|Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy||Grace Notes: Reflections on the Harp and Healing|
Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy is Tami Briggs’ newest book.
It is an inspirational, uplifting book featuring 31 gifted healers from around the world. They share their stories of empowerment, wisdom, and life learning; it is a “must read” if you are interested in the power and resiliency of the human spirit.
These women, from all walks of life, are doing extraordinary things to help make our world a better place. They are authors, artists, consultants, nurses, educators, leaders and therapists. From Nebraska to the Netherlands, India to Iran, and Serbia to South Carolina (and many other U.S. states), they are pioneers – powerful, spiritual and spirited.
As they reflect on and share their journeys of healing, they model taking risks, beating the odds, being of great service, making significant differences in the world, and living their passions. You will find these 31 vibrant women remarkable – both men and women have much to learn from them!
They epitomize community and a strong support network, as they teach us about connecting – to our own hearts and to each other. They hold nothing back as they leave their beautiful legacies and exemplify this for you. They have found their “voices of vibrancy” and they invite you to do the same … it is time!
A CD of Tami’s solo harp compositions is included so you can relax as you read the book.
- Playlist: Women as Healers enclosed CD
- Women as Healers Table of Contents
- Readers’ responses to Women as Healers
- Read excerpts from Women as Healers
- Click herefor a new program offering centered around the Women as Healers book
Playlist: Women as Healers
Inspired by Love (5:39) – LISTEN
Red Roses (3:19) – LISTEN
Soul’s Longing (3:53) – LISTEN
Angelic Whispers (7:40) – LISTEN
Remembering You (5:14) – LISTEN
Reflections (6:32) -LISTEN
All Rights Reserved; Unauthorized Publication Prohibited by Law.
Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy
For wholesale pricing, contact Tami Briggs.
Table of Contents
|Introduction – Women as Healers||Tami Briggs|
|A Spiritual Awakening in Nursing||Jan Erlenbaugh Gaddis|
|The Sacred Wheel of Peace® … A Place to Begin||Eleanor Wiley|
|Dementia Care – A Journey from Pain to Passion||Judy Berry|
|Heart-Shaped Healing||Connie Fenty|
|Abide with Me||Linda Rock|
|Every Ending has a Beginning||Janie Delaney|
|Cooking up a Cure for Breast Cancer||Andrea Romeiser|
|It’s All About Love||Melinda Graham|
|Healing … the Most Natural Thing on Earth||Carien Everwijn|
|Answering the Door When Death Delivered an Opportunity||Ann Leach|
|The Worst and Best Week of My Life||Jean Morrison|
|From Paper Nursing Cap to Gold Tassel Mortar Board||Jamie Spikes|
|Stages of Life||Marea Bishop|
|Community is a Precious Gift||Mary Leuci|
|Wisdom Comes in Small Packages||Barb Schommer|
|A Chinese Lesson in Global Healing||Mary Beth Lamb|
|Here Comes That Negro Doctor!||Shashi Sharma|
|Love within Life||Connie Nelson Ahlberg|
|Three Angels on a T-Shirt||Cindy Bultena|
|Beauty with a Purpose||Kay Casperson|
|Keeping the Watch: the Life of a Hospital Chaplain||Helen O’Brien|
|Living in My Full Power||Marlou Elsen|
|The Green Robe||Mary Gish|
|The Noble Face of Caregiving||Kari Berit|
|Thriving, Not Just Surviving, in Corporate America||Mary Beth Schommer|
|Lavender and Daisies||Cathi Lammert|
|From Obedient Employee to Empowered Entrepreneur||Vera Knezevic|
|Project M: Daring to Dream … Making it Happen!||Jackie Levin|
|A Journey of Gratitude||Barb Schroeder|
|A Faith Break||Rusty McDermott|
|Daughter of Royalty||Kian Dwyer|
|Conclusion – Voices of Vibrancy||Tami Briggs|
What readers of Women as Healers have said…
“Tami Briggs has compiled a moving, thoughtful and touching series of portraits of women who have given their lives to caring for and healing others. Through their own voices, each contributor to Women as Healers recounts a special story about her personal journey as a caregiver. As I read about each of the women I laughed with them, cried with them and wished I had the opportunity to meet each and everyone of them.”
“Without any doubt, this is a very special and unique book that should be on all of our must-read lists.”
“Each of these women has expressed beautifully their healing journeys. It gave me ideas on how to live my passion.”
“This is such an inspirational book and each story is so profound. Thank you for sharing it with the world – it is just what we need at this time.”
“I knew there were women out there who have accomplished wonderful things in the face of adversity, but I had never met one. I am thrilled to read Women as Healers and get to know some of the stories.”
