Archive for the ‘Healing Practices’ Category

I have just finished reading The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics by Arthur W. Frank.  This is a new addition to the Healing Touch library at Knox United Church.  It is the second book by Arthur Frank I have read this year.  His first book, At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness, was written after three years of being a patient.  He received heart surgery and two years of treatment for testicular cancer.  Arthur Frank is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, so was formerly on the other side of treatment.  His first book describes the sometimes dehumanizing aspect of medical treatment, providing welcome insight into the desires of the patient.  Treatment is not just about a cure; it’s about being treated as a whole person.  Each patient has a complicated story and personal desires, and is not simply a case for diagnosis.  S/he is definitely not just the disease.

In this second book, Frank invites those afflicted by illness to tell their stories.  He describes different types of narrative which the interruption of illness may produce: restitution (where the story ends in a cure), chaos (where the plot line remains chaotic and unresolved) and narrative ethics (where the person shares his bodily experience in order to heal and to teach others about health).  This aspect guides the ill person toward ‘a good death’, which is the end of all our individual maps.  Illness forces one to redraw the map and destination of his/her life.  Reflection on the body’s experiences brings each of us to greater consciousness of our Self and of the inter-human and supra-human realm.   

Frank writes “To tell any story of suffering is to claim some relation to the inter-human. Any testimony is a response to the half-opening of nameless suffering” (p. 180)…”The wounded, spiritual body-self exists in moments of immanence. Humans are not alone, even if being with God is a process of resistance, contest and wound.” (p. 181)…”For wounded storytellers, the return from illness brings the responsibility to teach others so that not only sick people can ‘know what health is’ ” (p.182).

I found this book heavy reading at times because its academic style deals with abstractions and generalities.  A few anecdotes illustrate Frank’s themes very effectively. On every page are gems of wisdom that guide as well as inform.  For anyone involved in healing, whether as patient or healer, this book reframes illness and suffering in essential truths.  It presents a big picture with a sweeping focus that places the lens on all aspects of illness and healing.  I recommend it for all those who are ill, or who live and work with ill people.

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December, 2009

                I chose a wreath from Clip Art that reflects Ireland, new light, and re-birth.  It has shamrocks.  I can’t figure out how to insert it, so I’m telling you about it.  I used it for my Solstice/Christmas party invitations, as every year I invite women friends to share my home the last weekend before Christmas.  I hesitated having a ‘party’ this year, because after 23 years, Lois and I are no longer in a ‘partner’ relationship.  It felt strange to have people in without  Lois helping me host our friends.  However, Lois and I are still friends, although we don’t see each other as often as we used to.  I have invited old and new friends, most of whom know each other.

                The invitation asks my friends about re-birth, because Solstice represents the  return of the light.  Check out these websites for wonderful pictures and descriptions: www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm or  www.heritageireland.ie/en/Solstice2007 .  I’ve since thought about my own re-birthing.  Re-birthing is not just one event, but a continuum of growth.  As we age, the physical body deteriorates but the spiritual one ripens.  

My Christmas cactus reminds of re-birthing, as it blooms faithfully twice a year.  It doesn’t last long, but it reminds me of life’s potential,  even when the leaves seem droopy.


                I have valued my visits with Lynne’s and Bob’s families this past year.  I celebrated Jesse’s high school graduation with all the family in Prince George in May.    I visited Riley & Nicole in Kamloops after that.  They have re-birthed themselves also, as Riley’s art is less dark now.  His work is truly beautiful.   He’s returned to Thompson University for another year in Fine Arts.   I had great visits with Bob and Dina and Ben in Vernon, in May and in October.  I love playing Gramma with 3-year-old Ben, which truly keeps me young – definitely a re-birth!  I’ve discovered new ways to be with my kids: fewer questions, more patience, more listening and more learning.  It’s never too late.

                Another re-birth is the display of the family scroll, given to my father’s parents when they left Ireland in 1913.  The scroll hung in our dining room until John & Linda received it two decades ago.  Now all the cousins have a copy, and I have framed mine.  I re-painted my kitchen before hanging the scroll, another  re-birth for my house!  Reading the scroll has reminded me of my roots and family values .  I’ll write about these on my website/blog: www.sharonmontgomery.wordpress.com  

I have also re-birthed my book Your Invisible Bodies.  After a year of marketing the first edition I decided there is a market for the book.  Advice from a new friend/editor convinced me to publish a second run with the Study Guide included.  I added new information, two photographs of my auras, expanded the background and references to Jesus and Mohammed, and included the Study Guide as Part II: For the Adult.   The new title is Your Invisible Bodies: a reference for children and adults about human energy fields.    It is a much improved book, so this time I printed more copies.  Self-publishing has forced me to learn new information, and marketing has raised the learning curve even higher! 

