Seeking Center: The Podcast

Shamanism, Soul + Power Retrieval: How to Become Whole Again - Episode 97

January 29, 2024 Robyn Miller Brecker, Karen Loenser, Renee Lavallee McKenna Season 2 Episode 97
Shamanism, Soul + Power Retrieval: How to Become Whole Again - Episode 97
Seeking Center: The Podcast
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Seeking Center: The Podcast
Shamanism, Soul + Power Retrieval: How to Become Whole Again - Episode 97
Jan 29, 2024 Season 2 Episode 97
Robyn Miller Brecker, Karen Loenser, Renee Lavallee McKenna

Renee Lavallee McKenna has walked the walk. She is a no-nonsense, Boston-born mentor, hypnotherapist and Shamanic healing practitioner who guides people to heal and transform on a soul level. Her journey as a recovering addict -- and as she likes to say, an "ex-crazy" person led her to ancient practices and wisdom which transformed and healed her own life.

Renee's passion to bring her 30 plus years of experience to change the lives of as many people as possible comes from the depths of her soul. Her work which she calls, Spiritual Psi-Kology, is intended as an alternative and a compliment to Western psychology, and many find this work to be a helpful addition to traditional talk therapy, psychology and psychiatry.

Renee has a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology and is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. She's also studied DepthHypnosis, Shamanism and Energy Work, and has been a student of Lifespan Integration, Hakomi Method, as well as Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and healing methods.

In this week's podcast, we cover Renee's unbelievable path to this work. Plus, how she works and blends these different spiritual + healing modalities. We also touch on Spiral Dynamics, a subject that she's extremely versed in, and something you may want to know about.


Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Renee Lavallee McKenna has walked the walk. She is a no-nonsense, Boston-born mentor, hypnotherapist and Shamanic healing practitioner who guides people to heal and transform on a soul level. Her journey as a recovering addict -- and as she likes to say, an "ex-crazy" person led her to ancient practices and wisdom which transformed and healed her own life.

Renee's passion to bring her 30 plus years of experience to change the lives of as many people as possible comes from the depths of her soul. Her work which she calls, Spiritual Psi-Kology, is intended as an alternative and a compliment to Western psychology, and many find this work to be a helpful addition to traditional talk therapy, psychology and psychiatry.

Renee has a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology and is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. She's also studied DepthHypnosis, Shamanism and Energy Work, and has been a student of Lifespan Integration, Hakomi Method, as well as Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and healing methods.

In this week's podcast, we cover Renee's unbelievable path to this work. Plus, how she works and blends these different spiritual + healing modalities. We also touch on Spiral Dynamics, a subject that she's extremely versed in, and something you may want to know about.


Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter

Robyn: [00:00:00] I'm Robyn Miller Brecker and I'm Karen Loenser. Welcome to Seeking Center, the podcast. Join us each week as we have the conversations and we, through the spiritual and holistic clutter for you, we'll boil it down to what you need to know now, we're all about total wellness, which to us needs building a healthy life.

Karen: On a physical, mental, and spiritual level, we'll talk to the trailblazers who'll introduce you to the practices, products, and experiences that may be just what you need to hear about to transform your life. If you're listening to this, it's no accident. Think of this as your seeking center and your place to seek your center.

Robyn: And for the best wellness and spiritual practitioners, experts, products, experiences, and inspo, visit theseekingcenter. com. 

Renee LaVallee McKenna has walked the walk. She is a no nonsense, Boston born mentor, hypnotherapist, and shamanic healing practitioner who guides people to heal and transform on a soul level. [00:01:00] Her journey as a recovering addict, and as she likes to say, an ex crazy person, led her to ancient practices and wisdom which transformed and healed her own life.

So Renee's passion to bring her 30 plus years of experience to change the lives of as many people as possible comes from the depths of her soul. Her work, which she calls spiritual psychology, which psychology is spelled P S I 

Renee: K.

O. L. O. G. Y. 

Robyn: . It is intended as an alternative and a compliment to Western psychology, and many find this work to be a helpful addition traditional talk therapy, psychology, and psychiatry. Renee has a master's degree in transpersonal psychology is a certified clinical hypnotherapist.

she's also studied depth hypnosis, shamanism, and energy work, and has been a student of lifespan integration, method, as well as Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and healing methods. We're going to cover her unbelievable [00:02:00] path to this work. Plus, how does she work and blend these different spiritual and healing modalities?

We're even going to touch on spiral dynamics, a subject that she's extremely versed in, and something you may want to know about. There is so much to discuss. Let's get going. Hi, Renee. 

Renee: Hey, Robyn. So great to be 

Robyn: here. Oh my goodness. I just love the way 

Renee: that 

Robyn: our souls get connected because it feels just so purposeful right now to be talking to you.

You are so versed in so many things 

Renee: and your story and 

Robyn: journey to getting to this place really had Karen and I amazed. 

Renee: So 

Robyn: can we start with your journey into the spiritual and wellness path? 

Renee: Absolutely. Before I say that, Marianne Williamson was one of the first spiritual teachers that I ever connected with, and she has this really great saying, because I'm going to be 60 in a couple of months, and Marianne says, [00:03:00] in our 20s and 30s, we find the kitchen, and in our 40s and 50s, we find a recipe.

And in our 60s and 70s, we get to make pizza for everybody. I love that There's so much truth there. That time frame may be different for different people, but I just feel so grateful because so many crazy experiences in my life and feeling like I didn't know what I was doing, which I didn't at different times.

And now, there's a culmination really of every experience that I've had that can be beneficial to other people. Which is just this beautiful lotus flower coming out of the muck, So how I came to the spiritual path was unconsciously, I was a barroom drinker and a petty criminal and I had some stories that kind of looked good on the outside.

I worked part time and I went to college part time but really, I was immersed in addiction. with [00:04:00] food and emotionally unavailable men and vodka and cocaine and lots of other things that would have crossed my path to medicate this thing that I called Renee and because I didn't like it and life was painful and I didn't know how to deal with it and I'm a very sensitive person which I didn't know at the time and I just had to shut everything down the way that I felt all the kind of energy that I could feel from other people and in the world and it all seemed hopeless.

Anyway, so I stayed medicated as much as I could and was a party girl and. Literally, this woman, I had trouble holding jobs, I would usually last about three months, and then, I'd go away for the weekend, or find a new coke dealer, or just not be able to handle whatever was happening, and get new jobs, and I was always starting anywhere.

I was at this job, and this woman came up to me, and she had been watching me. And I was so self centered, I had no idea even though she was, right? I wasn't [00:05:00] paying attention to anybody but me. and she said, I've been watching you come in late on Monday mornings. And sometimes we have the same clothes you were wearing the day before because you didn't make it home and I recognize that and I think you might be a drug addict and an alcohol and it completely changed my life she's dead now, but she was in a treatment center, which was a diversion program.

So she didn't go to prison. She got to go into this long term treatment program that was called Woman Inc. And she lived there for a year and I was the first person that she ever tried to help and she brought me to my first 12 step meeting and my life has never been the same. I was 23.

I didn't know anything about recovery. If you didn't drink and drug like I didn't want to have anything to do with you. I really. I didn't know what I didn't know and my life, it was a complete spiritual experience. I was like headed West going 110 miles an hour in reverse and I got picked up and put headed East, [00:06:00] in this really safe bus that was a guided tour.

