Guide, empath, embracing power.
Being in the presence of Claire Kenna is instantly soothing. She has this ability to make you feel at ease, to make you feel instantly seen. And therein lies her power to who she is and what she does an energy worker and a spiritual guide. Nothing is forced, nothing seems fake or insincere. It feels as though she is peering into the depths of your soul and is instantly ready to move whatever discomfort that lies within to where it needs to go.
Claire and I met through the wonderful Facebook group Tit for Tat*, where like-minded people trade services, skills and knowledge, without any traditional currency exchanged. I was seeking to do some deeper work into my feminine energy, she was looking for help with her website and social media. It was a connection that was meant to be.
What Claire does completely relies on her empathic nature, which ironically, but unsurprisingly, came from her own personal life-experiences that required her to embark on a self-healing journey. Whilst she has done the necessary training to earn her credibility within western culture, with certifications in Kinesiology, Yoga and Reiki, it is really Claire’s innate intuitive ability that has her sharing unique and authentic offerings within the wellness community.
I thought that life would have become a lot more challenging for someone in Claire’s line of work in recent times. But after participating in a Zoom Shamanic Journey in early May with her, it’s clear that her energy transcends the physical realm. I was keen to chat to her more about working long distance, her perception of the mindfulness and wellness industry boom in Australia, and the challenges of practicing shamanism, in the West.
Claire Kenna is…
Whoa, I’m never ready for this question. Let’s go with I’m a human being, creating myself as I go. I am a very curious soul, a seeker – always on the hunt to uncover and discover more about myself. Essentially this ties into what I do, helping others connect more honestly and truthfully with themselves.
Why do you do what you do and how did you get to the point where you decided, this is what I want to do with my life, this is what I want to give back?
I’m doing the work that I’m doing as a result of my own life experiences. Life is my biggest teacher. I’ve lived completely out of my body, experienced depression, debilitating anxiety and I know the feeling (all too well) of living a life that doesn’t feel like my own. For a long time I was living numb – unable to truthfully connect with my feelings or emotions.
Looking back, I now refer to this time as ‘living dead’. I was alive, but hollow inside. There was no warmth to my internal existence. I am a highly sensitive person, but it took me years to acknowledge that. I didn’t know what personal boundaries were. I would be completely overthrown by other’s energies, and I would take on their energies thinking they were my own. So I was often confused and lacked clarity. I didn’t have any real direction, or purpose. I was like a leaf in the wind, blowing any which way but feeling no sense of control over the direction I was moving.
And then this lightning bolt hit when I had an accident at work where I nearly broke my ankle. I had to take a week off – step off the hamster wheel, and stop. It was during that recovery week, I heard a voice within say ‘Claire, what the fuck are you doing? You can’t do this anymore – you are killing yourself.” I didn’t really understand the depth of that message at the time – in hindsight it was my spirit that was dying, my tank of life-force energy was running out of gas. So I quit my job and booked a ticket to India completely off the cuff. I finally had the chance to stop, breathe and connect with myself spiritually, in a way I had never allowed before. That trip was definitely the spark that ignited what I do now – helping others find their own spiritual connection. When people find that connection, they never feel alone.
Can you tell me about your journey to doing what you do now?
All of my life experiences, up until now– the good, the painful and the divine synchronicities.
I’ve trained in various practices: kinesiology, reiki and yoga. I’ve done a number of mini courses in various energy work. I’ve worked closely with shamans, through initiation and learning practices directly from them. But equally, I value the teachers and teachings that are not so obvious. All the people and experiences that have wounded me – that has taught me how to rebuild my strength from the ground up, and without it, I would never have embarked on the journey of self-healing. And then all of the experiences and people who have taught me to how to trust, who have believed in me when I had no belief in myself – who knew my worth, before I did. This has all taught me about the powerful force of unconditional love more than any book, workshop or training ever could.
Although I’ve learnt a thing or two that I can prove on a piece of paper, it’s really all of my life experiences that have carved and shaped the work that I now offer. I can be with a person and receive information relevant to them. No one, or no training has taught me directly how to do that. It’s been a compilation of many factors. I will say however, the more grounded I am, the more I can access, and the more intuitive I am. Which certainly helps with the work that I do. I focus on grounding daily. It’s like my coffee – I need a daily dose of grounding to function.
I’m guessing it’s probably in your personality and your nature that you can tap into those parts of yourself as well.
I definitely feel the more grounded in your being, the better your ability to be intuitive. The more I have connected with myself, the better my ability to do this work. Your instincts are so sharp when you have a strong sense of self. But I kid you not, we all have the ability to access this power. By nature, we are all deeply intuitive creatures. And sure, sometimes your intuition is buried underneath some rubble – but it’s always there, and always with you.
Can you tell me about energy work that you do – if someone books in with a session with you, what does that involve?
It’s very intuitive with how I approach each individual client and session. But essentially most people come to me wanting to explore their spiritual connection – or they may have something they particularly want to work on, something that they want to shift in their life, or perhaps want more clarity around.
My sessions are rooted in both the esoteric and grounded, practical realms. I use kinesiology to tap into emotions and trauma that is stored their body. This helps identify subconscious themes that are running the show, and causing blockages. I also weave a shamanic element into my work, which allows people to connect with the spiritual forces in their life.
Empowerment is the number one thing I’m about. I’m not here to keep people on the merry-go-round of constant healing. My intention is to support you in accessing your own innate wisdom, so that you can be your greatest intuitive guide.
