.

2) Pause.

3) Create space to see where the triggers & stresses are rooted … beyond the obvious story.

4) Allow yourself the gift of sleep, rest, and Process

5) Implement & increase self care … go for a walk, get outside, turn off the TV, take an Epsom salt bath, get a massage or reiki session, listen to soothing music, take a COLD shower, dance even if naked in your house.

6) Eliminate expenses that REALLY are NOT necessary

7) Remove toxic experiences, people, things

Consider seeking out a knowledgeable experienced healer, earth medicine expert, or herbalist to see what medicinal plants may be best for you.

Addressing food scarcity fears

1) Grow SOME of your own NOW … hydroponics have come a long way. So this CAN be possible even in an apartment setting.

2) Shop LOCAL – mom and pop food stores & farmers markets. Shopping local & supporting LOCAL farms are MORE sustainable & better for the planet

3) Watch waste … Americans waste enormous amounts of food daily. Buy fresh and use only what’s needed. Cut back … I get not everyone is doing this, but Americans DO throw out more food than other countries.

4) If you are in a position, SHARE with the elderly and folks who are struggling. I mention the elderly cuz this demographic rarely complains but often must choose between food, shelter, medical care.

5) Donate food to especially domestic violence shelters that are currently under funded with DV skyrocketing and victims trapped due to lack of financial means to leave & systemic misogynistic biases making leaving difficult


Quite simply, I use a multidisciplinary approach that has a track record of getting results.

Since 2006, I have been offering spiritually based integrative holistic health enrichment with a subspecialty in somatic trauma healing and recovery.

Over the years, I’ve empowered thousands of people heal issues and restore wholeness – personally, mentally, physically, spiritually, professionally – by addressing root causes, transforming pain, bridging science, research and practical magic of sacred ancient traditions & spiritual medicines.

I am a published author, speaker, award-winning advocate, teacher, an experienced rooted healer with teachers based in Kyoto, Japan, seeker, intuitive spiritual mentor, social justice warrior, and a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, with over 15 cumulative years of experience in the field of healthcare.

If you read this far down, what’s peaking your interest?

Are you wondering if working with me is what you need right now – whether a half day/full day immersion or a private one-hour session(s)?

Reach out. .. or comment below.

You can book a private session here.

Inquiries about half day or full day sessions, please contact me here.

I am here to support YOU

Thank you for supporting me and my work & mission.

With appreciation,


Non-Traditional Valentine’s Day Ideas for Loved Ones Living or In Spirit

Happy Valentine’s Day or is it?

Like any other Americanized holiday, this holiday started out as one thing based on religious and/or spiritual celebrations that later become a commercial machine promoted by big corporations selling you a distorted idea that romance comes in the form of buying THINGS.

The commercialization of this holiday has conditioned us to FORGET the origins of where this day originated. This is a call back to the ancient ways.

In this post, I will share the following in hopes we redefine in healthier ways to share this holiday every day:

1. A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

2. Valentine’s Day Ideas for Loved Ones LIVING

3. Valentine’s Day Ideas for Loved Ones in Spirit Form

Where did the idea of Valentine’s Day Come From?

One of 10 hearts stumbled upon a walk mid February 2019

According to Wikipedia:

“St. Valentine’s Day “originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14,[4] including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century.[5][6] According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer.[7] Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution;[8] another addition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.[6]

The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.”

Later the holiday became associated with romantic love.

Valentine’s Day For Loved Ones Living:

Please consider less commercialization of this day and make this day an EVERY day occurrence. If we have learned anything over the past couple years, it is to love and cherish those we love, for one day they just might not be here .

Here are some NON-conventional Valentine’s Day ideas which could also be used for weddings, anniversaries etc:

  • Get a couple’s massage, reflexology, reiki session or the like.
  • Write a letter to your significant other and list the number of ways you love them in your life by the number of months or years. One year, I wrote a note to my loved one and had it beautifully dressed up stating 52 reasons why I loved them.
  • Hire a personal chef to come to the house and cook for you a HEALTHY meal catered to special dietary needs. This is important to NOT learn ways to eat food that heal you that you love versus eat foods you love but poison you.
  • Create a photo album in the same manner you would the letter to serve a reminder on the days you argue to help bring you back to what is really important.
  • Fix that light, outlet, washer, etc or finish that room that is unfinished – Nothing says love more to the other than completing tasks you said you were going to complete because it makes them happy.
  • hire a house cleaner for the day to help the spouse or partner who maybe be overwhelmed with chores, grief, life stress etc. Having a clean house that is tidied up reduces stress. This also helps you recognize a need the other has without asking.
  • Hire an organizer to help you reduce clutter – again, this helps the stress and overall energy of the environment.
  • Need to change your diet? Hire a nutritionist to work with both of you so you can be healthier versions of yourself for yourself and your partner.
  • If the love of your life identifies as a woman and loves to read, you might want to consider getting her the newly released book Feisty: Dangerously Amazing Women Using Their Voices To Make An Impact (click here). What a wonderful way to show your heart by thinking about the women in your life this book will inspire and empowered.