Robyn: when this woman. Did you feel like something you had never felt before, almost like a connection, because I find there are certain people in life that come in and it's to your point you're going through things. You're trying to not feel anything.

And then this woman says this to you, I almost think there's these triggers or these unlocking moments, and to me it sounds like it was an unlocking 

Renee: moment for you. It was. What happened, and this is what I actually try to offer other people now, I Made a decision to completely self reveal except where it might hurt other people who were still living in my life today because it was her telling me the truth.

the first thing she said to me was, you get high, huh? And I thought she was going to get me high. And then she said, I used to get high. And then she said, so we went to lunch. And she told me her story, which was that she had actually helped start Rolling Stone magazine, she was a gifted writer, and [00:07:00] then she found heroin and ended up being a street prostitute, and was in and out of prison.

And so very high, low person, which I identify, I'm like an overachiever, underachiever kind of person. And she really told me what the next 20 years of my life were going to be like. If I didn't stop West Coast direction or, whatever the direction of addiction I was going down and, when one person tells another person the truth.

in a vulnerable way, that in itself is life changing. And that was what happened for me, was that I, discovered through 12 step meetings and also through other spiritual practices, of which there's many, other people who are seeking solutions to their suffering. And able to be really open and vulnerable to drop the social masks that we all wear and who we think we're supposed to be and just be who we really are, the imperfect, perfect humans that we are.

And that was a life changing for me. I heard people talk about stuff. I was like, you can [00:08:00] say that you can talk about your mother. You can talk about being afraid or anxious or that. You just didn't do that where I came from, and don't you 

Robyn: think to over that time when you're talking to her that day.

It was like pretty incredible. You could hear 

Renee: her. It was a moment. Yeah, it was absolutely a moment. And I think that the real spiritual awakening for me, which has been a very slow process, it's like I still I like to lay in bed for an hour and I do all this. So I'm a slow waker upper, right? But what happened for me was there was a moment where I realized looked back at the last year up to that point in my life and they had been tremendous failure.

 I tried to move to Texas chasing some guy. there was a lot of crazy stuff that happened. I had a really bad time with crack whoa. And meth, I had a bad meth week where I got lost and I didn't know what day it was and like, so things had started to really crumble for me.

[00:09:00] And I saw how everything that had not worked out, how all these circumstances had brought me to that moment to be able to meet Susan. And it was a felt experience. that there was more going on in the universe than I was aware that there was some kind of, I had serendipity happen in my life before, but this was massive.

And I felt it. And not only was there a web that was interconnected happening, what I would call now the transpersonal, the metaphysical God source, there's this massive, incredible wisdom and intelligence in the universe, which I didn't doubt necessarily. But it cared about me. It cared enough about me to put Susan in my life.

And the thing that I know today, and really what I'm dedicated to, is the universe cares about all of us. Every single one of us. It cares about every drop of dew on every blade of grass and every little sparrow. And every human and I [00:10:00] never felt that before. I felt uncared for much of my life. And so that universal experience was life changing.

And I've never gone back. I didn't stay sober since that day. I did have a one night where I went out and got drunk and found the coke man and I realized that I might never be able to become the person that I really wanted to be if I kept messing around like that.

 So that was on Valentine's Day, which is a really nice thing. Yes, it is. Yeah. It was. You know what happened? See, what happened is I might have stopped drinking, but I didn't change my behavior. So I, broke up with my married boyfriend because me and his wife weren't getting along too good.

And then I immediately hooked up with somebody in the 12 step fellowships who had a girlfriend. and just because that's all I, it was just what I was attracted to. That was the resonance I was at. I was used to being the other woman and he went to be with his girlfriend on Valentine's Day and I got drunk. 

Because I was like this is what it's like 


Renee: be sober, right? When I'm sober, right? This is just the same thing, just not medicated. And the lesson for that for [00:11:00] me was that I needed to change. And I didn't actually know that change was possible. Not in the way that I understand it today.

I was always trying to change the outside. If I could lose the right amount of weight, get the right job, get a car, find a guy. If I could fix the outside, it would fix the inside. That's what our culture tells us. Yeah, and 

Robyn: I would say most people listening right now are feeling 

Renee: that.

 That's what we're taught. And now what I know today is that the outside, it was backwards. Like I needed to change the inside. I needed to change my behavior.

I needed to grow into some spiritual orientation to understand. I needed to understand this wisdom that brought me into this loving place and of the possibility for real change. I needed to face my fears. I needed to look at my anger . I had tons of baggage and I would like to say I'm still unpacking to some extent, but I needed to be willing to face myself.

I had been running away [00:12:00] and I needed to turn to face all of the bogeyman and ultimately they've either dissolved or turned into gifts and angels for me. So 

Robyn: then what was the foray into just. even understanding that there's something else going on here? 

Renee: the first thing was this massive shift.

I went from being almost a daily drinker and drug user and just a crazy person to, trying to make my life better. And after I relapsed, I immediately got into therapy because it became obvious that I had a lot of baggage. I had a lot of problems.

, I wasn't just drinking for fun. I didn't drink because I was thirsty. I was drinking and using to medicate. This unresolved suffering that I had a kind of existential angst and suffering within myself. And I didn't know there was anything you could do about that. really didn't.

I thought you just medicate that that's it, right? And hope you live or whatever you're doing. For me this possibility and a lot of direction through the 12 [00:13:00] steps, through good therapy, through spiritual practices, which over time. I haven't gotten the opportunity to pursue many.

 I went from being a self destruction junkie into being a self help and self growth junkie, . Because I like to feel good. I've always liked to feel good, right? And we live in this place, plane on the third density of Middle Earth is set up. with this compass that we have inside of us, which is a pleasure pain compass.

 And if it hurts, it's information that something needs attention. And if it feels good, we're going in the right direction. So that it's very simple in that way, and it's not unfair, actually, we may need to change radically our life and ourself in order to solve that pain, it may be inconvenient, we may not want to do it, we may not do it, we may stay in suffering, but, my suffering, for the most part has been resolved, not that I don't have problems, life is difficult and things happen, but that suffering, Is.

No [00:14:00] longer here. And that is my passion to bring that message that suffering can be and should be I think it's our work here as humans is to resolve our suffering. We each have unique configurations of birth circumstance and culture and religion and, all of the different gender, whatever the Configuration is it's not a coincidence like that's our work.

I think we're part of an evolutionary machine and our individual growth and development or devolution is our input into that larger system. 

Robyn: I totally agree. And that's 

why I love talking to you. So you're on this now feel good adventure. 

And you start with talk 

therapy. You obviously feel the shift in your own energy and you're part of this 12 step program.

How do you get introduced to these different modalities, which we now know for you, you've put together in something that you call spiritual psychology. As I spelled it out for people who are listening, [00:15:00] you call it P S I dash K O 

Renee: L O G Y. Yes. So I do that because I made a decision not to become a licensed therapist.

I had that opportunity when I was in graduate school. And I realize, for myself, I serve the divine. I serve source, I serve higher wisdom, which the board of psychology may not be tapped into and actually doesn't believe in. my life has been shifted and directed by spiritual practice and experience that is actually what heals and a lot of we need to have intellectual information.

We need to make physical changes that provide the container for that. But we're all spiritual beings having human experience and it is the spiritual suffering and our sense of disconnection that actually is the root, I believe, of all human suffering. So that's the solution to it. For me. And I made a decision not to get licensed, so I technically can't use the word psychology because I'm not a licensed psychologist, and I don't want to mislead people.

