Each month, our reporter Wendy Stokes will interview a range of wonderful people who are all inspirational and pioneering in their work.

Wendy is a writer, counsellor, healer and channeller. Her book 'The Lightworkers Circle Guide - A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' is available from ebay, Abe Books and Amazon.

She has donated her royalties to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. She is interested in personal development, spiritual paths, the creation of supportive communities and caring for people, animals and the planet. You are welcome to join Wendy on Facebook. Visit: www.wendystokes.co.uk
Read Wendy's blog at www.mbsmagazin.blogspot.de

Each month a new inspiring individual will be added to our interviews page, so visit often to read more interviews.

See Wendy's other pages here:
Q&A with Wendy and All About Colour

November 2017 interview:

Annette Rochelle Aben

Wendy introduces writer Annette Rochelle Aben to Health-Happiness readers.


August 2017 interview:


Wendy introduces the writer and medium Kate Oman to Health-Happiness readers.

Click the picture to go to Kate's interview




July 2017 interview:


Erica Longdon is an author of the novel 'In Pursuit of Perfect Timing'. She is also a Multi-disciplinary Therapist, Healer and Metaphysician.

Click the picture to go to Erica's interview

June 2017 interview:

Heather KROPF

Heather Kropf, a singer/songwriter, who has self-produced 4 full-length albums, spanning over 17 years

Click the picture to go to Heather's interview

April 2017 interview:



"I've been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I drew Walt Disney cartoon and video game characters, mostly using pencil and crayons but I also loved to use paints and I whiled away the time creating my own fantasies and inner life.

Click the picture to go to Ashlie's interview




July 2016 interview:


I am a Farmer's daughter from North Norfolk and started my career as a Medical Secretary before moving to London and working in project management. Just when I thought I was 'on track' with my life, in my mid 30's all this changed, including losing my job.

Click the picture to go to Iona's interview

June 2016 interview:


(aka Santoshan)

Wendy would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to Stephen Wollaston (also known as Santoshan).
"During the 70s I played electric bass guitar in 'Lady June's Elysium' (the singer, Lady June, was quite known at the time) and I also played in the Wasps, who were one of London's first punk groups. I stopped playing to concentrate on graphics work to make a living. My creativity surfaced with the ability to write, particularly after becoming close friends with the ex-Benedictine monk and medium Glyn Edwards

May 2016 interview:

Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

Our most recent Health & Happiness magazine interview is with Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, canine expert extraordinaire!

"I'm fortunate in my work to be able to combine my three favourite passions, which as writing, dogs and people. I write books about a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, and I work with dogs with emotional and behaviour issues, which means I get to work with their people too, and four of my thirty books to date are about dog behaviour. I have another in progress.

Click on Lisa's pic to go to the interview

March 2016 interview:


Nicola is involved in an 'Action for Happiness' course called "Exploring What Matters". 'Action for Happiness' is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society; we work to help people see a fundamentally different way of life where people care less about what they can gain exclusively for themselves and care more about the happiness of others.

Click on the picture to go to the full interview





February 2016 interview:


Belinda Joubert is an independent life and soul coach. I guide and inspire people to discover the influence of ancient and natural laws and virtues in society and organizations and how to pursue the life journey to self-fulfilment, happiness, inner tranquillity and enlightenment. I am a qualified teacher and author of books, presenter of workshops and products that build character and inspire righteousness.

Click the pic to go to the interview

September 2015 interview:

Christina CHRISTOU

Christina Christou is a Holistic Life Mentor and Author of 'Write Therapy' a method of using the power of writing to heal the past and create the life you want!

Click on Christina's pic to go to the full interview

May 2015 interview:

Bernardo KASTRUP

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world's foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the "Casimir Effect" of Quantum Field Theory was discovered).

Click Bernardo's pic to read the interview

September 2014 interview:

VALERIE Thompson

Valerie is a certified professional coach, specialising in executive and life coaching. From 1986 until 1989 Valerie formally studied mind-power under a leading American New Thought movement that is part of United Centres for Spiritual Living. She is the author of three books and her coaching service transforms stress and difficulties into opportunities, wellbeing and joy

Click on Valerie's picture to be taken to the interview

August 2014 Wendy Interviews


Introducing this month, Avril Price, who specialises in 'constellating with cards" and 'bringing your archetype to life'
My passion is for Tarot Cards. I love them, the symbols, the colours, the huge and significant messages that each card or essence carries. Tarot can tell us so much about the sacred journey of the spirit in human form.

Click on Avril's picture to be taken to the interview

June 2014 Wendy interviews:

LAURA Martinez Galera

Laura is an ethical marketer , and a Co-Active Coach in training. She is the Founder of Circles for Dialogue, a social enterprise and a conversational space about mindful, compassionate and ethical ways of doing business and living life.

Click on Laura's picture to be taken to the interview

May 2014 Wendy interviews:

SIMON Pimenta

Simon Pimenta who is a Hypnotherapist, Coach, NLP Practitioner and 'Lightning Process' Practitioner

Click on Simon's picture to be taken to the interview

October 2013 Wendy interviews:

ELI Anderson

I believe that everyone is a storyteller and that stories are a global heritage. I have been writing for over 35 years, and have also been involved in publishing.

I am a master of the art of storytelling, a poet and coach with 'eAkan'. I have arranged a variety of lectures and workshops which include performance craft, musical theory, eldership, healthcare, storytelling, community education, mindfulness and poetry therapy and I arrange and deliver a variety of workshops where I mentor performers and musicians.

Click on Eli's picture to be taken to the interview

September 2013 Wendy interviews:


Esther is a gifted Intuitive Healer, Reader, Medium and Psychic, a Life Coach, Broadcaster and Speaker.

She loves to work with individuals and support them to stepping into their truth and stepping out of their inner pain.

Esther wants to liberate individuals so they can
create a life of joyful abundance on physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological levels. Her work is the creation of Inner Fitness and Well-being.

August 2013 Wendy interviews:

Stephen Russell

A master of the Taoist martial arts - tai chi, xing yi, pa kua and white crane and a doctor of Chinese medicine, The Barefoot Doctor is also student of philosophy, belief systems, spirituality and human potential.

In the early 80s, he ran the UK's busiest acupuncture healing practice for 17 years, growing in acclaim and treating celebrities including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Jade Jagger, the Pink Floyd etc

Click on the pic to go to the interview

June 2013 Wendy interviews:

BONNIE Cehovet

Bonnie Cehovet has been a professional Tarot reader for over fifteen years, and is a CTGM (Certified Tarot Grand Master). She is also a Reiki Master/Teacher, and uses Reiki in her Tarot counseling practice. She is a published author, and has written books on the art of Tarot.

Click the pic to be directed to the interview

May 2013 Wendy interviews:

Anna Ziman

In the Sunday Times 'Style' Magazine, columnist Stephanie Theobald described my next guest, Anna Ziman as 'a big name in the Goddess world'. Anna provides an opportunity for women to discover ancient feminine energies and embrace the magical and mystical realm. Here she speaks to Wendy about her life path and her work with the Goddess.

Click the pic to be directed to the interview

March 2013 Wendy interviews:


Colin Fry is one of the UK's leading Spiritualist mediums, with magazine and radio credits to his name, and Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes and 6ixth Sense TV programmes.

He has worked with Derek Acorah, Tony Stockwell, TJ Higgs and other well-known mediums. Colin has on average 130 live appearances each year, and has visited Australia, Japan, Ireland and many other countries.

Click the pic to read the interview

February 2013 Wendy interviews:


Nimue Brown is the author of 'Druidry and Meditation',
'Druidry and the Ancestors' and 'Hopeless Maine'.

