When something unexpected happens in our lives, just like in the movies, everyone and everything seems to freeze, and the soundtrack playing in the background stops abruptly with the sound of a needle across vinyl.
A record scratch.
It is inevitable that we will all experience “record scratch” moments in our lives. These big, disruptive moments require resiliency to move forward with our lives, for we are never the same.
My record scratch moment was when my son Jake died in a car accident on February 19, 2022. He was 16. That fateful day completely disrupted my life and only recently I have rediscovered my voice.
Trauma recovery is not a D-I-Y situation. I am surrounded by a team of amazing humans who continue to help me along my healing journey. A few of these very important individuals have already been guests on my podcast, Finding Joy with Kara (see Iva Nasr, Charles Crenshaw, Jr., and Graehm Hall episodes).
Authenticity is greatly important to me — so all of my featured guests are individuals who walk their talk.
Trauma encompasses a vast spectrum. There’s no competition and no judgment as we speak about varying topics including generational trauma, grief, PTSD, and what we can do to heal our wounds and be better humans.
Please follow me on social media and subscribe to this podcast. @karakavensky on IG, TikTok, FB, Twitter
Intuitive healer Melanie Ericksen joins Kara to explore how Melanie facilitates turning our wounds into wisdom and enables us to live a joy-filled life! Melanie shares a few of her own Record Scratch moments and how we express trauma (including grief) within our bodies.
Melanie provides a long list of tips on what we can do to heal ourselves from trauma and be better versions of ourselves — so prepare to take notes!
Melanie Ericksen: https://www.melanieericksen.com/ IG: @ericksen.melanie FB: Melanie Ericksen
Kara Kavensky: https://karakavensky.com/ @karakavensky FB, IG, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok
For more related episodes, check out: Finding Joy with Kara, Episode 8 with Author, Documentarian, Performer Betsy B. Murphy
Receive updates on Kara’s new memoir release, Finding Joy, https://karakavensky.com/
Sponsored by: Adam Gibson Design https://www.adamgibson.com/
Produced by: Marilou Marosz
Original music written and performed by: Adam Gibson
Thank you for joining me on Record Scratch. Today, my guest is intuitive healer Melanie Erickson. Melanie is a healer’s healer. This is how she was described to me by my friend Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy. Melanie’s resume and credentials are so extensive, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, certifications and trainings, that it’s simply best to review her background on your own, because we could take up this entire podcast discussing her education. However, I can boil it down to this. Melanie’s passion is working with emotions held within the body and releasing them to help people heal. and I can state from personal experience that she is fulfilling her soul’s purpose. In this interview, we discussed the powerful impact that record scratch moments have upon our healing. We also explore Melanie’s personal experiences with grief and how she helps guide others through their own healing journeys. Enjoy.
Melanie Erickson, thank you so much for joining me on Record Scratch. You are a very meaningful person in my life. Right after Jake died, a dear friend of mine referred me to you. And I love speaking with you. I love working with you. And I would love for you to share how do you define being an intuitive healer?
Well, Kara, thank you so much for having me today. And I really am so honored to be here. I call myself an intuitive healer. And I guess how I would define that is I really help and guide people in taking their life experiences and turning them into rocket fuel or turning their wounds into wisdom. So it’s helping people access that inner essence and coming from a place where we’re co-creative, they’ll come to me, say, for example, if it’s grief, that they’re experiencing or a big life challenge where they feel stuck or see a pattern that they’re repeating in a relationship as an example. We’ll put that intention into this session And then I also use the process of my five principles of healing where we tune in and listen to the wisdom of the body and really witness what your soul wants you to know that’s going on and we can release that energy from your system and that creates an opening. So my intuitive healing practice really is helping other people and guiding them on their journey of their life experiences. And it doesn’t always have to be trauma, like deep, deep seated trauma. It can just really be the life challenges as well. What am I learning as a soul from this? And how can it relate to my growth in my life? And really what I love is that each session is an organic experience. And a theme always comes through for people. And then I also see that as a collective theme for most people that I work with. And a lot of us are going through the same things at this time or life.
I love the description you just gave, especially the wounds into wisdom. That is incredibly profound. I knew when Jake died that I wanted to put myself through kind of a healing bootcamp, knowing that I was not going to ever get over losing my son, I wanted to get into a place of peace about it as much as I could, as fast as I could, because being in that state of profound grief was too much. I didn’t want to be there long, and I didn’t want to dishonor my feelings also. and I knew it was not a DIY situation. And you have tremendously helped me along my healing journey. And I know that we all go through record scratch moments. We all experienced them at varying degrees. And I would be honored if you would share one or any significant record scratch moments that you’ve experienced.