 Because although I am western trained, and a [00:16:00] lot of the best of western psychology, family systems theory, and inner child work, and there's a lot of, that's a little edgy actually, the idea of Freud, and Jung, and Those are a lot of important foundations that are really helpful.

But they often will just bring us up to looking at our symptoms and don't have the skills or wherewithal to really work with the source. Now that's the cutting edge of therapy right now, which internal family systems and Hakomi and Life Speed and Integration is brilliant work happening in the licensed modalities, but it's still cutting edge.

It's not mainstream yet. And even them, they can't go into the spiritual realm. That's too woo for most people. That's the realm I operate in, but it is psychology, but it's psy as far as the psyche goes or the spirit. is why I use the PSI. So how I came to this kind of work, I was seeing a Jungian therapist dealing with my mother wound, which was huge.

[00:17:00] And I had actually gone to visit my mother and I had a not unusual experience, which was that I left and I wanted to either drink or hurt myself or hurt somebody else. Interacting with her was a very painful experience, really almost down to her death. And so I was sitting in a car trying to decide if I was going to go to the bar or what to do.

And a couple of weeks before I had seen John Bradshaw, who was the father of inner child work in the 80s. made this modality, which is foundational in my spiritual psychology work. Popular and known and he was doing a demonstration and I just happened to walk through the living room. My father was watching TV it was on and I watched him bring someone into their own emotional self.

In this profound way that really moved me. again, it was like, you can do that. What is that? What are they doing? And I sat in my car that day and I had a spontaneous what I would call now. In shamanic terms, a soul retrieval that an aspect of my [00:18:00] vulnerable self that had been separated away that I had actually hated. It was my emotional self. I hated my emotional self. I wanted to kill her. I wanted to medicate her because I thought she caused me suffering. And when I realized the self-destruction and the self-hatred, I write about it, it's the introduction to my book Allies and demons, working with spirit for power and healing.

I write that story about how I had this spontaneous healing happen inside myself of connecting with my own emotional self with the help of God. It came as the form of a light, actually. and so that was really eye opening again. I was like, I didn't know what was that? I didn't know you could do that.

It was like a inner spontaneous guided meditation. I didn't return to that realm. I would touch on it. I could journal and I think a lot of people, writing, not typing into a computer, but handwriting. We can often access parts of ourself, wisdom within ourself. I was listening to Gabby Bernstein the other day.

She talks about people like writing their spirit guides and it's a [00:19:00] known. Modality really automatic writing, or even to just journal to yourself. I think we get in touch with that. Yeah. So anyway, I had been able to touch into that realm many times over the years,

and over time, I got deeply involved in Buddhism and the idea of just being present, of chop wood carry water, of letting go of worldly ambitions, again, focusing on my inside. outside. I lived a very simple life for a long time. I cleaned houses for 12 years. I was a maid. It was an awesome work. I come from hoarding people.

So working in beautiful environments where people care for their stuff and their space was a really healing experience for me, but it was humble service. And I eventually through that Was praying like show me how to use my gifts and talents if there's more for me to do in the world because I liked my work, but I certainly wasn't using everything I had to do it and I found this graduate school and I went to [00:20:00] clean this lady's house and when I moved to California from Boston and And I get introduced to this woman.

I started my house cleaning business up there again to work my way through graduate school. And she said, as she showed me around the first day, she said, so this is my therapy office. I said, Oh, you're a therapist. She said, yeah, I do an interesting kind of hypnotherapy and mixed with spiritual work. And so she became my teacher for the next 14 years.

 And look how you were guided to that. Totally guided. Yeah. And so we all have that. I'm not any more special than anybody else is special. It's about paying attention to what's happening and this conversation like Neal Donald Walsh talks about conversations with God, That we're in this conversation with the universe.

And I think, for myself, particularly, when I was an active addict and in depression and in the depths of darkness, I wasn't even picking up the phone. I wasn't texting the universe. I didn't think it wanted to hear what I had to [00:21:00] say. Even though it's right there for all of us all the time.

So what happened in that training in those 14 years was it was perfect. I learned how to put containers around this work that I had spontaneously experienced myself and ultimately to offer to other people, which is what I do. , I call what happened to me in that car that day, an inner journey.

And that is the basis. Of my spiritual psychology work which is informed now by shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism and internal family systems is like a cousin to this work. It's the thing that I. have come to observe in my clients and in myself, is that these are technologies that are actually part of our psyche, that they are available to all of us.

They happen naturally when the conditions can be right. And with some help to provide the right container, they happen very easily and spontaneously for those who are drawn to this kind of work, this [00:22:00] more metaphysical, transpersonal, those realms are available to all of us and the pathways to get there are pretty clear and have been discovered over and over again by almost every culture in the planet, till the Catholic church made it illegal.

But now here we are. So that's right. That's 

Robyn: why we're in this lifetime as 

Renee: we are right now. Thank God. I'm sure we've 

Robyn: been part of the others, but this is us right now. And there's so much in what you just said. I'm gonna go back to shamanism and how you define that because 

 we've talked a little bit about that on this podcast, but how do you describe 

Renee: shamanic healing?

And you actually 

Robyn: offer a program on how to be your own shaman. So I would love just to hear a little bit more about that. 

Renee: First, I want to say that I don't call myself a shaman, that I believe that particular term is reserved for indigenous people or people trained by indigenous people and it's a really arduous path.

 I do want to say that, the tools that shamanism offers are very similar [00:23:00] actually to eternal family systems and to Tibetan Buddhist practice which is to work in the transpersonal realm with nature spirits or what's called spirit guides or spirit teachers.

Which are available through most religions as well, Jesus and Mary Magdalene and any of the saints in Christianity and all of the Hindu pantheon are all in that same realm. My opinion of these kind of intercessors between us and the larger consciousness system, because, there's an old movie the Ten Commandments where Moses gets the tablets from the burning bush and it like turns him white and blows his mind.

So we really can't tap into that power grid directly. Most of us. It's like it's too much. It's like 

don't plug our house into those huge generators, or the other big electric wires. Cause it would blow us up. so the energy . Or the resonance needs to be [00:24:00] brought down to a voltage that we can hear and understand in our everybody has an active imagination.

However, whether you're visual or auditory or sensory or just felt experience like we all have this spiritual for lack of a better word aspect of ourself of how we relate to others in the world and ourself and this larger system. And connecting with intercessors or this intermediate spaces of higher wisdom is completely transformative and amazing, right?

That's really what the power of Jesus was. It's been corrupted in lots of places. I work with Jesus. I have lots of clients that work with Jesus. But anyway, so shamanism is again these tools or technologies or practices where we can connect directly with higher spiritual guidance. Now, there's many levels of consciousness, the thing I love about shamanism, is it's a very simple paradigm, and I [00:25:00] find it incredibly useful. In they talk about the upper world, the lower world, and the middle world.

And the middle world is where we live now. And this is a contested space. We can't always trust what happens here, as all of us know. It's walking down a city street, there's people that are nice, and there's people that will take your purse and run, right? So in the non physical, there's a transpersonal aspect of The middle world, which is often called the astral plane, and it's where we feel the suffering, When you see a homeless person and you can feel their suffering what you're feeling is the non physical aspect of that. Wars in the world and all of the ignorance and fear that, that runs a lot of the suffering healing, we can feel that suffering. It's a very contested space.

