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Memorial Day 2018; Healing Judgments

Memorial Day: Honoring those who served and died, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and its citizens.

Honoring those who have died in service to our country does not mean someone is pro war or pro brutality. The issue is not that black and white. We must all ask our own questions, seek our own answers from within. We will not all share the same beliefs or experiences, yet I believe many of us want the same peace filled ends. I pray that one day we, as a country and really the world, will find solutions to our problems that do not ask us to put loved ones in harm’s way, whether it be overseas or on the streets of our own nation. I recognize we have a long way to go in this area. Ernest Holmes once said, “Be for something and against nothing.” To me this means that what you give your focus and energy to, expands.  Why not give your focus to that which you wish to see perpetuated within the world? If we focus on division and creating an ”other” that is what will expand. We will create more enemies, perpetuating the need to fear and to protect ourselves. Anger can be good in that it signals a boundary has been crossed, but to act from that anger typically creates more suffering. Anger must be channeled into meaning and clear purpose of action. The leaders I admire most channeled their anger into non-violent action with a clear purpose and direction. This does not mean we allow injustice, it means we find a way to open ourselves to solutions that bring long term healing for all, including for those we feel are in the “wrong.”

Let us be FOR one another. Let us be FOR the healing and support of our veterans and their families. Let us be FOR those who have given all, so that I have the freedom to write a letter like this. Let us be FOR people following that which is important to them, recognizing we will not all share the same cause or have the same goals. Let us be FOR a better solution to our problems, one that spreads healing rather than violence. Let us be FOR uniting as a country and being willing to listen to one another no matter the issue. There are no simple answers to complex habits and issues. We must all take responsibility, it will take uniting to bring healing and positive solutions.  A focused effort to raise consciousness is needed, and in that there can be no “other,” no “us vs. them.” I believe being for Peace means we are also for healing and unity “for all.” I don’t have the answers that will solve our world’s problems, but being mindful of the healing abilities of our thoughts and actions appears to be an excellent start.

Brene Brown – Daring Greatly – Vulnerability quote


“Vulnerability is not a weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk in the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.”

Brene Brown – Daring Greatly

Rev Donna Smith On Open Conversations 09-17-17

Rev Donna N. Smith is a retired US Army, Military Intelligence, Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5), having served over 32 years.  Since 2005, she has immersed her life in the philosophy, principles, teachings and practices of Science of Mind (SOM).  Ernest Holmes has taught us to be a teaching and practicing organization, and this is exactly what I have done since taking my first class in SOM.   To this day, I strive to practice, inspire and teach the principles of this philosophy and religion, not only in my words, but also in my actions, through leading by example.


Rev Donna graduated from Holmes Institute and became a licensed minister in July 2012 and was ordained in 2016.  She currently resides in Sierra Vista, AZ where is living her dream by helping military veterans and their families overcome the many challenges they faced during their deployments in combat areas.


Rev Donna has held many leadership positions in the military as well as serving in leadership roles within Centers for Spiritual Living since 2005 such as Vice-President on the Board of Trustees and Practitioner in Charge, at CSL Tampa Bay; Staff Minister and Events Coordinator at CSL Bellingham.


Rev Donna is currently mentoring a newly licensed minister while serving as CEO and Founder of Graceful Passages for Vets.


Rev Donna is dedicated to the principle of leadership by striving to gently guide others as we strive together to embody and demonstrate the power of the SOM teachings in daily life.

9/11 Remembered on Open Conversations (09/10/2017)

Today on Open Conversations, 9/11 Remembered.

Tragedy always has the potential to lead to Triumph. Please call in today and join the conversation with your reflections, insights and stories.  (888-298-5569)

Sunday September 10, on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM from 3-4pm Pacific Time. Out of the area? Stream the show live at

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke

Open Conversations – Acupuncture Information (9-3-17 show) For Vets and Others

Thanks so much to Steve Knobler for being my fantastic guest on Open Conversations!
Follow this link to check out Steve’s show and many others.
Again thanks to Steve for sharing this information:
Free 5-Needle treatments for PTSD are available at:
The O’Kelly Clinic at Solid Ground (1st floor conference room)
1501 N. 45th Street, Seattle, WA  98103
Brenda Loew, Licensed Acupuncturist
Hours: Mondays 6:30p – 8:30p (last arrive time is 7:45p)
Steve Knobler’s Clinic:
North Seattle Community Acupuncture
11329 Pinehurst Way NE
Seattle, WA  98125
We have a page on our website with links to all the other community clinics in town. We’re all independent, but we like each other. And…we can all treat PTSD with the NADA protocol (and more)
FYI – prices vary clinic-to-clinic, but we’re all similar, either $20-$40 or $20-$50, pay whatever you can afford in that range.
Other Links mentioned in the show:

 “Acupuncturists Without Borders” is a group involved in the Military Stress Recovery Project across the United States

Article about their efforts:


Seattle Acupuncture for Veterans ( For Active Military, Veterans and their Families)


National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA)


Tired of Speaking Sweetly ~Hafiz


Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.


