Interview with Erin Telford
As I finish up with designing the Many Moons Workbook 2017 : Vol 1, I want to take the time to highlight the inspiring contributors to this project. It is a major honor to ask people you admire and respect to create something and have them accept and share their knowledge and gifts. This workbook is a million times better by including the expertise of the assorted writers—many who have years, if not decades of experience in healing modalities, the mystical, and self-development.
Erin Telford contributed a beautiful exercise and ritual for the April New Moon.
Erin was one of the first people I started following on Instagram without knowing personally and it felt like kind of a big deal for me to do so. (Yes I'm an old lady who doesn't really know how to use the internet/social media.) Her posts were so inspirational I knew I needed a daily dose of it in my life. From afar I've admired her work and her honesty. I knew I needed to include her in this edition of the workbook.
Erin Telford believes your light is just as informative and valuable as your shadow and holds space for both. Her mission is to help people heal their relationships with themselves. She pulls from a toolbox of therapeutic conversation, lifestyle and spiritual counseling, essential oils, crystals, mantra and other healing tools. She is a healer, acupuncturist, herbalist and Reiki Master and leads individual and group Breathwork sessions. She was recently featured in Refinery 29 as one of “6 Women Who Are Redefining Wellness in New York City.” She is also a regular contributor to The Numinous online magazine. Erin’s private practice is located in Chelsea in New York City.
I'm beyond thrilled for you to read our interview here, and for her contribution to the workbook!
Can you please describe the various aspects of your practice and how they all work together?
The parts of my practice are becoming a lot more fluid and that’s been really fun for me. I have three main types of healing that I practice-acupuncture, Reiki and Breathwork. They all begin with coaching and therapeutic conversation and heart listening. I’m beginning to blend some of the healing together and things are really changing as I evolve and see what people need. Some people really need their energy and their organs and the systems of their body to be stronger. Some people really need to break out of conditioning and emotional patterns. Some people really need to be held and nurtured and rest and have me in the room with them. It all depends on the person and the day and what is going on for them. I encourage people to check in with their intuition and decide what they need the most.
You are a very honest and open person on the internet. Does that come naturally to you? Are there parts of your life that feel off-limits to social media or the internet?
It does come naturally, probably partly because I’m a Sag. I’m honest and revealing and always have a lot of opinions. It’s also a result of learning to value myself enough to allow myself to take up space and be seen. I felt silenced for a long time and got it in my head and heart that I was too much and needed to shrink. I can’t do that anymore for the health of my spirit so I speak up for me and for anyone else who has felt or still feels small. I share myself to be inclusive and loving and chip away at the loneliness and isolation that so many people feel. It doesn’t cost me anything emotionally to talk about depression or addiction or insecurity. They are my thoughts and feelings so if anyone feels like they need to criticize me or push back on me, that is their issue rather than mine. No one can truly take issue with how I feel because it’s how I feel. Our emotions and history are not a point of negotiation for others on social media. They are what they are. I just keep telling the truth about me and I thankfully receive so much kindness and love and support for it. I’ve finally realized that my vulnerability is not only a very special piece of who I am but it’s also really helpful for others that it doesn’t come as easily to. If I can make expressing feelings and talking about myself in an open way look easy, then maybe other people will feel more comfortable telling the truth about their lives too.
There are definitely parts of me that I don’t share. I have a rich and complex internal world as we all do. Some things are just for me. Usually the weirder, more fantastical stuff, or the in process stuff, or the grimy stuff stays in my heart until it makes more sense. It’s important for me to be emotionally responsible and not ever dump my emotions on my IG page or share from a place of needing validation and attention.
I like to share with a light but passionate heart when it feels right.
You are someone who seems to be constantly learning. How do you decide what to focus on there? What are some recent teachings you've integrated into your current practice helping and working to heal others?
I just follow my curiosity! My whole life is self-study so sometimes I’m researching things I need for my own healing. Sometimes I’m just poking around and seeing what grabs my interest. I love learning and have been obsessed with books since I could read. I still have a library card and get almost all my books from there because I read so much. With healing work, if I experience something and it blows my mind, I want to learn it so I can share it with other people. That’s how Reiki and Breathwork came into my life. A recent teaching that I’m enjoying working with is really simple but fun. When we are working with our intuition, my teacher David always says “make it up” when we get too in our heads and lose our connection to our inner knowing. I’ve been seeing a lot of clients who have a lot of ideas about who they are supposed to be, what they are supposed to feel, what kind of a job they are supposed to have, etc. All of these “shoulds” run totally against what their spirit wants and needs and desires. I am having a great time encouraging people to “make it up.” Your life, your rules. Of course, taking into account decency and respect for humanity but other than that—we could all be throwing all "shoulds" and b.s. social conditioning out the window and having a lot more fun!
What are your other interests?
How do you connect the dots between your other interests?
Right now I’m working with my expression. I’ve been taking voice lessons since last fall and it’s been really intense and really tough for me. I basically go to my lesson and cry for an hour and make a few sounds in between tears. It’s been a huge heart healing for me and it’s been clearing my throat chakra to help me speak (hmmm, maybe tied to ease with internet honesty?), write, and ultimately share my heart with less obstruction.
I’m working with tuning forks now and toning as a daily practice to really open up the highway between my heart and third eye. I’m bringing dance back into my life too because I need some more fluid and sensual movement in my life. Other than that, I love taking care of my plants, making playlists for my Breathwork groups and decorating my home and office spaces.
What is your current favorite time of the moonth? What do you do around that that makes it so?
I’m loving the fertile, dark, quiet vibe of the dark of the moon right now. It really matches the descent into fall/winter for me and feels really ripe and mysterious. Tonight I’m working into the energy with a Breathwork circle. Other than that, I just burrow into it and feel it!
What was your experience writing for the book, what do you hope that readers take away from this project, or your piece?
I loved writing for the book! I felt such a reverence and respect for what you’ve created so far that I really wanted it to be GOOD. I draw from the book all year as many of my sisters do and it felt important to give back something of value that felt useful. I hope that whoever reads my piece feels a little spark of revolution inside and lets themselves grab a little more freedom and make up their own rules!
Photo by Piotr Redlinkski
Name one thing: writer/poet/singer/park/theory/hair product etc. that you are super jazzed on at the moment.
I just got back from Ojo Caliente in New Mexico and it was one of the trippiest experiences I have ever had. These are natural hot springs on sacred land and the feeling of being in a healing vortex is palpable. I went with one of my best friends and we spent the day soaking in pools with iron, soda, lithia and other minerals. We coated ourselves with mud and dried in the sun. It was otherworldly. We prayed and meditated the entire time and let the elements work on us and with us. Pure magic.
Pre-order the Many Moons Workbook here.