This interview is reprinted over a series of Donna Eden’s Energy e-Letters
My interview with Donna took place on February 25, 2010…
Jana: I have found very little information about how you grew up, or how you lived in the world in the earlier years. Can you share a bit about your early years; what they were like or anything about growing up with your abilities?
Donna: No one has ever asked me that in an interview before — isn’t that funny!
Well, I’m the middle child. I have an older sister, Sharon, and a younger brother, Clarke. My mother was orphaned at 4 years old. In a strange way, I think that is one of the reasons she turned out so good! She really wanted to turn out to be a good human being but she had to make it up as she went along. Growing up, she had nobody to dictate to her or tell her how she should be or what she should think. One of her goals was to be the best mother…the mother she would have liked to have had. And do you know, on her death bed, that’s what she said. She said, “I’m the mother I always wanted to have.” Isn’t that an amazing thing to say?! And how fulfilling to feel that at the end of your life!
Both of my parents were from the South. My mother was from North Carolina and Virginia. My father was from Tennessee. They came out to California. In fact, I think my mother married him because he said he’d take her to California… (Laughing). I was born in Southern California.
My mother was very psychic and she always saw subtle energies. She grew up not knowing that this was unusual, as she didn’t have parents to tell her any differently. Her mother died at 4 years old and her father left them and died when she was a teenager. Between 4 and 6, they lived with their grandmother who was murdered in front of them. And so at 6 years old, she and her brother and sister were put in a home/school for children without parents.
Mama loved being a mama. And she raised us with questions like, “What color do you see around that person?” Or she would exclaim, “Oh, how beautiful his aura is!” She kept our sensitivities alive. She would get psychic hits and always always act on them — they were her strongest source for direction. So I came in very naturally to the world of energy and psychic knowing.
When I was just turning 4, my mother got tuberculosis and was put in a terminal ward, given no hope of recovery because at that time there was no effective treatment for TB. She was going to die. That was the reality we were told we would have to adjust to! We lived in Hollydale, a suburb of L.A., and my mother was in a sanatorium in Long Beach. We weren’t ever allowed to go in because TB was so highly contagious. There was a window outside and, once a week, Daddy would lift us up so we could look through the window. We’d look down at Mama on her bed. She was in a terminal ward. It had eight beds. Can you imagine what it would be like to be in a terminal ward with eight beds! I remember looking in one time and realizing that the person in the bed next to her was dead.
We got a court order so Mama could come back and die at home. We were all quarantined so the neighbors wouldn’t catch TB from us. But we had hope. We knew that Mama could get healthy now that she was out of the hospital. We ate natural foods that we grew in a garden in our backyard and we had chickens for fresh eggs.
You know how children have invisible playmates. I had two invisible playmates. One was an angel, about nine feet tall, who would walk around with me. I also had a little boy as an invisible playmate. His name was Jesus. One day, I said to my angel, “If I were an angel like you, I could heal Mama. I distinctly remember thinking and saying, “It would be better if I was sick and had the TB and died because I’m brand new and I can just go back! But Mama is too important in this world. The world needs Mama!”
That was when I got TB and Mama got well.
But we were still quarantined and eating naturally and staying positive, so I got well too. Later, seeing Mama refuse all medications left a lasting impression on me. Even though she had only one working lung, and it was damaged, and even though they told her that she should be on medication for the rest of her life, she knew her body knew how to heal if she didn’t interfere and give it medicines. She trusted her body’s wisdom. She knew she would get back to her full health. And she did.
When I was just turning 11 years old, we moved to Ramona, California. My father, who never saw energy or trusted religion or claims of psychics had a powerful spiritual experience after his mother died. He had gone out on a mountain, he actually got lost on this mountain, and he was out there all night. When he came back, he’d “Seen the light!” It had come to him that we had to get out of Hollydale and live in the country. So, we moved to Ramona, California. Daddy had to leave a good job at Douglas Aircraft. Now we had to figure out how to make a living in a little rural town. So we had some family pow-wow to try to figure out what we were good at. We all said, “Mama, you can make hamburgers!” So, we built the first hamburger drive-in in Ramona. It was called: “Edens’ Heavenly Hamburgers!” We literally built it, the whole family, us three kids and Mama and Daddy. I remember being up on that roof and pounding nails.
