Laying on my yoga mat on top of a massive and moss-covered rock, I hear the soothing, trickling waterfall, the distant sounds of children laughing, and birds singing around me. As I wait for the guided, sound meditation to begin, I close my eyes, focus my mind, and tune into the sensations in my body. She begins playing her hypnotic crystal bowls and the sound waves ripple through me, instantly releasing all of the tension and anxiety. I see flashes of bright colours underneath my eyelids and feel my soul rising higher and higher with each vibration.
I experienced this remarkable spiritual awakening during one of Tara Lee Ayotte's meditation retreats, earlier this summer at Rainbow Falls, near Whitemouth, Manitoba. I was so moved by this experience that I booked Tara for two, one-on-one healing sessions. Tara worked on releasing my energy blockages and reconnecting me with my higher consciousness. Earlier this month, I chatted with Tara about her healing gifts and asked her to share some insights on how we can all begin to rediscover and activate our highest and enlightened versions of self.
KK — Can tell me about your childhood and how you first discovered that you had unique gifts?
TLA — Since I was very young, I've been intuitively connected with a lot of the metaphysical world. I always just had a lot of experiences with ancestors or loved ones that had passed and would come back and connect with me. However, it wasn't until I was around 11 years old that I became aware of my gifts. Around the time, I kept having visions that my grandfather was going to pass. He was in the province over from us, and I kept insisting that we go and visit him. My mom finally relented, and we went to see him. About a week after we got back, my grandfather passed away.
KK — Wow, that's a lot to handle at such a young age. Did you ever have any other similar experiences or visions?
TLA — Yes, actually, while going out to my grandfather's funeral, I kept feeling that someone was going to die in a car accident. It was bizarre because I drove out with my mom and then came back with my aunt (my mom was staying longer). I kept having this vision, and I thought, "Oh my gosh, am I going back without my parents because they're going to die in this car crash on the way back?" I was so worried that I told my mom to be cautious when driving back. Later that night, I got a phone call from her telling me that someone had died in a car accident. She told me that my grandpa's sister got hit by a semi on the highway on her way back from the funeral.
KK — I'm so sorry to hear that. Did these visions continue for you as a teenager and adult?
TLA — For sure, when I was about 16 or 17, I was still getting a lot of these visions. I didn't understand what a lot of them meant; they would just come. For example, I kept having this reoccurring dream for about a month. I would walk out onto the street and would see a vehicle coming and hitting me. One morning, I woke up and something just clicked in me, and I thought, today is the day I'm going to die. At around 3:30 p.m., I was taking the bus home, and I felt this vast wave come over me. All of a sudden, my body opened up like a channel and my eyes looked through the eyes of another person. I saw them look at a car and a car hit them, and then they fell on the ground and died. When they died, I could like, see their spirit rising, but their spirit rose out through me.
As I gently started coming back into my body, my bus turned off the main road onto a side street. Then, the bus driver announced that there had been an accident up ahead, so we would be taking a detour. At this point, I was only three, four blocks from my house, so I got off the bus and started walking down St. Mary's Road. As I'm walking, I see police tape and all these vehicles stopped right in front of my apartment building. I asked a police officer what happened and he told me that a woman in her 60s was just hit by a car and had died. I went back to my house and just tried to process what just happened. So, growing up, I had a lot of these strange experiences that I couldn't understand, a lot of premonitions, energy, intuition, and knowing things.
KK — When you get these kinds of psychic visions, messages, or downloads, how do you experience them? Some people say they hear things, or they feel it, or they see it.
TLA — I feel like it's all three of those. Sometimes, I'll get something like a message, and I'll hear something. Sometimes, the message is given to me through repeating numbers. Those are often messages for us. So we see, you know, 11 11 or 12 12.
KK — Yes, I see repeating numbers right before something big is about to come through.
TLA — Messages can come from the outside world and give us a physical vision. I have those, but sometimes, I'll hear a voice of like, don't do that. I hear: Don't go there today, cancel that, or do this. And then you say, okay, I'm going to follow this knowing, and you don't do it.
KK — I agree entirely, and I have to tell you that since our sessions together, I feel like that gateway has just kind of burst opened for me. I mean I've always felt spirits around me and have experienced visions, but I was afraid of it and would immediately try to shut it down. I feel like you have helped me let go of that fear and step into this beautiful relationship and communication that I have with my guides.
