What is your name & location?
My name is Rachel “RayRay” Ricketts. I’m from Vancouver, BC, Canada but help folks all over the world.
How do you help people heal?
As an intuitive grief coach I help folks move through and minimize the pain of loss + grief caused by whatever life’s thrown their way so they can begin the transition into joy.
I believe we all have unearthed grief within us – from death, heartbreak, racism, loss of self, sexism, political strife, violence, financial woes, burnout + job stress, fertility struggles and the like – there are over 40 defined forms of loss and we are living in traumatizing times so loss and grief is prevalent in the collective consciousness. Even joyous events like becoming a parent or getting married inherently include loss and thus grief.
Unfortunately we live in a culture that is ill-equipped to acknowledge our grief and honour our loss. That’s where I come in. I’ve experienced the depths of loss and I’ve come out the other side. Bigger, bolder, brighter. I’m here to help you and your loved ones do the same.
I provide spiritual offerings comprised of intuitive coaching, Reiki, meditation, breathwork and yoga through 1:1 virtual coaching calls, online grief support workshops, retreats and events.
What type of benefits does your method of healing provide?
Benefits include - feeling seen, heard and supported through whatever challenge you may be facing; minimizing the pain and suffering caused by loss and grief of any form; finding and thriving in your new normal; learning to use grief as the gateway into grace; finding your purpose and living an outrageously, authentically joyful life.
When did you realize that you wanted to heal people/why did you start?
I’ve always known that I was a healer but I struggled with the how and why for a long time.
Just over 2 years ago my mother and sole parent died of voluntarily starvation. She had battled multiple sclerosis for nearly two decades, and for the majority of my life I had battled alongside her. Until, she was gone. While trying to get a handle on life, and cope with death, I was also managing a myriad of other losses. I had chronic pain caused by a car accident the fall before; an ongoing legal battle over the estate of my favourite Uncle who had died the previous winter; and trying to stay present for my partner, whose dad had died suddenly, over the course of 3 short weeks the year before my mom.
Two weeks after my mom’s last breath I was in Paris during the Paris Attacks – a mere two blocks away from Le Bataclan theatre. All this while searching for my identity after havinq quit my life as a corporate lawyer and navigating a racist, patriarchal world as a Black woman. It all felt like too much and I nearly died under the weight of my grief, but I learned how to not only survive, but sur-thrive. I knew without question that I was put on this earth to help those in challenging times to heal their own hearts as I did my own.
How does your personal healing journey reflect in how you hold space for others?
The way in which I hold space for others is entirely comprised by my personal healing journey. There is no “right” way to grieve, the experience is different for every person just as every human and every relationship is unique.
What I offer is guidance and support based on what worked best for me, with the encouragement to only take what resonates with your highest Self and to leave the rest (as I believe we should all do with all offerings). We all have exactly what we need to heal inside of us already, I am merely here to serve as a guide to remembering what that is. I use the tools I found in my darkest moments to help others through theirs.
Why is what you do so important?
I could go on about this for daaaays, but here’s the crux of it – we all experience grief. Every single one of us. No one can or will escape it. So if we know this for certain, why is it we are so afraid of the experience? Why do we deny or shove down or negative emotions? They are there to teach us something and the more we resist. The more we pacify or try to eat, drink, sleep, shop or fuck it away, the stronger it takes hold.
And make no mistake - it will come for you. It may manifest as depression, cancer, failed relationships or a life without true happiness – but it will come. We have to face and feel our shit in order to heal it. The only way out is through, so that’s what I help people do. Wade through their shit so they can let it up and out.
When we refuse to experience the depths of our pain, we simultaneously rob ourselves of the height of our joy.
I believe most of the hate, violence and discrimination we see in the world is a result of people in pain who refuse to look at and deal with their shit. If we all committed ourselves to the important and necessary work of healing our hearts, the world would be an entirely different and better place.
What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
My primary inspiration is knowing that there are folks out in the world who feel as isolated, alone and misunderstood as I did and I don’t want anyone else on this planet to feel that way.
When I was in the depths of my grief I contemplated taking my own life on more than one occasion so I am intimately familiar with the heaviness that comes with a society that refuses to acknowledge or make space for painful experiences or emotions. I want to help create a world where we are more accepting of the spectrum of human emotion and feel empowered to help ourselves and others when things get tough.
How does it make you feel when you are helping people heal?
Like I’m Sacha Fucking Fierce on the Universal stage.
I feel overjoyed with gratitude that I’ve been chosen to help others in this way and that I have the gifts to hold space for people in their most dire time of need. I feel Divine and entirely in communion with Source/Spirit/Universe. I feel the interconnectedness of humanity and Mother Nature run through my veins and fill my heart. When I am helping others I am also helping myself, and I am the best possible version of me.
What are your visions &/or goals?
I’m writing a book about dealing with loss and grief from the Black female perspective and I want to see it get signed to a major publisher this year. I want to connect with and collaborate with more folks of colour (Black women in particular) and hopefully tour the Eastern US this Spring to bring communities of colour more spaces and opportunities to heal. I want to help spiritual spaces include and represent people of colour (and stop with all the cultural appropriation…lawwwwwrd).
This year in particular I am manifesting more ease, compassion, healthy boundaries, solitude, self-care and time spent in nature.
Mostly, I want to find the folks who are in need of my support and offer them love, light and healing so they don’t have to face their darkness alone.
Tell us a fun fact about what it is that you do or something people may not know about you.
A lot of people think my job must be hella depressing but it is the opposite. It is filled with people finding their joy…and laughter. Dealing with grief doesn’t have to be super heavy - my clients and I are always cracking jokes and finding ways to lighten a shitty situation while still honouring the experience.
Also – I am addicted to donuts. No shame about it!
In one sentence, what is your message to the world?
I gotta steal it from one of my favourite poets Nayyirah Waheed who says “Grieve. So that you can be free to feel something else.”
Is there is anything else that you would like to share about yourself or what it is that you do?
Since we’re kicking off a new year I gotta shout out to anyone who’s not feeling the “new year new me” vibe. For those moving through a challenging time of any sort, the new year energy can be super triggering and I offer a 10-week online grief support workshop (next intake kicks off Sun Jan 21st) to anyone in need of support as we transition into 2018.
You can reach me at www.lossandfoundxo.com, or on socials at @lossandfoundxo.com