In her late teens, she came into contact with Druidry - an 'ah-ha!' moment, as it dawned on her that this path fitted so many important aspects of her life.

Click the pic to read the interview

January 2013 Wendy interviews:

JACKY Newcomb

Jacky is known by her fans as 'The Angel Lady'. She is a multi-award winning, Sunday Times best selling author of  'An Angel Saved My Life' and 'An Angel by my Side'; the regular angel columnist (for Take-a-Break's Fate & Fortune Magazine), and paranormal experiences expert specialising in angels and the afterlife. Jacky is a regular on ITV's This Morning and Channel  5's Live with... as well as guest appearances on SKY, GMTV, LivingTV and others.

Click the pic to be taken to the interview

December 2012 Wendy interviews:

JOYLINA Goodings

As a professional speaker, experienced workshop leader, popular soul coach and personal mentor (specialising in spiritual and psychic development), Joylina inspires people all over the world to uncover and embrace their full potential.

Click the pic to be taken to the interview

November 2012 Wendy interviews:

BARBARA Meiklejohn-Free

Meet the UKs most powerful shamanic goddess -
an interview with The Highland Seer.

Click the pic to be taken to the interview

October 2012 Wendy interviews:


Daphne facilitates workshops on the subject of how to heal your life, how to get to know your inner child, how to manage anger, how to develop love and forgiveness, improve relationships and manifest good things in life.
Please click on the photograph to read the interview

September 2012 Wendy Interviews:

Hans De Waard

Founder of the 'Jacket Technique' (JT for short) which is a safe, effective, quick and easy method to relieve a number of health conditions.

Please click on the photograph to be directed to the interview

August 2012 Wendy Interviews:


, Baby Reflex
practitioner and
Laughter Yoga Coach
Please click on the photograph to be directed to the interview

Previous interviews:

July 2012


Jocelyn is a London-based psychotherapist, writer, teacher and artist and is developing a new form of spirituality that has equality at its heart. Jocelyn describes it as 'a spiritual complement for the increasing desire for greater equality in our divided world'.
Click on the picture to be directed to the interview

June 2012


John Birch developed an interesting method of raising money for charity! He embarked on a home-made retreat that included renunciation and self-sacrifice for a charitable cause. John has worked as a UK tutor for "An Introduction to Contemporary Spirituality - The Soul's Journey" by William Bloom and ran the Spiritual Path Network in the UK to help people discover their spiritual path. He has trained mediums and healers. 
Click on the picture to be directed to the interview

May 2012

a Tutor at the Academy of Tarot and a Speaker at the 2012 UK Tarot Conference and at The Riveria Tarot Conference. She speaks about her career as a spiritual growth consultant
Click on the picture to be directed to the interview


Annette Rochelle Aben

Wendy introduces writer Annette Rochelle Aben to Health-Happiness readers.

I would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to Annette Rochelle Aben who hails from the State of Michigan in the United States of America.

Annette says “I am a survivor! I survived race riots, I have survived divorce, and I have suffered physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse and you will be pleased to hear that I have grown into a secure, serene and successful person despite many hardships! I believe that I was repressed but this repression lead to my love and appreciation for the field of communication. As a result, I have worked as a radio announcer, a journalist, and as a television (all facets) executive and an entertainer.”

Annette offers to cook a vegetarian or vegan meal for those who support her (she especially likes shrimp pad thai, no onions, mild spice and extra limes), and over tea or coffee, she would like to share life experiences.

Her favourite pastime is writing! She says she loves being able to put her thoughts on paper (via the computer or internet) and setting them free. It gives her a huge buzz when someone says they are touched by her word craft though she doesn’t write to impress anyone, she writes because if she doesn’t, she might explode with emotion.

She goes on to say “ When I was a child, our school system required that we become proficient at writing. As a result, I took every chance I was offered to get good grades by improving my penmanship. I was happy when I was writing. Many of our English assignments required us to read books and then write reports on what we read. We also were required to craft essays on topics of the teacher's choice. These were opportunities to develop and improve my writing skills on many levels and now I am grateful for this tuition.

“It is my observation, that everyone has a story inside of them, waiting to be told. Whether it is the story of their own life or a tale floating about in their imagination, it matters not, it only matters that they know and care for that story. By working on it, I believe everyone can create and publish a book. Self-publishing is relatively easy these days and the feeling one gets from this act, is life changing. I encourage everyone to move forward to realize this opportunity and by all means, let me know when you have a book published, I look forward to celebrating your success!”


Annette has the following tips for readers:

Keep yourself in a state of appreciation for all you have, and find reasons to be appreciative for the simplest aspects of your life. I appreciate indoor plumbing, my eyesight, a crunchy apple, laughter of small children who live next door to me. There are so many things in my life that mean so much. I provide these small examples because they are not deep or profound, but they might trigger something in you to help you to cultivate your own levels of appreciation. It is not possible to be stressed and calm at the same time, so find calmness, even in times of stress, no matter how extreme, by placing your focus on things you can feel appreciation for. The feeling of appreciation might not solve your problem or fix what you need then and there, but your appreciation will give you the space you need to regain your footing, whilst allowing you to stay in the present moment. Usually, whatever the difficulty, there is something to be appreciative for, every cloud has a silver lining, sometimes, you need to look for it!

Appreciation is different to gratitude. When you are grateful for something, your gratitude is generally attached to an unpleasant situation, and therefore gratitude can be conditional. Appreciation is experiencing a good feeling, just because you can.

I also suggest ‘eating to live’ rather than ‘living to eat’ - do all things in moderation.

Find music that uplifts and energizes you.

Get enough sleep for you and your needs!

Annette appreciates the work of Heifer International. a charity that helps families all over the world to find independence and prosperity. It provides them with resources that can be used to feed and nurture their families that can eventually blossom into a lucrative financial support system. I have a dear friend, who gives me the gift of a donation to this charity in my name. I love to receive cards saying that bees and goats have been donated in my name to the Heifer International charity.

I have several books available on Amazon. Either type my name into the Amazon search bar under the category of BOOKS, or use my Author Central Link Annette Rochelle Aben Many of my books are poetry based, with the predominate format being the Japanese poetry known as Haiku. I do have two books that would be considered "self-help". I am writing and publishing more, so please follow that page and you will be notified of new releases By connecting with my blog, Annette Rochelle Aben you can stay in touch with my daily writings as well as the work of other fascinating bloggers. Find me on Twitter @YouAreTheExpert and on Facebook - Annette Rochelle Aben Communicates. Oh, and I have a You Tube channel for you to visit. I would love you to to connect with me on LinkedIn and Google+.




Wendy introduces the writer and medium Kate Oman to Health-Happiness readers.

Kate says:

"I always knew I was different from those around me. As a young child, I was on the periphery. I had friends certainly, but for most of my childhood, I desperately tried to fit in and make everyone like me and was a chronic people pleaser with low self esteem. Of course, this didn't work out as planned - I was bullied no matter what I did.

As I entered my teenage years, I became increasingly interested in the paranormal and esoteric. The mysteries of life and death fascinated me and I found myself devouring any book I could find on the topic until one of the bullies saw me in the library, and although nothing was said about it, I panicked and instantly buried my interest. I couldn't stand the thought of yet another thing marking me out as being different from the crowd.

For the next 15 years of my life, I tried to figure out who I was. I knew deep within my being that I was here for a reason, but I couldn't figure out what my purpose was. As a result, I flittered from job to job (including secondary school teacher and even cold caller), and I went out with a plethora of rather unsuitable men. Whatever I looked for outside of myself to make me happy failed, but I had no idea of how to make my situation any better. But, life has a wonderful way of putting you on your backside when you're not listening, so I learnt to listen!

