Open Hearts: An interview with Dr. Patricia Lawler of Holly House Center for Integrated HealthCare


A most unique event will take place December 6 when a Twin Cities-based health care center will present a concert by noted performer, crystal bowl musician and singer Ashana with the intention of opening your heart. Event details are available at:

Inspiration for the concert came to Patricia Lawler, DC, DACBN, CTN, DCBCN, clinical director of Holly House Center for Integrated HealthCare in St. Paul. Dr. Lawler has practiced chiropractic and natural health care since 1977. She has advanced training and/or certification in neurology, clinical nutrition, naturopathy and bioenergetic techniques, including neuromodulation technique, NAET, KST, acupuncture and Reiki.

She is dedicated to the advancement of human consciousness and the awareness of God.

She shared with The Edge about the concert and what she hopes it will offer the community.

Dr. Patricia Lawler
Dr. Patricia Lawler of Holly House

What inspired you to create the Open Heart Holiday Concert?
Dr. Patricia Lawler: Your question takes me back to the fact that I have long been a student of the writings of Dr. David Hawkins, psychiatrist, speaker and author of Power vs. Force. That’s where the creation of the Open Heart Concert began for me.

Hawkins developed an awareness of levels of openness to God, which he called calibration levels. He eventually created what is called The Map of Consciousness. It was a tool that enabled us, through Muscle Response Testing, to determine the current level of “Openness to God” for an individual or group. I began to use this in my clinical work to help people understand spiritual challenges they might experience in a given period of time.

In the summer of 2014, I began to notice that some of my friends and clients began to drop on that scale. Previously, most everyone was continuing to gradually go up on the scale. The drops in calibration concerned me. With prayer, I understood this process as not necessarily a bad thing, in the bigger picture of the spiritual transformation that is occurring, but nevertheless, a difficult time. Out of that concern for those who were struggling with the transition, my guidance encouraged me to develop an event called The Open Heart Prayer Gathering. A co-facilitator joined me and we began to hold the event seasonally.

Early this past spring, after a meeting with my co-facilitator, I experienced a nudge from Grace. As I closed my eyes, I saw a multimedia/multi-artist event designed to open people’s hearts to Grace (God). It was quite a large event and the vision of it was rather daunting. I did feel that the event was to happen in 2015. With that in mind, given timing and previous commitments on my part, I begged off the large multimedia event, and focused on a simplified, at least for this initial event, version.

What led you to select Ashana to perform?
PL: Even with the vision of the original multimedia/multi-artist event, I always saw Ashana performing. I had been introduced to her music several years ago. A friend brought me a CD. I popped it into my player as I drove to the clinic one day, and my heart simply burst for joy. I thought to myself, “This woman is singing for God.” That’s my kind of music.

How do you feel when you hear the creations by Ashana?
PL: Listening to Ashana is a simple, yet very complex, experience for me. She weaves such a tapestry from different systems of belief and calls forth different aspects of my spiritual experiences in this life. Grace sings through her music.

For myself, I sometimes feel her music ignites a child-like delight within me, for the simple love of God, being held in God’s embrace, completely safe. I am that little girl going through my first communion; all dressed up in a beautiful little white dress, and completely committed to God and the angels. I contrast that with my experience to the complexity of exquisite sound in a piece such as “Ave Maria,” sung in Latin, from her album All is Forgiven, which elicits a sense of awe or hush of a great cathedral, or the tugging of my heart with the Indian instrumentation in some of the pieces on her recording Jewels of Silence, reminiscent of my pursuit of God in college years.

These pieces take me through all the nuances of spiritual music from my past, but then they infuse those memories with the immediacy of the present — the powerful need to release my resistance and embrace Grace completely, in this moment. It encourages me to walk with an Open Heart. The experience of her music reminds me of a lesson from A Course of Miracles: “The hush of heaven holds my heart today.”

Why is the concert named Open Heart?
PL: To me, an open heart is ultimately a heart that is open to the Grace of God. Such a heart is on a good and sacred path. It is open to love, it is open to healing. It is, I believe, our ultimate path to take on this earth journey.