“After reading a couple of the stories in Women as Healers, I felt encouraged to try to re-connect with a voice student of mine from 15 years ago … I found her via Facebook and I was thrilled to find out that she has used her music in healing ways. I am so grateful for having read this book.”
“Please tell the editor that her book is touching and encouraging women, offering hope and direction, and giving them a sense of purpose.”
Excerpts from Women as Healers:
Jackie Levin from Minneapolis, MN
I was on the bus from San Francisco heading north to Sebastopol, California, to the third of four retreats for the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Co-Active Leadership Program. I was intently reading the assignment sheet describing the requirement for our final project.
“Look into the space of your community and your life and ask, “What’s missing? What is it that your heart cries out to contribute? What is the difference that you have been longing to make, the thing that you have been tolerating in the world?”
My heart fluttered as I realized my tentative plan was not “right.” I sighed, asking myself, “Now what?” My soul answered: “Jackie, you are here to help mentor the spirit and capability of African American boys.” Time … and my body … froze as I processed once again the whisper that came from somewhere deep inside. A flash of a second later I heard another voice (the “Hater”) and felt a foreboding presence that shouted: “Who do you think you are? YOU, a middle-aged, middle class white woman, have no right or ability to do this! You have absolutely no experience with urban youth. You are crazy to even imagine it!”
I felt paralyzed and breathless, yet a moment later I somehow, somewhere found the courage to stand strong and hear my truth:
“I am a visionary, a possibility thinker and a champion of the human spirit. That I know! That I can trust no matter what the circumstance!”
Deep down, I knew that healing comes when we are clear about who we are and can give our gifts freely. In that space, I connected with my calling, my soul’s work, and life purpose: To be who I am and do what I love in the place I belong. I realized that part of my journey was to inspire others to do the same. During that third Leadership retreat, I created a vision for my final project – Project M.
Marlou Elsen from the Netherlands
“I lived the life that my mother lived and her mother lived.
Men made all the decisions.
We women counted for nothing.
No one ever called me by name.
I had been a daughter, a sister, a wife.
If someone came to the door and the men were away I said:
Nobody is home.”
This quote by a woman in India is a huge inspiration to me on how I want to live in my full power, including being involved in meaningful work where I make a difference.
At one point in my childhood in the Netherlands, I lived at a Catholic boarding school led by nuns. My father was the mayor in my home village. As a child, outside my home and at the boarding school, I was the daughter of the mayor, not “Marlou.” I was rebellious and searched for ways to follow my destiny instead of following the rules and regulations.
My mother has been an example and a model for me. When she was young, she could not attend high school; her father did not permit her to go because only boys were allowed to go to that school. She was meant to live her life as wife and mother. But that was not enough for her, so she studied at a later age. Eventually – married to my father and the mother of four children – she broke the social codes and accepted a job as a social worker.
The boarding school I attended was for girls only. The school system made me feel insecure, and I was unaware of my own potential. It took me a long time to realize I was smart!
Andrea Romeiser from the Ozarks, Missouri
What a journey this cancer experience has been! In total, I had 10 surgeries in 2 + years. During that time, I also experienced the loss of all my grandparents, my father’s heart attack and two strokes, and marriage counseling. Best of all, since my diagnosis, I have celebrated each daughter’s birthday six more times.
I was cured of cancer when all of it was finally removed, but I continue to heal. I have lost several friends to cancer and have more friends with a new diagnosis of cancer. One in three people will be affected by some type of cancer.
For this reason, I have been involved with Relay for Life (www.cancer.org). The Relay for Life celebrates those who have won the fight, remembers those who have lost the fight, and energizes us all to continue to fight back for our children’s future. The goal is that someday we will no longer have the word “cancer” in our vocabulary!
I helped initiate a Relay in my small hometown/county in rural Kansas (Rush County, population 3,600). We hold the 12-hour event from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (this timing symbolizes the long night of the cancer journey). Teams “hold vigil” around-the-clock and around the track with 3,500 luminaries lighting the path in honor and in memory of those who have fought the fight against cancer. In 2008, Rush County was #10 in the United States in money raised per capita. In June 2009, we raised almost $69,000; this is $15,650 more than in 2008! This is an example of the wonderful support and great love I have felt from this community. While small in population, Rush County is mighty in the fight against cancer!
Connie Fenty from Philadelphia, PA
The lives of Nancy and Arlene, though brief and troubled, became an inspiration for Carol to create a Healing Garden at the Bucks County Women’s Recovery Center. The center is a residential facility providing services and housing for women who are committed to turning away from drugs and alcohol. While Nancy and Arlene had been residents there, Carol had grown fond of them and was saddened to hear that each had succumbed to their disease of addiction after leaving the safe shelter of the center.