In 2010, my life and my family were rocked by a tragedy and my life turned everything upside down. My beloved grandparents were killed in an arson attack on their flat. I was devastated and shocked to the core. The police investigation, the media intrusion, the overwhelming grief didn't let go - it changed everything! I felt at rock bottom, but I had to stop and look at my life with really objective eyes. When the dust settled, I knew that I hadn't been really happy in a very long time, and I knew things had to change - and quickly. The Universe provided me with two wonderful opportunities to move my life forward: meeting my future husband and meeting my mentor. My husband provided the opportunity for me and my son to move out of my parent's house and to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life. My mentor, Barbara was a psychic medium that my mum had been getting readings from for a year or so. When she met me for the first time, the first thing she said to me was, 'You can do what I can, you are a gifted medium'. I had never really considered a career in the area of spirituality but she mentored me and helped my gifts to unfold. Since that time I have been on a journey of discovery and learning. I learnt about tarot and oracle cards, auras, past lives, clairvoyance, spirit guides, angels, astrology, witchcraft and numerology and so many more fascinating topics, and this has also allowed me to help others. Everything happens for a reason, and everything I have been through has added up to make me the person I am today.

Now, I am involved with various projects; each of which is wonderful! For the last three years, I have been a monthly contributor to the national magazine, Soul & Spirit, where I have answered reader's questions about the angels and have assisted with various problems in their lives. This year, I was also given the opportunity to be a columnist on another magazine - Chat It's Fate where I am able people to identify the colours within the seeker's aura, as well as how crystals and colours can help to empower them. I love writing, and being able to write for such prestigious magazines is a huge blessing.

In the last couple of years, I have self published two books through Amazon: 'Chasing Rainbows' and 'Little White Feathers'. They were written and published whilst I was a full time mum to my twins, so the level of pride I feel at achieving one of my lifelong dreams is a real joy. I want to author more books and find a wider audience, so that I can help as many people as possible.

Since 2016 I have been a weekly contributor on the Facebook page of the author, Theresa Cheung. I have posted inspirational and spiritually informative videos which have been watched by thousands of people. I have also written articles for the #HigherSelfie website, which is linked to the book '#HigherSelfie by Lucy Sheridan and Jo Westwood.

For the past seven years, I have given psychic readings to hundreds of people, and I know my guidance has truly helped those in need. I also run a 'Connecting with the Angels' online course, and have hosted a workshop on the same theme. Moving forward, my focus is now on helping people to understand that they are in charge of their own happiness, and to give them the tools to help them grasp this concept.

My main pastimes are with my three children. I have recently become a single parent, and they are my whole world. Although this path wasn't planned, it is the path I find myself taking and I am determined to do all that I can to give them the wonderful and happy life they all deserve. Alongside this, my other interests focus around creativity and culture. I love reading and writing, and will always turn to these when I have free time. I also adore drawing, painting and cooking. I love visiting museums, the theatre, art galleries and the cinema. I find that the more I have the chance to express my creative side, the more balanced and happier I feel.

Everything I have done over the last seven years has come through divine inspiration. Ideas have appeared to be instantly downloaded into my consciousness from a higher source. No matter whether it is my books or my workshops, they've all come as bolts out of the blue. As I sat watching the news on TV one day, I felt myself falling into fear. Every story seemed saturated with negativity, anxiety and doom. I felt so helpless as I sat there, and I knew there would be millions more like me all over the world. And then,suddenly, I saw the answer very clearly: We all have the power to choose how we feel, although we can't control our outside circumstances, we can choose how we react to circumstances. This is a conscious choice we can make each day and, although it's not easy, it is possible. I have the tools, and the experience, to help people feel better. I have written a book entitled, "Happiness: Make Your Soul Smile", and I make inspirational posts every day on social media to help those lost in the darkness of life as I once was. I seek to help as many people as I can across the globe, to find their own inner happiness.

I'm also interested in making contact with the younger generation as happiness is not part of the National Curriculum. We all face now and again the need to search for inner happiness. By helping children to understand that happiness is a choice, and to give them the tools to make changes and facilitate this. We can decide to support the next generation to be healthier and happier and one day this will spread to heal our planet."

Contact details:






Erica Longdon is an author of the novel 'In Pursuit of Perfect Timing'. She is also a Multi-disciplinary Therapist, Healer and Metaphysician.

"A metaphysician is never off duty!" Erica Longdon


I would like to introduce Erica Longdon to readers of Health & Happiness magazine. Erica has kindly provided the presentations to many of the free YouTube meditations that are featured on our Healing Videos page: http://www.health-happiness.co.uk/page6.htm

Erica Longdon is an author of the novel 'In Pursuit of Perfect Timing'. She is also a Multi-disciplinary Therapist, Healer and Metaphysician. Her qualifications are varied and her experience is considerable in all areas of health and wellbeing. Erica is a Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Ear Candling Practitioner, Sound Healer, a Meditation Instructor and Angel Oracle Card and Tarot Reader. She has interests in psychology, Mind, Body and Spirit and in music creation. She hosts a radio show 'Breakfast With Erica' so her skills, abilities and talents are very broad and she is versatile, intelligent, powerful and caring! To my mind, Erica is one of my role models and someone I value immensely as 'walking the talk', and providing an excellent service in all areas of her extensive expertise.

Erica's career began in television and radio in the 1970s. This career path took her all over the world and she was able to witness international events and eye-opening scenes behind the headlines.


Erica says: "Travelling in TV and Radio taught me to look beyond what we think is obvious and to question more and to search more deeply. And always to seek authenticity and transparency."


During the 1990s, a serious car accident jolted her onto a path of personal growth and healing which, ultimately, led to a release and an ending of her media career. From there, she embraced the path of the Therapist and Healer. One of the major life changing parts of this new journey was when she trained as an Angel Therapy Practitioner in Hawaii with Doreen Virtue. Erica now works in internation radio online for 12Listen.com as an Angelic Counsellor and Card Reader. As part of the 12Family, she also hosts a weekly radio show on 12Radio.com, titled "Breakfast With Erica". She published her first metaphysical romance novel, In Pursuit Of Perfect Timing, in 2015, and has a new metaphysical mystery novel in the pipe-line. She is also currently working on a comprehensive non-fiction work on Sound Healing.


Erica has long been a champion of ecology and sustainability. She has been a member of Greenpeace from her teenage years. Recently, she celebrated her sixtieth birthday by walking 26 miles from Avebury to Stonehenge to raise funds for the new Rainbow Warrior ship. She supports the Dr. Hadwen Trust for Ethical Research and has been vegetarian since the 1970s and a vegan since the 1990s. Healing is a way of life for Erica Longdon and she is one of the best I know. When she is not officially working, she loves to walk in nature. She is also a Flute Player with the Invicta Jazz Orchestra.


For more information about Erica Longdon:

Erica Longdon's website: Angelhandsheal.com

Visit her Facebook pages:





Twitter: @angelhandsheal

Heather KROPF

Heather Kropf, a singer/songwriter, who has self-produced 4 full-length albums, spanning over 17 years

I would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to Heather Kropf who is a singer/songwriter who has self-produced 4 full-length albums, spanning over 17 years: Sky (2000), What Else is Love (2005), Hestia (2008), and Chrysalis (2014) and her latest, Lights (2017). I enjoy Heather's music. Her voice is gentle, her words meaningful, and the music warming, light and melodic.

