[This interview of Judy Steele was conducted by Alison Kain in 2004, and published
on Ms. Kain's Alternative Insights website; however, that website is no longer online.
This is the interview as originally published; a few facts have been updated.]
Q. Thank you, Judy, for taking the time to meet with me today! It's both an honor and
privilege. You're a life coach, transpersonally-oriented counselor, teacher and
healer. You have a Master's in Transpersonal Psychology, you teach the Hawaiian
wisdom tradition of Huna, and you use a variety of leading-edge techniques -
including energy medicines and energy psychology - to help people
make the changes they want more quickly and easily. That's a lot of specialties!
Can you please share with our readers a bit about your professional
background? How did you come to be doing all this?
A. Well, I've always been a problem solver. My father was an inventor. He invented
the shirt folding machine and other labor-saving products for laundries, and he
also invented many other gadgets to help people do things, including a
dandelion digger, a great letter opener (I still use one of those) and a device that
helped you put on tire chains. He had over 50 patents in the United States and
Canada. So, solving practical problems was what I grew up with. Both of my
parents were efficiency experts, so I learned to get things done in the most
direct, effective way possible. That background led me into an earlier career: I
had a nationally-known business that developed training programs on contract
for major corporations, to help people to do their jobs more effectively. That
work involved analyzing what the difference was - and what was causing the
difference - between their current performance and what was needed.
These days I do a very similar analysis of the gap when I'm working with individual
clients. I help the client define their problem and their goal in terms like, "The
situation now is...", and, "What I want instead is...". This analysis of the gap - the
difference between what's wanted and what presently exists - takes a person a
long way toward achieving their goal, because getting that kind of statement
specific at a cognitive level also mobilizes their intention at a deeper level.
Because I spent many years traveling with and interviewing people who did a
very wide variety of jobs, I learned a great deal about a lot of different kinds of
jobs and met a lot of different types of people. I think that background helps me
to relate to a wide variety of clients now.
Also, I have always wanted to understand how everything worked. On one level,
I've always enjoyed factory tours, and on another level I've always been a mystic,
knowing everything and everyone is connected, and wondering how the created
universe works and what human life is really all about! So when I was young I
entered the convent, but didn't find my answers, or my Path, there. Eventually,
after I left my business career, I turned to transpersonal psychology as a path to
a broader understanding of "how it all works." Of course, we can never
understand it all, but I feel having a larger context for our lives is essential for
wise and effective living.
Q. So how did all of that background lead you into becoming a counselor?
A. When I was a management consultant, I became more and more aware that the
difficulties my clients were experiencing in the workplace often came out of their own
personal ways of dealing with the world, and their own beliefs about what was possible for
them. Re-engineering their work situation and giving them effective training
might help a lot, but many people I encountered - often the managers themselves -
really needed a different kind of help. In those years, "executive coaching" didn't
really exist as a field, but I was doing it around the edges of my other projects.
I was very successful in the field of training and development. My company did
national contracting, I was prominent and popular in professional organizations, I had
a staff of eighteen people who were very busy, and I was successful financially. But
my personal life was a mess. I had actually been depressed since childhood, I had
many problems with personal relationships, and I was developing worrisome physical
symptoms. In my search for healing for myself, I discovered the world of
homeopathic medicine, as well as flower essences.
Q. When you say "flower essences," do you mean aromatherapy - essential oils?
A. No, I mean the energy medicine that's called "flower essences" - it's more like
homeopathy. You're probably familiar with the Bach Flowers from England - those
were the first flower essences in the modern era, but now there are many more, from
all over the world. Both homeopathy and flower essences have been extremely
helpful to my own emotional healing.
Q. How would a homeopath treat something like depression for instance?
A. All right, I can answer that question because I have a lot of training in homeopathy,
from the British Institute of Homeopathy and the National Center for Homeopathy,
among others, and I led a homeopathy study group for several years. I really thought
I was going to become a professional homeopath, but I finally realized that I just
wasn't as interested in the physical symptoms as I was in the mental and emotional
ones - so my own energy-medicine specialty is the flower essences, which are
particularly helpful for mental, emotional and spiritual issues.
