We had the good fortune of connecting with Stef Gerard and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stef, what are you inspired by?
I find inspiration in pieces of everything: the human experience, joy, sorrow, the shadow, nature, the moon, the sun, and all creatures. I am inspired by my fellow humans and the stories and labels to which they have become attached. I am inspired by the psyche, the existential struggle, and the capacity to love. I am inspired by the secondary definition of the very word “inspire”, which is “to breathe in; inhale”. Life, essence, the spirit. I am inspired by the journey of life itself, with all its twists and turns and uncertainties. I am inspired by each breath I have taken and each breath I will take, for each breath is another opportunity to find inspiration.

What should our readers know about your business?
My business is my bliss. It’s centered in authenticity and a true desire to assist my fellow earthlings. We are all healers and we are all capable of healing ourselves. There are many self-proclaimed “healers” in this day and age. This may be where I am different. I always tell people this: “If someone self-labels as a healer, run”. There are no gatekeepers with secret powers. Each and every person on this planet has the innate ability to heal themselves and to awaken to their unique gifts. Each and every person has the ability to see and feel and communicate with what is beyond the visibly and tangibly material. I got to where I am today by being my truest, most authentic self. I ignored the energy vampires, naysayers, skeptics, and eye-rollers, and I focused on what mattered to me: helping other people awaken to themselves. My practice started by word-of-mouth and has grown through client referrals. In all honesty, building my business was pretty easy. The difficult part was arriving at the realization of who I was, what I should be doing, what makes me feel alive, and what feeds my soul. Once you awaken to those realizations, the rest falls into place. The lesson I have learned along the way is this: You are at your most powerful in the moments when you doubt yourself, when you’re sad and lonely and depressed, and when you feel lost. Those are opportunities for self-reflection and growth. Those are the moments that propel you to something deeper, something more precious. Don’t distract yourself with fluff. Sit with the nitty gritty and find the possibility of what can be. The purpose of my business is to incite breakthroughs within my clients, so they are free to lead more fulfilled lives. We go deep by exploring and shaking up old patterns and stale beliefs. My practice incorporates an array of tools to promote self-realization and self-healing: weighted tuning forks, tarot, pendulum, channeling, mediumship, aura clearing, chakra balancing, and reiki. My business is to help you find your shadow and walk in the light of your personal truth. (And we’ll get a little witchy along the way for good measure.)

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born in Los Angeles and have spent most of my life here and I love it, but what I love most are the people. I love the diversity and the different cultures and the millions of opportunities for adventures and meeting new people. One of my most favorite things to do in LA is to attend a Sound Bath by Guy Douglas, who is a master of sound. Some of his sound baths take place in a cathedral downtown and the acoustics are beyond powerful. I’m a beach lover and a west-sider, so we would definitely spend a day at the beach, followed by a burger or veggie burger at Hinano’s in Venice and a walk around the historic Venice Canals. More Venice shenanigans would include dinner and drinks at the Tasting Kitchen (they have great cocktails and a lovely Nebbiolo) and a late-night Chimenaya fire in my sisters’ magical garden. Another day on the westside would include an early morning Temescal Canyon hike, the Santa Monica farmer’s market, and a trip to the Marion Davies Guest House, which was built in 1929 by Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst’s mistress. I love the history of old Hollywood. Afterwards, we’d head over to the Will Rogers State Park and tour the grounds and his historic home. One of the days would include a trip to Topanga Canyon’s funky shops, like Hidden Treasure Vintage and Spiral Staircase, and dinner at The Inn of the Seventh Ray. The energy in Topanga is my favorite: ethereal, yet grounded in the earth. A trip to LA is not complete without dining at Musso and Frank Grill in Hollywood, followed by a show or two at The Second City, The Comedy Store, or The Pantages. Some of my favorite day time excursions include riding horses in Griffith Park and visiting Griffith Observatory to catch the view of the city. At night, it’s spectacular. The Huntington Library in Pasadena is another one of my favorite spots. I’m a plant lover, so it is pure paradise to walk around the 16 gardens on the property. There are always interesting art exhibits as well. Speaking of plants and art, we would spend an afternoon at UCLA’s Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden to bird watch or LACMA to see the amazing exhibits. LA has a lovely plethora of ethnic restaurants, so I would be sure to visit them (just to name a few): Carnival in Sherman Oaks for Lebanese food, Samshiri in Westwood for Persian food, Sunny Blue in Santa Monica for omusubi. Additionally, I’d plan a visit to downtown, which would include Olvera Street, China Town, and The Last Bookstore, then dinner at Bottega Louie and drinks at The Varnish.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to Amie Enriquez, who is one of the strongest, most amazing women I know. Her voice is powerful and needs to be heard!! She has inspired me endlessly by her life, her art, and her courage.

Website: shadowlightreiki.com
Instagram: gdwtch

Image Credits
Justin Cook Photography (Cook Camera)