Why do you think it’s so important that people get to that place?
Because if you’re not empowered, you’re always going to be searching outside of yourself for answers. There’s no comfort in that. I believe people are most fearful of their own power. Because when you are truly in your power, you have to take radical self-responsibility. And that is sometimes hard to swallow. When you have to face yourself truthfully, it takes a gigantic amount of courage. It’s raw, it’s vulnerable, often messy – but down right necessary, if you wish to live an empowered life.
Would you say that people are scared of taking being empowered because then it’s their responsibility if things go wrong or things don’t work out the way they want them to? Because then they don’t have someone to blame.
Yes, definitely. But I also believe people are scared of truth. To stand in truth is tough. It’s tough because you don’t want to admit to things that are unfavourable. You don’t want to feel the icki-ness of your behaviours and actions. People are scared of taking self-responsibility, because then you need to own all of your shit. But taking self-responsibility is empowerment in its most pure form. I want to help people take responsibility for their lives, because if they can’t do that, then they’re always going to be seeking help externally.
When it comes to your shamanic work, have you come across any issues as a woman practicing this work, especially in western culture where it’s quite male dominated?
I’ve not found my gender necessarily to be an issue. I’ve at points felt some judgement around my bloodline – that I don’t have indigenous blood. That’s where I’ve felt more judgment, as opposed to me being a woman.
What have you done to overcome this?
Well, it’s in my nature to give quite a shit about what others think of me. But I realised it’s more about peoples perception of what something should be. I don’t claim to be a Shaman, I work with shamanic practices. And the practice of shamanism didn’t originate in western culture, like anything that derives from ancient origin. Yoga is an ancient eastern practice that has been adopted by the West. Shamanism is no different – it’s just not as widely accepted here, like yoga is.
Give it time though, we’ll soon see the roots of shamanism become more embraced in the West. I always come from a place of integrity with my work, and I truly feel that I am meant to be sharing what I am. It comes way too naturally, and I understand the sacredness of my ceremonial and shamanic work on a level that I have not ever been taught.
It’s about knowing your value.
Yeah, it’s coming back to our sovereignty. I call what I do shamanic so that it can be somewhat identifiable. But shamanism isn’t as such a practice, rather a way of life. Indigenous tribes for tens of thousands of years have lived in a shamanic way. They live in a connected relationship with everything that exists – the earth, the cosmos and the void. They understand that we are part of a much bigger and expansive web. There is something so sacred in the way they live life, they live with a deep reverence for life. So shamanism for me is about coming back to that really grounded but connected state of being. It’s a way of life that connects you with the totality of creation – the seen (physical realms) and the unseen (spirit realms).
Part of your offering are cacao ceremonies – did that just come naturally as part of your work and what would people expect if they came to a ceremony conducted by you?
I was first introduced to pure ceremonial cacao in South America ten years ago. It was years later that I moved into the spiritual industry, and it was then that I learnt directly from a Shamanic Practitioner here in Victoria, Renee McCready. Everyone uses cacao differently, but for me it’s very supportive for spiritual based work. On a physiological level, cacao is a vasodilator – meaning your blood vessels and muscular systems relax. Cacao increases your blood flow, so more life blood (vital life force energy) is moving through your body and nourishing all of your systems. It’s these properties in cacao that allow more opening and connectedness within self to occur.
I mainly work with cacao to access our emotional body. I’m a big believer that we’re all holding repressed emotions, and when we do, they manifest as bad behaviour, unfavourable patterns, or physical illness. So my real drive and inspiration behind these ceremonies is to offer a space for people to be fully present with themselves, so they can be with the truth that resides in their body.
The wellness industry has obviously exploded in Australia over the last 10 or so years. How do you see the industry and how would you talk to people about it who are a bit sceptical about its value?
Like any other industry, there is certainly duality to the wellness one. I do believe some are lacking integrity. And the problem with this is you’re working with people who are very vulnerable, which can cause a lot of damage. It’s a dangerous position to be in, if you’re seeking outside of yourself you often give your power away, and some people can abuse that. There can be a lot of power play in this industry.
My general advice: if something or someone feels off, then most likely it is. Trust yourself. And if anyone seems to exert power over you in a controlling or domineering way, then politely turn away or run in the opposite direction. That’s just not right. I think trust the people that make you come back to your own sense of self and empowerment. There are also many people in this industry doing good work, and the industry is going to continue to grow.
Obviously times have changed a lot in the last couple of months, especially for someone in your field, where most of the work you do is in person, because you are relying on feeling people’s energy. How are you adapting and how does the next of couple of months look for you?
Yeah, good question. I feel lucky I can put my stuff up online and I can do my energy reads. Energy is everything. And it doesn’t matter whether we connect in the virtual realm or in person, I can still get the same accurate information.
I’m going to be doing a lot more online and I really am excited about that because I feel that there’s so much possibility with that. Also I get to meet and work with people that I would never have been able to before. Obviously there are some wellness jobs that can’t do that, but I’m very lucky I can.
Looking forward, what does the next 12 months look like for you? What exciting things have you got coming up?
I want to focus on more educational based stuff. I’m currently working on some online courses and workshops that will teach people more about energy, and tools for empowerment.
I feel like there’s been a creative doorway that’s opened since this all blew up for me. People have to think outside the box and go, okay, well I can’t do what I was doing, but what can I do instead? What’s different? What will excite me? I am a person that’s learned to trust the process, so I’ll see where it takes me.
To take the journey with Claire, visit https://www.clairekennaenergy.com/