We were one of only two or three restaurants between San Diego and the desert. Another was up the mountain in Julian about 25 miles away. And we were the only fast food restaurant. We opened for business on a spring day, when everybody was going out to the desert to see the wildflowers…lots of people! We knew nothing about running a fast-food restaurant. And it seemed that everybody stopped to have hamburgers! We didn’t know what to do! We didn’t know how to do it! We didn’t even know to write down the orders on a piece of paper! We were all trying to just remember it all! All these people were lining up in long lines. They were lining way, way out to the street (Laughing…). Daddy was flipping those burgers. My sister would take orders (one hotdog with no sauerkraut, 2 with mayo instead of mustard, one with chili, etc.) and be so overwhelmed that she would disappear for a while to go cry before coming back to take the next order. It was quite an experience! I remember a man getting so mad wanting to know what happened to the girl who was making his hot dogs. (More laughter…), I was 11, Sharon was 13, and Clarke was 9…..I still hear that juke box playing loud.
We became popular in school, mainly I think because we had the hamburgers! It was the hangout for all of the school kids.
What else do you want to know?
Jana: Others have contributed some questions to ask you and they are woven into the questions I am asking…How were your abilities encouraged or any other specifics about growing up in an energetically aware family? You touched on this a bit already, can you tell us more?
Donna: I often hear highly sensitive people or students talk about how confusing it was for them being psychic or seeing colors or spirits. But, being psychic was normal in my world. We all felt a little bit sorry for Daddy because he wasn’t psychic nor did he see colors. I couldn’t even figure out how he functioned in the world! When I was very young, I thought it was because he was a man….. maybe men are not quite as evolved as women. My sister still sees color and is psychic although her work is not as a healer or a psychic She is an extraordinary poet. My brother would be thought of as a redneck by most of my friends, but he still sees colors. I don’t think he talks about this in bars, though. We all were always like that, because we were raised this way! One of the larger shocks in my life, I think, was when I was 20 and I found out that other people didn’t see energy! I couldn’t understand it at all. I didn’t know how they functioned in this world! But I know now. Most people learned something I didn’t learn very well: how to use my brain to strategize and figure things out. That is an extraordinary skill that people have. While others may be learning about healing and energy, I am learning the ways of the left brain. I love it.
When I was 24, my first husband said he would commit me to a mental institution if I ever spoke of seeing colors again. And at that time in the state of California, a husband could commit his wife (but a wife couldn’t commit her husband). Not surprisingly, our marriage didn’t last. But there is an interesting twist. He knew many things before they happened and had an uncanny intuition. In later years, we became great friends…..and I realized that he just couldn’t come to terms with how psychic he himself was! It was simply not acceptable in the world he lived in.
Jana: Along these lines of wondering how others could function, not seeing energies, you’ve mentioned something from the stage about also wondering how anybody knew who to trust when they couldn’t see energies. Can you tell us more about how your seeing energies has affected your trusting?
Donna: I think I trust others more than most people. Maybe it is more natural for me, because their energies show me their deeper dimensions, their conflicts, their struggles, and their strengths. When I see discrepancies between what is in a person’s auric bands and what the person is saying, I don’t see this as, “This person is lying.” Some of course might just think of it as the person is lying and leave it at that, but I might see it more as, “Uh oh, this person is having a lot of trouble getting this truth out.” Or it might show up in the aura that the person isn’t feeling safe, and maybe that was the reason for the lie. I would still trust them, but look for ways to help them feel safe. Sometimes, what seems like a lie is that the person is struggling with what is the truth for them. So many kinds of information are stored in the auric band, and sometimes they contradict one another… there are lots of different realities even for the same person.
And sometimes, I trust when I shouldn’t. I suppose it’s a failing in me, that even when I have seen something obvious not to be trusted…I have ignored the darkness and gone right past it to the person’s soul level. There is purity there. I love the soul level, love that level in all of us, and I so trust that level! Even the darkest person, at the soul level, you’ll find purity there. It’s amazing! Sometimes, I “over” trust, because I see them so truly in this deeper way. There are many times I shouldn’t have walked in “where angels fear to tread,” I should have known better because I saw the warning signs in the person’s energy. I knew it ahead of time. I can get tripped up by focusing on what is positive or what the person is genuinely struggling with rather than what is outright destructive. Rarely, after all, is something just black and white…in fact, it almost never is! Like say someone says something not true, but maybe I’ll find that five bands of the aura are utterly trustworthy, but in the other two, they haven’t gotten it together yet. And maybe they will have beautiful chakras but some are clogged up from past pain, and the columns in the throat chakra can’t pull up clarity from one or more of the chakras. Isn’t that what this journey in life is about? To learn and evolve. None of us are perfect. And so maybe there are times a person is speaking from the bands that are fearful or confused. And maybe they distort things or don’t say the whole truth. But that doesn’t make them bad. It doesn’t mean they are pathological liars never to be trusted. I just keep “seeing” them. And that usually works for me. I don’t get suspicious and so I get to remain happy…..and often they catch the good feeling of my energy. Everyone likes to be trusted. It starts building the Radiant Circuit energies and making them more concrete and the person does, in turn, become more trustworthy.
