LGBTQ Under 40 – Lily McNamara

Photo courtesy of Lily Karen McNamara
Photo courtesy of Lily Karen McNamara

Lily McNamara is a business owner, Holistic Practitioner, Intuitive Energy Worker, Life Coach, Meditation Guide, and Volunteer Head of Programming for Kids and Teens. In life, they wear many hats, both figuratively and literally, “I do like a good hat,” Lily mentions cheerfully as we sit down to talk. Words like “cheerful” and “charismatic” come to mind when talking to Lily, and it’s no surprise she’s built a successful business in the wellness industry. “I always tell people I’m not doing anything. I’m just shining the light and going ‘go that way!’ . . . I’m just helping you to be empowered to be the most loved version of yourself and without shame or judgment to do that.”

As a holistic practitioner, Lily has been training since childhood: “I talked to spirits before I like, talked to humans, and then by the age of ten, my wonderful mother was like, ‘Oh, you’re special. Let’s get you a mentor.’” In many ways, Lily is a lifelong student, and over the years, they have continued to expand and improve their skill set to better meet the needs of their clients: “I believe that everyone is different and needs something different, so I will never stop learning and doing training . . . I want to have at least one thing in a toolbox that I can help you with.” In describing holistic medicine, Lily is frank about the fact that something like reiki is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and that their objective is often to meet a client halfway to find out what specific type of care works for them. Self-confidence and authenticity is a must for Lily and often a goal for the work they do with others.

Outside of their own business, Lily works with Twin Cities Pagan Pride as Programmer for Kids and Teens, describing themselves as “Peter Pan and Mary Poppins together.” Working with kids from toddlers to teens, Lily spends their time volunteering to help kids learn self-care techniques like meditation and breathing exercises, but they also make time for play and fun (“Who doesn’t want a glitter glue magic wand in their house? I can’t think of anybody”). “I truly believe that kids are the future,” Lily mentions with a definitive chuckle, “we have not perfected, you know, anti-aging, really. No one’s found the Fountain of Youth. Kids are the future.” 

Building and investing in the local community is something that seems natural to someone like Lily, who is in the process of facilitating the upcoming Samhain Symposium (October 29, from 9am-5pm), an event full of vendors, healers, and readers focused on marginalized voices and rising identities in the Pagan and holistic community. The event speaks to Lily’s own experience working in the largely cis-genderd and white Pagan community and their desire to shift the scales in the other direction: “[Marginalized Pagan and spiritual experts] are just as valid and need to be showcased as anybody else, and in these communities, that doesn’t happen as often as I want it to.” More information about the symposium can be found on its Facebook event, and tickets can be purchased via Ticketspice. And to learn more about Lily’s practice, visit LilyoftheLight.com.

As an experienced coach and healer, Lily has one piece of advice for our reader (that their social media followers may recognize): “Don’t forget to be a spiritual badass.”

On behalf of Lavender Magazine, we welcome Lily McNamara on our 2022 list of LGBTQ Under 40. 

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