Heather was trained in classical piano but she approach songwriting from an intuitive, unschooled perspective and tends to get her ideas from something she hears or learns in her environment and then she plays with it until a song emerges. Writing songs and making music is a form of meditation. Her early influences were classical and jazz on public radio because that's what her parents listened to in the family home. Then, as a teenager, she began exploring music on her own and discovered Joni Mitchell, and Court and Spark, Sting, Suzanne Vega and Kate Bush. Heather loves all music, especially if it is something that she cannot create herself, so artists, such as MeShell NdegeoCello, Brian Blade, The Pixies make her happy. She likes to hear live music on a weekly basis, and considers this one of the great pleasures of being alive. It keeps her centred, grounded and healthy. Heather studied for a degree in Fine Art, but music is her muse. She believes it is our work to acknowledge and embrace what we love no matter the doubts or fears or struggles. She says, "When we are in dissonance with ourselves to any degree there is struggle. For me that manifested in chronic illness, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, co-dependency, etc. To get to a place of joy we must align ourselves with our highest path, reference ourselves for our happiness, embody it fully, and let go of knowing the end result. I have found this way of making art to be much more generative and enjoyable in recent years. My health concerns have largely lifted now that I am focusing on what I love rather than what I lack, when I live by love and generosity towards myself rather than judgment or expectation of perfection."

Heather has a degree in Fine Art and Communication and she has enjoyed working and volunteering as a radio DJ. Recently she wanted to learn more about energy and became a certified Feng Shui consultant. Feng Shui is like music to her, and anything that has to do with energy and metaphysics and the heart interests her. Science also interests her, especially space travel. She loves any system of understanding the soul or the personality, and she loves to watch films. Had the circumstances been different, she might have pursued a career in film instead of music. Primarily, her passion is songwriting and recording. The writing process is inspiring, a time when she can go within and see what's true in her heart, and then bring out a blueprint of a song. She also works with talented musicians to create recordings for albums. She finds it a perfect balance of introversion and extroversion, solo effort and collaboration.

Heather continues, "On the eve of making the latest, Chrysalis, I had a heart-awakening experience that I am unable to describe. I met someone, and they 'woke me up'. This meeting completely changed my life. Just in the last few weeks (and this is nearly 5 years later) the matter is finally settling and I'm in a calm, balanced and confident space. I have spent hours of energy healing with a few of my favourite practitioners, I even sold my home, I changed many relationships, I shed most of my belongings and I changed day jobs. I found it takes the body, mind and spirit time to acclimatise to a more expansive and authentic lifestyle. Not everything can come with you wherever you go, if you are changing your life. But when life calls you, and you say 'yes', and you do it unconditionally, your life improves, either that or you suffer. Loving the entirety of your experience is key to transforming it."

Throughout the last few years, Heather's creativity elevated and she began writing more authentic material. Many of the songs are gathered into her fifth CD album "Lights" which is planned for release on May 19, 2017. This project has taught her so much about receiving and allowing, and letting things manifest easily rather than through struggle.

In conjunction, Heather is also releasing her very first music video, an art/animated creation that two women friends are making for her song "Dream of Dreams". That is planned for release prior to the CD and she is very excited to share it. She thinks that there is much fear and hardness in our world, that beautiful, soft and strong things are of great healing value.

The further Heather dives into being a musician, the more she realises she must follow her heart and go with the flow and let things be a big as they are intended to be. It has taken her many years to realise this. She has been working on a side project called Fair Play which is about sustainable music culture with her local arts council to support the survival of professional club musicians and to produce an exceptional audience experience. Prior to her recent projects, she took part in compilations for local radio and television productions, and has performed several times for TV. With this new album, she has stretched herself to find a producer and has been delighted with the results. She is seeking musicians to work with her. With her previous health matters largely relieved for the first time in nearly 10 years, she is focusing on the areas that became neglected, such as live performances. She intends to travel and wants to share music and to be with others, working creatively, with inspiration and love. Thanking Heather for this interview.


For more information on Heather Kropf, visit: http://heatherkropf.com/

Join Heather Kropf on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherKropfMusic/

Listen to Heather Kropf's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/heatherkropf


I am introducing Health & Happiness readers to the artist Ashlie Urquhart and to her uplifting artwork:

"I've been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I drew Walt Disney cartoon and video game characters, mostly using pencil and crayons but I also loved to use paints and I whiled away the time creating my own fantasies and inner life. I attended art college when I was 19 years old after some encouragement from my mother because I was at a loss what to do with my life. This is where I developed an intense love of art and design and I found a new sense of the world as a place of bright colour, beauty and wonder.

I continued to study for a degree in printed textile and design at Plymouth University and then to attend Greenwich University for a degree in multi-media technology. I worked as a printed textile designer and graphic designer for a while, then in 2005, I finally became an artist in my own right with AU Designs renamed Blue Face Cow and I am now a professional artist, exhibiting at major galleries, such as the Saatchi Gallery and providing commissioned individual pieces for some prestigious clients. An original painting can cost anything from a couple of hundred pounds to a couple of thousand. Art is something that's fundamental to my life and other people often point out that there is 'art' in my surname, Urquhart!

My style is considered eclectic, vibrant and versatile and I am quite prolific, as I paint almost everyday. I love variety. Art helps me to switch off from the pressures of life anytime and feel good about myself and my achievements. One of my teachers once said, "Van Gogh didn't change his style each day like you do Ashlie! You should develop a distinguished style where your art can be recognised anywhere!" However, my artistic style just happens the way it does. That's my style! I'm inspired by everything I see. I am especially inspired by the skylines of the big metropolises, London and New York, and I create pop art 'City scapes' and portraits of famous people with deep emotional expression. Though I work in a wide variety of media, I mainly paint in acrylics which are easy to manipulate and are very hardy, and I often experiment with texture. I like to create balance in my artwork, some figurative, some reflecting nature, some imaginative. My inspiration changes and is frequently mystical, creating beauty such as happy city scenes that replace the greyness of tower blocks. London is a great inspiration to me and I love the artistic vibe!"

My art is a form of therapy that uplifts, supports, inspires and guides me from the Otherworld."

I am on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AUDESIGNS.ART/

I am on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashliepashly?lang=en-gb

I am on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134602916@N02/21436463174/

I am on Webgram: https://webgram.co/blue.face.cow

I am on Instagram: http://www.imgrum.org/user/blue.face.cow/299713160

By email: ashlieurquhart@hotmail.com


I would like to introduce Iona Chamberlain to Health & Happiness readers. Hi Iona, can you please tell our readers something about yourself?

I am a Farmer's daughter from North Norfolk and started my career as a Medical Secretary before moving to London and working in project management. Just when I thought I was 'on track' with my life, in my mid 30's all this changed, including losing my job. After a while of temping, I realised that no similar work managed to inspire me and I walked around the Bank of England in my smart suit and said "What am I doing here"?

I felt I wanted to learn more about the Environment and as I was an active member of Friends of the Earth, I decided to go to University as a mature student to study Ecology. I telephoned the Uni a week before the start of term and received a last minute cancellation and I commuted the considerable distance to attend classes.

During my placement year I was encouraged to travel and explored Australia and New Zealand. I thought I would be safe as a female solo traveller, I could visit some wonderful ecosystems and I could understand the language! I had just read 'The Celestine Prophecy' regarding the flow of synchronicity and that everything is connected - so I enjoyed allowing myself to be open to opportunities. I learnt Reiki and Permaculture and was invited to go on a free Safari in South Africa on my way home - which was a highlight.

My travels opened up a whole new world. My favourite experiences included swimming with a turtle whilst snorkelling in the Barrier Reef, sea canoeing at Byron Bay, seeing a moonlit film in the Botanical Garden of Sydney in view of the Opera House, camping at the Bungle Bungles and watching fireflies in the blue mountains. Backpacking means you travel light and it is easier to make friends … you can live a simpler and gentler life, being in the moment.

