Tag Archives: wellness

Live Your Medicine

Lisa Pillar Point FB profile reverse warrior The Native American tradition speaks of each person's Original Medicine - that set of gifts that only you can offer the world with your particular life. I've always felt there was such a finality to the phrase "Original Medicine" - like I had to define the one thing I was here to do, or it would be lost forever. No pressure! This feeling would ignite the achiever in me, who would scramble to come up with a name, a brand, a package, a business, something very "put-together" that would create an image of how well I knew my Life's Purpose. I've been doing some version of that for most of my life. But recently I've begun to discover a process I find much more alive, much more healing, much more in alignment with my own sense of unconditional wholeness. I call it "Live Your Medicine." It is the practice of asking, "What time is it now, for me?". It involves listening for what holds the most fear for me in this moment. And then summoning the courage to take action toward that in one small way. Again and again, revisiting and refreshing with each present moment. Continue reading

Beyond Knowing: Many Paths to the Present Moment

Oceanside Retreat with Dr. Lisa Chu

Supertide

A note from Lisa:

Lisa beach portrait PhotoshopedWalking the path of creativity - shining the light on how you can create the life you truly desire - is the work I am honored to do with my life coaching clients. I have found that there are many dimensions to this work, many layers to explore as we cultivate the courage to walk again and again through the doorway of Not Knowing and into the realm of joy.

While conversation is the centerpiece of the coaching relationship, I cannot help but notice that my work with clients feels incomplete without including the body, the soul, and the mind together in one place, as one unified expression of harmony. I have longed for a way to bring together and share the many elements and practices that have truly supported my journey of discovering that each of us is an artist - yes, that means you, too. Your art is your particular life, and you are here to weave together the many strands that keep arriving in your experience to create the life that only you can live.

This retreat is my offering to you, my clients and those who are curious about experiencing, in three-dimensional reality, this magical realm I call "Beyond Knowing".

I welcome you to my home, and there I will invite you to come home to yourself. To experience casual comfort, peace, freedom, intimate connection to yourself + nature + others, awe, and wonder. To discover a new kind of luxury - the luxury of being YOU.

The intention

You will take home from this retreat:
  • at least 5 new ideas for starting your day differently....to infuse qualities of inspiration and vision into each day, from the first moment you wake up
  • a list of potent self-care practices you discover for yourself...how to spend "down-time" in a way that rejuvenates, nourishes, and allows your SoulBodyMind the space it requires for wholeness
  • writing prompts and exercises to reconnect you rapidly with the truth of the present moment
  • ARTifacts of your own creation that will remind you of your inner vision and true nature
  • whole body experience and tools to begin practicing present moment awareness in your daily life
  • powerful, simple self-coaching methods to release old stories fearlessly and stand compassionately in the gift of "now"
  • engagement with the natural world as your teacher, and concrete ways to bring this into your daily life

When

Friday, November 1, 2013 through Sunday, November 3, 2013 (Begin at 3pm Friday; end at noon on Sunday)

Where

Half Moon Bay, California – our epicenter will be my home, just fifty steps from the beach.

Beach with clouds

Yes, this is the beach, just fifty steps from my front door. We will be working here.

House

This is my house. We will be gathering here also.

We will be working both indoors and in various outdoor locations for our activities. All of the photos on this page are locations in Half Moon Bay, and many of them will serve as the powerful teachers and messengers for our work together. Details on our starting location will be provided when you register.

Sample Activities

Enchanted Forest Miramar

Creating a sacred circle of support Stillness and silence Movement and sound Reflection and self-expression (writing, speaking, art-making) Deep listening and sound healing Walking and sitting in natural outdoor spaces Mindful eating Individual and group engagement Rest and play

Sample Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, November 1, 2013
3pm to 5pm Opening Session

Casting the sacred circle of support

Setting intentions for the weekend

Evening on your own

Fitzgerald cypress grove

One of several enchanted forests in Half Moon Bay.

