Holistic healing practitioner, Leyla Jo Piper, from Nardi Point is with us today! I’m thrilled! We’re sitting outside in the garden with the wonderful Carolina sun warming our shoulders and releasing the scent of green grass and cascading Lady Banks roses.
Nancy: Leyla Jo Welcome! I’ve been looking forward to this since first meeting you, a while back now!
Leyla Jo: Thanks for your warm welcome … I’ve brought along some of my Lemon Squares. Have one?
Nancy: My yes!! Yum! Oh My! Laurinda was right, these are exceptionally good! Mmmh! So … Leyla Jo, people are so interested in you right now. You have no idea how many come up to me and ask about you. For one, my friend Emma says you inspire her to live a more authentic life. That you just had the strength to go out and do it. Has your path as a holistic healing practitioner enabled this? What is a holistic healing practitioner?
Leyla Jo: Where do I begin? I think most sincerely, my spirit had a natural yearning or, or inclination toward blending pure natural knowing with man devised clock-time reality. Perhaps because my early days were unstructured by having a true family. You know, where parents want success for their children and they fuss and shape them onto the paths for social success. I grew up in the Robeson County countryside with a “foster mom” Aunt Beatrice. Dear Aunt Beatrice wanted me to find my heart’s happiness as, if you remember, my original family was sketchy. I think she knew with the way things began for me, if I could be happy and follow my heart, that in itself was success.
Nancy: Yes, I remember. You’d described it … let me get the quote here, “Three years old and barefoot, Leyla Jo stands on a sorry, ramshackle porch of a small, Carolina farmhouse. An old woman, it’s Aunt Beatrice, holds her small hands together tightly in hers and looks into Leyla Jo’s eyes. She looks back into Aunt Beatrice’s brown, sun-wrinkled face and knows something’s happened, something she doesn’t understand. The dear old woman tells her, momma won’t be back, never mind a father gone long before.”
Leyla Jo: (Deep breath) Yes, she was my inspiration, an example of kindness and folkways that I embraced as I grew older. I had the opportunity to go to Nursing school. It was there my own personal discovery developed, that it took more than medicine to help my patients. That there were spiritual components that could be integrated into a holistic nursing care plan. It felt so right in the core of my being. From there I continued to explore the science of health and healing, combining an integral approach to patient care. I became a Reiki Practitioner, level two, and incorporated that modality into my own holistic practice.
Nancy: Most people say, Reiki? What’s that?
Leyla Jo: Ahhh. Reiki is a reach beyond conventional therapy and can be best categorized as a bio-energy therapy. The Reiki practitioner uses light touch, or no touch if the patient prefers, in a set process of hand positions to balance the biofield and strengthen the body’s ability to heal itself. It’s similar to Therapeutic Touch. Both therapies have been used in hospitals for terminally ill patients with Cancer or other diagnoses.
Leyla Jo: Yes. And to introduce some type of metric to establishe the beneficial effect, for Therapeutic Touch, clinical lab tests such as hematocrit levels were taken. The idea being if oxygen blood levels were improved (hematocrit levels go higher) post therapy, more blood is supplied to the body and brings oxygen to the area, promoting healing.
Nancy: I can understand that. And you have a great office/studio, too for your practice, don’t you.
Leyla Jo: Yes, I LOVE my studio. It’s simple and wide open to nature and the sun!
Nancy: Like we are here, today in the garden!
Leyle Jo: Hmmmm.
Nancy: Tell me more about what it was like to find those Native American potsherds? I can’t believe it took place here in Raleigh! Who would have guessed?
Leyla Jo: That was amazing! When I touched them the first time I was taken to another world … I never would have imagined the journey the discovery would take me on … the journey it took everyone on …. But it makes sense. The Neuse River right here in this position of the Piedmont would be ideal for Native Americans to travel and forage. And artifacts consistently turn up on Carolina farmland.
Nancy: Seems to me I’ve heard of a reality TV series that goes around using metal detectors and state of the art excavation tools to discover and dig up artifacts.
Leyla Jo: I’ve heard about that series, too. Artifacts are irreplaceable, particularly their origin, or with what else surrounds them. That’s called the provenience or context, and once that’s destroyed, you can never go back to how it was.
Nancy: Yes, you had a very special connection to those artifacts, didn’t you.
Leyla Jo: Just my whole life ….
Nancy: A little birdie told me we’ll be finding out more about you in a follow-up story, A Path through the Garden?
Leyla Jo: Yes, that’s right!
Nancy: We’ll be keeping our eyes out for that one, too. Please stay a while longer with us, Leyla Jo and take questions? Can you do that?
Leyla Jo: Sure can!
Nancy: Thanks … and maybe even share the Lemon Bar recipe?
Leyla Jo: We’ll see!