Diane 11-02-2002

My spiritual journey, sure… My spiritual journey has been the core of what has lured me into the work that I’m doing. When I was a child growing up, my family didn’t really have a strong spiritual path. We were baptized in a church, and they didn’t go to church. So I began going with my neighbors to go and take care of the baby. And I liked that. Then I got involved in the youth group, and it was more of a social thing, but it also was very spiritual, I loved the music, the music really drew me in and I really do like music a lot. So I wasn’t there for the doctrine. I don’t feel damaged from a lot of fundamental religion, or Bible-pounding messages. It was actually, I didn’t have much at all, growing up, other than what I chose, which was nice. And the connection with friends. So then as a young adult, and when I had a family, I knew that I wanted to have some… I guess some spiritual principles, and I got married to a man who was raised Catholic, and he was dissatisfied and not attending the church, so we found a church together and we were going to a liberal United Presbyterian Church, which at the time was quite liberal, more than most Christian churches in that they were accepting women in authority positions and ordaining women and… Well, at the time they were in the debate about whether to accept gay and lesbian people and that’s been an ongoing debate and they hold back from it and move into it and so on. So growing up with my family, we were active in the church community. But it was more social also, we did a lot of camping with our friends, we did a lot of… Actually it was kind of our extended family, because we didn’t have our family here in San Diego. They were our family. We did holidays together, we often went to each other’s homes, and did big group dinners, and pot luck barbecues… So that was kind of our extended family, but the connection was through the church. But I began to really, I began to see how frustrated with the patriarchal church . I was becoming more of an amateur feminist. And looking more at… wondering why women weren’t more broadly accepted. And why gay and lesbians weren’t more broadly accepted. And that became a path for me then. I did move from my heterosexual life and I became engaged with a woman and I have been a lesbian later in my midlife. But maybe more than that, I began to look for a church that would allow more freedom that way and I was searching all over and I found the Unitarian Church, Unitarian Universal Church. Which gave me a sense of community of people, but also it was very accepting and I really liked their principles of accepting the intrinsic worth of all people, of honoring everyone’s spiritual walk, and respecting where you were on your path. And just that they were very earth- centered, honoring the web of all life. So I really did a lot of personal growth, as finding the Unitarian church and discovering my own spirituality within myself, and I think that spirituality has a lot to do with your sexuality. I think that if you can be sexually who you are, you’re a whole person. And it, there’s nothing more spiritual than to connect with somebody on a sacred level like that. In a meaningful relationship. So I have a bit of a bias about that, and just discovering my feminine self and connecting with women, was very powerful for me. Women relate differently than men. And it’s a lot about being socialized as well. Women are not socialized to be emotionally connected with themselves, or I think with other people. And I guess from a spiritual standpoint, I feel like for me this part of my choice has been a conscious choice… to honor my sexual expression wherever it is. And loving someone, it just matters more to me how you love than who you love. And I fell deeply in love with someone, so that’s been a big part of my spiritual path, really being on a deep level with myself, and with spiritual essence in my life. So it’s not so much around the fundamental church or the rules of any theology, it was a personal discovery.

- And how does that all fit with your work?

That all fits with my work in that, I think holistic work is without even having a conscious intention, it is helping people to move toward expressing their whole self, their spiritual self, whatever that might be. It may have nothing to do, for them with sexuality, it may have to do with just being able to reach full expression. So it’s just finding the path, removing the blocks, finding the way to have your own full expression and connect with yourself and other people in that way.

Feminine. Godness. I think there is a feminine principle to wholeness that is missing, so the image of God for me has become more feminine, not the absence of a male God but more of a fullness.

Earth and nature and spirit. And pretty much what I just said.

The natural of being connected with your own nature.

Well, I think of black and white thinking, which is a lot of what our society is about, so black and white thinking. Rigidness. I think we need to move away from black and white thinking, I think it puts everyone in boxes and it makes things too unreal.

Metaphor, I guess comes to my mind. I’ve done a lot of looking at mythology in my own path, and we’re all on a mythological path in life. I certainly use metaphors. But to me, one of the respectful things about holistic work is, if the practitioner is truly holistic, is to honor the, whatever mythology the person is traveling on in their own life, and so not imposing my symbolism, but work with images that fit for them.

I think of ceremony, I think it’s very powerful and important in our lives to have ceremonies and to have rituals.