Let me give you an example. We are living in Baja California, Mexico, right now, and I went down a few minutes before our call to the tiny local store. There was a man, a few feet from my car, looking really puzzled. I went into the store but couldn’t help looking out at him through the open front of the store. His etheric field, the band closest to his body, looked totally smashed in. That would mean he did not have any good reflection of himself, no real mirror for himself. Each of the auric bands gives you something important… and the etheric band is like a mirror of your spirit. I thought, “What a hard world for him to have that out of commission!”
The next band that forms in your auric field is like a protective sheath that spirals out from your chakras. His looked very flimsy! If you just looked at his face, you might have thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t park my car there.” You might think he was dangerous and someone to stay away from. The truth is he probably has had a really hard life! His auric field was just decimated!
Another thing made me feel a little teary. His third band showed that he’s a kinesthetic, which would make it even harder for him because he felt it all. He didn’t have any kind of hard shell from feeling everything……or from worrying for others.
As I was leaving, I was looking at the last two avocadoes next to the checkout stand. The store owner noticed me looking at them, and asked if I wanted them. They were past their prime and I was wondering if they were still good. He said, “Do you want those, you can just have them.” And, he gave them to me. Returning to my car, I said to the man outside, in my broken Spanish, “They gave me these but I really don’t need them, would you like them?” Suddenly, you could see a different man—not only did his whole face light up, his auric field lit up and expanded. We human beings need one another. We heal one another just by recognizing each other.
So, I think seeing energy helps you trust people more, and it gives you a literal reminder that nothing is just black and white. But you can also feel what you may not be able to see. When you really get to know a person well, their auric bands and chakras become palpable because your energies figure-8 with one another. They overlap and interact, and that’s how you get to know another person really well.
Jana: How did you help your daughters maintain their awareness of and sensitivity to the energy around them?
Donna: You know sometimes I think I did a good job and sometimes, I think I didn’t. I love their sensitivities. I love their compassion for others. They are both so naturally sensitive, and I always let them know how I love them and how what they have done at times has really humbled me……or their words of compassion and “seeing.” They are just so good, and I am so proud.
But it was very hard when Tanya went to school. Early on she saw energies around everything. She was incredibly sensitive. She is an empath. It is the reason she doesn’t do one-on-one energy healing work. It is very difficult to be so sensitive, so empathic that you take everything on. I am so happy that Tanya is in the energy medicine community, not only expressing through her energy dance, but also returning to some ancient knowing that lives in her…….color reading! And she is now taking the time to learn to be safe in and appreciate her own vulnerabilities and ground in her own rhythm.
We were just in Ashland, visiting with an old friend of Tanya’s in the hospital and, as we walked into the room, Tanya turned pale as she could be and suddenly couldn’t breathe. She was picking up the illness of this person and, I believe, of others who have been in that hospital bed before. I had her leave the room to get some air. Our friend was having lung problems and was on oxygen, but Tanya didn’t know that beforehand. Of course there is more to Tanya’s sensitivities than that story shows. I should back up a bit. This is about past lives, is that okay?
Jana: Yes! Please tell us!
Donna: I believe Titanya and I have had a past life together. It was somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries in Ireland. She and I were in a tribe, a Celtic band. Long before I ever was in my healing work, I had memories of such a time, and psychics have seen it as well. Anyway, this tribe of people didn’t talk much. Their entire way of being involved knowing energy. They communicated through energy much more than through words. They didn’t have to use many words. Not that they didn’t have a verbal language, but they found it more valuable to pick up the vibes and read the energies between one another and with their world. So some of verbal language slipped away, and it was not so easy to access words that fit the feelings.
