In this episode, we have Fiona Teo, who is a Reiki Master, Channeler, and Yoga Teacher.
Fiona is a rare spiritual soul from Singapore, who has left the corporate world to embrace her calling - to be a healer in Bali. I was curious how her calling was awakened.
Afraid to show her true self
Prior to deepening her spirituality, Fiona had always felt insecure about herself. She always had the "inner woo woo" in her, and felt different from others. Just like Hua Mulan, the warrior princess, she constantly felt a need to hide her true self and couldn’t discuss philosophical insights, her vulnerability and shadows with her circle of friends. She felt out-of-place and painfully self-conscious about her ‘weirdness’.
Finally, Fiona's spiritual journey is awakened when she took a yoga teacher training course, encouraged by her ex-fiance to be more "physically attractive". It was then, on a beautiful island in Thailand, where she met new friends who were deeply spiritual and peace-loving. She was drawn to their energy. For the first time, she felt at home and with the support of this new community, she began to deepen her spirituality.
A series of painful dramatic events occurred after. Her ex-fiance cheated on her, leaving her hurt, betrayed and lost. To heal, she explored channeling the divine guidance for herself. As it helped her tremendously, she felt a calling to channel for others too, and became a professional channeler.
Revealing her true self and facing judgement
Unsurprisingly, her profession as a "channeler" raised eyebrows and questions from her family and friends. Some labelled her for being too imaginative, others were concerned, especially on how she could earn a living in Singapore.
Indeed, channeling from divine guidance cannot be comprehended by the rational mind. I researched online in an attempt to explain what "divine guidance" is. It is drawing wisdom from above, coming from a source bigger than oneself. Some describes it as a pure energy which could come from your ancestors, universe, Guan Yin or other masters, spirit animals, or simply, God. Some say, it is within yourself - your soul. That part of you that is always connected to the source energy and not disrupted by emotions. By activating this channel, a pure connection of you and something bigger (depending on what you believe), that you will receive divine guidance.
After that, her dog passed on, while both her mom and her other dog are suffering from cancer. Feeling desperate, Fiona started to explore and researched on different healing modalities. She encountered Reiki, learned and practiced it to see if she could help her loved ones and herself.
Reiki is a form of energy healing that harnesses universal energy, to facilitate healing from the practitioner to the recipient. Soon, she found her calling in becoming a Reiki Master to train more healers.
More people are questioning the definition of conventional success and happiness that they were brought up to believe. She believes this is the case for Singapore too. As such, there is space for more healers in Singapore and she is more than happy to teach everything she can to others who wish to learn, so they can administer healing too.
Feeling increasingly alienated in her circle of family, friends, and co-workers in Singapore, Fiona explored the idea of living permanently in Bali, Indonesia. In comparison to Singapore, Bali is a highly spiritual, a feminine society.
By mid 2019, she made a permanent move to live in Canggu, and began teaching at some of the gorgeous retreat studios there.
Life was blissful as she was able to visit all the beautiful water temples and other scenic spots there, surrounded with like minded friends.
“It took me a long time to embrace that this is me now, and I no longer have to hide my vision, hide what I believe I am seeing and it is really up to them to accept it or not.”
Release judgement of family, to release fear of judgement from others
Since WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, Fiona was forced to leave her dream life, and has been back in Singapore for a year now. Being used to the nature, freedom and space in Bali, she admits the journey has not been easy.
Facing her family everyday, she is acutely aware of the generational wound her mother carries, which is passed down to her. She shares her mother's suffering and pain, yet she feels helpless. Healing family and generation wounds, turns out to be the toughest challenge yet, that is emotionally intense for her as well.
After contemplating and doing inner work for several months, she came to this profound realization:
In order to release others’ judgement of her, she needed to first stop judging her family. This is because her family is the source of her deep rooted fear of rejection and judgement.
Healing relationships at home by not fixing them
In June 2020, she started to be more open in sharing on social media, facing her fear of criticism from others. She was very surprised and comforted with the positive responses and support she received. When she decided to be vulnerable and shared her journey, people resonated with that. "We are not perfect. There is no need to hide our imperfections so no one can see them."
She gradually made peace with how her family members are not perfect too, and that it is perfectly alright to not try to fix them. Instead, she uses her triggers as opportunities for self reflection, to make space to restore inner calm and peace, so she does not react. In turn, her mother would not feel triggered vibrations back from her, and can feel safe being herself.
"I realised my mom is just who she is. I accept she will not change, and she loves me in her own way.”
When she fully embraced her calling, others start coming to her for consultations and classes. She now believes her work is important, to heal the people in Singapore. She has since held cacao ceremonies, intuition workshops, Reiki trainings to benefit others, right here in Singapore.
The act of being of service to her clients requires her to open her heart and offer compassion for them. And this in turn reminds her to offer compassion to her mother and herself too.
"Of course I miss my hippy life in Bali. However, coming home from Bali to Singapore during Circuit-breaker and being stuck at home... How funny this is universe's way of forcing me to face my fears. Unable to run away, I realised I am meant to heal my relationships at home."
Healing self through knowing your shadows
If you have been facing relationship issues, such as attracting narcissistic partners, the emotional abandonment you felt during your childhood may be a factor. Again, we need to understand that our family is not unloving, they simply didn’t know how to be emotionally connected to us.
In this self-healing journey, Fiona recommends keeping a trigger journal. What we feel about others is always a mirror. For example, if you feel rejected when your dad ignores you, you could be rejecting yourself very often. Reflect on how you tend to reject yourself.
Finally, Fiona suggests to draw courage and face this pain of abandonment, or emotional hollowness. Give yourself the unconditional love and compassion you need. By embracing your emotional pain, you can find the real happiness you deserve.
“Without knowing your dark shadows, you will not see your light. Because if you don’t see your darkness then you will not find the light within the darkness. Where there is light, there is darkness; where there is darkness, there is light — the Yin and Yang. That’s how life is.”
This article is very special for me because as I am writing this from our transcript, Fiona's mom is in critical condition. Worried this maybe too difficult for Fiona, I thought of not publishing this article. However, her wish is to share her difficult journey on this platform, so others are reminded to heal their relationships with their family now, before it's too late.
Fiona is incredibly strong when faced with the cards she is dealt in life. She is now dedicating most of her time caring for her family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you Fiona for giving me this opportunity, to share this important message in such a delicate hour. I dedicate this article to you and aunty, I hope it does justice to honor the precious relationship you two have.
All photos courtesy of Fiona. You can reach out to Fiona here