So most of us are stuck here. We don't know that there's more than that and it's a very small segment of what's available to us in this larger consciousness system in the different levels of consciousness that are available. And so what trauma does is it allows us. to [00:26:00] travel out of the middle world, either to the upper world or the lower world, which are places of higher consciousness that understand the unity and the oneness of all things that what happens there is for our highest good.

There's no such thing as dishonesty because it understands that we're all connected and dishonesty is harmful to everything. So these realms. the lower world generally being where nature's spirits are connected and I find nature to be the most easily accessible doorway for most people to connect with spirit.

That's usually where I go. And the upper world is the celestial realms in all kinds of infinite Realms of connection again with higher consciousness, with unconditional love, with wisdom beyond our own rational understanding that we can tap into that can be very specific for us and for people in our life that we want to help.

 Native people have connected with this again, the Tibetans have connected with this. There's different ways to get there. But a lot of the traditions are the same, which is like a guided [00:27:00] meditation, whether you listen to a drum or whether you listen to somebody's voice or whether you just intend to go these realms are available to all of us.

 They're right here. It's not complicated. Now, a lot of people have trouble, their conscious mind doesn't believe it, or they're very defended because they know that this is a contested space, and hence I think the real outpouring right now of psychedelics is people that need extra help to get there.

I don't use anything mind altering, I haven't for almost 36 years. You don't need drugs to get there. if you need them to get there, great. And there can be advantages to doing it, but it's unnecessary. And so it can be anywhere. That's just my own opinion, cause that's my experience. Any place you can get with the drugs, you can get without the drugs, but getting to those places is, I think, part of being a healthy, fully expressed human. is to be able to connect with this larger truth that we're part of something that cares about us, that there's incredible information and wisdom available to us if [00:28:00] we want to access it.

And shamanism in that simple paradigm has made it very easy for me and made it simple for me to teach that to other people of where we're going. Oh, I 

Robyn: love the way that you put that. And I'm really glad you brought up using psychedelics or not using psychedelics, because I know for myself, and I'm sure for those listening, this was now going back seven years, when I heard the term shaman, I always associated it with plant medicine or psychedelics.

And. It wasn't until I met someone else who was, a shamanic healing practitioner who didn't use anything, and it was so not what I thought. And so I find it really important. To help someone understand in our modern world, what 

Renee: a shaman is 

Robyn: , what the practices and what that means.

So I really appreciate that. And the other part I would love to ask you about within that is where energy work and energy healing can be facilitated. [00:29:00] Through shamanic 

Renee: work? Excellent question. So I'm going to say something more about shamanism before I answer that question. So in traditional shamanism, very much like traditional Western religion and Western medicine.

 We have someone who does the work for us. So I just had a knee replacement seven months ago, right? Like I can't do that myself. So I hired a surgeon and a team to do that for me, And they put me out and they fix my knee and it's awesome. And so in traditional shamanism as the base healing technology of many indigenous cultures.

They were the healers, they were the doctors, they were also the therapists and spiritual advisors. It's a tremendous responsibility. And not everybody was in integrity, but for the ones that were doing it well, we're glad about that. And so they actually do the work on person. So you would go.

And many shamans, this is a totally valid way to work. Many shamans still work this way. It's one of the reasons I don't call myself a shaman because I don't although I am trained and could do it doing the work for other people is, to some people they need that, but it's [00:30:00] attuned to that idea of giving someone a fish.

To feed them, and I would actually much rather teach people how to use their own fishing rod so that they can fish for themselves. And I think evolutionarily, where we're at as a species right now, is that we are being called to grow without intercessors, into direct or what traditionally was called mystical connection with source, with universal mind, with the divine.

And again, it doesn't have to be, it isn't fancy, it's actually really accessible and Buddhism speaks to that a lot, you just drop into presence and mindfulness really speaks to that. It's right here, right now, we don't have to necessarily do a lot to have it available to us.

And so what my work is about is to actually teach people to be their own strong, that these tools and certainly there's a lot of skills there's very advanced work. I work with the dead. I work directly with intentional negativity. And there's a lot that can [00:31:00] be even dangerous, quite honestly, if you aren't trained.

In how to protect yourself energetically and how to orient yourself and working on your own ego structure and hero or savior complex or victim complex or whatever the thing is. For me, it's more important and also really easily accessible to teach people. This is right here, right now. This is how you can do this for yourself.

And that's what most of my content. That's what my healing trauma course is about. That's what my book is about. That's really the work. that I'm dedicated to is to be able to give people the tools and technologies again to be able to do this work for themselves. That the divine is right here.

it doesn't have to come through me. I didn't know how to use it when it, after it spontaneously happened to me, there's definitely some lore. that is, I think, part of the upsurgence of shamanism. And people like Michael Harner, who founded the Foundation of Shamanic Studies in the 50s and really brought shamanism, what he [00:32:00] calls core shamanism.

he was an anthropologist who studied, he had actually a psychedelic experience down in the Amazon. He had been an academic and he was like, whoa, what was that? You can do that. So he dedicated his life to bringing these tools.

 And the Foundation for Shamanic Studies office class is all over the place. They're a fabulous organization dedicated it's not about cultural appropriation. It's about, each culture has its own sacred practice, which is sacred, But underneath that. there are these just human tools or abilities or skill sets that we all have access to.

And that's, to me, the shamanic journey or the inner journey guided visualization. Anything that mindfulness meditation, if we go deep enough, brings us in through these doorways of the personal. into the transpersonal, from the physical realm, into the metaphysical realm. And when those two are joined, there's a level of wholeness and potentiality that's just awesome.

 And I 

Robyn: know we're going to, we're going to talk about the energy work [00:33:00] within that., It just made me think when you were talking about guided visualization and the mindfulness and the meditation, when you met that woman who did hypnotherapy. 

Renee: I don't know if you started 

Robyn: with that and then shamanism was coming in around the same time, but I would imagine if you could get yourself into that very 

Renee: deep level, in that hypnosis state.

so I'm just going to say even right now, even that idea that like it has to be a very deep level, it's not. Okay. No, it's not. So I'll right now, I'll just say this to you. Think about yourself as a five year old child and everybody who's listening. Think about yourself as a five year old child and just sense or feel or imagine that five year old child in the room with you right And how is that child feeling? And we don't need to go into a whole thing, you can ask what do they need? What do they want? It's right here. It's not far. And that is an aspect of our own authentic self. that we just accessed in 10 seconds and there's a lot of information there and a lot of possibilities for healing and how I [00:34:00] relate to that part of myself in my life.

And that's just the beginning, but it's not fancy. it doesn't have to be. complicated. Now sometimes we need more help to relax our body and our conscious mind is an amazing machine and it's a thought generating construction building, that helps us move through the world and creates an identity of who we think we are and allows us to interact with others and protect us from danger But it's limited. It's very And just like the brain can't digest my food. There's a lot of things it can't do. It can't actually connect spiritually. It can observe. It can remember. It might make sense and narratives out of that experience later, but being able to connect with again these non physical or transpersonal aspects of life, that's really where the flavor and texture and color is.

And it's available to all of us, thank you for saying that. 

Robyn: Thank you for bringing up that exercise. , that is an easy way for everybody right now. To [00:35:00] realize. What is all around us 


Renee: around us. It's all around us. And it's right all the time.

We just don't all the time 

Robyn: that we just don't consciously access it. 