One of the themes in my life, until I found my work, has been figuring out “how do I find words to match what I am seeing or feeling?” Words were inadequate to match the feelings or the energy. I’ve spent much of my life figuring out how to put what I am feeling into words. Tanya was the same. She hardly spoke early on. But I recognized her from being in that lifetime, that world, so I knew it was okay! The moment she was born, I heard in my ear that her sensitivity guided her and she would be a late bloomer but not to worry as she would develop beautifully.
So in school, Titanya was either punished for not talking or, depending on the teacher, I’d be told how wonderful Tanya was: “Such a quiet little girl you have! We don’t have to do anything with her.” Nobody got her! She had a hard time going through the school system, so I put her into a private school. It was even worse!
Meanwhile, Dondi is an empath of a different kind. When she was young, she would sometimes have seizures. Her body would pick up the energy of someone in an accident, miles away, and she’d literally have a seizure. She wasn’t able to sleep at night unless we removed the coil boxspring that messed with her chakras, and later on, in order to sleep, she gently closed the eyelid of her 3rd eye with her finger. Beyond that kind of attunement and responsiveness, the evolution of her elements has been interesting. She is a “Wood” with “Earth” second, though her Earth is moving out in front since becoming a mom. She has said that she feels lucky that I was her mom because my Earth taught her to be a softer Wood. She feels she has become more like a willow tree, able to bend…instead of a tree that is unbendable.
I think we draw the children to us that we do because for one thing…..we need the lessons they bring. We also need the support of each other. The three of us – Titanya, Dondi, and I – each sensitive in our own unique ways, banded together. I’ve needed them as much as they needed me. I love, love, love both Titanya’s and Dondi’s sensitive ways.
But because of my having to work (energy medicine practice) after my divorce from their father, I was a single mom. There was only me, one parent, and I didn’t always have the time I wanted just to be able to have long talks or teach them things or guide them better.
But I think one of my best gifts to them was to feel & model compassion to them. And showing them that just being happy was natural. Another thing was to not have expectations of them…..but to just love them as they were. Expectations can really get in the way of unfolding your beautiful self.
I think Tanya and Dondi are the most amazing and wonderful teachers of the Five Elements. They think “elementally” all the time! I, myself, would like to drop everything and take their week-long Elements class with them! One of the fun things we did when they were in their teens was that we loved going to the movies together and talking about the actors and actresses and their roles according to their elements and rhythms. We could tell who were the really good actors by how well they could switch elements from one role to the next!
Jana: How did you become so loving?
Donna (in her ‘singing’ type voice…): Oh my! My gosh! I don’t think about being loving. I just see people how they are, and there is a lot to love. My mom was like that too. But of course feeling a lot of love is a very nice place to hang out. It feels good. It lifts your energy and your spirits and it is healing to those around you. It helps the world. I think you can teach people to be more loving, by teaching them to see others better, cuz that makes them more loving. Learning and really applying the sensory systems and the 5 Rhythms helps you to appreciate and love our differences.
Jana: Donna, you have such humility and are always putting people and things higher than you…and you talk of learning from the “rule-makers.” But, what about you bringing in your huge heart and ways of loving, bringing those things in to teach the “rule-makers?”
Donna: Thank you, Jana, that is a very kind way to put it. But my lessons are the lessons those “rule-makers” have already learned. How to live in this world. One of the biggest surprises in my life was that I found, in David, someone who is so different from me, yet his soul matches mine better than any man I have ever met. And he is one of those damn rule-makers! Go figure!
I don’t know the ways of planet Earth and of organizations and social structures nearly as well as other people. It is so strange that a whole complex organization has built up around me. I am a fish in the desert with e-mails and Board meetings and liability insurance and budgets and staffing and creating achievement tests. I feel like a kindergartner in graduate school. I don’t understand these worlds of rules and regulations. I never had to. I’m used to moving mostly on my intuition, my psychic awareness, and in those realms, the rules change every moment! That’s what I am used to! So having to create a policy and apply it consistently to everyone when everyone in their own way is an exception if you really “see” them is very very foreign to me. But I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people, such a staff and administration that puts up with me and is patient with me and teaches me.
I know that the rule-makers want what I want: to get Energy Medicine out into the world for everyone to use. I have often been humbled by seeing their big visions being carried by big open hearts. I have learned so much in the process. So even though some parts of my journey are unfamiliar to me and odd, I just have to say…I really love this life! I love it so much!!! And I just marvel at the journeys everybody has! I feel blessed . . . I know I am jumping around now.