So. A homeopath does an initial interview, which usually takes about an hour and a
half. The homeopath will look at the client's entire history - emotional, mental,
spiritual, physical - and all their symptoms. Then the homeopath will do an analysis
of those symptoms - maybe right there on the spot, maybe taking some time and
then calling the patient later - to identify the best remedy to address that person's
symptoms. And if it is a very well chosen remedy, it will address not only the
physical, but also the emotional, mental and to perhaps some extent the spiritual
issues that the person is dealing with - with the whole of the being.
In homeopathy there is an understanding that every living being - not only humans,
but also animals and plants - has a vital force. The vital force distinguishes living
from non-living beings. That vital force knows how to help with healing, because it
knows what "health" is for that being. In another tradition, we think of it as the
etheric blueprint. From the homeopathic point of view there is this idea that our
vital force knows how to do our health exactly right, but through our conditioning or
our belief systems or our experiences we have gotten out of whack. We have
gotten our system "screwed up" so to speak. And homeopathy is one way to tap into
that vital force, or that etheric blueprint, or possibly that person's life path, and to
get the system back to optimal functioning.
Q. How would you briefly describe your transpersonal approach to helping other heal?
A. The transpersonal context includes all aspects of the person: physical, mental,
emotional and spiritual. When I'm working with people, I think in terms of past lives
as well as in terms of what the person's physical experience might be right now. If
they have a physical illness, it may have a symbolic significance, representing some
issue in their lives. And of course, there's this life's history, all the way through
from the time they were growing up: what kinds of childhood and adult experiences
they've had, what kinds of belief systems they've acquired, what kinds of work
experiences and issues they may have. Now, of course, not all of that will come out
in the first session, but when people ask me what kinds of issues I work with, I have
to say, "All of them!" *laughs*
Q. Then how can you describe your own particular unique approach - what's your
A. I find that the concept of removing the blockage to the vital force, or removing the
blockage to the energy flow if you think in terms of chi, ki, prana, mana, removing
those blockages, describes a huge piece of what I do with people. The tools I use
may be energy-psychology techniques like TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) or
DMT (Dynamind—a Huna technique) or energy-medicine techniques like flower
essences or homeopathy, or I may use energy healing techniques or simply verbal
reframing…but all the time I'm working to remove blockages and smooth the path to
their next steps.
Q. So you're saying your own experience of needing emotional healing led you to the
work you're doing now?
A. Yes, my own difficult personal journey has definitely informed my sense of what's
needed in a coach or counselor. I was in therapy myself for years, so I consider
myself an informed consumer in that respect! I saw many therapists - some very
non-directive - who listened to me patiently, and helped me to understand a lot, but
in all those years, only two therapists actually helped me make significant changes.
In fact, in those years there just wasn't much available to help people remove
blockages and achieve energetic shifts. I was fortunate to find one psychiatrist with
a more holistic view of the world, and he was very helpful to me. When I recounted a
mystical experience…and I didn't know what it was at the time…he recognized it and
was able to help me build on it. He also introduced me to people with similar
interests. So that was my opening into the world of transpersonal psychology,
although I don't think it was called that at the time.
Q. Where does one get training in transpersonal psychology?
A. Transpersonal Psychology is a relatively new field and, to my knowledge, the only
place you can get a master's or doctorate degree is in California; you can get a
bachelor's in Vermont. There are three or four schools in California that offer
transpersonal work; my school is the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo
Alto, and it has both a residential and a distance-learning program.
Q. Does the training help people/counselors understand what spiritual openings are
and the impact they can have on a person's life? Does training include how to treat
spiritual crises in general as well? Those can be pretty disturbing, and many people
may falsely believe they must have gone off the deep end!
A. Yes, and there's a small group of transpersonal psychiatrists working to make clear
to the larger community the profound difference between a psychotic break and a
spiritual opening. They got a new category into the DSM-IV (the current psychiatric
diagnostic handbook) called, "Religious or Spiritual Problem", and that helps
clinicians to make that distinction.
