I first connected with Laurel Flynn when I was walking down Hertel Ave in North Buffalo, New York on one of their lovely Shop, Rock n Stroll evenings. Laurel was outside of Her Sanctuary providing Tarot readings and I was immediately drawn to her. I wanted to stop for a reading, but Vera, (who I was carrying and was only 3 months at the time), had other plans. We returned home and I found her Laurel on instagram and within a few weeks we had a Tarot night with a few friends organized at my house. That night was an incredible experience for not only me, but the group of women that showed up for it. There was an immediate connection & vulnerability formed within the group that Laurel helped cultivate. From my reading, I was left with incredible insight and even homework to do for the next few months, (which I honored in every way possible, and am still honoring today).
Laurel is currently based in Buffalo, NY and works fairly often in New York City as well as all over the country. She offers 1-hour Tarot readings as well as long-term coaching. She conducts 1:1 sessions at her home in Buffalo, NY or over Skype and she also holds workshops and classes on how to read the Tarot at various spaces and healing centers. Laurel also does private events and parties as well.
I reached out to Laurel in the middle of our off wedding season when I was feeling the need to get out and create something new, (I knew Laurel would understand that pull). In the midst of arranging our photo session, I started a new interview series on other entrepreneurs so I asked her if she wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for the series to go along with the portrait session. I am so excited to share her answers with you. She is an inspiration for working from a place of truth and is an example of living out your purpose.
How do you describe what you do to others?
I act as both a witness and a mirror to people to aid them in feeling the core truth of who they are. When we’re living and operating from a place of truth and purpose we’re much happier people! Everyone on this planet has an inherent purpose, whether they choose to go towards that calling or not. I assist creatives and healers in discovering what that is for them. That looks very different for everyone. Everyone is at different stages of their lives and their development. Everyone has different stories, back histories and traumas.
We operate in a society that has taught us the “right” way to operate and live. There is no “right” way. A successful life is not necessarily having the 401k desk job at the top of a tower and coming home to a husband or wife and 2.5 kids in a nice home. Success is living an abundant life that feeds your soul and feeds you!
How long have you been reading Tarot?
I’ve been reading professionally for 2 ½ years and my current work is by far the most rewarding and meaningful that it has ever been, in my entire life actually.
How has your work evolved since you first started?
When I was starting out as a reader I modeled my work after my teachers and mentors, who at the time reached a fairly varied audience of clients. My work at that time was super general and vague, because I wanted to make myself available to everyone. Everyone deserves healing, right? But not everyone wants it.
I learned the hard way that I’m not the reader for everyone- and that’s okay! It was pretty obvious I needed to find my niche and the specific way that I serve people. I was approaching both my work and my life from a place of scarcity, trying not to cut off any potential clients.
Once I started working on my relationship with money and wealth consciousness that’s when I began to give myself more permission to get super specific about what it is that I do. I’ve been asking the Universe for quite sometime “what is my life’s purpose? How am I here to be in service to people?” I began to see that same question come up in the readings I was giving.
There’s a saying that every reading you give is a reading for yourself. That’s true, that we are all mirrors for each other. I’ll see collective themes in my clients during any given day, week or even month. I found it interesting that my clients were asking the same questions I was. And that’s when it smacked me in the face and I’m sure my spirit guides and collective soul posse upstairs were freaking wigging out like, “She got it! She finally fucking got it!”
I help creatives and healers discover their souls purpose and life’s work. At first it was scary to get super specific in who I serve thinking I was going to lose money from narrowing my demographic. In doing so I’ve brought in more clients and people I insanely love working with.
I’ve always been fascinated by the threads that lead someone right to the moment they are in. What are your earliest memories of being drawn to this work of healing and Tarot card reading? What inspired you to start exploring the Tarot?
My Mom read the Tarot and practiced Astrology, so I grew up around that work. I was always intensely intrigued by it all, and I was, as all children are, very psychic and aware of things not tangibly in-front of us. I lived in NYC for 6 years working as an actor and was fairly successful, but my work plateaued and I didn’t know what to do to change that. I was also living my life pretty mindlessly, and didn’t feel passionate about work in the way that I once used to.
Everything came to a screeching halt when my Mom died, who was my best friend and protector. I was her only child and the experience was extremely traumatizing and soul crushing.
I began working with a Core Energetics therapist to deal with my grief, and well, everything else in my life. It’s a therapy that understand psychology by itself is limiting because it does not address our bodies, which hold a wealth of knowledge beyond our cognitive understanding. My therapist, little did I know at the time, was also extremely psychic.
A year after my Mom’s death, I had neither the will to continue living nor the drive to end my life. I was extremely unhappy and unmotivated in my career and was essentially a walking zombie. One day my therapist told me she was gifting me a Tarot reading which I thought nothing of and went to the session with absolutely no expectations. It became one of the most healing experiences in my life. To have a stranger in 45 minutes witness exactly who I was and everything happening around me with no judgement or attachments, be able to explain what I had been experiencing on an energetic, bigger picture level was huge. She gave insight to things that my subconscious had been aware of, but I had not been tuning into. I walked away with with a sense of clarity and purpose that I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
That was the beginning of undoing the life I had built for myself, but one that I had created to appease others. The thread I kept coming back to was a return to myself. The more I lived my life authentically, the more the bullshit disappeared. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t this sweet, soft fairytale of an experience in stripping away the bullshit and getting down to my true self. It was 2 ½ years of crying, becoming seriously ill, feeling super uncomfortable and frail in the world, lots of lovely breakdowns and more fun stuff. But it was worth it.