So there is an intention to this concert. It is one of spiritual and physical healing through beauty of sound, beauty of the written word, and healing vibration of the bowls and instrumentation. All these open the heart. I believe that healing does not need to stop after the concert. I believe, if we manifest this concert to the best of our ability with a completely open heart, it will continue to profoundly impact each person who attends.

What are the keys to opening the heart — and keeping it open?
PL: First of all, you must have a strong intention to develop and maintain an open heart. That intention comes from understanding its power to change your life. It is not an easy path, and yet I believe it is your most natural state of being. Once this intention is made, it can be repeated daily, to reinforce the intention. My co-facilitator of the Open Heart Prayer Gathering, Jackie, meditates daily in the morning on keeping an open heart, and she recommends the use of a small heart to carry with you, to reinforce your intention throughout the day.

Once that intention is established, you must develop a strong inner observer to transform states of being that are not consistent with developing and maintaining an open heart. The observer is part of your conscious awareness that watches for the presence of emotional states of pride, anger, irritation, frustration, fear, chronic grief, apathy, guilt or shame. Then the observer compassionately helps you find the path to transmute them to forgiveness, compassion, and/or gratitude.

Lastly, you must develop the habit of encouragement of open heart states. This will help you make the transition from a closed or partially closed heart to an open heart. Work with intention on your capacity for forgiveness, compassion, appreciation of all life, gratitude and being in a loving heart. It is as simple as learning to take time to “Smell the roses.” Watch for the beauty that is all around you. These are all attributes of one with an open heart. Spend time in the morning or evening in reflection by journaling. Build awareness and an appreciation of your growth in development of these helpful states of being. Each day presents itself as a new opportunity to more fully be of open heart.

Sometimes events can challenge our open heart, such as the recent shootings at the college in Oregon or those at the church in Charleston. These are shocking and sad events. During such times, we must keep our heart open, since it may start to close from fear, anger or grief. Other times, your greatest challenge to maintain an open heart might come from a reaction to your spouse, your children, or to the loss of one of your parents. One of my patients began to experience so much fear when her pet began to age and become ill. Those with whom we have such strong emotional ties will provide us great opportunities to develop and keep an open heart.

For whom is the Open Heart Holiday Concert intended?
PL: The concert is intended for all those persons who already love the Divine (God). The concert will be a wonderful celebration of that love. It is also intended for those who feel they have lost their way or have fallen off the path, or who find themselves angry, sad or fearful too often. We plan that it will help them open up their hearts once again. It is intended for those who are in physical or emotional pain and need the soothing balm of divinely inspired song, sacred word, crystalline healing vibration of the bowls and heart-opening flute and strings.

It also is for those who seek community in Grace, or want to be refreshed in a direct experience of Grace, by renewing their commitment in their own religious communities. Children 12 years or older may have a powerful experience, as well. We are not recommending younger children attend, however, in that it is their nature to wiggle and run about. They probably would not want to sit through the concert.

How does this event reflect what you offer at Holly House?
PL: Our work at Holly House has long focused on a holistic model. The transformational time in which we now find ourselves contributes to the need for physical, emotional and spiritual support as the level of intensity of the spiritual energy being experienced increases and often stresses our bodies.

We have found a combination of functional, structural and consciousness — or spiritual medicine — to be the best approach to help people not only heal their physical and emotional wounds, but to better adapt to the stress on their biological systems from these increased spiritual energies. Supportive work ranges from making sure people are structurally aligned so that their neurological systems can work at their best, to blood analysis to see if their diet and overall health is optimal, to helping a person release chronic anxiety through bioenergetic therapies.

I know we have all experienced or heard stories about the importance of love in a person’s life. It has the power to completely eradicate a disease. I have experienced the power of love and an open heart in the clinic. This concert event honors our belief in the power of love and an open heart and represents our strong commitment to consciousness/spiritual medicine.

For more information on Holly House Center for Integrated HealthCare, call 651.645.6951 or visit

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Tim Miejan
Tim Miejan is a writer who served as former editor and publisher of The Edge for twenty-five years. Contact him at [email protected].


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