By all accounts, Elizabeth Kendig, who’s no stranger to Minnesota, had it all. After successful stints as a lifestyle editor and content strategist, she became a beauty influencer (before it was a thing, I swear) with millions of followers and an eponymous skincare line. But in reality, she was struggling with anxiety and depression. And in that time, she turned to healers for help, ultimately realizing that she was responsible for her own healing. So she created Healers, an online wellness platform for the spiritually curious to get their woo on. And now, she’s offering her advice for how we too can start to heal ourselves amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Take us back to 2018, when you founded Healers. What prompted you to create this online wellness platform?
As with so many career shifts, it was my own journey that prompted me to make healing more accessible. What started as a curiosity for everything from acupuncture to tarot became a way of life for me when these holistic modalities changed and, really, saved my life. By my mid-thirties, I was successful by all societal counts — a fancy beauty career and all of the material things — but I was also depressed, in a dysfunctional relationship and plagued by an autoimmune disease.
The practitioners I worked with helped me heal myself. I found love, that the moments of darkness pass in a few hours instead of weeks, and that I manage my health at the root, which is usually emotional (and even ancestral). It wasn’t magic and it didn’t happen overnight, but it was miraculous. When you end the conflict with yourself — the pain, trauma, self-hate — anything is possible. Healing is available to us all. I created this platform to give everyone who needs it access to the resources, tools and practitioners who can support them on the journey.
What have you learned about yourself and about healing since then?
Way more than I bargained for! The healing is never done. We often call it peeling the onion. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out and everything is in its place, there’s another layer. For me, the biggies have been building a new business from scratch and all of the humbling moments that come with that: Who am I without my success, followers, paycheck? When all of the external validation is stripped away, what is left?
That’s where the real work begins. My husband and I also moved across the country twice while building Healers, so my foundation was really shaken and the relationships that I relied on for comfort weren’t as readily available (thank goodness for Zoom!). I’m learning to be my own best friend and to trust that everything I need is inside me.
Your goal is to help people heal themselves. What are some simple steps toward healing we can take right now?
We are a culture of doing, not being. Of thinking, not feeling. We celebrate busyness more than stillness. Start by getting quiet. You don’t have to meditate to do this. You can take a walk without music or a friend to distract you. You can lie down and close your eyes and just breathe. You can put your hand on your heart and ask yourself: What do I need right now?
If you really listen, your higher self, your soul will respond. It might be a glass of water or a nap. Or it might be that you need a different job. Or more connection with your partner. Or to confront something or someone from your past that continues to plague you. The more you get quiet and ask, the more the answers will come back with what is true for you. If this is too hard or painful, if you feel blocked, a healing practitioner can also help you tune in and take the next steps.
Our notion of normal has been obliterated and we have to develop a new understanding of it. How can we do that?
Now, and always: Whatever is true for you is normal. No one gets to judge that, let alone you. Self-compassion is more essential than ever right now. There is no right or wrong way to be, so throw away all of those shoulds and expectations. Beyond tending to our basic survival and responsibilities, we can keep feeling into what feels good for us — whether that’s working on a new project or watching Netflix. When life becomes unstable and the future uncertain, staying present will be your oxygen.
Your April mantra is all about surrendering, which seems so difficult right now. How do we relinquish control during these uncertain times?
Surrender is the hardest and most significant spiritual lesson. It also can be one of the most liberating. Our need to control — whether it’s through planning, worrying, “managing” our family members, forcing what’s not working, panicking when it doesn’t — is our fear response. We think if we can get out in front of something, if we push harder or hustle enough, then we can mitigate our worst fears. We think that we are actually in charge of everything, when really there’s a whole universe in motion.
As uncomfortable as it sounds, surrender is an act of faith that you will figure it out. That the universe (or God, source, spirit — whatever speaks to you) has our backs. That life works in our favor when we allow it to. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no effort involved! It means going with the flow instead of forcing. There is relief in the surrender, in holding on more loosely. Surrendering frees up space to live, create and be present with what’s right in front of us.
In times of struggle and self-doubt, what spiritual healers have you found most helpful?
If you’re new to the woo, someone who reminds you of who we are and your connection to source can alleviate self-doubt. Intuitives, shamans, mediums, and Akashic and tarot readers are the gateway and also a touchstone when you need remembering. Energy healing, such as reiki, can be incredibly grounding for uncertain times. When everything is out of whack, energy work can return us to a calmer, more positive state or vibration. You can search for healers by any of these modalities or your specific needs using the Healers directory.
What words of wisdom do you have for those who are skeptical of the woo?
We’ll be here when you’re ready. (And if you’re still reading this, it’s probably a sign that you’re ready.)
Some of your favorite healers are offering no- or low-cost sessions right now. Can you tell us more about that?
Oh my goodness. I have cried many times during the coronavirus outbreak, including in response to the generosity of our healing community. They’ve answered the call of this moment, offering everything from free distance reiki (which really does work) to streaming yoga for you and your kiddos. We even offer an emotional healing technique for pets at a deeply discounted rate. This is your invitation to receive support; no need is too small. Simply subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a roundup of these special 1:1 services and virtual events. Namaste!