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about favor

Favor Ellis, MA, CH, LMT #9207
she/her pronouns


When I was little girl, I was pigtail braids, scraped knees and dirty hands, always reading a book or writing stories. Sitting by the stream or nestled in the roots of the fallen Good Old Tree. Always asking the world for stories so I could make sense of my place in things. I fell in love with the stories I could hear when I really listened. I fell in love with the place right there, where wind meets skin, voice meets song, where tops of trees touch bottom of sky. Look up, look up. And when I got lost or scared or small, I learned to save myself with deep listening and touch and words. I listened hard and deep and I learned some of the ways my stories put roots in my flesh, grief heavy in my lungs, fear in my kidneys. That's how it started.

I can find my way around any forest or city, and walk eyesclosed along any water's edge without falling in.
I am afraid of heights but not depths or distances. I listen best with my hands and heart.
I think in metaphor and magic and minister to the tenderest parts. 

I am an intuitive massage therapist, bodyworker, and counselor,
a spell-casting wordwitch, a wildhearted queer,
an intersectional, intentional, & inclusive feminist, a threshold doula,
a circle practitioner, a holder of heart-centered space,
an explorer of liminal spaces. 

Favor is an expert believer.
She believes in people’s basic goodness; in their genuine kindness;
in their humor and intellect.

She believes, and models so gracefully, that feelings are meant to be felt, and cared for, no matter how big or strong or scary or old.
— Emma
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I believe in connection, love, and belonging. Here is one place where I hold space for these ideas:

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You are your best thing.
— Toni Morrison

I hold a Master's degree in Transformative Language Arts, Imaginal Psychology, and Embodiment Studies. What this means is that I engage metaphor, dreams, and vulnerability, and am always exploring the ways we can live more soulful and embodied lives. I've spent the last twenty-five years holding space for, working with, and counseling homeless, runaway, and street-dependent young people, queers, trans & nonbinary & gender expansive folks, and college students. Most recently, I've trained with the Center for Courage and Renewal’s Academy for Leaders and worked with Heather Plett to become a certified Holding Space coach & facilitator. I'm a full-spectrum doula and a humanist chaplain & celebrant. I became a massage therapist and bodyworker at the Santa Fe School of Massage, formerly the Scherer Institute for Natural Healing.

My lens is healing-centered, intersectional, intuitive, and empathetic.

I am especially curious about stories of transition and transformation: birth, death, grief, loss, identity, relationship, and growth, and the ways our bodies interact with these stories. How we live our narratives, how we can choose to be who we need.

I am a touchstone at the thresholds. A threshold doula.

Favor grew up wild eyed and wild deep on a small hill hidden in a forest. From the beginning, she practiced survival through story. She creates worlds, truthful and dark, peopled by the magical and small, the gorgeous and the grotesque. Small warm worlds that offer sanctuary from the loud fluorescent outside.
— Valerie

because I love lists,
and because we are many layered:

1. I was born on my mother's birthday. She really wanted a daughter, and I did her a favor by being the best birthday present ever. Thus, the name.

2. I have three fiddles in my closet and a child-sized accordion on a bookshelf. I yodel in my car. My secret dream is to be a fiddle-playing, yodeling accordionista trapeze artist. With pigtail braids and striped knee-highs.

Favor is pure magic, so...
— Graham

3. They thought I was a genius when I was in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. I gave perfect tests, every time. They started doubting me when the tests would ask me to project into the future based on the information they gave me. I put the girl under the tree, when they told me she should be in the house. That sort of thing.

4. For many years, I have been building a collection of animal bones. Deer, cows, birds. fossils. Also, whenever anyone tells me they are going someplace I have never been, I ask them to bring me back a rock. "What kind of rock?" they always ask. "You'll know it when you see it," I tell them.

5. I spend a great deal of time staring into space. Into a middle space. If I find myself without time for this staring every day, I go a little lost. We could call it meditating. Or journeying. Or shifting. Whatever its name, it's important. It’s my lifeblood.

6. I'm an INFJ.

7. I want to write much, much more than I do. I'm good at it.
And sometimes I avoid it.

8. Same: I think I might be an artist, but I've never really tried.

9. There are three people I have met and thought: this person will be important. So I pursued them relentlessly. Without these three, I would not know who I am. So I was right.

10. I am an animal communicator. Some of you tease me for holding this belief about myself. You don't even know.

11. I am almost always hungry.

12. I know three excellent magic tricks. I keep these magic tricks handy because I am unbearably awkward in groups. I also know a few very good jokes about small animals (slugs, millipedes, chickens, hedgehogs) and one about a hippo.

13. I am, every moment, seeking connection. It's the most important thing I can think of. Shared connection, visibility, love, truth.


14. We don't know why my hair started turning gray when I was twelve. Sometimes I tell people there was a lightning strike, but this is not technically the truth. We could embrace the metaphor, though, and be on a kind of solid ground.

15. I never had a father. Never met him. But when I was small, I thought for sure John Lennon was my dad, and he would claim me when he finally learned about me. He died the day before my 7th birthday. Since my mom & I share our birthday (see #1), my party was cancelled, and we cried all day, listening to the Beatles. Later I started thinking maybe my father was Paul Simon, or Willie Nelson, but I never hoped either would actually find me. I have been content to sing their songs, top of my lungs, on road trips.

16. I believe in so many things I can't explain. 

17. When I was small, my mother told me that if she ever disappeared, I was not to worry: the aliens came and she went with them. I still find myself wounded and small when this memory is triggered. But I see myself doing the same thing to the people who love me when I talk about the airstream in the desert. Disappearing, without a trace. That's not fair, and I'm sorry about it.

18. Sagittarius sun, Aquarius Rising. Moon in Gemini. Sagittarius North Node.

19. My deepest and most tangled life goal: to live with wildhearted expansiveness. 

20. There were some days I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be pregnant and in love (with the person, the child, the future, the world). I think I am an excellent mother, even without a child. We pick wildflowers and talk about what might be happening underground and in the sea. We make up songs, tell stories, and make the world beautiful. 

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We can choose to be who we need.

More of how I see the world, here

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