By Elizabeth Gracen:
Flapper Press begins a new series that features indie filmmakers from across the world. We start the series with the work of Sharon Ruedeman, the creator of the docu-series Wild Women Healers. Sharon joins FP as a new contributor to talk about the fascinating people she has filmed for her series.
Please Meet Sharon Ruedeman!
EG: Sharon, welcome to Flapper Press. We are so excited to feature you and your film series, Wild Women Healers, over the next couple of months. Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
SR: I guess, in essence, I’m a seer, so almost everything that I do has a visual side to it. For over 14 years I’ve been working as a Video Editor and digital storyteller and have basically worked at or freelanced for most of the major media companies in New York. Throughout my career, storytelling has been a natural ability of mine; in fact, someone told me it’s in my astrology chart, having the ability to cut through the excess and find the deep nuggets of truth. And at times it does really feel that way.
About 7 years ago, I also started my own healing journey and path back to myself through yoga-teacher training (yoga was my gateway drug), tarot, breathwork, and reiki. It has been a long and spiralic process of healing from trauma and PTSD and learning to hear and trust my own intuition again. And so to sort of summarize it all I identify as a healer, witch, seer, and storyteller, and at the end of the day, as a Libra sun sign, I’m really dedicated to the Truth and sharing stories as a means to helping others.
EG: Wild Women Healers features an interesting mix of powerful healers and spiritual guides who help people, on a spiritual level, navigate through the twists and turns of life. How did you decide to start this series? What were your inspirations?
SR: Well, a few years ago I got really burnt out by a particular full-time gig at a major women’s magazine that was especially toxic. I got really sick with an auto-immune disorder and was also becoming increasingly fed up with the industry. I realized that I had been working on mostly women’s content for most of my career and a lot of it wasn’t in alignment with my integrity or beliefs. I think I was also just getting in touch with my integrity and beliefs at that time, so it was a major wake-up call for me. And so I realized a lot of the videos I was charged with creating seemed to do more harm than good for female/femme psyches. At the time I was also a fledgling healer and going through my own healing and unraveling process, and through that journey this longing to create something of my own that had nothing to do with money or work was building. So after Trump got elected, I felt the call to get this project started in full force. I was reading Women Who Run with the Wolves at the time, which is a book all about the archetype of the Wild Woman, which is where I got the inspiration for the title of my docu-series. And that’s sort of when it all started to come together, to create a docu-series that featured different healers who in my opinion embodied the Wild Woman archetype in some way, who were answering a call to help other people and live their lives in honor of that calling. I was also inspired by my own healing journey and the crazy amount of gratitude that I felt for every individual who helped me along the way, so I kind of look at WWH as my way of giving back and a love letter to my first true love: storytelling.
EG: How did you find the healers you feature in the series? What attracted you to them specifically?
SR: At the end of the day, every single person who I have interviewed or has touched or been a part of this docu-series was someone I was meant to meet and work with. I truly believe that. A lot of the people I first interviewed were healers that I had worked directly with, because for me I needed to start with what I knew and who I knew. Then I started getting brave enough to branch outside of my own network and comfort zones and basically cold call some folks. I can’t even explain to you how nervous I would be writing those emails or making those first phone calls, and how absolutely elated I was after getting a positive response or doing those intro calls. I'd have to dance around my apartment for a bit to work out the energy. Another major factor when seeking out people to be a part of WWH is diversity of practices and bodies; it was just a major must for me. I want everyone to be able to see themselves in these stories.