I have a diverse practice and a complex approach to the healing journey.
My work and my philosophy of healing stem from my life experience.
I’ve had a rich and interesting life—three countries, two languages, and a variety of physical challenges and experiences, some of which I’ll describe below.
Through it all, I’ve learned the value of trusting my body; knowing when to move forward and when to rest; nourishing my spirit, body and mind; accepting what is and then trying to change the things I can. I’ve learned that laughter helps the process along, and that nature is my most important ally.
Both my parents were born to British colonial families living in India. My grandparents lived in ex-pat communities, but were interested in Eastern practices.
When my paternal grandfather was a young man, he experimented with telekinesis—the ability to move physical objects with the mind. Sitting at dinner one day, he moved the salt shaker without touching it. The sight of the small container moving by itself disturbed him so much that he gave up telekinesis on the spot. He spent his golden years travelling to Lourdes as often as possible.
My maternal grandmother studied yoga and vegetarianism as a young woman. She was very interested in nutrition and whole foods—Adele Davis, Beatrice Trum Hunter, Paul Bragg. However she married a meat-eater, and rather than cook two separate dinners she often ate what she prepared for him. (My grandfather was lucky she cooked him meat. I won’t touch it, so my husband only gets meat when he cooks it himself or we eat out.) Later in life, my grandmother returned to vegetarianism.
As a child, I played with my aura—stretching it out and watching it shrink again between my hands. No one showed me how to do this, and I didn’t know it was my aura. I also didn’t know that not everyone played like this when they were quiet and alone.
Physical Symptoms Begin
When I was in my early twenties, living in the suburbs of Montreal, I developed a strange array of symptoms similar to a summer flu. I noticed the symptoms were worse when the chemical lawn-care (pesticide) trucks were in the neighborhood. This was the 1980s, when companies like ChemLawn sprayed pesticides and fertilizers on suburban lawns to make them bright green and uniform. The chemicals made me sick. (I think they are bad for everyone, I’m just sensitive enough to develop symptoms right away.)
The best diagnosis I could come up with was that I was suffering from multiple chemical sensitivities triggered by exposure to pesticides.
At the time, 1989, I was publishing an environment magazine. I discovered that all the chemicals around the house and in my food that made me sick were the same chemicals that were harming the planet. My commitment to earth-friendly cleaning products and organic food started then.
My health challenges led me to explore holistic medicine. I first studied the Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine, learning how different foods affect different organs and meridians. I started to eat seasonally as well as organically, at least as much as I could in Montreal in 1990. I became quite dependent on the one local health food store.
I had been forced by my illness to close down the magazine. My main work besides trying to get well was writing a weekly environment column for a local newspaper. I also did some free-lance feature stories for them. One day my editor asked me to interview two women starting a school of holistic medicine. I wrote the story and signed up for the classes.
The school, NHC Institute, focused on healer heal thyself. I had no intention of being a healer, I just wanted to be healthy enough to live a normal life. And since no one else had been able to help me, I figured I’d better learn how to do it myself.
The curriculum was extensive, and gave me the foundation for what I do today in my practice. There was an emphasis on the spiritual/emotional/psychological aspects of health and illness and healing: courses on the physical and energetic bodies and acupuncture meridians, nutrition, herbology, crystals, astrology, flower essences—we tried everything. It was great.
Along the way, I learned that I had an intuitive sense of working with people, and when I graduated I joined a group of fellow graduates in starting a healing center in the NDG neighborhood of Montreal.
I started working with people, and then they started bringing their animals to me, and before I knew it I had a full practice.
I kept exploring. I went to conferences of the American Society of Dowsers, workshops by Machaelle Small Wright at Perelandra, an International Flower Essence Conference at Findhorn, Reflexology Conferences in Vancouver, Hawaii and London.
As I learned and explored, I found that I had a way of connecting with the energies of the land that was hard to explain. I had a few unusual experiences. On an afternoon at Old Sarum—an old stone fort in southern England—I hit up against a past life of being thrown into a fire by the conquerers. It opened me up on a different level and I wandered the countryside for a couple of hours, talking to nature spirits and being guided intuitively to my destination.
On a trip to the Laurentians in Quebec, I sat by a lake and was suddenly transported to a massacre—two Native American tribes had fought, and bodies were left in the water and around the shore. By then I knew that when I had these visions there was a job for me to do, so I cleared the energy of the massacre from the land. The Native American spirits dissipated. All felt good.
Strolling through a Virginia park with my then boyfriend, I “saw” a strangled boy on the grass. It looked like the shadow of a lynching. I helped the boy move along. My boyfriend was not scared off; he’s now my husband.
One of the benefits of these experiences is I’ve learned how to be in two dimensions at once. I can see energy and experience a different dimension at the same time as being grounded in the here and now. This helps me in my animal communication and land clearings especially, but some of my clients have seen this at work when we look at their past lives or other energy structures.