What came right away is, I have friends who are working and they talk about Magick spelled with a K, and I’m learning and understanding that, I think it’s just their own metaphors, it’s a paradigm that works for them.

I was a rainbow girl, growing up. It was a young girl’s organization that was connected with the Masonic lodge which is very patriarchal, but it was acceptable to my family. Their principles were good principles, and I learned to relate with girls all different ages and we did, I did some public speaking with them. Their principles were the color of the rainbow so red was love, religion was orange, nature was yellow, immortality was green, fidelity was blue, patriotism was indigo, and violet was service. And I guess at the time it probably was a spiritual experience for me on the path I was as a young girl. But I wouldn’t wanna go back there.

Freedom I guess, even though our freedoms are being restricted now, with the world situation.

Oh I think of my computer and I don’t like it. I’m not a techno-weeny. I’m learning to use it but it’s a chore. Not very holistic, it’s very technical and rigid and black and white, but it’s important

Unfolding and finding your way to wholeness.

I think of soul. I’ll go back to metaphor, I think of the moon and the feminine and these dark places where we heal. Being in the quiet, in the dark, confronting our dragons and getting stronger so we can soar with spirit.

I love Dreams. They’re gifts from the source, from God, from Goddess. I love dreamwork.

I do if people want to. I think dream is the unconscious speaking to us. Sometimes we don’t need to know what it’s about, it’s just mental housekeeping and I think your dreams hold a lot of good guidance and information and… they’re metaphors, not literal. I do use dreamwork if people want to though.

Growth came to me. Spontaneously. Growth, Growing and evolving

Vital, very vital. I think we’re made to connect with people and it’s very important to have a community that you can relate to. You know right now my sense of community is kind of low and I don’t feel that I have as much as I would like and yet, I’ve been doing a lot of inner work so I guess I hold back from maybe reaching out to community as much as I have in the past… But I feel it’s really important to feel like you belong somewhere.

Essence… expression, being who you are, being fully alive, journey.

Of mainstream society… I think it’s wounded. I think it’s wounded and I think there is… I think because there’s a human condition that there’s always a movement or a striving towards healing. I think right now we’re kind of coming apart so we can find out how to go back together in a healthier way. I hope, that’s my hope, that’s what the wise sages are saying and I want to, I do believe that on some level. Sometimes we’re in the midst of a hard…

Well, I’m not a black and white thinker, so for me, growing up, it was very positive cause I wasn’t part of the… you know, where it was forced on the… or where I had to believe a certain way… I think a lot of religions are too strict with doctrine. And I really like the Unitarian Universalist principles, they’re very feminine principles in that they’re life affirming, they’re diverse and they honor all people. I like that… The web of life and the universe. And I think… I think a lot of mainstream religion is kind of scary. I think a lot of people are so taken by it that they can’t accept change, it’s terribly judgmental and I think it really grouches the expression and the life of people and all of us finding wholeness in the world, I think religions in a sense keep us in boxes too much. But I also think that sometimes it’s better than not having any foundation for any sense of a greater power in the world, a greater… I see an awful lot of people who have really been wounded by religion, by rigid… and having expectations about who they are, how they behave and…

Would be connecting with people who have similar worldviews, I guess. Another thing about the Unitarian Church is that it’s very much taking care of people who are less fortunate and the community and the world. There is a lot of outreach, I’ve done many things around that. I do yoga myself, which is taking care of me, in a spiritual way, I go to a women’s drumming circles, once a month. That’s a very spiritual experience it’s very primal and it connects – for me it connects me with the universal energy and it’s very feminine, and from the beginning of time… there’s something very primal about it and yet it’s non-verbal it’s like music almost, it’s a language beyond language. So I do that. I like to go out and walk in nature… These are some of the things that I do.

I guess I do, I like to hear other people… the expression of artists and writers and people who write from their soul… I think when people get together in small groups, particularly women – I do enjoy women’s groups, and I’m finding more and more men also, who speak from their heart, and it’s spiritual, every time. Every session I have with a client, is very spiritual. We don’t always name it as so, but when you connect on the deepest level, share that part of yourself, it’s revealing and… it feels like a sacred state.

Yes, it’s really exciting to do that. Women’s groups, the Unitarian church. They have so many different interest groups, often spirituality of people will be part of the expression of those groups.