Renee: It's like I just heard this cute little story. So there's these three little fish and they're swimming along and the old fish swims toward them and says, how's the water this morning, boys?

And they keep swimming. And they say, what's water?

 Cause they're in it. They don't know it. Yes. We don't know that we're in the water because it's just here, right? And so once we realize, and this segues into the idea of energy, that on the ultimate level, I have come to believe that everything is made of consciousness and, deep physics speaks to that when we look into the atom and deeper into it.

 What we think is solid is actually mostly space and whirling electrons, protons, neutrons, and then you get into quarks and things I don't even know about, right? So there's an illusory depending on how you perceive things, it's not as it appears. And what's underneath all of that, what holds the atoms [00:36:00] together so that the electrons don't go flying off into space is some kind of energy.

It's some kind of a field. And there's intelligence in that field and massive unbelievable, unfathomable intelligence in that field. What's happening in our bodies right now? Robyn is beyond our comprehension, there's like a trillion cells and a million of them are dying and being reborn every moment.

It's crazy, I don't have to think about my digestion. I don't even have to think about my breathing. It all just is happening. And then there's a larger system like, Whoa, how does all that happen? So there's an intelligence here. Yeah. That I still seek to understand and grow an understanding of because I'm part of it.

It cares about me. I'm a cell in a great body and so coming to some kind of consciousness about the water, about the energy, about the divine, about source, about universal mind, whatever you want to call it, and however you come to understand it that's part of the uniqueness of you.

There's no right or wrong. I think all of the different perspectives hold some aspect of truth. So coming to understand this [00:37:00] energy that has intelligence and wisdom in it, and many of the traditions call it love. Buddhism, they call it compassion, which I actually liked a little bit of. Love is a very contested word.

 so we can learn to work directly with that energy, and to align ourself with it to collude with it, so that we can Tap into again, this higher intelligence, higher wisdom in Japan, they call it like Ikigai, which is like this optimal path. And it's known as Wu way. Eastern traditions have a lot more going on the ball about this kind of stuff than we do, that there is some kind of an alignment.

 It's just like this kind of an optimal amount of sleep and food and exercise. for my body to feel good. So there are kind of things to do that align us. And again, we have that joy, suffering continuum, make us feel better and we can follow those.

And so learning how to work with energy directly. And there's again many ways to do that. Can be part of our personal [00:38:00] paradigm or not, we may connect with it through meditation and call it, God or source. We may connect with it through Reiki and working more directly with energy through the body.

 There's a kind of an endless. List, in my work through the inner journey through what looks like, hypnotherapy or a shamanic journey going inward, we're connecting with the energy of higher consciousness in our own, dysfunction. And again, bringing them into allowing there's natural processes for healing in the psyche and the emotions and the mind, just like there are in the body.

Renee: Sometimes we need to create the more optimal circumstance. If I cut myself really deeply, I might need stitches. But the stitches don't make it heal. The stitches set up the circumstance so that new skin and scar tissue and the vascular system can repair itself. That happens by itself. And the same thing happens with our psyche.

When we set up the right circumstances, there are natural processes that will happen to heal [00:39:00] us. That's the basis of my healing trauma work. 

Robyn: one of the things that we have talked about on our podcast and really Continue to want to remind people is that when it comes to trauma work and when it comes to that feeling why someone may come to you because they're feeling lost or stuck a lot of that has to do with where that energy.

Is kind of bottleneck. It needs to move absolutely in addition to everything else. We're talking about this awareness and so forth. And so Karen and I are always wanting to remind people we are the energy we bring to the room and that energy, is in and all around us.

Yes. And just like you go to a doctor to get checked up. no one ever tells you, go check your energy, 

Renee: It's interesting because I had the opportunity to do some work with the Diné people, which are. What the white people named Navajo, that's not actually what they call themselves.

They call themselves Dine people and do a sweat lodge with one of the spiritual leaders there, which was this really beautiful [00:40:00] opportunity. And we talked about how, obviously they live on a reservation. And there's a lot of poverty there, but there's a lot of richness actually for those that are really engaging in their traditional spiritual practices.

And so one of the things that they do is a sweat lodge every week or when it's needed for a person or for a family or a group which is a time really to check in. The Quakers do this too. It's not like it's an unknown thing, I suppose in some places that may be what church is about for people, certainly what 12 step meetings are about is a place to really check in with yourself and whether it's energetically.

Emotions really are the main way that we process the energy, And so being able to make a place to express, to let that energy flow, to not bottle it up finding healthy ways to be able to navigate it, because often the things are really complicated and you may have ongoing issues 

emotions really are one of the main ways that we manage and navigate and [00:41:00] digest our life experiences on an energetic level. And I think that's why therapy certainly in the West has become so popular because people recognize the benefit of talking about what's actually going on with them and making room to actually have their feelings.

And. Again, though, from my perspective, there's the intellectual understanding is helpful. It's really helpful, but it's incomplete because it doesn't recognize that we're part of this larger system. And there's all this other support and guidance and navigation and even healing opportunities that are in this more transpersonal.

We're mostly focused on the rather than this larger system. Which makes it a more complete healing and more complete expression and understanding of what it means to be a person. I think. Yes. 

Robyn: And I would say, I feel like podcasts that are talking about what we're talking about today are going to help move.

 Things so that it becomes more commonplace, [00:42:00] So that people can be treated in a more complete way. And so I even think about that evolution of talk therapy, Like I think about 1950s and 1960s where people were, wouldn't necessarily admit that they were going to a therapist, right?

And now here we are 2024. And I can tell you with my daughter, who's 15, all of her friends, including 

Renee: her, 

Robyn: are like, Yep, gotta go to my therapist today. You know what I mean? so what I think about is what we're doing and how we integrate that into that intellectual.

So that we can continue and really help people recognize the fullness of themselves and then where they fit in with everybody and all other things. 

Renee: Yes. This is why I'm actually very hopeful about what's happening to humanity, which seems like an anomaly these days, but I agree. So if we look at what's happening in our expansion of understanding, right now we're talking about consciousness and energy and the non physical [00:43:00] aspects of being human, right?

In our understanding and use of that for our own benefit. It's really mirrored by this movement into the non physical in all these other realms. Money isn't really a thing anymore. It's mostly electronic exchange, right? AI and tapping into intelligence. We live in a time where, we're in different cities,

we can talk to each other. Right now over video . And, I am old enough now. I remember when he couldn't do that. I can I have a client that lives in Vladivostok, Russia, like we have to arrange the time zone. But we can talk to each other instantly.

And so there's this. traversing of the material world. That's no longer a limitations than it used to be. And so that growth, when I see what's happening, particularly in the environment, I would attune it very much to what happened to me as an active addict is Oh, we're recognizing that this is the wrong direction.

We're on a [00:44:00] crack. There's a kind of a crash and burn or unsustainable cost. This is dysfunctional. And just like myself, I didn't know what the solution was. I don't have to know what the solution is. We're part of a much larger, wiser system that's infinitely generative and creative and There's going to be solutions, whatever those are.

Now, I don't know if, humanity is not going to last forever because nothing lasts forever. Everything's impermanent, That's, there's a wisdom teaching for humanity that we're all like teenagers or, which is what happened to me. I stopped growing emotionally when I was 12 years old when I started to use drugs and alcohol.

