The blog you’ve all been waiting for! Introducing…

I promised you something special today, didn’t I?  Something different?  Something never before seen on this blog? 


A little bird flew up to me on the deck a couple of weeks ago and said, “Hey, Kathy, isn’t it time that you introduced some of your regular readers to the rest of us?  Isn’t it time we figured out who some of these commenters are?  C’mon, Kathy…how ’bout letting some of them write a Guest Blog and introduce themselves?” 

You can imagine my shock that a bird was talking!  But I quickly agreed. What a good idea.  I want to know more about these readers/commenters, too. 

Therefore…wa la!…I would like you all to meet the first in a haphazard series (which may span a year or two, who knows?) of introductions. 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Laurie Buchanan.  Laurie is one of several friends who comments on almost every post! 

Without further ado, let’s read what she has to say about herself! 

Meet Laurie Buchanan!

I was tickled when Kathy asked me to introduce myself. My name is Laurie Buchanan. I was born in 1957 with an impish grin and mischievous twinkle in my eye. 

My family used to say to me, “There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very, very good. But when she was bad she was …” Well, you get the idea. 

I had an adventurous childhood. In addition to being the only family I knew who had a fallout shelter in their back yard, some of my other odd remembrances include: 

  • My sister shellacking my teeth.
  • Having my stomach pumped because I ate a box of ex-lax.
  • Drag racing out on Jesmond Dene.
  • Being part of a quartette called the Pastel Lollipops.
  • Getting shot at in Elfin Forest.
  • And then of course, there was running away from home …

 Running away from home shifted gears into growing up. Once I realized that we determine our purpose—as opposed to find it—I determined to be a living conduit for Divine Love; a mindful agent of heart-based change. I do this in a number of ways: 


As a Holistic Health Practitioner I use natural, energy-based modalities. This is done at HolEssence, a small healing studio in historic, downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, that I own with my husband, Len. 


As both a teacher and a student of purposeful living, I created a nine-month program designed to teach the discipline of getting on track and staying there. Working with the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—it facilitates empowerment, getting a person from where they are, to where they want to be. 


I’m a regular contributor of health and wellness articles to Evolving Your Spirit magazine, and I’m an anchor writer for Sibyl magazine: in 2009 I wrote “The Body Temple” column, currently I write “The Enlightened Voice of Wisdom,” and I’ve just been selected to write “The Keys of Healing” column for 2011. 

Speaking from the Heart is my blog space. It’s here where I share information about energy medicine, personal growth, spiritual awareness, and sometimes just musings. 

I’m currently presenting a book I’ve completed to literary agents. It’s a groundbreaking book that introduces people to … 

… you’ll just have to wait. If I tell you now, I’ll steal my own thunder.  

HolEssence...Laurie & Len's healing studio

Cultivating Sacred Awareness 

I believe that each of us is a spectacular expression of Divine Love and I respect all spiritual paths and traditions. 

We’re not just biological in nature—we’re body, mind, and spirit. Each of these aspects is interconnected. We function as a whole. We heal as a whole. As such, part of my job is to help others connect with their inner light. 

Aha Moment 

When I went away on a hermitage for my 50th birthday I had a moment of clarity that enlightened and changed me. It’s when I came to the realization that, “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” 


Being respectful of the Earth and its natural resources, one of my goals is to leave the slightest footprint possible on the planet, while at the same time, making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. 


I enjoy a wabi-sabi lifestyle. The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the platform for my “less is more” mindset, and the jumping off place for my creativity. 


I’ve been married to my best friend, Len, for over 30 years. Together we have one son—Eoghan, and three dogs—Claire (Westie), Lexi (Standard Poodle), and Willa (Irish Wolfhound). 


My favorite creatures on this planet are trees, my favorite thing to do is laugh, and my favorite food is garlic bread. A few of my favorite pastimes include swimming, long bicycle rides, travel, photography, and a enjoying peaceful cuppa tea. Voracious readers, we haven’t had a television in our home for over 30 years. Now that’s bliss! 

Listen with your heart, 

 Laurie Buchanan

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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39 Responses to The blog you’ve all been waiting for! Introducing…

  1. Reggie says:

    What a wise bird it was that spoke to you, Kathy. I’ve often wondered about your commenters and who they really are… This was just beautiful! Hello Laurie, I’m pleased to meet you! 🙂 And I love the sentence at the end “Listen with your heart”. The perfect motto to live by.

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Laurie! It’s very nice to meet you. Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing really jumped out at me as it succinctly put into words something that has been churning around in my mind but I’ve yet to put words to. Thank you. 🙂

    And thank you to you, too, Kathy! I’ve never known a bird to steer me wrong and I’m glad you were wise enough to listen to the one that spoke to you. This is a great idea. I look forward to meeting more of your commenters.

  3. Karma says:

    Nice idea, Kathy!
    Nice to meet you, Laurie!

  4. Reggie – Nice to meet you, too. If you follow this link, it will tell you a little bit more about “Listen with your heart.”

    Robin – Nice to meet you, as well. If you follow this link, you’ll learn a little bit more about “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”

    Karma – I’m glad you stopped by to say hello. Thank you.