Carol felt it was important to have a caring tribute present for the two women who struggled unsuccessfully to stay on the path of sobriety. She remembered that each had had a passion. One was an avid gardener and the other one had a walking practice. Carol decided that a labyrinth would be a perfect memorial to them, as well as providing a meditative and healing pathway for the center’s current residents.
At our first meeting, Carol and the residents decided the pattern best suited to their purposes was that of the Heart-Shaped Healing Labyrinth. On a Saturday morning a few weeks later, we had a busy workday and completed a template of the labyrinth by attaching rope to the ground with roofing nails, a sort of acupuncture for the earth. Pride was evident in the faces of the residents whose hands-on involvement had cooperatively created the special sacred space.
Collective awe was present as we ceremonially opened the labyrinth and were led in by the senior resident caring a candle. The newest resident entered last carrying a Twelve Step book and reading from it when all had gathered in the center. Tears flowed when one of us noted that we totaled 12 women standing there in the middle of the concentric hearts of the labyrinth.
Those courageous women, each committed to healing her life, continued to work together during the next weeks to replace the rope lines with bricks and add plants, hand-made tiles, and sitting benches to their garden. They finished just in time for a public dedication.
On a cool and breezy summer evening, over 40 people attended the event and walked the labyrinth. It was a tribute to its creators. When it was time to go, I was about to blow out the candle at the entrance in its crystal holder when I noticed there were two flames inside glowing side by side.
As we viewed what appeared to be a miracle, I heard Carol state from a deep well of knowing, “Nancy and Arlene are at peace.”
Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy
For wholesale pricing, contact Tami Briggs.
Grace Notes: Reflections on the Harp and Healing is a book about Tami Briggs’ most profound and deeply spiritual experiences playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. Having facilitated and witnessed hundreds of harp therapy “treatments,” Tami’s anecdotal stories illustrate many dramatic accounts of using harp music as a complementary care modality.
An inspirational journey into the world of comfort care, this book poignantly tells of the harp’s healing properties. As the population ages and health care changes, Ms. Briggs offers creative ideas on how the harp and therapeutic music can change the medical environment, specifically how we experience illness and death. She weaves her personal experiences and clinical training together to:
Define harp therapy.
Explain the harp’s unique healing qualities.
Discuss research on the effectiveness of music and its benefits.
Show how music triggers memories and elicits emotional responses.
Suggest musical applications to optimize your well-being.
Describe how the harp can be used to create sacred space, facilitating a healing experience.
Detail how the harp can bring intimacy, depth, and tenderness to the sacred experience of dying.
An enclosed CD highlights the music referred to throughout Grace Notes.
Playlist: Grace Notes enclosed CD
Grace Notes Table of Contents
Readers’ responses to Grace Notes
Read excerpts from Grace Notes
Playlist: Grace Notes – All selections are harp solo, unless otherwise indicated
The Gifts (2:46) – LISTEN
Dream Waves (9:05) – LISTEN
* Copyright Permission Granted; All Rights Reserved; Unauthorized Publication Prohibited by Law.
For wholesale pricing, contact Tami Briggs.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1: Harp Therapy||F. Waiting/Boredom|
|A. Inclusive Attention||G. Hope|
|B. Entrainment||H. Fear|
|C. Pain Distraction||I. Grief|
|D. Individualized Attention||J. Family Memories|
|K. The Gift of Family|
|Chapter 2: The Harp’s Attributes|
|A. Vibrations||Chapter 6: Spirituality|
|B. Penetration||A. Angels|
|C. Relaxation||B. Ritual|
|D. Comfort||C. Magic|
|E. Beauty||D. Connections|
|Chapter 3: The Art and Science||F. Meditation|
|A. Vital Signs||G. Prayer|
|B. Health Care Staff and Professionals||H. Sacred Space|
|Chapter 4: Music and Wellness||Chapter 7: Death and Dying|
|A. Healing||A. Perinatal Bereavement|
|B. Wholeness||B. Transitioning|
|Chapter 5: Music and Emotions||D. Saying Good-Bye|
|A. Love||E. “Going Home”|
What readers of Grace Notes have said…
“I have had many people read parts or all of your book and they are all touched, too. It is so well put together – the chapters, the quotes, the symbolism in the pictures … BRAVO!!”
“I just finished your magnificent book, and wanted to write to say “Job well done!” I am so impressed how you have vastly spread harp therapy around the country, and your belief and dedication to this important work.”
