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Show Up and Be Present

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As an outgoing person, I’ve always been eager to please my family (and pets!), friends, neighbors, co-workers…anybody really. So I would generally be willing to show up without any fuss. But show up AND be present?!? Now that was a tall order! I’m sure there were many times over the years when those two...
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lulu's ear kisses by elise scanlan

As an outgoing person, I’ve always been eager to please my family (and pets!), friends, neighbors, co-workers…anybody really.

So I would generally be willing to show up without any fuss. But show up AND be present?!? Now that was a tall order! I’m sure there were many times over the years when those two things didn’t happen at the same time.

Sadly, it took some really painful losses in recent years to help me truly understand the value of, and the joy to be found in, showing up and being present – aka living in the moment and being grateful for those moments.

Instead of taking things for granted I started becoming much more aware of my surroundings, how I spend my time, the people in my life and the value of life itself.

Just this past week I had separate encounters with two people I hadn’t met before. After a quick smile of acknowledgement, both of these women opened up to me about extremely painful losses of their own in recent weeks.

On both occasions it initiated deep conversations that never would have happened if I hadn’t been present in those moments. And while I wouldn’t exactly call them joyful, they did provide an opportunity for exchanges that provided comfort, compassion and shared experiences.

Do you struggle with being fully present in the moment? Not even sure what that means let alone how to do it? Come in and take a look around our website. I’m betting you’ll find a tip or two on how to make showing up and being present a way of life for you.

 

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An experienced sales and marketing professional, Elise is Au Soleil Healing Inc.’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. After suffering recent health setbacks, she was exposed to the benefits of western medicine combined with holistic healing and is thrilled to be part of the team.

Look…Up in the Sky!

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I was given the opportunity to participate in a project documenting the and stories behind weathervanes in Swampscott, MA, where I live. My first lesson from “looking up” as I began the project was that our quintessential New England town is loaded with weathervanes. Why didn’t I ever notice that before…hmmm? Here...
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elise scanlan

I was given the opportunity to participate in a project documenting the and stories behind weathervanes in Swampscott, MA, where I live.

My first lesson from “looking up” as I began the project was that our quintessential New England town is loaded with weathervanes. Why didn’t I ever notice that before…hmmm?

Here were these beautiful pieces of art topping homes all around me and I had barely noticed. Now I was smitten and just knew our home would never be complete without our own weathervane!

My second lesson came from chatting with the owners of the buildings about these ornamental additions to their properties.  While weathervanes do function as wind directionals and weather predictors, they almost always have a great story behind them.

For example, the codfish weathervane at the local Fish House is a reflection of the town’s long history as a seafaring fishing village. The oldest fish house in the country has been serving the industry since the 1600’s. THAT is truly a symbol of service and longevity.

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elise scanlan

The copper handsaw weathervane was given to a local woman, dubbed the handywoman of the home, by her children and placed atop her tool shed. What a beautiful gift of love and appreciation!

And the flying pig weathervane is mounted on the chimney of a local contractor whose business became a great success. Apparently, he had been challenged years ago by friends (?) that he would succeed only “when pigs fly”. After moving into a magnificent new home he knew exactly how to top it.

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elise scanlan

At Au Soleil Healing we believe in living life with an attitude of gratitude and encourage you to “look up” next time you’re walking around your own community. What surprises, unanticipated joys, or untold stories do you find that give you joy or allow you to connect to others in new ways? Please share.

 

 

 

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An experienced sales and marketing professional, Elise is Au Soleil Healing Inc.’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. After suffering recent health setbacks, she was exposed to the benefits of western medicine combined with holistic healing and is thrilled to be part of the team.

What Do You Give Thanks For?

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With so many things to be thankful for it’s hard to know where to start. But as a huge fan of Sound of Music, Maria’s “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” popped into my mind. So my thanks begin with my family, including a...
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moms 80th birthday
photo courtesy of elise scanlan

With so many things to be thankful for it’s hard to know where to start. But as a huge fan of Sound of Music, Maria’s “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” popped into my mind.

