Posts Tagged ‘Atlantis’

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu: Pre-Orders!

Well, it’s official! I can start taking pre-orders for my new novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. I’m correcting the galleys and the book should be available to ship sometime in June 2009.

I’m taking pre-orders because my husband and I are moving at the end of June and I have no idea how many to order in advance without taking some kind of pre-order. If you would like an autographed and/or inscribed copy, please click here. All prices include shipping and handling, so please make sure to order one that reflects your location.

Here’s what people are saying:

“A beautiful debut, this fantasy sparks real-world insights into life’s challenges and chance encounters. Synchronicity, renewal, and power of belief shimmer through an intriguing tale with heartfelt characters. This story lingers, as readers find through it more magic in their own lives.” –Victoria Moran, author of Living a Charmed Life       

“I had the blissing to review Laura Bruno’s upcoming book Schizandra And The Gates Of Mu while I was on holiday. Schizandra, the teen heroine is a portal for human transformation. As I read it, I realised that everyone we meet is a portal for our own transformation. Seems there’s a little Schizandra in all of us.” —Shazzie (full review to come via another post)

“From first page to last, a truly tasty, fast-paced treat. Suspense, mystery, humor, danger and a rainbow of characters and landscapes converge in a masterfully crafted modern myth that awakens inner senses and leaves us hungry for Schizandra’s next journey!” –Karen Lang, Lemurian Stargate

“Superbly written, well-researched, fascinating, weird, suspenseful, playful and definitely entertaining.”  –Traci Moore, Editor, Monsoon Voices

More blurbs and reviews to come. To pre-order your autographed copy, please click here.

2012 and the Mayan Calendar: What’s Happening?

Lately, a lot of folks have been asking me what I believe will happen in the next few years. The short answer is that no one can tell you the exact scenario because it hasn’t played itself out yet. Too many choice points still exist to make a solid prediction.

The longer answer is that I have the advantage of having deep conversations with people from all over the world — on a regular basis. Such encounters give me a sense of what trends are coming and how the people creating those trends feel about them. What motivates these folks? How do the inspirations arrive? How do they fit together?

Some people feel quite scared about the prospects of 2012. They worry that the world’s about to end or that the Apocalypse looms large. I agree that change is coming. In fact, change has intensified over the last few years. But from where I sit, that change looks really good. So many of you are bringing amazing visions to fruition. So many of you have worked through or are in process of working through lifetimes of limitations in preparation to unleash yourselves to a previously unknown degree. I feel awe and excitement when I consider the sorts of things coming into our world!

A huge amount of love continues to sprout and grow on this planet. I feel it everyday during coaching sessions when people tell me how much they want to help people, animals or the world. I feel love from colleagues who have stepped into greater visibility so that they can share their messages of love and rejuvenation in larger and more influential ways. And I feel love in my own life as I see how years of synchronicity and service have begun to form a tapestry that “materializes” my deepest longings and dreams.

Good times are upon us! Times of change, yes, but these changes come from a place of love, faith and hope.

The number of people asking about 2012 has strengthened my resolve to get my novel Schizandra and the Gates of Mu out there sooner rather than later. This fictional series explores where we’re headed as a species, planet and galaxy, but it also offers many routes to get there. While I finish the final editing and submission process, I thought I’d share just a few of the resources I’ve found particularly interesting or relevant during the course of my research:

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck.

I like to dive into this book “randomly” rather than reading it straight through. Daniel gives lots of history, personal experiences and science interwoven with ancient prophecy. I had already written or planned most of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu before reading 2012, but the book really resonated with some ideas coming through my novel.

Warning: it’s a dense book — definitely not a fluffy read. The prose will stun you, though. Daniel Pinchbeck grew up in NYC’s literary elite, and you can tell. His lyrical passages will coax your soul into a new awareness even if your mind wants to dig its heels into the old world’s ways.


Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel. I’m using this book more for background on book two, Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar, but I love Martin Prechtel’s writing! His true story reads like fiction, and you’ll find yourself breathing in the magic of the Andes and her people. This book provides insight into the descendents of those who created many of the 2012 prophecies.


Healing Crystals and Gemstones by Dr. Flora Pescheck-Bohmer and Gisela Schreiber. This book is not about 2012 either, but it does share some great background about crystals and gemstones, which help to raise vibrations into alignment with the coming shifts.


The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. This classic continues to stand the test of time. Many of his verses speak even more strongly today than they did last century.


Abundance through Reiki by Paula Horan. I often recommend this book to Reiki students, because Paula Horan gives a 42-day method for bringing more Reiki into your life. Since Reiki is, by definition, universal life force energy, embracing more Reiki leads to greater flow and a sense of connection with everyone and everything in our world. When you feel connected, abundance comes naturally. Allowing yourself to flow in your natural state will help you to ride out whatever blessings or challenges come your way.


The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide by … me. 🙂 I wrote this little e-book because I found myself saying so many of the same things to so many clients. People kept having the same issues on a raw food journey, but I could not find one or two other raw food books that shared all that information. I wanted to offer an easy guide around the stumbling blocks.

I do not believe that everyone needs to turn to 100% raw foods in order to help humanity make its next shift; however, raw foods do offer one effective way of raising vibration to a higher level. This book also addresses the increased synchronicities andspirituality experienced by so many people on their raw journeys  — and why that matters. (Hint: the extra energy can work for or against you; The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide gives steps to harness your most positive energy.)


Lemuria and Atlantis by Shirley Andrews. This book provides shared experiences through past life memories, regressions and/or channeling regarding the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. Whether you believe in either or both of these mystical lands, their energy pervades much of the changes of the last few years. Reading about these cultures — even if you think of them as fictional — will help to clarify your thoughts and feelings about today’s world. Atlantis in particular comes up often during Intuitive Life Path Assessments. The collective subconscious has a lot to say!


The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Originally written as a marketing study, this book gives insight into how changes take place. How does an idea become a trend? How does a trend become a phenomenon? How do phenomena change our very reality? I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone who wonders how a single person or a small group can make an enormous contribution.


Well, that should keep everyone busy for awhile! I hope you enjoy the resources. 🙂 Once I know the price and estimated release date, I will start taking pre-orders for Schizandra and the Gtes of Mu. If you would like to get on the pre-order list, please email me your contact information: laura at lazyrawfoodist dot com. 

Many Blessings …

Raw Food Novel Update

Wow, it’s been awhile! I have officially buried myself in editing for the past two weeks. I had entered “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu” into Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and then started having second thoughts.

For one, I found a few typos; more importantly, I decided I wanted to shift some plot elements, but I could no longer change my entry. I began to resent tying up my manuscript until June 30th if I advanced to the next round: tied up, but with no guarantee of any offer. Then I learned that the grand prize publishing contract might not be exactly what I’d imagined. I wish everyone else the best of luck, but I really wanted freedom for my manuscript.