Saturday, November 2, 2013
*optional 6:30am Beach meditation *optional 7:00am-7:45am Breath and energy work on the beach Breakfast on your own 9:00am to 12:00pm Morning Session

Inward reflection and grounding of the circle

Activities will include reflection, some form of expression, and sharing of experience

Lunch provided (organic, locally sourced) 1:30pm to 4:30pm Afternoon Session

Playful exploration of nature, the body’s expressions, and enlivening the senses

Practices to engage with the doorway of Not Knowing

Farm-to-Table Dinner provided Evening – New Moon Ceremony Sunset Pillar Point 3.25.12
Sunday, November 3, 2013
*optional 7:30am Meditation *optional 8:00am – 8:45am Breath and energy work at the beach 10:00am to 12:00pm Closing Session

Holding intentions and dreams from this weekend

Completing and closing of the circle

How to Register

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Full payment of $550 is due at the time of registration. The price above includes the Retreat experience, and lunch and dinner on Saturday. Price does not include airfare, lodging, ground transportation, or other meals. Retreat is limited to six participants.

Policies

Because of the small size of the Retreat, and because travel arrangements are necessary for most participants, there will be no refunds once you have made the commitment to attend. If you must cancel for an emergency, your fee (minus the non-refundable deposit) may be applied to a future coaching package. You may gift or sell your seat to another participant, but please be sure to let me know if you do this. Thank you for your understanding regarding this policy. Contact me directly with any questions you have.

Lodging

There is a full range of accommodation options in Half Moon Bay, from ocean blufftop camping at the Francis Beach State Park Campground, to the inexpensive and casual Montara Lighthouse Hostel (in one of the most beautiful, peaceful locations on our coastside), to many local bed-and-breakfast inns such as the Cypress Inn Miramar Beach (within walking distance of my house), to the upscale Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.101_5808 Contact me if you would like a list of recommendations.

Transportation

The nearest airport is San Francisco International (SFO), which is 40 minutes by car. You will need a car to get around Half Moon Bay. Contact me if you would like to arrange carpooling or ridesharing with other Retreat participants.

Who Should Attend

I dreamed and designed this Retreat with the intention of serving those who resonate with my life coaching work. I wish to offer a more “three-dimensional” experience, one which brings together the Soul, Body, and Mind into one – the SoulBodyMind experience. The activities we will share during the Retreat represent the best practices I know for tasting this experience of harmony and presence, the originating energy of healing, transformation, and creativity. 101_5812

What You Will Receive

This is of course up to you! My intention is for this weekend to be a natural extension of having coached with me and explored the areas of self-care, creativity, walking into the territory of the unknown, finding courage, and learning to recognize and trust the distinctive sound of your own voice. Once you have tasted these in your own body, you may experience the freedom and luxury to be yourself, without fear or apology. What happens when you repeat this process, even in a small way, every day, is what some might call magic.

Quarry Park labyrinth

What to Bring

layers for outdoor gathering - a warm layer plus a rain layer scarf, hat, gloves for morning and evening gatherings sturdy shoes or boots for hiking and walking on sand/dirt comfortable, casual clothing that you can move in refillable water bottle notebook or sketchbook your favorite pen or other writing instrument 3 to 5 magazines that inspire you open heart curious mind your body as it is your intention - to heal, to transform, to create the life you truly desire Note: we will be gathering and walking in a variety of natural outdoor settings that involve uneven surfaces such as sand, rocks, and dirt. Please bring extra layers and sturdy shoes that you will be comfortable hiking in, and walking on sand.

QUESTIONS?

Please email me directly with any questions you have about this retreat. I would love to hear from you!

