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Brenda Hinton: a Life Seeking Energy's Raw Forms

From a very early age, I knew there had to be more going on than what I could see, sense, or put my fingers on. What powered the blooming of a spring flowers, the flights of starlings in the Fall? How does the family dog know its master is coming home, or lightning is about to strike? Something's happening here, and while I'm still seeking a better word, I call this "energy." All my life, I have been trying to understand more about this strange force that seems to power everything in and around me.

Brenda and sister Deanna
Brenda and sister Deanna

As I began to come into my own powers, I noticed that my thoughts and intentions were somehow interconnected. As soon as I started playing with this idea, most likely in my teens, I discovered that energy is always present, and that my personal key to success is seeing through the details to underlying energy flows. As early as my first work as a dollar-a-day docent at the Dey Mansion in Wayne, New Jersey, I discovered that I possess a knack for explaining things in terms that people can understand. I also uncovered a talent for learning by osmosis, for absorbing intelligence from that historic old building itself, as if the walls were talking to me. I had so much fun interpreting between-the-lines of the official story of this place where George Washington applied his prowess as father of his country in so many ways!

Brenda and Mike in Montreal, 2010
Brenda and Mike in Montreal

When I was 16, I took my first international trip . . . to Yugoslavia, of all places. While most young adults on the East Coast go to England or the continent, my "energy" offered up this beautiful, mysterious Iron Curtain nation. I cried for the first few days, wondering what I'd gotten myself into and how was I going to last two whole months -- an eternity for a 16-year-old! But soon I made friends, accepted the adventure, and had a great time. Since then, I'm ready to go on a moment's notice, and I love seeing and knowing about people's daily lives in different places.

When my family moved to California, I hired on as a tour guide for the Queen Mary, a wonderfully storied (and mysterious!) retired cruise ship moored in Long Beach harbor. Once I had memorized the authorized spiel, I delighted my audiences with embellishments and enrichments. After striking out on my own, my love for travel led me to work with an agency specializing in "Out West" tours for adventurous Europeans. This work fostered my appreciation for the natural beauty of the Western U.S. while sharpening my disaffection for thickly settled urban environments.

Brenda at Living Light, 2009
Brenda at Living Light

Toward the end of my Long Beach days . . . or was it a daze? . . . my husband and I established a rural escape in Kennedy Meadows along the spine of the Sierra Nevada mountains. There I could feel my geographic intelligence stretching out to encompass the sound of the wind in the birds' wings, and indulge my fascination for nothingness. In our little off-the-grid refuge, I felt myself beginning to heal. This was the first little chink in the urban structure of my life through which I saw the light of my own nature.

The chink became a doorway during the last tour I directed, exploring the natural spectacle of my beloved Pacific Northwest with my international band of travelers. I decided it was time to find myself a way out of the urban sprawl, and take up work leading more directly to understanding energy. So I applied for, and got, a job in the education department at Real Goods, then at its peak as a purveyor of renewable energy products and systems.

Brenda teaching a raw foods class, 2010
Brenda teaching a raw foods class

After my jobs that subordinated teaching to organizational and hospitality tasks, this work plunged me into the deep end of the pedagogical pool. My students, who were mostly well-established adults came to me looking for meaning and connection in their lives. They wanted to solve the mysteries and unknowable secrets of electricity, plumbing, light, power generation. . . all the energy flows that are conventionally concealed behind walls and under pavement in the built environment, to be ministered to by a technical priesthood of electricians, plumbers, builders, and architects. My teaching colleagues, while masters of their narrow engineering and technical fields -- photovoltaic power, water management, permaculture -- were as much at a loss as our students when it came to grasping and processing the bigger picture: the interconnectedness and interflow of natural energies that permeate and inform the real world. My skill for offering the simple, understandable explanation, and for learning from the lessons provided by the material to be learned, gave me a big advantage. What a delight, to hook a solar panel to a blender and make solar smoothies for a group of mystified students on their first day! Over and over I heard students say, "You mean, electricity is that simple?!" Being the catalyst, enabling my students to see through to the causes and sources, and knowing they would take their new knowledge back to their communities and use it to reshape their lives, was a complete thrill.

My chief instructor, and still my friend and collaborator, Michael Potts, sat one afternoon with me while a well-versed expert in feng shui, the Asian art of settling in harmonious arrangements with the world, managed to impress our students with her knowledge without transferring any useful understanding to them. "You can do better, right?" he asked me. I told him I could certainly try, and plunged into a quick study of feng shui basics. Not surprisingly, I found them to be completely in accord with the conclusions I had been developing about interconnectedness and the importance of perceiving energy flows and adjusting my intentions to them. This challenge, to take on an unknown discipline, make it my own, and then communicate my understanding to others, lifted me to a new level of confidence in my ability to interpret complex and arcane ideas to ready listeners.

