After A Clarity Breathwork Session; How One Client Experienced The Consciousness Shift In Her Life

This week I would like to post a beautiful account of the benefits and insights a client experienced after her breathwork session. She generously said I could publish it in my blog.

“Right after our private breathe ended, I felt very energized even though it was late and after work. After I had something to eat, I slept really soundly and felt pretty different the next day.  

For the rest of the week at work, which was Thursday and Friday, I felt a distinct absence of my usual anxiety, and a greater ability to focus and hold my group with my manager, colleagues, and my clients on a variety of different issues. My job responsibilities are spread out in a number of areas and I often feel like someone is always disappointed with me or wanting me to do something faster and better for them.  For the rest of the week, I was able to really put all of that out of my mind and focus in a way I felt I have not been able to for a very long time.  I think I am often distracted by a feeling of anxiety in my chest throughout the day, and I’ve noticed the breathwork both in our private sessions and in the many group sessions chipping away at the tension that has built up over time in the area around my chest, neck, and shoulders.

I have also noticed that my personal space when I am with people at work or elsewhere feels more fortified in a way. Normally, because I am a pretty sensitive person, it is difficult for me to not pick up on the emotions and energy of other people without it affecting me in some way. This can have the effect of causing me to stray from doing things I need to do or stay focused on my work.  I have felt the space around me to feel more protective and less permeable to outside stimuli from other people or even noise or other influences. This has made a huge difference in my ability to stay present with my own needs and flow of the day.

I feel like there is still a lot more brewing inside. I know that clarity and a sense of being more connected to inner strength has emerged since our private breathwork session, and I am looking forward to see what else unfolds over the next days, and as I continue to more of this amazing work.”

Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, Distance Healings and Clarity Breathwork Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm. 510-601-9632

The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic

Acupuncture at CMCC

In my healing practice I have watched Healing Touch sessions make a remarkable and dramatic difference in the lives of my clients who were going through chemotherapy and radiation. Because of this, I would like to see every person with a cancer diagnosis have access to Healing Touch treatments.

That’s why I have been a volunteer at the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic in Oakland since 2008.

The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic (CMCC) is a state licensed primary care clinic and a community of healthcare practitioners dedicated to bringing low-income women alternative healthcare. Designed to work alongside the services of a primary care physician, CMCC is also a center where women with a cancer diagnosis can find consistent physical, emotional and spiritual support through healing modalities.

The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic was named after social worker Charlotte Maxwell, who died of ovarian cancer in 1988. Charlotte was an extraordinary woman who found that complementary therapies greatly enhanced the quality of her life, especially in the final months. Her healthcare practitioners were so inspired by her spirit that they founded The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic. They wanted to make acupuncture, energy work and other complementary modalities accessible to women who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

Navigating our healthcare system, even with insurance and a strong emotional and financial support system, can be overwhelming. Navigating our healthcare system without insurance can be devastating. At CMCC, it is so rewarding to see a women who looked fatigued and exhausted, walk out or her Healing Touch session with a smile on her face so much more relaxed.

At CMCC I have worked with women of all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds. I find it so exciting to work in a clinic where the value of complementary modalities is understood and put into action in the community. The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic is a working model of how people with cancer are benefiting from alternative medicine in our healthcare system.

Volunteering at CMCC is a rewarding experience. As a volunteer, I received a weekend of orientation and training, and was then scheduled for one shift a month with clients.  I see three clients during my shift. I get there thirty minutes before my first client to look over the medical charts. Everything about the client is in the charts: when she was diagnosed, what kind of cancer she has or had, what Western treatments she is currently going through, and any contraindications. I can look at what modalities or treatments the client has had in the past and read the notes from those practitioners. If the woman doesn’t speak English, that is also in the file and the clinic usually provides a translator.

Sessions with clients are 50 minutes each.  At the end of each shift all practitioners and staff support gather to check in. Check-ins have been extremely educational for me. I have learned so much more about cancer and the current Western medical therapies. By listening to the other practitioners, I have also learned the amazing benefits of other complementary modalities such as Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Therapeutic Imagery, Feldenkrais and Western Herbs.

At the check-in, if circumstances warrant it, practitioners can write referrals for their clients to the CMCC staff. This could be for a woman who needs special preparation before an upcoming surgery or a client who needs special care due to an infection. Appropriate staff members will then call the client and make sure the client is taken care of.

The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic also has presentations and workshops for volunteers on each modality the clinic offers and lectures on topics such as “The Basics of the Biology of Cancer.” I attended two separate talks on chemotherapy by oncology nurses from the Bay Area that have been extremely helpful while working at the clinic and in my private practice.

