Local Business Spotlight sat down for an intriguing interview with Sharon Askey, owner of Gracefull Heart, a spiritual healing center in Carlisle, Pa.
Gracefull Heart provides wholeness and healing through techniques like Reiki, Guided Meditation, and others.
LBS: Could you give us a high level overview of your business and what type of products and/or services you offer?
Sharon: We offer tools and services that help to provide wholeness and healing. One of the services is Reiki, which is a type of energy healing. I also offer sacred spirals healing which is healing work that I learned when I was in India. It’s a hands-on healing technique which helps to activate and energize the chakras.As far as products, we offer crystals, books, music, gemstone jewelry, cards, incense, statues, candles, and much more.
In terms of services, I also want to mention that we hold various classes including, guided meditations and stress relief workshops.
We have lots of different offerings, and the schedule is always posted on the website. I also send out weekly emails to anyone who has provided their email address.
LBS: When you mention wholeness and healing, are you referring to physical healing, mental healing, or both?
Sharon: All of the above: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual as well.
LBS: How long have you been in business?
Sharon: It will be one year next month, June.
LBS: Demographically, who are your current customers?
Sharon: Demographically, I would say, my customers come from as far as
Elizabethtown, on the east side, and Chambersburg on the West side. I have a lot of people who come from Perry County, and a few from as far south as York.
As for gender, the majority tend to be female. There seems to be more women who are involved at this point. Although, I see more and more men certainly becoming involved in what we do.
When looking at age demographics, I see pretty much all ages.
LBS: You mentioned stress relief, stress being a big thing in today’s world, should someone consider your services to combat stress?
Sharon: Absolutely, there are products and services that we have here that can help someone in that area.
LBS: What makes Gracefull Heart unique?
Sharon: What makes this shop unique is that it’s a very safe haven.
LBS: What are some of the main reasons you like living and doing business in the Carlisle area?
Sharon: I grew up in this area. I visited a lot of different areas, but I think there are just a lot of great folks around here. It’s a beautiful area, and I love the people.
LBS: Can you tell us more about your own story and why you started this type of business?
Sharon: At one time I was extremely depressed, and I couldn’t function. I couldn’t hold a job. I was medicated. I was just like a zombie, so that wasn’t working.
I ended up traveling to Philadelphia and saw a Freudian psychoanalyst there. I traveled to Philly for many years and spent a lot of time “one the couch”, if you will. That work helped me bring so much unconsciousness to consciousness.
It was just amazing because as a result of many years of psychotherapy and alternative healing, I was able to bring all these things to light that I wasn’t aware of. Prior to doing this if I became angry I wouldn’t even know it, and I’d go to bed and sleep for days.
So, it was kind of interesting,… I had all these physical ailments. I had these cluster headaches, similar to a migraine. I had all kinds of physical problems – just all kinds of issues. And as a result of that work (and don’t get me wrong, it was very intense and very difficult), I began to see the wonder in my life. I slowly began to take responsibility for my life.
And as a result of all that, I owned all these pieces of myself that I wasn’t aware of before. I became much more whole. And knock on wood, today I have no headaches, and I take no medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying medicine can’t be important, but I know that so much of what was happening with me was emotional and mental. All these things that were happening, it was just enormous, and that work completely changed my life.
I finally got to a point where I could work, and I wanted to work. So, I went to work for a large corporation while continuing to travel back and forth to Philadelphia for many years. That job afforded me the opportunity to do that deep work (it was extremely expensive because I had four sessions a week).
As a result of that work, I began to realize there was something so much bigger that was calling me, and that opened me to the spiritual realm.
In 2003, I went with a friend to see John of God, in Brazil, who channels 30 plus medical entities. People from all over the world come to visit him. Most people go to see him because they have very serious illnesses, and they want him to help them with those illnesses. He actually performs physical surgery, he cuts people and does all these things. AND the deep physical cuts that he makes heal within 24 hours. It is really amazing!
Now, I didn’t have the physical surgery, but I had what they call psychic surgery. You go before him with a request. (He does not speak English, so your request is translated into Portuguese.) It can be something as simple as, can you please help me with a specific illness. But I went before him to ask, ‘Can you please help me to open my heart?’.
I did have psychic surgery (and I was well in 24 hours), which was very interesting because it actually feels like you are having surgery. I’ve had surgery, so I know what it feels like.
We spent two weeks in Brazil, and amazing things happened. It was just incredible!
Then in 2005 I went to India for a month. I went there to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He is an avatar who was living in India. I spent two weeks in southern India and saw Sai Baba. We spent time at the Ashram.