  5. Susan D. says:

    Dear Laurie – You have one of those faces that I can “walk into” ~ so welcoming and lovely! It is such a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for agreeing to guest blog and to share with us. I enjoy reading your comments here, and enjoyed reading your gift to us today. Wise thoughts and lacings of humor … 2 of my favorite combinations. Blessings to you.

    Kathy – WHAT A GREAT IDEA! You so rock! Love, love ….

  6. Jeff Stroud says:


    What a wondrous surprise to find Laurie’s smiling face and her wondrous wisdom and healing energy on your blog!
    It is great when we listen to inspiration who knows what may show up!

    laurie, I love the clarity and the organization of your post here. All which I know, since I am very much part of your life even from a distance…

    I am Love, Jeff

  7. Susan – What a lovely compliment you’ve gifted me with, thank you. It’s going to be fun to eventually meet all of Kathy’s regular readers this way.

    Jeff – And I’m tickled that I’m very much a part of your life. It’s great to be in your sphere of influence.

  8. Oh Kathy!
    What a wonderful idea and a
    welcome surprize to see a guest blog today, and Laurie to boot.
    I can honestly attest to every one of Lauries points, she is a huge amount of sunshine, sometimes I put on my sunglasses, she is so awesome and I am truly humbled to know her here in our small part of Illinois…


  9. Kim – Now I’m blushing, thank you!

  10. Laurie
    I didn’t notice!

    You just naturally glow anf blush!



  11. Gerry says:

    Um, I know I should follow up on the possibilities of becoming a better person, but what I really want to know about is this business of getting shot at in Elfin Forest!?! I mean, a place called Elfin Forest is exactly the sort of place I would normally think about exploring with abandon.

  12. Dawn says:

    Nice to meet you Laurie! Sounds like a wonderful life, especially the part about no TV! Though I supposed we could all chose to do that…my brother has…my sister has…but alas my husband is addicted as very possibly am I. Maybe I need to go through a withdrawal program for TV! 🙂

  13. Dawn – I’m pleased to meet you. Trust me, no TV is equally addictive. If we want to see a movie, we just get a DVD from the library and watch it on our laptop. Thank you for stopping in.

    Gerry – Elfin Forest is in southern California and it’s beautiful! When I was in high school, there was an elderly woman who lived in the forest who had LIFE SIZE dolls in her windows. If you got near (and I do mean just near, not trespassing), she would shoot. I wanted to get a photograph and I got shot at.

    That’s not all. There was a cemetery there, so it was said to be haunted. There was also a huge place called Questhaven — it was all gated in. It was said to have been asylum at some time.

    I don’t know how real the haunting or the asylum part was, but the shooting part was as real as real can be!

  14. Carol says:

    Thank you, Kathy, for introducing us to Laurie, and thank you, Laurie, for telling us about yourself. What a pleasure it is to have opportunities like this, and the internet to make it possible. Another of those, “whatever did we do before. . . .” moments! We haven’t given up TV, but have cut way back. There are some things we would miss – football, for one. My mindless award shows for another (although I do not watch all of them). And American Idol.

    What a wonderful idea, Kathy – never ignore what that bird whispers in your ear.

  15. Carol – Hi, I’m glad to meet you. I agree that Kathy had a wonderful idea. I’m sure looking forward to getting to know the rest of her readers in this same way.

    She gets lots of good ideas! I thinks it’s due, in part, to the exciting part of the world she lives in, what with a bat falling into Barry’s water glass, and her having a bird whisper in her ear 🙂

  16. Hello Laurie. Isn’t the blogosphere a wonderful place to meet new people? So much more entertaining than watching TV! I’m very happy to meet you. 🙂

    What a fantastic idea to introduce your friends, Kathy. You should invite that little bird to come and visit you again, he speaks such words of wisdom. 🙂

  17. Hi Laurie, nice to meet you! I really like the idea about “the discipline of getting on track and staying there.” My life seems to be full of surprises that take me through interesting situations to deal with. It’s all good though because I learn and grow from every situation. Sometimes it would be nice to have a break though. I’ll check out the links you’ve mentioned.

  18. OM says:

    What a wise bird that was, Kathy, what a super idea!! Laurie, after our adventures in the Gaia Community together, especially the long discussions featuring you at Gaia Networking Group, I feel you are an old friend, though we’ve never met. I so admire you! You’re ALMOST young enough to be my daughter ( graduated from high school in 1957) but I so feel us as simply in the generation of “wise women” of any and every age!

    And I never saw such a good picture of you, now I really know what you look like!!

    More power to you and your wonderful work in the world, with Len. May your lives be blessed beyond imagining — and I intend the same for Kathy!!

  19. flandrumhill says:

    Laurie, you look so sweet and mild-mannered for someone who had so many adventurous escapades as a child. How you describe yourself re-affirms to me that many of the people who comment here are kindred spirits I have yet to meet. Anyone who would allow her sister to shellac her teeth is definitely a trusting soul.