I returned to complete my degree and I became a Project Officer in Kent for a conservation charity to promote home composting. Then In 2004 everything I thought I had 'built up' came tumbling down again. I decided to go travelling once more. This time I wanted to visit the Amazon and Galapagos, however, a friend suggested I visit Costa Rica first. As I had planned to be away for a year, I thought I would go to Central America, up to Mexico and then to South America.

After a few weeks I recognised that my language skills needed to improve and I began to learn Spanish. There were many options when I was in Antigua, Guatemala, though I preferred to go to a quieter place, and was recommended to go to San Marcos on the beautiful Lago Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes. I could stay in a yoga/meditation centre called 'Las Piramides Del Ka'. This sounded wonderful. After a long and dusty bus ride and then a 45 minute beautiful boat ride across the lake to my destination, I was unaware of the transformation that would occur.

On arrival I was informed that everyone had to attend esoteric teaching classes and that we would be in silence in preparation for a Full Moon ceremony at the end of the week. The Language School had recently closed - so not only could I not speak Spanish - I was soon not able to speak at all! I knew I was there for a reason, so decided to stay. I learnt how Chatti, the founder in 1991, dedicated herself to helping people on their spiritual journey.

I was enthralled by the holistic benefits to mind, body and soul that I decided to start the first 3 weeks of the next course to learn more … and soon after this, I knew I needed to stay to undertake the 3 month Sun Course, which would begin at the autumn equinox. This was a revelation to me - I was learning so much about how & why I created my attitudes, behaviour and beliefs, how to release those that no longer served me. There was no telephone and little internet connection, so I had rare communication with the 'outside' world and could immerse myself in my healing journey. In fact, we were in silence for 6 weeks … so again, the focus was on listening to our own inner wisdom and our guides, connecting to nature in a deeper way, plus lots of yoga, meditation and eating simply, healthy vegetarian foods. Christmas Day was the first day of being able to listen and talk … and it was a surprise at how exhausting it can be. When our minds are quiet and we are more in tune with what is happening around us, it is so very peaceful.

During this time, one of the Teachers at the nearby Holistic Centre asked if anyone wanted to be a body for a massage training course. On the couch she immediately informed me "Oh, you need kinesiology" as my shoulders were nearly up to my ears. I had one session and was amazed - it was like someone was telling my life story simply by muscle testing various parts of the body and for the first time I felt energy buzzing around my hips. I was impressed and I knew I had to learn more. In fact, 20 years before, due to stiffness in my pelvic area I was informed by an Orthopaedic Surgeon that I would need a hip replacement by the time I was 50. Therefore I wondered if kinesiology, learning about how to release my core issues and tension plus my new found reconnection to spirituality would change that diagnosis - and it has!

There was again a last minute cancellation for me to take a Foundation Masterclass in California. Then, as destiny would have it, there was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn the School of Creative Kinesiology Professional Courses on the banks of Lago Atitlan whilst I was there. This was a truly heartfelt and amazing healing experience that I could never have foretold - or would have thought possible.

When I returned to England in 2005 I decided to go back to my rural roots in Norfolk and initially worked part-time at an Academy in community education. I also encourage people to appreciate and connect to nature and their own nature, being able to express their true self - the joy of being. I have a Practice in Holt, a lovely Georgian town in North Norfolk and also in Norwich both as a Holistic Health Professional and Teacher of LifeTracking, our School of Creative Kinesiology foundation course.

I now recognise that I am a spiritual being in human form and am here to learn and experience self-love, compassion and to shine my light and 'sound my true note in harmony' - for we are all an energetic vibration. I have undertaken many more courses - particularly on the importance of Ancestral Meridians (also called 'Radiant Circuits / Extra-ordinary Vessels) and have helped produce a booklet on 'The Inner Temple' in relationship to these powerful though gentle energy flows. Recently I have also discovered more about the healing potential of colour, which has been very revealing. Based on my date of birth, my life path has a blue tone - for communicating my truth - and it feels very apt.

I am still intrigued by the flow of synchronicity and, as if the Universe was nudging me, attended an exceptional week long retreat on the magical Isle of Iona with Shabdan of Iona-light a few years ago. This has also helped me surrender blockages to love and light and offer my services to the world.

Recently my Academy project ended and this time I did not wish to go away travelling - my focus is on going deeper within, trusting that I am on the right path and allowing my life situation to be, whilst I balance any issues that arise. I am also learning to allow for more clarity, simplicity and flexibility. I now realise that what I experience 'outside' is a reflection of what is going on inside and that I create my reality - it is a matter of perception. I have just started reading "A Course in Miracles" which will help develop me further over the next year with daily insights.

One day I may like to go to the Amazon if it is part of my journey… who knows? I am forever grateful for following my intuition / wisdom from my Higher Self that took me to Lago Atitlan and via that, introduced me to kinesiology and other healing modalities. The rewards of my experiences and commitment to healing myself have been profound and continue with each step and every breath.

Creative Kinesiology is a natural therapy that has its roots in the ancient healing arts of Chinese Traditional Medicine (including energy pathways called meridians) and acupressure, assisting at all levels of our being. Muscle Testing is at the heart of Kinesiology. This is a gentle non-invasive way of getting a direct feedback (bio-feedback) from the body, mind and energy systems of a person to discover what is out of balance.

We work with symptoms, issues, emotional states, aches and pains, in fact almost anything, as 'Detectives'. We look into what the problem is, and the extent of it on all levels. In doing that we are on a journey of discovery to find if there is a pattern happening within them or within their lives that we can identify. It can be physical, biochemical/nutritional, emotional and spiritual/subtle energy or a mixture of all of them. All levels are addressed as it is a truly holistic approach to healing.

A physical problem may have an emotional content that a client may or may not be aware of and there may be a trigger from the past, present, ancestry that has contributed to it. We work with the client co-creatively to find the meaning behind the kinesiology feedback, discovering where the problem originated and how to work with the wisdom of the body to restore balance and assist with inner growth and development.

The CK approach to clients has become highly effective in helping people to take steps forward in their lives. We aim to witness the person's story, track our way to the cause of any problems, to initiate healing and to create the conditions for achieving aspirations and dreams. One of the most important aspects of CK healing involves the person being listened to, heard and witnessed in their whole being. Discovering what is happening to them 'behind the scenes' of their known world we are able to deal with past trauma, unremembered events and parts of the personal story that may be hidden.

We also offer training - LifeTracking is the foundation course for self-development & balancing friends and family. Professional course are Way of the Tracker and Perceptual Bodywork.

I am particularly grateful for teachers such as Eckhart Tolle - my favourite book is "A New Earth", Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama whose book "The Art of Happiness" encourages us to be kinder to ourselves and our community. Also, as a gentle introduction to the Buddhist philosophy there is a series of short, entertaining books starting with "The Dalai Lama's Cat". Of course, I also recommend The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield as this revealed how we interact with each other and the power of our aura.

Shabdan - www.shabdan.com offers free healing techniques on his website including the Source Light Project. If you feel inspired to travel to Lago Atitlan Guatemala for a spiritual retreat, visit www.laspiramidesdelka.com.

For more information on Creative Kinesiology please see www.creativekinesiology.org. My details are on the site if you would like to connect with me.


aka Santoshan

Wendy would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to Stephen Wollaston (also known as Santoshan).

