About Rev Michelle Wood

Shellie Wood in Bend OR February 23, 2013

Shellie Wood in Bend OR February 23, 2013

2010 rang in many life-changes:

In January, my son got married;

February, my grandson was born;

March, my father died at age 92;

April, my 38-year marriage ended in divorce;

August, my son and his family moved out of state;

September, I moved out of my house and into my first-ever apartment all by myself!

October, I had my first spiritual-physical experience singing kirtan.

December, I experienced a powerful initiation into mysticism.

 

My early life was filled with conflict. As the eldest child of a manic-depressive mother who rejected both me and my younger brother, and an unavailable father, after decades of low self-esteem I matured into the unconscious belief that I was pretty darn helpless.

 

I was bullied through several years of elementary school, suicidal through one year of middle school, and never sought help due to the un-supportive home environment and feelings of unworthiness.

 

At age 14, I had my first mystical experience, waking one morning not knowing how or why but absolutely certain in the knowledge that everything in my life would be all right. I found spirituality that day, but it continued to lay dormant for many years after.

 

I married at age 18 and divorced at age 57. We have one wonderful son together who, today, is an amazing father in his own right. In no way do I blame my ex-husband for our break-up. Indeed, forgiveness is an integral part of the path toward healing. All I will say about my marriage is that my negative beliefs about myself attracted the partner who would verify and nourish every single one of them. It wasn’t until I outgrew all the negative beliefs that I was able to release the partner also.

 

In part, my personal turn-around began in 1999 when I spent the next six years working as a Teaching Assistant in a residential treatment program for emotionally disturbed girls age 10 to 14. The job description included attending weekly group therapy sessions for approximately three hours per week. Nothing beats ‘on-the-job’ training, and I received quite an education in counseling with over 500 hours of group-therapy experience as an adult supervisor. My counseling experience continued in 2010 – 2011 when I co-facilitated Stepping Stones to Joy, a weekly grief-recovery and transitions group.

 

My whole-hearted belief in alternative wellness led me to study online, and I received a Holistic Relaxation Therapist degree from Natural Health Institutes in 2005.

 

Between 2006 and October of 2012, as well as teaching and leading practices which helped people attain physical, mental, and spiritual wellness, I continued learning more about self-awareness, awakening consciousness, and devotional practices from both hemispheres, East and West.

 

From 2006 to 2011 I offered a variety of alternative wellness classes in Bend, Oregon, from belief work and writing affirmations to meditation to qigong. I worked with private students as well as teaching group classes through educational and wellness organizations such as Central Oregon Community College and St Charles Health System. I also enjoyed participating in many Healing Fairs during this time in addition to writing monthly or bi-monthly mind-body wellness articles for the former Qi Dao Newsletter which evolved in 2011 into the online e-zine Yang Sheng. I also served as an associate editor.

 

From November of 2008 to June of 2009, I attended monthly workshops in Bend, OR with Christian Mystic Elle Collier Re of INEI-RE located in Hood River, OR. I also spent a week with her in a workshop held at her HeartGate Sanctuary in Hood River right after Christmas in 2011. Elle became my mentor, my very dear friend and spiritual sister, and we stay in touch, especially when she holds a weekend workshop here in Boise as she did in November 2013!

 

In January of 2008, I was accepted onto the Board of the non-profit Spiritual Awareness Community of Central Oregon. Starting in April of 2008, I also worked as the Administrative Assistant, read “one person office manager,” handling all the accounting, speaker booking, and miscellaneous day-to-day operations. I held both positions until March 30, 2011 when I left to pursue other interests.

 

On April 20, 2011, I became an ordained minister through Universal Life Church in order to complete my training as a spiritual counselor.

 

Several extraordinary experiences while singing kirtan, the Hindu devotional practice also called Bhakti Yoga, led me to study the healing effects of of sound and vibration. I started singing with the Oregon-based Bend Kirtan Community on Mahashivaratri (the Great Night of Shiva) in February 2009 and my last “performance” with them was also Mahashivaratri in March 2013 just before I moved to Boise, ID. From September 2011 to September 2012, I held a weekly nada yoga Sanskrit chanting practice in my home with a group who loved the practice and was sad to see it discontinued.

 

In October of 2012, I undertook a pilgrimage to India. A single woman traveling alone, my sojourn began at Kalimath in north India, a temple complex in the Himalayan foothills, and culminated at Prasanthi Nilayam, the Sathya Sai Baba ashram in south India visiting some of India’s most sacred temples and cities in between. You may learn more about that on the Pilgrimage To India page .

 

2012 12 24 Shellie at Prasanthi Nilayam ashram in Puttaparthi India - adjusted and sharpened 10-9-13

 

Someone recently asked on Facebook, “If you could have your own theme song, what would it be?” I didn’t have to ponder more than a moment, I have loved this one for years. If I could have my own theme song, I would choose “Faith Of The Heart.” It pretty much sums up the year 2010 for me, and continues to inspire and motivate….I CAN reach any star! 😀