Synchronicity intervened again! Apparently, something happened with the contest entries, and some excerpts disappeared, thereby keeping people from advancing into the later rounds. I don’t know whether my excerpt disappeared, or if someone didn’t like my pitch, or if my energy just pulled my entry right back out of the contest. In any case, to my great relief, I learned last week that I once again could play freely with my manuscript.

Because “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu” comes first in a 5-part series with a 2012 theme, I’ve decided to self-publish it this Spring though iUniverse. Originally, I had wanted to find a traditional publisher, but given that it’s already 2009 and average books take about a year to print even after being accepted by a publisher, I decided to release it myself. Instead of a “birthday publishing contract,” there’s now a strong possibility I will have a “birthday book.” 🙂 

Once I know pricing and approximate delivery dates, I’ll start taking preorders for autographed copies. To my knowledge, this represents the first novel ever to feature overtly raw foodist and vegan characters. Anyone who likes natural healing, astrology, numerology, flying, natural childbirth, synchronicity, massage, Reiki, Sedona and/or raw cacao will enjoy this tale. Here’s a teaser:

Legendary Sedona, ancient prophecy, a mysterious curse and a thirteen-year-old orphan with a cosmic destiny: Schizandra and the Gates of Mu tells the story of a sleeping teen who holds the key to human evolution. The galaxy itself depends on her awakening! Can a motley group of healers, relatives and friends overcome their pasts to save Schizandra? Will she survive her own mythic journey? The Celestine Prophecy meets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Young adults and older readers will laugh, cry and shiver their way through this lively first of the Schizandra series.


Laura Bruno is a professional intuitive, Reiki Master Teacher and former Sedona resident. Known for her lighthearted approach to natural healing, Laura now offers those insights through fiction. She has lived and taught all over the United States, and currently resides in California with her husband Stephen.


OK, back to editing! Thanks to everyone for their excitement about this project. I love writing fiction, and I’m so excited to introduce Schizandra.  

Interview with Raw Fooder and Artist Tania Marie



Today begins a new “interview series” on my blog. It occurred to me that I know some fascinating people, and I’d love to give them a chance to shine. I’ve conducted so many interviews for other venues, but none for my own blog. That’s about to change! Over the next few months, I’ll be profiling a variety of artists, writers and other visionaries right here. Today’s “guest” is Visionary Artist Tania Marie, who hails from Lake Tahoe. Some of you might recognize Tania as my Three Day Gratitude Extravaganza cohort or my 2008 San Francisco Veg Festival photographer. Besides having a legendary ability to keep pace with my own gargantuan appetite for gourmet raw food, Tania provided the cover illustration for The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. She’s an amazing artist, healer, teacher and all-around intriguing individual. I hope you enjoy getting to know her:

What do you love about being an artist?

I love the freedom of expression it allows me and the ability to let go of all ideas of what is “supposed to be” and instead allowing what naturally wants to be. There are enough areas in my life where I need to be more structured and organized, or manage things, that I joyously welcome how my painting time allows me to let go of that. I have never taken any classes and don’t immerse myself in other artist’s work so that my art can remain raw and unencumbered by any rules.  As an artist I express myself in ways that I cannot with words and my canvas allows me to share the visions, emotions, messages and complexities that I receive and feel, uninhibited by rules or constraints.

Very often I find it challenging to communicate what I want to say and always wish there was a way I could project what I feel and see energetically to people and that is what art is for me. It is my channel of communication closest to the authentic truth of who I am and what I want to share about myself and the world. My paintings are visual stories into my soul and beyond and so it’s truly a vulnerable process of exposing that which lies deepest and closest to my heart, in order to share more intimately with others. Sometimes I feel that we get too caught up with words and definitions; art offers a boundless way to express so much more in deep and subliminal ways. For me, the art of imagery triggers something relative to the viewer and allows for freedom of interpretation without a “right or wrong” message received. The message is individual, as is the experience of life.



How has your vegan/raw food diet influenced your artwork and life?

My connection with animals is very much a big part of my life and my paintings. My first drawings as a little girl were of animals (especially horses) and they have remained my most favorite thing to draw/paint. They continue to be a recurring part of my work, as animals are so dear to my heart and when I paint them I connect with and capture their souls. I love to portray them as the soulful beings they are and capture the inherent human quality they possess, each time I do so. They appear in my art as if they could speak at any moment. I have a very strong connection with Mother Earth and in helping to support her healing, which for me includes all of her children.

I have always had an intuitive connection to animals and feel them so deeply. I believe this compassion is what ultimately led me on a vegan path. At first the choice to change my diet was for health reasons and the reaction to feelings of illness when eating animal products. But as I became more aware, I realized that my body had reacted first, to what my soul knew. My sensitivities to animals had created reactions to eating any products that came from them and so the more I continued down my path of dietary changes, the more I connected with the deeper soul reasons for my choice.

Being vegan is a spiritual choice for me now and as this unfolded I started to see that as a person, an artist, and an evolving soul, the best choice for me was to go raw. Being a raw vegan supports the clarity and higher vibration I need in my life to do my service, the exuberance I feel for what I am here to do, and definitely opens the channels for divine inspiration and creativity to flow more freely. And because of my commitment and choices on that path, I also naturally saw my artwork evolve into deeper connection with the Earth and animals…wanting to share their stories and the realization of our connectedness…to bring about conscious awareness, a return to natural harmony, and honor for all of Earth’s children. My work celebrates life and living from that place of compassion, celebration, and unity.

What does it mean to you to be “a visionary artist”?  

As a visionary artist, I create from my soul and intuitive connection to the Universe. For me, that entails creating “outside of the box” and having the ability to see beyond the boundaries of physicality and enculturation.  It’s also about my ability to capture moments of inspired vision and thought, feeling and expression, in a form that conveys something bigger than myself and speaks in foresight and deep messages to the viewer. This involves not buying into the idea of “impossible” and reflecting the miracle in knowing that what I can see and feel in my heart, “is possible.”

I feel it encompasses the ability to mirror a vision, manifested in form, that reflects our co-creation potentials. It denotes being a dreamer and leading through innovative visions, feelings, and imaginary foresight of what “can be” if we allow our creative expression and limitlessness to flow freely. Sometimes that involves dreaminess, idealism and fantastical vision, which in some ways makes a visionary artist, like myself, somewhat of an inventor or philosopher; teaching, conveying, and expressing profound messages through the gift of art and imagery.

Does Reiki affect your painting?

