Meet Kayley Erlandson

By McKenzie Schwark
Features Writer

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Midwest. I grew up in Breckenridge and am the oldest of six kids. I live in Moorhead and work at Concordia in their marketing and communications department during the day. I’m a website content specialist there. I have a side business called Two Bluebirds, which I started in May 2021. I have been doing energy work for a while and was holding back on getting something started. This past year I experienced things that made me realize life is too short. It really took off. I just do it on the side now, but I do energy work, energy readings, house clearings and some other things.

Maybe 2021 must have been a tough time to get things up and running. What was it like to start your business in the middle of the pandemic?

I had been playing with the idea for a few months, and my friend who did the same type of work unexpectedly passed away in April. I had been talking with her about wanting to do this, and I had been dragging my feet. After she passed, I thought, “I could die tomorrow and never do the things I really want to do.” So, I decided to just do it. One of the last conversations we’d had was me telling her about wanting to [start Two Bluebirds]. She was so excited and told me to go for it.

What is Two Bluebirds?

I went through energy work training. There are all kinds of healing hands throughout history and with various cultures. So, someone will come in and they lay fully clothed on a massage table. I take my hands and hover over them, and I just take the time to tend to their energy. I can pick up on things they maybe aren’t saying out loud, and we can talk through that. I pass on messages I think they may need to hear. Energy work often deals with emotions, but we also do physical healing like headaches, or a sore hip. I like to think of it as complementary to traditional medicine. I strongly believe in therapy and all that. This is complementary and not alternative. I do house blessings and clearings, which I love doing.

Every session is so different because everyone who comes in is so different, and it depends where that person is at on any given day. I’m empowering people to help heal themselves. This healing helps people relax and explore a more spiritual side without any kind of shame or judgment. I’m taking care of people, and it’s just nice to be taken care of sometimes.

You use the term trauma-informed. What is trauma-informed care, and why do you feel like it’s important in your work?

This is something I really care about bringing to the spiritual community in Fargo-Moorhead. When you’re working with people in this way, you have to be aware of how you’re affecting them. Trauma-responsive care is firstly educating yourself on what trauma is. Everyone has trauma. It can be bullying, emotional abuse, a car accident, and, especially with COVID, we’ve all experienced trauma. Trauma manifests itself in different ways, and as someone working with people in a personal and often emotional setting, I want them to feel safe and comfortable. Consent is huge, so I’ll always tell people when I’m doing things around the room, like locking the door, because those things can be triggering. I want my clients to feel empowered and in control.

I have taken trauma-informed courses, specifically for spiritual practitioners, and seek out other resources to continually educate myself, learn, and grow. If I come across something that is out of my wheelhouse or something that I am not equipped to help with, I refer that person out to the appropriate resource. I also take great care to manage my own mental health. Being trauma-informed/trauma-responsive, knowing when to refer out, and taking care of your own mental health are all absolutely vital if you’re going to do energy work!

As someone who works full time and has a side business, how do you stay grounded and how do you strike something like work-life balance?

I’m still finding that balance, especially because this is so new for me. Boundaries are so important. Even in the work I do, I tell clients to know and communicate their limits. For me, I’ve identified what I can realistically do. I know I can’t do two sessions in a night, and I’ve adjusted my full-time work schedule so that I can start sessions earlier and not in the pitch black. Working a full day and then working at night is a lot, but I’m fortunate that my team can be flexible and I’m able to make it work. But that’s something I’m actively working on, especially because I didn’t expect Two Bluebirds to take off in these early months.

The work you do is incredibly personal and emotional. How do you keep from getting lost in that?

Boundaries. When I do a session, I’m not getting emotional; I’m facilitating that for someone else. I let it flow through me rather than holding onto that. It’s an important boundary for me to not get too emotionally invested. I know how many sessions I can do without getting drained, but it takes a lot of energy to hold space for someone in that way. Some sessions can also be really energizing and joyful. But it can certainly be draining if you let it.

You’re coming up on six months of being up and running. What have you learned in that time?

It’s okay to be misunderstood. It feels good to finally honor something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and seeing that it’s helpful for them. It’s so fulfilling to me. Not everyone has to understand what I’m doing. I love what I do and I’m so happy that it feels empowering to the people I work with.

You’ll hit a year with Two Bluebirds in 2022. What are you looking forward to this year, and what do you see for yourself?

Right now I’m on a two month plan. That’s too far away to even think about! My big thing is finding a balance, prioritizing what’s important, and letting other things fall to the side. I take things day by day. Some people have five year plans, but I think life is too short. I try not to worry too much.