Heart and Soul
to Healing Work
by Celia Sue Hecht
Imagine sitting in a
comfortable chair. A fire dances in the fireplace,
background music plays softly, a hint of roses wafts the
air, a fountain gently flows, and beside you is a table
filled with sparkling crystals. Where is this serene and
peaceful environment? At Sharon Kufeldt's healing home
office in Incline Village.
Sharon is a gifted healer. She
has training in multiple modalities including as a
clinical, childbirth, sports, pain management and
certified medical hypnotherapist, certified past life
therapist, Trager Psychophysical Integration (bodywork)
practitioner, massage therapist, interfaith minister,
spiritual counselor, certified bereavement counselor
with the American Academy of Bereavement, and Reiki
Master Teacher. She has been doing healing energy work
with herself and clients for the past 25 years.
Sharon regularly works with
clients on putting more soul into their workplace and
"All my life, I have been
sensitive to energy. While studying Cultural
Anthropology and after burning out from a stressful job,
I expanded my interest in alternative forms of healing
and spirituality," Sharon explains.
She had been working as a
software developer in Silicon Valley.
Sharon notes, "I was
working in an environment that was extremely stressful.
During a six month period, I had four major life
stressors, surgery, my mother died, I graduated from
college, and was separated from my husband of 13 years.
Within the year, I quit my corporate job and began
"In 1973, my husband had a
skiing accident and injured his back. After six weeks of
taking painkillers and being immobile, I decided to work
on his back. In two days, he was up and around. In five
days, he was out of pain. And in two weeks he was
skiing. I started having a lot of experiences like
She then moved to Getting In
Touch, a holistic community in the Santa Cruz Mountains
where she began training with Dr. Milton Trager and
obtained her massage certification. Along the way she
received further training in hypnosis (which she had
been doing since 1975). She also began taking classes at
the Berkely Psychic Institute, did the minister training
program, and started teaching psychic awareness tools on
staff for several years. She developed and taught PMS
and Menopause Self Help seminars with Dr. Susan Lark and
at local community colleges and health centers. Since
then, she has taken many classes, workshops, and
experiential seminars as part of her self-directed
"I was very good at what I
was doing and they paid me a lot of money, but I worked
60-80 hours a week. I quit working with computers for
the money because it didn't satisfy me anymore and I
fell into doing my life's work, step by step. The
opportunity to work with my clients is very powerful for
me. There isn't anything else that I could do that can
come close," Sharon declares.
"Now I teach people how to
create the most happiness they can in their life. That's
an inner thing. No matter what work someone does, when
they bring all of themselves to that work with
integrity, then they are bringing soul to their work.
"It's a process of tuning
into yourself and others and making yourself more
conscious instead of less conscious. When you look for
the meaning and make an inner connection to that which
is more, whatever spirituality is for you, then you are
connecting with your soul.
"To me soul is presence,
being present right here right now. It's also about
choosing to be where you are, choosing to interact as
fully as possible. And soul is also appreciating beauty,
looking for the good where you can find it, and being
honest with yourself and others."
Sharon emphatically proclaims.
"I like to tell my clients, bloom where you are
planted or else move!"
Here are some pointers about
"Burnout is an extreme
state of distress that has manifested in dis-ease...
mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual. It is most
often associated with work although it can be from any
aspect of life such as caring for children, elderly, or
spouse. It is the product of over-focus, usually of a
stressful situation. We get overextended and can no
longer recover our balance. Stress will eventually
manifest in disease, such as high blood pressure,
depression, ulcers, heart disease, cancer, etc. You can
burnout even doing something you love."
How does it happen?
"We get out of balance. We
lose sight of what is important to us. We lose our own
sense of power and choice. We don't think we have the
time or priority to attend to our own wellness. Given
enough stress, everything will eventually break.
Sometimes things crumble a bit first, sometimes it's
total. Warning signs are high blood pressure, chronic
fatigue or stroke...or an instantly fatal heart attack
What can we do about it?
"First, prevention is most
important. Then, recovery from early stages takes less
than recovery from more advanced stages. Sometimes there
is no recovery, just dealing with the consequences. Or,
more precisely, someone else dealing with the
consequences for you."
How do we prevent burnout?
physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Create a balance in your life that can sustain your
chosen lifestyle. If you cannot sustain, change what you
must until you can sustain it. Extend your support
network to ease the distress as much as possible.
Nourish yourself when and where you can. Return to
balance as soon as possible.Balance is about having all
areas of life working together supportively, not
How do we become more balanced?
"This depends on how, why,
and how far out of balance you are. Generally, look at:
Do I get enough sleep? Exercise? Healthy food and water?
Nutritional support? Emotional support? Spiritual
support? Re-creation? Are my relationships functioning
well? Seek whatever assistance you need.
"Next, get clear about
your personal values and priorities. Make sure you know
what is important to you and why. Then, make choices
that bring you in line with these values and support
your priorities. Come to realize that you don't exist in
a vacuum. What you do affects others. Others affect you.
Be willing to listen and receive from coworkers, friends
and those that love you. Give of who you are in ways
that foster you and others to feel good.
"Remember that life is
about change. You are the most important agent in your
own health and wellness. It is ultimately up to you to
make the choices to create a healthy, balanced,
vibrantly alive, meaningful, fun, and happy life. This
is a continuous, moment by moment process. Every step,
choice, thought makes a difference."
People experiencing burnout
feel powerless, stuck, can't see a way out, and their
choices seem nonexistent. Handling these feelings and
stress before they get out of control is crucial.
