This month we caught up with our client Carrie Flemming, a new South Orange resident, to find out about her business as a holistic practitioner.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a holistic practitioner and creative guide. I am also a facilitator, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I grew up in South Jersey and have lived in Northern California since 1999. In June, my husband and I relocated to South Orange. Creating and experiencing art brings me great joy. I love music and right now I am listening to a lot of Janelle Monáe and Jenny Lewis. Spending time alone replenishes me and connection with others inspires me. I love cozy spaces, dreaming, nature, and holding space for people to heal and grow. I believe we each carry the wisdom of our own growth within us and self-acceptance brings us closer to that wisdom.
How did you become involved in your field of work?
I’ve been in the field of mental health and wellbeing for 20 years. My own tendency toward worry took me to therapy as a young adult transitioning out of college. That was a powerful experience and I moved to the West coast to study counseling and psychology. I got interested in women’s spirituality, art as healing, and birth while working in community mental health spaces. This led me to study clinical hypnosis, emotional freedom technique/tapping, and reiki. Through these modalities, I deepened my own healing and started down the path of supporting others around stress, overwhelm, worry, creativity, and self-acceptance.
Tell us about your most exciting project. And your biggest success.
My most exciting project at the moment is Tending the Hearth. Tending the Hearth is an offering for folks who struggle with clutter. It combines my healing work with my love for comfy, functional, and supportive spaces. In this process, I visit clients in their home or office to help them clear clutter, release difficult feelings or beliefs around clutter, and organize their space so it feels easeful, vibrant, and inspired. Together, we create an individualized plan based on each person’s needs, interests, and desires. My intention is to support people in creating an inner and outer shift towards increased ease, healing, and presence in their lives.
My biggest success is the personal work I have done to be in deep connection with myself. My relationship with myself is the foundation of all other relationships. This is ongoing, life-long work and I am proud of my commitment to it. I have learned to listen to my own needs, practice self-compassion, and feel my feelings when they arise. I believe this supports me to show up to life with empathy, clarity, connection, and presence.
What is your biggest challenge professionally?
My biggest challenge professionally is talking about myself and being visible. As an introvert, I often feel shy and I am always challenging myself to practice being more visible in the world.
Please tell us about a typical day in your life.
I haven’t settled into a typical day yet as I am still shaping my life here. But a typical morning starts with a cup of strong pour-over coffee and quiet time or meditation at my altar followed by breakfast and making a list to outline my day.
Please tell us anything else about your profession that you think our readers would find interesting.
The foundational aspect of many holistic modalities is supporting people to reduce tension and stress. When we reduce tension and stress, we breathe a little deeper. Our perception of ourselves and our life opens up. When we are relaxed and present we have access to our inner resources of creativity, intuition, joy, imagination, and resilience. From this calm state we can invite in compassion, accept who we are, connect more deeply, and solve problems in new ways.
Studies in mindful self-compassion and emotional freedom technique/tapping have shown they each decrease cortisol in the body. Cortisol is one of the hormones released when we experience stress. We need cortisol as it gives us energy to focus on a project or move quickly if we or others are in danger, but it is not healthy to have it flowing through our bodies at high levels everyday and can lead to stress-related health issues. Being able to soothe and calm our system is not just a feel-good luxury, but a very practical and necessary tool to help us navigate our complex and changing world.
Tell us why you chose to live where you do and what you love most about living where you do.
I longed to be back on the East coast near my family and my husband pursued a job in Manhattan. We chose South Orange for its closeness to the city and its beauty. We wanted to have space for our creative projects, a garden, and access to nature. Being able to walk to the train in 14 minutes was a big draw as well.
We love our neighbors and feel really fortunate to be surrounded by kind and thoughtful people. We were welcomed the first day we got here which felt really good. A smile or a hello from folks when you are new to a community makes such a difference in creating a sense of belonging.