Q. I wonder how many have been misdiagnosed as schizophrenics before
transpersonal psychology came into being or there was an awareness by
A. Probably thousands. There is a group based in California called the Spiritual
Emergence Network (SEN). It used to be housed at my school: the Institute for
Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto. I don't know whether it's still based there,
but the people at ITP would know where it is. It's a network of volunteer
spiritual-crisis helpers who can be called, and who then can direct the individual to
a professional who can assist them. It's very much needed and not only in
California. I think SEN does make referrals nationwide.
Q. You mentioned that homeopathy and flower essences were very important in your
own healing. Are there other modalities that have made a big difference in your own
A. I had major depression for many, many years, and it wasn't any psychiatrist or
counselor who took me out of it; it was homeopathy, flower essences, and a
therapeutic approach called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I was taking
intensive training in NLP skills, and during a break in a workshop, another
participant led me through a mental strategy change (an NLP technique) that
stopped my depression instantly! Since then I have also learned a number of other
quick-change approaches that have been very helpful to my clients and to me. Two
that I use frequently are TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) and Dynamind, which is
a Huna technique. These are in the category of what is now called "energy
psychology." I also direct healing energy with my intention and my hands; I have
training in Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and the ARCH technique from
Q. How do you approach a client session?
A. My own approach is that I come to a client session with all my experience and tools in
kit bag, but what I do is I sit with the person and say, "Alison, what's up for you
today?" I may never have met you, but what I am looking for is what can be
addressed today that can be helpful to this person now and will make a difference in
their life overall. And so, in the course of working with whatever the issue is, I
learn a great deal about the person and I also get intuitive hits about what's going
on which help me to choose what to do next. I may never see that person again -
or I may - but even with people with whom I've worked for years, my approach is
always, "All right, what are we dealing with today?" because, whatever it is, it is
going to lead to something really important. It always does.
Q. Have you encountered many people in your practice who know they want help but
are unclear as to exactly what's up? That unidentifiable feeling that something is
wrong, but don't know what it is and may offer only 'I am not sleeping?' etc.
A. Oh yes, very frequently. And clients have told me very frequently how amazed they
are at how I seem to be able to go right to the core of the issue. That seems to be a
key part of what I do.
That reminds me of a story. I was working some years ago in a counseling center on
the East Coast and a man came to me because he had recently lost his mother and
he felt he was an orphan, so he had grief issues. But one of the first things that
came out was that he was not sleeping, and was waking up with night time
flashbacks. So I asked "What's been going on in your life? Is there anything you
can think of that may contribute to your not sleeping?" He said, "Well, I really don't
know but when I wake up at night - and I keep waking up at night, every night - I
keep seeing images of the time I spent in Oklahoma City last month helping with the
clean-up after the bombing."
So he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But just naming that doesn't make
it go away - ask any war veteran. He probably didn't think counseling could help
with his sleep problem. He just knew that he was grieving his mother, and feeling a
little lost in the world. But in fact he was also grieving all those people, and
especially all the children, who had been killed at Oklahoma City. His unconscious
mind was full of the psychic debris from close-up experience with the aftermath of
that tragedy, and it was keeping him awake at night. But again, insight is fine but it
doesn't make the problem go away. When his unconscious is keeping him awake
and causing flashbacks, we have to do something that gets to the unconscious
mind. So I gave him a flower essence combination. And by the way, this is not a man
who came asking for flower remedies! He'd been a fireman and a rescue person
and was very macho, so flowers weren't really his thing. *laughs* But I said, "It won't
hurt you. You might as well try it." And he acknowledged that he didn't know what
else to do, and that the various kinds of self-medication he was doing were not
solving his problem.
So I made up a flower essence combination to clear out all the unconscious debris
and also to clear out any shock and trauma, and also to address the grief. With
flower essences you take them several times a day over a week or two, or a month
or more, depending upon the situation. And when I saw him the next week he said,
"You know, I really am sleeping better, but I can't really believe it had anything to do
with those flower things, but it is better." By the end of two weeks, his sleep
problem was gone and he was feeling much better and sleeping just fine. He
commented, "I wish I could get this stuff in 55 gallon drums so I could give it to all
the rescue and emergency workers I know. It ought to be available in fire houses!"
Q. I cannot fathom the unimaginable horrors that rescue and emergency workers must
encounter nearly every day of their working lives. Do you have any thoughts on, or
knowledge of, how many cope with stress like that?
A. In fact there's a very high rate of substance abuse among emergency workers - that's
their usual form of self-medication. The point here though is that in this man
something was healed at a deep level in the unconscious. This case makes it pretty
clear that these remedies can be remarkably effective, and that they are not
placebo. Flower essences work for plants and animals and babies, too, so they're
likely not placebo! *smiles* In any case, this was a full grown man who found that
the essences had made a huge difference for him. I wish I did have a way to make
and distribute 55 gallon drums of that combination - although essence combinations
are usually made to fit an individual situation, this is one that could help a lot of
Q. I have heard about using kinesthetic responses (sometimes known as muscle
testing) for finding for the appropriate essences. Do you use this particular method?
A. I work with a wide range of people and many people are open to kinesthetic testing.
In fact, some people can just sweep their hands across the bottles to determine
which essences will work best for them, but most of the time I am choosing for the
client based on my knowledge of the essences and my own intuitive testing. The
Universe also sometimes just offers timely messages. One time I was working with
a colleague who was an acupuncturist, and I had almost completed making a
combination for him. I offered him a choice of which stickers to place on his bottle
(I use stickers for fun and for motivation, and to help clients identify which bottle is
which). He had selected some star stickers, and one of the stars fell to the floor
and stuck there. We were having trouble getting it up and we were laughing about
that and then I got it: the additional essence he needed was "Shooting Star"!
*laughing* So there's a wide variety of ways to select the appropriate essence or
combination, but I do occasionally use muscle testing, yes. It just depends on the
person and the setting.
Q. I think most people aren't familiar with, or don't know much about, the Bach Flowers
or the flower essences. Can you tell us a little more about them, please?
A. By the way, it's not just Bach flower essences. People may know of the Bach Rescue
Remedy, and they may think of the essences as Bach Flowers, but that's just the first
set that was developed in the modern era. Dr. Bach discovered his essences in
England (actually Wales) in the 1930's, and they were the only ones for a long time.
Then the field exploded in the late 1970's and early 1980's. There were a couple of
Bach flower practitioners that I think simultaneously came up with the idea of
creating essences themselves. Richard Katz of the Flower Essence Society was the
first to do that in the U.S. He was living in California, and he noticed that he had all
this wild mustard growing near him of the same type that the Bach Mustard essence
was made from. He thought, "I wonder if I could make it?" He developed a Mustard
essence and tried it on his clients, and it worked just fine! A big breakthrough! And
he realized that he didn't need to redo all the Bach Essences, but that there were
flowers right there in California that must have healing qualities that were unknown
His discovery, and his association with Patricia Kaminski (who says she came initially
just to wash his bottles) eventually resulted in the Flower Essence Society and
Flower Essence Services, in Nevada City CA. Their well-known book, The Flower
Essence Repertory, lists 133 of their essences as well as all the Bach Essences.
And there also are all the Australian Bush Essences. Ian White started at about the
same time as Richard Katz, but in Australia, discovering and developing a line of
essences. Steve Johnson in Alaska began near the same time doing the same
thing. And there are many others. I have personally studied with Richard Katz and
Patricia Kaminski in Nevada City, and also with Steve Johnson in Homer, AK. I've
also studied with Ouapiti Robintree, maker of the Hummingbird Remedies, and with
Andreas Korte, maker of the Amazonian Orchid essences. I also like Ken Carlson's
"Star Mana" essence line, from Kauai where I studied Huna, and I've learned from
him as well.
Flower essences are somewhat similar to homeopathy, but they operate on different
principles. With flower essences, it is the healing energy pattern of the flower that's
carried in the water - it's not physical "flower juice." Homeopathy also works with
the energy patterns of the substances, but flower essences are made much more
directly and simply; there is no potentizing or succession as there is in homeopathy.