Reiki has also affected my life and painting tremendously. Every choice and step I make along my spiritual path has opened doors for the work I do. The more I connect to that Universal Oneness and Love, the more I understand and connect to my authentic self. This remembering and reconnecting helps me on my path to embracing my essence more and more each day and in doing so, my work evolves as a mirror of that unfolding process. Choosing to embrace Reiki into my life was a big commitment to saying I am ready for more and I am ready to take greater responsibility in my life. This has been reflected in not only having a clearer channel for the messages I receive for my paintings, but in the depth of the messages and my abilities to convey them.

I have never taken any art lessons or classes and so experience is the only learning I have had and Reiki is definitely a channel that has fueled that experience in broader ways. It has helped me to direct my work in the healing direction it is meant to go. I imbue and encode my paintings with Reiki energy and healing messages, which people have noted when viewing them. Everything that I am and everything that channels through me goes into my paintings. When I am in that space of creation it is a pure connection to Spirit, and Reiki has helped open that connection to receive in greater depth and with greater ease.

Having the ability to self-treat myself with Reiki also helps me move through any challenges and blocks I may have or run up against and so it has also been a supportive tool in my artistic and life processes. I have experienced the aliveness of my paintings through my ability to feel energy. There have been times that I am so connected with what I am painting and so in my heart, that I have felt the Reiki heat radiating from the images. Very profound indeed and part of why I refer to my work as “living art.”

UPDATE: For a video on Tania, please see below. I just learned that she’s in the running for an art contest. You can view her entry here. Click on Marie Tania and vote!

How does music influence the way you paint? Any favorite tracks?

I “need” music to help my creative process. It’s that simple. Without music my art is a struggle and that is not how it is meant to be. Music is food to my soul when creating. It is the missing ingredient to the recipe of my painting. Music moves me and takes me to that place I need to be to receive the inspiration, visions, and messages. It helps me move into my right brain, while my left brain is guiding the brush in my hand. If I don’t have music I will strain endlessly and literally get drained trying to make something work with what I’m painting. But when I have the right music and get into that space of divine connection, everything flows and the process of creating is so much easier and natural. The music moves me and connects me deeper to what I am painting. I can feel the messages and many times am moved to tears of joy or sadness because of how profoundly the music connects me. And sometimes it even moves me to dance while the music channels through, making the process of painting such a “whole experience” for me.

The type of music needed can vary greatly and is all dependent on what the painting and part of the painting calls for. There can be a general theme for the painting or it can vary from image to image within the painting. Each part has its own energy and speaks to me as to what it needs in order to come alive. I then follow my intuition as to not only how it will look, the colors chosen, etc…but as to what music speaks its story and energy. I know when I’ve found the perfect music as it “just feels right.” And sometimes when I find the right music, I may play it over and over for hours, days, weeks, or whatever is needed, never getting sick of it, because it speaks the essence so perfectly. But the moment I am done with the music I instantly know, as I no longer have a desire to hear it anymore and it just won’t work.

That connection with divine inspiration, sound, sight, expression, and physical manifesting is accessed when all is in place. I work with all the senses, but for some reason sound is extremely important, alongside visual and feeling. So the music can vary and I will be drawn to all sorts of music, some of which might not make much sense to me, but then that would be my mind thinking and not my heart and soul feeling. It can be music ranging from current pop, Latin, foreign, R & B, classical, opera, new age, nature sounds, mantras, and even techno and more. I continually have to update my cd collection to mirror what my paintings call for.

Some of my favorite painting music comes from Lisa Gerrard, Yanni, Enigma, Deva Premal, Josh Groban, Gipsy Kings, B-Tribe, Krishna Das, Qhapaq Nan (a Peruvian folkloric group), Enya, music from Cavalia, several movie soundtracks, various Celtic and techno artists, and the list goes on….

What do ancient cultures have to do with today? 

My newest series, “In Lak’ech” focuses on different ancient civilizations that come to me as being meaningful to what healing message is being relayed and needed. I have very strong connections to our ancient cultures, mirrored in much of what you will not only find in my paintings, but my home, my life, and even my tattoo body work. To me, it is part of remembering our connectiveness, remembering what we have forgotten, but what lies within us. Integrating as part of the healing process. The ancients knew this and now I feel we are becoming aware of what was once known. I also feel that there is much to learn from our ancient history and that part of that process is recapturing and embracing the pieces that worked and produced beautiful results and learning from the choices that brought about destruction and separation. I believe we have the ability to utilize many tools and avenues to help us make wiser choices, so as not to repeat the past. Simultaneously recapturing in a new way, the pieces that created harmonious, connective, and inspired, co-creative existence.

The In Lak’ech series consists of five paintings representing the five elements and conveying healing messages from various ancient civilizations. Their purpose is to support harmony and balance between the Earth and the Cosmos, as the Ancients once knew how to do. They also express the connectedness we share and the importance of Universal Love and Compassion and our responsibility to co-create wisely as self-empowered beings, so as not to repeat the past. We have the potential to achieve great things that can surpass what we’ve ever known on this Earth, but part of that involves embracing all of our parts and understanding where we’ve come from, what works and what doesn’t, embracing and imbuing it with the new. In Lak’ech literally translates as: “I am another yourself, you are another myself” – “I am you and you are me.” I feel that this profound realization will become the centerpiece of our lives as we move towards becoming one global human being.

I see that you also design crystal healing pendants and offer crystal healing classes. Is there a tie-in to your work as an artist and the message of your paintings?  

There is a definite correlation between crystals, the work I do, and the artist and person that I am. I have a great love and resonance for crystals and that stems from my connection with ancient cultures and the healing and messages that I receive through them. My art studio and living space sanctuary is surrounded by crystals and their potent energy supports my work daily. Living in their vibration is not only a reminder of how these crystalline beings were once a major part of spiritual ceremony and healing use, but they emanate and channel information that facilitates both my artistic and healing work. Even my new painting I’m working on will feature beautiful crystals as part of the energy needed in conveying the message. And now I am expanding my artistic abilities to the designing of unique crystal healing pendants as well. It is no coincidence that crystals are so prevalent in my life and work, given their ancient connection and the symbolism ancient cultures have in my life. The Earth’s consciousness is supporting humanity’s awakening to the re-discovery of ancient and forgotten healing arts, such as the utilization of crystals.

Reverence and use of crystals goes back to the dawning of civilization. Crystals have been connected with specific parts of the body and its organs for thousands of years and many of these connections come from traditional Western and Eastern Astrology. India’s Ayurvedic records and traditional Chinese Medicine claim healing with the use of crystals, which appear in ancient text formulas over 5,000 years old, now used in modern medical prescriptions. The Christian Bible refers to crystals over 200 times, crystalline structures have been found in the ruins of Babylonia and in the ancient Egyptian and Chinese tombs of rulers, and many of the early civilizations of the Earth (Mayan, Aztec, American Indian, African, Celtic) utilized quartz crystals in sacred ceremonies. For ages, shamans and crystal healers have been familiar with the crystals’ ability to focus light and sound vibrations into a concentrated ray for healing purposes.

