Healing from Within: An Interview with Sheena from OnePeopleTo

Meet Sheena Ewan, the Founder of OnePeopleTo. Sheena is a reiki master, tarot card reader, astrologer, energy healer and spiritual mentor, who is invested in self wellness, development and healing. Sheena has been committed to enhancing lives by healing anti-Black racism, starting with the Black community and spanning across all cultures, races and generations. OnePeopleTo provides a space for this essential self-development through individual healing services, community-based events, corporate packages and various membership options for the extended community.

We’d love to hear about the OnePeopleTo journey! Tell us how it all started?

Like a lot of people, I have experienced trauma and didn’t understand how it affected or showed up in my life. Personally, I have struggled with mental health for years but didn’t realize at the time that it would lead me to my spiritual evolution. At the age of 16, I got my first set of tarot cards and I unknowingly started to develop my own understanding of intuition and feeling.

Throughout my 20s, I was doing everything that I could to control my mental health but nothing was working. I felt like it was an endless cycle of therapy and medication. I was doing all of the things that my doctors told me to do in terms of traditional medicine, but nothing was working for me. I started to become an advocate for myself by not assuming that just because someone else might have more knowledge or education, that they had all of the answers for my own body. This is the same thing that I tell my clients – encouraging them to take their feelings into their own hands.

I started to focus on alternative ways of healing -  things like changing to all natural products and eating well. Making these small adjustments started to impact my overall mental wellbeing in a significant way. That’s when I felt like I needed something more. At the time, I was reading the book “You Can Heal Your Life” and the author listed different forms of alternative therapy. I wanted to try them all but reiki stood out to me as it was aligned with my spirituality and didn’t have the needles that acupuncture had.

I had my first session and it was the weirdest, most amazing experience. I cried, I laughed, I giggled and my eyes were closed yet, I still felt all of these emotions that I could not control. It was cathartic, it was good and it was overwhelming. My second reiki teacher, I clicked with. She was a racialized person and became a safe haven for me in so many ways. This is when I realized that I wanted to pursue this path. It gave me an understanding of being able to be myself in this moment and refocus my mind for the better. After that, reiki pretty much opened me up to a world of possibilities that were always there, but that I was afraid of.

Fast forward to today – I have my own space and an amazing community. We host events, corporate workshops and offer individual services. Majority of sales goes back into creating programming for the Black community. When COVID happened, I had to pivot, and I’m really proud of what it’s become. Practitioners can rent out our space and use it as their own. We’ve brought healing into the community in such a big way and this is just the beginning of something great.

You focus on healing anti-Black racism, can you tell us more about that process? Has it changed over the course of time?

The services that we offer are for everyone and anyone’s experience. That being said, there are events for Black folks only, POC folks and all folks specifically. For me, it’s about entering in a space and being considered in all ways. It’s about incorporating anti-Black practices so that we can combat fear. One of the things that we’ve been doing is taking a course of action to specifically focus on healing within the Black community. These free or low-cost events are open to everyone and focus on what it means to be a Black body in the world and the stories and experiences that come with this.

I want to hold events that particularly focus on educating other communities about the way that they view the Black community and combating anti-Black racism. We can do this by inviting other communities in for conversations about discourse and understanding. This will help us to normalize the Black experience and allow other people to see, hear and learn from the BIPOC community. 75% of white people have reported that they do not have a person of colour in their close circle. Let’s change that and foster an understanding by opening these conversations up and allowing other communities to join.

Tell us more about the OnePeopleTo community! Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot though this process?

Our community has deepened and widened throughout our journey and it’s been so beautiful to watch. I have developed relationships by putting myself out there and allowing people to gravitate towards me. It was slow at the beginning because there is a form of doubt within the Black community specifically around this idea that reiki, tarot and astrology can be used as a form of self-development and spirituality.

I ended up bringing in people that I knew personally to our extended community and then others as well. I brought in musicians, producers, artists and people within the realm of creativity to our space and events.

When COVID happened, I never thought that this would be a blessing for me – but it was. This was because people were willing to try out our services in their own home – a place where they might feel more comfortable. It’s opened up a whole new world of virtual sessions for me .  

 Do you use cannabis in your wellness practice?

I personally use cannabis and am an advocate for it! For me, using substances that alter your mind and body have been transformative and opened my eyes up to so much. There’s definitely a stigma around this, especially within the Black community as there can be ignorance, miseducation and fear around what may work for people and what they are told they should be doing.

For me, it’s about listening to my own body, experiences and intuition. This might not be an attractive method for everyone, but can definitely be healing for people open to trying these methods. I’ve been wanting to host conversations about cannabis specifically around aspects of the experience within the Black community and think that with Cori there is definitely some opportunities to do this.

What’s next for OnePeopleTo?

Right now I’m focusing on getting our not-for-profit status. Racialized communities should be able to benefit from our services. Programming is a huge focus for us. We’re starting to offer more free and low-cost programming and working more with corporate entities that are interested in dismantling Black racism in the workplace. We’re hoping to be an agency for anti-Black racism training for corporate and individual healing workshops as well.

The long-term goal of OnePeopleTo is to be able to provide free/low cost therapy and wellness sessions for the Black Community. We do this by fostering cross-cultural discourse and economic wealth building via BIPOC entrepreneurship, opportunities for creativity/sharing and community wellness events.

The spiritual tools I use are ancient arts that have helped me grow into an entrepreneur by guiding others during transitional times. Any entrepreneur or individual can access these one-on-one sessions for support, planning purposes and untapped opportunities.  

Read more about OnePeopleTo here

Learn more about The WE11-Being Playbook here where Sheena helped to create a digital well-being resource to help organizations provide more racially and culturally relevant well-being options for their employees.