Extraordinary Challenge: Extraordinary Opportunity
Receiving a life- threatening diagnosis offers an extraordinary opportunity to inquire into our deepest beliefs about life and death, sickness and healing. It provides an exquisitely challenging invitation to open fully to the wisdom of your own soul and speak your own truth about your life. If you respond fully, the rewards are immeasurable, whether healing means continuing to live or dying more whole. You are transformed, (and often those close to you as well), whatever the outcome.
My ongoing life encounter with death through successive deaths of almost all family members equipped me well for work with life-threatening illness. I knew from an early age that I was intended to consider death in relation to life.
I have been blessed to companion many on an inward journey prompted by disease, and my life work includes a strong focus in this area. As an energy healer, soul coach and retreat leader, feng shui and space clearing practitioner, and creator of prayer-inspired jewelry and meditative bead playshops, I have utilized each facet of my work to address the challenges of life-threatening illness.
I offer individual soul coaching sessions, the 28-day soul coaching program and an introductory soul coaching workshop with a special focus on living with a life-threatening disease.
My reiki practice has included substantial service to those with life-threatening diagnoses, with special experience with cancer and HIV. I am particularly interested in developing programs to bring reiki more fully into the hospital and other medical settings.
• Reiki and Cancer
In my experience with cancer treatment, reiki has been very successful in reducing side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It is compatible with these conventional therapies, allowing benefits to accrue while side effects are minimized or eliminated. It helps the person remain strong, balanced and energetic while being treated and provides comfort and support throughout the healing journey. This experience is corroborated nationwide by inclusion of reiki in many cancer treatment plans.
• Comments from Cancer Patients
For the first time since my diagnosis I felt peace in my entire body.
~ Stage Four Lung Cancer Patient, Virginia
I met April the day before my double mastectomy in May. With just one session a week, I was driving in two weeks and back to work in three. My healing has been quick and easy and I credit April’s special skills in bringing the energy of the universe to make it so.
~ Suzanne Winter-Rose, Sperryville, VA
• Reiki and HIV
As manager of a series of retreats for persons living with AIDS/HIV, I developed a program of massage and reiki for attendees. Reiki was in demand due to its reputation for creating an increased sense of well-being. One man was able to sleep through the night for the first time in months; many experienced a deep release of emotional and physical tensions. For just these reasons, reiki is integrated into many public AIDS services programs.
Feng Shui, Space Clearing, and Health
When health is challenged, it is more important than ever to have a physical and energetic environment that is supportive. Teacher, writers and practitioners of feng shui are making ever deeper explorations of the relationship between feng shui and health, and several excellent books have been written. I have studied these developments and integrate them into my practice. Environments can contribute to ill health in ways not visible to the casual observer. A feng shui consultation recommends changes to support health of the occupants.
Space clearing addresses the invisible energy of environments – the unseen energy accumulations from events, people, psychological debris of present occupants. Clearing the energy of the space can assist physical healing or, if impending death is acknowledged, ease the transition.
One client hired me to clear her mother’s home of the energy of accumulated family difficulties of a lifetime. Her mother was coming home to die, and the client wished the process to be as healing for her mother and the entire family as was possible. After the clearing, family tensions fell away, deep loving goodbyes were said, her mother felt complete and ready and died peacefully in her sleep.
As part of my work with prayer-inspired jewelry I give meditative bead playshops on topics related to life-threatening illness. Wearing a Circle of Hope was developed for women with breast cancer, sponsored by Humble Abode of Kitsap County and supported by the Komen Foundation. Because the issues it addresses are those faced by all persons with life-threatening diagnoses, it is suitable for all persons faced with life-threatening illness.
Beads may be integrated into soul coaching sessions and support health as well. One client chose a bead to represent her insights from each session. She was particularly unnerved by visits to the doctor, and discovered that if she took her beads in a little bag with her, she was in “touch” with her insights and remained strong and balanced at the doctor’s office.
As founding president of Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS in Washington, DC, I co-visioned, co-created and managed a pioneering program of 4-day spiritual retreats for people with HIV and AIDS which empowered over 500 attendees of varied ethnic, age, sexual, educational, economic and spiritual backgrounds to grow through loss, isolation, stigma, guilt, illness and the threat of death.
In addition to holding 12 retreats in the Washington, DC area, we modeled them in Chicago and New Orleans so local organizations could provide them there. Retreat design featured large and small group sessions on varied retreat themes, artists engaging participants in creative activities to access feelings and intentions, private sessions with spiritual counselors, a reiki and massage program, a healing service, prayer partners, and much celebration and FUN.
I am seeking opportunities to offer retreats related to life-threatening illness in the greater Seattle area in conjunction with others experienced in such work.