Marissa Bognanno - Your Spiritual BFF
Introducing the first of our interview series featuring woo woo experts! We discovered Marissa via a mutual friend on Instagram. We loved her Instagram stories about manifestations and so we had to learn more about her woo woo specialization.
Tell us about yourself! What's your story? What do you like sharing with people?
What lights me up more than anything is helping people discover their passions and purpose and showing them they can break free from ideas and beliefs that limit their full potential. I'm the one you turn to if you need a push to break up with the partner you don't connect with and/or quit your unfulfilling job! You will not find a more positive or encouraging person - my Mom always tells the story of me at 4 looking out the window saying, "isn't the rain so beautiful?" Haha! I believe myself to be a master manifestor (we all have those abilities, btw) so I love helping people understand that they create everything in their lives. Since you do, why not create exactly what you want? I use all kinds of spiritual techniques and tools to show you how to do that.
How did you get into the woo woo?
My life was completely different before it all started; I was living in Italy, married, and teaching English and fitness classes. I felt like something was missing and always said that something was going to happen to me - that I felt something coming. I started meditating in 2012 and it was like stripping layers of baggage off of myself. I suddenly felt lighter, confident and was receiving vivid visions. I leapt into everything metaphysical and the law of attraction blew me away because I had been doing all of those things my entire life - I didn't realize I could do it deliberately! In 2013, my Dad passed away and I felt more connected to the spirit world than ever. It was like I had a link now, and a guide to help me navigate it. In 2015, I worked up all of my strength to leave the town I had been living in for 8 years and my (now ex) husband. After that, I made the decision to go all in on my passions; I discovered Reiki and did all the levels up to Reiki Master Teacher in a span of 6 months, taught myself the Tarot, did training after training and knew with all of my heart and soul that I was meant to guide people to attract what they want, lead happier lives and see life with a grander perspective.
What is a pattern you see among clients and/or people you speak to seeking advice?
Many of my clients are living what they think other people want for them, or what they believe they "should" be doing with their lives. Then, they realize that's what's causing their burnout, confusion and anxiety. I know, because I did it for so many years! As soon as I share with them that what they truly desire to do is what they're supposed to be doing here, they usually have a freak out of joy! It's like we all just want permission to be happy. For so long, we've just been following what other people have deemed to be an acceptable life. I help them to see that what they feel guided to is actually what's most important.
What's your favorite story about helping someone out with your gifts?
There are so many! It seems like at least one magical thing happens during every session! And I'm still not jaded by it, even after all this time. My favorite memories are from when I initially started using my gifts. I was working as a server in a busy restaurant and had just received my Reiki I training. On the days that I worked double shifts, I would Reiki my co-workers in the back dining room on a booth during our break between lunch and dinner. I would spritz the air with essential oils, put Native American flute music on my phone, and give them a little crystal to hold while I offered them mini Reiki sessions. These were people who were decidedly not woo woo. Despite that, they were having amazing experiences! People were reporting way less stress, pains disappearing, headaches going away - and I took copious notes. It taught me so much and I knew that if I could do it there, I could do it anywhere, and if it could work on the most stressed out people (restaurant people) it could work on anyone. Something about it felt like being home. It was then that I knew I had to do this, whatever "this" was, out in the world.
What morning and/or night rituals do you recommend to develop one's intuition?
Meditation is by far the best thing you can do to start to hear your inner voice and see with your inner eye! It was the practice that opened me up more than any other! Sit comfortably and breathe into your heart and imagine each inhale as energy flowing into the heart space, and each exhale blossoming your heart open like a flower. Do this for a few minutes until you become relaxed and then just wait until something happens. Nothing might happen, it may take a while, but I promise that you will begin to receive the more you do it. I recommend 10 minutes in the morning and/or evening to start!