Jana: That’s OK!
Donna: I deeply know …not in the way of ambition, I never had an ounce of ambition…I deeply know that all of this has unfolded because it is precisely what I am supposed to be doing with my life.
I remember when I was 16 and got Multiple Sclerosis, I didn’t know what it was called then but I had symptoms before it was diagnosed. The first thing I knew was that I didn’t want to talk about it. I had an instinct not to say anything about it out loud. I didn’t even tell my mother, and I was really close with my mother! I didn’t want anyone to be fearful or have an energy field belief of sickness around me or a projection of an illness on me. Even carrying this hard truth by myself, however, I didn’t feel lonely about it at all. I felt even back then like I was empowered by an awareness that all would be ok, and I would figure this out.
I noticed my first MS symptoms when I was a song leader in high school. I would be song-leading in front of the football stadium, and suddenly my legs would give out. The pain was excruciating. But I didn’t want anyone to know I was in trouble. So I would say I stumbled or act like it was a joke or that it was a spoof on my routine. But over time, I remember thinking, “Oh my god, it’s getting worse!”
But I had a series of visions when I was 16 that helped me. One day, after song-leading practice, it was late afternoon and I was walking across the football field by myself. I suddenly saw a vision of myself way off in the future. I saw myself at what felt like age 75. My arms were around two little children and I looked very happy and very healthy! I knew these were my grandchildren. And I knew then that regardless of what was going to happen in my life, that scene was in my future! So, it didn’t matter what was going on with my legs. I knew I would read to the age of that vision and be happy.
Another vision, this one came periodically, is that I would see myself on a stage talking to hundreds of people. I would think, “Well, that’s nuts! I can hardly talk. I can’t find words!” And it had nothing to do with anything I wanted for my life. I did want to help people. But we were in a tiny town, and the only people I really knew who helped people were the nuns. I thought I wanted to be a nun, but I wasn’t Catholic and I wanted to have children, so I couldn’t figure it out! But, I saw this vision of me being on stage over and over, helping people…..so I knew it would happen.
There was no way getting out of it. I didn’t need to work at making it happen. It would come to pass on my path somewhere, who knew when. I would just go on with my life and first things were first: I would have children.
I love this, Jana. This is fun!
Jana: I think, Donna, that people are hungry to hear these stories from you. I think it’s an inspiration to hear your stories. It’s not just the tools and techniques of Energy Medicine…I think it is to know more of who you are and the story of how you got here.
Donna: Thank you…well, I’m loving it!
Jana: With such a huge and open heart, how do you deal with the suffering of the world today?
Donna: Oh, that’s a very big one! There’s more than one answer of course, but one of the big answers is I feel the suffering in the world.. Even if I am powerless to change it, I feel others’ suffering like it was mine. There is strength in feeling at one with everybody, but if we disconnect from those who are suffering, we disconnect from our own humanity and all of humanity. There is deep joy in feeling our fundamental connection with all beings. And it humbles you. I feel the suffering of those I come in contact with, and I am not one who stays away from the media coverage of the terrible things that are happening in so many parts of the world. And I bow down to human beings and their courage amidst their struggles and I am grateful for being able to at least, feel with them.
I don’t know what is going to happen in the future for me, but my dream is one day when Innersource and the Energy Medicine Institute and the Certification Program and all the other organizational stuff can run on their own without me being so intimately involved, I would like to go to places where there has been war or famine or terrible poverty and teach people that knowing about their body’s energies is a path not only to better health but to freedom and to their souls and even to peace with their neighbors or their enemies. And it’s free for the learning. It’s a deep soul-yearning for me. I thought I would be doing it by now, but my world hasn’t unfolded that way. And maybe it doesn’t necessarily have to be me to be the one to carry the message and teach it, cuz now there are people who I’ve trained who are already out there providing that kind of service. It makes me so grateful! I mean, this is the best: to pass the information on to others, to pay it forward. (I had several people at this last graduation say to me that they were going to “pay it forward.”)
Jana: How do you keep the ‘spirit’ as the organization grows?
Donna: First of all, I do not ever want to close anyone out who wants to learn. I want to make Energy Medicine as available and as accessible to as many people as I possibly can because the whole world needs it! Having more and more teachers out there makes this ever more possible. That came about because of the Certification Program. As a result of the CP, Energy Medicine is becoming more and more known, and I am so grateful for that. But this is also a double-edged sword. By the very meaning of certification, the program must to an extent be regimented and have rules and tests and such.