Then we traveled to Northern India and a Thai Buddhist Monk accompanied us as we walked the path of the Buddha.
While I was there, I just had all these incredible and amazing experiences. I brought a Jade Healing Wand back to the states that I use in the work that I do. I was taught that work when I was over there, and I was encouraged to come home and do this.
When I returned from India, I was still working for the large corporation. I would get on these conference calls, and I would think, ‘I don’t even care about this stuff anymore. I can’t do this.’ I was working really, really long hours. In the corporate world where I worked everything was a fire drill, and it was crazy stuff. People weren’t dying, but everyone was
creating such urgency about things that didn’t really seem important to me at all.
I realized that my heart was not singing at all doing this. Moreover, I knew that if I did not leave this environment, it was going to have a very negative impact on me. I was feeling that I could potentially develop a serious illness if I did not leave, so I quit in 2006. (You will not find too many people who have quit from a job like that. And I would not have quit if I had not been guided (by my intuition and inner knowing) to do so.)
When I quit, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to do something involving the spiritual realm, and incorporating so much of what I had experienced and learned, but I wasn’t sure, just quite what.
Several people had suggested to me that I share business space with my husband Chip (Owner of Smart Home Entertainment), and open a little shop. I didn’t do that right away.
But in late 2005 or early 2006, our business address changed from 1104 Trindle Road, to 1953 West Trindle Road. And 1953 is my year of birth. That was definitely a sign for me…you need to do something now!
I have to tell you it was very frightening for me to open this shop: it’s one thing to know who you are; it’s another thing to proclaim it in a public way.
LBS: What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Sharon: I think my biggest challenge was just facing my own fear.
LBS: Do you have any interesting or funny stories you would like to share?
Sharon: Yes, the other night Cathy Rutherford and I had a meditation and healing circle evening. We were using essential oils during our guided meditation. There was a different oil associated with each color that we were using in the meditation.
I was putting these oils on cotton balls and the lighting was very dim, so I couldn’t see very well. Some of the oil was dripping, and I didn’t realize it. I had a water bottle with a silver lid and some of the oil was dripping on the top of the lid. I picked this bottle up and said, ‘Look at that’. It was amazing because the oil had dripped on the top of this lid in the shape of a Buddha.
LBS: What are some of current trends in your industry that might affect your customers or the community?
Sharon: I think we are in the midst of a tremendous amount of change. I think there’s a quickening of the energies, which has spawned a lot of fear in people. Change is not something that is easy for us human beings.
LBS: If someone were looking into the products or services that you offer, what advice would you give them?
Sharon: Well, I think it would be somewhat individual because I have very strong guidance and intuition, so it would vary depending on what I felt while around that person.
LBS: So the customer should set up an appointment with you?
Sharon: Or they can just stop in and chat with me. One thing I forgot to mention is that we have a very lovely gal named Debbie Padilla who comes in on Saturdays and gives spiritual readings from the other side. Bringing messages from guides, angels, and people who have passed etc., and I have to say that every time I have her she’s booked solid.
It’s a service that helps provide wholeness and healing. Often people believe in the other side and when they get information from someone that they lost, it can really help in the healing process.
LBS: What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business, in general, or in the same field?
Sharon: I think the advice I would give is to be patient, and not to use traditional advertising because it really does not yield results for what I do.
LBS: Is there anything else you would like the customer to know?
Sharon: One thing I’d like to say is that I’m really here to help folks and build community. Our mission is to offer unconditional love and healing to ourselves and others.
LBS: What are some of the current events or promotions taking place at your business?
Sharon: We have a stress release workshop on June 9th. On June 13th, we have a guided meditation and healing circle, and on June 20th, we have a summer solstice celebration in the evening.
On June 22nd, we have a Frequencies of Brilliance(tm) (which is a type of healing modality) Intro and demo with Linda Gareh-Applegate that happens to be free from 7-8:30pm.
Linda is offering Frequencies of Brilliance(tm) sessions on Saturday, June 23rd all day.
Also, Debbie Padilla who does readings will be here all day on Saturday, June 23rd. She only has a few appointments open for that date (and it’s not even June yet).
LBS: How can a potential customer learn more about your business?
Sharon: Visit our website @ http://www.gracefull-heart.com. Stop by and see me at 1953 W. Trindle Rd. in Carlisle. Or give me a call @ (717) 240-0400.
Local Business Spotlight thanks Sharon Askey for allowing us the interview!