FINALLY, if you missed my 2022 psychic energy forecast (click here), check it out as this is a 6 year in numerology – a VERY relational year especially with yourself, inner child, spirit FIRST before your partner.


Valentine’s Day For Loved Ones In Spirit:

So many have suddenly lost loved ones in the past two years. When we are young, we have this belief that if we live a certain way and be a certain way, we will live a long life.

That has NOT been true in recent years. I have seen countless children, young parents, and even young grandparents NOT living to so called ripe old age and suddenly passing.

Here are ideas to help you through your grief and/or celebration of your love for your loved one.

Supplies to have:

1. White candle

2. Paper and pen to write

3. lighter/ matches

4. dried flowers  — or purchase live ones and dry them in the air or on the lowest setting on your stove. If you dehydrate them in your stove, make sure to separate the petals and leaves for faster drying times. Make sure the dried flowers are NOT perfumed too as that releases harmful chemicals in the air.

5. music that resonates for you

6. any photos or items you wish to include in the ceremony

7.  Any other offerings you with for the fire – such as dried rose petals, dried lavender, dried cedar, tobacco, or the like

If you have trouble finding any of these items, you can try seeing your local herbalist, apothecary, organic food store (tea section) etc as organic teas may have the ingredients you need in a pinch

Ritual or Ceremony

1. FIRST, set an intention of what you are wanting to create.

2. create a little bit of a sacred space or alter setting using the flowers and items you want to include.

3. If you have a fireplace, fire pit, or caldron, – basically any safe burning container – place offering at the bottom to be burned. While doing so, create an intention, blessing, and prayer.

4. Get the white candle and light it as you are doing this and place that in the center the altar for now and when time, move to the fire pit if large enough container to burn with the items as an offering. If NOT, let the candle burn down safely next to the offering.

5. write a note or letter to your loved one in spirit. Pour out your emotions on paper however they may be. Ther is no right and there is not wrong.

6. Once complete, lightly fold the letter (need air to pass through for burning) Seal the note with wax from the candle.

7. Bring the note and any other offerings to the caldron or fire pit etc and lay on top of the offerings.

8. Say a prayer or just talk to spirit for guidance to bring this offering to the loved one you are seeking.

9. When ready, burn the note and offerings in the fire pit and release them to the spirit plane.

10. Say a closing prayer in gratitude.

11.  Make sure fire dies out safely- do NOT extinguish it.

I hope these tips help you shift into a new way of celebrating holidays that have lost their meaning over the years.

It is time to change this for stronger more rooted connections.

Please let me know in the comments if this post helps you in any way.

Be well.

With appreciation,


The Grief Journey After Losing A Pet

Who is a part of the family and our lives.

The other day I stumbled upon THIS image on the ground and wanted to share.

Here is my #cantmakethisshitup moment. 

My story on grief …


Do you see the dog with wings?

I know many of you have been inquiring how I am doing since Ava’s passing.

I am holding my own. I am aware & paying attention to HOW I am grieving. I am noticing the following:

♡ I still have trust issues when allowing myself to be vulnerable in the presence of others. I recognize my body’s trigger fight/flight/freeze response in the presence of genuine kindness. I am working on this.

♡ I tend to do most of my grieving & processing alone as a result.

♡ I am busy with my work as well as initiating the creation of JRA of MA (Jikiden Reiki Association of MA)

♡ I sleep with Ava’s ashes next to me every night when at my house. Weird huh?

♡ I wake up every day and sometimes in the middle of the night looking for my girl laying on her usual spot on my bed.

♡ I wake up daily still feel like I gotta take her for her walks, give her reiki, administer her fish oils & CBD oil & the like.

♡ I see my clients in my office looking to see where Ava is.

☆☆☆ These are all brief episodes btw. They do NOT linger nor do they fester.☆☆☆

♡ I leave my office wondering where Ava is so I can take her home & take care of her needs.

♡ I am rebelling going for walks in nature feeling like I am missing my partner. It’s just not the same.


♡ My grieving process actually began exactly 3yrs ago when I thought I was going to lose Ava after almost dying from a rabies vaccine. It took 9mo of reiki, diet changes, addition of supplements, increased bathing for her to recover about 80%.

♡ I am grateful for the work I get to do every day, because the weight & way I process grief is so different than before I understood the spiritual world the way I do now.

♡ I am grateful for the self care tools I have learned over the years to give pause, process, cope, be aware, process, allow, process, surrender, trust in the divine flow of things.

♡ Finally, she gives me #signs regularly to let me know she’s near & keeps bringing me back on track.

For that I am grateful.

I am grateful for the outpouring cards, gifts, calls, messages etc.

I am recognizing that I STILL have issues surrounding my ability to receive openly without fear.

I guess another gift my baby girl gave me to work on myself on my “14/5” year and “4” year collectively in numerology.

She’s taught me so much over 14.5 years and continues to teach me.

Ava is part of my soul family. I was lucky to have her 2x in this life.

I was her caretaker in the end.

