Monday, April 25, 2011

Breathing Underwater: Guest Blogger Kyle Scanlon

Photo courtesty of Atmo at Wildquest
I love how quickly things can come together when they are meant to be.

I am so excited to share someone with you. Kyle is a community worker in downtown Toronto. What first impressed me with Kyle is that he not only gives of himself, but also
to himself.

A few years ago I accepted that "Love your neighbor, as Yourself" truly means- love yourself the same as you love everyone else.

I used to shine all of my light out, never taking any for myself-
and seeing this in others has inspired my passion to 'help helpers'.

Kyle's commitment to a yearly trip (last year he went to Rwanda to see gorilla's in the wild!) that feeds his soul- partnered with his contribution to his community made me want to share, share, share him.

He has graciously offered this learning piece- Thank You Kyle, as the week in Bimini progressed Kyle proved to be a gentle, fun and deep thinking soul. Here is what he took home from our trip to Bimini:

In Bimini, I expected to see dolphins, but I found so much more.

On Day 1 of my trip to swim with wild dolphins in the Bahamas, I found myself in a torturous position - my face planted solidly into water while I tried to breathe.

Yes, I had a snorkel to use, but my brain and my body both agreed that breathing underwater was simply a bad idea. As I tried to force myself to take slow deep breaths through the snorkel, I continually began to hyperventilate, and panic, and I would have to lift my head up out of the water and relax before trying it all over again and again.

It was incredibly frustrating. Dolphins were swimming with us, below us, and all around us, but I was caught up in my state of panic and could barely appreciate the presence of the dolphins.

After panicking, I then made matters worse by berating myself for my inability to overcome my fear. That too distracted me from any chance to appreciate the experience of having so many dolphins so close. I wondered later in my room, "Would the entire trip be a waste because of my fear?"

But in the following days, I soldiered on, every day at every opportunity, I would willingly put on the mask and snorkel and drop down into the ocean with my head underwater and panic all over again. Each day I fought myself because I knew there was a chance of seeing dolphins again and I was not going to miss out again. I would be ready.

Day 5 - our last day - brought us up close and personal with a pod of bottle nose dolphins and finally I was able to let go of the panic and simply breathe deeply and calmly, and watch the dolphins dive to feed.

One dolphin came up to me at eye level and slowly circled me. I circled with her, keeping eye contact. It was incredible to be in her gaze, to really share the ocean with her, to join her in her element.

This process, I realized, was a metaphor for life. We must sometimes conquer our demons in order to experience beauty and wonder.

When I face future adversities, I will reflect back on my time with the dolphins and how I had to learn to breathe in water, and I'll know that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to because of my determination and strength of spirit.

I'll know that wondrous things await, so long as I have the patience and courage to persevere.

Fear can be a gateway to something special, but only if you don't let yourself be held captive by it. That's what the dolphins taught me.

Thank you, dolphins.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back From Another World

Yesterday I re-entered 'this world' from the world of Bimini. A small Bahamian island only 43 miles off of the coast of Florida- Bimini showed up as an entirely different 'planet'. A planet where people are easy going and kind, where the days are warm on the inside and the outside and where beauty brings you to tears with regularity.

I am still processing all of the gifts from the week, but as I sit here in the shifting sands of humanity in the Houston Airport I just wanted to share one small 'lesson' from the Dolphins of Bimini.

On good Friday, and homecoming weekend on the island, the normally extremely quiet waters became busy, busy.

As our last day on the water we were beyond thrilled to come upon a pod of bottle-nose dolphins feeding. As we watched and prepared to get into the water a boat came flying towards our dive boat and the dolphins.

From the boat you could feel our anxiety rising (palpable after such a relaxing week), there were shouts at the boat, there were arm and hand gestures to try and get this guy to slow down and general disgust with poor boating manners and assumptions about drinking and boating.

In the water however the story was completely different, as the wake of the speedy boat rose up towards us the dolphins caught the wave and took advantage of a chance for fun!!! Surfing alongside one another they shifted us from irritation to joy in a moment.

This visual will stay with me as I ride the wake of returning to 'normal' life- surfing as opposed to flailing about.

"Once connected, always connected" Amlas- Wildquest

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot Tips for a Happy Life April 2011

In this issue:
Hot Tip- Security vs. Safety
Upcoming workshop
Light Touch, Big Impact Sessions


Welcome to spring!

How are you finding yourself coming out of winter and into spring?

Fresh and pushing through like new grass?

Wobbly and unsure like a brand new calf?

Soaring like the eagles on their return?

No matter how you are feeling, spring is a time of new beginnings. I'm beginning my 4th decade this spring. What are you beginning?

And what's with all the questions? Smile. Just want to remind you- that it's about you.

You Matter.



A couple of months ago my parents returned from Mazatlan, and as is very common,
my Dad had a book for me.

This book "Talking with Nature" By Michael J. Roads had definitely seen better days. Or to put it more positively- she had been well loved. He had picked it up in a second hand store.

Held together with 5 bandaids, dirty and ragged- but like us- with absolutely no impact on it's value. I devoured this book and fell in love with Michael Roads.

There were several aha's but the one that has been sticking with me is what I'd like to share with you today. In one part of the book Michael is shown the difference between safety and security.

Security vs. Safety

Have you ever said "I need ________ to feel secure", whether it is $$$, a person, or some thing. It seems innocent enough. "I know exactly what I need". "Once I have ___________then I will feel secure".

What things around you make you feel secure, or would make you feel secure?

We talk a lot about insecurities, and we behave in ways that suggest that we do not feel secure-from a place of fear we have three possible reactions- fight, flight or freeze. Look around, how much time are we spending in just these three states of being.

One opposite of fear is freedom.

