What is your name & where are you located?
My name is Elsie Lopez, but I have many other names/forms of existing. Currently located in Orlando, FL, serving the world.
How do you heal people?
I use various mediums for healing. My main modality is herbal therapy. A lot of my innerstanding of plants is self taught, but my initial spark was ignited by my grandmother. She had certain remedies she would concoct for me when I was feeling sick, whether emotionally or physically. I have also been blessed to spend time living in and visiting very green lands with much medicine. I teach energetic alchemy - the transmutation potential inherent at a genetic level.
What type of benefits does your method of healing provide?
It all starts with the one quote that many have heard and acknowledged. Food is medicine. Moreover, with that in mind, the work I do brings that truth back to a more resonant remembrance. I do not just inform people on the benefits of plants or concoct medicines for them, I also integrate the idea that one must harmonize the self in its entirety so that optimal health is achieved. Remedying dis-eases involves that a certain lifestyle be fully absolved. It's a sort of karmic purging that involves refining how we show ourselves Love. Ultimately the practice, again, provides that capacity to engage a mindful attitude toward living. It's a healthier approach for the collective.
When did you realize that you wanted to heal people/why did you start?
I have intuitively known that part of my duty is to help educate people in the ways of healing Self and the world around us. When I was 19 years old, I accompanied a friend to get her first reading done for her solar return/birthday. In the process, I decided that I would also get a reading done. The woman who did my reading told me that I am a teacher, but she emphasized that I had to learn and apply my wisdom through communion with the earth. Around that same time, I was in college, studying philosophy and religion with a concentration in the eastern practices, particularly holistic healing practices and medicine. "Randomly", I ended up interning at a meditation center where I began to host workshops, teaching people how to heal themselves through mantra, art, meditation, and proper nutrition. So many things happened that confirmed this is the path that I ought to walk. I grew up saying I wanted to be a "doctor". Later on, I realized what I really meant by that.
Why is what you do so important?
Though my practices and teachings are universal in essence, I find that I cater primarily to communities of color. This is both deliberate and not. Most of the people who seek my guidance are people of color. Because I come equipped with the biochemistry of a melanated being, I have a deeper innerstanding of the needs of those whose experiences are more in alignment with my own. I have such a broad range of experience and skill set. What I do is important not only for the fact that is provides a basis of education that is missed by marginalized people due to lack of access, but also because it is deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of our ancestors. This enables us to come into more profound contact with ourselves. You know, our people were alchemists, root workers, doctors, teachers, midwives.. the supremes of the planet. They lived in alignment with Nature. This work is important because it reminds us who we are and gives us access to truths that are carried through our DNA, though the system in place has tried to suppress them.
What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
If a certain level of awareness resonates within you, once you have a child, life becomes different. I am inspired by many things, but as cliche as it may seem, my daughter is a great source of inspiration for me. I know what it is like to exist in this body and this form with this color. I know the limits that have been imposed upon me and what I have had to fight within and without myself for me to get to the point where I am now. I am moved by the knowledge that life does not have to be a constant eternal struggle. My daughter inspires me to pave a way for her that is more holistic than the one I was brought up in. There are traumas we carry from many generations of abuse and lack of love. I am inspired by the necessity to eradicate hate.
How does it make you feel when you are healing people?
It would be very surface of me to say that I heal people. I don't heal people. The only person I am healing is myself. I teach people how to heal themselves and provide certain tools that may be useful in the process of doing so. As I educate, the primary thing I feel is how much work is still left to be done on a global level. Concentrating on what is present before me, I feel that there is a massive shift happening where people will be breaking through the shackles of self and societal imposed barriers. As I do my work and look at what is manifesting around me, I can say that I feel that I am on the right track in accordance to what is coming to the planet next.
What are your visions and/or goals?
My deepest goal is to come into full contact with my potential and be able to teach and heal the world through my realization. Moreover, the vision I hold for my work is to build connections and sustainable communities in different parts of the world. As we do this labor, we soon see that there is a great necessity for community to be reestablished. My great grandmother would tell me of a time when the communities had community songs. Every one in the communities knew these songs and these were part of the threads that kept people together and full of vitality. Now, I look at what is considered "community" and I wondered where that spirit of unity has gone. So, with this in mind, I intend to bring people together and have the artists, healers, teachers, weavers, mothers, builders, and dreamers come together in a space and be able to thrive and exist independent of an oppressive system.
Tell us a fun fact about what it is that you do, or something people may not know.
I am an independent contractor yoga instructor, meaning that I do not work for any specific studio or state. I can teach yoga anywhere, at any kind of location. I have worked in settings from the corporate world to 'new age' house parties and with families. In 2010, I led a yoga class as requested by Wiz Khalifa and the crew on his tour bus, and that was quite an experience, to say the least. A common thread for all of the work that I do is that it involves intention setting. This is heavily emphasized in my yoga practice. A most random fun fact is that I paint very well.
In one sentence, what is your message to the world?
Know yourself and your purpose.
If you'd like to know more about Elsie and her healing art, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram at @womanmonk.