Please Don't Ask Me to Heal You in Ulta (or in Starbucks, or on Facebook)

Have you ever been taken off guard on your day off? Thrown off your relaxation day by a work request? It happens to healers too!

by Sarah Petruno, Shamana

I’d been practicing shamanism professionally for about a year and half the first time it happened.

My twin sister and I had planned to have a girls day. We were going to clean out the questionable and largely expired contents of our makeup bags that we’d still been holding on to for who knows how long and splurge on brand new, high-end makeup. And if that weren’t enough, we’d be getting our hair done too.

At the time, we were living on opposite sides of the country so seeing each other was a treat in and of itself. When her flight arrived, I picked her up and we headed to the land of beauty and pampering - for us, it was the nearest Ulta beauty store and salon.

First up were the makeovers. We had one of the product reps at Ulta give us each a complete beauty makeover, with the intention to buy anything and everything we liked, regardless of price (I told you, treat yo’ self day was in full effect).

My sister went first, next was me. Halfway through my makeover session, my sister was called to the salon to get started on her cut and color. I was left alone with the makeup rep.

She asked what I did. I told her, explaining what shamanism was and how it helped people. She was intrigued. Back to makeup. The end, right?  


I finished my makeover complete with a bag full of at least $400 worth of makeup; then I went to wander the store to peruse additional products while I waited for my turn in the salon.

An armful of NYX lip products, an Ulta brand eyelash curler, a tube of mascara, and a few other things I definitely didn’t need, I was tapped on the shoulder.

I swung around, and there she was - the makeup rep.

Before I could speak, she proceeded to unload the traumas of the last several years of her life - her failed marriage, her single momdom, her weight gain, health problems and more. She then asked me if I would leave to get coffee with her right then, abandoning my girls day, my sister, and my hair appointment, to heal her.

I was so shocked and taken off guard that I’m not sure I could speak. I don’t even remember what I said, all I remember is a chain of stuttering and reasons why I couldn’t just leave. I’m sure I looked like a fool.

Frozen. I froze.

I wasn't in my office. I wasn’t in the healing mind-space. I hadn’t been prepared for helping anyone spiritually that day. I was in the makeup and what-color-of-lipstick-looks-best-on-me mind space. The only thing I was prepared for that day was picking up my best friend from the airport and having an indulgent, beauty filled afternoon.

Since then, scenarios like this have happened time and time again.

Via facebook message with people who have not spoken with me in close to 15  years, unloading their health issues before I’ve even gotten dressed and had my coffee.

Via text message, late at night in the space before I fall asleep.

At Starbucks, while I’m just trying to enjoy my Venti Green Tea Lemonade with 3 pumps (yes, that’s my real drink order).

It’s not that I don’t want to heal you or help you - I do.

But not before I’ve had my coffee and gotten dressed. And not on my day off while I’m relaxing.

I’m just like you.

I like to have days off. I like to only be confronted with problems needing resolution after I’ve woken up.

I like to leave work in my office when I’m having an afternoon at the salon.

Have you ever been taken off guard on your day off? Thrown off your relaxation day by a work request? It happens to healers too!

Imagine that you were at the coffee shop, you met a man and struck up a conversation over iced lattes. In conversation, he mentioned he was a podiatrist.

How do you think he might feel if you immediately took off your shoes to have him examine your feet?

Taken aback right? Not prepared? Shocked? Frozen in “I don’t know what to do” land like I was?

He’s not in his office. He doesn’t have his examining tools. He doesn’t have any equipment with which to help you - and he wasn’t prepared for working.

Most people in this scenario would likely respect his work-life boundaries and not do that.

What you may not know is that it takes me 1-2 weeks to completely prepare for a full-length healing session or reading. The day of, I dedicate my entire morning to pre-session preparations. This is the reason I do not like to take clients until the afternoon and the reason my cancelation policy is so strict.

I may not use any tools in my healing practice that you can see - but I have a ritual, a routine, and an energetic and spiritual pre-session practice. All are essential components to me showing up and being the best healer that I can be. (Read more about my ritual here).

I don’t have the time and advance notice necessary to do all of that when I have just opened my eyes in the morning, my vision still blurry from early morning dry eye. And I certainly didn’t run through my pre-session preparations before I went to Ulta for nail polish and foundation.

When a doctor goes to work in the morning, they make sure their instruments are sterilized, they’ve had their coffee, and they’ve reviewed their patients’ medical files.

When you go to work in the morning, you might make sure that your computer is on, that you have your full tumbler of water, that you’ve touched base with coworkers, and that you have that day’s necessary files on your desk. That’s your getting ready to work ritual.

I have one of those too before I start to do my job as a healer.

This means I won’t be able to heal you in Ulta. Or via Facebook message. Or via text. Or at Starbucks. I’m not at my computer, and I don’t have my files.

When you see me at Ulta, I’ve prepared myself for nail polish and that’s it. I didn’t come ready to heal you in the NYX cosmetics aisle.

If you want me to help you, please come to my office.

Make an appointment.

Show up at my desk.

Join me at work. After I’ve had my coffee and have taken a shower.

Whatever you want to call it. Do the same thing you would want someone who needed your work-related help to do. You’d probably want to be awake with your files, your sterilized instruments, and your computer.  

And that probably wouldn’t be while you’re waiting on your Venti Cold Brew Iced Mocha with 5 pumps.

With love,


LAST UPDATED: August 12, 2015

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA and are meant for educational purposes only. We cannot guarantee successful outcomes. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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