So my thanks begin with my family, including a Mom and Dad who worked very hard to make sure we had more than they ever dreamt of having when they were growing up.

Of course as children we (okay, it may have been just me) thought they were incredibly strict.  But in retrospect I realize they were instilling great values we’ve all carried with us into adulthood.

Mom had a long career in academia and Dad with the Department of Agriculture, which meant we moved around quite a bit. Good news is the academia component meant we ended up in small college towns across the country – my sister was born in Stillwater, OK, I was born in Berkeley, CA, and my brother in Oxford, MS – before we settled in Baton Rouge, LA for the balance of our childhood years. By the way, college towns are pretty darn nice places to raise a family, with their emphasis on small town values and education.

All throughout those years we did a lot of traveling around the country, which exposed us to an incredible variety of cultures, foods, climates, architecture, you name it. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how fortunate we had been, even though we had little money and did tons of camping and staying with (sometimes a little nutty) relatives as we traveled.

In fact, the first time I saw the movie “Vacation” with Chevy Chase I was howling because that was my family on our summer vacations in a nutshell; we even had a wood-paneled station wagon at one point!!! So off we went to the Okefenokee Swamp to see alligators up close and personal, same thing with the bats at Carlsbad Caverns and I’ll never forget the spectacular views of the Grand Canyon.

The picture above was taken at Mom’s 80th birthday 5 years ago and it was a joyous celebration as we were all in good health and happy to be able to spend the time together.

Sadly, we lost Dad a year and a half ago to dementia (such a dreadful disease) and Mom’s health has been in decline for some time now.

But at this time of year and, really, always and forever I’m incredibly thankful for the many good years we’ve had together and the wonderful memories I’ll carry with me. Where would we be without our families who’ve been there for us with unconditional love throughout the good, the bad, and the ugly?

At Au Soleil Healing we believe that living a life with an “attitude of gratitude” can reap many benefits.  We encourage you to share what you give thanks for.

And when life throws you a curve-ball and you need some help we hope you’ll turn to our community for support; add your requests to our prayer circle, for example, or contact one of our holistic health Practitioners.

 

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An experienced sales and marketing professional, Elise is Au Soleil Healing Inc.’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. After suffering recent health setbacks, she was exposed to the benefits of western medicine combined with holistic healing and is thrilled to be part of the team.

Living Stronger After Cancer

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Anyone who has ever heard the dreaded words “you have cancer” knows how life-altering it can be. So when my husband, Dick, was diagnosed with throat cancer and forewarned by all the medical professionals we met through Mass General that treatment for head, neck and throat cancers create the worst possible side effects...
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photo by elise scanlan
photo by elise scanlan

Anyone who has ever heard the dreaded words “you have cancer” knows how life-altering it can be. So when my husband, Dick, was diagnosed with throat cancer and forewarned by all the medical professionals we met through Mass General that treatment for head, neck and throat cancers create the worst possible side effects we thought, with great hope, how bad could it be?!?

I’ll spare you the harrowing details of the year that followed, but just say that they were all spot on about the side effects…they were really gnarly!

However, we muddled our way through and, along the way, learned about resources out there to help people through the cancer journey and beyond. One resource we were very blessed to find is a program called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.

Dick not only signed up for the program at our local Y, but became such a great student/participant that the staff members asked him to represent the program at a recent 5 year strategic planning meeting of executives and board members from the entire North Shore YMCA group. It was one of those proud spouse moments as he spoke at the meeting about how the program “changed his life”; teaching him the importance of exercise, nutrition and spirituality in rebuilding his life after cancer.

Okay…so you’re thinking “what’s so amazing about that?!?” 

Let’s just say my husband has led a sedentary lifestyle for the past, oh, 30 years or so. And while Dick hasn’t turned into a complete gym rat since, he has made some radical changes with amazing results and goes to the gym on a regular basis. He even tried a meditation class and we’re now taking a chair yoga class…together!

