By Lexie Cutmore:
Years ago, people who went to holistic shops and participated in spiritual practices were often referred to as “hippies”. In 2019 the wave of peace, love and free spirits has resurfaced once again.
The demand for alternative answers has brought a small holistic shop to the Village of Brockport. Like many people who wander into Lightways, the owner, Judy Andrew hadn’t anticipated on finding spiritual prominence within her life. After Attending the University of Oregon Andrew found herself fully emerged in the hippie movement in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Without having much of a plan, Andrew was willing to let fate decide where life would take her.
“I did some traveling, finished college and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Then I met some friends from the Rochester area, and they said, “why don’t you come visit us here?” So, I packed up my little orange VW hippie van, drove across the United States and life just unfolded,” Andrew said.
After searching for job openings in the paper, Andrew decided to put her degree to use and applied for a job at Monroe #1 Board Of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in Rochester. After a few years she decided to apply for a job in the Rochester City School District where she stayed for over three decades. There, she learned a lot about creating emotional connections with people of all walks of life.
“35 years in high school, trust me, I’ve seen it all. You’re the mother. You’re the nurturer. You’re the counselor. You’re the humorist. You’re the entertainer. You really get to read people and I think that’s what Karen, my partner, and I are good at,” Andrew said.
Eventually, her years at Rochester High School came to a close, she wanted to retire in a place where she could have a lot of land and a big barn to host meditation gatherings. Andrew and her partner agreed that a rural place like Brockport was exactly what they were looking for.
As time went on Andrews noticed that her daughter became more and more interested in the deeper meaning of the world that surrounds her, a trait that she described as being ‘a bit of an indigo child’.
“When I retired, my oldest daughter would come downstairs and say, ‘I need to wear yellow today because I’m studying for a test’ and we’d say, ‘how do you know that?’ Or she’d come home with stones around her ankle and she’d say, ‘I really need to be grounded’ and we’d say, ‘how do you know that?’” Andrew said.
Andrew was aware of people who had a spiritual connection with the world, but her daughter inspired her to delve deeper into the world of stones and spiritual expression. This was the catalyst for how she would spend her days in retirement. The process of beginning her spiritual journey was slow and methodical. It started out small, but once she established a consistent clientele, her at home business expanded in ways that she never could’ve imagined.
After years of becoming somewhat of a counselor for hundreds of teenagers and learning to get an understanding of people’s emotional mentality, Andrew wanted to broaden her horizons in order to put her talents to good use.
“People want to be heard and they don’t have enough people that truly listen. There’s a gentleman, John, who’s in his mid-80’s now, who is a very gifted teacher. He was an instructor at Brockport years ago and he has always taught us that everything you need to know is already inside you, you just need to listen. So, helping people listen to their inner voice, I think that’s a big thing for me,” Andrew said.
Andrew works with people in a variety of ways, mainly energy balancing and chakra balancing. Her main goal is to help people let go of their negative emotions in ways that traditional medicinal practices can’t.
“Sometimes when you sit down with a doctor, they might say ‘Here take this pill’ or ‘Get on the treadmill’. Whereas we might be saying ‘take a walk in nature. Sit on the beach. Go within. Learn to meditate. Take time to yourself. Slow down. Pick one thing instead of ten to do. What do you really want? What are your goals?’,” Andrew said.
All the advice Andrew gives and the products that she recommends are subjective and will only aid a person in their spiritual journey. Andrew says that, over the years, she has learned that the physical objects are not meant for making miracles happen, but they can serve as a guide.
At the end of the day, Andrew wants to provide people with a way to open their hearts to the good things about themselves, build their strengths and work towards goals that they want to achieve. She wants to continue to learn and grow so she can help people in the only way that she knows how. She has studied with Shaman in Peru for a handful of months and plans on going back this year to further her enlightenment.
“We’re doing really well and just kind of living the dream. I think coming from teaching for years and years and now into a retired lifestyle, it’s much more easygoing. This really is a labor of love and a way to give back to the community,” Andrew said.