I continue my own healing and growing experience every day, using the tools I’ve learned about and described, as well as countless others. Every day brings something new to explore or try or discover.
I’m currently involved with nature in my garden in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles. We are working together to create a peaceful sanctuary, and to share this peace with others through the El Sereno Flower Essences. There’s a certain kind of attention required to work with nature, and a special rhythm to move with. As I continue this intense working relationship, I gather more wisdom that helps me in other parts of my life, and helps my clients in their explorations.
It’s a wonderful journey that never ends.
My Training and Influences
I started out in the 1980s as a journalist—skeptical of everything—and an environmentalist—aware of the fragile beauty of the planet that humans seem bent on destroying.
I’m still skeptical, and I still look to nature for examples of harmony and balance.
My formal training in holistic health care is from NHC Institute in Montreal. NHC prides itself on its philosophy of healer heal thyself. The three-year program I studied in the early 1990s required a lot of personal growth and self-examination.
There was also a lot to learn. I took courses in the anatomy and physiology of the physical and energetic bodies, nutrition (food, supplements, herbs) and vibrational medicine (chakras, auras, flower essences, sound, color, crystals).
The spiritual and emotional aspects of health care were also important—interweaving the personal and the cosmic, seeing the healing path through new eyes, embracing the mental-emotional aspects of the healing journey. We learned to embrace various aspects of self including the inner female and the inner child. Dyad training helped us navigate healer-client relationships.
One of the highlights for me was a course in a form of muscle testing called Clear Light Therapy. It gave me a way to differentiate between my mind and my intuition. And it gave me a structure for looking at the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of the person. I still use it in my practice.
We also had a brief introduction to many aspects of alternative health care, from colonics to homeopathy to voice dialogue. While I do not practice any of these, my knowledge of the diversity of practices available helps me guide my clients to the treatments that are best for them.
After graduating from NHC Institute in June of 1994, I went on to get other training and certificates.
Reflexology is my first love—my aunt showed it to me when I was in my teens, and I found that the feet really are the foundation of good health. I went on to become a certified practitioner and teacher with the Reflexology Association of Canada, and taught hundreds of students to practice reflexology professionally. I no long teach reflexology, but I use it occasionally on clients, and show them how to use it on themselves.
The Radiance Technique® is a form of energy work which attunes you to the oneness of everything. It brings you back to yourself and your true inner vibration. I have studied to the 4th degree of TRT® and am an authorized instructor of the 1st degree.
Reiki: I earned the 2nd degree in the usui tradition, and became a master in the tera mai tradition. I think they are both good ways of becoming more open channels to universal energy, however I do not teach them or practice them since learning TRT®.
I have taken workshops with many wonderful women over the years:
Barbara Brennan, author of Hands of Light and Light Emerging. I still use her models of the chakras and aura, and her excellent work on psychological defense patterns in the aura.
Rosalyn Bruyere, who was part of the scientific experiments on auras done at UCLA in the 1970s and ’80s. Her real focus is making sure energy is moving, and I agree that stuck energy is bad energy.
Machaelle Small Wright, whose connection with nature inspires my work in my garden and with the animals I talk to. She excels at breaking things down into easy steps. Her flower essences, especially her rose essences, supported me through many stages of my own healing and growth processes, and I use her energy processes when I do house and land clearings.
Susun Weed is an herbalist in Woodstock, NY, who has a clear-sighted approach to plants, herbs, nutrition and health.
Louise Hay wrote You Can Heal Your Life, the seminal book on healing your mind and emotions so you can live a good life. It helps you empower yourself to make the best of your life no matter what your past was like. I was thrilled to see her speak in San Diego in the late 1990s.
Aromatherapy is the study of aroma and its impact on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels of being. I studied with Jan Benham who has a School of Aromatherapy in Toronto.
Transpersonal psychotherapy and holotropic breathwork (based on the work of Stanislaf Grof) helped move me out of my entanglements with my past experiences and into transpersonal consciousness – the bigger picture. Jessica Rochester, Ph.D., helped me tap into the transpersonal experience more easily and with a healthier ego structure.
With Lesley Cotton in Montreal, I learned about Chinese medicine as it applies to everyday life. She teaches a very simple way of looking at the seasons and the acupuncture meridians, and using them to guide the way we support ourselves with food and exercise.
I took a macrobiotic cooking class with Bonnie Tees in Montreal that opened me up to seaweed and miso and other Eastern influences on my vegetarian diet. Bonnie was also very specific about eating with the seasons, and the influence of food on health.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Maggie Bryant led a workshop on this book in Pasadena, and it was great. I still return to this book when I need to nurture my inner muse.
Astrology. Since my first astrology class with Liddy Flewwelling in Montreal in the early 1990s, I have been interested in the way the planets affect our individual worlds. While I think it is too easy to blame everything on Mars being retrograde, I think some of the big cycles in our lives are worth paying attention to, and astrology is a way of doing that. I do not practice astrology for others, just for myself.