"During the 70s I played electric bass guitar in 'Lady June's Elysium' (the singer, Lady June, was quite known at the time) and I also played in the Wasps, who were one of London's first punk groups. I stopped playing to concentrate on graphics work to make a living. My creativity surfaced with the ability to write, particularly after becoming close friends with the ex-Benedictine monk and medium Glyn Edwards, who asked me to co-author a book with him. Around that time, I took a degree in religious studies and a post-grad certificate in education, and interest in English language and transpersonal psychology. I began teaching humanities subjects as well as English language. Yet I have continued to enjoy graphics work and have written on various interrelated spiritual topics. I have released eight books to date. I regularly give my time freely to the UK-based charity GreenSpirit, of which I am a Council member, and I am actively involved in work for its Editorial and Publishing Committee. The different areas of my life I mentioned - writing, knowledge of English language, typographic design various religious and spiritual traditions - all come in useful for the work I and do for GreenSpirit. And some music I recorded with a friend has been used for a couple of projects.

"In my younger years, I shared a house with my parents and siblings and numerous pets, and in the 60s and 70s, I spent a lot of time outdoors playing in local woodland and grassland areas. I recall times lying with my back on cool soft grass, being mesmerized by the fascinating activity of clouds as they morphed from one wonderful shape to another, or silently contemplating awesome creatures such as bees and butterflies hopping from flower to flower. Bird song has also been something that I love to hear. Such experiences speak to me in ways that are hard to express.

"I often feel a profound need to reaffirm an interconnectedness with Nature, and I have encountered numerous experiences in places of natural beauty that have helped me through many troubled times and widened my awareness of what it means to be a member of an authentic Earth- centred community. Finding a progressive organisation such as GreenSpirit with its eco-spiritual focus happened at a key point and demonstrated an element of synchronicity. I was pulling away from some fellow travellers who were reacting badly to wider directions my path was taking. I was beginning to feel as though I had no support network of genuine friends. Around this time I had started to read books by visionary writers such as Matthew Fox, Thomas Berry and Sri Aurobindo, and was taking an interest in Tantric Yogic wisdom, which affirms the physical world instead of denying it or seeing Earth-life as negative in some way. Things just fell into place when I came across GreenSpirit, who share the same Earth-centred affirmation - life as original goodness - of Fox, Berry, Aurobindo, and Tantra.

"To my understanding, we all possess deep spiritual connections with Nature, although there are people who are not fully aware of this, as they have been side-tracked by addictive consumerist behaviour and a belief that material goods and money can bring lasting happiness; they don't of course.

Yet on an everyday level, we can see how many people have cats, dogs and other pets as companions which they care for, and are passionate gardeners. On weekends and holidays they invariably seek to escape their concrete and brick homes in order to venture out amongst places of natural beauty where they find healing, rest and upliftment, and experience transforming feelings of awe and wonder that give their lives meaning. We like our towns and cities to be filled with majestic trees and tranquil parks, and our homes to have an array of wonderful plants. It is clear that we have a natural love of Nature, which in return nourishes us. Ultimately, Earth has given birth to our physical existence and sustains us in numerous ways, not only with food, water and air but spiritually and creatively.

"Many facets of the world's great religious traditions have teachings about the natural world and how 'all life', not just 'human life', is sacred, how we are inseparably interconnected with Nature and have a collective responsibility to care for her. Early indigenous people fully understood this and sought to live in harmony with the plant, tree, river and animal queendoms and kingdoms. Creation stories surfaced, which gave people meaning and purpose and a sense of place in the world. But with the development of these stories, instead of an interconnected unity, beliefs in a separation from the natural world and a God that was transcendent and somewhere else arose. I'm not just talking about Abrahamic religions here, which often teach about a masculine God instead of a feminine one with compassionate and nurturing qualities. Instead of being Nature-centred, there was a shift to human-centredness in both this life and an after-life. Instead of being 'a part' of Nature, humans were seen as 'apart' from her. Ideas about physical life being sinful or an illusion were also promoted in some traditions.

"This is not to say that an Earth-centred spirituality was ever completely forgotten. Many religions still hold strong beliefs in holy mountains, rivers, lakes, wells, trees, and so on. Early pagan beliefs and practices that cherished Nature and understood her importance were intertwined with traditions such as Christianity. But, as mentioned, there was a subtle change in focus in how physical life was considered. Some teachers and writers have argued that that change is partly responsible for how we now treat non-human life, how we have objectified Nature and started to look upon her as a bottomless treasure chest that can be plundered, without any consideration about the harm done to other lifeforms, though ultimately there is no 'other' as we are all parts of one interconnected Earth-community and family.

"What eco-spirituality highlights are the roots we share with various Nature mystics, such as Hildegard of Bingen, and early indigenous beliefs, as well as indigenous people today who may be fighting for eco-justice against large corporations taking over and damaging their lands. Earth-based spirituality recognises how stories about our world were once important to our ancestors but understands that many of those stories no longer fit contemporary knowledge of how stars, galaxies and organic life came into being. For this reason, evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme and geo-theologian Thomas Berry have promoted 'New Universe Story' that we have today about creation from the very first flaring-forth of the big bang to our current life on Earth. When we once again understand our place and relationship with the universe and the natural world, we will, hopefully, once again care for what is ultimately part of our own nature. With this understanding comes a recognition that we are all incredible products of creation and the universe, and when we create in wholesome ways, we take an active role in the creativity of the universe - we become co-creators with the universe. Thomas Berry pithily pointed out that, "An immersion into the deep creative powers of the universe is the most direct contact a human can have of the divine". We are, of course, living on the brink of an important moment in our history where we can either put our differences aside and work together to preserve more-than-human life and Earth's delicate ecosystems, or continue to rape the natural world and commit mass genocide of numerous species. We have been living as though we have more than one planet to live on and are not responsible for our actions. This is why Earth-centred spirituality is so important right now. It doesn't seek to make a new religion but aims to highlight what is already there in various spiritual, religious and wisdom traditions and build bridges between people. It can be seen as 'a Yoga', 'a Way' or 'a Path' that not only honours and lovingly cares for Nature at its core but also joyously celebrates Earth life.

"Shifts in consciousness are happening. Thomas Berry termed this new era of spirituality the 'Ecozoic era', an era where humans live in mutually enhancing relationships with Earth and the Earth community. We've already seen Pope Francis encouraging green conscious wisdom and pointing out that when we harm Nature we harm ourselves. Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has for many years been actively involved in promoting 'Engaged Buddhism', which embraces the promotion of both human justice as well as eco-justice. In Istanbul in August 2015, Islamic scholars, experts and teachers from 20 countries launched a new declaration on climate change, calling for Muslims around the world to work towards phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"My most recent book is 'Pathways of Green Wisdom: Discovering Earth Centred Teachings in Spiritual and Religious Traditions', which I compiled and edited. It came out last year and brings together numerous reflective, insightful and informative pieces by various contributors to GreenSpirit Magazine spanning a period of 11 years, along with especially written new material. It has a companion book, 'Rivers of Green Wisdom: Exploring Christian and Yogic Earth Centred Spirituality', which was written by me and came out in 2014. This one's slightly confessional in its style, with some semi-autobiographical parts, and draws upon material I touched upon in two of my previous books. Up to now the 'Rivers' and 'Pathways' books have only been available in GreenSpirit's ebook series, which is a low-cost series (via Smashwords and Kindle) and free for members. Other titles in the series have outlined the New Universe Story and covered numerous essential aspects of green spirituality. But I should mention that work has already begun for bringing all the titles in the ebook series out as printed editions this year, which will be sold at cost-price. Anyone interested in the books should visit GreenSpirit's website (www.greenspirit.org.uk). There are lots of things on this site that are useful, such as a resources section, book reviews, and information about events.

Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

Our most recent Health & Happiness magazine interview is with Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, canine expert extraordinaire!