I feel that each crystal contains their own “personality” and can be utilized in unique ways to assist understanding of the nature of existence on the Earth plane. They are nature’s gift to man and are found in all shapes, sizes, colors, and composition. They each have a unique vibrational resonance due to their varying mineral contents, their inherent geometry, and the color frequency they emit; hence can be powerful healing tools. I just love to be in the essence of crystal energy and to share that experience with others.

You not only paint on canvas but also have created a canvas on your body with tattoos. How does the process of tattooing mirror and/or influence your artwork? 

Tattoos have been an evolving process for me. It’s not something I ever initially intended, but unfolded as I continued on my path. I have come to see that, just as my paintings are visual stories, my body work has become a visual story of my soul’s history as well. I have recently been saying that it seems as if they symbolically represent my epitaph, so to speak, an inscription of symbolic messages that speak of my essence and the depth of my heart and soul. I very much revere the sacred process of tattooing and in no way take it lightly what I put on my body. To me, it is also a way of recapturing an ancient process that has a very spiritual symbology – again recapturing the old and infusing it with the new. Everything I have put on me has been very symbolically placed and has been intuitively guided. Nothing is arbitrary and sometimes the even deeper meaning gets revealed to me later…I just know to trust what comes to me and then the rest divinely unfolds.



Like my art, my tattoos are a profound experience of self-discovery and healing and I have seen how that healing has transcended the personal and become collective. Many people have been moved by my tattoos that would never have otherwise been drawn to such and I can see how I have helped support people’s processes through their experience of my tattoos, just as my paintings facilitate. I never intended such on a conscious level, but I do now recognize this an undeniable truth.

I also know that in many ways I may seem like a walking dichotomy, as one would probably not think I would have tattoos and that’s the beauty of the message, which transcends judgment. The specific images, writings, and symbols each hold a significance and span different ancient civilizations. My back is more my artistic canvas and my hands and inner wrists are what I like to call scriptures of communication. The way they have come about has very much been tied into my personal processes and the energy I am working with at each given point, and especially tied into the energy of the paintings I’m working on.

I am a very symbolic person. My tattoos help symbolically to open and strengthen the energy needed and so even where the images are placed on me holds significant. For example, certain tattoos are placed on each of the chakras on my back. I am intuitively guided as to when and what I have tattooed on me and have been intuitively led to the perfect artist to convey the right energy and visual needed.

Having my inner wrists and hands tattooed was relatively new, but important as I work with my hands. Whether through Reiki, painting, or simply the way I communicate and speak with my hands, it became important to me to strengthen the energy of my hands with potent symbols. All of this has not only mirrored the healing portrayed in each painting’s message, but has helped me connect and commit deeper to the work and service flowing through me.

Interestingly, the very first tattoo I got was when I started painting on canvas for the very first time. Then I broke away from painting for quite a while and the second tattoo I got was when I picked painting back up and created the pieces that first connected me with ancient civilizations and transformed the way I painted.  Depth and complexity grew with each tattoo and each painting. Then I had another break from painting and the third round of tattoos began and has continued with the unfolding In Lak’ech series. I actually had never seen that part of the connection, but wow…the tattoos HAVE actually been an important partnership and mirroring connection with my entire painting path.

What are your dreams for your art? 

I dream of continuing to create moving and healing paintings and to have them received and experienced on a much larger scale, support authors in creating beautiful and meaningful book covers that convey the heart of what they are expressing in the entirety of their book in one image, illustrate books that magically capture the author’s beautiful words, and create awe-inspiring, portal-like murals for healing centers and beyond. And lastly, to perhaps one day be a part of creating grand, live art experiences that incorporate art, sound, healing, and much more.

It is also my dream and desire to help bring the arts back into our lives in a bigger way. I support the creative arts and realize how important creation energy is to us all. I feel that not only is it healthy to express creativity in a way that is relative to the individual, but it is also important to surround ourselves in creative beauty and to honor that energy. I believe if we would honor it within ourselves more, then we’d honor it in each other and realize the mirror of it in Mother Nature and our Earth, which would change how we relate to everyone and everything around us. I am a big fan of supporting people to feel safe to express what is inside of them and to understand that creativity does not have rules.

I would love to help facilitate the understanding and channeling of that raw energy into creative outlets, which I believe inevitably would help cease some of the misdirected energy and help people connect and learn about themselves. I would also love to help people believe in their dreams again and to let their imaginations run wild and that is part of why I create the kind of art that I do and push the boundaries a little further each time. The sky’s the limit and as a dreamer I will continue to dream and revise my dreams to mirror my process.

What do you hope or intend that people receive through your art?

My main drive to create is a simultaneous desire to express my heart’s passion and to help support collective healing on a global and Universal level. To experience how my work touches people is the reason I create. I am so in gratitude and joy to see and feel through people’s experiences of how my work moves them. Not because it is mine, but moreso because of seeing how we each have the ability to positively affect so many people’s lives, simply by authentically expressing ourselves through our joys. I hope to touch people with my art in ways that are thought-provoking and facilitate their evolvement. I hope for them to receive the healing messages in their own relative way and to help bridge separation, inspire, support change, bring natural harmony and compassion into more prevalence, cultivate honor for ourselves, others, the animals, our Earth and Cosmic connection, and nurture unity.

If someone else wants to interview you or purchase artwork, what’s the best way to reach you?
I am easily reachable either by email,, or direct line, (775) 343-9244. People can also visit my website for more information about me, my work, and the vision of my heart at
Thank you, Tania, for this interview and for your generous and talented spirit. Blessings to you!

~Interviewed by Laura Bruno

ABNA Contest: Personal Anecdotes

As part of Amazon’s 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, contestants can share the story-behind-the-story of their novel’s creation … in 300 words or less. The public will only get to see the top 500 excerpts after March 16, during which time they may or may not view the novel’s background. People keep popping onto this site while searching for ABNA, so I thought I’d post my personal anecdotes here:


         Four months before starting a doctoral program in English Literature, a 1998 brain injury left me severely disabled. I lost the ability to read, along with my rational side. I needed to sleep and meditate most of the day just to keep my migraines in check. Although devastating to my intended career as an English professor, this experience awakened other parts of my brain. Synchronicity, uncanny intuition, and mythology replaced plans, logic, and a highly analytic side. Unable to read print, I learned to “read” in other ways; the world became my text. Years of art history, literary criticism, philosophy, and Biblical exegesis suddenly seemed key to navigating the “real world.” My quest for recovery also introduced me to alternative medicine and spiritual healing.

