Santa Cruz’s Renee Tennant believes balancing bioenergy can change the way we live. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

Santa Cruz’s Renee Tennant believes balancing bioenergy can change the way we live. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

During his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs dispensed a curious piece of advice: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” He implored the fresh crop of graduates to muster their courage and follow their hearts and intuition, for “they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Dr. Bradley Nelson, holistic physician and author of The Emotion Code, thinks there’s something to that. He believes barriers resulting from traumas—what he calls “heart walls”—limit our ability to connect with our true selves and honor our true desires. Nelson theorizes that a whopping 93 percent of humanity lives with a debilitating retainer around our “second brains.”

“I think that Steve Jobs was most likely one of the seven percent of people who do not have a heart wall,” writes Nelson.

Torn between a slight cringe at the new-agey fanaticism of Nelson’s spiel and a growing obsession about my own possible “heart wall,” I decided to reach out to local healer and certified bioenergy balancing practitioner Renee Tennant. Well-versed in the art of identifying and releasing heart walls, her alluring business card simply reads: “Be Your Authentic Self.”

We meet on the beach, where she brings many of her clients. Being someone who would rather be branded on the forehead with a scarlet “L” than make purchases from the self-help section of the bookstore (although sheepish browsing can be highly enjoyable), I’m instantly reassured by the non-judgmental demeanor of this tall and trim mother of two.

“It’s actually kind of pleasant in some ways, I enjoy just letting that energy roll through me, and I know that when I allow it to roll through me it actually assists you, because you’ve made that energy significant, not me,” says Tennant, when I press her on how it must feel to clear all of that dark energy from her clients. “It’s just helping you to unpack that energy,”

For Tennant, it’s just like watching a movie.  Walking in the morning sunshine of New Brighton beach, she “calibrates” her energy to mine, and based on the images she gets, immediately picks up on my worrying about a coworker who was going into surgery that day.

Using a discreet “muscle testing” technique with her pointer and index fingers, she finds energy blockages and releases them with a satisfying sigh.

“It’s no more weird than being quiet and asking God for insight, that’s all it’s really doing,” she claims. “Instead, I’m more tuning into ‘God,’ as in God in everything, as energy. Everything has energy…this physical body just happens to be the vehicle that the energy is moving around in, in this physical world.”

Tennant has been working with energy for eleven years now, and she’s found numerous connections between her clients’ physical health issues and their emotional counterparts—low tyrosine levels in people dealing with a controlling or tyrannical partner or parent, digestive issues in those living with something they don’t want, bone issues in people who are convinced they are unsupported in life.

In the course of a two-hour walk, we bump up against a heart wall of my own creation, which is holding in place another more encrusted one, passed down a line of grandfathers that reaches back two centuries. She works on releasing them, and opening up my perspective to see a wider span of possibilities—not just the finite ones I think I’ll die if I don’t achieve.

Maybe it was my willingness to confess a long list of mistakes and a few traumas, but I left the beach feeling lighter, more optimistic about my current path and pretty confident I’m not living anyone’s life but my own.

For more information about Renee’s work as an Intuitive Facilitator, visit