What is your life’s purpose?
My life’s purpose and passion are to help people grow, heal from their past traumas, to bring in the goodness of life, to be a presence of love and light, and to gather communities together to perform ceremonial work.
How are you living your purpose?
I became a licensed psychotherapist but felt something lacking for me. I was searching for more spiritual ways to help myself and to be in service. In 1980, I had the good fortune to take a workshop on the ancient practice of shamanic journeying where I learned how to receive my own spiritual guidance.
My path evolved in a very organic fashion as I stepped into a true flow with life. Every next step revealed itself to me. I started teaching my clients the practice of shamanic journeying and they healed and went on to create beautiful lives, not without challenges of course. They learned spiritual tools to work through life’s challenges.
I received invitations from all over the world to teach workshops introducing people to the ancient universal practice of shamanism. Due to my psychological background and my practical nature, I was able to inspire large communities of people as I taught shamanic practices in a way that people in the modern world could embrace.
Through my workshops and books, I teach healing methods to release old pains and traumas. I have helped thousands of people to heal from past wounds. My work evolved to focus on “life after healing.” For after we heal some deep wounds, it is time to embrace our creativity and manifest a positive present and future for ourselves.
I incorporated ceremonial work. With ceremonial work we step outside of our egoic self and tap into our soul’s passion. Ceremonies have been used universally for thousands of years to navigate change, ask for blessings, to ask for healing help, and to honor cycles of nature and the Earth herself.
We are living in a time where life as we know it is destabilizing. Performing ceremonies leads to feeling embodied and centered. I have been quite successful in helping people rise up into their spiritual power to be in service to all of life. I found that when we join together in performing ceremonies, the deep support and love for each community member is something most people have not experienced. They are touched on levels they never imagined.
One of my greatest joys is to get people out into nature to learn to deeply connect with nature, our true healing balm!
Teaching and writing on how to perform personal and community ceremonies has brought joy, meaning, a feeling of being centered and empowered to tens of thousands of people around the world. For most of my teaching career I have been training brilliant shamanic practitioners and teachers to seed local communities around the world with highly trained shamanic practitioners and leaders in their own communities.
I was awarded the 2007 Peace Award from the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicines and chosen as one of the Top 10 Spiritual Leaders of 2013 by Spirituality and Health Magazine.
How did you find your purpose?
I was always a spiritual child. I had this burning desire for people to be happy and I could not believe how much beauty I saw everywhere. Instead of seeing concrete while growing up in Brooklyn, I saw the beauty of nature. I was a great listener and people would stop me on the streets to talk and even shared their problems with me when I worked at my father’s small neighborhood store.
When I was seven, I remember this magical moment while I was sitting on the couch. It was as if the world stopped and a window into some other dimension of life opened for me. I could clearly see and feel how humans were born to manifest beauty. I saw that it is our destiny to experience deep joy while also embracing the life’s challenges that help us to grow. I remember making a clear decision that I was going to teach people how to be happy.
Over the years I kept sharpening my listening skills. When you really concentrate and listen to what people share, they often answer their own questions and find solutions while talking. I had such a deep love for learning and engaging in spiritual practices which led me to the path I am on.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
In an indigenous shamanic community, every child is taught the unique gifts, talents, and strengths they share in their community to help the community thrive.
In our culture we are trained to go with the status quo. We are taught early on there are only a small number of creative geniuses and you are not one of them. If you shine your light too brightly you will get unwanted attention. Keep your energy contracted and you will get by.
Play music that is spiritually expansive. Set your intention for a meditation. Imagine being a spark of light looking down on this great Earth and seeing all the beauty and also how much chocolate there is. You have a soul’s desire to manifest. You are coming in with gifts, talents, and strengths. Engage your imagination; What did you come here to do? I call this meditation “Soul Remembering” because others project onto us what they think we are good at. But actually no one sees us for who we are as everyone is seeing us through their own eyes.
Write on a piece of paper: “What is my soul’s purpose?” Play some spiritual music. Close your eyes halfway and pick up your pen and let it move across the page. The deepest part of your soul or intuition will communicate with you as you write. Don’t worry where your pen is on the paper or if you are writing in a straight line. When you are done you might be delightfully surprised by what your soul revealed to you.
I love to share the practice of “Deep Listening.” Find a favorite place in nature where you can sit in a high place gazing out into the landscape, or watch the waves of moving water, listen to wisdom of the wind, and/or stare into a fire or the flame of a candle. You will find yourself moving into a still and peaceful place where your soul can inspire you with your dream for your life.
What resources do you recommend?
My all-time favorite book is The Little Prince by Saint Exupery
Some helpful information on how our brain can change: The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
And a great inspirational book: Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be by HeatherAsh Amara
Connect with Sandra Ingerman
Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self
Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins
Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide
Walking in Light: The Everyday Empowerment of a Shamanic Life
The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life
www.sandraingerman.com – includes Sandra’s monthly column, articles, interviews, her training schedule and so much more.
www.shamanicteachers.com – to find a local shamanic practitioner or teacher trained by Sandra
App: Transmutation for Apple Devices
“The Soul Retrieval Journey”
“The Beginner’s Guide to Shamanic Journeying”
“Miracles for the Earth”
“Shamanic Meditations: Guided Journeys for Insight, Vision, and Healing”
“Shamanic Visioning: Connecting with Spirit to Transform Your Inner and Outer Worlds”
Interview with Thomas at Findhorn Foundation on Shamanism
Changing times are awakening our Spirit and Light – with Lilou Mace
Shining our light & Experiencing our soul!
A Shamanic drumming journey to the heart of the world
Listen With Your Heart: Shamanism, healing and nature
The author talks about her book, “Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins.”
Shamanism in the Modern World
How patriarchy has survived for generations
Sandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, Walking in Light, and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life. She is the presenter of eight audio programs produced by Sounds True, and created the Transmutation App. For 35 years Sandra has been a world renowned teacher of shamanism teaching workshops internationally on shamanism and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods.
Sandra is devoted to teaching people to work together as a global community to manifest positive change. She is passionate about helping people to reconnect with nature. Since the 1980’s thousands of people have healed from past and present traumas through the classic cross cultural shamanic healing method Sandra teaches called Soul Retrieval
Sandra is a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional mental health counselor and a board-certified expert on traumatic stress.