LIVE: Robbie Warren – Walking In Two Worlds


Robbie Warren walks in two worlds. One world is the world of interior design, full of agendas and coffee. In the other world she is a Shaman.  Shamanism is a calling, she says “You can’t go to college and get a degree in Shamanism.”

On September, 11, 2001 everything in Robbie’s life shifted. She realized there had to more to her life than her interior decorating business.. Six weeks later she found herself at ground zero, where she had a spiritual experience.  She prayed out loud for the first time in her life, even though she had been raised in a religious home it was at ground zero that she says, “Something was ignited in me, and I had to know more.”

Upon returning to her everyday life, she felt heavy as if something was missing. A friend recommended that she visit a sweat lodge, which she described as a ritual of purification. Robbie took her friend’s advice and she went to a sweat lodge in the Tennessee mountains.

Robbie’s first time in a sweat lodge was incredibly memorable, she remembers every detail. She recalls the people she encountered on her way in and the glowing stones that sat around the fire.  She distinctly remembers the fear and the anxiety she felt in those first vulnerable moments, but her determination to prove herself and to prove that she could do it was more powerful.

The anxieties washed away as she began hearing and singing music. She remembers the first waft of warm steam bathing her face. How welcoming and calming the steam felt as the coolness of the ground was felt under her hands and feet.

“I had never felt such darkness,” Ronnie says about her time in the tent after the opening flap was closed. She spent hours in the heat and darkness and even though she she shared the space with only one other person, the tent felt crowded with spirits.

Surprisingly, she felt reluctant to leave the tent because there was a sense of  kinship to the spirits created within the tent. This is also where she gained a connnectedness to the earth and all of the life on it.

As part of her journey, she was introduced to a Native American medicine man, a mystic. Upon their meeting, he looked at her and said, “So, you’re a medicine woman?” Robbie didn’t know what he meant. He explained to Robbie that she was on a journey to find out what being a medicine woman meant to her. He never offered a straight answer or direction to look in, he only suggested, “You just need to remember.”

Robbie felt like this message from the mystic was a big responsibility, almost too big. She avoided thinking about it for a while and went along her daily life. She found it very difficult to forget about and felt as if she was leading a double life.

Robbie had an opportunity to visit a sweat lodge in South Africa, she met two Zulu women and they offered take her on adventure with them up a mountain to meet other healers. Their encouragement was so touching, and in that moment, Robbie realized that this was her real life.  And she climbed the mountain with these amazing women.

When Robbie arrived home, she felt even more strongly that her daily life and the business she was running weren’t really meant to be her true life. What had been stopping her from completely embracing the spiritual space was fear. She feared giving up her business and she feared the unknown. Upon her return she knew she couldn’t ignore the truth of who she really was anymore.

Robbie’s advice? “Say yes to your life, say yes to who you’re met to be, fan those flames and let the friction begin.”





TEDx Photo Intro - Robbie


About the Speaker…

Robbie Warren is a Charlotte native and a self-made woman who built a hugely successful interior design business around her unique, creative spirit combined with a strong emphasis on personal integrity and clarity of vision. Her spiritual path has its roots in Native American tradition but has developed through Robbie’s experience into a practice she calls Earth Medicine. The emphasis of Earth Medicine is reverence and respect for all living beings, conscious connection to Spirit and a keen awareness of the lessons life has to offer. Her journey along this path has given her many opportunities to work with some amazing spiritual teachers as well as other visionaries. She was given the Medicine name Otter Woman Standing by her Ancestors and Spirit Guides as she works within the other realms.