As I'm starting to discover my unique gifts, I'm curious to learn how you turned this into a successful career and business?
TLA — I love hearing that, you know, what people receive from these sessions because it's always so different and unique for each person. As for turning this into a career, I have to say it involved two significant shifts in my life. The first one happened when I was about 16 or 17 and became very sick. I was hospitalized with extreme nausea, dizziness, and vertigo to the point where I couldn't walk, and my body was completely shutting down. While I was in the hospital, the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I was in the hospital for a few weeks, but my symptoms eventually subsided, and I was released. The doctors and nurses told me to come back if my condition returned but still couldn't tell me what had happened. This experience opened my eyes, and I started to question the meaning of life. I also grew up in a Roman Catholic family with crosses on the doorways and being told that you believe in God and you don't question it. However, after this experience, I felt like questioning all of it and thinking that there must be more to life than this.
I also really started to see the limitations of Western medicine and started to research Eastern medicine and philosophies, and the ideas of the energy body, chakras, vibration, and resonance. This searching led me down an intense and profound path of self-discovery. I also remember that this was almost 15-20 years ago, before yoga, and meditation, and chakras were even a thing in North America. People had no idea what I was talking about, and even my own family was like, "Well, when you're ready to come back to the right side, let us know."
KK — How did you deal with that criticism and find the courage to continue on this path?
TLA — Well, I knew that it was just fear on their behalf and ignorance, so I just continued with my journey and eventually, it led me to alternative medicine, nutrition, and healing. I was even able to heal my own body. Through my work, I realized that I had suffered from a systemic yeast condition, where yeast crosses the blood-brain barrier. That's why I got so sick and ended up in the hospital, because my blood was riddled with disease.
I ended up going to the University of Manitoba and graduated with a B.Sc. in Human Nutritional Sciences. After I graduated, I started working at fitness studios, offering health consults and nutritional programs. These programs included helping people eat better, developing diet plans, and other holistic practices. I did that for about a year and discovered that people were coming to me with deeper problems than just wanting to lose weight. I realized that the weight was there due to emotional burdens or traumas. The majority of my clients were women, and I realized that I needed to do something more than these nutritional consults to help them. So, I bridged this gap by doing some empowerment coaching and was intuitively connecting to this wisdom of energy healing (although I didn't know it at the time). I had my Reiki certificate and started dabbling in different things, and I guess this was the beginning of my business.
Things changed for me shortly after my dad died, because I realized life is short and that I wanted to explore and experience new opportunities. I decided to go to Costa Rica, with a high-level mastermind group from all over the world. It was on this trip that I had this profound experience with alchemy crystal singing bowls, which brought this whole divine awakening and connection into my life. The bowls brought this healing that I'd never experienced before. I ended up purchasing a few of these bowls. I didn't buy them for my clients, because I had no idea how I was going to use them. I just bought them for myself, because I wanted to raise my vibration.
KK — I first experienced your sound healing experience this summer. I remember asking you how you learned to play them, and you told me a beautiful story about how all this came to you. Do you mind sharing that with us today?
TLA — Yes, I mean it all started on that trip to Costa Rica, which was such a massive leap of faith for me because I hadn't travelled a lot at that point and had reservations about flying. But, there was something inside me that said, trust this. It was on this journey that I was shown the magic of what happens when you just let go and surrender, which is so relevant today, especially with everything going on with COVID.
In Costa Rica, I was blessed to be a part of this event with prominent healers from all over the world — people from Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States. It was amazing to connect and meet what I felt was like a soul family. It was also really intense and stressful, because you are living in the jungle in a whole new environment. My body was reacting in weird ways, and I started getting all these cold sores all over my face. My first reaction was to think that I don't have any medication for this, and it just kept spreading. I remember sitting with the group, and one of the healers said, "Why don't you ask your body what it needs right now?" So, that's when I started talking to my body, and it told me to go and rest. I missed the morning session and went to sleep. I also did some mirror work back in my room and asked my body what it needed. A couple of things came up, and I listened. When I woke up later that afternoon, all of the sores were gone.
KK — I have also been doing that over these past few months, while I'm healing from this failed chemical menopause and dealing with difficult periods. At one point, I had rashes all over my face and my eyelids, and rather than freaking out about it, I just tuned into my body. I just had this knowing that this was part of my healing and that this drug was coming out my body through my face. So, I just left it alone, and in a few weeks it cleared up.
