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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Discovering the Heart of Spirituality

Nov 26, 2014 04:30PM ● By Sheila Julson

Amy Wilinski in Peru

Amy Wilinski, founder of Golden Light Healing retreat center, was once skeptical of energy healing arts. Well into adulthood and established with a family and a professional career, she had an opportunity to try Reiki through a friend. Amazed by the experience and how it helped her release long-held grief, she immersed herself in Reiki and now teaches this growing form of spiritual wellness, along with mediumship and shamanism.

At the young age of 13, Wilinski suffered emotional trauma when her older brother Tom died. Despite being 13 years her senior, the siblings were like best friends. Wilinski recalls that while she was grieving throughout her teens, she tried to connect with her brother’s spirit, but was deterred by others. “A friend who came from a fear-based religion insisted that I cannot talk to the deceased without going to hell. Being raised Catholic, I was scared of going to hell, so I quit talking to anybody but God, and I shut down my grieving process.”

Wilinski was able to move on with the support of her high school sweetheart, David. She fell in love not only with him, but also with his family’s spacious Patience Hill property in Sobieski, north of Green Bay. Originally purchased by David’s great-grandparents, the land encompasses woodlands, prairie and fields. The couple helped plant pine trees and steward the land.

She married David in 1983 and earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison the following year. The couple decided to relocate to Florida. While working as director of occupational therapy and therapeutic recreation for a hospital in the Fort Myers area, Wilinski’s employer provided her the opportunity to return to school. In 1992, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Florida.

After the birth of their son, the couple felt an urge to return home. David’s parents gifted them with 200 acres of the Patience Hill property, and Wilinski continued her occupational therapy work in the Sobieski area at hospitals, private practices, nursing homes and schools in the Green Bay School District.

In 2003, a friend offered her a Reiki session. Although Wilinski doubted the technique, she tried it anyway. “I was a healthcare professional and an occupational therapist, and I held a master’s in business administration. Energy healing was not in my world and not on my radar. I thought it was crazy stuff,” she recalls.

After experiencing Reiki, she was drawn in and agreed to two more sessions. “It started peeling away layers of emotions. I got into my car after the second session, and I had a huge emotional release,” says Wilinski. “I felt my brother’s presence in the car with me. I realized that I had to let go of guilt and grief about his death.”

Amazed by this form of healing, Wilinski became determined to share the skill with others and to teach Reiki to other healthcare professionals. She began bringing people to her serene property to teach Reiki on a part-time basis, starting with a few people and blankets on the floor of her loft. She quickly envisioned a retreat center.

Today, the tranquil Patience Hill property comprises the Golden Light Healing retreat center, which offers classes not only in Reiki, but also in shamanism and mediumship, and Patience Hill Ranch, where grass-fed cattle are raised for beef.

As a former skeptic, Wilinski says she understands others that express doubt about energy healing: “But I tell them that if I can do it, they can, too. I integrate science and research into my teachings, and I help people unwrap the gifts that are already there.” Golden Light Healing also provides workshops that teach how to make natural soaps and ceremonial drums.

Wilinski and her husband lead spiritual tours throughout the United States and abroad, introducing people to the serenity of the Black Hills of South Dakota and the peace of Rock Island, near Door County; as well as the wisdom of shamanic teachers in Peru and ceremonial healing traditions in Ireland. Golden Light Healing’s next spiritual tour of Ireland is May 22 to 31, 2015. Openings are still available.

Wilinski holds workshops throughout Green Bay and Milwaukee, with an upcoming mediumship class, December 13 and 14, in Elm Grove. “I’ve trained thousands in energy healing,” she enthuses. “People are always so surprised that they can do it. It’s not as hard as they think it is, and they slip into that place where magic happens. I love seeing the light come on in people’s eyes.”

Golden Light Healing is located at 7100 Sundew Rd. For more information about the center or upcoming classes, call 920-609-8277 or visit

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