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March 2, 2022

Bonus! Tammy Afriat Interviews Erica Smigielski

Bonus! Tammy Afriat Interviews Erica Smigielski

In this special episode, we celebrate the one-month anniversary of launching the Soulful Sondbites podcast by having Tammy Afriat interview me! Tammy is a mom of three and the host of the Playground Talk podcast. I had so much fun chatting with her that I thought I’d take the highlights from our discussion and shrink them into a bite-size episode. Enjoy!

I am Erica Smigielski, a Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Practitioner. Soulful Soundbites is for anyone looking to nourish their soul in practical and relatable ways through bite-size insights for your soul.

In this special episode, we celebrate the one-month anniversary of launching the Soulful Soundbites podcast by having Tammy Afriat interview me!  Tammy is a mom of three and the host of the Playground Talk podcast. I had so much fun chatting with her that I thought I’d take the highlights from our discussion and shrink them into a bite-size episode. Enjoy!

I invite you to subscribe to my podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to your podcast and encourage you to join my Soulful Soundbites community at soulfulsoundbites.mn.co.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@SparkPath) and Facebook (SparkPath Healing) or visit my website (sparkpathhealing.com) to learn about SparkPath Healing.

Thank YOU for listening, and an extra warm thank you to those of you who write a review, share the podcast with a friend, and engage in the Soulful Soundbites Community.

And much gratitude to

Erica Smigielski, creator, producer, and writer, continues to place energetic ‘milk bottles’ through each episode to help those who seek or need a ray of light.

Janae MacMaster and the QBR Team (quickbusinessresolutions.com) provide endless support (and tireless edits) to bring you this podcast.

Tammy Afriat interviewed Erica for this episode - bringing her compassion and genuine curiosity making this interview extra special. Follow Tammy at instagram.com/tammyafriat/ and subscribe to her Playground Talks podcast.

Clementine Moss designed and recorded the music for Soulful Soundbites. Follow her and experience her magic at instagram.com/clemthegreat/.

👀 Remember, you can *see* us in a video episode in my free SparkPath Community

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And while you're there, leave a rating, write a review, or message me about your favorite episode.



Today, we celebrate the one-month anniversary - to the date! - of launching the Soulful Sondbites podcast by having Tammy Afriat interview me!  Tammy is a mom of three and the host of the Playground Talk podcast. I had so much fun chatting with her that I thought I’d take the highlights from our discussion and shrink them into a special bite-size episode. Enjoy!

Tammy: I'm honestly not familiar with Shamanic processes and Depth Hypnosis. Can you tell us more about this healing modality and how it helps?

Erica: Depth Hypnosis utilizes different methodologies and modalities. It blends earth-based wisdom with Buddhist methodologies, energy medicine, Applied Shamanic processes, and hypnotherapy so you can step into an altered meditative state and go within your psyche to find and heal imbalances. And because you're in a meditative state, you get to deep-rooted issues and carry that healing through to the current time. So this allows you to access profound and effective healings quickly. The reference to Applied Shamanic is used because the earth-based wisdom belongs to the indigenous communities. And what I have learned is finding the commonalities across the shamanic cultures and the processes used and applying them to work for today. So it could be soul retrieval or power retrieval. It could be a space clearing or a drum healing. I say ‘applied shamanic’ because they work for today’s needs and integrate holistically and naturally in Depth Hypnosis sessions.

Tammy: What led you to take all your knowledge and put it into a podcast that talks about self-care? Please elaborate more about what this podcast is about.

Erica: It started from my love of writing. My posts on social platforms are meant for people to take a moment and look inward, especially during COVID when people were cycling and spinning out of sorts, to help reground and reorganize themselves. So through my writing, I realized some posts needed a voice because they were too big for a social platform. They were too juicy and needed thoughtful conversation around it - beyond my written expression. And so that was the fuel behind my podcast.  My podcast episodes continue to carry that same intention - invitations for someone to pause a moment to bridge their inner world and our outer world.

Tammy: So podcast has to do a lot with self-discovery. You mention going inward and finding the imbalances, and bringing healing. I'm wondering, what do you mean by that?

