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  • Vermilion Voice

‘Gathering Of Souls’

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In honour of their 1st Anniversary, PHotential Health and Wellness hosted Algonquin medicine man, Pete Bernard, for Gathering of Souls at the Vermilion Regional Centre on November 28. Approximately 150 people participated in the ceremony, having the opportunity to learn about healing, learn about themselves, and begin a healing journey. “Suffering is a part of the human condition. I don’t believe that people are here to hurt, suffer, or survive life; but they do because they do not know any other way. You were born, at some point you got hurt, and it shaped you and changed your view of the world. Suffering can be not feeling satisfied or fulfilled, or having love that you cannot express. It is anything that takes place beyond the time when you got hurt, and it cannot teach you anything if you are not resolving it. We are taught that people who have issues are broken; they are not, they just haven’t healed yet. If you are just getting by, you are suffering, and when you have nothing left to lose you are in the best place to heal. Scientists are starting to understand more about trauma and suggest that your mind is not in your brain, but throughout your entire body. They also recognise that your body sends out a signal that is non-conscious,” said Bernard. He questioned the audience by asking if they ever wonder why they meet the people that they meet. “We only recreate what we know. Fine is never good. The scariest thing I ever had to do was change a pattern. My tribe are people who share my healing, not people who share my pain. To some people, the thought of a healthy relationship is terrifying. It is your job to become the best version of yourself; a more healed you. Having pain does have value, but to remain there is not going to help you. What do you want from your life, and can you afford to stay in the same situation? What if you heal first and then understand?” questioned Bernard. He went on to suggest that people not take things personally, that they keep moving, and do something different in order to get out of where they are. He stated that there is a cost of not healing to people’s physical, mental, and spiritual health. “It’s costing you your life; the quality of life that you want. Most people don’t heal because they don’t feel they are worth it. You have to believe in you; you don’t have to be gifted,” said Bernard. He suggested that when people heal by themes in their life, that they can heal relatively quickly. He noted that people have to own all the days of their life, and not eliminate the ones where they were hurt or humiliated. “To not forgive or to not heal is not free. All forgiveness begins in in-authenticity. There is no can’t in healing, there’s only won’t. Your life can be anything you want it to be, as long as you are willing to work for it,” said Bernard. The audience went on to partake in a healing journey, and the feedback was very positive. PHotential Health and Wellness owner, Sheila Viel, confirmed that they will be having him back in the spring. In the meantime, she noted that people can contact local graduates of his, Eric Barr, and Selene Viel. “It has been a very busy, successful year. We would like to thank everyone for their support, and Pete Bernard for providing this healing ceremony,” said Viel. For more information, you can visit or

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