Jody Hagedorn is a larger than life, loving earth-mama presence in the lives of many in the Chippewa Valley. She is unapologetically herself and in being so, she has helped many to find the courage to live authentically within their own skin as well. This glimpse is about seeing and honoring spirit everywhere. It is less of a glimpse really and more of a panoramic feast for the soul.
What does the word “spirit” mean to you Jody?
It is who I am and who you are. It exists everywhere. Spirituality is not something that I do or practice; rather it is who I am. It is awareness all around and within me. Church is wherever I am. It is the river where I walk and the airport where I travel. It is in the people I meet. Over years of evolving and unfolding, “wow” moments and quiet grace, I understand that spirit cannot be separated from life. Why would we want it to be?
You are considered a holistic mama to many who know you. You offer warm hugs, smiles and nourishment to all you meet. You have also been hosting regular bonfires gatherings at your home for years. Can you tell us about those?
We grew up having bonfires after we spent the day boating on the river. It was just what we did. When Facebook started about five years ago, we began to put an invitation out to all friends and friends of friends for these bonfires.
We taught simple ways to create a fire out of what we had. It turned into full moon and new moon bonfires as well as solstice and equinox bonfire celebrations and just as quickly, it became a wonderful community.
Sometimes it is 5 people who gather and other times, 55. It is a form of church for many who come. Spirit is present there within the gathering of light-hearted people. There is a palpable inner peace there. Everyone brings their favorite dish to pass and I make healthy popcorn with white kernel corn, butter, olive oil and sea salt. Beyond the food, these gatherings are nourishing for the soul. It is comforting for all who come. There is no judgment. There is a sense of freedom. We used to do introductions but the group got too big. There is time to meet, mingle and network and pockets of people form and connect. Everyone seems to get exactly what he or she needs from our time together sitting around the fire.
I love to be a mama everywhere I am. I love the expanded love I feel from hugging and loving others. It feeds me and it nourishes others. After everyone leaves, a vibration of love lingers. Bonfires allow a re-charging of sorts for me too. I can always tell when it’s time to schedule the next one!
How did you come to be the holistic healing deva that you are today Jody?
That is a great question! I now lovingly refer to myself as a holistic DEVA (divinely empowered vivaciously aligned). People often assume these days that I have always been how I am today. However, like so many of my clients over the years, this journey began with an issue in my life that was so radically out of balance, I began to seek answers out of sheer desperation. I was desperate to wake up out of a form of coma. I had forgotten my power and the beautiful healing potential innate in the human body. I believe I now relate well to others because I have been there, I have gone thru the struggle to awaken and remember that power.
I delivered my second child via C-section in 1985. While recovering, I developed a serious staph infection. I was really out of tune with my body. I ended up in isolation in the hospital due to this infection. I felt ashamed and did not know how to heal myself. Over the ensuing months, I lost 40 pounds really fast and was placed on nine different antibiotics in attempt to kick this infection. Nothing seemed to be working.
Six months after my second son was born I happened to see an article in the paper from a reflexologist and RN named David McCampbell. This article showed a ‘map’ of the feet claiming there are parts relating to each organ system and gland. I was a bit skeptical there was anything in my foot pertaining to my uterus, but I thought, “what the heck! It can only help at this point.”
He was offering his services, so I scheduled a session. During this visit it became very obvious there was something very special about reflexology. I tear up even now when I remember how amazed I was that my body had this incredible healing potential.
Unable to afford ongoing sessions, I asked if there was a possibility of me learning the technique. Although my training was as a dental assistant, traditional medical routes were failing me. With his blessing I went to the local library and got a VHS tape and a 2-page pamphlet on reflexology. Can you believe that?
Bless everyone’s feet that came into my lap after that as I was a reflexologist! This was not in my life plan. I had always loved taking care of people however and people loved being pampered and having their feet rubbed. Over the years, there was a slow integration of holistic practices into our family. Years later I took all the required classes and became certified as a reflexologist.
My journey over the years continued to expand my healing modalities. My toolbox now includes essential oils, raindrop therapy, reiki master training and teaching, emotional freedom technique, access consciousness and over time, a deepening of my own intuition. All of these healing modalities seek to nurture people and offers them the chance to awaken to their own beauty and power. When a client walks in now, I listen and attempt to mirror back their truth. Really we all know our next steps; I simply echo that back to you and let you know it is safe to move forward.
What one thing do you love to remind people of during healing sessions?
Hmmm- I think I come back to the idea that- it is ok to be big. It is ok to claim our power. Living large and being who you are is ok. It is more than ok actually; it is why we are here! At times during my life I have tried to quiet my “bigness” but you know what? It doesn’t work. I get really sick when I try to be someone other than myself. And so do you. I have witnessed it thousands of times over the years with my dear clients!
There is a fear in claiming our own power. Yet, there is only one of you with that thumbprint, those eyes, that name and gifts you are here to claim and share. I love talking people thru the worse case scenario of what would happen if they did in fact claim their own power.
I ask questions like: “What are the limiting fears? “ and “Do you remember what it feels like to live in joy and ease?” These questions almost always make people uncomfortable. I then ask them to look back to a time in childhood when they were joy-filled and at ease. Little kids do this naturally- uninhibited and squealing with joy.
What you did when you were a child is a clue to your power. I encourage people to follow that thread and stay with that. It is who we are. You can go to school and do all the things society says you probably should. Yet if you stay true to what you wanted to do in kindergarten, you are probably on the right track. I wanted to be a mother and a teacher.
This work can get serious. I like to bring joy and fun into this transformative work. By being me, I allow others to be themselves.
And what advice would you offer to yourself all those years ago prior to beginning this healing odyssey?
Remember that what you are seeking is not outside of you. It is within you.
Feel safe enough to look inside and be ok to ask for help from positive people who support your journey. All the answers are there. The people you meet are a simple reflection of that. Everyone you meet, every experience you have is in divine order. It is all spirit. Drink it in.
Connect with Jody for a nourishing and life changing healing session by contacting her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-834-0883 or head on over to her Facebook page and connect: https://www.facebook.com/JodyHagedorn/timeline