From couples I have married:

We love the ceremony you created for us and appreciate that you worked with us to make it personal. You put us at ease about the actual wedding day, and we are happy you led our ceremony. —A & R, New York, New York

Thank you for the beautiful ceremony. You brought creativity and joy to the process. — M & J, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Words cannot express the beauty, integrity and magic that your words and guidance brought to our wedding! You are extremely gifted and we are ever thankful for sharing those gifts with us on our special day! — J & C, Santa Fe, New Mexico

It was a pleasure to collaborate with you. We are very grateful to you for expertly creating and leading us through a very personal and intimate ceremony. Our friends and family were delighted with your company and would have happily welcomed more time with you.— N & B, New York and Washington, D.C.

It was wonderful to have you officiating at H and M’s  wedding ceremony last Friday. They could not have asked for anyone better to usher them into married life. The ceremony was a perfect combination of traditional, Buddhist, and personal (H and M’s vows to each other). Thank you so much for all the work you did before the ceremony, and for making the wedding so memorable. —From the mother of the bride, Santa Fe, New Mexico (the couple resides in Washington. D.C.)

From members of the groups I facilitate:

I feel so comfortable and accepted in this great group of women. . . .I just loved our meeting last night. What a perfect group of women. And you are just brilliant and inspiring.  I can’t tell you how perfect our group meeting is for me.

I am feeling so grateful for the support and nourishment of your wonderful creative energy in my life right now. . . .just in time!

It is amazing how complete strangers end up bonding in one way or another in such a short period of time.

I am experiencing how powerful it is to share and have the opportunity to learn from other’s life experiences or feelings. Also, like you say, it helps to put what one is going through into another perspective.

My time with the group has been a great opening to getting back to life.  After two years of digging out from 4th stage cancer I now feel unstuck. I am really full of gratitude to Hollis. . .

I love you and I love your writing group! You more than anyone or anything has steered me in the direction of writing. I can feel it now, I’m committed. I am realizing the same energy and passion that I used to achieve with the visual arts. It’s been a long, dry spell but the monsoon season is at hand!

From spiritual guidance clients:

What a wonderful first session with you! I appreciated how you held the space for me to be honest and to sit with me with my most difficult questions without trying to find a solution to save me from my pain. . . . The session brought me a sense of focus and peace that I didn’t feel beforehand. . . .I am very excited to do this work with you.—EH, Los Angeles, California

I can’t speak highly enough of Hollis. She’s completely engaged, a soothing yet bracing blend of counselor, theologian, professor, artist, and friend. She effortlessly, fearlessly accompanied me wherever I needed a spiritual companion: into the intellect, the spirit, into dreams, emotions, questions, and doubts. Each time we met, my frayed spirit was calmed, and I left the session with at least one solid new insight or perfect resource for my needs. –TC, Berkeley, California

From a home blessing client:

When we sold the house in Santa Fe in which I had lived for 21 years and my partner for the last 16, we asked Hollis to perform a “Farewell” ceremony. A small circle of friends, and the couple who had bought the home, attended. Hollis’ ceremony was simultaneously solemn and joyful; everybody was invited to participate, and the event combined elements of any number of spiritualities, so nobody’s beliefs were ignored. It made turning the house over to new owners so much easier for us and for them. We’re now happily settled in a different city and are eager to have Hollis join us for a visit, not just because we love her but because we want her to bless this place as she did our old house. –EK, Tucson, Arizona

From the widow of a man to whom I ministered during his final illness and whose funeral I conducted:

Dear Hollis:
You were perfect, everyone loved you! I heard comments: “so well structured,” “captured
the very essence of John.’’ You delivered it in just the right tone; for a moment
you brought John back to me. Thank you ever so much. I will never forget what a wonderful job you did for John.
–PH, Benicia, California

From a hospital chaplaincy patient:

You helped me accept my illness and to begin to see the good in myself. You have done more to help me repair my self-esteem than anyone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.—SM, Napa, California

From a hospital chaplaincy patient, written by her husband:

I’ve thought a lot about why we appreciate you so much. The essence is that we felt you cared and that you knew who we were. S. was getting sicker and sicker. We were afraid she might die from some acute problem at any moment. . . . .I hear people talking about having a calling, and you embody what I wish all of them meant. . . .Your concern seemed completely genuine to us and seems to flow from your personal essence. Your presence was a tremendous relief for me, because I knew you would be there for S. ––JD, Napa, California

From  Palliative Care Services of Santa Fe, after a workshop I offered:

Many thanks for your willingness to spend time with our newest volunteers. You struck just the right note, including spiritual as well as practical insights. We are grateful for your generous contribution of time. —Lynn McKelvey, Volunteer Coordinator, PCS

I am grateful to the clients whose letters are reproduced here.–HW