Well, I believe I’ve already told you how I love how records scratch captures the energy of those moments in our life where we’re not really going to be the same, whether it’s injury or an accident, whether it’s a profound aha moment where you have this divine in our guidance or the profound grief like the loss of Jake or the loss of my only sibling. So suddenly, And the one that’s coming to me to share kind of in regard to the record scratch of what got me into following my path as an intuitive healer. And I think the record scratch moment was when I had a healing crisis, I’m going to call it, and when I was 30, and I stopped getting my cycle. And I knew on the deepest intuitive level, Kira, that it had an emotional component to it. I hadn’t studied that much of anything. I mean, I was always a growth seeker, but instead of taking this medicine that made me so sleepy and dizzy, and even with the doctor telling me I could go blind if I don’t take it, I decided to go on this record scratch healing journey. And I studied with shamans and became a Reiki master and my own healing journey through cranial sacral and psychotherapy and breath work and everything really is the foundation of the work that I do today. And another record scratch moment I had was being in the bathtub after I went to Costa Rica. Little did I know I would be processing grief there from the loss of my first husband. We had spent a lot of time in Costa Rica in the 90s and I came back and I’m in the bathtub And I hear, here’s your five principles of healing, Melanie. And it was such a moment, you know? And I’m like, wait a minute, I’m in a bathtub! So I of course asked my guides to help me remember. But that was over 10 years ago. So I feel that by listening to our inner wisdom and our intuition, these record scratch moments have led me on a path where I really feel like I’m living my purpose and loving what I do. And it encourages me to stay curious, or like you did, you jumped right in and you’re like, I don’t wanna live in this exhaustive energy of grief. I’m gonna take this woundedness from the loss of my beloved son and use it as wisdom. And we’re talking about it today and hopefully really helping others have those moments of deep awareness and having the courage to heal and do the inner work.
Well, I think courage is a big part of it because one of the foundational elements of being able to heal is accepting responsibility for your healing, which is huge and knowing that it’s possible, which is another major milestone that can be difficult, I think, to accept. And once someone has those two elements in their back pocket, like, look, I’m going to do this. I know I can. I know it’s possible. Then that opens up someone to that experience, to where it’s not going to be an easy road, but yet they know that there is a destination that is better than where they’re standing right now.
So well said. And having the courage to really listen and witness, wounds really do have to be witnessed to heal. Just process the energy that has been created by this life event. You can really use it for your greatest purpose and path forward. And I truly believe that it is a cliche. Everything happens for a reason. But if I can look at it that way and go through the healing journey in the healing process, then usually on the other side is the sense of freedom and even joy, right? I mean, joy and happiness is so important in living our lives fully.
Well, it’s the whole purpose of life, isn’t it? Is to find happiness, to find joy. And I certainly addressed that in my first memoir.
Right, finding joy, exactly, in your memoir, exactly. And it’s not spiritually bypassing. And one of the things on my grief journey, Kara, that was really difficult for me is that I feel very deeply. It’s like my superpower and being an intuitive healer. And I could just feel how uncomfortable other people felt with my sorrow and my grief. When my kid brother passed and that I was taking too long or all of these different things I got to experience and go through and hold that point of light. So that other, it’s like giving people permission. Hey, you don’t have to go through five stages.
The grief is not linear.
It’s its own animal.
Let’s honor how it shows up for each and every one of us.
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So how has the work that you do and helping others, how has this work helped you and what has been tremendously useful, helpful, game changing in your life as you are not only a healer but obviously have gone through your own healing. I love that you walk your talk. And what are the tools or processes that you find to be tremendously valuable in your own practice?
I always tell my clients, you know what? I am doing this work right beside you. And guess what? We’re never done. And that’s OK. Stay curious. I had a record scratch moment this morning. I woke up to a call that my beloved iconic aunt had passed away last night and I was actually planning on traveling across the state to see her tomorrow. And some of the tools that you asked me about using like right away, because I knew I was going to be on with you. And I kind of looked at it almost like a wink from her. She would be that playful if she was going like, okay, you can talk about me on your record scratch podcast interview, because I had the tools where I journaled and I process my feelings and I reach out. I moved my body today. I went down to the beach and I meditated. I spent some time in nature. Nature was one of my greatest healers when I did not know what to do with my feelings and I was having all that anxiety and panic through the grief process. So, and a movement is definitely medicine, honoring how we feel, being witnessed by another, reaching out, all of these tools was kind of the groundwork that I have used in holding space for people that I work with and I’m meant to help. Because we really can’t take someone where we haven’t been, right And so the life experiences that I have been through, I take those into my healing work every day and hold the space so that I can guide other people in doing the same.