            I won a small insurance settlement — on my birthday — in 2001, but I still needed to find some way to support myself. My Seattle doctor offered me a part time job working as an Office Assistant/Medical Intuitive Consultant. I honed my Medical Intuitive skills on his clients in exchange for him teaching me his fifty-year’s worth of herbal knowledge. One herb stuck in my brain: schizandra. I researched its adaptogenic power to heal anything from asthma to impotence to hypo- and hyperthyroid. Unbidden, two characters named Schizandra and Ginger appeared, and I envisioned a family of women healers named for herbs.

SCHIZANDRA AND THE GATES OF MU revealed itself sporadically over seven years. A move to Sedona gave me the setting, and my meditation practice and Medical Intuitive/Life Coaching business provided rich fodder. Synchronicity plays such a huge role in my life that I found the fantasy elements easiest to pen. I finished writing on a key date in the novel, and ABNA’s prize date — May 22 — is my birthday!  

Related posts here and here.

ABNA Update: My Novel “Pitch”

A normal Sedona school day in 2001 unravels fast when thirteen-year-old Schizandra faints. Nothing wakes her, and mysterious symbols and messages appear when anyone tries to help. lunar eclipse has activated her astrological chart, marking Schizandra to fulfill an ancient prophecy regarding 2012 and the Mayan Calendar. If she revives, Schizandra will spark human evolution into a new age.

SCHIZANDRA AND THE GATES OF MU follows her mythic journey and the awakening that confirms her destiny. While she remains in a coma, the veil separating conscious and unconscious worlds is translucent. The lives of a superstitious helicopter pilot, a midwife grandmother, cheerleader friends, talking crystals, twin spinster reflexologists, a lovesick nerd, an erudite frog king and a raw-cacao-loving Lemurian queen all converge within Sedona’s legendary beauty and mystique. This fantasy explores the tensions between rational and spiritual, shame and freedom, death and rebirth, as all heal through their interactions with Schizandra and each other. 

Written by a professional intuitive, Reiki Master Teacher and former Sedona resident, SCHIZANDRA AND THE GATES OF MU presents a natural healing extravaganza. Most fantasies go far beyond what people can imagine in their own lives, but supernatural twists in this book spring from solid research. People want to believe in the unexplained. Each year, four million tourists visit Sedona seeking spiritual renewal; alternative medicine has become the new mainstream; even Oprah advocates higher consciousness. With series potential, this 60,000-word novel offers crossover appeal for young adults and older readers. It’s THE CELESTINE PROPHECY meets ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. The plot surprises. The dialogue flies. Its characters will especially delight teens, caregivers, mystics, misfits, literary nerds and chocoholics. To a troubled world, SCHIZANDRA AND THE GATES OF MU brings hope. 


For those of you who don’t already know about the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, it’s Amazon’s second annual writing contest for full length novels. The competition runs from February 8, 2009 when entries closed, until May 22, 2009, when the winner receives a $25,000 book contract from Penguin Books. Along the way, the field of 10,000 or so contestants gets whittled down to 2,000, then 500, then 100 and finally to 3, at which point Amazon account holders (anyone who’s ever purchased something from can vote on their choice for the winner.  For the first two levels, something known as “the pitch” plays an all-important role.  Judges will read the pitches and decide who gets to advance to a level of having an actual excerpt of the book read. Advance again, and you get your whole manuscript read and reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly. 

Because real readers get to vote on the final 3 excerpts, ABNA does run a bit like a literary American Idol. I decided to enter after a series of bizarre synchronicities, which you can read here. In any case, I’ve agreed to post occasional updates as the contest progresses.  I thought I’d share my pitch, just for fun. I’d welcome feedback from anyone who cares to comment.

(For those of you who are fans of Nestor the rabbit, she also makes a cameo appearance!) 

Synchronicity, Seattle, Schizandra and Amazon’s 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Anyone who reads this blog or knows me also knows that synchronicity plays a dramatic role in my daily life.  The “coincidences” happen so often that my hubby and I joke about the phenomenon.  When I walk into the room, T.V. characters start talking about being vegetarian, doing a cleanse or eating only raw foods–even if the plot has nothing to do with any of those topics!  You might not know some of the following stories, though, or how they relate to Amazon, so I decided to share a little background.

While recovering from my devastating 1998 brain injury, I reached a point where I had run out of funds.  I had a nasty Worker’s Comp lawsuit going on, which looked like it was going nowhere soon.  I had already sold my car to pay my rent, and I was still unable to work.  Things looked bleak. 

In the midst of this, I started getting nightly “instructions” to move to Seattle by August 1, 2001 so that I could meet my future husband.  If I didn’t move by that date, I’d miss the boat entirely!  Nevermind that my lease went until September.  Nevermind that I had no way of paying June or July’s rent, let alone making a cross-country move to a place I’d only briefly visited!  Every night I would dream of my future husband’s eyes and a long list of characteristics by which I would recognize him.

At this point, I questioned my sanity, but without a rational mind, leaps of faith somehow made more sense.  I began bargaining for signs.  “If I’m really meant to move to Seattle, then I want to be sure.  If I’m meant to go by August 1, then I need something big: huge.  I want my Worker’s Comp settlement to come through on my birthday.  If that happens, then I’ll know these instructions are for real.”

From that day forward, I started talking about “my birthday settlement.”  People would shake their heads and say, “Poor Laura, she has a brain injury! She’s totally lost touch with reality!  Laura, don’t ruin your birthday by setting yourself up for disappointment.”  No matter what they or my lawyer said, though, I couldn’t shake the idea that I’d get a Worker’s Comp settlement on my birthday.  Even when May 22, 2001’s workday came and went, I continued talking about it that night.

The following morning, my Worker’s Comp attorney woke me up with a phone call about “an interesting conversation with the insurance company late yesterday afternoon.  Out of nowhere, they’ve decided to settle for more than we even thought we could expect.  You should have the check by late July.”  Vindicated, I made plans to move to Seattle, and the check arrived on July 28, the day before my movers took off, and I flew across the country.

The first weeks in Seattle felt wonderful because of the beauty and long, sunny days.  Summer in Seattle rocks!  But towards the end of August, I started to question myself.  Just where was this mysterious husband who needed to be met in August rather than September?  Had I made up the whole thing? 

And then it happened:  on August 24th, my parents’ wedding anniversary and the day after Stephen’s birthday, we met.  He had planned to leave Seattle in September. That meeting involved a whole slew of other synchronicities, but suffice to say we connected immediately through our love of writing and literature.  I had hauled certain books all the way from Evanston, Illinois, just because something told me to keep them–even though at the time, I could not read!  Stephen told me he was writing a historical fiction novel on Marie Antoinette; the books in question were all about the French Revolution.

