September New Moon Healing Ceremony Benefits Texans Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Join Body Talks Therapy’s next New Moon healing circle, Friday, September 22, at 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Cash donations paid upon arrival will benefit people and pets via the United Way of Greater Houston and the Houston Humane Society. Suggested donation is $10.

TexasWe’ll open sacred space, sing, set intentions for the new moon cycle, send healing to those hit hardest by the 2017 hurricane season, and engage in group sharing and connection.

Bring a journal, an object sacred to you for the altar, art supplies you’d like to use, and your authenticity. All open-minded highly sensitive people are welcome regardless of spiritual background or beliefs who share the desire to impact the world with your inner light, wisdom, and love.

If you would like to share a gift, meditation, prayer, ritual, or heart-thoughts with the group, please contact me by September 20.

Space is limited to participants who can arrive in nine cars or fewer, so please RSVP here in advance and update me as soon as possible if you cannot attend. After you RSVP, I’ll send you the address of our meeting in rural Lititz, PA, as well as parking instructions. We’ll gather outdoors, weather permitting, so please bring a lawn chair or blanket and mosquito spray if current climate conditions still require it.

I look forward to creating miracles with you!

(Note: Proceeds from our August New Moon ceremony are being donated to the National Urban League to support civil rights for Black Americans. Deep thanks to all who contributed!)

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy

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Turn and Face the Strange: Changes at Body Talks Therapy and August’s New Moon Solar Eclipse and Healing Circle

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Let’s connect once again on Sunday, August 20, at 6:30pm, to celebrate the New Moon Solar Eclipse and all she reveals, at my residence in Lititz, PA. Parking spots are limited, so you must RSVP in advance. Cost is $10.

 

The New Moon Solar Eclipse peaks on Monday, August 21. The eclipse will be visible from the Northwest to the Southeast of the United States. We won’t see it here in Pennsylvania, but we’ve likely begun to notice a shift well in advance and will continue even after.

A new moon solar eclipse brings into our awareness all that we’ve hidden from ourselves that we didn’t want to see. It’s time to return to wholeness and balance.

My ancestors believed that while in the astrological sign of Leo, we’re encouraged to acknowledge our inner royalty and honor ourselves in more dramatic ways. We’re called to become better friends to ourselves, set healthier boundaries, focus on self-care versus abandoning our own needs to meet others’, and step into our power.

When we spend time immersed in the drama of government corruption or arguing with people who live in fear and intolerance, we become drained and give away our power. We forget that our light is alchemical and can transmute hate. If we remembered and lived each moment as though we are the changemakers, here to share our gifts and create a new reality (because we are), what would we do differently? With whom would be share our precious time? Where would we plug the leaks?

With so many inner and outer changes upon us, it may be helpful to ask ourselves what’s important to hold sacred, how to stay centered, and what’s important to release. We could re-evaluate our requirements for those we allow in our inner and outer personal and professional circles and whom to respect as fellow human beings then simply bless and be on our way.

Time Has Changed Me 

One effect of the person transformation in which I’ve been engaged this summer is a desire to orient myself differently as a healer. While I’m proud of my hard work in obtaining my credentials as a clinical social worker and the financial and educational investments I’ve made to maintain licensure in Pennsylvania, the current paradigm of psychotherapy feels a bit weighted and outdated to me. I’ll continue working with current clients in that role for as long as you ask.

Meanwhile, I’ll work with new clients in the capacity of bodyworker (or somatic therapist), energy healer, and/or coach, which will afford me the freedom and creativity to construct the truss of a more effective way of practicing so that I can later bridge the divide between old and new. I’m not abandoning psychotherapy; it is a mix of science and craft that has served humanity well for decades. It simply requires an upgrade.

Further, to ensure the sustainability of Body Talks Therapy as a community offering one-on-one services in an era that has become a bit chaotic for some, I’ve made changes to some policies (which you can read and download here). Engaging in inner exploration, growth, and integration with me by your side is an important personal and financial commitment to Self. I promise to continue to prepare well in advance for and respect our time together and ask clients to do the same. I consider it the highest privilege to be a part of your journey.

As of next week, I’ll require payment when scheduling sessions, and I no longer offer refunds for sessions canceled within 72 hours of our planned time. Clients have the option of engaging by phone or video when unable to see me in person.

Ch-ch-changes 

(Thank your for patience as I get ridiculous with the theme here.)

I’ve never seen so many monarch butterflies in one summer, and it’s not over yet. Meanwhile, I’m still in a cocoon phase, dreaming of what’s to come with regard to workshops and group gatherings here at Body Talks Therapy. Surely as I change, so too will my approach to facilitating community. You can look forward to more news on that before harvest time.

Now I’d like to encourage everyone to frolic and play as a Leo would, basking in the August sun, swimming in sweet summer waters, and connecting more deeply to your own inner fire. Join our next New Moon ceremony and healing circle. It’s going to be a potent one.

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy

Being With Brokenness: a New Workshop With Erin Miller Shrader

By Erin Miller Shrader of Sacred Grove Wellness, reprinted from her blog

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There is a story in the Jewish tradition about the beginning of the world. I am familiar with Rachel Naomi Remen’s telling of the story, as it was told to her by her grandfather. In the beginning, God created the world as light. He placed this light within vessels and sent them out into the world. Somewhere along the way, the vessels broke, scattering this perfect light in all directions. The work of creation, and of humans in particular, is to see this holy light throughout creation and to restore it to wholeness. This act of restoration is called Tikkun Olam. You can hear her telling of the story here: https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/rachel-naomi-remen-the-story-of-tikkun-olam

 This story deeply resonates with my experience of life on Earth. From my very earliest memories, I could sense that something was amiss. Something seemed broken. There was always a feeling of longing and exile for me, for as long as I can remember. This sense has been the seed of my path throughout life, and I consider it now to be a great gift. My longing to discover the root of this brokenness, and to heal within myself and the world, has lead me into some truly remarkable experiences and has guided my connection to many amazing people.

This brokenness manifests in our lives in many different ways. Some days we hardly notice the places where we are cracked or dented, while other days we feel utterly shattered. Most of us have experienced long periods, or seasons of our lives that are suffused with this energy of brokenness. While terribly painful, I have come to see that these seasons are some of the most precious and sacred of our lives. The Buddha called this state dukkha, which translates roughly as suffering or unsatisfactoriness. He believed that this was a prerequisite for awakening, and a universal condition for human life. One of my favorite teachers, Shree Rajneesh (or Osho as he is most commonly called), states that the movement toward Yoga, or union, is not possible without dukkha. It is this brokenness and the hopelessness that it engenders that makes wholeness possible.

What is beneath this brokenness? What is the root of the suffering? What is possible when we turn toward the suffering with compassion and gentleness? I am eager to explore these questions and to offer some fruit from my own practice. Please consider joining me at Firefly Hollow on August 19th from 2:00-5:00pm as we explore this turning toward brokenness both in ourselves, and in the world.

Registration is open to all and available through Firefly Hollow Wellness Center. 

Body Talks Therapy Community Members Facilitate July’s New Moon Gathering

Temperatures finally heated up last month, and we’ve had few breaks since! Regardless of where we go to escape, the humidity is pervasive, pesky even indoors.

Something deep, down inside of me (a nagging gut feeling) has worked similarly. It has demanded my attention, followed me around, and gotten persistent by becoming physically and emotionally uncomfortable when I’ve tried ignoring it by staying busy. It has called me into deeper silence, stillness, a place you may have encountered if you’ve ever tried a sensory deprivation tank (which I highly recommend). Like the summer heat, my need to go deeper into this experience of personal transformation hasn’t yet broken.

Some members of the Body Talks Therapy (BTT) community have described similar experiences recently (more on that in a later post). Yet others have sent me text messages and e-mails expressing the need to stay connected to each other in-person.

I want you to know: I hear you. This is your community, after all, and as a BTT member pointed out: We need each other now more than ever to move forward in our collective mission to heal the planet. (I feel you on that; I’ve never sensed the urgency more than I do today.)

You don’t necessarily need me though to facilitate the connection. As I am a healer, so are you (even if you don’t get paid to be). While each of our journeys looks unique, we’re all heading to a similar destination. And there has never been a hierarchy here; you are my peers.

Thus, BTT community members will hold space while I get my fill of mine this month and possibly the next.

Join the BTT community on Sunday, July 23, for our next New Moon gathering. Registered Nurse and Penn State University Lecturer Whitney Nevins will lead the group around a fire pit at my home in rural Lititz, at 6:30pm to 9:00pm, rain or shine. (Bring bug spray and a blanket or lawn chair. I’ll provide free citronella bracelets! We’ll move inside if it rains.)

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Frankly, this was what I had envisioned when I created BTT: a community of artists, healers, and other Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) that would grow and become something greater than I. So if you have a special skill set or desire to be of service to like-minded and like-wired folks or to join forces with each other to serve humankind in the way you feel called, reach out to me and let’s chat.

Our newest member, Registered Nurse, Yoga Instructor-in-Training, Spiritual Director, and owner of Sacred Grove Wellness, Erin Miller Shrader, has already begun offering spiritual counseling at the BTT Lancaster office. I’ve discovered personally how intuitive, compassionate, and gifted she is. I’m confident as well as honored to recommend her services. Erin does not tell you what to believe; she witnesses your unfolding and assists you in accessing your truth.

Meanwhile, I hope that all of you are enjoying the season. Summer can be an HSP’s delight, with temperatures inspiring us to spend more time in nature and motivating us to dive into the creeks, lakes, and oceans that soothe our nervous systems so splendidly!

And I promise that when my personal retreat ends, I’ll share in future posts all of the gems I’ve discovered. For now, I look forward to sitting beside you on the New Moon!

Space for humans and cars is limited for the New Moon gathering, so please carpool with other members if you can. RSVP to receive the address, directions, and instructions on where and how to park your car. Cost is $5; please pay cash upon arrival.

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy

 

Rewire Your Brain for Pleasure: Be Mindful of What You Love vs Resisting What You Don’t—and Impact the World in a More Positive Way

How often do you have a thought similar to “When this happens, then everything will be alright,” or “I’ll be happy when I have x, y, or z”? You may even worry about something real or imagined to come.

Meanwhile the sun shines over a bright-blue sky, a chorus of songbirds whistle, and the temperature is perfect. In addition, much of your life is going quite well, and there is much to celebrate. But you don’t notice. You’re busy thinking about how you wished your life could be better or how to avoid the thing you fear.

Thus you create your own suffering.

I’ve noticed that people who have struggled with depression and worked hard (and successfully) to heal hurt parts of themselves seem to have a default setting (an identify, even) for the blues. Joy has been out of their realm of experience for so long, they’re not sure how to access it when it’s right within their reach.

I empathize, because I’ve been there. The good news is that we just need to do a little rewiring of our brains. All it takes is a slowing down and a willingness to notice the marvelous in the mundane.

Come experiment with a group of us (and have some fun in the process) on Thursday, April 13, 7:15pm to 8:45pm in a workshop called “Rewire Your Brain for Pleasure: Be Mindful of What You Love vs Resisting What You Don’t.”  Join us online via Zoom or in-person at Mulberry Art Studios’s Mulberry on King location, 253 W. King St., Lancaster, PA.

Bring or have handy some paper and a pen (and as a list of a few other objects I’ll e-mail to you in advance), as well as a willingness to sing (or lip sync if you’re shy) a few tunes as a group. For this won’t be just an ordinary workshop. Nope, this will be mostly hands-on with a little teaching of Quantum physics and brain neuroplasticity that I guarantee will neither bore nor mystify you.

During our time together, we’ll also do the following:

  • Experience the effects of sharing pleasurable experiences vs misery with others.
  • Connect to all five senses in the present moment to experience increased pleasure.
  • Create “quantum moments” in the brain in order to rewire to default settings of well-being and joy.
  • Learn how to use positive visualization in a more powerful and effective way to bring about desired outcomes in life and to create shifts in your subconscious beliefs.
  • Realize the power you have (and how to) impact the world with your thoughts and emotions.
  • Become familiar with your home “frequency” and learn how to dial it up to impact the world positively.
  • Shift your focus to create more of what you want vs more of what you don’t.

Call (717) 340-2096 for more information, or RSVP and pay here in advance. Cost is $25.

I look forward to spending the evening with you!

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy

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Return to Your Body in a Celtic-Inspired Movement Medicine Class

Join me on Thursday, March 16, St. Patrick’s Eve, for a special Movement Medicine class, 7:15pm to 8:30pm. To music recalling an era in which the Celtic Nature traditions lived embodied, we’ll dance beyond thought back into our own bodies. This authentic movement practice offers a fun and safe way to realign the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of ourselves and to reconnect our hearts with the perfection of our humanness.

For centuries, we in the Western world have hungered for an antidote to the collective wound created when Christian Romans in the 1st Century AD and the Saxons in the 5th Century AD nearly wiped out or drove into hiding a culture that understood that the higher intelligence and expression of Source energy (or God/Goddess) runs through all living things (our bodies included), that human beings and nature are interdependent, and that truth and divinity are within.

The Christians of that era labeled Celtic lifestyles primitive and their beliefs blasphemous toward the patriarchal version of God who reigned from on high. They taught us that human beings (women especially) and our bodies are inherently evil, emphasized reason over intuition, and urged us to beg for the deservingness of redemption.

The truth is, though, that we’ve never required redemption, were never less than deserving, and were perfectly imperfect all along. But such disempowering teachings (and others like them) have contributed to the suffering of most people on this planet from the distorted notion that we are bad or unlovable and that we must spend our lives proving our worthiness.

Together, we’ll heal these ancestral injuries with somatic practices that include breath awareness,  the exploration of old, familiar patterns of seeking refuge in our thoughts (and honoring the safety this provides), connection to our five senses, body scanning, emoting though movement, and allowing our bodies to express what within us longs to shift, let go, and forge a new way of being.

Please note: Because this dance community has outgrown the space on King Street, Movement Medicine classes will be held every first and third Thursday of the month at Mulberry Art Studios‘ main location, 21 N. Mulberry St., Lancaster, PA. Thus, classes are now $20; but when you bring a new class member, each of you pays half. RSVP in advance to pay by credit card or pay cash in person. Drop-ins are now welcome!

Allison Brunner, LCSW, RM, Body Talks Therapy

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Connect to the “Now”-Moment to Soothe Your Nervous System

What happens when you simply notice a sound or two as far away from you as possible? Or if you’re in a room filled with noise, connect instead to the sound inside of yourself. Try it now for just a few seconds. Then notice your breath, and deepen your inhale and exhale if you’d like.

Come home to yourself, to your body, in this moment. Allow everything to be as it is. There is no tomorrow, no yesterday; sit with “now.”

What just happened to your nervous system? Did you notice a shift?

For the 15 to 20 percent of the population deemed Highly Sensitive People (or HSPs), some type of mindfulness practice (including the simple one I’ve just described) can increase the likelihood that our sensory processing sensitivity trait feels more like an asset than an annoyance.

HSPs are much more aware of our surroundings than our peers. We’re more easily stimulated and expend more energy processing what we perceive—thus increasing the release of stress hormones (including cortisol and adrenaline) into our bodies. While this can serve us in many ways, we also need to relax and recharge in order to maintain overall balance.

Another of our tendencies  is to wander off in thought, coloring with our rich imaginations all sorts of scenarios. On one hand, we’re more creative as a result and can foresee and address problems before they arise. On the other, we risk becoming anxious or paralyzed with inaction. It all depends on whether we’re able to return to center.

“With the act of breathing in mindfully, you go inside. Your body is breathing; and your body is your home. In each breath, you can come home to yourself.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Among the services Body Talks Therapy offers to support your nervous system is Mid-Day Mindfulness, a 20-minute practice in which we can participate together, Tuesdays at 12:30pm, either in-person or online via Facebook Live (in the closed Body Talks Therapy: HSP Community group). If you’re busy at that time, you can watch the videos later.

Unlike formal sitting meditation, in this practice you’ll be guided on where to focus your attention (whether on physical sensations, body parts, watching your breath, connecting to your five senses, or witnessing thoughts and emotions). From time to time, I may also suggest we tune into images or consider ideas to address some of the psychospiritual or emotional issues we’re facing as a collective. (Watch or follow along with the video below for an example.)

You’re welcome in advance of each session to cue me in on a topic you’d like me to include in our sessions.

To join me in person at 237 N. Prince Street, Suite 303, RSVP here. Otherwise, I’ll sit with you all in cyberspace. 🙏🏻

Allison Brunner, LCSW, Body Talks Therapy