About Barbara Clearbridge

In brief

Barbara’s first career was as a professional musician. That led to her discovering the power of music to heal, including helping people find spiritual solace and inspiration. Eventually Barbara moved to direct healing through Energy Work, a scientific approach to laying-on-of-hands healing.

Spiritual direction began for Barbara as an offshoot of this work. Clients sometimes had spiritual crises related to serious illness or the death of loved ones. People also turned to her for hope in times of national or world despair. In January of 2017, she decided to fill out her training and offer this service more widely.

Barbara’s other name: shulamith eagle

When Barbara turned 50, she had a “croning” celebration. For its conclusion, six people did Reiki healing on her at the same time. During this, Barbara had a mystical experience in which she was given the name “shulamith eagle” for the next part of her life. “Shulamith” means “peace” in Hebrew. It took a year or so for her to discover how “peace” and “eagle” could go together. Once she understood, she began using the name with friends. Because she had a reputation in her field, she kept her formal name with clients. Since “Barbara” means “alien” or “stranger,” as in “barbarian,” Barbara prefers the name shulamith. She has now decided to merge her names. Clients are welcome to use whichever they prefer.

Spiritual background

From childhood, Barbara had paranormal perception. What felt to her like spiritual experiences didn’t fit into the religion in which she grew up. As a teenager, she had a recurring illness which being “good” and faithfully fulfilling prayer practices didn’t relieve or cure. Therefore she tried a sincere practice of several religions and spiritual traditions, searching for what seemed like the God she knew, and thinking that when she found the true one, the correct one, she would be healed. So she rejected God as a fiction.

After several unhappy years, she had the first of what became periodic mystical experiences. These convinced her of God’s reality and presence and, eventually, of God’s love for her and responsiveness to prayers.

Not finding a spiritual home, she put together an assortment of rites and practices which nourished her. Oddly, quite a few of these she found later in Iroquois traditions, though her ancestors were Caucasians from Eastern Europe.

In 1994, after 10 years of study, Barbara hung out a shingle as an energy work practitioner, using a scientific approach to laying-on-of-hands healing. Her paranormal perception guided her treatments, enabling her to be called a Medical Intuitive. About a year later, spiritual healing began to happen during her treatments. So she changed from charging sliding fees to working entirely by love offering, and added prayer to her sessions for those clients who wished it.

In 1995, Barbara recognized that God was the focus of her life. She was ordained as a minister in a non-traditional, interfaith congregation. Eventually there was a schism in the “mother” church and the community fractured. Looking again for companions on the way, she discovered the Religious Society of Friends, known as Quakers.

Quakers can come from many religious backgrounds, or from none at all. They unite around the idea that “there is that of God in everyone” and their task is to relate to each other on that basis. There are many kinds of Quakers. Barbara‚Äôs “Meeting” (congregation) in Middlebury, Vermont is an “unprogrammed” Quaker Meeting. This means there is no person designated as clergy or spiritual leader of the congregation; everyone has the responsibility to minister to each other and everyone takes responsibility for the spiritual quality of the Meeting. Middlebury Friends Meeting provides oversight for Barbara’s spiritual direction practice.

This background information is given to help you feel at ease. Barbara is an interfaith spiritual director. Therefore she will not seek to convert clients to Quakerism, nor does she think it is better or more “right” than other spiritual paths. It is right for her, but she does not assume that it will be right for you.

Education & Study

Barbara’s spiritual direction training consists of private study under the guidance of several people from diverse religious backgrounds who have many years of experience as spiritual directors. She also meets with colleagues in order to expand her knowledge. She remains up-to-date through her membership in Spiritual Directors International, which offers journals, conferences, and further specialized training.

In 1995, Barbara received a Masters of Divinity from Almeda University based upon her lifelong studies and experience. For her thesis, she submitted her book, Finding God / By Learning How To Pray.

At that time, Barbara did extensive research about online degrees, and Almeda had a very good reputation. However, at some time after 2011, something changed in how Almeda was run, and the University lost all credibility. As this page is being written in 2017, Almeda’s website no longer exists.


Finding God / Prayers & Spiritual Practices from Many Traditions
Self-published book, 2002; rev. 2018

Heal With Your Hands / Beginning Energy Work Techniques for Helping Yourself & Others, including a complete guide to Reiki
Self-published book, 1995; rev. 2014

Natural First Aid & Simple Health Solutions
Self-published book, 2010

Recovery / Women’s Words About Healing After Trauma
Self-published book, 1996, rev. 2006, 2017

Second Degree and Third Degree Reiki manuals, 1996

And many articles published in various health-related publications, 1994–1997

Certifications & Training

Hospice Volunteer Training, Hospice Volunteer Services, Middlebury, VT
Therapeutic Touch, Holistic Nurses’ Association
Healing Hands, Level 1, Holistic Nurses’ Association
Reiki Master, Usui Tradition

Professional Affiliation

Spiritual Directors International

Barbara’s book about prayer

Office location

Spiritual direction home

FeelingMuchBetter.org home

To contact Barbara:

Phone: 802.324.9149 (New York/Montreal time zone)

Email and phones don’t fail often, but they do fail. Please try again if you don’t hear from me within a few days.

P. O. Box 1018
Middlebury, VT 05753, USA