"I'm fortunate in my work to be able to combine my three favourite passions, which as writing, dogs and people. I write books about a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, and I work with dogs with emotional and behaviour issues, which means I get to work with their people too, and four of my thirty books to date are about dog behaviour. I have another in progress.

I also run three dog-related organisations and am heavily involved with another two. The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour (ISCP) is a globally approved training college that provides distance learning courses for dog guardians who wish to understand their dogs better. It is also for students who intend to pursue careers as behaviour consultants, and for professionals, who wish to expand their knowledge of dog behaviour. I founded the ISCP in 2011 after two years of preparation, and a great deal of my time is spent teaching, assessing students' coursework, and liaising with my fabulous team of tutors.

In 2013, I founded The Dog Welfare Alliance (DWA), which brings together professionals and the public. It raises awareness of 'positive' force-free methods, brings welfare issues to light, and campaigns for improved dog welfare. It also supports rescue organisations and shelters around the world. The driving force behind the DWA was Charlie, a one-eyed unsocialized Romanian feral dog, who arrived at my home in February 2013 and needed a great deal of help to learn to cope with domestic life. I adopted Charlie soon after he came to us, and the story of our extraordinary two years together is told in my book Charlie, the Dog Who Came in from the Wild. Living with Charlie prompted me to find out more about the plight of dogs outside the UK, and to look for ways in which to help them, as well as our UK dogs, and so the DWA was born.

The third organisation I run is The Association of INTO Dogs, which was the first organisation to be set up exclusively for behaviourists and trainers who use only 'positive' methods. I joined INTO Dogs over eight years ago, and, in early 2015, I was honoured to be asked to take over as Chair. It's been an exciting time, because my first major task was to apply for INTO Dogs to join the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC), a highly respected organisation, now a charity, that's working with the UK government to get the industry regulated. INTO Dogs was accepted into the ABTC in January this year as their first non-founding behaviour member organisation. This means that we're now able to be more deeply involved in bringing about much-needed changes in the behaviour and training world. It's also brought our professional members registration as ABTC approved Accredited Animal Behaviourists. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to be involved with the ABTC.

Another organisation I'm working closely with as a member of their Education Committee is the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), which started in America and is now a large global entity that's making a huge difference in the behaviour arena. PPG are doing a great deal to promote force-free methods to the public, to professionals and to veterinary staff and bodies through various programmes. They have their own accreditation system in place now, they provide webinars that are used for continuing professional development, and they run a large yearly summit for members.

One of the great lights of my life is Skye, my Deerhound mix Lurcher, who is almost nine and has lived with me since he was a puppy. Skye's been a wise, gentle mentor to many sick and traumatised foster dogs, and is a shining example of how effective 'positive' methods are.

I grew up with dogs, and my best friend at the age of seven was our Border Collie, Bobby. I've always been fascinated by human psychology, and this led to an interest in canine psychology, too. I studied this intensively and that resulted in formal study to gain a qualification with distinction in canine psychology about nine years ago when I was doing a great deal of volunteer behaviour work for several rescue charities. At that time very few educational establishments were teaching only 'positive' methods that are based on developing strong bonds of affection, understanding and cooperation between guardians and their dogs, and seeing how rewarding and successful this is prompted me to want to raise more awareness and to set up the ISCP.

I would say the main aspect of my work is liking people and enjoying helping them to bring about beneficial changes in their relationships with their dogs. In this work it's vital that we understand, relate to and can empathise with the people, because however good we are with dogs, ultimately it's the guardians who have to follow through on our guidance when we go home. So it's a matter of motivating the guardian to motivate the dog, and being part of that is incredibly inspiring and rewarding.

Also, I feel it's important to demonstrate through example that kind, compassionate, science-based methods have a tremendous, long-lasting impact. Sadly, there's still a lot of promotion of 'dominance' methods and the myth still prevails that dogs want to become 'alphas', even though science has firmly refuted this. That mind-set is terribly damaging, as well as misguided. We all respond much better to kindness, to positive reinforcement (good things happen when cooperation occurs), and dogs respond just as well to this as humans do.

My advice is for dog lovers to follow their passion! If you have a dream, then look into ways in which you can make that a reality - even if your journey towards fulfilling it needs to be taken one small step at a time. Believe in your ability to make a difference in the world, however small this may seem to be. We all send out ripples that affect others, and you may as well make these ripples positive and life-enhancing. Be prepared to work hard, and if you love what you do then you'll find that it stops feeling like work and becomes yet one more expression of who you are inside. View obstacles and challenges as opportunities that give your creative mind a good puzzle to work with. Think about what makes you happy, and then focus on that. Embrace change.

My recommended booklist is lengthy! Most of my own books are listed on my personal website. For great dog books, a few authors to look for are Marc Bekoff, John Bradshaw, Alexandra Horowitz, Patricia McConnell, Toni Shelbourne, Gregory Berns, Stanley Coren, Suzanne Clothier, Daniel Mills, Rïse VanFleet, Jean Donaldson - they're just a few of my favourites.

There are a lot of wonderful organisations to be involved with. If you need help with your dog, or if you're a professional looking for a good organisation to join, you can contact The Association of INTO Dogs, the International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour, the Animal Behaviour & Training Council, Pet Professional Guild, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, the Dog Welfare Alliance - these are just a few who now promote purely 'positive', science-based methods.

Another amazing organisation is Cool to be Kind, which was founded by Sarah Fisher and Anthony Head, with ambassadors Carolyn Menteith and Marie Miller.

I recommend several charities, such as the Oldies Club which is a wonderful organisation that rehomes dogs over the age of seven. I've fostered a number of dogs for them and adopted two of my Greyhounds from them. Quite a few of my ISCP students and graduates run rehoming charities and you can find the list and links in the Rescue Organisations page under the Behaviour Courses tab on the ISCP website. I also support Animal Spay Neuter International, which provides free spaying, neutering and veterinary care in Eastern Europe."

Here are a few useful links for dog owners and dog lovers:

The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour: www.theiscp.com
The Dog Welfare Alliance: www.dogwelfarealliance.com
Lisa's books: www.tenzindolma.co.uk
The Association of INTO Dogs: www.intodogs.org
Pet Professional Guild: www.petprofessionalguild.com/
Animal Behaviour & Training Council: www.abtcouncil.org.uk
Animal Spay Neuter International: www.animalsni.org


Nicola is involved in an 'Action for Happiness' course called "Exploring What Matters". 'Action for Happiness' is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society; we work to help people see a fundamentally different way of life where people care less about what they can gain exclusively for themselves and care more about the happiness of others.

I would like to introduce Health and Happiness readers to Nicola Douglas. Please tell us something about yourself Nicola.

Nicola: I am a life and business coach and interested in self-development, personal growth and spiritual development. I am involved in various activities outside of my work environment, one of which is volunteering to co-host an 'Action for Happiness' course called "Exploring What Matters". 'Action for Happiness' is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society; we work to help people see a fundamentally different way of life where people care less about what they can gain exclusively for themselves and care more about the happiness of others.

We bring together like-minded people from all walks of life and help them take practical action. We draw on the latest scientific research. Members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them. 'Action for Happiness' provides ideas and resources to enable people to take action at home, at work or in their community.

I became involved when I attended a local 'Action for Happiness' group which was formed by my friend and co-host for the course, Sarah-Jane Tepper. Our group meets once a month to discuss one of the 'Ten Keys to Happiness' which have been identified by 'Action for Happiness' as necessary components to living a happier life, such as gratitude or learning.

By being part of this group, I had the opportunity to hear their patron His Highness the Dalai Lama speak in London last year. This event was where 'Action for Happiness' launched their 8 week course called "Exploring What Matters". Shortly after this event Sarah-Jane and I signed up to run one of these courses.

