Ground. Center. Shield. Repeat.

By Steven Libowitz   |   November 16, 2017

Spiritual practices as well as many self-growth paths can leave one feeling overly vulnerable and perhaps even confused about the nature of connection to others. With “Activating Energetic Protection”, slated for 7 to 9 pm this Friday night at Paradise Found, Dr. Valerie Girard and Dr. Fleur Nelson are teaming up for a two-hour presentation delineating the necessity for, and parameters of, energetic protection in a spiritual practice. The pair will discuss the need for boundaries, the nature of empathy versus compassion, ways to discern “what is mine,” methods for reading energetic fields, and actual practices for personal wand group protection. Participants will leave with a personal meditation mantra card, while PanHarmonic Healing Disks will be available for purchase at the event, which costs $10.

Dr. Girard, a holistic healing practitioner in Santa Barbara for 35 years, draws from her studies of Tibetan Buddhism, shamanism, Native American traditions, and with such individuals as Carlos Castaneda, Lynn Andrews, and Brooke Medicine Eagle, as well as her degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic from LACC to blend science with spirituality. She has utilized PanHarmonic Healing, a body of work channeling healing and spiritual protocols over multiple levels of consciousness, for nearly 30 years. She recently formed The Immortality Club to create a community of practitioners trained to utilize specific teachings to enhance vitality, increase personal power, and accelerate spiritual evolution, as well as to self-actualize for the good of all humanity.

Dr. Nelson also has a wide-ranging exploration including shamanic traditions, depth psychology, somatic psychology, and energy healing practices. She holds a master’s degree in integrative counseling psychology from Regents College, London, and a Doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she is on teaching staff.

The two also run The Immortality Club: The Path to Totality Meetup, which gets together twice a month for classes in the field. The next meetup takes place on Saturday, November 18, with “Energy Gathering for Evolution and Manifestation.” Visit

Bringing Healing… and Abundance

Meanwhile, back at Paradise Found – the 31-year-old downtown “bookstore and more for the body, mind, and spirit” – has scheduled its final Intuitive Energy-Healing Workshop with Lani Reagan for year 2017. The gathering next Tuesday is geared toward those who are interested in bringing a healing practice into the business world. The class focuses on how to take natural healing skills into the current market to generate income that both supports financial goals and emotional needs for fulfillment. The workshop is technique-based but also presents some strategies for success, as the meditation will focus on materialization factors and increasing manifesting energy of the basic chakra.

Reagan, who has helped hundreds of people find new ways of co-creating breakthroughs in physical recovery, relationship healing, and personal achievements, comes from the perspective that anyone with the will to do good has the innate capacity to use intuitive energy healing techniques to accelerate their healing process or that of their loved ones. The 7 to 8:30 pm workshop on Tuesday, November 21, costs $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Following a hiatus for the holidays in December, the monthly series is slated to continue every third Tuesday beginning in January. Paradise Found is located at East Anapamu Street, across from the Central Library. Call 564-3573 or visit

Us and Them

Unity Interfaith Pride Alliance’s ongoing six-part educational series about prejudice as it relates to racism, religionism, ablism (discrimination in favor of able-bodied people), sexism, economic status, and LGBTQ issues continues this Friday evening in Unity’s Sanctuary with a panel discussion to help raise awareness and compassion through community dialogue in a safe and supportive environment. This fourth discussion focuses on classism – prejudice based on class or economic status – and features Lois Capps, the recently-retired former U.S. Congressional representative who holds a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School and was married to Walter Capps, a divinity student at Yale who later became a prominent religious studies professor at UCSB. Also on the panel are Unity members Dan Dutton and Mayra Ramos. The free 7 to 9 pm event in Unity’s Sanctuary include film clips and time for comments and questions from the audience. Visit

Dropping in

With a subtitle of “Moving from Acquainted to Connected”, Friday night’s monthly Authentic Relating Games at Yoga Soup explores the concept that true belonging does not require you to change who you are, but rather demands that you be who you are. While the human need for connection and belonging is well-established, the fact is that many of us often settle for far less than meaningful contact, merely engaging (and stay stuck in) small talk. We play it safe and withhold our deeper experiences in an attempt to “fit in,” resulting in abandoning our authentic impulses. Led by Tamra Rutherford, Friday’s “games” will play with ways to move from shallow to deep, distant to close, acquainted to connected. Admission to the 7 to 9:30 pm event on Friday, November 17, is $18 in advance (by Thursday midnight), or $25 on Friday or at the door. But caution: “Dropping In” is the theme for the gathering – not an invitation to come and go during the event itself! (Although, of course, you are always allowed to leave whenever you wish and choose to not participate in any activity).