When Stephen learned how much I wanted to write, he did not accept my (in my mind legitimate) excuse that I could no longer read for more than 5-20 minutes per day. He just said, “So, write poetry!” I did, and when I showed him, he said, “These are definitely publishable.  If you send these out, I guarantee you’ll be published by the end of the year.”  Hello?  Who guarantees that sort of thing?  It was October! 

Did he help me find the places for submission when I complained I couldn’t read the Writer’s Market Guide to Poetry? Nope. He told me to use my intuition and just pick some places. Having a brain injury and no rational side, I thought this sounded just crazy enough to work, and guess what?  It did! In December 2001, I had two poems published by a small, but national poetry magazine.  

Stephen and I eventually got married– on my brother’s birthday in 2003.  I won an Animal Communication Essay contest and started publishing online articles and essays in literary magazines. I healed completely; he caught Lyme Disease and retired from Life Coaching; he started a photography career, and I took over his coaching business; I published If I Only Had a Brain Injury; he healed enough to start his intuitive work again.  During this time, we moved all over the Southwest and West Coast, eventually landing just north of San Francisco.

This past winter, we began talking about places to live when our lease ends.  Having both recovered from massive health crises, we also talked about life goals we still had yet to meet.  I’ve published two non-fiction books (the brain injury one and The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide).  Still, I’ve always dreamed of writing a novel.  Even when I thought I’d be an English Professor, I always envisioned myself as a novelist first. 

We talked about possibly moving back to Seattle, where we met.  At some point, I said, “I don’t care whether we move there or just visit, but I see myself in Seattle on my birthday this year.  If we’re moving, I want to be there by Summer Solstice, so either way, let’s make a trip there for my birthday.”  We didn’t give it much more thought.  Then, in a separate conversation, I said, “I really want a book contract for my novel (Schizandra and the Gates of Mu) by my birthday.  (For those who don’t know about this project, it’s The Celestine Prophecy meets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with a diverse cast of characters, including a raw cacao loving Lemurian queen.  To my knowledge, this is the first novel to discuss raw cacao and veganism in an obvious, open way. It also features Reiki, shapeshifting, reflexology, natural childbirth, astrology and other spiritual or natural healing topics.)

Back in January, I had planned two classes and a talk in Seattle, which got cancelled due to this winter’s bizarre weather there.  Because my calendar was empty, that weekend gave me the perfect concentrated time to finish the last few scenes of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.  I completed the manuscript on a very significant date in the plot, which seemed fitting for a book about synchronicities and healing.

Two weekends ago, something similar happened.  I had made plans to visit some friends (Erin and Steve Pavlina) coming in from out of town.  We were all looking forward to a great visit at Cafe Gratitude, plus hanging out in San Francisco.  Out of “nowhere,” a family crisis arose.  It wasn’t clear that I would need to do anything, but I did need to be “on call” and ready for action.  I spent most of the time I would have been visiting with friends in front of the computer, trying to figure out what to do with Schizandra: the book is done; it has a Mayan Calendar theme, and it’s meant to be a series.  How would that play into a crumbled publishing industry not wanting to take chances on new writers?  I couldn’t afford to let it sit in the slush pile for four years.  Should I self-publish my novel even though I never meant to do it that way?  Should I release it as an ebook?  These questions and others plagued me that Saturday.

The next day, I received an email from Book Surge, a self-publishing company I had just begun to research.  The email mentioned the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, with its grand prize of a $25,000 publishing contract with Penguin Books.  “Cool!”  I thought. But it got better:  the grand prize winner will be announced in Seattle on May 22, 2009–my birthday!

I got started right away.  The contest requires some pretty intense pitch-writing and other prep work, plus I still needed to edit and format my manuscript.  Starting that weekend gave me just enough time to finish all the submission requirements to enter when the contest opened on February 2, 2009.  People can enter the contest until February 8, 2009 or until they receive 10,000 entries, whichever comes first. 

Anyway, it’s a long shot with many rounds of elimination, but I’m a huge fan of synchronicity, and this would be one heckuva publishing story if it happens!  Best wishes to everyone who enters.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks to everyone whose journeys and spiritual service have helped inspire me along the way.

A Three-Day Gratitude Extravaganza: Why this was the Best Thanksgiving Ever!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

While I truly feel gratitude every day, this week has offered blessing after unbelievable blessing.  I did not know I could top last year’s Thanksgiving that featured two days of catered meals from Cafe Raw Bliss in Sedona, but wow, this has been an amazing few days for me.

It began on Tuesday, when the first of a long-promised, yet “impossible” series of blessings manifested into third dimensional reality.  I can’t share the details yet, because this first blessing links to a whole bunch of other ones, all of which must remain secret for the moment.  I promise, once all these intuitive hits come true, I will share the story.  For now, just know that receiving this particular blessing on Tuesday felt VERY good.  I can’t even describe how good it feels without giving away the rest, but it set the tone–a few months earlier than expected, too!

My husband and I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving that night instead of waiting until Thursday.  We made a last minute request for a Whole Foods Thankgsiving meal for him, and I invented an awesome new smoothie:  Acai-Mint-Blueberry-Cacao with a few other surprising ingredients.  (I’m supposed to be developing 100 original recipes for another lazy raw foodist book, so I love it when something new appears in my Vita-Mix.) 

Why didn’t I eat a big raw meal during our Tuesday celebration?  Because visionary artist Tania Marie planned to visit me on Wednesday.  She lives at Lake Tahoe but needed help loading a 150-pound crystal into her hybrid from a store in Sausalito.  She planned to pick me up, pick up the crystal and then head over to San Rafael for a pre-T-day meal at Cafe Gratitude

When Stephen and I celebrated on Tuesday, Tania and I changed plans.  She opted to stay in Sonoma County so we could have a legendary (and free) Thanksgiving feast at the new Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg.  Yes, I love living in Northern California!

Tania arrived on Tuesday morning. I had just finished crafting a scene in my novel involving two Lemurian Seed Crystals, and in retrospect, that seems like an appropriate beginning to our journey.  We headed down the 101 to the Dynamic Crystal Gallery in Sausalito/Marin City.  Wow, that place has great crystals!  Having lived in Sedona twice, I’ve seen a lot of crystals, but Seann (the owner) really selects some special ones from Brazil.  I have never seen such beautiful pieces!  I quickly selected two more treats for myself (besides a print of Air) as intended rewards for selling my novel.  Yes, I still need to complete it, but some of that falls into the above-mentioned intuitions.  It feels right to dream big.  🙂

We chatted with Seann for a long time, and he answered a few questions I had regarding details in my novel.  Then we went to the storage area to pick up Tania’s giant Lemurian.  It was heavy, but with some Jedi mind tricks, the three of us managed to load it. 😉

Seann then invited us to tour the warehouse, and Tania noticed a five-inch Lemurian for me just as Seann did.  He picked it up and announced, “This one wants to go home with you.  Here’s a gift for helping load.”  Wow!  Knowing what I know of crystals, this represented quite a gift.  I have one Lemurian, but the novel scene includes two.  Just that morning I had secretly longed for a second one. 