First of all, I’m wrapping you in love from afar around the loss of your dear aunt. And I’m honored that you are in a state where we didn’t reschedule and I would have completely understood if we did that based on what you are now facing. And as you use these tools and recommend these to the people that you work with and then addressing at a cellular level wounds and where have you discovered through your work and through training and your your experience and resume is extensive. It’s we’ll have to link to it because we could talk all day about all of the experiences and degrees that you’ve earned throughout your life and all of it seems to be just a perfect foundation for what you do today as a as a healer?
Yes, I have a master’s degree and all of these things, mainly what my education
and everything has been, has been following the inner wisdom, my next yes in my life, like, okay, this feels right. Or there wasn’t a place for me really when I was trying to find something to major in in college, but breaking my foot on the boat, having an injury, led me to becoming a Reiki Master, talking about my record moments of knowing there was something emotional going on in my feminine body. Like I’ve been this tall since I’ve been 12, I used to hide myself. So I was hiding that femininity. This is why I tell people to pay attention to their patterns, and their beliefs and be curious and bring them up, let the subconscious bring them up and get them up and out of your body because they have messages for you. They have wisdom for you. And if you have that courage and tenacity to dive in a little bit deeper, then it’ll lead you to that next pearl, that next gem. That’s really kind of how I’ve lived my life and my degree. So grateful for them. And they’ve been part of my journey. But it’s not where I started, you know, I’ve kind of done everything a little bit backwards in that way. And it makes it more fun. Makes the healing process more fun.
That’s, that’s a really positive spin on that.
The reason I’m sitting here with my aunt Dolly, she had 30 million views of being a dancer almost at 90. And that’s what I really want to take into my self is her legacy. So there’s all different ways we can spend things, right? Feel into them. And that’s going to be part of my healing journey with her is embracing what she taught me. So I think I’m feeling more of that today, Kara, than that record scratch moment. We can coexist with grief and the joy. they can both coexist.
I think that there’s such a raw vulnerability when you’ve lost someone close to you, whether it’s a son, a parent, a spouse, an aunt, an uncle, a friend, anyone in your life. And those moments are dominantly fueled because you loved them?
And the love that you feel for that person, which can make it exponentially more difficult. And when my daughter is my oldest of my three, Jake was my youngest. And when my daughter was born, I remember thinking I had no idea what love was until this little human entered my life. And she expanded my capacity for love exponentially. And I have lost prior to Jake, a couple friends, but in my family, grandparents, but when Jake died, it was profound. Like it exponentially shattered my understanding of what grief was. It has defined it. and finding some gratitude in that has been a gift, I think. And in this process, our mutual friend who connected us, six months later, she lost her son. And I thought, oh my gosh, at least she has the tools. She knows you. And when you said some people are uncomfortable with it or don’t know what to say, I mean, that can be a whole thing on how you show up for people and show that you care. But having gone through, I think the extremes of love, I would say, from the birth of a child to losing a child, there’s a lot of feels in there. So how do you help people with that overwhelm?
There are so many feels in there. And you know, there’s that quote, “The deeper you love, the deeper you grieve.” And I have such a huge body of work. I never had a child, but my brother was like my child and I call it unimaginable grief. Just in a sense like you can’t grasp it. It is the journey. So how I help people is giving ourselves permission to just love yourself right where you are at and then process what comes up because grief opens up these record scratch moments like the loss of your son, the loss of Betsy’s son, it’s like the loss of my brother. It’s like those moments open up, I’m going to say our souls, we burst open and everything can come to the surface. And it’s different for all of us. Whatever comes up, we just hold that in reverence to be looked at and to be held and to be given the time that it needs. You know, there is no time and space. It just is. And that’s where going back to turning wounds into wisdom and staying in that place of willingness. It does shift. So the most important thing is not to compare ourselves. Like it is our own sacred journey.
I had worked so hard at releasing trauma associated with my first marriage and releasing the narcissistic emotional abuse I had experienced. And I’d worked so hard at releasing that and I’d been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of that. And then just as things are going really great, then Jake dies in a car accident. And it’s been over a year since he passed in February of last year. And I could write, but I couldn’t really talk. And it took me this long to rediscover my voice. I moved through this process, you mentioned you thought it was kind of fast. And I just really was intentional with therapies and seeing you and wanting to get to a place that wasn’t so uncomfortable, but yet honored everything.