Erica: Sometimes, we're so busy living life, and we're just busy. We're busy in life that we don't realize that, oh, I'm experiencing some anxiety or I feel stuck, or I'm lost, and it ends there for them.  Sometimes you can address that by looking inward. And when you go back and look at inner child work and feelings and perhaps regressions, you find that anxiety comes from a situation. That could be a situation as a child or a past life which triggered that anxiety and then was carried through to this lifetime. And when you can go and find that imbalance, that source of where that anxiety stems, and heal there, then you can carry that healing forward to the present time. That's when you can get profound, deep healings by looking inward, and this is the reference to internal imbalances. I'll share a little story to help make it a little more tangible. Our daughters were maybe four weeks old in my first depth hypnosis session.  My natural parental instinct was to react in a way that I said I never would as a parent. I went into the session skeptical, but after a pre-natal regression - I realized the feelings I experienced when in utero had carried with me into being a critic of how I showed up as a parent. With this insight, I could get to the depths of that imbalance and bring in that healing. Yes, it was evident where the healing was, but it took months after that to absorb and process that and integrate that healing. Hopefully, that’s a good example to make it a little more tangible.

Tammy: Yeah, I got it. And I also get that someone could be aware of something that he's willing to work on but unsure where to start, and your podcast provides this coaching that helps one embark on this transformation.

Erica: I feel like we're in a transformational era, and many different prophecies and belief systems have talked about this time that we are entering. This pivotal time is about breaking down old structures and old processes to rebuild new ones - especially ones that are harmonious with the way we live on earth, the way we work together as a community, and the way we live as spiritual beings. So I feel like now more than ever, there's more curiosity to learn other “new” healing modalities than what’s known over the years. So yeah, the podcast is just that - trying to give people little bite-size ways to realize there are other ways to look at things. And then, if that feels interesting enough, maybe they'll be interested in diving in with someone. And if it's not me, I'd be happy to introduce them to other healers and other modalities. For example, depth Hypnosis may not be best for one but maybe working with Gene Keys, Akashic Records, or an astrologer is a better fit. There are endless ways to access insights and healings that align with oneself.

Tammy: So, we've been talking a lot about being aware and willing to do the work. It seems reasonable that many are unsure about this modality or maybe have fear of it. What is the best advice you can offer someone uncertain if they’re ready to do this deep work?

Erica: Fear is a very real thing, and it gets in the way of so much of our intention and our dreams and wishes. And, what I've found to work is to start with a brief conversation to understand where they str in their healing journey and what fear is coming up for them, or what issue is bringing them even to have this conversation? Because there's usually some impetus for having this conversation. And then it's starting with understanding a bit about their history because often you'll see some patterns over someone's life, or their birthing experience can sort of be a blueprint and how they show up for life. Then when they go into a session, I guide them to connect with a source of power to support them or a helping spirit or a guide or a guardian angel or a flower or a plant, whatever that may be it's to then have that support and protect them before going into the depth of hypnosis. So it's very intentional in bringing someone through, so if they are experiencing fear or a big emotion - the guidance is to gradually get them into a relaxed state, look at their mapping, and facilitate a source of a power retrieval by connecting their guide before going into the depths of the work. So that's what I found, in my practice, to serve someone in that state.

Tammy:  Is there any preparation needed before starting the healing journey? 

Erica: The one big area of focus when starting this work is becoming more mindful of your dreams.  Dreams can be such beautiful opportunities for you to access information in that dream state. The information comes from the Divine, Light, Creator, or whatever name you want to give.  Or, for those that are heady, think of dreams as insights from parts of themselves or part of their consciousness, that's able to connect with them when their minds are asleep. Information usually comes through in symbols. So when you can take a look at your dreams, establish a dream journal, and log those dreams. That is a good practice to have for a few days before a session because that gives you good material to start with and can be a helpful indicator for someone who's coming in with fear as it helps pinpoint a place to start when looking at that feeling. 

Tammy: That's amazing. I never thought about it. When did you start developing this conscious parenting that you're also talking about in your podcast? I'm wondering, when did you come up with this, and what does it look to you?  