At the same time, we can’t afford to get too locked into trying to control too much, cuz we lose something precious in the process: spontaneity, enthusiasm, and joy!! I want our teachers and staff to be able to model health and ease and happiness. Feeling stressed out, losing your rhythm, and not having fun just can’t be what runs a healing organization. We have to take care of ourselves and set the model for others taking care of themselves. And a glorious byproduct of keeping your own rhythm is joy and gladness and appreciation and health. It is impossible to control energy, but we can assist it and be on the same wavelength as our natural rhythms allow. I don’t want our students or our staff and faculty working so hard that they are too much in their heads and not enough in their spirits or their bodies or their own precious rhythms.
But this is challenging because in taking a movement forward where there is so much need, there is so much to do. And never enough resources, so our very dedicated people really push themselves. But we are all learning, in the busy-ness, how important it is to remember that joy is a measure of emotional, mental, physical & spiritual strength. It is health & vitality; and you do your job much, much better when you’re not tired, when you feel inspired and feel the joy! It allows for a whole brain and whole body connection that helps everyone make the best decisions. So we try to support one another in staying in our own natural rhythm and radiant joy.
Jana: Is there more you can say about your goals?
Donna: I passionately want more and more students to become teachers and spread the word far and wide so that people have the power in their own hands to heal themselves and so we can all heal one another. I hope that this will spread so far that people rely on energy medicine before ever reaching for pharmaceutical medicines or going to see a doctor. They will know when it is actually necessary for Western medicine interventions. And that is another part of what I want: that Western medicine partner more and more with energy medicine and other natural approaches to health care. Everyone will benefit.
It would also thrill me to know that I am being surpassed by my students. We each stand on one another’s shoulders as we take compassionate, effective healing further and further. That is the way of evolution.
And personally, for Tiernan, and for any other grandchildren that come, I just want to pour love into them, no expectations whatsoever! I just want to love them and be grateful that they have graced my life and come into the world to make the world a better place.
My goal for Tiernan is that he will feel confident in his own energy and know how to claim back his own energy and rhythm if he loses it when he moves out into the world more. That he know his own splendor but never see himself apart from the suffering in this world. It is hard to explain, but being a part of the suffering deepens your experience of life and joy. The feeling of oneness is important even while knowing you are a separate unique being. There is a bliss in oneness, in yin and yang.
For Tanya and Dondi, who I’m grateful for every day of my life, I just so want to, however I can, assist them on their path. They came in because we all needed each other in this lifetime. I needed them as much as they needed me. They will never not be “my kids,” and I want to be there for them in every way.
I hope, if it is good for the girls, that they continue on with Innersource and whatever capacity of energy medicine that is fulfilling to them. That would be lovely if they want it. But of course, I will always support them in any way that brings them happiness……even if it is away from Innersource.
I love seeing Tanya doing Energy Dance! And however I can support her to do that — she brings such a vital energy to it that is so wonderful, I want to do that.
And Dondi, her ethics and instincts are so good, so pure, and so beautiful! She thrives in dance, in tour-guiding and on the business side of Innersource. She brings soul and spirit into business. I like Dondi becoming more involved in Innersource. Right now we call her the Sunshine Chairman, helping us to remember staff birthdays and such.
Jana: How are you doing here, Donna…still doing ok?
Donna: I’m doing great! I love your questions, Jana! Isn’t that funny…in lots and lots of interviews over the past dozen years, no one has ever asked these questions, ever!
Jana: Well, I’m just glad that they have come through! How do you deal with constantly being on stage – wanted and needed by so many for help and answers?
Donna: There is more than one answer to this one too. One is that when I am on stage, I’m literally lifted up. I’m not so much in the energies but rather seeing the energies, like being lifted off the Earth a bit.
Here’s a way to explain the experience. A symbol for lung meridian is an angel who lifts up off Earth with each breath. This angel embraces the world on the in-breath and releases it on the out-breath. This is wonderful imagery for finding a rhythm between attaching and letting go. Attaching. Letting go. When I am working with a group on stage, maybe because I can see everyone’s energies, I can attach to the group like it were my family on the one breath and let go of that attachment on the next. I am fully there and involved and yet can be separate and objective.
