1. How do we connect with energy, and how does this connection help us?
This process is so simple, yet so profound. We are, after all, energy converters. We take food into our mouths and the physical body automatically draws it through the digestive system to derive the physical energy we need from it. Our energy system works in a parallel way, once we know how to draw in the subtle and causal energies we need. This process even happens nominally when we sleep. My goal in Energy for Life is to present techniques to aid the reader in drawing these energies into their lives. The techniques start out with building awareness of energy, and quickly move on to the focused and intentional movement of energy throughout our being. Some of the more advanced techniques I cover involve the complete immersion of the reader in the fundamental energies of the universe. It's like a hot tub for the soul.
Once you dissolve yourself in the eternal, you are infused with those primal energies. Combined with the other techniques of energy hygiene, such as eliminating energy blockage and leakage, anyone can stay fully charged and healthy no matter what is going on in his or her life. Properly applied, this represents an end to feeling depleted, an end to imbalance, and is the ticket to robust health and wellness.
2. The book comes with a CD. What's that all about?
This is so exciting. Llewellyn approached me about a year ago with their vision for the future. This vision included ways to help their readers not only read about topics, but to help them apply the concepts practically as well. Llewellyn's Next Step series does precisely that. The CD offers a way to present meditations and guided visualizations that complement the material in the book. The reader can read about it first and then pop in the CD and do the exercises. It's a perfect blend of instruction and practice. It enables me to present material in the same way I do in my trainings and seminars: instruction followed by application. As with anything in life, doing is the key. The Next Step series makes the doing hassle free, easy and immediate.
3. This is your second book for Llewellyn; are the two books related?
Yes. My first book, Inner Power: Six Techniques for Increased Energy and Self-Healing, outlines my program to help anyone regain and maintain vibrant health, but especially sufferers of chronic illness. It instructs readers in the use of self-hypnosis , guided visualization, energy movement, meditation , shamanic journeying, and the psyche inventory in order to boost immune system function and ultimately address the bedrock issues which are the seeds of illness.
Energy for Life is an extensive expansion on one essential part of that program. It facilitates a deeper understanding of the energetic nature of the universe and how we, as beings who inhabit such a universe, can tap into the undercurrent of energy available to us. I show the reader how to do this through activities such as guided journeys, meditations, energy connection, and advanced energy movement exercises. The companion CD is perfect for this process. Doing the exercises and feeling the energy flow are what is most important.
4. As one reads, one can't help but be struck by the bold cosmology you present in Energy for Life. Where did that come from?
My understanding of the nature of the universe is the product of study, exploration through the shamanic journey and insight. One need only read the mythologies of the world's religions to note their similarities. Strip away the cultural elements and allow for differences in vocabulary and you find the same thing every time. Everything springs from a single energetic source. All form, all thought, all souls, every star, every planet, every person — all of it is made from the same stuff. Different shapes, densities and complexities, sure, but basically the same stuff. Listen to the wisdom of the great teachers and sages, strip away the mysticism and our preconceptions, and you find a group of people who were striving to get us to understand, revel in and utilize the energies of the universe. It's well past time for us to claim that birthright.
5. Aren't you negating the issues of faith and religion with statements like this?
Absolutely not. What I am doing here is providing a consensus point around which we can build a culture of tolerance. How individuals flesh out their belief system is up to them. Do what works for you, but realize that the Muslim, the Jew, the Christian, the Wiccan , the Shaman and all the rest are just decorating the same gateway to awareness in different ways. Underneath our traditions, we find the same transcendent energy. Every. Single. Time.
This book is written for anyone, traditional or non-traditional, who wants to fully embrace the potential of his or her faith. That potential is the unlimited energy inherent in the universe. All faiths admonish us to direct our attention to that. Some do this through prayer, others through dance. All utilize ritual in one form or another. These are all sacred operations designed to focus and direct the unseen energies around us. Energy is the fundamental building block of the manifest universe. Ritual focus and direction of universal energy is one of the functions of religion.
6. You have personal as well as professional experience utilizing the techniques detailed in Energy for Life. Would you please tell us about your own healing story?
Wow, it seems so long ago now, almost like a different person or different lifetime. But it was me, and though it was very painful and agonizing, it was a powerfully life-changing experience.