Erica: I'll give a couple of examples cause sometimes conscious parenting can feel just as clear as mindful parenting. One of our daughters, I’m guessing at three or four years old, was having a hard time falling asleep, and she kept saying, “Mom, I have a friend in the closet, and my friend is keeping me awake.” And so we did some work asking what that energy needed and asking if it could move along and find another place to access that same sort of energy that it was seeking from our daughter.  We did this through conversations where she felt fluid and normal, which helped us later when she started experiencing night terrors. We returned to talking through that experience, when she was alert, and helping her connect with a helping guide. The beauty of working with kids during a shamanic journey is that they don't quite yet have the filters we carry as adults. So their journeys are so rich and so graphic because their imaginations are alive and thriving. The information clarifies who their guide is, and they use beautiful descriptors, even with their limited vocabulary. And so we were able to do some work with our daughter to connect with a guide to help her with when night terrors happened. She asked for a way to call her guide when she needed its support. She had a power-filled stuffed animal that resembled her guide based on the description she gave in her journey that was strategically placed above her head as it helped her fall back asleep. And so it became such a beautiful lesson for me to bring this work forward for her as a form of conscious parenting.

A more recent example is with one of our tweenagers. I felt she was being disrespectful to another parent at a particular moment. And I said, you can feel those feelings, but you still need to be respectful. Later, I realized I was projecting my expectations of her. And when I paused a moment and looked in her eyes, I could get past my projections and her resistance to see she was exhausted. She had started a new school, a new way of learning, and a new routine. She has a new person interacting with her to help with school work, and it was a lot. She was exhausted. Then I had a different conversation with her and expressed how tired she looked and acknowledged how many new things were in her life at that moment. I shared that I can understand where she’s coming from, and I see her just melt. We made that connection through what I would call conscious parenting.

Tammy: I'm curious to hear about the challenges you have with your teenagers today. 

Erica: What's coming up for them right now, especially as girls enter puberty and adolescence, is showing them how to hold and protect their power, their essence - especially as a girl.  And knowing how and when to exercise and use their power appropriately. I feel like if this is done from a place of compassion, they’re empowered to operate with the best intention. There are several initiations of the divine feminine that are so sacred and this period hits on a couple of those that open a level of creativity that they weren't able to before and being able to celebrate that in a way that feels in alignment with who they are and where they're at in their life journey. 

Tamy: In following up on conscious parenting, is there something you feel that it's your way to conscious parenting?

Erica: I believe each of us came to this earth, into this life form, with unique gifts that only we are able to give to this world. And so life’s journey is trying to help your children and yourself find those gifts and give those gifts. When this happens, you will live in a place of abundance in whatever way that means to you. This is something my husband and I are really trying to honor for our girls and often say to them, “you can live under our roof as long as you need, in order for you to find the unique gifts that you bring to this world. And when you do everything is going to fall into place.”

Tammy: Wow. That's amazing. It feels so secure. Must be so secure for your daughters, knowing that someone has their back.

Erica:  When we say this to them, they look at us like we're a little bit cross-eyed, but I'm hoping that by us repeating it, it will eventually just be embodied by them. We'll see how it goes…  Another thought I would add is when they're teenagers and trying to figure themselves out, is to offer them ways to start thinking about their gifts by saying, “I noticed when you create something, you really light up. I wonder if that's one of your gifts.”  Or another instance maybe, “Wow, when I watch you dance in your performance, you show up in a way that I don't normally see you. I wonder if that's one of your many gifts.”  These verbal observations help a child understand what a “gift” looks like because it may feel a little loosey to them at first.  So when you share this with them, it helps them connect the dots.

Tammy: Do you want to add anything? 

Erica: If anything I've said here really resonates with you, then I invite you to follow me on Instagram, the handle is Sparkpath, or visit my website, which is sparkpathhealing.com. And DM me if you have questions or even any thoughts on an episode that might trigger some reaction for you, I would love to hear them.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this bonus episode. The main takeaways from this interview are:

  1. The idea of a podcast was conceived through my love of writing and desire to help others connect their inner world with their outer world.
  2. My client practice thoughtfully and intentionally guides you into the work of Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Counseling so you can access profound learnings and experience lasting results.
  3. Besides being in your authority to step into this work, starting a dream journal is an insightful way to prepare for a depth hypnosis session.
  4. Conscious parenting is unique to each parent and their child. Yet, I share ways I navigate challenges through conscious parenting that I hope inspire you. 

And, I'll leave you with that… See you in the next episode.

Bye for now.