Consider the word 'security' - to secure- to hold. The problem with security is that it has the potential to limit your freedom. Do the things that you think or want make you feel SAFE?or SECURE?

Feel those two words in your body. Just say them and notice.

Safe. Safe feels absolute to me, grounded and sure. I am safe.

Secure. Secure feels limiting, tight, conditional. I am secure.

Suddenly secure doesn't feel good enough. In this constantly changing world, relying
on outside 'things' or 'people' for our sense of well being is PERFECT for creating suffering.

Safety is bigger, from the inside and forever. Safety comes from seeing beyond security, safety comes from trust. I may even suggest that safety is a decision.

This is a big concept, bigger than I have fully integrated, but I wanted to bring it to you for your thoughts, for you to play with and get back to me.


I'm very excited to be hosting A Course In Miracles teacher from the US in May,
Inviting you to JOIN as we remember who we TRULY are.

A Course In Miracles
Jason Warwick

Messenger of Peace

May 10, Unity Church 7-9 pm
May 11, Highwood RIver Inn 10-5, movie night 7-9

Register at

FINALLY, Light Touch, Big Impact Sessions

I am available for one on one sessions evenings and weekends after May 13th- until then I will be CELEBRATING 40
with a Dolphin Swimming Adventure and then 6 days in San Francisco with my husband. I am very grateful.

Sessions have become a highly integrated adventure. Mixing light touch body work, energy balancing, coaching and
intuitive work the more recent sessions are taking my clients from scattered, uncertain and in pain to balanced, centered
and in control.

Here is a recent testimonial:

"I was really grateful for the level of listening and honesty that came out of that session and thank you for tuning in and helping me understand something I have not been able to hear or understand for years. I felt like you helped unveil a HUGE piece of this puzzle for me and i feel radically different as a result." JG

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Perfect Life

Twice this week I have had people say "you seem to have the perfect life, you never have problems".

At the time I jumped to defending my problems and the difficulties in my life (lol- "NO- my life sucks too!"), but this morning in the quiet, I am having a sneaky suspicion that they may be right.

I am sitting here in appreciation. Is this because of the frame of seeing the last 11 years as a gift? The cancer (I've been wisely advised not to call it my cancer) was a
threat to this body, there was a possibility of her not making it. I wasn't really feeling that at the time, I was quite certain of survival. I do gladly take on each new year and all of the surprises, big and small, that come with them.

I do have problems, but what I'm realizing this morning is that I now have the tools to enjoy them.

My favorite job was in 1993-1995 in Colorado Springs, CO. I ended up being the 'wound care' specialist in the company that I worked for. In Colorado the Physical Therapists were allowed to use scalpels when Nurses were not and even as I sit here I can feel the glee of cleaning out wounds, cutting off the dead skin, picking out the bad parts.

When I came back to Canada I was disappointed to find out that our local nursing homes took excellent care of their clients and pressure sores were limited and the nurses handled them.

My scalpels and tweezers for the pressures sores of this life are:

`The Work of Byron Katie
`Robert Scheinfelds 'Busting Loose' Process
`Undoing the Ego- from my dear friends Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira
`Serenity Prayer
`"This too shall pass"
`The lessons in A Course In Miracles
`My Gratitude Buddy Kerry Sammon
`Energy Work

That is quite a toolbox. Every day I have a chance to use these tools and cut away the dead from my life, leaving me raw sometimes, but open to heal and with fresh joyful growth.

I'm grateful to my friends for bringing up my perfect life this week, and glad to realize that I am still doing my favorite job- healing wounds.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Love You Man

In the ‘holistic scene’ (sounds groovy) there has been a movement and loads of information on the awakening of the Divine Feminine.

Our society has been patriarchal for thousands of years and this return to balance was, in my opinion, inevitable. There has been some headway made, but there continues to be huge inequities between women and men in our country (pay, position, home and child care) - let alone in countries around the world.

Several of the women I have seen in the past few weeks have done some wonderful targeted work in this area. Opening up their feminine side, open to receiving, loving the feminine, and nurturing themselves.

The layer that seems to be coming up behind this is an anger, mistrust or complete rejection of the Masculine.

All of us are complete and whole, over time however we wall off certain parts- usually for security- and limit ourselves to a ‘smaller’, more manageable version.

Injuries, stiffness and even complete disregard of the right side of the body are showing the way to a rejection of inner masculinity.

Yikes- that sentence may make sense to me- but let me break it down a little.

We are a mind, body and spirit complex- so much more than what we usually identify with and express.

The body tends to be honest; in my gentle, hands on sessions I engage in conversation with the body and things that the mind may be repressing show up. I am including the ‘energy’ body in this as well, as real to me as your arm or leg.

In energy medicine you have a giving side and a receiving side, the right is associated with masculinity and the left with femininity.

So here is what some wonderful bodies have told me this past week- it has been helpful to me so I hope that it resonates with you as well.

First, the ‘giving’ of the feminine is often intuitive and in response. What Oprah calls “the disease to please” is the darker side of this.

The giving of the masculine is more about pulling from within. Which many of us (us being women) see as selfishness.

The exciting thing is- we need the voices of women in our world (feel a Halleluiah coming on there)- by embracing the inner masculine, you can reach in and give the world your uniqueness.

Sure, Fawna, sounds easy ☺

How we (my clients and I) were led in this was distinct for each person, but basically related to:

Accepting that we are a combination of masculine and feminine

Allowing that part of us that has been ‘walled away’ to be witness and to speak

This requires some use of imagination and visualization, as well as the ability to stop and listen.

The over riding voice of this inner boy child and/or inner father, inner grandfather has been to see them in yourself and offer love (of course, ultimately isn’t that always the answer?).

As always I invite your comments.

I love you man,