As a corporate lawyer, entrepreneur, blogger and longtime volunteer with Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful, Cheryl Leutjen has led an interesting life. But did you know that the one-time member of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council is also a certified “Modern Day Priestess” trained in ancient wisdom practices?
One of Cheryl’s many skills is shamanic breathwork—the ability to embrace goodness, joy and beauty simply by breathing in a certain way along with a group of other human beings.
And today, Friday, Cheryl will lead a one-hour “Community Breath” session aimed at rejuvenating participants' lives.
The session, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., will be held at Live Arts L.A., a multipurpose dance studio located on 4210 Panamint St., on the intersection of Eagle Rock Boulevard.
Coursework fee is $10 per person, with an RSVP, and $12 at the door. To RSVP, call or text Cheryl at (818) 398-4995 or e-mail her at Cheryl@blissfulsoul.com.
Eagle Rock Patch asked Cheryl seven questions about her therapeutic breathing.
• What inspired you to hold a Community Breath session?
The world is changing and many people are feeling fear because of it. It only takes the square root of 1 percent of a population to achieve a noticeable shift in consciousness in a community. Many people are also struggling financially right now, and I want to give back to the community that has supported me unceasingly.
• What will happen during the Community Breath session?
People will come into the room, put down a yoga mat and/or whatever else they need to get comfortable lying on the floor. We will spend just a couple of minutes on introductions. Then I will instruct everyone in a very simple breathing process. Everyone will then get comfortable, the lights will dim, the music will begin, and each person will have their own experience. Being a one-hour, lunchtime event, we will take just a few minutes at the end for anyone who wants to share their experience.
• Why do you think Eagle Rockers are especially in need of this event?
I don’t know that Eagle Rock is especially in need. My feeling is that the world is changing and people around the world are feeling anxious, fearful, and angry. I live—and love—beyond all measure Eagle Rock, so I offer my services here. “Think globally, act locally.”
• How many of these sessions have you held?
Although I have facilitated many individual sessions, this is my first group session since the groups I facilitated during my training work. And although I love working with individual clients, I realize that the cost of an individual session is not within the means of everyone. I want to be as accessible as possible, so I created Community Breath, based on the Community Yoga and Community Acupuncture concept of giving back to the community with a low-cost, high availability option.
• What’s your training?
I am a Modern Day Priestess, certified by the Institute of Modern Wisdom. The initial training is a one-year commitment to working with the wisdom underlying all spiritual traditions, as well as specific timeless practices, such as breathwork, prayer and meditation. The certification process is an additional commitment that concludes with a rigorous assessment.
• What are some transformations you’ve seen or heard about during a Community Breath event?
The “transformation” that occurs in a breath session depends on the willingness and readiness of the participant. There is nothing that will happen “to” a person. The breath session simply sets the stage and issues the invitation for what the person is already ready and willing to let go—that which they are ready to release and to experience the freedom that ensues. It may be that one individual is ready to release a painful memory of something that happened long ago, while the person next to her is ready to experience the peace of letting go of worry about something that may never happen.
• Who would you say attends such events?
My intention is that Community Breath be comfortable for anyone who is willing to lie on the floor for an hour and simply breathe. No prior experience or belief system is required. You do not have to do yoga, practice meditation or be a vegan to attend.