One thing about the Unitarian community is that they look beyond age, look beyond gender and all of it. I mean … it doesn’t feel like they accept gay and lesbian, it feels like you’re just part of it, not like you’re one of the minority that they’re taking in. So the groups are often very eclectic and… I like groups and activities that do something physical with the body, because to me that is spiritual, expressing yourself and your body… You know, movement groups and…

It’s been a journey I’ve learned to trust, and at times it’s been dark and scary but always I’ve done enough of that that I trust there is always something positive that comes from it, and there’s always a light… There are peaks and valleys. I guess it’s this thing where you can’t know the greatest joy until you know the greatest pain.

Well I wish I knew… My hope is that – I think I’ve said it earlier – that in the coming apart and in the discord, that we’re making room somehow in that… just like a psychological journey or a spiritual journey, that sometimes you have to come apart and go back together… and again it’s not black and white and we need to honor all kinds of people and all kinds of cultures. So we’ve got a long journey ahead. I hope it’s positive…

I don’t think that it presents me so much with challenges because I’ve done so much deep work that I just trust that it’s exactly what it needs to be somehow, and that the unfolding and the pain or the questions are part of the goal. It doesn’t mean it’s not scary sometimes or that I don’t wander because I don’t know. But I think I do have trust in the unfolding… That’s a mystery that I don’t need to know.

New Age

New Age just has kind of a buzz word to it. It’s just like a big umbrella and I don’t think it’s very defined or very positive. It just has a judgement around it somehow.

New Spirituality

I think spirituality is very old, and I think what we are doing is finally on our own way, connecting with it. It’s more like discovery, uncovery maybe. Finding what’s already there. You know, the essence or the goodness that’s already there.

They wanna call the work we do alternative too and somehow I feel like that’s the patriarchal culture saying you’re secondary to us, you can come in and help us a little bit, but it’s not a

I don’t think it’s Pagan at all. I think it’s deeply sacred. None of them fit for me

I haven’t done a lot of travelling and I do embrace the natural and nature, so I think just nature, anywhere… Even in the children’s voices right here there is something very spiritual about that, their freedom and their being fully expressive like we all wanna be. Like we forget to be and we are cultured away from. I think that the most spiritual place would be within what you have everywhere. You can take that everywhere. But I do think that there is a big aspect about connecting. That being spiritual alone is a journey but if you can’t come back and connect with something, someone, it’s kind of empty.

I think there are various movements that have happened all around and I think when people are involved in a particular movement it is coming from their soul and spirit so the 60s, the flower children of the 60s, the age of the Goddess, when there was a greater peace and not competition for power. Of course, there’s woundedness around all of us but… I think there are probably small pockets and groups that are highly spiritual in all times, we don’t really know about them.

Ya… it’s also helped me not to take action. I used to be a volunteer everything, when I was raising my family… and I loved it, it was a wonderful thing, that was how I expressed myself in the world. But when I started doing a deeper spiritual exploration I pulled in from that… Somehow my energy needed to be on a deeper level, that’s why I’m talking about a soul level where you’re withdrawing and have to take care of home and… So when I put myself out more, I always try to reserve some for myself, I don’t spend as much of me. But I like to, I like to support those types of things and again that’s why I like the Unitarian community.

I thought you were going to ask me more about the work I do, and it’s very spiritual.