Just a minute, I have to itch my ear! (Laughing)
Jana: Can I keep this part in? (Laughing)
Donna: You can use whatever you want! (Both laughing)
Being on stage and seeing into the field of energy, I can look and see each person and yet it’s a panorama of many energies – a group energy and the energy of many individuals. And I have a choice of where to focus. Sometimes, I will suddenly be drawn to someone that I feel I can help, and a moment later, that person is up with me on the stage and getting that help. And sometimes the unexpected happens. I taught in Seattle last week.
Jana: The Women of Wisdom conference?
Donna: Yes. I loved that conference! I was on the stage teaching when suddenly in the back of the room, someone yelled, “We need some help back here!” A woman had gone into a seizure. But because of the way the room was set up, I couldn’t see what was going on.
The woman had a Grand Mal seizure, but something wonderful came out of it. After calling 911, my students who were at the Conference knew how to help and she was better before the paramedics arrived. There was nothing left for me to do. Everybody did the right thing! I loved it! I love it when others are empowered to help and I am not needed. The woman refused to go with the paramedics and stayed in the class for the rest of the day. She was fine.
This ties into the other part of your question: How do I deal with being needed or wanted so much? First of all, it is a blessing that I can do something that makes a difference in people’s lives. The problem is that I can’t stretch myself far enough.
That is why I am so grateful that others are learning how to deliver energy healing so effectively. There is getting to be an army of helpers now. I so love that people can give effective help when someone is in need.
Jana: Were you formally trained in any spiritual tradition or belief system?
Donna: Well, I went to Sunday school. My mother and father wouldn’t go to church. They were incredibly spiritual but they didn’t want the indoctrination of any church or religion. But they liked that I was learning TheBible. Plus my mother subscribed us all to Unity magazine as early as I can remember.
From when I was four, I went to a Christian church at the end of the corner that we could walk to, and I particularly loved hearing about Jesus because, remember, he was my little invisible best friend. Even at this very early age, I knew to dismiss anything preached at me that didn’t fit. One thing that I did at this church was to get baptized every month! From age four. Every month. No one even noticed. I kept getting baptized. It was really fun!
Jana: Full immersion?
Donna: Full immersion, dunk back and everything . . . every month! This went on for a long time, almost every month. You’d think someone would have noticed! I could have gotten a complex about this, but I didn’t. Mama would say, “Oh Donna, they just can’t see you. It has nothing to do with you. They just can’t see.” So I continued getting baptized.
Times were different when I was little. It was a time when you weren’t taught to be afraid, not like today. I remember something Mama always said to me, “Donna, the Lord protects babes and fools. Now I don’t know which you are, but I know you are protected. I don’t have to worry, and nothing bad will ever happen to you.” And I wasn’t ever afraid.
I was also four years old when Mama was in the tuberculosis sanatorium. Daddy would be visiting her and we three kids were left alone. I remember once when my Aunt came over to tell us that the doctors didn’t expect Mama to live, and we had to be prepared. When Aunt Alice left, I walked in the dark three blocks to a Pentecostal Revival, feeling sad. In a huge tent, a young boy, about 16 maybe, led us in song:
You can S – M – I – L – E when you can’t say a word.
You can S – M – I – L – E when you cannot be heard.
You can S – M – I – L – E when it’s cloudy or it’s fair.
You can [everyone smiles] anytime, anywhere!
And everyone was just smiling. And I was smiling. It felt like we were all smiling from our souls. It lifted me up. It brought me out of my sadness and fear about Mama dying!
And I learned that day that I could smile even if I didn’t feel like it….cuz the smiling itself made me feel the amazing energy of a smile that comes up from my soul.…..and then I would feel like smiling. And soon I knew I was okay at that soul place and the world is okay. I still feel that whenever I smile. Family legend has it that I was born smiling, but that was the day I learned my soul could send up a smile even if my world wasn’t smiling back.
As I got older, I found that my preferred “church” was in nature and in spiritual writing by people whose journey’s have stretched their spirits beyond those of most of us. It was also in seeing the souls of people and feeling deep, deep joy, not based on anything that was happening in my life….but just springing up from deep inside me. This regularly put me in a state of gratitude as well as in awe of the wonder of it all.
Nature was also my teacher. I remember how every day when I got home from school, I’d go climb these huge big boulders behind our house and just lay there looking up at the heavens. Nature was in front of me in her glory, and I could just breathe her in. I didn’t know where nature ended and heaven began.