"We all have a certain
amount of stress we function with well. Some stress is
important to keep us engaged in life. When we get more
stress than we can easily handle, we lose our sense of
perspective. Eventually, we see everything as stressful.
If this continues for a long time, then we reach the
Symptoms of burnout include
nervousness, anxiety, anger, insomnia, TMJ distress,
major weight gain or loss, depression, frequent illness,
headaches, relationships failing, suicidal or homicidal
thoughts, extreme irritability, wanting to run away,
wanting to destroy something, no sense of priority,
everything's an emergency, less productivity with longer
hours and feeling trapped.
How do we prevent stress?
"Let's suppose you're at
work and you notice that you're snapping at your
coworkers, boss, or clients or seething inside. These
are signs that something is wrong. Immediately, when you
notice your behavior, take three deep slow breaths.
Then, when you can, get yourself out of the workplace
physically. Take a break. Go some place private -
outside, bathroom, conference room, sit in your car, or
the break room. Check in with yourself. Ask two
important questions: How am I feeling and what do I
really want? You may be feeling trapped, resentful,
angry, that you don't matter, everything is your
responsibility, no one else wants to get this project
done, or it's all too much and I want to get out of
here. Honor all of your feelings without judging them.
It's healthy to feel them. Feelings are messengers from
your body to your mind. You can feel them without acting
out toward others. It's OK to scream in your car. In
fact, sometimes it feels really good. Breathing helps
here too. Deep slow breaths. Touch your face, massage
your shoulders until you feel calmer and more centered.
"Then ask yourself what
you really want. Go deeper than the obvious of wanting
to do something destructive. What I really want is more
respect, more control over my work, to work 40 hours
instead of 80, to feel recognized and appreciated, to
make my work more meaningful, more money, to keep my job
to pay the bills, to find a new job or career, or to
take a vacation.
"Now, what you can do this
instant, is choose one way you can take care of yourself
when returning to work. If you're still in crisis, take
time out immediately for a walk or lunch. Put a do not
disturb sign on your desk or door. Delegate some work.
Set up a meeting with your boss or staff. Call a friend.
You can also make a commitment to yourself to get
support and begin to work through the longer term
changes you want to make."
Here are some "do it
yourself" healing techniques:
Deep slow breathing can ease
anxiety and distress - breathe fully into your belly and
out fully for 3-12 breaths.
Place your hand over your
heart and connect with a memory of giving or receiving
love and let this feeling expand.
Connect to nature every day in
a way that nurtures your soul and your senses.
Sharon teaches individuals how
to develop their own intuitive, psychic awareness and
healing skills. And she teaches stress reduction classes
in corporations and medical centers and does classes,
retreats and workshops on request.
"I bring all of who I am
to my work and I also bring all the tools I have learned
and developed, such as my psychic skills of awareness,
intuition, and my ability to work with energy and
spirit," Sharon clarifies.
Sharon is a facilitator, and a
catalyst for other people's healing, personal growth and
is a wonderful tool that can be crafted to work with
many varieties of change and arenas of healing. Most
importantly, I bring my presence and compassion."
Each healing session is unique
and Sharon never knows what to expect. "What
happens is a client comes to me for a reason, such as
they want to stop smoking. But when you change a habit
or anything else about yourself, there is a root cause
that needs to be healed before the change can happen. So
we work on that aspect and I have had virtually a 100%
success rate with helping people stop smoking.
"People also come to me
for what I call a spiritual emergency. They are becoming
aware that maybe they have everything they thought they
wanted in life but they're still not happy. Usually
what's missing is the spiritual aspect of their life,
the meaning, and I try to help them find their own path
to their own spiritual expression."
She offers a wonderfully
eclectic healing practice.
"It's not about being a
technician, it's about creating a healing space for
whatever that person needs. I think the most important
thing about being a healer is being present with the
person, and working with the process that most meets
that person's current needs," she believes.
"The healing process is a
living creative thing. Healing does not have to be
painful. Healing can be joyful, empowering, fun, and
even playful. Wellness is about being OK with yourself
in the world."
Working with energy includes
color, sound, aroma, touch, thought, all the senses,
movement, and light. Sharon uses as broad a spectrum as
possible to support the shift. She loves to work with
people of all ages.
"I feel very honored to do
my work. I am grateful for the gift and the opportunity
to share it. One of my goals is to teach people how to
heal themselves deeper, easier, more effectively. Each
session I do is a teaching session and a healing
session. I always give homework. It's usually fun.
"I love this work because
I love to see people empowered and creating a happier,
healthier more prosperous life and I think everything
can be healed given effective support. I make a
difference every day and that feels good.
"One benefit of bringing
your soul to work is whatever you do can be more
fulfilling," she concludes.
Sharon divides her time between
Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Palo Alto, California and has
clients all over the country. She also helps people
establish a healthy nurturing environment in their home,
does telephone support, energy healing and spiritual
counseling. Call Sharon at 775-833-1947 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Website at http://sites.netscape.net/tahoehealer/homepage.
Sue Hecht is a published writer/editor, poet and PR specialist,
originally from New York, now living in northern Nevada. Through her business
Publicity Plus, she helps artists, authors, alternative health care
practitioners, integrative and/or complementary doctors, renewable energy
professionals, business owners, and "light workers" to claim their more than
15 minutes of fame. She teaches seminars, classes and workshops,
and does professional speaking on personal growth topics, writing,
publicity, getting published, and creativity
enhancement. She also offers intuitive counseling
and writing coaching, and has interviewed Dr. Patch Adams, Dr. Wayne Dyer,
Ralph Nader, and others. Contact her at 775-881-2035 or email:
or visit her website at: