Interview with Laura Bruno
Today is another interview, this time with Laura Bruno. Laura Bruno is a Life Coach, Medical Intuitive, Animal Communicator and Reiki Master Teacher. She has lived and taught across the U.S. and now resides in Sedona, Arizona, where she enjoys the beauty with her husband Stephen, a photographer. Laura offers classes and phone consultations and writes fiction in her spare time. In addition to over twenty articles on natural healing, Laura also authored the soon-to-be-released eBook, . You can visit her website at www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com.
Could you please tell the story of discovering your intuitive abilities.
I grew up as an empath (meaning I could feel other people’s physical and emotional pain), but I had no context for that “gift.” Everyone called me over-sensitive, and I learned to view intuition as something inconvenient, weird or shameful. Despite efforts to suppress it, people still sensed my ability. While I earned a Masters in English at University of Chicago, strangers often approached me for health or life path advice, which I quietly gave. To my embarrassment, these same strangers later hugged me in front of my friends, thanking me for the insights. Secretly, I felt led to a more spiritual career than academia, but I resisted.
Instead, I chose the corporate world. My first sales job required twenty-five cold calls per day. Twenty-five cold calls supposedly equaled seven call-backs, which translated to three sales appointments, which became one sale, which (funneled throughout the month) equaled or exceeded quota. I hated viewing conversations as statistics—not to mention all the “no soliciting” jabs. But I couldn’t live on my base salary: I needed to hit quota. Desperate, I started praying. Before each cold call I would silently ask, “Let them see your Light in me and, please, give me the right words to say.” Instead of kicking me out, business folks suddenly welcomed me as a long lost friend! Yet after seven cold calls, I still needed a vanilla milkshake and a two-hour nap. I requested extra guidance: “Please, take me to the right places today. Then, let me radiate your Light and use your words.” With my terrible sense of direction, I developed an uncanny knack for getting “lost” exactly where and when someone needed exactly what I had to sell. I continued to make or exceed quota each month, averaging about two cold calls per day.
This effective prayer only intensified that nudge toward spiritual work. One day I “accidentally” cold called a nun and she took my hands: “Child, you have such Sweetness in you! You will go far when you embrace your gifts.” Disturbed, I reapplied to doctoral programs, vowing to teach a Literature and Spirituality class. I found a cushy sales job with established accounts—no more cold calling nuns! Then I prayed, “If academia’s not my path, don’t let me do it. Otherwise, I’m going!” The scholarships and stipends flooded in: “Wow!” I thought, “That was easy! Here I expected some big, dramatic thing. One course on Literature and Spirituality? Guess I’m not so intuitive after all …”
But on May 19, 1998 (three months before I planned to start fully funded doctoral studies in English Literature) an on-the-job car accident destroyed the life I knew. A brain injury shut down my rational side for years. I suffered visual impairments leaving me unable to read longer than five minutes per day. Florescent lights caused migraines, dizziness and disorientation, and my short term memory all but disappeared. Without my rational mind, intuition suddenly unleashed itself. Carefully developed filters no longer worked. I suddenly “knew” someone had a thyroid problem or emotional blocks leading to cancer. Even worse, I’d get the insistent urge to tell them and if I didn’t, my head pounded louder than usual. The more I resisted, the stronger the migraines became until finally I contacted each person and shared my insights. Then the pain subsided. Medical tests and conversations continued to confirm my intuition, but it took a long time for me to feel comfortable sharing information—even under duress.
Summer 1999, I spent eight weeks in Seattle in a final push to attend graduate school. (Yep, I’m stubborn, and Northwestern let me defer enrollment for a year.) One day, my holistic vision and brain injury specialist said, “If grad school doesn’t pan out, come back to Seattle. I’m old and I need to give my practice to someone.” “OK, where did that come from?” I asked. “I’m an English major!” He explained that he and his assistant had noticed “the next three patients after” me “always made amazing progress.” “Great,” I said, “What’s that got to do with me?” He answered, “For weeks we’ve purposely mixed things up and no matter which three patients follow you, they always make amazing progress. You leave an energy residue in the room that lasts at least three hours. Seriously, if grad school doesn’t pan out, come back and work with me.”
Well, graduate school didn’t pan out. My head imploded under florescent lights and if I ever managed to read, I immediately forgot the content. Meanwhile, my intuition and energy continued to grow. In August 2001, I returned to Seattle for more treatment. That specialist eventually hired me as his Medical Intuitive Consultant—my first job after brain injury. With no other career options and a strong sense of Fate, I started to embrace my healing gifts instead of running from them. I opened my own business and made a full recovery. Now, I love my intuition, and I love that it helps so many people heal and find their path!
You are a Reiki Master teacher. What do you find Reiki helpful for?