Q. I am curious about potential allergic reactions to flower essences as well as possible
adverse interactions to medications? In using flower essences is there a set
standard of number of visits for therapy needed when dealing with certain
circumstances - like depression, for example?
A. There simply are no allergic reactions with flower essences because they are not
biochemical. They operate at an energy level so there just can't be any biochemical
problems or interactions between them and pharmaceuticals or herbal medicines.
In fact, there are essences that are quite helpful to address environmental
sensitivity - which means environmental sensitivity in all its dimensions. The
essences are usually preserved in brandy, though, and some people are sensitive
to that, so in those cases, we use different preservatives.
Now with regard to frequency of visits for essence therapy: as with any kind of
therapeutic work, it all depends on the issues and the particular client's needs.
And whatever their issue, I would probably be doing not only flower essences, but
also "talk" counseling and energy psychology techniques.
They might have a time-limited need: perhaps preparing for an examination or for
giving a speech, or they were upset after a near-miss car accident. In that case,
there might be only one session or just a few needed. If they were preparing for
public speaking, I might work with them to clear out the debris of whatever was
impeding their ability to just speak freely - to allow them to speak from their
heart. And I would also send them away with a flower essence combination that
would support that healing shift.
On the other hand, we might be working on something that's a major issue for them,
and it might be rooted in traumatic childhood (or adult) experiences. In that kind of
case, we'd be working together for a much longer time, and I'd be bringing to the
work all my techniques and understandings, including many different flower
essence combinations over time.
The person comes with their issue, whatever that may be, at whatever level, and I
work with them on that issue in that session. When I'm working with a person over a
long period of time, we work with whatever comes up along the way. And, of course,
we are doing deep healing all the way through. Whatever that issue is, we're going
down to the base of it if possible.
Q. So would that make it much like the onion theory? One layer at a time?
A. Well, it's not necessarily that sequential. Whatever we do is going to help. It's
sometimes like this side of the onion, then the other side of the onion, or sometimes
it comes from the core of the onion first. Even when you feel like you've really
gotten something, there are different applications of it that you may not have
incorporated at that point. Anyone who has been doing their own healing work or
helping others for a long period of time knows that it doesn't all get done instantly.
Q. And sometimes it doesn't always remain "done", true?
A. That's true because we think we have it, but there are some aspects of it, maybe at
other levels, that we don't yet. Each individual piece we do is important, though,
because even if we hit a road block, once we get through the road block, the work
we've done before is going to come back in and form the support for what we do
Q. I can't help but notice that you have a lot of degrees and certifications in varied
fields. Very impressive! I also notice that many that of your certifications are very
complimentary to one another and most are related in some way to either energy
therapies or psychology. In your estimation, how do these all fit within your
chosen/given Path? I am also curious about the progression of your Path? Can you
please share a bit about that with our readers?
A. You asked me about the sequence of the progression of my Path and career. Well, I
suppose my Path began in late childhood, with my attraction to the mystical side of
Christianity, and then entering the convent when I was just 19. But I left the convent
after a little more than a year, and in a few years I had left the Church. Then there
was a long period when I was focused on my career, in which I was traveling a lot,
and also taking care of my children - not easy for a single parent. And eventually I
reached that point where I knew I needed help, and mainstream approaches weren't
So I started with homeopathy; that was my first entry into the alternative world. Then
the flower essences were extremely helpful and that psychiatrist, who had a
transpersonal perspective, was also very helpful. I became aware of a whole world
of growth and healing through him and his associates. I met more people who did
various kinds of teaching and healing. And I did more training in psychological
techniques and healing techniques. My focus was shifting then from the business
world into the individual healing world because what I learned was that, as people
get better personally, their effectiveness in the business world gets better, so if you
want to get down to what's most fundamental you help the individual people and the
individual managers and you get not only better lives for them, but also the entire
organization…if the organization is what you're concerned about.
Q. Could the "entire organization" feasibly be also considered the whole of humanity?
A. Yes, all of humanity is indeed a larger system that's affected by our individual growth
and healing. We know on a metaphysical level that any healing we do on an
individual level affects the rest of the world.
Q. Can you please continue on with your story regarding the progress of your Path?
A. So I just accumulated techniques. I've had training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming
(NLP) (Trainer Level), Healing Touch (Level II), Reiki (3rd degree), and lots of other
techniques. I got the Master's in Transpersonal Psychology because I felt I needed
an overview of the field. It turned out to be an overview in terms of eastern
spirituality, and that was very useful…a lot of Buddhist and Sufi philosophy, as well
as Jungian and some Native American and other native traditions.
But as it turned out my own Path is the Hawaiian path of Huna. Huna is the Hawaiian
tradition of healing and living. One reason that I really love Huna is that it is so
practical. It is about living more happily and effectively. There isn't a great big
theology, in fact there is no theology - although there's a lot of myth that explains
the tradition. It isn't about dogma. It is about what works and what has been found
to work through at least thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, of culture
in the Polynesian world. It's a very practical, grounded way of operating. It's "Hey,
think about it this way, or do it this way, and you're going to get better results." And
the Aloha principle is the basis of everything.
Q. How did you find/discover Huna ?
A. What actually happened is that I was sitting at my computer one day and got an email
from a close friend of mine in Connecticut. She said, "You know, I don't usually
have this kind of experience, but I got a message for you." And the message was
essentially that it would be appropriate to the development of my Path and my role in
life for me to go to Hawaii. Well, that was a surprise! So I had to figure out what I
was to do in Hawaii. And as it turns out, two weeks later I was on Kauai in a
workshop with Serge Kahili King studying Huna. And I knew instantly in that
workshop that this was right for me. I was thinking, "Oh wow, this makes so much
sense!" Of course I had all that other background as well, which was certainly
useful, but Huna put things together in a way that I felt was so natural and so
practical…it felt so right, as if I'd come home. Probably I'd been there before, long
ago… I already knew in that first workshop that I was going to be going through all
of the steps required to become ordained as an alaka'i, which is a leader in that
tradition. I was ordained as an alaka'i on my birthday in 2002.
Q. What are the seven main principles of Huna, please?
A. They are:
1. The World Is What You Think It Is.
2. There are No Limits.
3. Energy Flows Where Attention Goes.
4. Now Is The Moment Of Power.
5. To Love Is To Be Happy With (Someone or Something).
6. All Power Comes From Within.
7. Effectiveness Is The Measure Of Truth.
Q. What is Huna exactly? What is the premise of Huna?
A. The Huna tradition includes many healing approaches and techniques, some of which
are brief and some of which take days. I specialize in the brief ones, especially
Dynamind. Dynamind is a Huna-based technique developed just a few years ago by
Serge King. It incorporates intention, attention, words, touch, images, breathing
and action - and those are essential components in the Huna tradition that make a
huge difference in the effectiveness of the work - in a simple, brief change
technique that can be applied to anything from physical illness to personal attitude
or behavior change. I was a participant in Serge's very first Dynamind workshop on
Kauai, and I've been using it ever since, with myself and with many, many clients.
This was another, "Oh yes, of course!" for me. And so I went through accumulating
and writing up all the cases he requires and I became one of the first certified
Dynamind practitioners in the world.
Q. How did Serge King develop/discover Dynamind?
A. He created it on the basis on the healing components in the Hawaiian healing
tradition, plus his own background: he has a doctorate in psychology and an
encyclopedic knowledge of healing approaches around the world. He did a lot of
testing and revisions on it as he was developing it, to make sure that it works in the
easiest and most effective way possible. He now has a Dynamind book ready for
publication (I actually already have it), but it's not yet available to the public.
Q. How do people contact you, and if you're willing to share them, what are your rates?
A. I see clients at the SSI Building in close-in St. Louis Park MN
(Minneapolis metro area, near 394 and 100). The address is 6311 Wayzata Blvd, #310,
and my office phone number is 612-590-3193. My e-mail address is:
firstname.lastname@example.org. I have two websites: www.schoolforliving.org (the more
comprehensive one) and www.holisticnetwork.org/JudySteele .
My standard rate is $85.00 per hour, including whatever kind of work I do with the
client in that hour. I also do phone work with clients who live too far away for in-person
work. If I make up an essence combination for someone outside a session, based on the
issues they tell me about (perhaps by e-mail), that's $75.00 because it takes me about
an hour to do the research and intuitive checking and to prepare it. Refilling an existing
combination is $15.00, plus shipping.
I also have a small "store": I stock the Healing Herbs (Bach) and Flower Essence Services
(FES) essences and other products, as well as many Alaskan and other essences, for retail
Q. Are you accepting new clients? Students?
A. Yes, I'm happy to accept new clients and students. They can contact me at
email@example.com or 612-590-3193.
Q. You have a very interesting logo. Can you please share with our readers what it
A. Thank you. The leaves from the Hawaiian plant
symbolically mean "enlightenment" and inside
the fruit of the plant are the seeds which create
a 7-pointed star. There are seven main principles
in Huna. The circle around the star represents the
interconnectedness of us all.
Q. I also know you spend quite a bit of time volunteering at Pathways. Anything you'd
like to add about that particular endeavor or volunteerism in general?
A. When I first came to Minneapolis, I needed to get to know people and I wanted to
find a way of connecting and doing something useful even before my practice took off
here. I had a busy practice on the East Coast for years, with three offices, one of which
was in a holistic health center that I co-founded. Then here I was in Minneapolis, and
I didn't know more than two people in the beginning. Starting over is hard and takes
time. So, I thought, "I want to be working now!" and one way I could do it was at
Pathways Minneapolis, which is a free alternative health crisis center for people with
serious illness. Pathways has been a wonderful experience for me from the beginning.
It's a marvelous clinic setting, and I learn from all of my experiences there. Because
everyone there is working with really serious challenges, people are perhaps more
motivated and more open as a result. I really appreciate being there. For me, it
isn't really about volunteerism in general, it's about Pathways in particular.
Interestingly, I knew before I left Maryland that I would be doing work in a place like
Pathways - though at that time I didn't know Pathways existed. There it is - the Path.
Q. In your life and professional experience is there any wisdom you'd wish to share?
Any advice for our readers?
A. You asked me for words of wisdom. I think I might suggest the first Huna principle.
"The world is what you think it is." If we think of that idea very directly in terms of
our own experience, we may realize that however we have characterized ourselves,
whatever problems we may feel we have, there is a way for that to change if we
change our thinking, and if we get the necessary energy focused behind that
change. In the Dynamind technique we say, "The problem is x. This can change.
What I want instead is y." If we just think of life that way, then we have the choice to
keep whatever we may have in our life or to change it. We may not currently know
how to change it, but just doing that framing makes a huge difference: "This is what
I've got", "This can change," and then, "This is how I want it different." The change
we want may just be for this pain to go away, or this stress to go away, or if we're
really confused, what we really want may be clarity about what we want. But
understanding that we have a choice to have something be different in our lives
and that we have the ability to make that change happen (perhaps with help) is
Q. Isn't it also all about us all taking responsibility for our own evolution?
A. Absolutely, and one of the biggest shifts that we have to make is to understand that
we are not victims. We can change.
Q. Have you noticed any trends or shifts in traditional healing as far as any expansion
beyond one dogmatic view or label, in your opinion?
A. I think there's movement in that direction, yes. I probably do a broader synthesis
than most, but that just happens to be my Path. I was just out in Phoenix at the
Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology Conference and most of the
people there are licensed psychologists or psychiatrists, but they have learned
energy psychology techniques (like TAT, EFT, and Dynamind) and are adding them to
their practices. There are those of us who come at it from the alternative healing
perspective and for whom these are just additional techniques, and then there
are those who are coming at it from the mainstream and these kinds of techniques
may be really new. We meet in the middle and we get along really well.
My gratitude and appreciation to Judy Steele for her time and for sharing her personal
and professional experiences with us all! Thank you for the wisdom, Judy! Aloha!
The School for Living: An Energetic and Psychological Approach to Better Living
[This interview of Judy Steele was conducted by Alison Kain in 2004, and published