Also at Yoga Soup this weekend: Ecstatic Breathing with founder/owner Eddie Ellner at 7 pm on Saturday, November 18. A few minutes of gentle yoga are followed by an hour of breathing, a simple process where participants lie on their backs and breathe to a selection of music designed to accelerate and amplify the breath. This induces what can most accurately be called a non-ordinary state of consciousness, with the experience itself providing its own meaning and insight. Refreshments served (don’t eat a heavy meal for several hours in advance), and there will be time afterward for conversation or silence. Admission is $30.

Yoga Soup is located at 28 Parker Way near the train station. Call 965-8811 or visit

Sunburst’s Sacred Sunday

Sunburst’s Exploring the Divine Signature is a afternoon workshop that coincides with and is part of the Lompoc retreat center’s three-day sacred geometry workshop guided by Craig Hanson this weekend. The 1:30 to 4 pm offering on Sunday, November 19, examines the question “Is there any order to life’s seemingly chaotic twists and turns?” Participants will learn to see remarkable patterns permeating nature, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, and take part in a hands-on sacred geometry drawing project. Admission is by a sliding-scale donation of $20 to $30, and reservations are requested by Thursday, November 16, for account for needed supplies and materials.

All are invited to come earlier in the day for Sunburst’s weekly Sunday meditation and music gathering in its light-filled temple, followed by a free vegetarian brunch in the log-cabin lodge and optional guided hike through the outdoor labyrinth and gardens. By donation. No pre-registration necessary. This week’s topic is “Conscious Study & Self-Inquiry”, followed by “Living In Thankfulness” for the post-Thanksgiving November 26 meeting, and “Practicing Humility” on Sunday, December 3. Sunburst is located at 7200 S. Highway One, Lompoc. Call 736-6528 or visit

Out of town: Love Is a Miracle

The Human Awareness Institute’s final Level 1 offering in its Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality for 2017 takes place next weekend, November 24-26, at Joshua Tree Retreat Center near Twentynine Palms. The residential workshop leads participants to gently move through the layers of pretense, negative beliefs, fears, and protective behaviors that may have prevented you from receiving and giving love. Participants are safely and gently guided to connect deeply and profoundly, first with yourself, and then, at your own pace and choice, with others, in an honest, supportive, and open-hearted environment. The goal is to uncover and enhance your passion for living, and the natural appreciation and acceptance of yourself and others.

Santa Barbara has a growing community of people who have completed the initial weekend, with many continuing on with the series. Intro workshops called HAI minis have been offered on a regular basis in town. For details and reservations, visit HAI’s extensive website at, or call Niki Schmid at (408) 805-5440.

Spirituality Short Cuts

Mahakankala Buddhist Center is offering a special one-shot class on Friday night on “Overcoming Anxiety: Meditations for Taking the Edge Off”. The drop-in class led by Mahakankala’s resident teacher Keli Vaughan offers the opportunity to learn Buddhist meditations for changing the mind from negative to positive, recognizing that anxiety, depression, and other uncomfortable states of mind are temporary, which means they can change. Admission to the 7 to 8:30 pm class at 508 Brinkerhoff Avenue is $15, or $20 for two. Info at 563-6000 or…. John McAndrew, MA, MDiv,, who has served as director of Spiritual Care at the Betty Ford Center, leads a “Thanksgiving Retreat for People in Recovery” at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Montecito Friday to Sunday, November 24-26. The weekend is designed to allow participants to reflect on their own stories in a gratitude-based, life-giving way and encompasses presentations, quiet time, small group processing, and 12 Step Meetings to consider the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Registration and details at…. Rachael Quisel‘s ongoing free weekly yoga class – held outdoors at the Sunken Gardens at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse during the warm-weather months – has moved indoors for the remainder of autumn and winter. The new location is in the third-floor conference room at Just Communities, 1528 Chapala St., #308, but the capacity is obviously more limited for the 60-minute Vinyasa Flow class each Wednesday evening. Next class is 5:30 pm on Wednesday, November 22…. The Santa Barbara Silent Hiking Meetup revs up for Rattlesnake Canyon Trail this Sunday, November 19. Meet at 8:30 am at the stone wall near 1900 Las Canoas Road for the talking-optional hike up the canyon slated to last between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on pace and stopping times, with each participant enjoying nature in their own way, while also dipping into the consciousness that comes from hiking quietly in a group. Details and RSVP at


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