TLA — For sure, it's such a profound experience when you have an awareness of asking your body and just talking to it, acknowledging it — rather than pushing it away, being in judgement, or embarrassed about it. I see that a lot with my clients, where people have lost their connection with their body. I had my huge awakening during that week in Costa Rica and dealing with a lot of my childhood trauma. I was carrying a lot of this within my body and shutting it off. On my trip, there was a videographer that I connected with who also had these crystal singing bowls.
During one of our group sessions — where I felt like we were raising the vibration of the room and shifting into a new consciousness — I got this intense urge to play this videographer's bowls. I kept trying to reason with myself that they weren't mine and were super expensive, but then something lifted me out of my chair, and I walked over and picked up the mallet. I just started to play the bowls and just intuitively knew how to play them. It felt like lifetimes of memories started flowing through me. I was in my own world playing these bowls, connecting to these past lives, and feeling like our souls rose to a higher vibrational realm, frequency, and consciousness. At that moment, I knew that there was something special and ancient about these bowls.
Later in the evening, we were doing healing sessions on each other, and the same videographer lady set up 12-15 bowls around me in a circle and started playing. I remember I rose out of my body and started seeing this whole kaleidoscope of colours, visions, energy, and resonance pouring into my body. I just started releasing and letting go of lifetimes of trauma and abuse that was held in my system. I felt a new light come over me and lightness within my body. I came out of that experience a changed person and knew at the moment that I was going to dedicate my life to sound healing therapy.
KK — That is the exact way I felt after experiencing my first sound healing session with you at Rainbow Falls. During our private sessions, I opened up to you about being molested as a child and then dealing with those memories popping up for me as a teenager. Although I did find a lot of relief from talk therapy over the years, I have to say that after my sessions with you, I felt like the shame and trauma of what happened was finally released from my body.
For anyone interested in this type of healing — can you talk more about what you do, the healing sessions, and the group events/retreats you offer?
TLA — Definitely, I am an intuitive coach, speaker, and a sound healer. What I do is help people to awaken to their fullest potential through realizing their own innate ability to heal and transform their lives. I offer my services by hosting numerous events, personal coaching programs, sound healing, live events, and one-on-one sessions. I utilize many different energy healing modalities and techniques, depending on the person's unique needs.
KK — When I first came to you, I was at the height of my post chemical menopause reaction, was feeling very lost in my career, and wanting to pivot out of a toxic corporate environment. Can you talk about what you did for me, specifically, including the cord pulling?
TLA — Your session was more about a release, reconnecting you back to your body, back to the higher consciousness, and restructuring your body line. Often, people will have different blockages in the body. So, I deal with getting to the root cause of issues, which is typically removing these energy blockages within the system.
As for the cord pulling, sometimes we attach different types of entities to us, or we have different types of energy that we've attracted, as a result of trauma or experiences. People experience a wide variety of traumas — from divorce, abuse, toxic relationships, to financial issues. Cord-cutting is used for those moments of intense emotion to release that energy out and bring back the wisdom of whatever that lesson was or whatever that experience was. So, that you can come back into harmony with it and no longer have to carry that energy as a burden. You can integrate it as a teaching point, as a wisdom, and move forward from that to live a more balanced and healthy life.
KK — Do you have any advice for people who are just starting to dip their toes into the spiritual realm and this type of healing?
TLA — I think one of the easiest ways is to sign up for the events— which are mostly online now due to COVID-19 — and experience one of the sound therapies. On a day-to-day basis, I think just finding time to reconnect with your body, to be in stillness, and presence allows you to awaken that deeper connection with yourself. This practice can be done through even short 10-minute meditations because when people start, they don't feel that they can do, you know, a half-hour meditation. Just focusing on your breath and being very mindful of making your inhale equal to your exhale is powerful, because it helps to reset and calm the central nervous system. When we do that, we can come back into the present moment, and it's in the present moment that we have all of our power.
KK — That's beautiful. Thank you so much for your inspiring story and for sharing all of your deep wisdom with us today.
To learn more about Tara or sign up for one of her events or sessions, visit https://www.sacredearthadventures.com
* This interview has been edited for clarity and length.