After Seann handed it to me, Tania said, “When I saw that crystal, I thought, ‘That one’s going home with Laura.'”  Seann gave Tania a similarly sized Lemurian, so we now have twins.  We visited a while longer, then made our way to Cafe Gratitude in San Rafael.

Anyone who knows me knows I especially love Cafe Gratitude, but rarely do I go there with someone who can pack away as much food as I can.  Apparently, Tania and I have twin bellies as well as twin Lemurians.  We ate so much that our waiter started looking for said bellies.  When we ordered three desserts, he corrected us, assuming we meant I AM JOY (like almond joy candy bars) for one of us and I AM PERFECT (pecan pie) for the other.  Um, no!!!  We were both JOY and we wanted to split perfection. 

We giggled about the waiter’s difficulty believing that two 100-pound pixies could eat so much.  Tania mischievously decided to order more snacks for later.  By the time we finished all our desserts and picked up the to-go food, our waiter’s jaw had dropped.  We felt really full and really blessed. 

But the universe hadn’t finished with us yet.  As a San Francisco Raw Food Potluck member, I received a 10% discount on the entire check.  At the cash register, I happened to notice some Vitamineral Green for less than half the cost I expected to pay.  Nice!  Having just used the last of my acai in my Thanksgiving smoothie invention, I bought the VG and some Gratitude Acai powder:  no need for online orders after all.

Too much traffic headed towards the 101 encouraged us to stop at Open Secret Bookstore in San Rafael.  We just browsed, but it sure beat a stand-still Bay Area holiday rush hour.  When we got back to Sonoma County, I played with Tania’s turtle, Gaia for awhile, wrote another novel scene and hit the sack. 

I had a funny feeling Cafe Gratitude might run out of food the next day, so we decided to arrive early. REALLY early.  We got there before the doors opened and soon claimed our seats at the giant wooden farm tables. We did not know what to expect but found ourselves delighted on all levels!  

Everything they served us was raw, organic and vegan.  We began with warm apple cider, quickly followed by warm chai-apple cider:  both exquisite.  Then our servers brought a basket of assorted crackers.  They tasted so good, we might have felt satisfied with just those and our cozy drinks.


By this time, more people started to arrive, so the staff asked us all to consolidate at the larger tables.  A sweet couple (Jeff and Rita) from Santa Rosa ended up sitting beside us.  Although we just met this morning, we talked with them the entire time like old friends. 


When our food arrived, it looked like a traditional Thanksgiving meal:  cauilflower mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, a slice of “turkey loaf,” stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a green salad, along with a refill of crackers.  The warm potatoes made me smile, and the rest of the food tasted amazing.


For dessert, they offered mocha or vanilla ice cream.  We somehow wound up with both flavors for each of us!  Mmmmm, we love raw ice cream. Synchronously receiving not just one but two scoops each–wow! 


As I took my last bite of vanilla ice cream, I noticed some friends pull up outside.  About eight people from the Petaluma Raw Food potluck had decided to meet there at 12:30.  (Due to my intuition about them running out of food, we had planned to meet them there after we had eaten.)  Tania and I ordered a Yerba mate and visited with them for another hour. 


The feast food did disappear around 12:30, but Cafe Gratitude accommodated my potluck friends with items from their regular menu.  Tania and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The food, the company, the chance to express our gratitude for this abundant life, the one-minute of sustained group laughter:  a Thanksgiving we won’t ever forget.  I would have gladly paid $50-100 for such an experience, but Cafe Gratitude offers this feast each year as a gift to the community.  They don’t even turn on their cash registers.


Afterwards, I celebrated again with my wonderful hubby, who considered his Whole Foods holiday pack among the best feasts he’s ever enjoyed, too.  We finished our evening early enough for us to spend more time on our creative pursuits:  my novel and his photography.  “My cup overflowethed” so much, though, that I needed to write this post before I could return to fiction.


Many, many blessings to each of you!  I wish you all the abundance of the moment and thousands of little surprises along your journey. 


I AM GRATEFUL.  Wow, what a wonderful life!




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My Novel

Hey Folks,

I’m on a mad dash to finish my novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu by the end of this year.  Crazy? Yeah, but not necessarily impossible.  I wrote The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide in three weeks!  You might notice less frequent blog posts, though.  Since I continue expanding my coaching and intuitive sessions, something needs to give.

I’ll let you know when I come up for air!

Many Blessings,


Flushing out the Bush Administration: Human Evolution, Raw Food, and B-12

With the world celebrating Barack Obama’s victory and a return of integrity to “The American Dream,” many people around the globe have moved from hope to belief that we are, in fact, in process of a major transition.  Indeed, the tides have begun to turn, and after the full moon on November 12, we should feel much more fully ensconced in a new world. 

I synchronously (and unintentionally) celebrated this change with Hulda Clark’s Liver Cleanse.  For those of you unfamiliar with this particular cleanse, you can find instructions and more information by clicking here.  I’ve done Hulda Clark’s cleanse twice before—once in 2006 just prior to the official start of my past life readings, and once in 2007 at the end of a 10-day juice fast that led us to move from Sedona to Sonoma County.  Both times felt potent and transformative, so I looked forward to another round this Fall.  The cleanse requires 2 days, one for fasting (or at least fat free eating) and the other for, er, releasing!  You need a bathroom nearby on Day 2 because you’ll be using it.  A lot. 

Believe it or not, July through November of 2008 remained so intense for so many people that four months had not generated the required two free days in a row for me.  A client, friend or loved one always seemed to need my emergency attention on one or more of my planned days off. The two consecutive free days finally appeared on November 4-5, and I felt so excited that I failed even to notice the dates’ significance until mid-cleanse.  After juice fasting on election Tuesday, I went to Whole Foods with my neighbor Cecilia.  At 8 p.m., I chugged Round Two of the Epsom salt/water mixture from a mason jar in the freezer aisle, hoping no one would notice my grimace.  Whew, that’s a bitter brew! 

While I stood at the check-out counter, a Whole Foods bagger danced down the aisle holding his Blackberry.  He proudly proclaimed, “It’s official!  Barack Obama won!  I just saw it online.”  “Really?” we all asked.  “So soon?  Is it real?”  People seemed tentative in their celebrations, but the general vibe changed to one of anticipation with hints of relief. 