Touching The Place of Enough

My friend Lydia Puhak, coach and creator of The Sensitive Idealist, recently interviewed me as part of her series on Self-Care. You can listen to our sweet conversation here. Funny how sometimes the most important lessons we learn are the quiet, gradual processes that unfold out of necessity. That would be the case with me and my learning about self-care. Back in late 2010, I burst on to the scene with my "5 Principles of Self-Care for Caring Professionals". I wrote a blog post, hosted a series of calls, then turned the material into an online course. And then I left it at that. I got "busy" with the work of living these principles in my own life. I came face-to-face with my own version of workaholism, and started on the path of recovery. I unplugged from the computer and went outside. A lot. I got back in touch with a slower way of doing things - growing a garden, cooking meals instead of heating up trays of food, forming more real relationships in the real world. The biggest (and smallest) change I've remained committed to during this entire almost-three-year period is how I start my day. Continue reading

The many ways to say, “You CAN do it!” – reprint from Truth Love Beauty

Today I'm reprinting a blog post I wrote over a year ago, on my Truth Love Beauty blog. It resonates with me right now, which is comforting. The truth has a way of standing the test of time. It also reminds me of a topic I have not talked about on this blog - the observations and lessons I learned from teaching violin to more than 30 toddlers in the Silicon Valley for five and a half years. These descriptions bring me back to a time that was filled with joys and challenges, and ultimately catalyzed a whole new way of being and learning for me. Here it is: Does all the woo-woo, positive psychology, self-help talk make you feel a little queasy or, at best, skeptical? Does an email with the subject line, “You can do it!”, make you want to “Report spam” faster than you can hit “Delete”? When I worked with parents and their children in a coaching/teaching environment, I learned that there are many ways we adults try to encourage our kids. We all have a default style of communication that is a product of the various influences in our lives – our own parents, our many teachers, our older siblings, our bosses, our mentors, or even a conglomeration of all the ways we DON’T want to be like any of those people. What I’ve learned about effective coaching I first saw by watching children who were actually allowed to learn. It’s simple: all a kid wants is to know what it feels like to try, and to know that they’ll be OK if they fail. If you give them those two things, they’ll try over and over again with great enthusiasm, and pretty soon (or maybe a lot later) they will succeed. Continue reading

Restorative Practice #5: Do One Thing At A Time

Have you ever tried actually doing one thing at a time? I've found that it takes a tremendous amount of trust - an amount I often don't have - to truly do one thing at a time. Somehow my brain prefers that high-anxiety mode of doing many things at once, having many irons in the fire, keeping many options open, so to speak. But the reality of that mode is nothing ever gets done, and I never feel totally complete. In other words, I set myself up to prove the belief that underlies this kind of behavior: "I am not enough." To turn this behavior around, I first choose a new thought to believe: "I am complete, as I am, in this moment." At first, I repeat it as a mantra that sounds ridiculous because my brain has never practiced focusing attention on all the ways that I am, in fact, complete, as I am, in this moment. I have trained my brain, for many years and quite intensively, to find all the ways that "I am not enough" - all the ways that I "should be" doing more than what I am doing right now. But since I have made the choice to be and do in a different way, to connect with a different energy as the source of my actions, I keep repeating that mantra. I allow myself some stillness and some time to find one example of how I am really complete, as I am, in this moment. I find some gentleness toward myself as I learn a new way. I remember that I am like a toddler, about to take my first steps, and joyfully falling and getting up more times than I will be able to count. I choose something to do, in this moment, which gives me the feeling in my body of being complete as I am. These days, it is a hike. I get to move my body, deepen my breath, and bring my senses in contact with nature - the sky, the cool air, the silence. Yesterday I happened to shoot two videos - one before my hike, and one after. I think you'll see a visible difference in my face, or at least sense a different energy from me, in the two videos. Plus, in the second video I leave you with two questions to ask yourself about your own restorative practices. Enjoy!

