“Your inner vibration is as intimate and personal to you as your breath. You could say this vibration is you, through which you are connected to a universe as diverse and universal as the gases you breathe and the space beyond them. Through this breath you express the story of that universe.”
So says Anna Parkinson, a healer as well as a writer, and this inner vibration, in herself and anyone or anything she encounters, is now the language she comprehends and addresses for healing. Anna believes that we are all living a story, profound in its connection to our origins but, more importantly, a story that is unique to us and our individual spiritual growth.
“Beyond Sex ad Soup: Living a Spiritual Adventure,” is Anna’s latest book in which she explains how all the events and emotions you experience in your life are helping you to recognize this story, however painful it may feel at the time. “This book is about those parts of us that go beyond our physical experience,” says Anna, “where our mind can go and what it can do. The power of the imagination, fuelled by desire, is immense, so we learn how to channel that for our benefit.”
Anna explains how the different centres of energy in our bodies respond to our personal emotional needs, simultaneously with our physical needs. This sets up a reverberation that has physical consequences in the tangible world. She shows us how we can learn to ‘read’ the language of our bodies and, in responding to it, discover our power to create positive change. Anna confesses that she is fascinated by quantum mechanics. Although she is not a physicist, she believes the truth of such theories as David Bohm’s theory of entanglement, is constantly being demonstrated in simple ways in the story of our everyday lives. As such, when she writes, her personal experience is woven through the descriptions of powerful methods of creating change.
In Beyond Sex and Soup we encounter Anna’s mother, slipping from old age towards dependence and death, but this is ultimately a galvanising story. Author, Donald Van Howten, said “Anna takes you on a journey through a close encounter with death into a richer encounter with life.” and the renowned spiritual teacher, Satish Kumar, described this book as “outstanding and inspiring ….. a guidebook, a handbook, and a book of wisdom.”
How did Anna come to find this language, which she believes is constantly telling her the greatest stories ever told?
As a practising healer, as well as a writer, Anna believes one activity informs the other. The act of healing others, she says, gives her the privilege of being invited to walk into another person’s energy, or internal vibration, restore and rebalance any imbalance she perceives there, and afterwards relate back to them the story their unconscious has been speaking. The process can alter the course of any physical or emotional condition the person is caught up in, but Anna also finds it wonderful because each individual story teaches her so much.
“It’s like looking into a grander, deeper vision of the lives we live and the beings we are connected to – much like the feeling you get when you lie on your back in the spring grass and look up into a clear night sky.”
Anna never wanted to be a healer. For most of her life she knew nothing about healing and had no interest in it. She did want to tell stories, but she says she realizes now that she was looking for a language, and the language she has found that has unlocked her creativity and her access to stories is, it turns out, completely silent!
“It is this inner vibration that I perceive through my own internal radar and then translate into spoken language, or thought. I believe that this is the oldest language, that humans and animals have always used to communicate.”
Anna remembers marvelling at the wit and structure of a Jane Austen tale in her teens, wondering if she could ever emulate it. She studied English literature at university, but wrote about French literature for dissertations, or writers for whom English was a second language, always looking for another language. Then she went to Paris and studied mime, telling stories with no words at all. After several years of mime and street theatre, poverty and creative isolation drove her to put her wits to the service of telling other people’s stories, which she did as a producer for the BBC for 20 years.
But, says Anna, the language of your body is speaking to you constantly and guiding you on the path that makes you happy.
“Your body knows more about you and your journey than you know.”
In her late forties Anna began to experience double vision and a series of crippling headaches. Doctors dismissed this as migraine, but she knew this was something far stronger. Eventually the doctors found a brian tumour, very deep in her head, and began to consider how they would deal with it. While everyone wondered what to do, Anna realised that she herself had to take charge. She dimly understood that her body was speaking to her, and the physical events were only logical results of feelings that she needed to sort out.
Anna says she was lucky to meet a healer who opened her eyes to the language of her body. Martin Brofman, an American who called his method Body Mirror Healing, taught her how to recognize and use her inner language, and how to work with this language to transform her outer experience. Eventually, after working hard with this process, the brain tumour and all its associated symptoms disappeared. And Anna found that she herself had become a healer, able to do for others what Martin had done for her.
This was about 16 years ago. Anna has been practising as a healer ever since, also teaching her readers how to engage with the power of their inner story in their own lives. She remembers vividly the first time she understood how the vibration of your inner emotional language is echoed in your outer experience.
“I was writing my first book when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It’s the biography of an apothecary who wrote two extraordinary books in the 17th century about plants and their medicinal properties which I had read and fallen in love with. I discovered that no-one knew his full story, so I began to piece together the evidence to uncover it and a dramatic period of English history that still affects us today. But the reason I knew about this man, John Parkinson, was because he was an ancestor of my father’s, and I had borrowed one of his books from my stepmother to read the day after my father died. I couldn’t quite believe that no one before me had told his story, as he was well known for a long time and admired by many influential people. Still, the business of research and writing was going well, and I was getting stuck in when I was told I had a brain tumour.
By the time I had healing with Martin, I was not much further down the road of physical recovery, but I had finished the first draft of the book in spite of my symptoms. It was the day after the healing, when I sat down to edit the manuscript, that I realised how my inner experience expresses itself through my life all the time. Martin Brofman had told me that the tumour had to do with my feelings about my father. I didn’t think my relationship with my father had any relevance in my adult life. But when I began to edit my manuscript, I read that almost the first line was, “I never lived with my father.”
I wrote this to explain that his possessions, like John Parkinson’s 17th century book, were not as familiar to me as my mother’s. But as I read those words, I understood that all the time I was uncovering the story of this 17th century ancestor, I was also digging for a connection with my father that his death seemed to have deprived me of for ever. I remember looking out of the window, marvelling at guiding power of my unconscious, and realising that I had also moved into a 17th century house, and a tree like the one outside my window was described in detail in John Parkinson’s 17th Century book!”
Anna says that healing is really about understanding this inner emotional memory that your unconscious holds on to, often part of your preverbal experience, and releasing it. Understanding alone can change the inner vibration with profound consequences. Her personal healing began with that understanding, which allowed her to liberate herself from all sorts of beliefs about ‘reality’.
“Such liberation frees up the ever-flowing stream of creativity that is part of your nature to express itself without restraint” she says.
MRI scans eventually showed that the brain tumour had shrunk to scar tissue without surgery or any other medical intervention, and the books Anna has written since about the process of healing oneself have been widely praised. She believes we can all use these methods in our lives to navigate with more joy and purpose, as well as better health.
“It is,” she says, “a kind of double vision, being aware of the impact of your inner life on outer circumstances, and vice versa. Ironically for me, double vision, which no longer troubles me, was the very first symptom of the illness that ultimately freed my creative voice!”
Working frequently in the non-physical world through healing has whetted Anna’s appetite to write about the way ancient experience still vibrates through our material world. These days her creative process is just to get out of her own way.