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Meet Yolanda Williams of Yew Chi in Hillcrest for Reiki classes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yolanda Williams.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I believe that this journey of self-exploration starts for all of us at birth, but I didn’t truly pay attention until I got laid off from my job, over seven years ago. This seems to be a common story, really. Something in life knocks us off balance and then we start wondering about our purpose, what life is really about and what even matters to us.

When I was laid off, I had an immediate sense of freedom, but it quickly turned into overwhelming anxiety once I realized that I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. Panic began to set in and I found myself crying in the fetal position on my bedroom floor, begging the universe for any sign, direction…anything! It sounds kind of dramatic, but it truly felt like my world was caving in, out of nowhere, and I didn’t know what to do about anything. My mind was too clouded by fear; my body felt foreign from the anxiety and I sincerely needed an ounce of clarity to pick myself back up.

After a few minutes of that hysterical crying that leaves us gasping for air, an odd calm came over me and the tears just stopped flowing. Every nerve in my body settled and somehow I knew everything was going to be okay – just like that, in an instant! And before I got up off the floor, I had an impulse to call a woman I knew who did natal chart readings.

During my reading, the woman suggested that I begin meditation to help with my anxiety and to also try a Reiki session. She also said I was a healer and that I had an ability to see auras. Everything that she said sounded crazy to me. I never heard of Reiki, I had never tried meditation, I wasn’t sure what an aura was and I surely didn’t have the capacity to help anyone heal anything, including myself! Well, that’s what I thought until I jumped into the rabbit hole.

I ended up taking meditation and Reiki classes, simultaneously. After reading about both, I was so curious that I thought classes would be better than just a Reiki session or an attempt to try meditating on my own. I fell in love with both and began practicing on friends and family. I wanted to share everything that I was learning because of the shifts and changes that were happening to me through these practices.

As I progressed into Reiki Master training and began exploring the intuitive development, friends started referring people to me. This was such a gift because I learned a lot through the experience of working with people I didn’t know, and it encouraged me to expand and share more. That’s when I decided to start my podcast, Reiki Radio.

Now I teach Reiki, all levels, in San Diego, host the podcast and offer online courses for those who are seeking, because I know what it’s like when curiosity strikes and you crave change and understanding.

Has it been a smooth road?
Oh, my goodness – smooth road? No way! It was upset and discomfort that led me here, and while there is so much beauty in the process, it can be very uncomfortable when you decide to do this work.

I was fascinated, at first. It’s so strange when you start to experience being more than just physical. When you start feeling energy around you, within you and other people – when you start recognizing your intuition and your ability to play with it all – it’s like waking up in a new life. You start to live through a new lens of perspective and it really is amazing! However, there is the other side of the coin where you start to see more than just the fun and exciting, you also become aware of your hurt. You become aware of your fears and old stories that the ego has been whispering in your ear for years. You begin to dance with your shadow, but it’s an opportunity to bring and hold every aspect of you in the light. That’s the beauty, but no, it’s not easy.

It was hard to see and admit that some of my past choices were made in fear – fear of failing, or fear of disappointing others, etc. And that my fears, literally, crafted so much of my life! It was also uncomfortable to allow old wounds to resurface, to finally be acknowledged, and to forgive myself and other people. But I think the most challenging has been staying in practice, showing up to continue working on myself because some days I do want to throw in the towel. I don’t know what I will see, and I don’t know how it will feel until I show up and sit with myself, daily. And sometimes it’s hard because I want to get it all over with – just get to the end of healing.

I seriously have to laugh at myself on that one. It’s so interesting how most of us reach, desperately, for what’s next and miss what is now. But then I remember that all of this, even my impatience, is part of the experience. Every choice, every encounter, every breath – it’s all part of my unfolding. You know the saying; Ignorance is bliss – I think about that often because now I know that it only seemed to be. The truth is that looking at yourself, honestly, isn’t a walk in the park, but it is the most rewarding and beautiful experience of my life so far.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yew Chi – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I love helping people, period! Most of my clients and students show up because they feel there is something more to life, even that there is something more to them, but they just can’t seem to touch it. That’s where I get excited! I teach Reiki because it has been so significant in my process of self-healing. This technique really opens the door, widely, for so many people! It’s one thing to tell someone that they are energetic, but it’s a whole new ballgame when you give them tools to experience it for themselves.

The difference in my work with Reiki and classes is that I focus more on each person building a deeper relationship and understanding with themselves, whereas some Reiki classes are more focused on you working on other people. Obviously, I think sharing is beautiful, but I also believe that you can be much better support of others when you first work on yourself. You are the key. I also offer intuitive mentoring because I wanted a mentor when I started in all of this.

Classes are great, but it’s rare to have access to the teachers when classes are over, and of course, after class is when the learning truly begins. It’s through your practice and implementation of what you’ve learned that fosters understanding and the real magic! This is why I love supporting people through their process, because we all go through it differently, and we grow in phenomenal ways when supported in love!

The best part of my work, hands down, is having the ability to connect with people, globally. I started my podcast, Reiki Radio, to share beyond my immediate circle, but I never would have imagined that I would meet so many people through the show. Now I get to work with people, no matter where they are in the world and no matter where they are on their paths. It really is an honor to hold space for people, and that they trust me to do so.

From the podcast, a community is forming, called the Seeker’s Circle. This is a space where people are sharing their stories and supporting each other. There are questions and discussions about Reiki, meditation and all things under the umbrella of spirituality! Anyone is welcome to join us.

I guess that’s what I’m known for, really – I share. I always have, and I always will. You don’t have to work with me one-on-one to access so much of what I have learned, and what I am still learning. That makes my heart beam with gratitude. However, I do share more in-depth through my online courses. I truly believe that in this realm, information is great, but guidance through your own implementation is everything!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I grew up on the east coast, originally from D.C. and I was raised in Massachusetts. That said, San Diego is so chill! I’ve been here my entire adult life and I’m really thankful for it because this city feels like home. I love the weather, of course, but I love the people even more. There’s an openness here, kind of hard to explain, but the best way I can describe it is that everyone just does their own thing; that’s the norm – be yourself. It doesn’t feel like a single-minded city. There’s a feel here of come as you are and be as you came. I love it!

My least favorite part about San Diego is the cost of housing and the increasing number of homeless. It’s heartbreaking and – that could be a whole other conversation.

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