by Rebecca Antsis and Karen G. Meshkov
Becky Austill-Clausen is the definition of likable. Her unmistakable Boston accent exudes a feistiness and warmth; she remembers your name, your interests, even your life’s minutiae, and relays her accomplishments without the pomp and circumstance one might assume from a highly successful businesswoman, former college teacher, author and gifted intuitive.
While she now calls Chester County home, this “pastor’s kid” was raised in a Boston suburb. Despite her father’s profession, Austill-Clausen says, “Religion just didn’t work for me.” What really excited her was academics and a good challenge. By high school, she was holding down multiple jobs while maintaining a stellar GPA.
It was during a four-year experience volunteering for a nursing home when Austill-Clausen discovered her passion for health care and, ultimately, occupational therapy. Like all of her pursuits, she followed this path doggedly.
By age 30, she was an entrepreneur, a woman of science and a (self-described) workaholic. She held an advanced master’s degree, was teaching at the university level, was the president of the Delaware Occupational Therapy Association and top of her field as a medical equipment consultant. When asked about her distinguished professional trajectory, she beams: “I just didn’t want to be bored.”
Suddenly, Austill-Clausen’s work-obsessed reality was turned inside out when her younger brother, David, died from the AIDS virus. Remarkably, not long after his passing, David began communicating with her from beyond the grave. It was Austill-Clausen’s first communication with the afterlife, setting in motion a monumental, year-long transformation of consciousness. She delineates this spiritual blossoming in her memoir Change Maker: How My Brother’s Death Woke Up My Life. Written in refreshingly relatable prose, Austill-Clausen gives readers a month-to-month account of her metamorphosis from Type “Triple A” workaholic to spiritual empath.
Austill-Clausen insists she is not unique: “If I could do it, anyone can. I had no psychic or spiritual experience. I believe we all have the ability to access the spiritual realm if and when we acknowledge that it’s possible.”
Her life now is a practice of integrating her two selves; having added master reiki practitioner to her list of accomplishments, Austill-Clausen has championed the idea that reiki can be used as a preparatory method to help clients focus, relieve stress and decrease pain, enabling participation in occupation-based treatment sessions. She offers reiki courses for occupational therapists and laypeople alike, promoting its benefits as a gentle and safe healing modality that facilitates relaxation, reduces pain and activates the body’s natural healing energies. It should come as no surprise that Austill-Clausen was the first to teach a reiki and OT Level I certificate program at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference, which she has done since 2015.
Austill-Clausen is on the road a lot these days, presenting to crowded rooms at conferences, hospice programs, universities and centers of spiritual convergence everywhere. But whether she is signing books, dialoguing about the metaphysical or teaching integrative healing, her disposition reads luminous, graceful and joyous.
“This is FUN!” is one of her most popular expressions, and one can’t help but agree.
Change Maker is available online at Austill-Clausen’s website, on Amazon.com in e-book or print and in bookstores nationwide.
Rebecca Austill-Clausen is an author, reiki master and occupational therapist who has served over 100,000 clients. For more information, call 610-363-7446, email Becky@CompHealthWorks.com or visit RebeccaAustillClausen.com.
Rebecca Antsis is a Pennsylvania-based writer, multimedia performer and editorial associate for Natural Awakenings BuxMont. Connect at RebeccaAntsis@gmail.com.
Karen G. Meshkov is the Publisher and Director of Advertising Partnerships for Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Connect at Publisher@NABuxMont.com.