Empowerment Rests in Commitment

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.”
“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.”
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”
“A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
“I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.””
                                                                           – W.H. Murray

Robbie Short on Open Conversations 05-07-2017

Click here and select 05-07-17 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.

Excited to welcome Robbie Short to Open Conversations this Sunday 05-07-17 from 3-4 pm Pacific Time on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM.  Robbie is an inspired yoga instructor in Franklin, TN offering yoga from the Heart to enlighten the Soul. To learn more about Robbie and her rich background please read below. Remember for listeners out of the area you can stream the show live at To read more about Robbie and her studio visit her website

Robbie Michelle Short


robbie-shortRobbie graduated from UNC-Charlotte, studying Sociology and Religious Studies, before spending the next 12 years traveling the world as a flight attendant. She started her yoga practice in 2000 at home in Asheville but after moving to Nashville in 2001, the tragedy of 9/11 brought her to her first live class  feeling scarred in every way. Yoga became her therapy, her saving grace, her love & her passion. Initially, Robbie’s respect for Yoga blossomed as she dove into the deeper aspects through self study, practicing near & far, research, and attending multiple workshops with various established teachers. Following these journeys & experiencing personal awakenings, she decided to obtain both her 200 RYT yoga certification as well as a meditation teaching certification from The Expanding Light in Nevada City, CA. from the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda. She has since served on the Yoga Society Nashville board, was an ambassador for Lululemon 2 years, taught at international retreats, as well as in and around Franklin/Nashville in studios, gyms, churches, festivals, parks, schools, and corporate offices. Robbie is now in her 8th year of owning the studio and recently completed her 500 hour RYT through the Asheville Yoga Center.

Her teaching style encourages a spiritual approach going “above and beyond” just the physical aspects of the practice. Robbie plans her classes so that there is always some inspiration with “spiritual food or contemplative thought”, whether it’s through yogic philosophy, storytelling, insightful quotes, or personalizing the affirmations. Robbie’s teaching style is strongly influenced by the impact of her own    respected teachers, Gyandev & Diksha McCord and continues to expand with more practice, life experience, implementing yogic teachings, and all the valuable lessons she learns from her guru son Gabriel.  Robbie’s approach to teaching touches the heart and soul! So much so that Half Moon Yoga Healing  is coined “Franklin’s Heart Yoga”. Robbie invites YOU to join us for an experiential practice using this B.K.S. Iyengar quote as motivation: “Your body is the bow, the asanas are the arrows, and the target is the soul”.

Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and host of the radio show Open Conversations on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM in Seattle, WA. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Listen to past Open Conversations shows, see blogs and read about Holly’s ministry at

Rev Michael Bogar on Open Conversations 4-23-17

Click here and select 04-23-17 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.

Look who is coming to Open Conversations! Tune in this Sunday 04-23-17 from 3-4 pm on Alternative Talk Radio 1150 AM, as Rev Michael Bogar shares his “soul-making” approach to living with purpose. You can also stream Open Conversations online live at Read more about Michael Bogar’s work below.


Michael’s approach is from a full-life experience. He can relate to a wide range of human beings and has a way of communicating to those at the top of their game and those ready to quit. He views life as an educational experience that he sometimes calls soul-making, requiring both negative and positive relationships with people, circumstances, ideas and emotions. There is no wasted moment in a soul-making life.

He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels and has a proven ability to inform and inspire students ranging from the informal beginner to the serious scholar. Students and audience members frequently comment on his depth of scholarship, personal approach and sense of humor. Michael has acquired two masters degrees in religious and biblical studies, has taught the classical religious texts from many religious traditions and is a very effective teacher of spiritual phenomena.

He is currently completing his doctoral dissertation at Pacifica Graduate Institute where he has studied Jungian Depth Psychology and universal mythologies. The title of his dissertation is: Watching God Grow Up: Reading the Bible as Stages and Modes of Consciousness.

Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and host of the radio show Open Conversations on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM in Seattle, WA. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Listen to past Open Conversations shows, see blogs and read about Holly’s ministry at

Abigail Steidley on Open Conversations 03-26-17

Click here and select 03-26-17 to listen to an archive of this broadcast.