Jana: Your compassion, your care, your ability to see through to the true energy or intention and your loving it all… Can you tell us, in a nutshell, how your philosophy about life and living came to be? What or who else, besides what you have mentioned, shaped your beliefs about the world?
Donna: First was Mama and Jesus.
I think love has shaped my Philosophy of Life…..just the joy of being able to feel love and of being able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Love and compassion have been my biggest guidance. Seeing people’s souls has been a religious experience for me. People blow me away.
Mama saw souls, too. She used to say to me, “Oh you are so lucky, Donna, that you don’t have to deal with physical beauty like your sister. People have a hard time seeing her real self because they see her physical beauty first.
But people will get to see the real you right away. They’ll see your inner beauty.” I actually felt lucky not to be beautiful like my sister. She had a handicap, I thought. But I was excited about my inner beauty…..and I assumed everyone could see it.
I also loved books! I loved to read all of the spiritual books I could get my hands on. I loved reading Howard Thurman. He was Martin Luther King’s minister. I loved reading his sermons, very Universal, nothing to do with a narrow type of “Christianity.” Later on, I loved Rumi. I loved Hafiz. I loved James Kavanaugh’s poetry. He was the priest who broke away from the Catholic Church so publicly in the late 60s with his courageous book, “A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church.” He then became what Larry King called, “America’s greatest poet.” I eventually sought Jamie out and we became lifelong friends.
Still my older sister was the only person I ever put on a pedestal. She had a discriminating mind, and I didn’t. Her mind and perceptions thrilled me. I was so proud to be her sister.
Then there was a cousin I loved madly who was killed early on in a car accident. I still feel her around me. I think, “Billie Jean didn’t die at all!” Her body died, but she is still here.” I always knew there was a continuum before this life and after…..and sometimes I would have flashbacks of other lifetimes.
Someone who really influenced me, to help me know that I could teach, was Dennis Bostic. He was the world’s foremost expert of gray whales. He saw their energies in the way I see the energies of someone on my healing table. I took Biology from him when I went back to college at 31, and he was the teacher that changed my life!
He once showed us a black and white film that depicted a lot of activity, but it wasn’t obvious what we were looking at. At the end of the film, he asked us, “What do you think you just saw?” It could have been so many different things, like looking down on Earth from a spacecraft or at some kind of bacteria under a microscope. But it turned out to be looking at just one cell in the human body. All of the import/export services looked like a million beings. You could see how the system took care of threats. It was a whole world. We were looking through a microscope at one cell on the human tongue!
It was then that I became totally enthralled with the human body. Dennis wasn’t the typical teacher using proven teaching methods. But he loved his subject and was so passionate about it that we somehow learned by osmosis. We “got” his energy. I realized that loving a subject so much was enough to make someone a great teacher. I never thought I could talk to a group of people, but I had the thought in Dennis’ class that I could teach if I loved the subject that much!
Dennis would take his students out on tour boats to see the whales. The touring company would always say, “Don’t expect to see any whales today.” But, we always saw whales! They would find us and bump the sides of the boat just to get near him. They could pick up Dennis’ vibe and his energy and his profound love for them!
At one point, Dennis said something strange in class, something like “Don’t ever get into a bar fight. If you have been drinking beer, your spleen blows up like a balloon. If someone hits you and ruptures your spleen, you have only 17 minutes left before you die.” Ironically, he was in a bar that night, working on a conference presentation, and having some beer. On the way home, he was in a car accident. His spleen took a bad hit and ruptured. He knew what happened and what it meant. He had 17 minutes to say goodbye to his wife!
Just 7 weeks after I met Dennis, he died, but his life and death impacted me powerfully.
Jana: Wow! That is inspiring! And I know we don’t have much more time for questions, but what about information from the other side, Donna?
Donna: Oh yeah, messages come through from the other side—at unexpected times and a lot when I had PMS and particularly when I am in the healing realm. The veils between the worlds sometimes get thin, and then I can even be told how to heal someone. I have some amazing stories about when this has happened. Some are in the Epilogue of Energy Medicine. Listening to guidance can impact a healing session powerfully. Also, pay attention to your dreams. Dreams can be a profound source of healing information.
Jana: OK, Wow! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with me and our readers! It has been a very memorable and special experience for me…Thank you!
Donna: You’re so welcome, Jana. I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you!