Thoughts and Wisdom from the 87 years young founder of Body Enlightenment, a healing modality.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Portland: Body Enlightenment Fridays!

I'm excited to announce that as of today,  I'll be available to give Body Enlightenment sessions Fridays at the Garden Sanctuary in Portland!

Please phone me to reserve a time for you!

Photo by Helen Sareen

Announcing: A Woodland Writing Retreat with Lyssa Tall Anolik and Betty!

The healing herb goldenseal in flower
Lyssa writes: 

 "I wanted to let you know about an exciting addition to my Sept. 10, "Words Gone Wild" nature writing retreat. I will now be joined by P'nai Or's own esteemed healer and Body Enlightenment practitioner, Betty Esthelle, who will lead the meditation/visualization portion of the workshop. At 84 years-young, Betty embodies deep earth/spirit/body wisdom. She is a treasure!   To learn more about Betty and her work, here's a link to her website:

There are still a few spaces available for the retreat. If you're interested, please see the info. below and contact me."


Words Gone Wild: A Woodland Writing Retreat
Instructors: Lyssa Tall Anolik, with Betty Esthelle, RN
Cost:  $100 (sliding scale available)
Cherryville Heartsongs, Sandy, OR
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
10am - 5pm

How do we locate and define “wildness” in today's highly-technologized world? How do we interface with earth's primal places to reclaim a piece of our animal selves? All cultivated lands have wild roots, as do our cultured minds. It's time to dig into old foundations, pull up what was long ago buried, and reclaim our wild souls. Please join me in the lushly-forested foothills of Mt. Hood for a wild romp of imagination, breath, and words. We'll discover and explore our own wilderness of spirit through freewriting, sharing, and related readings and discussion, plus breathing and meditating with the land and trees.*

*We will do some walking on trails, but it will not be strenuous.

To register, email or call Lyssa: or 503-313-5707 
(50% deposit requested to reserve your space)
Overnight accommodations available. Let me know if interested and I'll send full details.

About Lyssa:

Lyssa Tall Anolik holds a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Washington and an M.F.A. in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She taught environmental education for ten years, was a ranger for the National Park Service, and has written watershed curriculum materials and interpretive signage for state and local parks. Lyssa's recent prose and poetry have appeared in The Wild, EarthSpeak, EarthVision, and the VoiceCatcher 3 & 4 anthologies. She leads writing retreats around Portland and teaches memoir writing classes at the Multnomah Arts Center.

"Creativity oscillates between what is given and what can be discovered."
-Deena Metzger

Friday, August 19, 2011

Transitions, An Opportunity for being Present

One of my Facebook friends asked for thoughts today on being present with people who are dying, which inspired this post:

As an RN, I've witnessed many deaths. In the practice of Body Enlightenment, I've supported and accompanied many people in their transitions. As a Jew, our tradition is "No one dies alone." As a sensitive being, when you sit with a person who is experiencing a transformation, the space is open for you too, to experience your own personal transformation. Accompanying and being present when people are birthing and dying, coming and going, arriving and leaving, always provides incredible blessings.

Pictured at left is The Star card from the major arcana of the Ryder tarot deck. It is the inspiration for my 8 pointed star logo of Body Enlightenment. In the Star card, the balance and connection between water and land, flowing emotions, earth and human embodiment is portrayed.

The 8 pointed star represents the totality of each of the 7 chakras plus a compendium: the synergy of all of them working together, a representation of the life energy that flows through the human body.

We come from land and we go to land. The phrase is ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we are the Earth. Transitions happen when one is connected to the Earth, whether we are aware of our connection or not. We are all connected to the earth--that's a fact, part of the pattern, the divine design of life on Earth. In the Star card, the woman pours her emotions equally to Mother Earth and to the Universal Sea.

When we are connected to the earth, we become present to the processes inside of us and around us, including transformation and transitions.
The 8 pointed star represents embodied transformation.
---Love, Betty

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Angels & Crones, Vision & Listening

As we mature, we have a different way of listening. The ears bring us awareness that nourishes our whole body because the ears lead to our digestive system through our sinuses which connect to the throat.

So when we really listen, we nourish ourselves. That's the power of the oral tradition, to nourish us.

One of the blessings of becoming older is the way that the negativity around us is softened. It's a feeling of serenity and peace and the awareness that THIS is the real world, not the world of suffering, pain and negativity.  The real world is the process and aliveness of nature, and we gain the awareness that we're in the process of Nature, of Life. 

I use the Crone Card from the Mother Peace deck to illustrate this feeling. The Crone card is a directional card which symbolizes turning within. It illustrates how we learn to listen with age.

The Crone has traveled over the mountain. Under her elbow (funny bone) is the oroborous, the symbol of enlightenment, the serpent making a circle, its tail in its mouth, and her hand is cupped to her right ear as she actively looks and listens. The Crone has an angel above her with the 8 pointed star, the symbol of my work, which refers to the oneness of all life. The seven directions: north, south, east, west, above, below and within plus the compendium that all is one. Together that makes 8.

Becoming older means we gain an awareness, an enlightenment, that there is a greater power than ourselves, and that gives us more space to be positive about humanity. We can give God space to operate when we feel that we don't have to be in charge.

I shared this with a friend who recently turned 60: "You have completed only half of your possible 120 years.  Rev. David conducted a class recently on Angels. Did you know that there are people here on Earth that are blessed and appointed to intercede for us directly with the Angels? And you are one for me. I now know that the Angels desire everyone to know they are connected that they can talk directly to the Angels and ask for blessings."