Being a nurse was in the care-giving realms and was one of the roles that was accepted of a woman and I think we tend to have a natural, you know everyone on a different level has a natural tendency to wanna care for community. But it was, that was within, you know, the medical, more patriarchal authority. And I started… And raising my family and being at home, having children it connects you with a very deep part of yourself and with other people as well as… these little spirits that you bring to the world and you see how perfectly wonderful they are and how they have to live through a human family, and somehow I was losing touch with myself, with all those duties, and being in a marriage which had a more traditional expectations and roles and I was feeling a sense of myself being squelched somehow… Actually I had a friend who said, I know of a school, they’re having an open house, do you wanna go? And I said, sure, and we connected… We had family, she had a child that was severely disabled, we had real touching conversations around that. And I went and it was a massage school, I had my very first massage, which was about ten minutes and it was heaven. And I just said, this is holistic and healthy and expressive and creative. I took the program, and it totally turned my life around in that the program, the beginning level of the program was getting in touch with your own body, and understanding your own self on a spiritual level with your physical body. And it was very powerful. And I thought I was gonna take this class and become a massage therapist, and I took the class, and it changed my life, it changed how I felt about myself and my situation I was in and my family history and I had to do a lot of personal exploration and healing, and changing, shifting. And some of that was hard and, family values were important to me and also the relationship that I was in. That was a very deep spiritual shift and journey for me. And then like I said a lot of what I learned and as I went on in massage therapy program, it was a very holistic program, the International Professional School of Bodywork, at the time it was called, the acronym is IPSB, and it was called at that time the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balance, which was a little too New Agey, and they just changed it, because it had that label around it. So the program was wonderful, and as I got into more, learned the technique, and the body psychology and working with people on a deeper level, it was very powerful for me. And I was able to make some changes that were more congruent with my principles and my discovering of my spirituality and myself. And that included a lot of imagery, so I did that for a few years. Massage therapy can be physically difficult, depending on the kind of work you’re doing, and I found that I wanted to do something a little less physical, I had a little bit of arthritis in my fingers, and even though when you do it correctly you’re not wearing out your body, I was very drawn to the imagery and the metaphor work, and the healing that can take place without… And also I was with a therapist, and we were doing some dreamwork. And dream, which is unconscious and metaphoric, and wonderful spiritual messages. And so I realized that just the interpretation of dreams. I mean, people put labels even to dreams, but when it’s left to the dreamer, it’s never negative, it’s always something healing. So I decided that I wanted to study clinical hypnotherapy, which is deep inner work, and not at all the same as hypnosis but it’s more of a stage work.

Clinical hypnotherapy is a way of… it’s conscious inner focus. It’s helping someone to become consciously inner focused so that you can let go of the conscious thought and the ego and you can explore the unconscious material or images or whatever it is that comes forth from that. I think it’s very important to claim it in a healing way. The unconscious speaks to us in emotion, the unconscious understands only emotions and metaphors and symbols. So a lot of the messages we give ourselves, is self talk. A lot of the messages come from the culture, or your childhood, or your relationships. A lot of that is not congruent necessarily with what is inside of you, what you need, what you feel, what you believe. And what will help you be the most expressive of yourself. And so hypnotherapy is kind of a way of creating a safe space for that to happen and honoring of that, when you work with the unconscious, issues and concerns and [inaudible] can be worked with very quickly. cause if you get the ego, the thought, the judgement, out of the way, the deepest part of yourself knows, there’s a sense in holistic work that, we have an inner view of our own, and even though that is very connected with our physiological body, it’s all connected. And so it’s very exciting. People are just amazed at what material comes out from them, and what sense comes out for them. And then, a lot of my work is anchoring in the positive around whatever comes up for them around it, concern or issue. A lot of esteeming and affirmation. And of course sometimes they come to you for behaviour changes and again, the unconscious speaks to us and understands imagery and metaphor and symbol. So with imagery, you can really help someone change a behaviour, they truly on the inside, the deepest part of them really wants that to change. And if there are blocks in the way, you can shift and break through the blocks sometimes. Sometimes you have to do that first. Maybe there’s a pay off to smoking, or a payoff to eating the wrong food, or… You know all the right things in your conscious mind. You know why it’s unhealthy, you know why it’s sabotaging, you know all of it, and you want it to be different, you truly want it, in your heart. But on the deepest level, your unconscious has some blocks for some reason going on. And so through clinical hypnotherapy you can break through that very quickly. That’s the thing, is you can go to psychotherapy for weeks and months and months, and you’re talking, even doing, feeling from your thinking. You know, you can sit in psychotherapy and talk about how awful your family was, and have all these angry feelings about your dad, or whoever… And sometimes in hypnotherapy you can immediately go to the core of what that was, and you can reframe it, or you can empower yourself to move beyond it. When you’re a child, the perception that you have is very real, but it’s also old information, and sometimes it keeps us in old patterns, so with imagery and with affirmation, you can really strengthen yourself and see, and discover the strength that you have, and see a new path. Encoded information from our childhood keeps us in a track, and to move out of that track can be very empowering. Psychotherapy can be wonderful too.

And I also think it’s the levels of it, it’s like in spiritual journey and spiritual traveling, you’re doing what you need to do in that time and whatever you’re doing is gonna give you some kernel of truth and some healing. And for you it may turn around when you’re doing massage therapy, incredible deep things can come up when you’re allowing your body to be touched, and you’re feeling comfort, and you suddenly have a memory of not ever being comforted, or wrapped, or soothed. And with hypnotherapy I feel like I can – I can also use massage therapy and so there are a lot of doors you can go through to get to the wounded part.