In the Tarot, I spent about 2 years living in The Tower card. The Tower represents long standing structures falling down for our betterment. It’s the card of enlightenment. That which no longer serves you, must go. It’s a forest fire that burns all of your old shit to the ground ruthlessly, but is in your highest good. It doesn’t care about your comfort. But it is swift and its purpose is in your highest good.
As I began to unravel my life, I also began to fill it with nourishing things. I was attracted to communities of people I never imagined I’d be spending time with. Or at least my ego couldn’t comprehend it. I let go more and more of what “looked good’ and seemed “cool” and went after the things that made me feel supported made my heart happy.
After a falling out with my managers and having no energy or will to attend auditions sent by my agents, I finally made the decision to leave the acting industry. A month and a half later, and one year exactly after that life changing Tarot reading I was invited by Bakara Wintner to study under her, and thus began the next stage of my life is discovering my healership.
There is a vulnerability that comes with intuitive healing and reading tarot cards for others that seek your services. What have you learned about yourself and a permission to be vulnerable?
Vulnerability is where real connection and magic are born. When we are protecting ourselves, we are also blocking positive and nourishing experiences and opportunities from coming in. It took me a long time to learn that I am safe within myself. That even if I bear my soul to someone and they reject me, I will be okay. Them rejecting me has more to do with their opinion of themselves and how they view the world than it does to do with the quality of who I am.
With being vulnerable comes authenticity, and people pick up real fast when you’re not being authentic. It’s a huge turn off. Vulnerability is where real connection and magic is born. When we are protecting ourselves, we are also blocking positive and nourishing experiences and opportunities from coming in.
I’ve also learned that people who allow themselves to be vulnerable usually end up expanding the container for others. For example, you’re out dancing somewhere and someone starts busting moves that may look weird or silly, but you can tell they’re moving their body in a way they truly want to. That will do two things. It will first inspire others to dance more freely and to also not care how they look to others. Secondly, it will trigger judgement in people who don’t grant themselves that same freedom in not caring what anyone thinks.
Because I’ve done a lot of work on myself, I feel very comfortable holding space for others to explore the vulnerable aspects of their being. I understand the trauma people have experienced and the fear that comes with taking off that armor after years of abuse. Because I can be gentle and honest with myself, and I can now offer that to other people as well. It all begins and ends with you.
What 5 words would you use to describe your vision & philosophy of your work?
That my life is just going to keep getting bigger and better. That’s not something I would have said a few years ago, and possibly even last year. I truly know that everyone has the capability to live a jaw-dropping, incredibly meaningful and rich life. Both emotionally, spiritually, and physically. You have to trust and take the steps towards that happening. I had done a huge amount of emotional and spiritual work on myself, but I had to seriously heal my relationship with money. I sought out for a coach, took a chance and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.Identify what it is within you that you need to heal and then do it. Hire whoever you need to help you with that process. Mentors will change your life. That is another thing I know for certain. Only work with the best.
I have begun learning about the importance of a morning ritual for creative entrepreneurs & self employed, (I mean really, the importance of a morning ritual is for everyone!). Do you have one that you can share? Or any other ritual that helps ground you?
Yes! This is a question I love and LOVE hearing what other successful people do to start and sustain their day. First thing, when I wake up is to open up and read a random page in a book I own called “Creating Money: Attracting Abundance”. It’s an incredible book about learning manifestation and the laws of abundance, and I treat it like a prayer book, seeing what lesson or exercise I need to hear that day. I do this before I look at my phone or even leave my bed to really allow it to seep into my subconscious.
Next, I take a cold shower, which is an incredible way to start your day! You will never need coffee again. There’s a ton of health benefits to it as well. I’ll usually take a longer warmer shower later in the day after exercising or between some work, but starting my day with that is super rejuvenating. I originally decided to push myself to do a 30-day challenge of cold showers every morning this last February and I made sure to announce it to a coaching group I’m a part otherwise I would have just given up. I’m so happy I didn’t. It’s seriously changed my mornings and even perspective on life. I encourage everyone to try it for 30 days. It’s not as bad as our brains make it out to be.
After my shower I’ll sit down at my desk and look at my schedule for the day and write down a few action items I’d like to complete. And before jumping into work I’ll meditate for about 30 mins, checking in with my body and see how I feel today, and speaking with my spirit guides and seeing what messages they have for me and what I should focus on today. Also between work and clients I’ll usually take small break such as walking outside to refresh myself.
Where do you see yourself and your work evolving in the next 5 years ?
The artist in me is returning and I’m slowly incorporating that more and more into the healing work I do. I’m beginning to get back into music and am inventing a multidimensional healing performance that creates a sacred sensory experience for people to access deeper parts of their being. I know that eventually I’ll move beyond reading and teaching Tarot, into something bigger that allows me to reach a larger audience. I’ll be utilizing the story of the Major Arcana into art, performance as well as groups workshops and classes.