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Our Role in Personal Transformation and Healing

by Petrene Soames(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 70 - November 2001

Reality and you

There is a lot of fear in the world today. Many people worry about a possible World War III involving chemical and nuclear weapons. Others are concerned that the end of the world is imminent, or that life as we know it will end. Still others are close to panic, feeling helpless and out of control. We have the choice to feel this way, but we can also take another path if we wish. It is important to realize that when we learn to heal ourselves, we are not limited merely to changing our own realities; the world reality is also ours to change. We are all responsible for the collective thoughts and fears. In fact, each time we allow ourselves the thought that catastrophes may happen, that everything will fall apart, and that the world is going to be destroyed, we feel powerless to do anything and we give up our unique strength. While we continue to accept war, violence and horror, our own fascination with the subject helps to create it. The choice and the responsibility are there for each and every one of us to use. As you change your lifestyle and create your own self-healing lifestyle, you will begin to realize more and more that you are not insignificant or unimportant, but a powerful and amazing being.

Any limitations that you accept are of your own choosing. The perfect reality is possible where everyone can live together if they choose, a world where there is no hunger, no violation, no abuse. It is not a dream out of our reach. It is a conscious choice that we each have the option to make. Future reality is ours to create; it is part of our new self-healing, new lifestyle choice.

Changing belief systems

Today in the more affluent countries of the world, many people are taking the opportunity to think in different ways and to question what has always been accepted. But the process seems very slow. Human nature wishes for change, but is generally afraid or feels threatened by change. How many years have we spent existing within false securities to realize too late that there is no security at all? We are born alone and we die alone. Yet many people spend their lives trying to avoid aloneness and loneliness. I believe there is no real security except within ourselves, and yet that security is endless. I also believe that we are beings with vast potential, and that we do not need to be kept in order by fear. We are capable of knowing and doing what is right for ourselves and others. Humanity is slowly moving on. There are some thinkers amongst us who have new ideas and are prepared to go beyond all that has ever been known, experienced, believed or conceived before. They do not accept that there is nothing new under the sun. Ideas such as the ability of man to fly or to harness electricity and invent television, might have seemed strange years ago, but this didn't stop them from becoming a reality. Even now, voices that are different may be hushed or ridiculed, but their time will come too. This is inevitable. These people, who dare to be different and go beyond ideas of the past, are indeed our future. They open doorways in the consciousness of us all, to ideas beyond what has already been realized. The idea of reality created by past philosophers and thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, and more recently Freud and Einstein has been little challenged or changed, except by a select few. In some cases it has been followed blindly for thousands of years. This is quite understandable, when you think that so many people are too busy earning the basic necessities for life to have time or even the inclination to really think. Einstein said: "They are two ways to live your life. One is as though there are no miracles, the other is as though everything is a miracle." This shows us that he too recognized that there is more than one reality and way of life. Many people cannot envision enough belief in themselves to realize that they are just as capable of having original thoughts, and that they could go beyond all that is currently being accepted by mankind. "Concepts, which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily, acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origin and accept them as invariable." wrote Einstein. Humanity at large is based on the concepts and thought patterns of a few, and barely changes, even when it appears to do so. But on the positive side, people are now beginning to want to believe in themselves, and to reclaim the power they thought was lost, only to discover that it was there all of the time. The huge sales of self-help books and motivational tapes, and the popularity of self-development classes and available hands-on experiences, as well as the ever-growing New Age movement, are confirming this change.

