I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview holistic health practitioner, coach and author Laurie Buchanan PhD. Welcome Laurie!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth
Board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, I’m a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach. My areas of interest include energy medicine, inner alchemy, spiritual awareness, and laughter. Definitely laughter!
Embracing the belief that life is an expression of the choices we make, I’m a teacher and student of purposeful living. With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, I strive to leave the slightest footprint on the planet while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.
A minimalist by intent, I live a beautiful life with fewer things—simple yet full.
What was the inspiration behind Note to Self?
Note to Self is based on the Life Harmony wellness program I designed to help people turn intention into action—the discipline of getting on track and staying there—a program that takes people from where they are to where they want to be.
Like the program, Note to Self facilitates empowerment by identifying the baggage we carry and illuminating the path to whole, unencumbered health—body, mind, and spirit. Using real-life examples, it provides practical tips, techniques, and exercises to help readers offload their bags.
What does your average work/writing day look like?
Every artist (writer, photographer, sculptor, painter, musician, dancer, gardener, potter, chef, and so forth), has a “muse”—their source of inspiration. Each week I set aside protected time for writing at my home office. My muse—my source of artistic inspiration—is space. Unencumbered space.
I typically start writing at 10:00am, purposely giving myself the early morning to tidy up and do what needs doing so that nothing is left to niggle at the edges of my mind, potentially distracting me from the task at hand. Then I sit down at my loft-sized desk that’s clear except for two items—my laptop and a tea light candle. Once lit, the flame is my “contract” to stay seated and continue writing until it goes out of its own accord.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?
Most writers—people who put words on paper in order to survive; people who write because they know if they don’t they’ll either implode or explode—have a fear of encountering writer’s block. For most writers, that means anything that stops the flow of writing.
Years ago after attending my first writer’s conference and watching other people getting wide-eyed with fear about this “dark inner-demon we would all encounter at some point,” I decided to make a preemptive strike and get myself a writer’s block so I could shift my perspective and embrace this thing, rather than run scared.
I had just put my intent out to the Universe when a friend with a phenomenal collection of crystals gifted me with a small basket of gemstones. Hidden among the treasures was an oblong piece of olive-colored Nephrite Jade. My writer’s block!
Jade (or “yu” as it’s called in China), is rich with tradition. It symbolizes the five virtues of humanity: wisdom, compassion, justice, modesty, and courage. I love my writer’s block—it’s all about flow!
As a holistic health practitioner, I know that the use of color therapy plays a part in your practice. What is color therapy and how does it work?
Color is simply energy, energy made visible. Different colors stimulate or inhibit the functioning of different parts of our body. Color Therapy—treatment with the appropriate color—can restore balance and normal functioning.
Every color has a different wavelength and individual energetic properties that produce a biochemical reaction within our bodies directly stimulating important glands, like the pituitary gland, which produce hormones regulating sleep, libido, metabolism, moods, emotions, and behavior. For instance:
RED enhances our sense of groundedness
ORANGE increases our sense of delight
YELLOW cultivates our inner landscape
GREEN developed our emotional empowerment
BLUE unleashes our creative flair
INDIGO boosts our insight
VIOLET strengthens the connection with our high self
What are some of the perfect colors writers/creatives should consider having in their work-space to improve flow and productivity?
Any shade of BLUE is associated with self-expression and creativity. It enhances knowledge, relaxation, and health. It’s the color of a cloudless summer sky. Think of your favorite faded denim jacket, a robin’s eggs in a nest, an exquisite piece of turquoise, or the inviting water of a swimming pool on a hot day.
The properties of BLUE are expressed as peaceful, calming, tactful, sincere, trustworthy, fluent, introspective, and responsible.
When you need a boost in the areas of creativity and self-expression, indulge yourself with the color BLUE. Buy a piece of BLUE clothing. Add a splash of BLUE to your décor with flowers, pillows, a candle or a throw. Buy BLUE sheets that will gently encourage you to sleep at night. Or take advantage of the healing frequency of BLUE crystals such as aquamarine, turquoise, chrysocolla, or blue topaz.
What other holistic practices could you suggest that would be beneficial for writers/creatives?
I suggest having therapeutic treatment done on the “bookends” of the body — head and feet — because those two areas address everything in-between:
HEAD — Cranial Therapy
The lines of junction between the bones of the skull are known as cranial sutures. This is where the natural movement between the skull bones takes place. Sometimes a restriction can occur.
Using very gentle finger pressure and hand holds to the cranial sutures, the practitioner’s intent is to facilitate a release. That is when a restriction is unblocked and the bones are able to resume their natural movement pattern. This allows the subtle natural rhythms of the central nervous system to express themselves in a balanced fashion.
FEET — Reflexology
Reflexology is not a foot massage. Massage and Reflexology have one thing in common—touch. Beyond that, the difference is immense.
Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive treatment that relaxes, restores, revitalizes, and brings about a state of healing. The nerves in each foot contain a representation or “map” of the entire body. When direct thumb or finger pressure is applied to these neurological-reflex points, the corresponding area in the body is stimulated, cleared of congestion, and the natural healing process is enhanced.
What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your book?
People who read Note to Self will have a clear understanding of actionable ways to unpack and offload emotional baggage that’s weighing them down and move forward unencumbered into lighter, joy-filled living.
Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where we can find you online?
Although Note to Self is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for pre-order, Note to Self actually hits the shelves November 1. I start my book tour shortly after that with stops on both coasts and at least one in the great Chicagoland area that I called home for over 20 years.
About Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth
Baggage! We all carry it with us through life. It comes in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors; and no matter how we dress it up, it’s frustrating, inconvenient, and slows us down. In fact, it’s downright disruptive.
Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth is about offloading emotional baggage—something that’s especially important when we realize that we don’t just pack for one; we pack for seven of our selves—self-preservation, self-gratification, self-definition, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-reflection, and self-knowledge. Each plays a vital rose in harmony, overall health, and well-being.
Chock full of real-life emotional examples, as well as “keys” at the end of each chapter offering actionable tips to help you offload it permanently,Note to Self will help you discover a lighter, joy-filled you!