Author, singer, mentor, minister, the Rev. Denise DeSimone (ChIME 2009) creatively shares the wisdom and passion by which she lives. Her original theme song is:
Walk with me, talk with me.
Hold the hand of God with me.
Feel the power we share when we are One.
Ten years before coming to ChIME, Denise had already branched out beyond her sales and marketing career to include a private healing practice in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Then came stage four throat and neck cancer (2005) and ChIME (2007 to 2009), and by her ordination, Denise says, “I was doing things I never knew I’d be doing. Spirit was leading. I was paying attention.”
Denise’s ChIME senior project was a 22-minute multimedia presentation entitled Pray Peace, which she introduced to a live audience of 150 at Unity on the River in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Designed to inspire people to live and work for peace, it contains 85 moving images that can be viewed alone or in a group setting. Denise is now in her tenth year of offering Pray Peace evenings and weekends around the country, oftentimes at Unity Churches.
In 2011 Rev. DeSimone published her book, From Stage IV to Center Stage, detailing the story of how she “embraced,” rather than “battled,” her cancer. Ever since then she has been living cancer free and sharing her story with national and international audiences. During some time in Italy this year, she plans to put the finishing touches on a documentary film about her life and about “not battling cancer.” A GoFundMe link on her website invites contributions to finish the film, which also features many of the doctors whose treatment helped save her life. Every time her annual cancer screening check-up comes, Denise says, “I’m ready for anything, and grateful for nothing.”
Even before her cancer, Rev. DiSimone was interested in sound healing, a therapeutic modality that uses the vibrations of a variety of instruments to reduce stress, alter consciousness and create a deep sense of peace, well-being, and better health. By now she’s studied sound healing for 20 years, and every quarter she teaches this chakra-balancing technique to 20 cancer patients, free of charge. Anyone can sign up for a sound healing session with Denise near her home in Danvers, at Bella Salon & Spa, where she also offers reiki and reflexology. Denise will travel to offer sound healing workshops for groups, and she offers a CD, Make a Joyful Noise, which is a mini-version of her live sound healing workshops.
Denise plays a number of exotic instruments in her sound healing offerings, but “voice is the most powerful instrument in the world,” she says. “It’s a tool we always have with us.” Check out her voice at www.denisedesimone.com, where you’ll find her singing a stirring rendition of the national anthem, as the featured soloist at a Boston Red Sox game. She has twice sung the anthem at Fenway’s PMC Day, a celebration of the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth to raise money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And in typical Denise fashion, she’s also biked the PMC twice—the day before her diagnosis and again two years later.
Living with full vitality is something Denise teaches, because she knows it very well. “Live in Full Expression” is an article of faith for Rev. DeSimone, and also a CD/Workshop series she offers on LIFE Transformation. She does teleclasses on this theme, and is branching into healthy, mindful eating with a course called “Who Else Puts Food in Your Mouth?”
Did Rev. DeSimone know what she’d do with her ChIME education before she enrolled? No, but she’d always thought she’d do some kind of ministry eventually. To prospective ChIME students Denise offers, “Even if you don’t know exactly why you want to enroll in ChIME, think outside the box. ChIME softens you up and opens you up—mind, body and spirit. You’ll get to know yourself better and find your way. I do weddings and funerals. I also play the drums and didgeridoo on my new CD, Spirts Soar. I never knew I’d be doing that! Pay attention. Let Spirit lead you.”