Bob advised me to  market via trade shows and expos that would attract my target audience:  parents who are into complementary health and alternative spirituality.  So that’s what I have done.  Because I didn’t  want to sell my book alone  I’ve reached out to other writers of spiritual books.  This has been a marvellous collaboration.  The first event,  in March, was an author’s night at Knox United Church.  We featured Carolyn Pogue, Coral Sterling, Lorna Rowsell and myself.   A month later Coral and I presented at the Women in Business Expo, with 4 other authors.   By this time we had a name for the  collective:  Growing Past the Edge.  The BodySoulSpirit Expo in Calgary in April attracted other authors, resulting in us becoming a collective of 15 self-published writers.  We chose the domain name www.calgaryauthors.com  and Jeane Watier, one of the members, has designed the website.  If you are interested in fascinating reads, check us out!  Growing Past the Edge has been at three fall expos, in Vancouver, Calgary, and Vernon.  I’ve made many new friends and contacts.  Selling books is a lot of fun, especially since I discovered my inner marketer! 

Another plus to the author collective is that we exchange and read each other’s books, so we can knowledgeably sell any of them.  I know so much more now I probably could not write my children’s book, because I wouldn’t be able to simplify the knowledge .  One reason the book works is because it is simple, addressed to children 8-12, giving an overview of energy healing.  Several adults have bought it because it presents contemporary knowledge of quantum physics and energetic bodies in child-sized bites.  I’ve given a copy to Miceal Ledwith (of What the Bleep Do We Know? ) and it has been endorsed by numerous people at the spiritual expos.  If you want to know more about my book or these ideas, go to www.yourinvisiblebodies.com

I maintain my membership at Knox United Church, where I’ve been part of the Healing Touch team for over 10 years.   Our group of eight has become good friends, maintaining our own health as well as offering treatments to members of the congregation.  My book has sold very well within the Healing Touch community in Calgary.  I am in conversation with the directors at Healing Touch Program in the U.S. who may use it for their children’s curriculum.  This little idea has grown far bigger than I ever imagined.  What a re-birth that has created in me!  Writing the book has clarified for me that my priority is healing and health.  I continue to be active with the Calgary Raging Grannies, but realize that healing work is more important than political or social activism.  However, I need both. 

The highlight of the Raging Granny year was being Parade Marshalls for the Calgary Pride Parade in September.  Here we are, in all our finest, at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary.  I’m holding the rainbow whirligig I bought when Lois and I were at Padre Island in Texas four years ago.

I am amazed at how far gays and lesbians have come in the 36 years since I moved to Victoria.  As I danced along the street behind the lead car, which was playing disco music, I thought about Lynne and Bob.  They both told me before the parade they were proud of me.  I was so happy, and felt their thoughts were with me and all the others.  Lois was at the rally too, still causing a stir with her mullet haircut.   I got a great picture of her with a young scantily-clothed man who bounced up to her, insisting that she was gorgeous.  Too fun!

Speaking of politics, I have just read the acceptance speech by President Barack Obama upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  His statements remind me that rebirth is possible everywhere.  Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-acceptance-nobel-peace-prize .

 Jesus talked about rebirth 2000 years ago.  The United Church does today. Solstice celebrations  have honoured  rebirth for at least 5000 years.  Christmas is about new light, new awareness of priorities, renewed energy and amazing Love. 

Let the blessings come!

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So, what is a quantum plate?  Actually the full title is Quantum Power Plates.  It is a design, not unlike a mandala, created by artist Renee Luther Hamilton.  I bought two of these at the recent BodySoulSpirit Expo in Calgary.  Rene creates these designs and mounts them on a foam-board.  You can place the smaller ones under a glass of water, or whatever else you are drinking.  Rene said it changes the water so you get more energy from drinking it.  Who knows?  I couldn’t tell much difference in my water, after sitting it for 30 seconds on a small plate named The Rejuvenator.  It’s beautiful to look at though, so even if it doesn’t work, it is calming and centering for contemplation.

However, here’s a picture of my Quantum Power Plate, which is big enough for me to stand on.  I do this whenever I want to feel more centred.  It is particularly helpful before I tackle a writing project!  Rene’s website is www.powerofsoul.org, if you want to find out more. H is promo says he is the inventor of the “Quantum Nano Patch Technology”.  Rene was just one of the marvellous free spirits at the BodySoulSpirit Expo.  Fun to talk with, absolutely convinced of the effectiveness of his designs.  Because I’m familiar with the work of Masaru Emoto, and also know the power of image in Tarot cards, and indeed, any good work of art,  I had no trouble buying Rene’s theory.   I guess that makes me another free spirit!

Standing on my power plate feels wonderful.  Last night at our Healing Touch meeting each of the 7 members took turns standing on it, to see if they could feel energy shifting in their bodies.  Five of them definitely sensed stronger energy flow.  We  test these theories with an open mind but a healthy dose of skepticism. 

Quantum Power Plate
Quantum Power Plate

It works for me!

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