Transformation: Post-Natal Depression to Healing

by Kim Hutchinson

     The three months after the birth of my first child were spent blissfully learning the new skills of breast feeding and baby comforting, and adapting sleeping arrangements from twosome to threesome – neither entailed much actual sleep, but for oh such different reasons.
     The next period is a bit of a black hole of fuzzy images connected with struggle, until the next clear memory of my partner asking me if I could perhaps be experiencing post-natal depression. At this, a light bulb of recognition lit in my mind and I felt suffused with relief that at last my struggle was being recognised.
     So off I went on a long trawl through the treatment options open to me. Formal counselling and orthodox medicine are not choices I would ever make and anyway I was beginning to have a glimmer of insight into my experience of this condition. I believe that we each of us manifest dis-ease in order to bring ourselves to the attention that something within us is out of balance, out of harmony.
     I tried acupuncture, which gave me some relief from some of the physical symptoms, and then saw a herbalist and gained greater relief from the physical symptoms but was still experiencing burning rage and suicidal depression 29 days out of 30.
     Then one magical day I commandeered the house for myself and set to work. Deep within me I knew the answer to my illness lay not in the hands of healers but myself. I knew that here was an opportunity to put my long held belief about how we come to healing to the test. I was experiencing a serious illness that was devastating my mind and body, the only aspect of myself that had not been addressed was that of my inner being, my consciousness – whatever you want to call the part of you that transcends physical and mental limitations.
     So through meditation skills I have long practised, I took myself into the very core of my being and came to an understanding, a knowing of the 'judgements', the self-beliefs that I had held to be true all my life – which were that I was only worthy of being nurtured if my behaviour 'earned' and warranted it. I had believed that anything I wanted to do could only happen after the needs of others had been met, because I was not worthy enough to come first.
I came to the understanding that these beliefs were reflected in the reality I was experiencing, that these beliefs were in fact the very nadir of the truth, and that the truth of these beliefs was what would transform my current reality (dis-ease) into that of real healing. I then saw and felt very clearly and deeply my immense worth and value. Energy flooded into my chakra centres, and I experienced a sensation of my entire being 'shifting', a gentle yet extremely powerful sensation of self being reasserted, and I knew then that I would never experience this devastating illness again. And so it has proved.
     I now work with others in individual sessions and workshops and courses, witnessing their relief and joy as long held pain, illness and self doubt is transformed into healing and action. Naturally, I have called this healing TRANSFORMATION.

About the Author
Kim Hutchison is a healer, writer and organises the Help Yourself To Healing Symposiums. Her company, Serendipity runs TRANSFORMATION courses for everyone including health professionals, corporate personal development courses and special groups working with addiction issues. She can be contacted on Tel: 01844 217772;

Creating our world

Many people now find it acceptable to believe that they co-create with a higher power. This is the first, big step towards realizing the greatness of ourselves. Of course it seems a big responsibility to stand alone and accept the fact that you do know exactly what you are doing at all times, that you have made no mistakes, that everything is interconnected and perfect, that everything that happens with and to you is up to you, and as much as you created it you can change it. This is a more comfortable thought for many people to believe than the idea that life is beyond our power and imagination, or that fate is all. For those who still cling to the old ideas, let me point out that more and more we are being urged to go beyond our 'comfort zone' now. I am not suggesting that there is any right or wrong here, only that there are always more choices than most people realize, even when situations seem totally impossible, and that whatever is actually happening, we each have agreed to and had a part in creating. Many of the so-called New Age thinkers believe that the higher self knows what it is doing and if something painful is happening, it must be karma, a kind of punishment for past actions and events. This is basically a fatalistic approach; the concept that pain must be experienced, the popular 'no pain no gain' view. Of course there is value in all of these ways and they are all there to be experienced and expressed, but there is no need to be bound or stuck in any one of them. We always have a choice to bring change to ourselves and to do things differently. Another place where many people become lost is the belief that they have to be good or important, that they must and should behave in a good and loving manner. So they continue to live life in self-sacrificing ways, feeling that if they just love enough, everything will be all right. Sadly, many see that this does not work yet at this moment in time, because we are not all together at the same point in our reality. So these people continue to be hurt, and never understand why.

We often tend to believe we are not doing or being enough, and we immediately blame ourselves first, instead of standing back and taking a much bigger picture into account. This is where knowing yourself is most important. How do you act and react? How much do you empathize with others? Really start to listen to yourself and others. Fulfil your needs. Go with what you feel, and take into account everything that you have experienced in the past. How is all of that past shaping your present reality? Look beyond your own concept of what the past is. See all the many different people who make up who you are, young, old, male, female, the different races and cultures, and all the parts of you that we do not even have words to describe, or feelings to relate to, because they are outside of what we know. All of this is 'you'. We are capable of seeing and knowing ourselves in all of our splendour and of knowing others too, and what we call life in all of its many different forms and expressions. It does not mean that we need to be aware or looking at every moment of the day. But at least to look often or even from time to time, and to look more closely than we do presently, because the more we look, the more we will find ourselves. We will then begin to realize that we are not being one person, one force, good or bad, higher or lower, but a rich, deep tapestry with many faces, realities and dimensions.

