Inner Alchemy

When I asked my guest, Laurie Buchanan, what she would most like you to remember after this interview and getting to know her, she wrote: I would like for people to remember the mischievous twinkle in my eye accompanied by contagious laughter.

While her formal bio reads: I’m a Holistic Health Practitioner—Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  As a healer, writer, and motivational speaker, I address topics on Energy Medicine, Inner Alchemy (personal transformation), Spiritual Awareness, and Everyday Life.

Clearly, Laurie is the kind of person we all can benefit from knowing.  Her bright spirit resonates with spiritual awareness and true concern.  And, recently, she had the wonderful opportunity to have lunch with the Dalia Lama … read on for all the details!

Her blog, Speaking from the Heart, is one you’ll want to visit.  There she writes:

  • I believe that creativity is the outward expression of our connection to source energy.  My creative muse is wabi-sabi—a practice where inessentials are eliminated and trimmed away.  The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the hallmark of my creativity—simple, yet full.  By combining concise word pictures with vivid photography, my hope is to lead each reader to their indwelling spring of unlimited potential and possibility—a spring that’s just waiting to be tapped.

We begin to realize we are energy itself with all
of  its inherent possibilities. 

~ Ted Andrews

Welcome, Laurie, to SunnyRoomStudio!

As a Holistic Health Practitioner (healer, writer, motivational speaker), you are an expert in Energy Medicine, Inner Alchemy (personal transformation), Spiritual Awareness,  and Everyday Life. How did you become interested in these areas?  Was there a catalyst?

The catalyst for becoming a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) was my mother’s death from breast cancer in 1991.  She was only 53 years old.  As an HHP I’m daily invited into people’s lives, not just the surface area, but the whole of it—body, mind, and spirit. Over the years I’ve observed that regardless of age, people who do not forgive, do not heal.

Intrigued by this phenomena, I started probing and discovered that many times people withhold forgiveness—not only from others, but from themselves—because they mistakenly believe that forgiving means condoning.

Once a person forgives, a tremendous personal transformation occurs. I refer to this process as inner alchemy; a wonderful jumping off point for spiritual awareness and understanding that we’re an extension of source energy.

Your blog is called Speaking from the Heart, what is the story behind your thoughtful tagline: “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing?”

In September of 2007, I celebrated my 50th birthday. Holly, a teenaged client asked, “Gosh, Dr. B., now that you’re half a century old! (there was tremendous emphasis here), what’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life?”

I went on a brief hermitage—took time away by myself—to think through my life. I asked myself questions like, “Where have I been?” “Where am I now?” “Where am I going?” And by the way, “What is the most important thing that I’ve learned to date?”

With a half a century of living under my belt I’d learned a great many things. But the one truth that kept surfacing over and over again was—and still is—the most important thing that I’ve learned to date: Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.

You have two dogs…tell me more about the role of pets in your life? And how do they contribute to life on our planet?

Lexi is a Standard Poodle and Willa is an Irish Wolfhound.  In the 32 years that Len and I have been married we’ve always had companion animals as part of our family.

No stranger to the numerous studies done on the quality and longevity of human life with pets, their personalities add a rich element that in my perspective leaves a gaping hole otherwise.  And to my way of thinking, happier humans (laughter is guaranteed with pets) makes for a happier planet.

When you were a teen, say 17 or 18, how did you envision your life ahead? When did your youthful expectations and the real world begin to diverge?

I had the typical start to education: elementary school, junior high, and then high school. That’s where I took a detour and stepped off the “typical” path…

As a sophomore (age 15) I ran away from home. I earned my General Education Diploma (GED) when I was 18. At that point, school became my idea—“my” being the operative word. After that, I fell in love with the academic world and couldn’t get enough; I went on to earn a PhD in energy medicine.

Tell me about your “work in progress”…I believe you’re working on a book. What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you?

Discovering the Seven Selves: Your Key to Offloading Baggage and Increasing Joy—Now! is currently with a literary agent. One of their jobs is to find the right publishing house for it. I like to dream BIG so I’m hoping for for McGraw-Hill, Sterling, HarperOne, or Hay House.

I’m currently working on two more books: one is non-fiction, the other is fiction.  I’ve discovered that going back-and-forth between two genres provides a nice change of pace.  Writing a book is the easy part.  Drafting a query letter and non-fiction book proposal, then finding a literary agent, takes real elbow-grease.

What is the most mysterious, yet, inspiring, thing about the Universe?

For me it’s time. Albert Einstein said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” What distinguishes something that happened in the past from something that will happen in the future?

In my perspective, I think that all time (past, present, and future) happens at the same time; but there are “curtains” that divide them. I believe that some people have figured out how to intentionally slip from behind one curtain to another; and others have done it quite by accident. In either case, it’s what we refer to as time travel.

Time…is it an illusion?  Is it quality of matter?  Or is it a dimension, like space?

That’s what makes it so inspiring, we simply don’t know.  Nor do we know how much—time—each one of us has left.

If you could spend quality time with a well-known spiritual leader, which one would convince you to write a book about his or her teachings?

On April 26, 2012 I had the unique opportunity to be one of eighty guests to enjoy lunch with the Dalai Lama after he spoke to a crowd of 4,000 people about non-violence and human compassion at Loyola University. Not one for the limelight, his genuine Zen-like simplicity appealed to me, along with his contagious smile that lights up a room.

Given the opportunity, I would write about His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lamain a heartbeat!

However, I think my interview questions would be different from the ones he’s so often asked.  For instance, I’d like to know his favorite flavor of ice cream is.  His favorite color.  His favorite flower.

I’d like to know if he ever gets to go swimming, or if he’s ever enjoyed years of companionship with a cat or dog. Has he ever been to a movie?  What’s his favorite poem? So many people revere him, but who on this planet does he revere? Has he ever ridden a horse, or dreamed of jumping from an airplane with a parachute? Does he ever burst into song just from the joy of living?  Inquiring minds want to know …

Thank you for sharing this interview with SunnyRoomStudio kindred spirits, Laurie!  What a pleasure to have you here in this sunny space.
 
Please look for Laurie on Facebook or Twitter @holessence …
you can also visit her blog or @ HolEssence.

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