It began in early 1990. My initial symptoms were troublesome, but it seemed like I just had the flu and that any day it would go away. It didn't. It got worse, much worse. For nearly ten years, I struggled daily with a sore throat, swollen lymph glands, sleeplessness, extreme fatigue, a low-grade fever, below-normal body temperatures in the 97-degree range causing me to feel frozen to my core, headaches, mental confusion and fog, muscle weakness and pain, neurological misfires, and depression. And those were just the worst symptoms! The little disturbances didn't even register on the pain awareness scale because everything became relative to the level of severity.
The illness was chronic, and always changing, therefore defying diagnosis and treatment. My life crumbled to mere survival and many days I was unable to get out of bed or function at all. This was so unlike me. Before the illness, I had been so full of energy and enthusiasm for life. I was an active outdoors person, an involved and loving mom, a devoted wife and an exemplary employee. But this monster sucked away my active lifestyle and invisibly sucked away my life force. As the symptoms lingered and worsened, my spirit and passion for life evaporated. I lost my power, my energy to live and I lost my self.
After several years and countless visits to the doctor, I was finally diagnosed with Epstein-Barr and cytomegalo virus (both purported causes of CFIDS and fibromyalgia) and advised to go home and rest since there was no treatment. I went nuts! On the drive home, alone in the car, I screamed, “Are you crazy? I am a mom, a wife and I have a meaningful career. Not only that, I want energy to have fun in my free time! I can't just go home and rest! I refuse to live my life as a victim of this illness!”
I tried everything in an attempt to heal. I tried every herb and supplement that claimed to boost the immune system. I received massage, acupuncture, chiropractic work, energy bodywork; you name it, I probably tried it. All of these were very helpful for keeping me functioning, but did not cure this beast of an illness for me. Something was missing, something deeper. Several more years went by and the chronic symptoms worsened still further. I became deeply depressed, suicidal, and gravely ill.
I was in pain and freezing all the time. I couldn't take it any more. As shocking as it might sound, if it had not been for my beautiful daughter, I would have taken my own life. I was that desperate. But thanks to her, I reached into the deepest core of my being and found something that helped me stay alive and fight back. At this juncture the competitor in me transformed into the healing warrior, which evolved into the energy/spiritual teacher that I am today. I learned everything I could about alternative healing. I paid attention to what happened to my body when I went to a healing practitioner and I read every book I could get my hands on. Slowly, over time, a pattern became evident to me. The techniques that had lasting effects for me blended awareness, focus, personal intent and energy movement. Over time, I distilled the best things I learned down to their most helpful forms. As I applied these techniques to my life and condition, the improvement was miraculous. Now, those nasty viruses are kept in remission and CFIDS and fibromyalgia are things of the past.
I began teaching others to do the same thing for themselves and, by working with them, I refined the program even further. The result can be found in my book Inner Power. Energy for Life takes the energy aspect of healing even further in a powerful program that is equally useful as a means to prevent and heal low energy, fatigue and illness. Addressing energetic imbalances before any physical decline takes place can easily circumvent what happened to me. I want to help others head off illness well before they land in bed.
7. What an inspiring story! Most of us are very busy and just don't feel we have the time or energy. How can we become our own healer when we have so little time to dedicate to ourselves?
Most of us have far more time available than we think we do. It's just spent stuck in traffic, waiting in line, watching TV or caught in mind chatter. The exercises I teach in Energy for Life are designed to be done anywhere at any time. Once they're learned, you can put them to use during all those infuriating delay times and be the better for it. Then, when you do have an extra 10 or 15 minutes, you can pop in the CD and experience an energy intensive. Maybe you can do so while you're waiting to pick up the kids, or during part of your lunch hour.
Maintaining energy and health is a matter of focus and intent, not of long hours of time-dedicated work. A little bit of focus and remembering to take advantage of those “down” times is all you need to revitalize and re-energize yourself. Then, maybe you'll have some of the extra energy you need to live life more fully.
8. What's next for you?
Energy for Life is the second in a trio of books that describe my methods for helping people regain and maintain their personal power and health. I'm still in the process of writing the third book about using the shamanic journey as a healing and energetic tool of wisdom.
We live in an age where we are slowly being stripped of our self-determination. We have become cogs in a vast socio-economic machine that shows no sign of freeing us. We must be our own emancipators. Awareness is the key to our empowerment. As we build our awareness — of our health, of our energy, of our world — we reclaim our potential. Within that potential lie the seeds for making this a better world.
For as long as I am able, I plan to dedicate my time and my energy to the service of building awareness and to the empowerment of the individual. I feel that, for me, there is no greater calling.