Reiki translates to “universal life force energy” or “divinely directed healing energy.” As such, people find Reiki helpful for all kinds of things! In the last 10 years, many hospices and hospitals (including the esteemed California Pacific Medical Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, St. Luke’s Hospital in Pennsylvania, and Tucson Medical Center in Arizona) have valued volunteer or paid Reiki practitioners alongside their cancer programs because patients report vastly decreased pain and fear, and increased peace, positive attitude and relaxation.
Personally, I’ve found that Reiki works well for headaches, stomach pain, and insomnia. When I first learned Reiki, I was still recovering from my brain injury. Daily self-treatments and a number of “healing attunements” allowed me to wean myself completely from pharmaceutical migraine pills. I also find Reiki useful for empowering goals, because the energy just flows through situations and events. Hallmarks of Reiki include increased serendipity and a bubbling sense of joy.
Describe some of the more interesting cases from your practice, where Reiki was helpful.
I worked with woman who had metasticized breast cancer. It had gone into her bones and she was in tremendous pain all the time. Whenever she received Reiki, she’d call saying, “I always know when you’ve sent Reiki because I forget to take my pain meds when I wake up. Normally, it’s the first thing I do, but the day after a Reiki session, I don’t take ’em until noon!” Reiki was so helpful that I flew to Pennsylvania to teach her and a group of cancer patients how to treat themselves. Since it affects all levels—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—not everyone experiences physical healing with Reiki. This woman ended up passing from her physical body, but not before she experienced a beautiful healing with her mother and sister from whom she’d felt estranged for twenty+ years.
Last year I did a series of Reiki treatments on a woman who’d been hit by a semi. She had suffered extreme damage to her hips and legs, which were held together by metal plates and screws. Cold weather caused her severe pain, and during winter, she could barely walk. She reported that she hardly used her cane for several days post-Reiki treatment. She also felt herself healing from the Post-Traumatic Stress caused by surviving an accident when others did not.
I encourage people in chronic physical or emotional pain to take at least a Reiki Level 1 class because it empowers them to treat themselves instead of relying on someone else for relief and support. Changes in students’ lives are very interesting—sometimes dietary shifts, career switches and enhanced intuition. I had one Reiki 2 student email me after class saying colors had become so vivid that she “just wanted to lick the sky! It’s so blue now!”
You describe yourself, on your site, as a “Medical Intuitive Consultant”. What does that title mean?
It means I offer insight to individuals and treatment providers who cannot figure out what’s going on with someone’s health.
What do you do?
I tune into a person’s energy field (aura), cellular memories, and intended life path in order to find the root cause and any unexpected influences on their symptoms. Although I sometimes get a strong hit for someone to request certain medical tests or try a particular treatment, I’m not a doctor, and my impressions usually continue beyond the physical. Our bodies never betray us—instead they attempt to speak to us when we’ve ignored our soul’s messages in every other form. A Medical Intuitive Consultation sheds light on chronic and acute health issues, but it also allows someone to learn what’s headed their way unless they change course. “Issues” usually hit the body last, so picking them up on the spiritual or emotional plane gives people an opportunity to make shifts before something becomes a crisis.
I understand you also practice yoga. What are the benefits of yoga to you, personally?
Along with my 1998 brain injury, I suffered a serious neck injury. When I ran out of Worker’s Comp benefits, I needed to prioritize the funds I spent to get well. Even though my neck hurt constantly, my malfunctioning brain kept me from working, so money went towards visual and cognitive support.
I bought a 20-minute yoga video, and during my first Sun Salutation, I heard a loud pop from my lower back. Something released, and my neck stopped pulling so much. Once I discovered yoga, I could more comfortably forgo treatment on my neck. I also liked the increased muscle tone and sense of accomplishment when I learned new asanas, and my equilibrium shifted closer to normal. My concentration improved, and following yoga sequences reawakened my ability to remember phone numbers and other sequential processes.
Besides helping me heal, yoga has opened so many doors for me, both personally and professionally. Sally Kempton interviewed me for Yoga Journal in 2003. Because of that article, readers with MS, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome began contacting me with their stories, some of which I’ve included in my eBook, . I’ve also met some incredible people by teaching Reiki for Yogi’s classes. And without yoga, I doubt I would have studied Sanskrit or discovered Krishna Das and Deva Premal. What amazingly transformative sounds!
I saw on your site that you also do animal communication. To be frank, this seems a little too far fetched for most people, if you know what I mean.
I actually teach animal communication and other intuitive workshops, because we can all awaken such abilities. Some people are more “natural communicators” than others—just like some people are more “natural athletes”—but with proper training and practice, anyone can improve his or her intuitive and telepathic skills. Most people initially find animal communication “far-fetched,” but everyone has at least one story of a pet or wild animal “knowing just what to do at just the right moment.” Grief especially opens people to messages from animals. Patricia Spork edited a book called, . I contributed to this essay collection, but the other authors are “ordinary” people who experienced “extra-ordinary” connections with animals.
