In this interview we had the pleasure of speaking with Amy Terepka, Founder of Groundwater Healing. Amy runs a healing practice that focuses on helping you find a healthy and trusting relationship with your body aligned with a meaningful, reverent relationship with the Earth through intuitive bodywork and energy work, herbal medicine, embodiment coaching, seasonal healing, and online classes.
When would you say your passion for helping and healing others began? What drew you toward traditional and herbal healing practices.
I’d say my passion for helping and healing others began at a very young age. I was always concerned with how other people were feeling (including my stuffed animals, frogs, flies, and really all plants and animals). I’ve always been very sensitive and empathic, and could really feel the pain of another human or non-human life. So I’d always been drawn to the healing professions, and for a long time thought I would to be a doctor (since this was all I really knew of healing for a long while). After college I had the opportunity to live and travel throughout Southeast Asia and India. It was the first time I was a part of communities where folk medicine still thrived, where herbs and other traditional healing modalities were completely interwoven within family and lifestyle. It stirred a deep recognition within me and I have been on the path of learning traditional, folk, and herbal healing practices ever since.
Could you tell us about your intention for founding Groundwater Healing?
I founded Groundwater Healing with the intention of helping others feel a sense of deep peace and empowerment within themselves. A place where people can return home to themselves. Early on I began to realize that we cannot fully return home to ourselves if we do not include our relationship with the natural world. So Earth Medicine, and connecting with the land and the plants has become an integral part of my practice.
Can you elaborate more on what Earth Medicine is and how healing aligned with seasons are beneficial?
Oh yes. Earth Medicine to me is medicine for and medicine from the Earth. It is cultivating relationship with the Earth and our non-human kin. It includes plant medicine, like herbal remedies, but also developing a sense of reverence and reciprocity with the natural world. It is a deep bone-knowing that we are interwoven in a wide, intricate web where we all feed one another – the land, the plants, the animals, the nature spirits, the ancestors, etc. We are not separate, and we can no longer act as if we are. I’ve found that aligning with the seasons is a simple yet powerful way to embed ourselves in our remembrance of these relationships. When we attune with the seasons, we recognize that we are a part of a larger system at play. We remember that we are not so separate, and can tune into a greater sense of meaning and belonging.
What are some the more common challenges or concerns people approach you where natural healing can assist?
I find that among the most common are folks feeling anxiety or overwhelm, a sense of loneliness or emptiness, feeling ungrounded, or feeling disconnected from themselves or their body. All of these experiences are common in our culture today. And all of these things can be remedied, at least in part, by developing our relationship with the natural world and from the help of herbal or plant spirit medicine.
Being a Healer and having to consistently heal and help others, how do you conserve and protect your own energy?
Great question! This is something I’ve had to really work on and develop over the years. I have a lot of practices in place now which include taking specific herbs before, during, and after sessions (like yarrow!), really committing to an energetic hygiene practice, calling on my spirit guides and allies during my sessions, putting up protective containers before doing my work, filling myself up with solo nature time at least once a week, having morning and evening rituals which include movement, meditation, journaling, and other practices that fill my well, and making sure to get enough alone, quiet, and recharge time. This includes being able to have boundaries and say no to external engagements or distractions when I feel depleted or low on energy.
Do you have any advice for our readers on how to maintain a positive energy?
Oh I love this subject. I think maintaining a positive energy is only possible when we allow ourselves to feel what’s actually going on within ourselves and our bodies. So much of the time positivity is sabotaged by underlying needs, feelings, or experiences that we try to suppress because we label them as wrong or bad or negative. I’ve found that only when I give myself permission to fear my grief, or fear, or anger can I move to a wider, more open and positive space. Emotions want to move. They’re not meant to be pushed down or stagnated. That’s when they become chronic or impact our health. I think another important point to make is that I don’t judge myself when I feel anything, and don’t label any emotions as “bad.” I’ve come to a place where I can become wider than my emotions, and I can really hold whatever feeling comes up with compassion even while experiencing it. I don’t identify the emotion as ME. So I can let it move through in a healthy way. If we can shift our thinking away from striving for positivity (which then creates a sense of pushing against or away from your current experience), and towards being more loving towards ourselves, then a sense of positivity and gratitude organically arises.
What is the most rewarding part of your passion?
The most rewarding part of my passion is feeling like I’m making a difference on some level. A difference for the land I live on, for the plants I work with, and for the humans who come through my practice. I love hearing how my clients feel a sense of ease or peace within themselves that was never there before. Or how when moving through the world, a sense of connection will well up surprisingly and overtake them. It brings me so much joy to help people open to their true nature, and to help mend the somewhat torn fabric between human and earth.