It’s a beautiful example of how healing is cumulative. And that’s why when you heal your childhood wounds, when you heal that trauma or address a life experience that you know you haven’t really taken a look at, when you heal that narcissistic marriage, it was cumulative. So when Jake passed, you already had like your body remembers, you had that strength, if that makes sense, you had that openness, that extra energy. And that observation of what felt fast for you is because I had a different experience, right? And both of our experiences were sacred because there is no time and space really. I mean, there is, but there’s not. One of the things that amazes me is I still have clients that work with me every month. From my New York City practice, I had 12 years ago. So it’s not just about clearing out our wounds, but we have life challenges all the time. And when we keep our finger on the pulse of them, right, and we keep clearing that energy and moving forward and opening to what is next for us, then when we have these major record scratches, kind of have that soul strength to support us a little more, if that makes sense.
Absolutely. I firmly agree that all of this is cumulative or just the remembrance of, “I don’t like that feeling. I don’t want to feel like that again.” Or, “I’ve felt like this or a shadow of it before.” And I think when you’re talking about trauma, there’s a whole spectrum of trauma. And it’s not a competition and it’s not a place for judgment. And I know that people have experienced far worse than you and I have in their life. But just having that reverence for that, to honor their feelings and that space to not diminish what you’re feeling. because it’s very personal and difficult. What are the key takeaways that you would like listeners to have from knowing about you and the work that you do?
First of all, I just feel so honored to do the work that I do, that if we can stay curious, right, and use our record scratches as rocket fuel, or like you said that, how you just didn’t want to have that feeling. That was your inner wisdom giving you that nudge to move it out and pay attention to that and not to be afraid to do the inner work. This is what really sets us free and to tune in and listen to what wants to be cared for from our body, from our heart, for our soul and be willing to do the inner work. Okay, I’m showing up. I’m going to do it. It really helps us to shine our light and follow our path and do what our souls are meant to do, you know, showing up, doing the inner work so that you can really access that authenticity of yourself, of your soul, and that it doesn’t always have to be heavy lifting. It can be uncomfortable, but that it can be opening and freeing.
I love that. What are you most proud of?
That’s such a big question, but I feel like I’m really proud of my tenacity and my courage and my willingness to do my inner work. So not that only it serves me, but when we take care of ourselves, everybody wins. I’ve been just a growth seeking being. I just remember since I was 14 years old, I just knew that I was meant to do something along the lines of using my life experiences to help and guide others to heal. I’m just really proud of how I show up and I’m willing to face it so that I can go to my next level and serve others. I’m proud of that.
I love this. That is the best answer. That is such a great answer.
Tenacity, courage to do the inner work. When we take care of ourselves, everyone wins and be a growth seeking being. I think we should have t-shirts that say growth seeker.
I love it. That would be great. That’s what I have on my newsletter. Dear Grove Seeker, you know, I mean, that’s it. My mom’s like, “Why are you always working on yourself?” I’m like, “You know what, mom?” She said that to me in my 30s.
I said,, “I’m a Growth Seeker. I’m adventurous. I like to dive deep. You know, feeling deep is my superpower. I’ve got to do something with it. Let me help and serve others.”
I think that’s a really thoughtful answer to your mom because for her to ask that you that, you could have said, “Well you raised me! I’ve got a lot of work to do!”
Oh my gosh, I know! I have to stay in my lane. Kara if we don’t address our emotional stuff I honestly believe it settles in our body and it becomes bio-symbiotic, right? It can be challenging but it can also be like sense of adventure. And I think we will make some shirts that say growth-seeking being.
Absolutely love it.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Melanie. Such a pleasure privilege to speak with you. I’m so grateful that you’re in my life and I just sincerely appreciate you spending the time to speak with me today.
Kara, I’m really excited about finding joy and really using this podcast is a way of
kind of shining the light on how to look at those times in our life differently. So thank you for your courage and I’ve really been an honor to be here.
Thank you so much.
Melanie encourages us to leverage our record scratch moments as rocket fuel for our healing. Find a support group or therapist to talk about your grief and trauma.
Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, especially if it’s uncomfortable. Explore somatic release techniques like movement, exercise, tears and sound to help dissipate grief. Journaling is also a positive outlet and she encourages us to practice courage, acceptance and curiosity; and to be a growth seeker.
Thank you so much for listening.
Record Scratch is produced by the incredible Marilou Marosz.
Original music written and performed by Adam Gibson.