Life Lessons

The Healing Journey of Author, Jewelry Designer and Fitness Fanatic Laurie Beck

Sometimes you have to invent your own miracle.” So says author, jewelry designer and fitness guru Laurie Beck. After being diagnosed with two forms of cancer (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and marginal cell leukemia) in 2006, in addition to seeing one of the best oncologists in the country, Beck immersed herself into the vigilant practice of several complementary therapies, from yoga, meditation and Reiki to wearing crystals and using the power of positive thinking. Five years later Beck’s cancer is indolent but could recur anytime. This possibility has strengthened her resolve to stay well mentally, physically and spiritually.

 Laurie Beck in her 30A studio, Pilates by the Sea, where she says, “Our clients get to go on a calm journey to experience what they need for that moment. It’s all about breathing, moving and connecting.”

To share her hard-won lessons through her cancer journey, Beck has published a meditative book, “Eight Little Lessons of Hope and Healing.” Her intent is to help others tap into the personal healing power she believes we all possess.

Though Beck, who is married with three sons, has operated Pilates by the Sea fitness studio in Santa Rosa Beach for seven years, life wasn’t always a walk on the beach for this New York native. A series of hard knocks, a strained relationship with her mother and a proclivity to anxiety were shackles on Beck. It wasn’t until she was faced with an incurable disease that she found the drive to heal her heart and health from the inside out. Beck talked with EC Magazine about her personal path to peace and her future plans.

EC: How did you get involved in

Eastern therapies?

LB: All I read for 25 years were “self-help” books. My mother and I had a strained relationship for most of my life. But when I got sick, it was such a shift in our relationship and brought us closer together. She said, “I want you to de-stress your body.” I tried acupuncture every two weeks for a year. I could feel things shifting in my body. Words could not explain it.

EC: You practice Reiki. What is it and why do you espouse it?

LB: Reiki is a form of energy healing. It calms the body and puts you in that really Zen safe place. I went to my mother’s Reiki master five years ago. I felt all of this energy moving around me. For a half an hour her hands never left the left side of my body, but she did not know my spleen was bulging there. When we were done I felt the heat. I felt so calm. I felt like I was on a drug.

EC: You talk about listening being important. How so?

LB: Listening is an art. I always moved my body, but I didn’t go deep to find the answers. That’s when I learned about being quiet and listening to myself. Now I work on all three things: mind, body and spirit.

EC: Do you have a daily routine?

LB: When I was sick, I had a serious daily routine of Reiki, acupuncture and drank some serious Chinese medicine. My priorities were reading to get educated and figuring out how to get well.

EC: What is your routine now?

LB: Now I wake up in the morning and assess my day. I gather my dog and we lie on my Biomat for 45 minutes and practice TM (Transcendental Meditation). I do some form of exercise. I call it T-walking. It’s a time I can be quiet in my head. I pace myself.

EC: You have paired a different crystal with each chapter lesson in your book. What is your favorite crystal and why?

LB: I love crystal quartz, because it eliminates negative energy. Amethyst is a very powerful, healing crystal. What attracted me to the crystals is the thought or message that you create in your own mind.

EC: Tell us about your memoir,
an e-book due out in late spring.

LB: It takes you back to my childhood and the time leading up to the progression of how I got sick. When I got my [cancer diagnosis] news. I had to look at everyone I loved and say, “You’ll have to let me do what I need to do.” I shifted my whole way of being. I have an incurable cancer. I’ve been told my cancer never goes away, but I live with peace every day.

EC: How do you think you got sick?

LB: I had a lot of major anxiety growing up. I never got a break. I never got to feel calm. Your cells react to stress in your body. It’s a matter of your strong cells being able to fight that out. So I learned a lot of tools when I got sick at 42, like Reiki, energy work and learning how to eliminate from the body any negativity.

EC: Do you fear a recurrence of your disease?

LB: It comes into my head once a day, maybe more, but I honor it and say anything’s possible. That’s when I go to those places and shift my thinking to something positive.

EC: How has your health scare changed you?

LB: I live with such peace and harmony now. Of course I still worry, but I worry way less. My life is just so much more vibrant. I’m not striving for things that are unnecessary anymore. I use the metaphor of the lotus flower. And I think of that flower that blooms in murky water, and I get to live my life and get to shine in any situation.

EC: What is next for you?

LB: My true passion is being an equestrian. I taught children to ride horses. I’ve always been geared to be a teacher. So, my next mission is to share my story to help others at a bigger level.