My Story

I am a life-long seeker, having been born with a relentless, persistent, keep-myself-awake-in-the-night need to relieve suffering, connect at the deepest level, explore non-ordinary reality, create beauty, cook delicious food, have fun and share the things I’ve learned, and continue to learn, along the way.

My healing/coaching practice is grounded in science, evidence-based medicine, Eastern philosophy and spirituality, ancient traditional healing practices and ceremony, and my own experience as a healer, nurse, patient, wife, mother, grandmother, nature lover, and imperfect human in search of an authentic life…

Barbara Swift, - Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching. Energy Medicine ~ Shamanic Healing

“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was greater than the risk it took to bloom.”
~ Anais Nin

I have spent years working on my own healing:  my own wounds, addictions, relationships with others and with myself.  To the best of my ability, I continuously tend to the work of keeping my side of things clean, and my own energy field clear of personal issues.  If nothing else, my experience has built empathy, compassion and an understanding of what it means to be human.  I know, at a very deep level, that my own effectiveness as a healing practitioner is not as much dependent upon acquired knowledge and expertise as it is in making sure that I don’t stand in the way of the healing power of the universe, that I be free of any personal agenda, and if I hold strongly the intention of being a clear channel for Spirit to come through.

My Background

My education in the healing arts began in the 1970s, when I experienced my first yoga class in Washington DC, followed by a delicious feast of vegetarian Indian food, and the chanting of “Oooohmmm”. That evening opened me to a whole new world, and my own transformation began, from a meat-and-potatoes-loving Southern California sun worshipper, to a seeker of new, exotic, spicy spiritual experience. So while my husband was studying to become a medical doctor, I was pregnant with our first child and immersing myself in learning all I could about whole foods, motherhood, natural medicine, mind/body/spirit healing, energy, the chakras and other mysteries.

In 1981, we moved to northern New Mexico, and it really was “The Land of Enchantment”.

Barbara Swift, - Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching. Energy Medicine ~ Shamanic Healing

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
~John Muir

While raising our 3 sons, I continued on the seeker’s path.

I felt especially drawn to Native American spirituality, philosophy, and healing practices; and resonated with the concept of Mother Earth/Father Sky, power animals/totems, shamanism, the healing power of Nature, and the Divine Feminine.

We built a sweat lodge by the little river that bordered our property, and we would gather there, drumming and singing with our tribe of good friends. I discovered that there was an abundance of plant medicine growing in our pasture. I picked and gathered, made teas and concoctions.

Later I began making herbal extracts and salves from plants that grew wild in the mountains of New Mexico. My friend and I created a small company, which we named Mountain Bear Herbs. Foraging through the woods and forests and digging by the river deepened my connection with the wilderness and inspired in me a sense of awe and wonder.

Barbara Swift, - Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching. Energy Medicine ~ Shamanic Healing

“Modern day shamans are men and women who are willing to be visionaries and healers in their families and communities. They learn to live in balance and share their skills to be of deepest service and make a difference in the world.” ~ The Four Winds Society

Though I was not aware of it at the time, I had stepped onto the path of the shaman.

At 39, I went back to school for a nursing degree; after graduating, I worked in the intensive care unit. Inspiring and rewarding, it deepened my understanding of the human condition. I completed a 2-year Holistic Nursing Certification Program, which altered my relationship with medicine and with the practice of nursing. Healing Touch, Reiki, herbal medicine, imagery, music therapy, bringing nature into the hospital setting–each of these became an essential component in my caring for hospitalized patients. Being with the dying was transformative, I found it a privilege to be at the bedside of someone about to make the ultimate journey.

Barbara Swift, - Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching. Energy Medicine ~ Shamanic Healing

“True healing is nothing less than an awakening
to a vision of our healed nature and the experience of infinity.”
~Alberto Villoldo

The Pacific Ocean called us back home to southern California in 1999.

I continued my exploration and education in integrative healing practices, especially nutrition, yoga, 12-step recovery/spirituality, and energy medicine. I have had the honor of working with countless women and men as they recover from alcoholism and addiction and they inspire me as they awaken and their lives are transformed.

After our youngest son left for college, I created a practice in integrative wellness/life coaching.

Eventually, I enrolled in the Four Winds Society Light Body School to pursue certification in Energy Medicine. My experience there was powerful and life-changing for myself and for my clients.  Currently, I am continuing to study with Jose Luis Herrera, of The Rainbow Jaguar Institute and founder of the Andean Research Institute, and learning directly from indigenous healers in my travels.

Barbara Swift, - Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching. Energy Medicine ~ Shamanic Healing

“Let food be thy medicine,
and medicine be thy food.”
~ Hippocrates

The light body healing work I practice is grounded in the ancient wisdom traditions of the medicine people/shamans of Peru.

Shamanism has become a powerful and compelling call to the Light, to the path of deep healing, wholeness, and transformation. Modern shamanism is being practiced and received by ever-growing numbers of people at this moment in time, from all walks of life and career paths. I feel humbled and privileged to be a part of that.

My hope is that many will gather around my table, to heal, to awaken to their highest calling, to tell stories, to laugh, and to share in a feast that feeds body, heart, and soul.

Learn About My Wellness Offerings

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“The shaman’s power lies in engaging in perceptual shifts. Ceremony is the bridge to perceptual shifts, to a place that is magic, a place that is sacred.” ~Jose Luis Herrera