New Scot: Claire Graham Kellerman leaves Hollywood and Hawaii to find her Scots roots

There aren’t many people who would choose to uproot their lives and re-locate to a different continent, especially when Hawaii has been home for the last 10 years. Yet, inspired by friendships, this is exactly what Claire Graham Kellerman has just done, after selling off all her worldly possessions and making the epic journey to find her Scottish roots. The daughter of actress Sally Kellerman, “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the original M*A*S*H film, has left behind the “insanity” of her Hollywood childhood and now, armed only with her trusty guitar and a whole lot of positivity, Claire is “looking for the magic to open the next door”.

What’s your name?

Claire Anderson Malibu Sand Graham Kellerman Krane. I go by my birth name since I got to Scotland: Claire Anderson Graham or Claire Graham Kellerman to transition back to my birth name.

Age and family?

52. I am exploring my roots in Orkney and discovering family that has depth, authenticity and beauty. I was adopted twice, at age 11 and again, at the age of 23. I am grateful to the family of true friends who guided and inspired me in life, so I could learn how to survive and outgrow the insanity of the Hollywood family who adopted me.

Friends have been my family I trust, love, and can share my feelings and mutual respect with. I am still friends with all my many best friends from throughout my life: Karen, Tracy, Rick, Danya, Jonni, Pheobe, Morgan, Daphna, Dessie, Rhonda & Dominique.

Where are you from originally?

I was blessed to travel a lot, living months at a time on movie locations in Paris, Sydney, and all over Europe.

I was born in Santa Monica, California, and grew up in nature in Ojai at Ojai Valley School, spending my time on the beach in Malibu, hiking the mountains and creeks of Topanga Canyon and singing in New York City.

When did you come to Scotland?

First when I was six months old, then again aged 2, 3, 8, 17, 25, 38 and 44…plus a few more trips! On May 27, 2016, I arrived for about the 10th time.

Why did you come to Scotland?

My father was Scottish, born in Lerwick, died in Edinburgh in 1976. I have been here to visit family many times in my life, since I was six months old. For many years, I have felt the call to be here. My Celtic Mystic teacher from Ireland, Ger Lyons, suggested I go back to where my bones and blood are from. I have trained with Ger Lyons for seven years on Maui and in Ireland, so when he asked if I would share his work in Scotland, I immediately said, “Yes!” I had to come to see what doors would open for Core Transformation & Cellular Healing.

Magic carries us in our healing and connecting, as it did here. I have already seen it transform lives since I offered training in Inverurie, Aberdeen, and Dunecht in June 2016. When I offer this work, I call it “Core Clarity: Regenerative Healing Circles.”

claire singing

How’s it been in reality?

Great question! It is the first time in my life I feel peace. I was welcomed into the homes of my cousins in Edinburgh, then Aberdeen, and got to spend quality time with them, which was beautiful. We have not had that luxury before, to just hang out and play, and walk in nature together for days and days.

All the while, Orkney was calling me home. I had never been here before. I arrived six weeks ago, and have fallen in love every day with the music of the wind – the green-to-gold barley – the endless sky – the prevalence of nature and animals and, most importantly, the people.

I am constantly in awe of the warmth and common sense that is normal here. I can walk home at midnight after a party, and feel safe wherever I am. I love how you can hail a bus and it stops, anywhere, again, as long as it is safe.

I have researched and found six generations of Orcadians in my lineage, which really makes sense now that I am here. I can sense something is holding me in a very comfortable way as I walk to Kirkwall every day, or ride the bus. It has been a really long life of running, and diving into past pain to heal it, and always focusing on how to grow beyond the pain and destructive patterns I was taught.

Claire KellermanHere, I feel home, like I’ve done my work. I have healed and restored my heart. Now, I am enjoying a sense of liberation. I can finally relax into co-creating the life I am here to share. I love people and sharing heart-to-heart, so now, I am doing that from a full cup. And, the depths of my despair have been heard and soothed by real love, so I can finally listen deeply.

What is Scots’ best quality?

Authenticity, which leads to laughing a lot! Scots are down to earth, open, kind, gracious and tend to light up when I mention I lived in Hawaii the past 10 years, so I may be sparking their joy with that – we always seem to share a laugh.

Sally Kellerman on the M*A*S*H set

Sally Kellerman on the M*A*S*H set

After growing up in Hollywood, being real and empowering others is what I value most.

And the worst?

Settling for food and packaging that is degenerative for the environment and our health. The worst is the quality of food in the grocery stores. Sugar and wheat flour in everything, and very few living enzymes, or super-foods, or awareness of what is empowering for the body. And the wasteful masses of plastic and cardboard. I know it looks good, but how far was it shipped, how much poison is in it, and what ingredients are actually healthy?

On Maui, we have a thriving local organic, healthy, or at least un-sprayed vegetable, and food scene and weekly farmers’ market. I am connecting as best I can to find this, or grow it here with fun and inspiration. I am excited to learn how to use the excess energy from the wind turbines to grow food in poly-tunnels and other ways.

I know we have the best locally grown beef, lamb, eggs, cheese and real butter, which is a great start! Local, real food and the relationships that come with that makes for a thriving community.

What’s the funniest story about your time in Scotland?

My luck here seems to be fuelled by pure magic: I found £10 in the mud after the show in Kirkwall. I lost a metal rune on the ground and went shopping for hours, only to find it on my walk home. It had been stepped on, and has the marks to prove it.

I offered a Core Clarity workshop in Dunecht and it turned out to be the exact house and room where Ger Lyons had shared his work 15 years earlier!

I asked the M&S bank supervisor if I could sing in the lobby of the bank after her associate had said no. She seemed to understand that I was going to need to sing, and my friend, Theresa Day, was going to need to film me, so she said, “Yes!” We were having fun, after sharing Core Clarity in the morning and kept laughing and having the best time. I loved singing in a bank. Thank you, M&S. My first Scottish gig in public!

And the future – will you stay?

I love the sense that I belong here. It is in my cellular memory. My soul knows this sacred place, the stones, the sand, the green moss on the trees, the music, the Ring of Brodgar, and the history that makes us one family clan, as a country. I have my lineage back to 493AD, thanks to my Scottish aunt Joyce Graham Sanderson doing 10 years of research, and writing a book for us, called “The Story of Our Family.” I am growing that family tree by researching our Orcadian roots with the great assistance of the volunteers in the most awesome Orkney Family History Research Library.

The best part is: I love the weather! It is like an old friend. In Hawaii, I was hiding in the shade for 10 years. I am Scottish. My skin glows in the dark. I love sweaters, scarves, gloves, and hats. I love good boots, cosy layers and socks, and all the fabrics, colours and textures.

As soon as my dual citizenship is in effect, I hope to make Scotland my home forever. Until then, I will be sharing my services and gifts every way I can, and seeing where the magic opens the next door.

To find out more about Claire Graham Kellerman, visit her blog

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About the Author

Joanne Warnock
I am an Msc Journalism student at Robert Gordon University, living in Aberdeen, with my four kids, husband and Ginny the dog.

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