Since volunteering at The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic I can picture how our healthcare system can integrate Healing Touch and other complementary modalities into our medical culture. It is inspiring to work in a community with so many caring and committed women coming together to help each other. Working at Charlotte Maxwell gives me the hope to believe we can change our healthcare system to a culture where everyone is cared for emotionally, physically and energetically.

The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic has an office in San Francisco and an office in Oakland, California. To find out more and to support the work of CMCC click here.

Jeri Lawson is a Healing Touch Practitioner and Clarity Breathworker in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

Working on a Creative Project? Try Clarity Breathwork.

Clarity Breathwork can help keep you centered when focused on a long-term creative project. Shooting a film, launching a new business or remodeling a home is about 10% creativity and 90% hard work. The creative idea is only a small part of the process, the real creativity comes in solving all the problems that arise when manifesting an idea on the physical plane.

About a month ago on a New Dimensions Radio Program, I heard Terry Tempest Williams make the statement, “Courage is sustained attention.”

What a brilliant insight. It really made me think how many clients I have supported who have succeeded in manifesting their visions. I know how much courage it took them to stick with their project.

While supporting clients committed to long-term creative projects, I have noticed this “Sustained Attention” mode is when personal insecurities, old memories and limiting beliefs often surface. Writing a book, launching a new business, or completing a new series of paintings requires addressing and releasing any energetic blocks that stops the creative flow so you can continue to move forward.

A limiting thought like, “I’m not good enough” has to go if you have to make a deadline. Old wounds or past rejections can suddenly constrict energy flow in the physical body by causing an old back injury to emerge or cause you to suddenly not have any time to work.

Commitment takes courage. Being supported during the creative process keeps the whole experience manageable, exciting and even fun. Private Clarity Breathwork sessions are especially powerful because they create the space that allows you to let these blocks surface and release in a safe and gentle way. The focus is on you, your process and your project.

Breathwork keeps you connected to your initial passion as your vision takes form.

Clarity Breathwork is perfect for cutting right through writer’s block. When I need ideas about what to write my next post on, I just do a breath session. I’m amazed at the guidance I receive.

Support yourself as you manifest your goals and vision. Clarity Breathwork makes the creative process a lot more fun!

Clarity Breathwork Retreats at Mount Shasta and William Bengston in Palo Alto

There are two extraordinary workshops coming to our area that I highly recommend.

A Photo From Stewart Mineral Springs

The first workshop is happening this month at the beautiful Stewart Mineral Springs near Mount Shasta. Ashanna Solaris and Dana DeLong are offering Clarity Breathwork Retreats and Training. Level 1: Breath & Transformation is August 9-11, 2012 and Level 2: Breathwork Intensive is August 12-19, 2012. You can take the 3-day Level 1 for a long weekend or you can sign up for both levels for a powerful 10-day experience.

I took this workshop in 2007 and it changed my life. If you have ever considered becoming a Clarity Breathwork Practitioner this would be the training to take. This retreat is also perfect if you are looking for a sacred space for deep personal healing. There will be daily breathwork sessions, meditation, kirtan, inspiring music, process work and much more in a supportive and safe healing community. Click here for more information. You can also call or email Ashanna Solaris ashanna@breatheinlove.com at 650-279-9101 or Dana DeLong dana@clarity.org at 510-691-4483 for more details.

William Bengston, Ph.D.
Researcher, Educator, and Author in the field of Energy Healing

The second event coming to our area that I am very excited about is in Palo Alto at The Foundation for Mind-Being Research (FMBR). FMBR will be hosting a lecture and workshop by William Bengston, PhD., whose ideas and book I have written several posts on. The lecture on Friday, November 20, 2012 is titled: Lessons from the Lab: Energy Healing Experiments on Cancer. His two day workshop, The Energy Cure: Unraveling the Mystery of Hands-On Healing will be on Saturday and Sunday, December 1-2, 2012. Click here for more information.

I took this workshop last March and learned his “Imagery Cycling” technique. I have been very surprised at how much this little exercise has escalated abundance in my life. I am still going over my notes from the workshop and reading the books William Bengston referred to during his lectures and in his many conversations on the breaks. This workshop was a real eye-opener for me on many levels.

This is a rare and fantastic opportunity to hear about William Bengston’s latest research results in California. William Bengston is an engaging, funny and passionate speaker and he is also a really nice guy. Anyone interested in quantum physics and cutting edge scientific research in the healing arts will want attend this workshop. I find William Bengston’s concepts, book and work inspiring, practical and life-affirming.