  20. holessence says:

    Joanne – I agree with you that the blogosphere is a wonderful place to meet and learn about new people. I’m happy to have met you here.

    Grandeurvision – It’s nice to meet you too. You’re absolutely right in that we can learn and grow from every situation. Good perspective!

    OM – Thank you so much for popping in to say hello. I, too, feel like we’ve known each other a long time. Thank you for the compliment about the photo. It was just taken about 2 weeks ago. That jacket is calmly draped over my shoulder in the picture, but let me tell you — between shots I was swinging it wildly at mosquitoes 🙂

    Flandrumhill – I’ve got to be honest with you. As A Libra I’m all about balance. So as sweet, loving, kind, and thoughtful as I usually am …. trust me, I can be a stinkpot too 🙂

  21. Cindy Lou says:

    Hey Laurie!

    What can I say that others haven’t already put into words…..except – it’s always a good thing to make a new friend (which is what I feel you are after ‘seeing’ you here every day?!? 🙂 ) even if my family thinks you’re all pigments of my magical nation! (TRANSLATED: figments of my imagination)

    Thanx for sharing your life and your joy…..

  22. Cindy Lou says:

    Oops! Forgot to say ‘thanx’ to Kathy for her wondermous, stretch-our-boundaries drop-in visit last night (Tuesday)! What a delightful treat – Munga Jack seemed to enjoy it, too! 🙂

  23. holessence says:

    Cindy Lou – Oh I love it, “…you’re all pigments of my magical nation!” Thank you for stopping by and making me laugh!

    • Jeanne Marie says:

      Laurie you are such a gift!

      “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” is so empowering.

      You are so naturally yourself, allowing Divine love to shine through you.

      Thank You or Be~ing such a true friend!

      Love, Jeannie 🙂

  24. holessence says:

    Jeannie – I’m so glad you poppin in. Thank you so much for the lovely comments. The very same can be said about you 🙂

  25. Emma says:

    So nice to meet Laurie! 🙂

  26. holessence says:

    Emma – I’m glad you stopped by. It’s nice to meet you.

  27. Kathy and Laurie, now isn’t this just the cat’s meow! I have both of you on the same post… ta da! Since I am working under deadline doing inventory before my show is hung tomorrow… I love being able to give you both a virtual squeeze at the same time. Perfect Idea Bird. Nice follow through Kathy. Delightful as always Laurie… mmmmmaaawwwww!

  28. Kathy says:

    Laurie, it’s been an absolute pleasure to read what you shared about yourself–and to see your smiling face and HolEssence. I don’t know about the rest of the readers, but I feel delighted to know you a bit better. (Actually, it sounds like everyone else feels that way too.)

    I got to school this morning and my friend Jan was there. She subscribes to the blog and said, “Boy, your friend Laurie sounds like a wonderful person to know! I would love to meet her.”

    Maybe some day, Laurie, we’ll meet face to face. Hopefully!

    Thank you also to all you lovely lovely readers who welcomed Laurie. Love you all!

  29. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Hi Laurie, I’ve been enjoying your words of wisdom and your WICKED 🙂 sense of humor (have been learning all manner of new words and expressions from our grandchildren!) for quite some time now. It’s always been a delight to read Speaking from the Heart and your comments on Kathy’s page. And I’m very much looking forward to reading your book when it arrives!!

  30. holessence says:

    Terrill – Break a leg! (you know I mean that in the BEST way). sell, Sell, SELL!

    Colleen, “Wicked” – I love it! I’m so glad you visit and enjoy Speaking from the Heart, I always appreciate it when you stop by. From my younger clients I’ve learned:

    It’s not cool, it’s GLACIAL.
    It’s not nice, it’s SWEEEET.
    It’s not perrfect, it’s GOLDEN.

    Kathy – thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU so much for having me as your guest. I had a blast! Or as Colleen would say, “A WICKED Good Time!”

  31. nancy says:

    Kathy and Laurie I enjoyed reading both of your blogs, good idea Kathy .

  32. Nancy – I’m glad to meet you. I, too, tthink Kathy’s idea was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to being introduced to many more of her readers. Thank you for stopping by.

  33. barb says:

    Kathy – Am I understanding that you can speak to birds? (And they to you?)
    Laurie, It’s so nice to meet you. I did have to laugh about the box of ex-lax. The quote ““Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” will stay in my mind. A good thing to remember. You look like a happy person.

  34. holessence says:

    Barb – I thought the ex-lax was chocolate candy — not so. I had to have my stomach pumped. I’m glad you like “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” It’s definitely the most important thing I’ve learned to date. I’m glad you popped in for a visit, thank you. 🙂

  35. Kathy says:

    What, Barb? You DON’T speak to birds?? LOL… 🙂

  36. Kiah says:

    What a wonderful blog Laurie! I would love to visit HolEssence if I’m ever in your area..

  37. Kiah – If you’re ever in my neck of the woods you’ll be ever-so-welcome at HolEssence 🙂

  38. Pingback: The second blog you’ve all been waiting for…Meet my friend & blog-reader Susan from across the bay! « Lake Superior Spirit

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