Another of my wise teachers, Oscar Ichazo, who founded Arica Institute, shared his awareness: Love is the recognition of oneself in another.

I Love you, 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Reasoning with Your Body: IONS presentation on June 18

An axiom humanity has to learn is that We are One. Another axiom: The only thing we truly possess is our Body.
On June 18th the 3rd Saturday of June 2011,  I'm giving a new 2 Hour presentation at the Noetic Science (IONS) meeting in Salmon Creek, near Vancouver, WA called "Reasoning with your Body." 
This is open to the public.

During my presentation, you will find new ways to communicate with your Body as a Partner, a new way to connect with the Earth, and I will teach a meditation specific to the day of the week for your benefit, your body's evolution, and the benefit and highest evolution of your neighborhood, your city, our planet and our universe.  

Space where the presentation is being held is limited; to reserve your spot, for directions to the site,  and if you have questions, please phone Dottie at 360 397 4472.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gluten Free Best (and Easy) Peanut Butter -Chocolate Chip -Cranberry Cookies!

picture courtesy of

Yummy, and no flour! These are delicious! Not low-calorie, but very very satisfying. Big, semi-soft and a little chewy, the basic recipe is easy to remember - each ingredient is a "2."

Add ins are up to you!

Basic recipe: 

2 cups of Peanut Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 beaten eggs

Mix ingredients above together. I use my hands.
Mix in whatever add-ins you desire. (Some suggestions below).

Make balls about the size of a quarter and place each ball on a greased cookie sheet at least an inch apart.
Bake @350 for 8 minutes.
Cool on wire rack. 

My favorite Add-ins: 
Trader Joe's orange-infused dried cranberries
Dark chocolate chips

Other Add-in Suggestions: 
Crystallized ginger
Dried cherries
Small Apple pieces (fresh diced or dry)
Walnut pieces
Pecan pieces
Chai tea powder

They get devoured fast, so experiment, and if you don't like your add-ins, change them for the next batch!  --Betty

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A LEAP in Human Consciousness

A recent documentary film was reviewed on Oprah Winfrey Show. The incredible beauty and conscious awareness that produced this epic at this time is both elegant and providential. The main point that was presented is that our species, Humanity, has in its DNA the strong desire to cooperate with one another for the protection and benefit of ALL.

In opposition, we have a strong desire to compete with one another: “May the best man win!” In my thinking, this is an experiment of survival for our species.

Which is more necessary to survive the crisis we now face with our home, the Planet Earth? How many of us even feel or really know that Earth in her climatic changes may be on a healing path? Do we have a better chance of survival if the people with millions of dollars win everything and the millions of people with no money are left to suffer and die? Is a competition for money the path of continued evolution for our species?

Or shall it be as a flock of migrating birds, each tuned into the needs of each other and the survival of the ALL, the response we need to nourish that can save our Planet and our species?

 Flock of Birds flying at Talampaya National Park, La Rioja, Cuyo  Copyright © 2010 Javier Etcheverry. Used with his kind permission.  Available for purchase at
Perhaps in our human evolution the breaking away from “small family groups,” the ending dependency on the larger “community or tribal group” and eventually becoming what is presently a “ME Society,” is a teaching for us. Gestalt therapy presents a theory that it may be necessary to separate from one's original group to experience one’s own possibilities and limitations. The gift of individuation, it is suggested, is to return to the group with your new experience and enrich the community.

This is practiced by many indigenous cultures. The Aborigines of Australia practice "Walkabouts.'" The Pennsylvania Dutch offer their young people a time in the outside world to explore how that is for them. In some Native American groups, it is a part of a wedding ceremony that the new couple go alone into the outside world to test their skills for “a moon.’

I suggest that we look at the present as an opportunity to awaken in ourselves the awareness that we are indeed in a crisis and we have a chance to grow closer, to end isolation and to embrace one another as members of one species with rich diversity. There is much more to gain with this survival theme than competition.

Time for the masculine to find the feminine within. Time for the feminine to soften and become more receptive, And time for all of us to focus on the nourishment of our deep Essential Self and realize who we are.

The Video below is based on the "Manifesto for Conscious Men," a collectively-written document from a number of men who feel deep appreciation for the gifts of the feminine as a balance to those of the masculine. This document acknowledges many thousands of years of dominance of masculine power, and offers an apology for the suppression of women, in the spirit of a fresh start. The authors do not advocate the domination of men by women or feminine energy, but feel that a balance and equal respect for both energies will allow for a new wave of evolution on our planet.

I was very moved by this wonderful video of men thanking the feminine. The only missing link is for men to find the feminine with in themselves!!  I am filled with joy in my work as I encourage the client who is breathing on my table, with one of my hands gently on the Sun in the DanTien & my other hand on the Moon in their Sacred Sacrum at the base of their spine: To inhale the powerful feminine energy of the Moon, which lifts the base of the spine from the table and with the exhale, to press gently on their Dan Tien (the large intestine area) down against the table combines their own male & female energy in their body and stimulates the awareness that we all have both male and female energy and that each of us re-creates ourselves  constantly. This movement not only allows the strong bones of the back to support the vulnerable lower belly, but awakens individual creativity in most everyone, in a gentle awareness of self realization. And the results always fill me with profound gratitude.

Betty Esthelle
Earth Day