Basic concepts and values such as 'do to others what you would have them do unto you' and 'care about all living things' are noble sentiments, but only when we each truly love, value, care and accept ourselves. Then it is easy to be generous with others. Without a doubt, what you most dislike in others, you also dislike in yourself. Take this a step further. Explore the parts of you that you dislike and see where they come from and where they are going. This is healing. It is also time to take a look at our own core belief system. As we embrace self-healing, we may realize that our goal may not be after all to be all that we can be, but rather to be all that we already are. We begin to see that we are capable, powerful, perfect and indeed indestructible, that life and death are neither beginnings nor ends. We begin to see that life can be quite wonderful, a joyful, wondrous, exciting and often challenging experience. We see that we are not victims after all in anything, but rather consenting participants. Life then becomes exciting and filled with hope rather than despair.

Further information

This article is based on The Essence Of Self-Healing: How To Bring Health And Happiness Into Your Life by Petrene Soames. 2001. FleetStreet Publications. ISBN 0-9700444-0-2.


Desiree – Healing from Ovarian Cancer

by Rebecca Pollard

      Desiree Kuring didn't feel sick when she checked into a South Florida hospital almost two years ago to have an ovarian cyst removed. The twenty-six year old dancer from Miami Beach had great energy, her characteristically strong-willed wit and no reason to doubt that the routine operation would end her slight abdominal discomfort.
     It didn't. The forty-five minute procedure stretched to six-and-a half-hours as doctors removed tumour-riddled ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and parts of her abdominal wall.
     Desiree awoke the next day, drowsy with anaesthesia, in the arms of her boyfriend, Andrew Berke. "Everything will be all right," Andrew reassured her, stroking her cheek.
He meant every word. Indeed, Desiree's path of healing led her from the initial death-sentence – a diagnosis of severely metastasized ovarian cancer – to a healer who has helped her choose to live. In that moment, standing over his girlfriend in the recovery room, Andrew saw clearly how Desiree could, in turn, help others make the same choice. "You have cancer," he told her gently. "But everything will be okay."
     A look of confusion spread across her face, then he added, "Will you marry me?"

The Long Journey
     Desiree has never been one to mourn the living. She greeted the diagnosis and the round of chemotherapy that followed with impassive determination. With the help of Chinese herbs, she managed to get through chemo with limited nausea. She and Andrew then embarked on the infinitely more satisfying task of planning their wedding.
     Slowly, though, her telltale signs of fatigue derailed them. The tumours were back. With only a few weeks to go, the couple called off the beachside wedding ceremony, opting for a modest exchange of vows in their apartment instead.
     Chemotherapy had failed, but where were the viable alternatives? Some therapies simply cost too much; others, says Desiree, seemed far-fetched. "My story is a testament to how long you might have to look to find alternative treatments that work for you," Desiree says. "So many people want answers immediately, but healing can be a long process."
     With little money but a lot of hope, they travelled to New York City to meet a renowned specialist in gynaecological Traditional Chinese Medicine. The doctor refused to treat Desiree, fearing liability for what he felt was her imminent death. Despondent, Desiree and Andrew sought care under another alternative oncologist back in South Florida. This doctor prescribed an expensive regimen of intravenous Vitamin C, ozone baths, and herbs. The couple sold their car to afford the treatments, but the cancer stayed. Finally, the oncologist suggested that Desiree return to chemotherapy.
     During the second round of chemo, Desiree dropped fifty-five pounds; her hair fell out in clumps; she all-but-quit sleeping for the constant pain the tumours caused; and far worst of all, her determination started to erode. Bankrupt, the couple moved in with Desiree's parents and enrolled in hospice care. "All I could think was that I wanted my mother. I just wanted the pain to end. I wanted to fade away." For Andrew, these days were unendingly dark. He'd quit his work as a piano teacher, months prior, to care for Desiree full-time. "My life was completely wrapped up in her survival," he says. "I felt that if she were to die, I would soon follow."
     One final last-ditch round of chemo obliterated Desiree's immune system. She received a blood transfusion, and suffered from severe cycles of abdominal cramping. Andrew could no longer bear witness to her pain. On a well-timed recommendation, Andrew helped Desiree into her wheelchair and they flew across the country to consult with master healer Bo-In Lee. Little did they realize they would not be returning home.