So I physically got older. There were more numbers after my name, but I didn't grow up. and then we're being called to grow up. I think it's part again of a natural evolutionary process. And there's a feedback loop. And. Look at things like what happened during the pandemic, where the dolphins returned to the Grand Canal in Venice.

And, in a very short period of time the ability for the [00:45:00] Earth to heal itself, for us to heal ourself for redirection and recalibration to happen. and it's what we're supposed to do. that's what evolution's about, things are supposed to get different, cause that doesn't work anymore.

So we better grow wings and get out of the water. That's right. You know what I mean? Whatever. Yes. And who thought of that? 

Robyn: Exactly. I love it. We're hopeful. 

Renee: I'm very hopeful. Yeah, I think we're going in the right direction. Actually. 

Robyn: That's awesome. good. 

And so when you're working 

with someone, what are you seeing and feeling on your end 

Renee: So, I'm going to answer a question you didn't ask it first. Because I think one of the great benefits of connecting spiritually, of working with the metaphysical realm particularly to work directly with what we understand as higher consciousness or God, again, whether that's from a Christian perspective with Mary and Jesus or from working with nature spirits like Tree and crow or working with angels and ancestors like whatever we're connected with [00:46:00] that is aware of a larger perspective than we can see as individuals that has more wisdom and more access to higher power than we do.

There's a tremendous benefit of that because historically when I wanted to help people, I would use my own life energy to do that. And I think it's really one of the big gaps culturally right now we look at the big myths in our story like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, which a lot of these people are probably aware of those stories the main source of love and wisdom is humans.

It's brotherly love, which is a wonderful thing . And, if it wasn't for other people, I would be dead, or at least very miserable, but it's limited. And so there is this again, the larger spiritual system, the larger configuration, the larger energy, what Tom Campbell calls the larger consciousness system.

He calls it the LCS. That has our highest good in mind that we're a part of being able to tap into that. allows us to [00:47:00] actually use that energy to help other people rather than my own life energy. So when I would try to help people before I was trained, I would get depleted. I would be resentful. I would feel drained by them.

It was exhausting to me because I was trying to feed them from myself. And now what I understand this is what I train people in my mentorship program and just clients because we can all benefit from that when I can connect spiritually, whether I'm grounding in the earth or connecting with whatever it is I connect with, then I can use that source energy to help other people that my job is actually to ground that source energy.

And I don't need to know what's best. It might come through me. I get my own instincts and intuitions about it. I can certainly interact and tell people what I see, but again, it's like that idea of giving people a fishing rod. I'm not the ocean for them to fish in. I want them to be connected with source because then they have resources that are infinite and always available to them.

So that's the first thing. [00:48:00] Is when I work with people, I connect them with their own understanding and experience of the larger system through nature. A lot of things will just show up when we open up for it. Grandma shows up who was the only person who ever loved me. My dog that when I was 12 that died, it was the only thing I ever cared about or felt unconditional caring from right to connect with the tree or the water.

We all have things that we may not pay attention to them, that are natural connections for us. And so that's the very first thing. It's the first chapter of my book. It's the first thing that I do with people is to connect them with source. in whatever way it wants to make itself known to them because that in itself is profound and transformative.

Once that happens, then I am mostly asking people questions to help them navigate these relationships, both with the wounded parts. of themselves or authentic parts of themselves that they're disconnected from and the interaction with [00:49:00] this larger system that's here to support them. And so I have people talk to me to describe their experience.

And so I go with them into these other realms or into their own psyche or into their trauma. Again, knowing I'm more of a navigator, like the ship is theirs. And I ask people, what do you want to work on? I want to work on my anxiety or my husband divorced me and I don't feel like I know who I am anymore or, I have all the sexual trauma from when I was a kid and it's interrupting my ability to have sex with my partner.

Okay. So I asked them and they're telling me as the navigator, that's where we want to go. With that course in mind, then I'm going to ask them the questions that are gonna be helpful to bring them deeper and into those healing configurations where that natural healing can happen within themself. 

Does that make sense? 

Robyn: 100%. And I love the way that you put that. Thank you for expressing that so clearly. 

So for those who don't know, what is soul retrieval and what is power retrieval? 

Renee: Soul retrieval [00:50:00] is the shamanic terminology for what's traditionally in Western psychology called inner child work and internal family systems, IFS, where they work with parts work is also an aspect of soul retrieval.

So again, we have these. What I call like technologies to heal ourself that are available in all these different ways because it's a natural process. And understanding that we get disconnected that our parts of ourselves can be shattered or separated or run away or lost to ourself and coming back into wholeness, that is the work of healing.

And so Soul Retrieval is about finding these lost or separated parts of ourselves and bringing them back. Into ourself and and making peace and being able to love and support them and be informed by them because they add to our own life energy. That's what soul retrieval is. There's a lot of different ways to do it.

 . And we can understand these parts of our own life energy, our own emotional self, [00:51:00] or our own energetic self as soul aspects of ourself. And so it's about becoming more whole on a soul level when you do soul retrieval. 

Robyn: I think that's foreign 

Renee: to a lot of people.

So I'm going to it's probably the single most powerful transformative piece of work that anybody can do is to do soul retrieval work. Or in a child work, however you, I agree having done it myself. It's profound. So power retrieval understands that everything, again, everything is made of energy and that power can be lost, can be drained, can be stolen, can be given away.

 So physics tells us that power, like the amount of water that's on the earth has always been on the earth. There's actually not new water creating itself, which is a little mind blowing. It just changes form all the time. That'll blow my head. It's all billions of years old.

Renee: And the same is true with life energy. Like our life energy that we have is ours. in this lifetime, I don't know what happens in the next one or before, but in this lifetime, this is our life energy. Now, a lot of different things can happen with that. Again, it can be [00:52:00] separated. It can be lost. It can be suppressed.

We can be disconnected from it. But in spiritual ps we take the things again in the metaphysical world and we give them a physical form using our active imagination, or maybe not a physical form, but they have some kind of form that we can work with directly and so power, it can be lost and drained, stolen or given away.

It can also be retrieved, returned and regained. And. Just like our soul parts that get separated always are trying to come back and seek wholeness. And we could understand many of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as actually soul parts trying to get back. The anxiety, the depression, the intrusive dreams, a different, completely different way to look at it.

But when we do return to wholeness and create a compassionate space within ourself, those symptoms will go away. With power retrieval, the expression of power loss, or the [00:53:00] experience of power loss, which we've all experienced. So surgery can do it. Accidents, illnesses, any kind of trauma or shock, certainly abusive relationships or any kind of traumatic experience of being attacked or neglected or harmed in some way, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually.

Any of those harms could be seen from a power perspective if we look at everything as a power exchange as some power dynamic of power loss or power gain, and we're all exchanging energy all the time. And it's actually healthy. We're supposed to do it. We're exchanging energy right now, But it feels good. And so it's fine. And so knowing that it's like being a semi permeable membrane that can let things in or stop things from coming in at will. And when we have healthy boundaries and a healthy adult ego state, we can do that, We can say, no, thank you. That doesn't work for me. Or yes, please come in. That in itself is a lot of work for a lot of us because we don't learn that. But in a very similar vein, we [00:54:00] can do that with our energy. Because it ultimately does belong to us, anything that has been lost or stolen or drained away, we can get it back intentionally using the process of power retrieval and exchange.

And there's personal power retrieval and exchange, and there's general power loss and power retrieval. General power loss is something that happens to all of us. We get depleted, and I teach a couple different systems for people to actually replenish and restore themselves just from the energy that they may be.

