ABOUT DR. CAROLLE JEAN-MURAT
Dr. Carolle was born and raised in Haiti to a family of healers, herbalists, midwives and shamans, and was educated in Haiti and the best universities in Mexico, Jamaica, and the US.
After completing her postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology in Wisconsin she settled in San Diego in 1982. She soon was regarded as one of the best ob-gyn around—tall and regal, a lone black female among the elite. But her success harbored a secret: when a patient entered her office, Dr. Carolle could quickly and intuitively see the root cause of her patient’s illness, often times knowing she could help the patient without having to put her under the knife. She knew she dared not make these claims aloud. Struggling to fit in with the Western medical paradigm, her intuition and vision were best left unmentioned until she had no choice than to quit.
In 2005, she built the Dr. Carolle’s Wellness and Retreat Center of San Diego, the only place in the world where you can get UNSTUCK by spending as much time as you want – a few hours, one day, or a weekend with her. She helps those who want to quickly discover the root causes of their dis-ease, which usually are hidden emotions. She provides guidance on how to bring them to consciousness, and how to effectively deal with them.
Dr. Carolle has worked extensively with female veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to sexual trauma during their military experience – MST, to include in-depth assessments, providing specialized alternative treatments, and testifying on their behalf at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In July 2012, she joined forces with Tara Wise, the founder of the National Military Women Veterans Association to help bring MST – military sexual trauma to the forefront.
Dr. Carolle continues to provide free intuitive gynecological care to the people of Haiti and underserved women through Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Village with Father Joe Carroll, and Native-American Health programs. In 1993, Dr. Carolle founded the non-profit organization, Health Through Communications Foundationand its Angels For Haiti Project to provide the underserved with education, health-care, and hope for the future. Seewww.HealthThroughCommunications.org.
As an international motivational speaker, Dr. Carolle brings her message of self-empowerment to women through her award-winning books, CDs, DVDs, live workshops and training programs, radio, media appearances andvirtual events.
To find out more about Dr. Carolle and her work, please visit: http://www.drcarolle.com
Interview with Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, MD, Author of the Award Winning memoir Voodoo In My Blood: A Healer’s Journey from Surgeon to Shaman
Q: Thank you for this interview, Dr. Carolle. Can you tell us what your latest book, VOODOO IN MY BLOOD: A HEALER’S JOURNEY FROM SURGEON TO SHAMAN is all about?
A: It is the story of a US trained OB-GYN born in Haiti who could intuitively see the root cause of her patient’s illness, struggling to reconcile Western medicine with her healing heritage. A spiritual journey of self-discovery; an awakening to live life “close to the bones” of innate identity.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I always felt that I had a life story that if told would inspire others. People that I met always wanted to know about my background and would suggest that I write my life story. Then in 1985 there were two books in the New York Times Bestseller list: I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú; and Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa. They inspired me to start writing my memoir. It took 25 years.
Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?
A: Most of the protagonists of my youth were still alive when I started, except my maternal grandfather, the Voodoo Priest. But I was able to learn about him from my mother and other members of his side of the family. They could not understand why I wanted to know, especially my mother who wanted to forget about her painful past.
Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?
A: As my friend Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of the New York Times bestsellers Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, and The Wisdom of Menopause said: “This fascinating memoir sheds light on the importance of asking yourself, ‘Have I created for myself the life I’ve meant to live?”
Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?
A: I was living with my paternal grandmother in Port-au-Prince and had been gravely ill at the age of nine and Western doctors had given up on me. My mother who lived in another town and did not know I was sick was told by a Voodoo spirit that she had to get me and take me to her father at the Voodoo Temple – otherwise I would be dead soon. This excerpt occurred before I left the Temple.
Ten days after I was brought to Lakou Déréal I had fully recovered. Before I left, I went to talk to Grand-père Mirabeau. “I wanted to be a nun, Grand-père. But maybe I should learn to be a healer, like you.”
He smiled. “You, a mambo, a Voodoo priestess? No way. Your aunt would rather see you dead. And your father has many plans for you. He wants his children to be well-educated. That’s the reason your mother gave you up, you know. It has been very hard on her. If you became a mambo, all her sacrifice would be worthless.”
I had not thought about it that way before. I knew it was a privilege to be able to live in Port-au-Prince and get an education. On the other hand, most provincial children attending school in Port-au-Prince lived in the city with a family member or attended boarding school, and returned to their families during breaks and summer vacations. I did not have that option, thanks to Tatante.
With a twinkle in his eye Grand-père Mirabeau said, “If you want to take care of people and make both sides of your family happy, what about becoming a medical doctor? No one in the Murat family has ever passed primary school. Think about it. You would be our first medical doctor. I would be so proud of you.”
This sounded pretty good to me. I remembered how important the doctors I visited looked, even though they were all men. “You’re right, Grand-père. My father and Grandma tell me I can be anything I choose—and I choose to go to school to be a healer.”
Grand-père Mirabeau looked up as his wife entered the room. “Clarisse,” he said. “Guess what? There will be a medical doctor in the Murat family. And here she is.”
Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?
A: I have never had problems finding a publisher or an agent when I need them – I guess I am one of those lucky authors. Louise Hay was my friend and patient. In 1998 I wanted to write my book Menopause Made Easy. I called her and asked her to write a chapter on Healthy Aging and she asked me who was going to publish it. “I don’t know!” was my reply. She told me that she had a publishing company Hay House Publishing but authors – especially the unknown ones needed to have an agent but she was going to see what she could do. When she called me back a week later, I was elated to hear that not only she was going to write the chapter but Hay House was going to publish it. It came out in the spring of 1999. Hay House also published my next book Natural Pregnancy A-Z in 2000.
My publisher now is Bettie Youngs of Bettie Youngs Book Publishers. She used to be my agent and was unhappy with the publishing world and started her own publishing company.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: I have a wonderful life. I live in a beautiful place and I do my own schedule which is very light. I wake up very early and look at my surroundings and say a prayer of thanks for being so lucky. Sometimes, looking at my beautiful surroundings, the trees, flowers, and birds I just shed tears of joy and gratitude. I am ready to tackle the day – whatever is on my calendar.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I just finished the manuscript of Is It My Hormones Or Something Else: How to Find What Is Really Happening to Me & What to Do About It. It is now in the hands of my editor. The other two books I am passionate about and presently fervently writing are Painful Sex No More: Preventing & Overcoming Vaginal Pain Before & After Menopause, and Moving Beyond Sexual Trauma: A Victim No More!
I have been offering my gynecological expertise in Haiti, a clinic for the uninsured and another for poor women. Otherwise, for the past seven years I have been doing telephone and in person intuitive consultations and second opinions and one-on-one retreats at my healing center. I am presently putting together the Integrative Health Institute of San Diego with a group of alternative healers. At the institute I will have the opportunity to see more patients in an office setting. Only a chosen few will have the opportunity to come and spend time with me at the healing center.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Dr. Carolle. We wish you much success!
A: You are welcome!
Born and raised in Haiti to a family of healers, US trained physician Carolle Jean-Murat came to be regarded as a world-class surgeon. But her success harbored a secret: in the operating room, she could quickly intuit the root cause of her patient’s illness, often times knowing she could help the patient without surgery. Dr. Jean-Murat knew that to fellow surgeons, her intuition was best left unmentioned. But when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti and Carolle returned to help, she had to acknowledge the shaman she had become.
This mesmerizing story takes us inside the secret world of voodoo as a healing practice, and sheds light on why it remains a mystery to most and shunned by many.