And in the end many caretakers of loved ones experience not only a loss of a loved one, but a loss of a “job” or routine to care for another.

All I ask is this … for those who know others as caretakers, when they suffer a loss, BE there. Cuz sometimes, there’s a double whammy & some times we don’t have the ability to put into words what we are experiencing.

The ability to hold space for another is such an amazingly great gift.

Thank you all for reading and allowing me to share my grieving process with you all.

With much appreciation,

#MyAva #healingwithspirit

© 2015-2020 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

The Dark Side of the Holidays From A Trauma Survivor

As a parent, there is no greater heartache than losing a child. What can sometimes be harder is feeling that loss over and over and over again, because your children are still alive, but the emotional torture of knowing they are living with a documented abuser and you are powerless, because the system is beyond broken, is unbearable.

Unfortunately, THIS is exactly what abusers are aiming for – to continue their patterns of abuse by using the system against their victims outspending them at the expense of the children.

This is NOT how a parent SHOWS love for their child. These children are just pawns for their abusers sick game. In the end, the children lose and our broken system that claims to protect victims of abuse, do not. In fact, it may be getting worse in light of a 2014 MA Supreme Court cases granting custody of the children to a documented abuser ignoring the best interest of the child statute. With a pending supreme court case currently being heard. Click here. THIS IS DANGEROUS.

This is not to mention how domestic violence in itself spikes during the holidays which can be a dangerous time for survivors.

My Motherly Grief

This holiday season will be the 13th holiday without my children.

I spent over $300k in legal fees defending myself against my abuser whose admitted ONLY mission was to destroy me AND erase any memory of me or my family in my children’s childhood memories. He won cuz he outspent me.

My children were nothing more than a commodity traded on Wall Street legally trafficked by way of family courts.

How can ANY judge NOT see this as a continuing pattern of an already documented history of abuse.

I had hope one day … one day … my children would be old enough to seek me out. I used to count the days to when my children were adults and they would come back to me. I used to have a motto I would say to myself, “As each day passes, I am one day closer”. Meaning, I was looking forward to the day my children were old enough to no longer be in control of their abusive father. It was a way of giving myself hope.

However, what I am now experiencing as each year passes, the grief gets unfortunately gets heavier. Each holiday I am finding to be more painful as two of my children are now over 18 years old with the ability to reach to me. Yet, they still do not want me in their life based on a forced absence and a brain washing technique called, gaslighting resulting in a phenomena called Stockholm Syndrome. This pains me deeply. They have NO concept of what I had to go through to keep them safe, protect them from harm, and fight for them over an exhausting 11 years straight until a judge prohibited me from fighting for them anymore.

It is sad how much our society

  • condones this type of abuse,
  • routinely sides with abusers,
  • victim shames
  • & we wonder why we have the escalation of gun violence happening in our country.

Our society tripled the damage just with my 3 children alone, never mind the 58,000 American children this happens to EVERY year.

Why do I do what I do?

I feel part of healing trauma is

Laura at Deer Valley Buddhist Retreat Center, San Diego, CA
  • facing this very dark harsh reality,
  • keep talking about it until someone listens,
  • stand in our truth against all odds,
  • when our children are legally trafficked from us, when we heal our energetic core, we also heal theirs on some level too
  • & somehow we make peace with it all.

The BEST revenge against any abuser is to THRIVE against all that was stolen from us.

So for those struggling right now with the loss of your children, know I feel you. I empathize with you. You’re NOT alone. We are in this together.

The BEST action is to support survivors in whatever way necessary. This means:

  • holding space for survivors
  • believing a victim of abuse
  • question the abuser NOT the victim
  • stop shaming survivors
  • assist in funding housing and job creations
  • assist in babysitting
  • volunteer at a shelter
  • donate to the cause – it take A LOT of money
  • become a good litigation family law attorney with a focus on domestic violence law and custody
  • walk the walk
  • model healthy behavior for your children and DO your own inner work so the cycle of generational abuse can finally end.

I see too many survivors STILL aligning with abusers. THIS must end if we are to change the abuse culture we live in today.

My pain is still here, but I choose to channel it into something that will break the cycle of abuse perpetrated against my children

One of my reasons for sharing my story, my healing path, my journey publicly is

Laura on Cape Cod, MA
  • NOT to gain sympathy,
  • but to shed light on an unrecognized epidemic in our society,
  • to bring voice to others lurking in the shadows silenced by abuse,
  • and to know no matter how dire, healing CAN HAPPEN.

Up to 80% of contested custody cases involving abuse award abusers and legally steal our children away from us as punishment for speaking out, saying “no more”, seeking safety, justice or all the above.

We can NOT let the abuser steal our life TOO. If we do, THEY win. The best we can do for our children, is SHOW what healing, recovery, and resiliency look like.

Our ability to THRIVE CAN happen.

Please don’t lose sight of the mission.

How will you use your pain? Loss? Grief?

Thank you for supporting my journey.

With appreciation,

For more information about classes, click here and our events calendar, click here.

To book a private session, click here.


Follow me on Facebook

© 2015-2019 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.