I Wanna Be Pat When I Grow Up

Fifteen years ago and still going strong …….


This was my first visit to the office of Pat Buxton, MA, MSW, board certified Alexander teacher, and already, she was getting way more than she bargained for. She’d greeted me like an old friend. Settling into her chair, she slid open an elegant box, struck a wooden match and lit the votive candle on her desk.

“Tell me why you’re here today,” she said pointing to a tilted footrest under my chair. Certified in the Alexander Technique, Pat believed proper body alignment heightens self-awareness. No more than a hundred pounds, soaking wet, she was fine-boned and dressed in beige cashmere. She carried herself with the soft, fluid movement of a dancer.

I took a breath and steadied myself. I had what appeared to be a lifetime of turmoil bottled up inside and the cork was about to blow. I couldn’t help myself; I wanted to tell her everything all at once.

“Okay,” Pat clasped her hands like she’d just caught a lighting bug, “Let’s hold those thoughts.” She radiated serenity and I let out a staccato exhale. Surely, she could help me corral the wild horses trampling my left brain, like Edith Goldman had when she shushed my Stone School diatribe.

“Here’s how I work,” she articulated. “It’s a little different from traditional therapy.”

Pat explained that “this” wasn’t about my son.

Or my daughter.

Or their father.

Not just yet.

We weren’t here to analyze my childhood,

my passion for camellias,

or my high school boyfriend.

Not today. 

Our work, she went on, was about how I responded to what was happening right under my nose.

“Right here,” she said.

I squirmed in my chair.

“Right now.”

She sat quietly.

Holy shit. I want to be this woman when I grow up.

Energy Healing

In parapsychology and spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object like the halo or aureola in religious art.   Wikipedia 

“Everyone has an energy field or aura that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. This energy field is intimately associated with a person’s health and well-being.”
Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan

Below is an excerpt about energy healing from one of our last chapters. __________________________________________________________________________

Accumulated heartache will take up residence inside our bodies and eventually find a comfortable place to settle. Mine curls up below the sternum, but yours might ignite a skin rash, thrum migraines into your temples, or stab you in the back. Still, the source is the same. Suppressed loss. Grief. Despair.

We set these feelings aside, like a rainy day project, waiting until we have the time and strength to sit with them. But heartache isn’t patient. And my own was howling to be heard.

“What are you poking at?” My perceptive friend Sarah is studying energy healing. She noticed my involuntary rib-pressing gesture as we chatted at a dinner party. 

“Oh that. I’ve seen doctors. Nobody can tell me.” My cryptic response wasn’t a deterrent. 

“Right there?” She points to my pain and registers understanding. 

“Yep. Here.”

“That’s your third chakra, Lynda. It’s your voice. Your will. Your power.”

“What power?” I said, only half-kidding.

“You’ve got something to say and you need to be heard. That’s the pain. Your body’s presenting physical symptoms because your voice has been silenced.” She says matter-of-factly, like who wouldn’t know this?

The seat of my soul was starved for attention. And the answers I needed were falling right into my path. I wrote down the number Sarah gave me. Kimberly. A medical intuitive masseuse. “She’ll see it. She’ll know.” 

A week later I walked into Kimberly’s office, a comforting space that looked like it had been lifted straight from the cardboard pages of Goodnight Moon. When she emerged, I half expected her to offer me milk and cookies with a nap mat. 

“Oooooo sweetie,” she said, holding up her hands as if shielding her eyes from bright sunlight. “I’m seeing orange and yellow,” she circled her palm over my chest and belly, “and it’s coming from right here. Hot.” She stood back to assess, looking me up and down. “Inflammation. We’ve got to calm that down. It’s not red  yet, thank goodness. But it’s irritated.” 

I took in Kimberly’s fiery hair and warm authority as she fitted clean flannel sheets over a massage table. I just know she’s an angel. 

“We all have an energy field surrounding our bodies,” she stated.  “And when there’s unresolved emotion, it picks up a negative charge. And that orange? That’s emotional debris clinging to you. We need to clear the channels before it turns red.”

“What happens when it turns red?”

“It’s mad as hell.” She paused, patting the massage table, inviting me to lie down.  

“I see a lot of sadness here,” my intuitive continued. “You’ve been carrying this for a long, long time, haven’t you?” She scans the ceiling, like she’s listening for clues. “I’m getting something about a child. A boy? And I’m sensing disappointments. A relationship in conflict.”

Kimberly was looking directly into my bruised orange soul.



Sixty-two degrees-outside
One hundred and two degrees-inside


“Stillness is not the absence of movement; it is the absence of conflict.
When we are in resistance to the present moment, we are in conflict and struggle with life.
When we can accept life in this very moment, it flows with lightness and ease.”

Erich Schiffmann