“about me”: bio and personal healing journey
I am Selome Araya. A certified Reiki Master/Teacher & Healing Practitioner, Intuitive Spiritual Counselor, Mental Health Holistic Healing Practitioner, Healing Justice Advocate and Doula. I’m an empath and have been called “too sensitive” most of my life; finally learned how to integrate it all and that being highly sensitive is indeed, a super power :)
I am currently based in Brooklyn, New York. I've also lived and worked in Los Angeles (my home town and my mama’s, too), Ethiopia (father’s home town and my spirit’s, too), Haiti, Panama, & Zambia. My spirit dwells in many places; it's been a blessing and a privilege to traverse this globe as a free being, and to create family in each place.
I spent many years working on behalf of/with disenfranchised communities through various non-profits, progressively minded international NGO’s and activist organizations in the U.S. and internationally. I have worked with refugees and immigrants, foster youth and on public health initiatives addressing health disparities for communities of color in the US, and in the humanitarian and emergency response fields internationally.
In my current walk as an independent healer, I'm working to create the link between healing, spirituality, activism and self-determination. I felt called to support the revival of ancient healing modalities within my community, increasing awareness of/access to holistic healing modalities and natural health practices, and activating the power to heal ourselves outside of the global medical industrial complex, reclaiming our ability to take control of our healing, our spiritual and mental health, our birthing journeys, transmute our pains, and our traumas, and prevent more from manifesting. I am dedicated to decreasing health disparities and cycles of illness and seeing people live in harmony and wholeness within the mind, body and spirit across all realms in which we exist.
I currently offer Reiki healing and spiritual counseling support in my personal practice, Reiki classes and attunements, accessible and sliding scale healing services and workshops/ritual spaces at community events, conferences and universities with the Harriet’s Apothecary healers’ collective and other groups. I co-founded the “Reiki for Refugees” initiative, providing holistic healing to forced migrants and survivors of torture (more details here). Additionally, after overcoming my own health struggles through a holistic approach, I created Healing at The Root, as referenced below and outlined here. I am deeply grateful to serve my clients in this way. I will also proudly be implementing Reiki Healing Clinics with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene community health centers in 2020.
In the academic realm I have a BA in International Development from UCLA and a Masters in Public Health degree in Forced Migration & Health from Columbia University. Se habla Espanol.
personal healing journey
There was a time I didn't think I was going to make it, where I struggled so deeply with my mental & spiritual health, lost all grips on my everything. They told me before, you're going through all this for a reason, that one day it will be transmuted from your pain into your greatest power and you will help others who are suffering. To know that I alchemized that long-standing depression and spiritual crisis and trauma I was walking with into the beautiful journey it is now, to know the wound was transmuted into light, that not only did I heal from it but that it birthed the walk I came here to walk, it birthed my true self. That on the other side of doing that visceral emotional, mental, spiritual work has bred a freedom I cannot do justice with words.
Folks ask me how I overcame my struggles without the medical industrial complex/pharmaceutical matrix, how I healed using ancient medicines, holistic approaches, new practices & many other things after attempting- and feeling- that medication and talk therapy weren't the route for me. I wanted to go deeper and truly heal. I wanted to have agency over my health and spirit. It was a long, multi-layered and challenging journey, but one that I am living proof is possible with access, awareness, support, consistency, work, trust, spirit, ancestors and community. My experience of healing myself from depression inspired me to become a Reiki Practitioner many years ago, after energy medicine played a role in my own healing. It also inspired me to create Healing at the Root, a comprehensive program to help others with similar struggles who are also seeking an alternative way to heal. The 1st person who signed up for the program had me in tears, a true full circle moment. It showed me that my deep pain really was the birth of something greater within that needed to emerge, be embraced, transmuted, released & addressed into an integrative approach rather than viewed as a negative thing; and as Malidoma Some' says, sometimes this darkness may even by the birth of a healer. Our darkness can literally activate our wings, and set our spirits free, sending us into higher levels of awakening. I believe there is always a higher purpose for it all- which is different for everyone- and understanding that purpose is quite freeing. To be able to say thank you to that which you thought would be the end of you? To be pushed into the deepest parts of yourself in order to heal? And it's all intertwined with your purpose? I am so incredibly grateful for it all.
Once I learned that it was possible for me to heal through a holistic approach, I had to do a lot of searching & piecing together to create my own personal healing plan. Initially inspired by one of my Reiki clients seeking long-term support for their depression, I realized that "I was my own first client" and created Healing at the Root using the very tools I used for myself. I want others to also embrace the possibility of healing fully, have a template of how to do it, access to everything in one place, and ongoing support along the journey. That was one of my deepest wishes while on my own journey- someone to hold the whole container with me. While this comprehensive holistic response helped me heal, it definitely did not come quickly, nor was it a breeze to do so. Doing deep work means many things are unearthed. I also cannot guarantee that it will help everyone. I can only speak to what I know to be true, what is possible, what helped me and what has helped my clients who embark on this journey. If you are reading this and feel moved to explore this work to support your own healing, please review details of the Healing at the Root Program here and send me a message to set up a complimentary Healing at the Root consultation.