Excited to welcome pioneering Mind-Body Coach Abigail Steidley to Open Conversations this Sunday 03-26-17 from 3-4 pm Pacific Time on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM. You can also stream the show live at To read more about Abigail’s work visit her website

About Abigail:

Let’s just say it. My early twenties sucked. Case in point: me, lying naked on the exam table, feet in stirrups, impossibly tiny cover-up draped over me, with yet another doctor probing my personal regions. Snapping the rubber gloves as he pulled them off, the doc popped his head up between my knees.

“Your pelvic floor is a disaster,” he said. Direct quote.

As a young woman, fresh out of college, I had never even considered my pelvic floor. I actually had no idea what that was.

“You have pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia, vulvar vestibulitis, and vulvar dysesthesia,” he continued. “We’ll start you on physical therapy and some anti-depressants. Oh, and a steroid.”

“Why did I get these syndromes?” I asked.

He shrugged. “We don’t really know why they occur.”

I swallowed, looking for courage before I spoke.

“Um…also, I’m really depressed. I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless lately. Actually, I’ve had a lot of panic, too.” (This was nice-speak for I am so f-ing tired of being in this much pain and my life is ruined and I can’t take it anymore, seriously, seriously, seriously! HELP ME!)

“Oh, don’t worry. The anti-depressant will help that,” he responded. And with that, we were done.

This was the one appointment I’d been hanging all my hopes on, waiting for with bated breath, as if simply walking through the door would bring relief. After years of suffering from interstitial cystitis and now months and months of vaginal pain on top of that, I was at my limit. It hurt to wear underwear, to sit, to walk, and to do anything that involved me moving my body at all.

I came home, laid down on my couch, and succumbed to deep, dark, despair. I felt lost. Alone. Hopeless. If the doctor didn’t know why I had these syndromes, how would I heal? It seemed like so many pieces of the puzzle were missing. I needed guidance. Support. Kindness.

When I went to my first physical therapy appointment, my physical therapist handed me a business card.

“This is a woman who teaches relaxation techniques and deep breathing,” she explained. “It might help you relax these pelvic muscles.”

I took the card, grateful for any suggestions. At this point, the medications had shown no signs of helping, and the doctor didn’t have answers.

At my first breathing lesson, I learned about a million things about myself. At my first breathing lesson, I found the compassion, the kindness, the hope, and the connection I needed to see my healing process from a new light. I’d found a healer; someone who could help me connect mind, body, and spirit and understand what imbalances were asking for attention.

And thus my mind-body healing journey began. I dove in, excited to understand how I’d been locked in mental patterns that caused me to live in a constant state of stress. This created tension in my body, and most of that was in my pelvic floor muscles. I spent most of every day being incredibly hard on myself, criticizing myself, trying to be better, do more, achieve more, be skinnier, and generally be someone other than myself.

I started to see how this pain syndrome had evolved. I started to see how I could create well-being. It was my new passion: mind-body healing.

But it was SO MUCH BIGGER than just health. It was freedom from mental self-torture. It was connection to inner wisdom. It was confidence. It was creativity. It was being aligned with my true nature and feeling spiritual connection and guidance in my daily life.

abigailIn 2008, I trained as a Life Coach with Martha Beck. I wanted to help others on this healing journey, and provide the kindness, the support, the coaching, the connection, and the tools that I’d found so immensely helpful. I figured that my story – healing from that wide variety of “chronic” pelvic pain syndromes using mind-body healing – could bring hope, help, and well-being to others. It was the most fulfilling work I could have ever imagined.

In 2010, I begin training other coaches in the mind-body tools, and in 2011 Mind-Body Coach University was born. It was increasingly hard to be of service to the many people who wanted mind-body coaching, so the coaches who took my training could also help those people seeking mind-body healing.

Now, I’ve created the Kindness Community to serve as a supportive place where you can come to feel connection, get coached, hear the wisdom your body is sharing, and discover kindness. You, too, can find the freedom in letting go of the old patterns that create constant self-judgment, stress, physical pain, illness, and a sense of disconnection from others and spirit. If you’re wondering if the community is for you, check out the Is This You? page.

What do I do, exactly? I see your energy in your body. I see where your old mental stress patterns are creating blocks to complete health, and I coach you around releasing them and allowing emotional energy to flow. This allows you to connect to your inner wisdom and begin trusting yourself. You hear the wisdom your body is sharing. You become an even more effective coach/healer, or you become ready to begin doing your work in the world.

In my thirties, I’m now a mom, an Irish fiddler (aka recovering classical violinist), a coach, a coach mentor, a seer, a healer, and a woman who is passionately dedicated to kindness: for me, and for others. It’s the secret to my well-being, and whenever I forget it, my body lets me know. Thankfully, I’m getting better and better at remembering. Kindness is the path.

Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and host of the radio show Open Conversations on KKNW Alternative Talk 1150 AM in Seattle, WA. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Listen to past Open Conversations shows, see blogs and read about Holly’s ministry at