Reflections from the Past President (An excerpt from Perspectives in Healing – A publication of Healing Beyond Borders)

Dissolving Limitations to Healing – intention

“Everything has a past. Everything – a person, an object, a word, everything. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.” – Chaim Potok, Davita’s Harp

We had such an amazing Annual Conference this year in Colorado Springs. I experienced the warmth of our community coming together to learn, grow and deepen our connection to the work of Healing Touch. The incredible setting at the base of Cheyenne Mountain was breathtaking. I felt the strength of our Healing Beyond Borders organization as I observed the mountain anchored so deeply into the earth and reaching for the heavens. During my reflection time in the early morning, I began to think of the passage of time that mountain has witnessed. From the time the mountains were first formed with unimaginable force through the ages, all of the life forms that have been birthed, thrived and then passed on as new life emerged. That life cycle continues in the shadow of this great mountain. What a story it could tell from eons of change – from the ice age and inland seas, to dinosaurs roaming the valley, to the ancient native people living off the land, to the present day tourists who now play golf at its feet. It is important to be able to reflect on our origins, past history and our own story within our healing Touch culture. We know with time some details are lost; fragments of the story get changed or forgotten. With the passage of time, people who were the early stakeholders will pass on. We don’t want to lose the valuable information they have carried and passed forward. As the quote above states, we have to know the past in order to understand our present and plan for the years ahead. This is the responsibility of leadership to call us into awareness of our rich history. Many indigenous people have a rich oral history that is passed down carefully from generation to generation. What amazing respect is modeled for their history with this tradition!

With that thought, I want to share with you two ways that responsibility is being attended to within our Healing Beyond Borders community. Last year as my term on the Board from 2007-2010 as Director and 2010-2013 as President came to a close; the Board discussed the importance of not losing the valuable experience and significant history that occurred as I served in a leadership role. We looked at the methods established by other organizations to provide a resource to the Board of previous officers who could provide counsel and relate history. So after taking a few months to reflect, discuss and refine this endeavor, the Board approved the position of Immediate Past President. In this position, I attend quarterly Board meetings and am available to the Board as needed to offer a perspective on our history or clarify points of discussion as related to past actions and decisions. I do not have a vote on Board motions. This position of Immediate Past President provides a very important link for our Board as they set the course for the future. I am pleased to continue to be of service as needed.

The second way we are attending to our link to the past is in the most recent publishing of a new book, Healing Touch: Enhancing Life through Energy Therapy. This rich text by authors Diane Wardell, Sue Kagel and Lisa Anselme is a compilation of forty-four contributors. I just received my coy as I returned home from teaching this past weekend. I must admit, I stayed up into the wee hours as I devoured this book. What a delight to hear from so many wonderful people who have played an integral part in the beginning and incredible growth of Healing Touch, holism health and energy therapies through the years.  This is an amazing way to link to our living history and get the story from the healers who generated the energy to carry this work forward. It is a weaving from person to person, story to story that becomes a tapestry of discovery, passion, commitment and determination to move this work forward while always being open to guidance and flow. This exquisite tapestry shows how the work spread from country to country continent to continent with a life of its own. It honors the origins with Janet’s study of many healers and traditions, and her subsequent practice, insight, vision and wisdom. It chronicles her taking it to AHNA and the further refinement of the process through AHNA’s Education Committee into a certificate program, then ultimately the creation of the certification process under AHNA, and finally to the creation by Janet of Healing Touch International as a non-profit organization to house certification, education, and research and provide for membership to support our students, practitioners and instructors.

We are in a complex world today where there are many challenges to our work, our right to offer the work and to our history. Each of us who have studied grown and matured through this process has the responsibility to carry forward the truth of our rich history to those who follow. Know your origins, know your history, tell the story in your classes, practice groups from Mentor to Mentee, to the newly certified. This is how we will strengthen and preserve our rich tradition of Healing Touch.

If we are to remain a vital force for healing in the world and continue to move beyond borders into new frontiers with Healing Touch, we each are responsible for learning an understanding our HTI/HBB history so that we can plan an effective course for the future. Healing Touch: Enhancing Life through Energy Therapy offers us this rich history, honoring those who set the stones on the path so that we could indeed climb the mountain for the view from the top. I am most grateful for all who contributed to this book and for those who spent a good portion of their past two years to edit it. I honor your time, commitment and dedication to bring it to life. My deepest gratitude to each of you for the valuable resource you have provided.