BEFORE:

AFTER:

AHA’s “Simple 7″…Not So Simple After All

The other night I read on the back of a friend's T-shirt the following list of guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA)'s latest heart-healthy lifestyle campaign, called "Life's Simple 7":
  • get active
  • control cholesterol
  • eat better
  • manage blood pressure
  • lose weight
  • reduce blood sugar
  • stop smoking
From my medical training, I recognized each of these 7 items as addressing the major risk factors for coronary artery disease and therefore heart attacks and strokes. However, from my journey of learning about the connection between mind and body, and especially the ways in which our mind dictates the feelings, behaviors, and results we see in our lives, I noticed that these "Simple 7" are not so simple at all. Four of the seven guidelines involve behavioral changes. Three of the seven can be addressed with pharmaceutical drugs but are also dependent on these behavioral changes in order to have maximum impact. These areas of behavior change - exercise, diet, weight loss, and smoking cessation - are typically the most challenging and frustrating for both patients and doctors in a preventive setting. Continue reading

Teaching

Current Offerings

Coastal Wildflower Day & Earth Day Festival - Saturday, April 16, 10am to 4pm, Half Moon Bay State Beach Audio Classes For Download Audio Class: Imagination ExpansionLearn why imagination is not just for artists, but is VITAL for your health, success, love, and joy. Learn what you can do to activate and expand your imagination. Explore what we THINK is imagination versus what true imagination is, and go through an exercise in which you create your thriving year, already fulfilled. Audio Class: Renegotiating Love - Learn about the silent agreements you have made about love, how these agreements actually create what you've been trying to avoid, and how to renegotiate these agreements into the love you have always desired. Includes 60-minute mp3 and 3-page pdf worksheet.