Drain away, not even know they do it that just goes out into the system. I did some power retrieval, general power retrieval work after I had my knee surgery. Cause surgery is really interrupted to your energy system. And I was feeling really tired and I wasn't healing in the way that I wanted to.

And I did some of that energy work in relation with also doing some Chinese herbs and some other stuff that restored my energy, but no one, my surgeon wasn't stealing my life energy, He probably, he'd think I'm crazy if I talked about it. However if you're abused by [00:55:00] a boss or a boyfriend, or by your mother, or if you're abusive to another person, gossip is a way to stay away.

Steal energy from people. When we try to intentionally hurt another person, we're power stealing from them or they power steal from us and the residual. This is a different way to understand the residual feelings that we'll have. Something can happen years ago and we'll still feel it. Now, some of it may be our own processing and being in a loop of resentment or a loop of victimization, which we need to resolve.

However, on an energetic level, resolving, reclaiming the energy that was taken from us and removing anything we may have taken on from the other person and either letting it be drained away or returning it to them is a profound and really transformative process. I had never 

Robyn: heard of it, I'm so glad I now know of it.

Renee: I just did a really powerful piece of work with a client who was raped when she was a teenager. And we did a really potent soul retrieval. There was a shattering of her energy and actually her [00:56:00] grandmother showed up and and gathered up all of the pieces that happened in this rape.

Wow. And we brought this part of herself. out of that place into the ocean and there was a reclaiming just of all these soul parts of herself and she had really not wanted to even ever think about it so she was actually keeping that part of herself separate because she didn't know that she could heal that part of herself and when we were done she very naturally said to me so what about the guys?

Who did that? And I was like, there you go. Like , her own system knew that this was incomplete and we needed to do a power retrieval back from the people who harmed her. , power retrieval is really the secondary piece.

I am blown away. I know 

Robyn: we don't have that much time left, so if we have a moment, let's touch on spiral dynamics, which I know we're going to have a whole other episode about this. Blew my mind when I listened to your podcast about it.

So let's, on a very high level, 

Renee: If I have a secondary passion, it's bringing spiral dynamics into conversational [00:57:00] part of our culture. Because it is like Understanding child development has shifted the way that we relate with children. Spiral dynamics really can give us a different perspective of how to interact with individuals, with groups, and even with whole cultures and countries.

 So Spiral Dynamics is a system that was discovered by this researcher at some University of Texas, Claire Graves, he was actually doing some other social experiment, and they were reviewing hundreds of thousands of responses and for something else, and I don't even know what it was, and he started to see these patterns.

He saw patterns of value structure and what was important to people. It didn't have anything to do with intelligence, it didn't have anything to do with money or socioeconomic status, or even their culture necessarily. It it was this. developmental scale that he saw, [00:58:00] observed of how humanity has developed.

And it actually points the map of where we're going in a healthy way. And it makes it understandable. Anybody's worldview is understandable if you understand what's important to them . And what's hard is that And what's important to me, I think is the most important thing. And I think everybody should think what I think is important.

But the reason it's a spiral is because it actually is inseparable. It's all a unit and every worldview is part again of this larger system. And so they use colors. To describe these different what they call memes on this spectrum and it starts with beige, which is the most basic that survival.

That's where we were at when we were probably pre Neanderthal. The animal realm lives in the base. We all have that within us. If I'm starving to death, we're going to talk about things in a different way than if we're just going to have lunch. So that's survival. It's all about [00:59:00] survival beige

that's where we started in humanity. . The next color is purple. And that is tribal people started to organize themself and realize that their survival worked better when they were in groups. And so if you're a better hunter, and I'm a better weaver, we can work together and there's an improvement in everybody's quality of life. and what's interesting is that the deficits in each mean create the evolution to the next one. Just like children crawl and then they realize that's not really effective. Like they want to stand up and walk. And then they want to run, Because there's limitations and it pushes it.

And so the limitations push us, which is also why I'm hopeful on the larger feedback loop that we're in of our evolution as a species. So there's limitations to this purple, which tends to be very magic and mythic and superstitious. It doesn't make any room for the individual. It's all about the group.

It's almost like a hive mind kind of thing. And so you get some ambitious individuals who are like, I don't want to weave. I don't want to hunt. I want to go on a [01:00:00] mountain and meditate or whatever they want to do. So that develops the next meme, which is red, which is about individual power. And you'll see a lot of developing countries that are coming out of a more tribal culture and they move into this place where there tends to be a tribal leader.

There tends to be a lot of power dynamics. It's very much of the strongest are in charge. And or the smartest are in charge and there's a lot of problems with that because people who aren't as strong can get victimized and hurt. But there is more room for individuality and more room for personal ambition, if we say that.

 But you have a lot of people who may be harmed by that. Idi Amin was not a good leader, even though he was very red, right? A lot of people he might have liked it, but the other people sorry Idi. so that develops, the next evolution is blue, which is much more about concern and care.

for the whole system to make sure that there's rules and structure so that people can't go around just [01:01:00] beheading people because they're in charge and they can do it. And that's not nice. So blue, which is most of the central part of America is very blue. Organized around church, organized around morality, organized around like it's very clear what's right and it's clear what's wrong.

There's rules to follow and those rules are set up so that again, it's better for everyone. Theoretically, And there's an interesting thing that happens is the spiral. Each of the means there's a flipping back and forth between focusing and value on the individual and then focusing and value on the group.

And so after the next evolution after blue, which we could understand, it's interesting because we look at the color like police and unions and a lot of things that are blue. In that it's just interesting to notice like organizations and groups that work together and have power as a group again, 

but again, there's a limitation to that because if you are a square peg and don't fit in the around hole, if you're outside of [01:02:00] the rule structure or want to have personal ambition outside of that, you get you might get your head cut off again. So that leads to the next. Iteration, which is orange, which is it's very interesting because Donald Trump is very orange and it's a joke,

but it's true. So very much about personally ambition and America and corporate America. And the way that we run our sports with kids in school is all about personal achievement to be the best. If you push yourself to the edge, what are you able to achieve? And there's a lot that can be achieved in that personal ambition.

 A lot of the technologies that we have, a lot of the medicine that we have, has been driven by people's brilliance and the support of their individual brilliance to pursue, Einstein and, Bill Gates and people that, that have really, offered things to us.

That have improved our life. So orange is about personal ambition and personal achievement. It's a lot often [01:03:00] about money and material goods, and again has driven what I would say is, a better lifestyle for most people worldwide than we've ever known, Most of us live in houses that used to be the houses that kings would live in now, There's, although world hunger still exists, it's on a much less scale than it ever was before, and a lot of that is driven By, the level of food production. Again, we won't get into the morality of food production so orange provided a lot of benefits, but it has a lot of deficits because you're doing personal ambition and you have things like Flint, Michigan, that has terrible water and we don't care about, the native people who have to live because we want that good land and we'll stick them over here or So again, similar and echo to what happens in red in orange, they can be a lot of suffering as the result of individual ambition, but those who are ambitious. From their standpoint, they aren't thinking about those people , they're just focused on what's ambitious.

And this breeds the next iteration, which is green. Which is really, this is the growing edge in America right [01:04:00] now. In green, we have the green party, we have green peace, we have green recycling. It's about caring for, again, the whole group. What about the trans people? What about the whales? What about the environment?