“Thank you for your beautiful book, Grace Notes. Ever since my daughter was born I have read to her every night as she falls asleep. Reading your book out loud to her was a special experience. It is a beautiful book and your stories are so touching. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. What a gift! The enclosed CD is amazing, too.”
“I wanted to write you a short note to thank you for writing your beautiful book, Grace Notes. You mentioned that the vibration of the harp with a patient was a help to release their deep feelings. Music therapy certainly has a place in medicine.”
Excerpts from Grace Notes:
Denise (from Chapter 3: The Art of and Science) — Denise was a 25-year-old woman in a coma from attempting suicide with an overdose of anti-depressant drugs. As I set up my harp, Denise’s nurse moved beside her and tried to get her to wake up. Denise’s lack of response was typical of her two-week hospital stay. I began playing and the tension began slightly melting out of the room. After 15 minutes of playing, Denise lifted her head off the pillow and turned it toward the music. Further, the nurse commented that her vital signs had improved: her heart rate decreased from 78 to 69. Denise’s mother said, “This is the only positive sign we have seen since she was admitted to the hospital.”
Melissa (from Chapter 5: Music and Emotions) — Melissa was 28 years old. She had brain cancer and the cancer had spread so much, the doctors could no longer operate. As I walked onto the surgical intensive care unit, her dad informed me the medical staff were going to withdraw her from the ventilator later that afternoon. I set up my instrument and began playing softly. Something beautiful was happening in the room. There was an incredible feeling of love — love coming from every person, spreading into every part of the room. Instinctively, those present knew to support and care and attend to each other and to Melissa at this most painful, yet beautiful, time.
About 15 minutes later, Melissa’s husband came into the love-filled room. He was visibly touched by the beautiful feeling. He buried his face in Melissa’s pillow and almost crawled into bed with her as he, too, said good-bye. Through my own tears, I continued to play. Melissa looked relaxed, calm, peaceful, content. She was filled with love and radiated “all is well with me.” Everything (medicine, prayers, speaking and touching) that could be done had been done. Music was the final gift, perhaps touching her where nothing else could and giving her family comfort seeing her in such peace and love during her last minutes. The music softened the environment and helped create a sacred space where love, in its most beautiful earthly form, was present.
Gladys (from Chapter 6: Spirituality) — Gladys had made a miraculous recovery and had progressed enough to be transferred from intensive care to a rehabilitation hospital. As I set up my harp, Gladys said, “I don’t deserve this, but nevertheless, I am going to thoroughly enjoy it!” I encouraged her to relax and just go into the music and allow it to take her wherever she needed to go.
As soon as I started playing, Gladys laid down and shut her eyes. A gentle smile formed on her lips as she carefully removed her oxygen line. In her own way, she was making a statement: “I do not want to be encumbered while I have this experience.” A few minutes later, she lifted her hands and they began gently swaying in the air to the beat of the music. And the longer I played, the bigger her hand movements became, until her arms and hands were making huge, sweeping motions. It was as if her whole body was dancing through her arms and hands. The circle of connection was between the rhythm of the music and the beautiful movement of her arms and hands flowing through the air. I sensed she was on a different “plane,” taking a spiritual journey.
As the time neared to end this session, I slowed and quieted the music, leaving long moments of silence between songs. Gladys’s movements became smaller until they diminished; she lay very still. Eventually, the room was perfectly silent. After a long pause, she said softly, “I just saw God. And I saw angels.”
Sarah (from Chapter 7: Death and Dying) – Sarah was dying of breast cancer. Two friends, a hospice nurse, and a cat joined Sarah for her farewell concert. Sarah was alert yet relaxed while I played.
Sometimes the harp accesses people’s deep, deep emotions, as it would in this situation. Sarah’s two friends, who were emotionally close to Sarah, took this opportunity to tell her what she had meant to them. One of her friends said, “You have been such a fighter and you came so close to winning your battle, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now, I am struggling with the finality. I will miss you so much my dear, dear friend.” She enveloped Sarah in a hug and both were heaving with sobs. The music was taking them to their deepest wound of grief and sorrow; it was a time for one final connection.
About 30 minutes later, as if to say “we have had enough heaviness,” the other friend started reminiscing about some of her lighter, fun-filled times with Sarah. All of the sudden, they realized they had just gone from the depths of their sorrow to laughing hysterically. They giggled like young school girls and laughed until they were in tears again! Finally, she said, “Sarah, you obviously have brought so much joy and laughter, too. You have touched many people, including me. I will miss you forever, but I know you will guide me with your spirit; I will listen for you. Thank you for your wonderful gift of friendship. I love you.”
For wholesale pricing, contact Tami Briggs.