When Cecilia had picked me up for our Whole Foods jaunt, I had been mid-email telling a friend about my liver cleanse and how it would clear residue from the super-intense work I’d facilitated for others during the last few months.  When I got home, I sat down to finish the email, but my hubby immediately called me over to hear McCain’s concession speech.  And then it hit me. 

The next day’s purge would represent even more than I’d intended.  All that bile, all those green and grey calcified stones flushing out of my system: anger, dashed hopes, congealed disappointment at the dimming of America’s light over the past seven years.  I could flush it all out fast and furiously with the help of good ole’ Hulda Clark!  And so I did.  Wednesday afternoon, some three hundred stones lighter, I could smile and relax into this new era.

I have a fair number of UK clients and friends, some of whom emailed or phoned me their congratulations, love and renewed hope.  People in Obama, Japan went wild with parties and hula dancers, and Barack Obama’s Kenyan hometown proclaimed an official holiday in his honor.  From France to South Africa to San Francisco, people rejoiced in both literal and symbolic change.  In one night, an undercurrent of fear and cynicism let loose an outpouring of love, and people have come closer to believing that maybe, just maybe this time we’ll “get it right.”  Whatever that means. 

As a planet, we’ve been here before.  Opportunities recycle.  Again and again we’ve heard about “the end times,” and yet somehow we’re still here.  Again and again we’ve heard that “the time is now,” and yet time seems to keep ticking away the same as ever. 

It’s actually ticking a lot faster now, as evidenced by the speed of thoughts, communication, travel and transmutation.  More and more people have begun to explore key factors in the evolution of our species.  Just look at things like stem cell research, telepathy (or pseudo telepathy via means like Twitter), the increased interest in raw foods, juice feasting, yoga, Reiki and meditation.  Like ‘em or not, these concepts have become increasingly mainstream.    

In the last two years, I’ve done hundreds of past life readings, and of all the periods that pop up, I’m most reminded now of the last days of Atlantis.  Please note that until I participated in so many healings related to information from Atlantis, I really didn’t believe in its existence.  Sure, it seemed remotely possible, but for a long time, I only spoke of Atlantis in context of fiction.  Certain themes continued to arise iin readings, though, and over the years, they have created a consistent picture of a society quite similar to our own: 

A world on the cusp of scientific discoveries that could alter life as we know it, for good or ill.  A world riddled with wars at the same time individuals had begun to open their hearts in unprecedented ways.  A world in which concern for the greater good had finally begun to surpass embedded racism.  A world that had nearly maxed out its current energy sources at the same time government, financial and religious institutions had revealed their inherent inadequacies.  A world of paradox:  one that faced a great deal of darkness, which encouraged people to reach inside and let their light so shine. 

Like today, DNA experiments occupied much scientific and spiritual attention in Atlantis.  I don’t claim to know all the details of either time period, but I do sense that in Atlantis, the overarching love and light seemed promising in spite of fear and anger.  Science had begun to validate spiritual ideas, and people looked forward to new worlds of possibility.  But a few details escaped our notice, and those tiny blips turned out to be important.  Vital.  By the time we realized the damage, our window of opportunity had closed.  The rest is (ancient) history.

In 2008, we hear stories about people overcoming cancer, morbid obesity, diabetes and heart disease (our biggest killers) by embracing a raw foods diet.  Within the past month, Philip McCluskey appeared on The Doctors, Ani Phyo on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, and Cherie Soria on View from the Bay. Angela Stoke’s CNN feature became their top health clip of the entire year!  We see photographs of amazing transformations, and blogs about inspirational healing.  Raw foodists glow, embodying in many ways a radically strong, harmonious, and radiant human potential. 

Our species currently has two active strands of DNA, and many spiritual leaders posit that the other ten strands are in process of awakening.  If, by some stretch of our collective imagination, we really are evolving as a species, then raw food seems like a possible key to our Ascension. Certainly not the only key, but the raw food diet can and does open doors that normally stay shut.  

I write today not as a medical doctor, but as a medical intuitive and past life reader; however, I will let a doctor speak for me as well.  For all its glory, the raw vegan diet has a seemingly small weak link:  B-12 and/or folic acid deficiency.  For details, please read this entire article by Dr. Gabriel Cousens.  He bases his assertions on findings from multiple medical studies using foods with supposedly viable sources of B-12.  Here are some highlights of the article:

“Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live food people of all ages and sexes have a much higher risk of becoming B-12 deficient.”

“Up until this time, many of us have felt that additional supplementation for live fooders with sea vegetables or probiotic formulas was sufficient for protection against B-12 deficiency. This does not seem to be the case.”

“Many of us have felt that spirulina, Klamath Lake Algae, all the
sea vegetables had enough active B-12 to avoid a B-12 deficiency.
Although the research is not fully in, we do know that, as I pointed out in Conscious Eating, these substances do have human active B-12. The problem is they also have a significant amount of analog B-12 that competes with the human active B-12.”

The research conclusion is that: it is a reasonably safe bet that about 80% of the vegan and live food population, over time, runs the risk of a subclinical or clinical B-12 deficiency and increased homocysteine levels.”

“It is my medical opinion, as a vegan since 1973 and live fooder since 1983, and as a person committed to supporting all those who choose to become healthy live food vegans, that it would be wise to incorporate some B-12 supplementation in your diet. I believe it is more natural to be healthy than it is to be anything less than that.”

(Again, you can find the full article by Dr. Gabriel Cousens here.)

Given the role of B-12 and folic acid in DNA formation, longevity – -high homocysteine levels can cause heart attacks/strokes in young and otherwise healthy people – -, neurology, mental health, and energy, and given the tendency to poo-poo B-12 supplements, this is one detail that could potentially topple an otherwise beautiful, transformative movement.  When I have clients request B-12 tests from their doctors, those tests have always come back low.  I have one vegan friend who caught her B-12 deficiency just in time: her high blood pressure had threatened to give her a stroke in her mid-thirties! I’ve known others whose children failed to thrive, or who, as adults became suddenly and inexplicably disabled only to find B-12 deficiency the culprit.  Shazzie caught a tremendous amount of both hate and love mail earlier this year for her article about the need to supplement raw vegan children with, among other things, B-12. 

With a new American president and billions of hopeful hearts, 21st century humans have so many bright things coming our way … but B-12 matters!  It matters to our individual health, it matters to our DNA, and it matters for this planet if we want to begin living in harmony with a raw vegan diet.  We can’t afford an “extreme health lifestyle” that produces untimely deaths, emotional disturbance, failure to thrive and/or permanent neurological damage.  An Achilles heel of the raw food diet, B-12 deficiency has such a simple remedy.  Sublingual supplements or B-12 patches effectively remove the risk with minimally invasive methods. If raw food represents a key to human evolution, then don’t we owe it to ourselves and our world to give it our very best shot?

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