Past Offerings

Breema Bodywork & Art Retreat on the Coast - Saturday, March 12, 2016, a two-part retreat. You may choose either one or both parts of the retreat to participate in. New Year New Vision PLAYshop 2016 - Saturday, January 23, 2016, 1pm to 4pm, at New Leaf Community Classroom, Half Moon Bay. Renew and Reclaim Your Vision for 2016… Workshop presentation at Imagery International 7th Annual Conference: The Heart of Imagery - October 30-November 1, 2015, Vallombrosa Retreat Center, Menlo Park, CA. Workshop title: "Imagining From Your Wild Heart". Fall class series at New Leaf Community Classroom Half Moon Bay:
  • Whole Body Listening - September 2015
  • Mental Hygiene - October 2015
  • Renegotiating Love - November 2015
  • Reclaim Your Heart's Highest Choice - December 2015
Free classes at New Leaf Community Classroom Half Moon Bay:
  • Unleash Your Purpose & Passion - May 2015
  • The Blank Page - June 2015
  • All About Imagination - July 2015
  • The How of Courage - August 2015
WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN ARTISTS & CREATORS: Creating From Presence - Explore Mind, Body, Feelings & Your Art-Making, Sunday, April 12, 2015, 1pm to 4:30pm, at The Breema Center. See photos of this event here. 17th Annual Integrative Medicine Network Annual Conference at UCSF  Saturday, April 11, 2015, 8am to 5:30pm -  "The Healing Power of Sound and Listening" workshops and participation in the Integrative Medicine in the Community panel.WORKSHOP: Listening & The Language of Love  Free Friday Talk: Receiving The Love That You Are - Friday, February 13, 2015, at Prajna Center for Yoga & Healing Arts, Belmont, CA New Year New Vision 2015: A Vision Board PLAYshop - Saturday, January 24, 2015, Half Moon Bay. Imagine and create your best 2015...NOW. Artist Open Studios, November 22-23, 2014, Colony of Coastside Artists, Half Moon Bay, CA Sixth Annual 50|50 Show at Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica, CA. I made 50 small artworks (6"x6") in 50 days, and they will be on display (and available for purchase) from August 22 through September 28. See details of the show here>> Creative Conversations 2014 - FREE monthly telegatherings to dialog about living creatively and awakening to your own creative potential...one moment at a time. See list of 2014 dates & register>> The Energy Gardeners' Club - Experiments to cultivate the seeds of magic in your life. Inspired by the success of the E-Squared Book Club, this series will continue the practice of energy experiments to cultivate the seeds of magic in your life, while connecting in nature, and creating a circle of support to empower your actions. Learn more & register>> Play The Wrong Note: Daring Adventures in Learning, Failure & Creativity - Presentation at Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning. Friday, September 19, 2014, at The HubSF. Learn more here>> Moments of Presence: A Traveler's Art - Slide presentation and art installation from 7 weeks in Thailand and Laos. Two showings: April 17 & April 20, 2pm to 4pm, Half Moon Bay. Planting Seeds In Your Energy Garden: A Vision Board & Creativity Workshop - Saturday, March 29, Prajna Center for Yoga & Healing Arts, Belmont, CA. New Year New Vision PLAYshop - Sunday, January 12, 2014, Half Moon Bay, CA (Coastside Photography) Monthly free Q&A calls in 2013 - Join me on the phone each month where I will answer YOUR questions! E-Squared Book Club: 9 Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments in 7 Weeks - Exploration of Pam Grout's New York Times bestseller. Bring your curiosity for how your thoughts can create your reality. Each week we conduct one of the energy experiments from Pam's book and share our results. Beyond Knowing: Many Paths to the Present Moment - November 1st to 3rd, 2013, Half Moon Bay, CA. Oceanside Retreat with Dr. Lisa Chu. Limited to 6 participants. Explore whole-being presence, engagement of the five senses, and practice embracing the beauty and terror of Not Knowing. Living Your Vision: A Workshop To Bring Your Deepest Visions To Life - Workshop teaching how to amplify the effects of a completed vision board and use energy to bring your deepest visions to life with ease. Inviting Joy, Cultivating Courage series - Practice everyday courage and invite joy into your life by entering the present moment. Each session will explore a gateway to the present moment and give opportunities to practice everyday courage, through experiential exercises.Bamboo body+soul, 799 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. Generosity-based offering. Experience Breema - The Art of Being Present. Free experiential open house presented by Certified Instructors from The Breema Center. Bamboo Body+Soul, 799 Main Street, Half Moon Bay. Download the flyer here>> Speaking Engagement for The Awareness Network, at Community of Infinite Spirit 1540 Hicks Ave., San Jose, CA. Talk entitled: "Learning To Play The Wrong Note: Discovering the Power of Sound for Healing and Liberation". SoulBodyMind Salon series - Discover practical ways to connect with your body’s wisdom, cultivate mental clarity, and take actions toward your soul’s true desires. Each evening will focus on a different theme: Your Body's Truth, Cultivating the Garden In Your Mind, The Art of Soul-Care, Listening With Your Whole SoulBodyMind. VISION BOARD WORKSHOP: Envision Your Authentic Self, Create Your Authentic Life at Prajna Center for Yoga & Healing Arts, Belmont, CA, Download the flyer here>> New Year's Day "Living Life True" at Prajna Center in Belmont, CA - meditation, gentle yoga, storytelling about living an authentic life, and creation of New Year intentions/offerings. With Yiwen Chang, Priya & Francisca Friday-Pabros, and Jovani. Yoga and Healing Sound class with Yiwen Chang at Prajna Center in Belmont, CA - a gentle flow yoga class, taught by Yiwen Chang, accompanied by live improvised music and healing sounds that I provide. The Whole Person Retreat All-day retreat for women, co-led by Johanna Beyer and Eliska Meyers, at Stillheart Institute, Woodside, CA. Photos from 2012 here>> "A Place To Play" - Community circle of creative expression and collaboration, using sound, voice, and music improvisation. Healing Sounds: Study & Practice of Tibetan Sound Healing for Self-Care and Creativity - Sound-based meditation class Physician Burnout: Get the 411 Before It's a 911 - FREE coaching calls for medical students, residents, fellows

Resources for Physician Burnout and Wellness>> - free downloadable recordings and links to helpful articles

Music Improvisation for Everyone - public 3-hour workshop Elements of Music Improvisation: Class Series - 6-class weekly series on elements and practice of music improvisation IMPROVisE Your Life with Music Improvisation - 5-class weekly series on applying the principles of improvisation to improve your daily life Sounding for Self-Care Circles - community building through healing sound, voice, and music practices