Foreword Reviews

Swimming with Elephants

My Unexpected Pilgrimage from Physician to Healer

Seidelmann is an often irreverent narrator whose memoir is as transformative as it is off-the-wall.

Emotional and spiritual awakening are at the core of Sarah Bamford Seidelmann’s memoir about her transition from medical doctor to shamanic healer. The title, Swimming with Elephants, refers to one of the powerful spiritual journeys that Seidelmann takes with Alice, her animal spirit guide, who appears in the form of a happy and supportive pachyderm. Alice is at Sarah’s side soon after she realizes that dealing with sickness all day while juggling a family of four kids is simply not working for her. What calls to her instead is much less mainstream.

Told with a mix of humor, raw honesty, and gentleness, Swimming with Elephants is a journey of healing. Though becoming a shamanic healer is at the core of the book, it’s about much more than just this one route to becoming whole. Seidelmann’s struggles will be familiar to anyone who has tried to balance a career with family and personal fulfillment. What stands out is Seidelmann’s unique way of bucking tradition and finding her own way.

From energy-healing retreats and solo journeys in her walk-in closet to all-encompassing trips to spiritual meccas like the Taj Mahal, Seidelmann embarks on a path that may seem completely foreign to some, but that nevertheless results in resonant calm and healing.

Touching on the power of crystals, the ability to communicate with animal spirit guides, and internal trips to higher realms, this is a guide to everything mystical. Seidelmann is an irreverent narrator who pairs deep, soul-baring stories with quips about boob jobs and her “shadow spirit,” resulting in a memoir that is as transformative as it is off-the-wall.

Memoirs work best when the author is ready to lay it all out on the table, and Seidelmann does this in Swimming with Elephants. Her willingness to be herself and to follow her path—no matter how non-traditional and wacky it might seem at first—makes for an endearing and illuminating adventure.

Reviewed by Angela McQuay

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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