New Dimensions Radio

From the New Dimensions website:

“The purpose of New Dimensions Radio is to deliver life-affirming, socially and spiritually relevant information, practical knowledge and perennial wisdom through the voices and visions of those who are asking new questions and are looking at the world in positive and inspiring ways. It is through the exchange of ideas and information that we can be empowered and enabled to meet the future with greater energy and clarity.”

You can catch the next New Dimensions Radio show on Sunday morning at 7am in Oakland, California. Founders Justine Toms and Michael Toms conduct the hour-long interviews that cover an amazing array of writers, healers and spiritual explorers. There are several free interviews on their website and all programs can be downloaded for about two dollars.

I found an interview by Michael Toms of a fairly unknown writer named Bernadette Roberts from 1991 that is priceless. I have already listened to this interview about four times and I know I will be listening to it again.

Last week was Intelligent Evolution with Nicki Scully that you can listen to for free until July 31, 2012

Check it out.

TaKeTiNa and Clarity Breathwork: July 27th, 28th and 29th in Berkeley

James Word

On July 27th, 28th and 29th, I will be co-facilitating three TaKeTiNa and Clarity Breathwork evenings with James Word, Mary Gaetjens, and Natalie Word. The four of us have been exploring the synergy of rhythm and breath to experience heightened states of consciousness. We are very, very excited to share these powerful modalities with you.

The Clarity Breath Circles we have done doing TaKeTiNa before we breathe have been incredibly profound for those who have participated. Being able to do three nights in a row will be especially powerful as each evening energetically builds on the one before and take us deeper each night.

This workshop will deeply connect you with your inner guidance and integrate that guidance so you can manifest you highest intentions in your daily life. If you are interested in transformation, and balancing that shift on every level – emotional, mental and physical – this workshop is for you.

You can do one evening or all three. The cost is $35.00 for each evening and $90.00 for all three. At aMFa Gallery 1318 10th Street (at Gilman). Call me at 510-601-9632 to reserve a space.

Hope to see you there!

Self Care: Food and Diet

I have written several self care posts in this blog. If you click on the Self Care category to the left you will see 10 post including: Self Care: Vacations, Exercise and Rest, Scheduling, and the Healing Power of Community.

You will notice that I have not written about diet and food. That is because I am clueless when it comes to diet. Therefore I have had nothing to say and certainly no advice to give. I was constantly struggling with what to eat and when to eat and never felt like I was optimally supporting myself or my healing practice with my diet. It’s not like I haven’t been consciousness about food. In fact, I feel like I have been micromanaging my diet for years.

Then recently I decided to do something different. I started a raw food cleanse.

Several months before this cleanse all I really wanted when I was hungry were peanut butter sandwiches on non-gluten bread and coffee. Through extreme will power I managed to drink green smoothies with kale and parsley and eat other veggies. I knew I was not in the flow when it came to food.

I don’t think I ever met a carbohydrate I didn’t like. And I’ve known for a long time my last meal would be mashed potatoes. Just mashed potatoes, with vegan butter.

Yet, I know that what I eat directly, dramatically and immediately effects my healing sessions. I have always eaten small meals during the day because it helps me to stay  energized and present during the healing sessions with my clients. During a working day I never eat pasta or even oatmeal. Pancakes put me right to sleep 45 minutes after intake.

Half my healing practice is still massage (which I love) so I need to eat a lot of protein and calories. I also eat to ground myself because eating is a grounding activity. It just is.

While I can’t give any advice on diet and nutrition, I can and have energetically supported clients through their personal process of finding what food nutritionally and energetically works for them. Helping a client clear her energy field strengthens her connection to her inner guidance and higher self so she can move in the direction that is the most healthy for her. With long term illnesses and imbalances intuitive guidance and insights are just a natural part of the healing process.

I have eaten raw food in the past and have responded well to the live food diet, so when I found an email for a raw food cleanse in my mailbox last month by Heather Haxo Phillips from Raw Bay Area I signed up immediately.

As this post publishes I am on day 14 of a 15-day raw food cleanse and have never felt hungry once although I have had many cravings for sugar, greasy food and burritos. I feel like I am finally eating what makes me and my body happy. I have had slight headaches from the detox and have needed more rest, yet I still feel more energized than ever. I am now committed to at least an 80% raw food diet. It just feel good.

I am on the cleanse with about 10 other people and we have a private Facebook group to share our process. This has been very helpful. I have learned so much more than I ever expected. We are using Ani Phyo’s book, 15 Day Fat Blast. Heather is guiding us with ways to slightly modify it so that it works for each of us.

It’s been a high learning curve and I have spent more time in the kitchen in the last two weeks than in the last two years. Going forward, I realize I am going to have to put more time and energy in preparing my meals to make sure I am eating well.