Tarot and symbolism. The Third Eye center—the intuitive center—talks in symbols. The Knight-Ridder and other tarot decks talk in symbols that resonate with our intuitive beings. They can be a good reference to work with because so many of our mythologies and archetypes work with third-eye symbolism. I do not read tarot for others.
Yoga has been an intermittent part of my life since childhood when I saw my mother doing sun salutations and asked her to teach them to me. My grandmother practiced yoga throughout her life. I have taken classes in various forms, and read books, and I value it as an exercise that creates openness and inspires consciousness in the body at the same time as it calms the mind.
I’ve attended conferences of the American Society of Dowsers. (Indeed, I met my husband at one of them.) Dowsing is a way to use a tool (forked stick, pendulum, bobber, etc.) to access the invisible through the intuition. I met fascinating people at these events, especially the grizzled New England farmers who dowsed for wells as a matter of course, because how else were you going to know where the water was.
I’ve learned about the mysteries of labyrinths, and with my husband have built a few. (I’m sad our lawn is on a slant which makes it impractical to have a labyrinth of our own.)
I have enjoyed the energy of many sacred places. Here are a few:
Findhorn, Scotland. A magical co-created garden which pioneered working with devas and nature spirits. I attended an International Flower Essence Conference there in 1997. The energy was great, the plants were great. Actually, all of the tiny section of Scotland I saw felt magical.
Stone Circles in the British Isles. From Stonehenge and Avebury to lesser-known ones in farmers’ fields, I have talked to ancient stones and really enjoyed their company. (A few of them are pictured on this site.)
I’ve enjoyed the red rocks of the American southwest: Sedona and Valley of Fire in Arizona. Arches, Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce in Utah. Also the amazing creations of the Grand Canyon.
California: Is there anything to surpass the redwoods at Three Rivers and King’s Canyon?
Central America: Tikal, the Mayan temple in the rainforest of northern Guatemala, where the forest is reclaiming the land from the people.
I have shared the energy of one place with the nature spirits in another place. And I have learned that no matter where we are, nature is magical. We just need to open our eyes and see it.
About Me: My Philosophy of Healing
I use the term healer as shorthand. I’m not a mystical healer who can transform your life in a flash of my magic wand.
I can, however, help you in your transformation. Growing, expanding, changing, opening to new possibilities—this is where true healing occurs.
To me, healing means growing in love, acceptance, enjoyment, harmony and appreciation. It means connecting with the inner strength that reminds us who we really are and what is really important.
On the physical level, we bring the body into its natural state of balance through nourishment, exercise and connection with nature. On the emotional level, we enjoy, express and trust our emotions, letting them make life juicy. On the mental level, we learn to steer the galloping horses of the mind in the direction we want to go, harnessing their strength and magical powers to create a life we love. And on the spiritual level, we embrace the interconnectedness of all things—from the mycelium in the soil to the atmosphere and constellations above – and the spark of light within each.
Embracing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of our beings and using them to live a pulsating life—that is healing. Indeed, that is health.
It is when we get out of balance in one or more of these areas that we create dis-ease and ill-health. The key to healing is to return to balance, to support and appreciate the many aspects of our being. To see what is blocked and unblock it. To see our fear and turn it into a strength. To see what needs nourishing and feed it.
To remember to listen to our inner guidance, our sense of knowing.
So don’t ask me to cure you with energy or food or vitamins—instead let me share your journey with you, as you explore the wonderful garden of your being. Let me offer guidance and a helping hand, but stay true to your own intuition and sense of self as you explore.
I have a diverse practice—if five of my clients gathered together, they would have completely different stories about how I work.
That’s because each session is tailor-made to the client—addressing their needs at that time.
The clients I like to work with are those interested in transformation. They come in with a puzzle to work with—a pain in their body or a thought in their head, or a feeling of stuckness in their life—and we investigate what it’s trying to tell them and how they can use it to move forward.
Stomach pains might be caused by food allergies or stress or lack of digestive enzymes or fear—each person is different. I read my client’s body and energy and see where we need to work and how. Depending on the cause, we might look at diet and supplements, or meditation, or stress management techniques, or I might clear away the stagnant energy. The treatment is specific to the situation.
So is the frequency of treatments.
Some clients set up regular appointments. Others call when they need me. Some people come once a month, others once a week, and some people I only see every couple of years. We might work intensely for a few weeks and then not at all for months. It depends on what benefits the individual.
I work with people in person, and also on the phone. I have phone clients I have never met in person.
Which is better—an office visit or a phone session?
Again, that depends on the individual. Obviously if you’re not in L.A., phone is the best option. However, even people in L.A. seem to like the phone sessions. And yet, being in my office is more tactile—you will feel my hands on your energy field, you might not over the phone.
So it’s up to you whether you prefer the personal touch of an office visit, or the comfort of staying at home.