Could you, please, tell more about animal communication, like how you perceive it, what are the possibilities and where are its limits?
It’s primarily a telepathic process. First, I ask the animal’s permission to engage in conversation. I’ve had animals ask me to “check back later,” but none has ever told me “no.” I enter a meditative state and tune into the animal’s soul and Essence. The process feels like letting down all the walls of separation, so that I just “melt” into whatever or whomever wants to communicate. I then upload and download visions, phrases, feelings, memories—whatever wants to reveal itself—similar to searching the internet with multiple browsers open. If an owner asks specific questions, it’s like running a search on Google and retrieving answers in order of relevance. Done telepathically, this happens quickly—especially since most animals use images rather than words to communicate.
Some animals are highly conscious and have actually orchestrated the means to connect (i.e. developed odd behaviors or health problems leading their owners to seek intuitive help), whereas others can’t comprehend that a human could possibly understand them. The less conscious ones just send a physical feeling or ask for energy work. If I start exchanging information with them, they don’t comprehend how much more they could ask or share. That’s fine: one such dog stopped limping after our session even though she’d only shared where her hip hurt and that she would like fifteen minutes of Reiki. On occasion with more conscious animals—often with cats—it takes awhile to “talk” about real things. Some animals play games like humans, purposely diverting attention from the real issues, or lying to see if I’ll call them on it. In these cases, I project extra compassion to remind them of this safe, non-judging place in which to share.
Many animals travel with their owners for multiple lifetimes, contracting to support them on their soul’s journey. These animals usually ask for ways to enhance their human friends’ progress. Other times an animal specifically requests privacy, in which case I present information to their human friend without breaking confidentiality.
Please tell about some cases of your communications with animals?
Shaw was a dog who had been in intense pain for years and his owners planned to put him to sleep. Before doing so, they wanted to make sure Shaw wanted to take this step, and if so, what would he like for his last meal and how to spend his last day? Often owners request these sorts of sessions and the animals say “No way! I’m not ready to go yet! Here’s what’s really going on. …”
As soon as I began this session, though, I knew Shaw intended to pass the next day. He shared some beautiful messages for his human friends. When I asked his request for a final meal he flashed a picture of raw meat but felt silly asking for more. I encouraged him and he sent the impression of oranges and raw cacao. Intrigued, I asked, “Really? You like oranges?” He shared that he really enjoyed their smell. Then I warned, “You know, chocolate’s toxic to dogs.” Shaw replied, “Aren’t I dying anyway? I’d like that raw cacao in the little red boxes.”
I emailed the very lengthy session—including this information—to his owner and she replied that Shaw licked his lips whenever she sprayed an orange scent around the house. He gobbled up his last meal of raw meat, raw cacao and fresh oranges. Shaw had also requested a final trip to Lake Michigan, a favorite spot where he had been unable to go for years. Based on the reading, he got to spend his last day playing in the water like a puppy.
I’ve done sessions for horses, cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds, in addition to “calling” wild animals for my husband’s photography. One can never “prove” communication occurs in the same way a tape recorded verbal conversation would; however, synchronicities, healing, behavior changes and uncanny appearances occur so frequently that they validate the work.
On the list of your professional offerings I saw that you do coaching for entrepreneurs and the like. Is this in some way connected to your other abilities?
Yes, I tend to attract clients on a spiritual path. Many sense their own intuitive gifts but don’t know how to use these. I coach a fair number of nutritionists, artists, authors, and practitioners/teachers of healing arts, as well as people looking to enhance more traditional careers.
Could it be that people who look for coaching might not want to get an animal communicator for a coach? Doesn’t one business hurt the other, in your case?
I suppose it could, and for this reason, I did not initially list animal communication on my website: I only offered it by special request. I kept getting nudges to make it official, though, and within two days of announcing it in a newsletter, I received three new animal clients. One cat owner became a client herself and ended up taking Reiki Master Teacher training from me the following month. I don’t know how many people don’t call me due to the animal communication, but I do know that many clients specifically want to work with me because I can help them develop and embrace their own unusual gifts.
You seem to have collected knowledge and experience in various fields of healing and guidance. If you consider all that, which message would you give people?
You are loved and you are Love.
What are the most important things people should know about life, in your opinion?
We’re here to heal and grow and to help each other heal and grow. By dropping judgments and embracing everyone and everything—especially our Essence or true self—we can actually enjoy our time here and fulfill our purpose. Life becomes a symphony of synchronicities and beautiful experiences—it is so worth the risk!
Thank you, Laura, for this interesting interview.
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