A surprising new aspect of this diet for me was how good fermented foods are for me. Kefir made with coconut milk, kombucaha, and sauerkraut are major sources of probiotics, which promote the growth of good bacteria in our bodies. My first kefir batch was a little unnerving for me, but now I actually like the taste.

One of the biggest improvements in my well-being, besides weight loss, is how mentally clear I feel. I was starting to have days where it was taking me until early afternoon to feel fully awake. So far I feel clearer much more of the time. I’m still detoxing, so I will see what happens next.

The raw food diet is not for everyone, but it’s right for me right now. If you are interested in learning about raw foods and want to take a class in the Bay Area check out Heather’s Raw Bay Area.

The only self care advice I have on diet is find the one that works for you. It’s worth the time, effort and energy.

I feel fabulous!

Heather
Chef Heather Haxo Phillips

Heather also teaches yoga and I had a private class with her that was incredible helpful. Check out her yoga classes here.


Images that Heal

Image drawn by Pamela Colemman-Smith

Healing for me is the act of rebalancing. The Tarot card Temperance is the archetypical image of healing for me.

When I recently started reexamining what images represent healing for me, I realized the 14th card in Tarot deck – Temperance – is my quintessential image of healing. Pamela Coleman-Smith designed this card for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in 1909. When I look at this card I instantly feel a state where everything is in complete harmony.

Traditional meanings of Temperance includes moderation and self-control, yet I see this card as perfect flow, which means there is no need to control anything. No need to fast or binge, hold on or let go, speed up or slow down. Inner and outer worlds are in perfect balance. Instinct, emotions and physical needs are in sync. For me, Temperance is an image for transcending the extremes, imbalances, striving and crisis of daily life. It is an image of equilibrium that is attainable in our world, if only at first for a moment or so at a time.

Images can be very powerful allies when going through any kind of transformation – whether you are healing from an injury, building a business, going through a divorce or making positive lifestyle changes.

What images relax you? What pictures help you to feel strong? What symbols resonate with your most authentic self?

Temperance Card from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.

Life, Death and the Beauty of Wales

My mother-in-law, Catherine Annie Lena Gibbons, passed away on April 15th, 2012 after a long illness. My husband and I spent a week in England and Wales to attend her funeral.

I didn’t think about my blog when I was traveling, so I do not have anything to post. I thought about life, death and how beautiful Wales is. I thought about Catherine, her life and how lucky I was to have known her.

Catherine Annie Lena Gibbons

Insights and Auras

I had a sudden surge in my aura perceiving abilities.

It happened early one morning at my favorite neighborhood cafe. I was waiting for my chilaquiles to arrive. It was raining outside and the soft light was obviously perfect for seeing energy fields.

I could see clear but thick wavy spaces around the bodies of the three other costumers in the restaurant, as well as the cook and the two waitresses. When someone passed between me and a blank wall I could easily see, or sense, a color. Sometimes I saw two colors. I didn’t have to squint or relax my eyes, it was right there, plain as day. It was beautiful, and the whole room had a misty, dreamy glow.

When I first started writing this blog about a year ago, seeing auras was a major goal of mine and I was always consciously trying to perceiving them. I thought that if I could see my client’s energy fields I would be a better healer. On this morning I really understood that seeing auras is a byproduct of something else, and it is this  “something else” that has made me a better healer. The problem is I’m not quite sure what that something is. This insight was the most profound part of my pre-breakfast experience.

That morning, before the auras distracted me, I was thinking about a massage client who had made her transition the week before. I had met her in the hospital a few days after she had a major stroke. After that first massage I saw her on the first Monday of every month and worked with her for many years. She was a very special human being and I really looked forward to our sessions.

Her family had taken wonderful care of her, she had lived a long life and it was all good. I was feeling sad that I was not going to see her again, but I was also feeling intensely grateful, too. Grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know someone so remarkable on such a deep level. Grateful that I could help her feel better when she was bedridden. Grateful that my life handed me this rich and meaningful experience on a silver platter.

The feeling of being grateful kept growing until it spiraled out of control and that’s when I noticed all the auras. It was a kind of opening, I think. Since that morning I feel like I can visually see more activity in my clients energy fields. It still depends on the day, my energy and the person’s field I am looking at.

I don’t think there was just one thing that triggered that morning’s experience. It must have been everything: my emotional state, the weather, my client’s transition, and even the anticipation of a great breakfast. I think everything just happened to sync up at the right moment.

It is hard to describe moments like this one. It’s important for me to take the time to give these experiences more space in my life and become more conscious of them. Maybe the more space I create, the more moments I will experience opening up for me.