An excerpt from Shamanism in the New Millennium: Chapter 11: Exorcising the Ghosts of Sexual Trauma & Their Secret Shame: Passing on the Healing
by Rebecca Haywood

"Countless women and men have come to me exasperated by the pattern of trauma in their lives, feeling disconnected, disempowered—like they can’t quite shake the weight of their ghosts. But they can be healed, and it doesn’t require a mysterious spiral or an “exorcism.” The medicine lies within one’s emotional presence.

Today’s world tends to underestimate emotion as impractical, weak, unintelligent and merely reactionary—another shame that marginalizes our being. We repress, bypass, override or otherwise distort our emotions into experiences that are socially acceptable, leaving a “survivor” standing atop a “victim” who hasn’t yet healed. We must embrace the pain and befriend emotion all together.

In their natural state, emotions can be reliable guides and can even self-regulate. Like the senses, emotions offer a direct and accurate perception of the external and internal world—a direct experience before the mind interprets it. When we are emotionally present, we can catch that moment and allow our organic emotions to inform us and move through us, guiding us to truth rather than into story. And when we add love to their presence, any unnecessary emotional pain or negativity naturally unwinds from the body and we return to balance.

Too good to be true? Science reveals a truth, long known by shamans, that emotional patterns turn into thought patterns and vice versa. Both affect the body and are effects of the body’s emotional history. But any emotional trauma, ancient or new, can be healed by changing the emotional input. Love the shame and the cells will recalibrate. Love your self and your cells will recalibrate—and so will those thought patterns. The brain actually remaps its neural wiring in response to emotional stimuli—decommissioning unused pathways and patterning new ones that support a language of love instead of shame.

Shamanic healing doesn’t work from a script. It meets you where you are and allows your soul to lead from there. But healing and developing the emotional presence is an imperative step for clearing trauma, shame, or any psychosomatic imbalance.

My favorite way to do this is with a series of Egg Cleansings and Fire Cleansings, spread out over the course of days or even years, depending on the intent and need. This allows time for the client to deepen their readiness for each cleansing through private mentoring sessions and intensive healing retreats. I guide clients through their process using the Toltec practices I learned from Miguel, but with a feminine twist—Stalking and Recapitulating the beliefs through the emotions while Dreaming them into a healed presence in the body.

Ultimately, clients heal their relationship with the body, repossessing themselves with an emotional presence that amplifies their healing and guides their lives forward in a more connected way—embraced, embodied and empowered. Ghosts be gone."