Brenda and Tyler
Brenda and Tyler

Another close friend and advisor, my dog Tyler, had been urging me to explore animal communication -- another major clue in my life that there's something going on beneath the skin of appearances. The time was perfect for me to deepen this study, and a chance to learn from the great animal communicator Carol Gurney synchronistically presented itself. I was mesmerized! In the mid 1990s I left my work at Real Goods to pursue further studies with Carol and another master communicator, Penelope Smith, learning hungrily. When I started practicing, I understood how important practice is to any skill -- practice, practice, practice! -- just like playing the piano, or, I guess, doing surgery. I feel my energy being drawn to some study, even something as obscure as renewable energy or animal communication, it has become a part of my self-discipline to accept this as a sort of divine guidance, and follow: always, follow the energy. (Much more about my adventures with animal communication can be found at the website

Also during the late 1990s I pursued in depth my fascination with bioresonance, another scientifically unfashionable study that nevertheless led me to more irrefutable truths about the interconnections between planet and people. Bioresonance tells us that every element has a characteristic vibration . . .and this carries on to compounds, entities, even places. If one is able to rightly detect the resonance, and if it is determined to be toxic or damaging, this suggests that some kind of counter-resonance may be found and administered, allowing the body to heal or mitigate the damage.

I was curious about the effects of bioresonance on animals, and found that I could use the human-oriented findings to correct otherwise unexplainable dysfunctions in dogs and horses. Typically, a horse owner would send a hair sample for testing, and I could determine the source of the problem and prepare remedies, usually two, one psychological, and one physical. These remedies, sent back to the owner and given to the animal, always separately, quite often were miraculously (in the eyes of conventional science) effective. Much to my interest, the horses consistently took to the psychological remedy first, and consumed it three times as fast as the other. Bioresonance studies also showed me that the large majority of my clients were plagued by geopathic stress -- stresses associated with living in a place where they are at odds with the planet due to unseen energies of the earth that go unrecognized by "civilized" property ownership patterns and work habits. These stresses undermine our health and block our ability to heal ourselves.

Brenda teaching a raw foods class, 2010
Brenda at Yayasan Widya Guna Orphanage in Bali

There are two sides to right timing, and for me the downside came into evidence toward the end of 2006. I could feel my animal communication practice slowing down. It felt like some sort of completion, like the pause right before a new burst of energy comes along. One lesson learned well over the years is, in the face of dry spells and setbacks, don't push, but be patient, and await the next wave. I asked my husband Mike if we were okay if I let my practice slow down, and he reassured me.

In January, 2007, I awoke one morning with my hand under my arm in a very uncharacteristic position, and there beneath my fingers I could feel, without any doubt, a lump. I knew immediately that my body was telling me something terribly important. My diagnosis was immediately confirmed by my doctor, and it became my fulltime job to regain my health.

This became a time for me to listen carefully to the voices within me, learn them intimately, and watch for and attend immediately to all the clues brought to me through synchronicity and interconnectedness. Within less than a day of my diagnosis, having worked through the freak out, I determined that cancer was to be an important part of my story. "I have it," I thought, "so what do I do with it?" Through my bioresonance studies, I was exposed to all the latest "bug juices" and anti-establishment thinking, but that seemed like only part of the story to me. Following the energy, I looked with new attention and focus at the roadblocks along the paths of natural remedies, and, as I examined them, I saw that my personal yellow brick road led me toward an integration of conventional therapies (radiation and chemotherapy) combined with careful nutrition. Although I never could see all the way to the end of the story, I was always willing to put one foot in front of the other and follow the path that beckoned.

My cancer journey became a perfect lesson for me in waiting patiently for the right moment, the right energy, the appropriate synergism, to present itself. Unfailingly, I was led to a series of choices that often did not make complete sense, or were even dissonant. All my complementary therapies, natural approaches and studies, tended to question all the conventions but led me to conclude that I needed to keep my chi -- my life force -- moving using any and every tool that offered itself. I was nevertheless microscopically critical, examining every offering to be sure it was on a path that felt right to me. When conventional therapies "required" peripheral medications to combat nausea, dizziness, and so forth, or when I was told I would "have to" preload myself with steroids in preparation for the draconian A-C chemo, I quickly determined that the side effects of these medications were more destructive than the symptoms they were meant to combat, and I stoutly rejected them. Instead, I managed the nausea with accupuncture, and maintained my health through conscious, ever-vigilant provision of natural and raw plant-based foods.

Brenda after Donnas Run half marathon in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, February 2011

This experience led inevitably to the work I do today. I began with raw foods to counteract the poisons used to reject my cancer, but now that I am healthy, I crave raw foods because my body tells me they're what I need. I experimented with "going 100% raw" to see how it felt -- it felt great! -- but my love of people and travel often leads me to places where I can be only mostly raw. Rather than obsessing, I constantly seek the balance that allows me to be ever-attentive to the energy that flows around me, the ever-present interplay of intention and possibility, the synchronicities perpetually on offer. As I work my way further through my life and along this road of discovery, I find that seeking my balance allows me to feel healthy, keep my mind clear, my body always at the top of its game, and me, always ready to present the Brenda Show!

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