A Place to Heal
     Desiree's healer and teacher recently told her that when she first arrived at the New Life Health Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, "her soul had already separated from her body." She couldn't even climb the steps of the Center. Still, from the first moment she entered it, she knew she could heal there.
     World-renowned acupuncturist Master Bo-In Lee did not initially undertake to help Desiree conquer death, as other doctors had. "He tried to prepare me for that natural and beautiful journey," Desiree recalls. He treated her for pain and instructed her in some Zen Buddhist approaches to dying. "I learned to see death as an extension of life. This made me feel totally calm. For once, I could let go of fear," says Desiree.
     Within days, she felt 'her soul return to her body'. Master Lee felt it, too. He started to treat her with a powerful combination of herbs and acupuncture. He identified foods to replenish her denuded system. Most importantly, she says, Master Lee's counselling and philosophy continued. He prescribed daily meditation and deep breathing. Within weeks, Desiree was climbing the Center's stairs several times a day, she no longer relied on her wheelchair, and she was starting to gain weight. The tumours' growth had ceased.
     Today, life has returned to both of the Berkes. Andrew has found piano students in Boston, and the couple has started to plan for their future together. They've established a medical trust fund to help pay for Desiree's ongoing treatments. As Desiree recovers more and more, she hopes to help others seek alternative therapies. "One of the greatest things we can do is herald the news that cancer doesn't have to be a fatal disease," says Andrew.
     After eight months under Master Lee's care, no one would guess that the exuberant woman – with her cropped hair, elfin grin, and hearty laugh – is surviving one of the most virulent, most incurable cancers known. Her healing does not come from a bottle of pills, or through an IV drip, or even in an acupuncturist's needle. It comes from her open heart and her open mind. "Every individual holds the key to their own healing," says Desiree.
     "I hope that my struggles can help others recognize that."

Further Information
     Desiree Kuring-Berke relies on the generosity of others to complete her healing. Visit the website to find out more about her treatments or about giving to the fund. You can write to Desiree or send cheques (payable to the DKB Cancer Fund) to PO Box 67100, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467 USA.

About the Author
Rebecca Pollard is a staff writer for Harvard ED magazine and the Harvard Gazette.


University Lecturer to

Craniosacral Therapy Trust

by Lynn Shorthouse

     Why did I leave Bristol University as a Lecturer to set up the Bristol Centre for Craniosacral Therapy? To quote a poem by Dr. John Crook,

"all you have to do
This minute
is to stop –
turn the mind upon itself"

     I did stop and change what I was doing but the transformation was not so simple or dramatic. Throughout the 90s my life changed gradually and slowly. Three significant events were that I had two sons, and I learnt the arts of massage, and meditation. I was supported by my husband John, who did more than his share of looking after the children, to continue with my studies of anatomy and physiology and then in 1994 complete the post-graduate diploma in Craniosacral Therapy. I am still involved with teaching and learning. At the University I helped with the professional training of Social Workers, and now I help to develop the skills of Craniosacral Therapists with the Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust in London.
     I help clients to balance their health and the positives in their lives with the stresses and diseases, which can overwhelm them. I began in 1975 in an area office in Coventry where I would see all comers in a duty team and continue in 2001 in our own clinic in Cotham. I now see adults, families, babies and children who have discomfort (sometimes three generations together.) There is a great difference, now I have an efficient skill that is effective.
     At the core of the body lies the brain and spinal cord, bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid has a 'tide' like motion. When we meet physical and emotional stresses we contract. If the stresses are too frequent or the shock too great a blockage becomes gradually established and can lead to discomfort and pain. This disturbs and disrupts the flow of the 'tide.' We may collect and disperse many different blockages; sometimes we are able to use our body's natural healing abilities and at other times we need help. Listening physically with my hands allows the client to release restrictions and relax tightness in their body. I am able to encourage stillness in the client's system, which is re-energizing and regenerating.
     The session is quiet and still with people seeking me out for a healing, peaceful time. During the meditative treatment 'something happens' to the client and they experience a feeling of well-being and an easing of symptoms.

About the Author and Clinic
     Lynn's only regret is the service is not available on the NHS. Fees are £30 for the first consultation and £28 afterwards with reductions to £25 for babies and children. She can be contacted on Tel: 0117 973 8173; The Bristol Centre for Craniosacral Therapy can be contacted on Tel: 0117 942 8647;


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About Petrene Soames

Petrene Soames is the author of The Essence of Self-Healing: How to bring health and happiness into your Life FleetStreet Publications. March 2001. She is a leading authority in healing and self-awareness, an inspirational speaker, a veteran television and radio guest featured in national and international press. She has worked successfully over the past 22 years as a consultant and therapist, helping others achieve their highest potential. Originally from the UK, Petrene Soames now resides in Houston, TX since 1985. Visit her web site at or call (281) 363-9983 USA.

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