Describing the self has always been a task, but I'll attempt. I am Selome Araya. A certified Reiki Master Healer/Teacher & Counselor, Labor & Birth Doula, Advocate. Sometimes a writer :). I currently live in Los Angeles, California. I've also lived and worked in New York City, Ethiopia, 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.
I currently offer Reiki healing and counseling support in my personal practice, 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, and doula services for mothers and families, including those with little access to this support. I recently 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 a mental health holistic healing program to provide comprehensive support to those struggling with depression and spiritual imbalances who are in search of alternative ways of healing.
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.
The other bio, freeform
I am the daughter of Ivy and Moges, a "halfrican" by way of the Americas and Ethiopia. My first and last name are each names of my ancestors, and together they mean “to set a good example of peace”. Sometimes I call myself a Pan-African jedi, sometimes an alien, sometimes a human. The Juno Diaz quote above is how I generally feel I've been moving through life: halfway here, halfway tapped in to the other realm. That may sound strange, but one thing I have learned about life is we must embrace, and claim, who we are fully, unabashedly. I am an empath, considered highly sensitive by most, a Capricorn sun, Aquarius rising, Virgo moon-that means, there's freedom and structure swirling around one another. I am a social butterfly and a loner, -a dichotomy indeed. I connect deeply with children, with colors, with the sun and the ocean, with ancient teachings, with magic, with bruja work, with healing, with the spirit world and ancestral energies, with hearts, with the journeys of our soul, with the transformation and lessons the universe brings us through the form of challenges/experiences/mirrors, with the laws of manifesting, with the intersections of the mind, body, and spirit, with communal ways of living and healing, with birth- and rebirth. I have traveled to many countries and always feel my spirit connect deeply in each place. I LOVE to dance. And be in love. I am intrigued by the human condition, the way humanity has yet to figure out how to exist in a space of love and harmony, and have always wanted to support us in finding this way. Since I was a teenager I have always been moved by love, by peace, by the unjust, the unfair, the imbalanced lack of access and equity, and have spent my life seeking ways to provide this balance to my communities in one way or another. I have always wanted to help others, hold space for others, positively impact the lives of others. That's manifested in countless ways, therefore making my journey a spirally and non-linear one-one that hasn't made sense to everyone- but one that has always rang true to what has felt best to my soul. Walking to ones own beat outside of the customary standards has always resonated deeper. Following rules and standards has always been a struggle. (Who made them up?).
I used to feel the weight of the whole world and its suffering on my two shoulders. I used to feel as if I haven't 'done enough'. Now, I’ve accepted that in my own way, I have been and will continue to contribute to the shifts humanity cries out for, the shifts happening now. My journey wasn’t always easy on an emotional, spiritual and mental level, but thankfully I was able to not only heal but also step into a deeper knowing and love of self and a clear understanding of my path as a result. It's beautiful to find a blessing in the spaces where we've struggled most. And embrace the truth that it partially happened so that I can also hold space for others, too. You'll find more details about my healing journey here.
There's more, but this ramble is a novel. Thank you for indulging. I look forward to connecting with you on the journey.