Free Spirit Crystals and Free Spirit School
Nov 30, 2012 11:41AM
● By Beth Davis
In 1990, Diane Bloom, fed up with the corporate mentality that seemed only concerned about the bottom line, quit her job in food service management with no backup plan. She knew she wanted to help people, but was not sure how. Her intention was to take a year off to contemplate her future. However, fate had other plans.
The same evening that she left her job, Bloom was pitching in a softball game when a line drive hit her in the face and sent her to the ground, separating her shoulder in the process. The aftermath of the accident would be one that would change her life—and eventually lead her on a new career path. After an initial visit to the physician, Bloom was told her shoulder would be better in six weeks, but it was not. In fact, it was worse. She received cortisone shots and was told again that the shoulder would improve within a few weeks; instead, she continued to feel pain.
“I trusted in the allopathic model of medicine and had no inclination toward alternative modalities at the time,” says Bloom. “But, it just kept getting worse; for an entire year, I couldn’t use my right arm.”
After 11 months, a doctor informed Bloom that she had a pinched nerve and required surgery. After the operation, six weeks passed and she was no better. When she returned to the physician, he asked her on which arm he had operated. “In that moment, I was done,” she recounts. “He offered another cortisone shot, but I declined.”
Not sure how to move forward, she called a friend who recommended a woman named Rennie Laing who used stones and crystals for healing—an idea that Bloom thought was crazy, but worth a shot. For the next five weeks, the woman worked with Bloom using stones, crystals, energy work and meditation. As a result, Bloom’s arm healed.
“It was nothing like I had ever experienced in my life,” recalls Bloom. “It opened up a whole new world for me. I had always wanted to help people, and this was my obvious answer.” She began reading and delving into alternative healing methods, and her inner voice told her it was time to start a crystal business.
At the time, Bloom knew nothing about crystals, and without capital, customers or plans, she did not feel ready to start a business. The voice, however, persisted. “It told me that I needed to go buy some rocks and that I didn’t need a store; I would just set up a booth,” she recalls. “I was intrigued enough that I went to Laing and had her give me a one-hour lesson, and then drove to Arkansas and bought some crystals. When I returned, I set up a table in my spare bedroom, and that’s how it started.”
She set up at craft fairs, high schools, metaphysical fairs and wherever else she could. People kept buying and the business kept growing. Laing gave informative classes to customers that explained the crystals and stones and the benefits of each one. One day, a class was scheduled, but Laing was ill and could not do it—leaving Bloom to fill in.
“I was in a panic; I didn’t know what to do,” she states. “So, I picked up a stone and it was like the stone was telling me what it does. I looked it up, and the descriptions matched. It was then that I understood that the stones had consciousness; I just needed to hold them with love and respect.”
After several years of working out of her home and traveling to fairs, Bloom opened the Free Spirit Crystals retail shop in 1995, offering fine crystals and healing stones, books, CDs, incense, jewelry and candles. Her mission was, and remains, to assist anyone looking for a place to explore their inner lives and their spiritual connections in order to move into a place of greater understanding and resolution within themselves. Free Spirit is more than just a retail shop; it also serves the community by offering a variety of classes, healing services, readings and referrals.
Bloom studied crystal healing at Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy, in Kauai, and attended Melody’s School for Crystal Healers, where she became one of only 32 graduates licensed to teach under Melody’s name. She is also a graduate of the School for Enlightenment and Healing and Lionheart Institute of Transpersonal Energy Healing. After graduation, she became co-director of the Midwest branch of Lionheart, located in Milwaukee until 2007, when she founded the Free Spirit School of Integrated Energy Healing.
“Though I loved Lionheart, I knew after a while that it wasn’t what I wanted,” notes Bloom. “I wanted to incorporate stones and crystals into the curriculum, and I wasn’t able to do that there.” Bloom partnered with Rose Koremenos, who works as a nurse and integrated care practitioner at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, to open a school of their own—one that incorporates crystals and healing stones into every program.
In the 20 years since she began her journey down this path, Bloom says she has never looked back. “I love to see the shift in students and clients. It’s so inspiring to watch people take the chance to change—it never gets old.”