What about those who aren't able to vote because you guys made bad voting lines? We start to care about everyone else and want to give everyone a voice. And so there's this expansion of the blue and the purple this more tribal, but it's evolving it includes personal ambition, it includes rules and structures, it includes power and, , what Ken Wilber says, transcend it.

And include these things in us. So we all have beige, red, blue, you can't actually have healthy orange without having structure underneath it. So green, which is where really the cutting edge and it tends to be the edges of the country more now, but it's infiltrating everywhere.

Is this concern for the disenfranchised concern for everyone that we want everybody to [01:05:00] be able to vote. We want everybody to be able to have food. We don't want, Palestinians to be suffering or Jewish people either. so it's a concern. It's a growth in compassion and awareness and a desire to use.

What happened in Orange, which is our personal ambition. How can we use that to help these other people, so the limits of this is called the first tier of Spiral Dynamics. And the limits of that is that each of the memes thinks they're right. And has trouble understanding the other ones.

So the green people hate the orange people, and the blue people hate the green people, and everybody thinks everybody's stupid. Because from their worldview, what's important to them, they don't understand why someone would do what they're doing. But each of those worldviews is valid from those perspectives, and has its place in the larger spiral.

It actually all works together. If there weren't sanitation workers, and I used to be a maid, if there weren't electricians then we wouldn't be able to actually make [01:06:00] computers and develop AI because all the whole things necessary in this complex structure.

So the second tier, the next iteration of that this misunderstanding or inability to understand others evokes what's called the second tier, and the first color of that is yellow. And that's when you start to be able to see the whole spiral and appreciate all of it. And this is really the growing edge where most of us on the cutting edge are, moving from green into yellow, which has A more meta perspective.

It has a respect for each of those colors and validates them and knows that they have a place that it's not scary anymore. those things, those people aren't wrong, they aren't stupid. They're actually necessary to this development that we're having as a species. And so yellow tends to be more individual.

It's a lot about gathering information. It's a lot about self growth, a lot of spiritual practices, and maybe intellectual practices of trying to understand the system, a lot of cutting edge [01:07:00] sciences, yellow, if they have wisdom involved in it, a lot of spirit. The next. Iteration after that is turquoise and again, we return more to a group centered it's almost like scales on a keyboard and you have C in different places on a piano keyboard.

So turquoise, which is the second of the second tier is similar to purple, which is the second on the first tier, which is a return to this more spiritual magic mythic understanding that there's more going on here. There's a more openness to spirituality. There's a mystical understanding.

There's like what we've been talking about, which is there's a larger system that cares for us and we don't have to figure it all out ourselves, that there's more experiential than intellectual understanding And again, an appreciation for all of the memes that it stands upon and also bringing these more wisdom perspective and energy into that into that [01:08:00] larger system.

And that's about when, it's not too many people after turquoisecoral the next one and I have to tell you I don't know much about it because I'm not there. I'm like green yellow Turquoise, and most people we aren't necessarily like a single note We're more like a song or a chord so there's different places in different aspects of ourself.

But when we look at countries, When we look at cultures, when we look at other people, especially we're moving into an election system right now and to grow in compassion and understanding of others, I think is the safest, most empowered place we can be, and to be able to have, I don't know if we can have dialogues, but to be able to understand within ourselves that this is all part of an evolutionary path, and that it's healthy, and it's trustworthy, and it's healthy.

Even if it's difficult and, things may blow up sometimes, we are moving in the right direction. And it can give us a lot of instruction, actually, in how to work, particularly internationally. Spiral Dynamics was [01:09:00] used by Dawn Beck, who was one of Claire Graves associates, to help dismantle apartheid.

 In South Africa with Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Yes. Wow. To work with the tribal people and to understand the worldviews of these different groups and to be able to speak to their needs. And validate what was important to them and that's what I aspire to is to really understand enough so that if we're trying to bring democracy to a tribal culture, it's not going to work because they can't hold it.

They need to have the blue structure and the orange to be able to get, if that makes sense. Yeah. It does. 

Robyn: As you're talking and given our conversation today, if you can begin to understand things. And look at things from this perspective and from other people's perspective.

It so mirrors what we were 

Renee: talking about. Oh, it does. Spiral dynamics is the lens that I see the world through now, and it's changed everything. I grew up with Tea Party, gun toting Republican parents, and my mother and I actually voted for President Reagan years ago, because that was my first time to vote, [01:10:00] and that's what my parents did, so that's what I did, right?

And nothing wrong with that, I grew up with Republicans, it's fine, many wonderful, but I'm a much more liberal person today, as I've grown into my own self, and my mother would send me terrible, Stuff and like really disparaging things about liberal people and it's man, don't you know I'm a liberal?

But from her perspective it used to make me crazy and then I understood oh, cause we're trying to change each other rather than understanding, oh, this is her world, it's her worldview. 

Robyn: That's right. And I think that's the point. That's why when you introduced that to Karen and I.

And I dug into it a little more. I just feel like others may want to also dig into it because it can really change your perspective and make you less angry. 

Renee: Actually, and less fearful is all part of it. It's all right. And it's okay.

It's necessary even. 

Robyn: It really helps you look at it from these different. Yes, I think what our conversation today is going to give people is hope. 

Renee: so much hope, I hope. 

Robyn: And you said that earlier,[01:11:00] , hope for yourselves, hope for humanity. And Rene, you have so much to share.

Can you tell people how they can work with you, how they can learn from and with you? Because there's so many places. 

Renee: So I have a spiritual psikology podcast that goes out every Tuesday morning or Monday night. They can find on every channel. If you want to start to do this work, the spiritual psikology work, you can pick up my book.

It's on Audible and Amazon, Allies and Demons, Working with Spirit for Power and Healing. And it's not just a book, it's actually a book and guided audio. There are inner journeys that go with each chapter. So people can do the work they would do with me on their own because a lot of people can't afford to work with me individually, But if you want to work with me individually, I work in blocks of 15 sessions, and you can reach out to me through my website. You can reach out to me by email, info at renee mckenna dot com, or you can check me out on my website, renee mckenna dot com. And For those who are interested.

This is my sweet [01:12:00] spot now if you're a healer or if you're want to make the world a better place, then you can look into my year long mentorship program where we do our individual work. And then we learn the next iteration of that work, which is how to work safely and effectively and from an empowered place with others to make the world to become a channel.

 For this larger system as it wants to make itself known through you. I do have a lot of therapists and social workers and acupuncturists and energy workers, massage therapists in that program. But I also have people that are in corporate who mentor other people who just, again, know that they're a spiritual person.

They've done a lot of their own inner work and they don't know how to bring the two into an effective way to do that. Mentorship is the flagship. At this point. And we will 

Robyn: have all of these links in our show notes. And I just want to say. From what you started out talking about in our conversation with Marianne Williamson's quote, I'm so grateful for your journey and the fact that now you're making the recipes.

Renee: We're having a pizza [01:13:00] party, Robyn! We're having a pizza party. 

Robyn: And really, thank you for, as I said in the intro, walking the walk, and continuing to walk the walk, and share it with everyone so that we can all have more hope.

And live more fulfilling lives while we're here. So 

Renee: thank you. Robyn, such a pleasure and a gift and blessings on all that you're doing in the world 

Robyn: as well. Thank you. I look forward to working with you more. Please. 

Shamanism, Soul + Power Retrieval: How to Become Whole Again