In So Many Therapies, So Little Time, I write about my own journey down the healing path from cancer and how I came to know our founder, Janeen Barnett.  She performed what I still consider miracles with her massage and energy work and it was through my connection with Janeen that I eventually joined the Au Soleil Healing team.

What I know for sure is that each of us has our own personal journey/path of healing. And that journey often includes the help and support of others. Whether it’s through a program like LIVESTRONG for my husband or a breast cancer support group as in my own journey, Holistic Health Practitioners like the ones on the Au Soleil Healing team are vital for making sustainable, life-altering changes in our health and well-being.

I invite you to get to know the extraordinary Practitioners who are part of Au Soleil Healing’s Founders Council and check out Finding the Right Practitioner for You.   I’m confident you’ll find someone who resonates with you to help you down your own holistic healing path.  After all, Dick’s experience proves that it doesn’t matter where you start on your path of change…only that you start.

Where are you on your path?  How did you start?  What did you find most most helpful in making changes?

 

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An experienced sales and marketing professional, Elise is Au Soleil Healing Inc.’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. After suffering recent health setbacks, she was exposed to the benefits of western medicine combined with holistic healing and is thrilled to be part of the team.

So Many Therapies, So Little Time

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In spite of leading a very active lifestyle (or maybe because of it?) I’ve had more than my share of injuries and illnesses.  One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that, while I’d never forgo western medicine altogether, I’m confident a balance of western and eastern/holistic medicine can provide...
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photo by elise scanlan
photo by elise scanlan

In spite of leading a very active lifestyle (or maybe because of it?) I’ve had more than my share of injuries and illnesses.  One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that, while I’d never forgo western medicine altogether, I’m confident a balance of western and eastern/holistic medicine can provide tremendous benefits.

Thinking back on it, chiropractic treatment for chronic back pain was probably my first exposure to what was more commonly known as “alternative medicine” in those days.  From there, it was only a matter of time before I experimented with therapies ranging from hypnosis, accupuncture, massage, yoga, polarity and reiki at different stages in my life.

To that list I’d add my own definitions of “treatment,” or passions really, that helped me cope with those injuries and illnesses over time:  golf (I know…torture for some…but relaxing for me when enjoyed with my husband), cooking, walking, gardening, photography, knitting and swimming.

Shortly after starting chemo treatments for breast cancer (see Where’s Your Happy Place?) I had the incredible fortune to learn about and join a local support group of others in different stages of their own treatment.  As it turned out, one of the benefits of joining this group was having access to holistic health practitioners who provided healing therapies on a volunteer basis.

It was here that I first met Janeen Barnett, Founding Practitioner of Au Soleil Healing and one of those volunteers, who helped me along the way to greater physical, emotional and spiritual strength.  Right from the get-go I knew I had just connected with someone very special!

As it happens in life, Janeen and I stayed in touch only occasionally after my treatments and support group slowly wound down.  But I did ask her to please keep me in mind if she ever needed help from a sales and marketing perspective (my background) with her healing practice.

Little did I know that there was an idea/vision slowly forming in Janeen’s mind about expanding her practice in ways that only she could imagine at that time.  For more on how that vision grew to become Au Soleil Healing please take a look at Janeen’s fascinating journey here.

I am ever so grateful to say that Janeen did approach me as her vision began to take shape, and I’ve since joined the Au Soleil Healing team in leading our marketing and communication efforts.  There have been two important lessons I’ve learned in recent years 1) Everything happens for a reason and 2) If we keep ourselves open to all possibilities the world delivers.

For me, Holistic Healing has delivered help with:

  • depression and anxiety
  • energy levels and fatigue
  • concentration
  • self-esteem
  • low-back pain
  • flexibility

Would love to hear about how holistic healing has made a difference in your life…please feel free to share your experiences below!

 

 

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An experienced sales and marketing professional, Elise is Au Soleil Healing Inc.’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. After suffering recent health setbacks, she was exposed to the benefits of western medicine combined with holistic healing and is thrilled to be part of the team.