The course is run over 8 sessions, which take place weekly and last for 2 hours. It is based on the latest scientific evidence and is intended for people of all backgrounds, particularly those who would like to see a more positive and caring society. Each session has a theme, based on an important question, such as "What really matters in life?", "What actually makes me happy?" and "How should we treat others?"

Health & Happiness readers can get involved in various ways. They can make the pledge (even if it is only to themselves) to try to create more happiness in the world around them; check out the 'Action for Happiness' website to learn about the organisation and its work and pick up some practical tips and resources; join a local 'Action for Happiness' group, or sign up for a local "Exploring What Matters" course or another 'Action for Happiness' event.


Wendy: Which charities do you support?

Nicola: I support Barnardos with cash donations but with Action for Happiness, I know it appreciates time, skills and support which are more difficult to give to large organisations.
Twitter @actionhappiness


Belinda Joubert is an independent life and soul coach. I guide and inspire people to discover the influence of ancient and natural laws and virtues in society and organizations and how to pursue the life journey to self-fulfilment, happiness, inner tranquillity and enlightenment. I am a qualified teacher and author of books, presenter of workshops and products that build character and inspire righteousness.

Hello Belinda, I would like to introduce you to Health and Happiness readers. Can you please tell us something about yourself.
Belinda: I am 51 years old, married and blessed with four wonderful children, three girls and a son. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Western Cape, South Africa. My mother died when I was four years of age but I always felt that she (or some higher power) was looking after me.

I am a qualified teacher, with a degree in marketing and business development. I believe the work that someone do is more important than titles and qualifications that they have. Although I was not actively involved in doing spiritual work during my earlier corporate days. When I look back I can see now that inspiring and uplifting people was always a part of my character. Now I do it more explicitly.

It was never my intention to write books and to develop card decks, it just happened when I left the stressful corporate world to follow a creative path. It is easy and natural for me to create new innovative products. The creative side of me is easy to access but I was more naive about researching, analysing and benchmarking, etc. My husband and I developed a range of aromatherapy health products for one of an international chain store. To make a long story short, they stole our intellectual property, business plan and forecasts etc. so I learned the hard way. This experience was one of my darkest hours but it forced me to learn quickly.

To cheer me up, one of my friends invited me to a workshop. It was my first experience with angels but, as I was listening to the content, I thought it lacked a solid foundation and fundamental truths.One of my major subjects was philosophy and Bible study, and I knew in that moment that I wanted to teach people spiritual truths. There is an infinite storehouse of knowledge that is at our disposal, but we need to design it so that it has a personal touch and then share our knowledge with others. Many people are too scared to embrace new knowledge especially if it has a 'New Age' label. However, I was inspired to write 'AngelSense', my first channelled book.

Wendy: How did you become interested in angels?
Belinda: My Guardian angel saved my life twice, at the age of 4 and age 17. My first encounter with Raphael (my Guardian Angel) was when he saved my life. It was 1967; I was almost four years old and my sister was a tiny eight months. We were asleep in a small flat in Pretoria, South Africa. My mother and father promised to take us out for the day. I woke up very early to discover that we were alone. My parents decided not to wake us and left for ten minutes to go downstairs to take care of unfinished business. I decided to go outside and look for them but discovered that the door was locked and I couldn't open it. I remember telling my sister that she needed not worry because I was going to jump from the window (four stories high) and I would find them and would be back soon. After climbing through the burglar bars, I looked down and with blind faith jumped down to search for my parents. Instead of falling to my death, a black nanny, carrying laundry in a big basket caught me and I landed safely on the soft clothes. At that very moment my father arrived back. He had seen a child falling down from the fourth flour and was panicking that it could be one of us. He rushed up to find that I was gone. In a panic, he rushed downstairs to find that I was safe surrounded by surprised spectators. No one else except me saw the black nanny and she did not stay to get a thank you or a reward. Angels often appear in human form to assist us. I believe they can only involve themselves in lifesaving measures. Angels may choose to appear as a particularly ordinary-looking person. There are many recorded instances of this.

Wendy: How do you work with angels?
Belinda: First we have to understand what an angel is. Throughout all the spheres of being, there are the radiant ones who pass their powers down, link by link, until it filters through earthly channels or instruments; in other words, us. We have access but we need to be open to connect. Angels are the 'great shining ones', the 'evolved', and the truly 'high in spiritual stature' who strive to guide the whole of humanity. They are the evolved beings who are responsible for all the good works that are done on Earth. I receive intuitive messages and am guided when and how to contact a specific person to assist them. On other occasions someone will call, e-mail post or contact me in a particular way. The angels are very creative when it comes to assist someone, for instance, if someone is depressed, stressed and at their darkest hour. When they have tried many things and nothing works they call on God or a higher power to assist them. That is when they contact me and through God's guidance, I assist them.

Do you do workshops, one to one, or other types of practitioner work?
Belinda: Yes, I do workshops, inspirational and public talks, seminars, and I write books. I handcraft assistance for my clients according to their needs. I work with corporate clients, youth programs, and on a one-on-one personal, level specialising in soul coaching.
Here are some examples:
  • Corporate Health and Wellness (Boosting Employee Productivity) - Conference
  • Spiritual and Career Wellness - Conference
  • Celebrate Life Festival
  • Youth Lotus Human Excellence Program - Workshop for Gr11 and Gr 12 students
  • AngelSense workshops - mostly adult groups, also parent and child
  • Virtuous Living workshops - focusing on the natural laws.

I sponsor the Youth Lotus Human Excellence Program for grade 11 and 12 students. I would like to focus more on this youth program in 2016 and beyond bringing it to every child, teacher and parent.

"The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home." Confucius - Virtuous Living p140

Wendy: What do the angels tell you about the future of society and the planet and do they have any advice for our world leaders?

Belinda: One of the greatest expressions of angelic work throughout the ages was to encourage and inspire every member of society to instil virtuous astuteness and wisdom into their daily lives. Nothing has changed. Our purpose in life is to develop the quality of our soul work so that we can be ready to move on to the Spirit plane when we die.

We need to sustain spiritual, mental and physical balance. We have to promote caring values, co-operation, tolerance and service. We have to serve one another, love one another and desire to help one another. We have to replace greed with sharing, so that those who have much will give to those who are not so fortunate. These are the simple truths that we must implement over and over again.

We live in a world where most people worship money. Selfishness, greed and vested interest are the dominant factors that leaders focus on in most countries. Materialism and greed is like cancer that consumes humanity; it makes us sick in body, mind and spirit. Most people are spiritually dead, they are not aware of God's laws and spiritual truths.

All of us have the same spirit within that gives us life. This divine spirit within is greater than our physical differences, it transcends colour, language and nationality. When we know who we are - and we focus on spirit realities - we will know that behind the surface of our physical appearance, we have a common spiritual attribute that binds all people together. This vital truth is necessary for people all over the world. When everyone is aware, it will help to end wars and it will destroy all selfishness and greed.

There is not a new message, it is the same message throughout all time. The most prominent problems worldwide are ignorance, sorrow, poverty and racism. We will always have these problems until our spirit is united, and political leaders think and live according to ethics and integrity.

Whatever we focus on grows in power. The leaders of the nations should have a desire to honour the eternal principles of caring and kindness which creates a better world for everyone. These values are part of the Divine Plan that is activated by love, grace and benevolence and is the ultimate guide of how we all should behave. When leaders stop promoting self serving values and focus on the fundamentals of life ie love, co-operation, service and tolerance, it will be possible to have peace. The simple truths that have to be instilled are to love one another, serve one another, and to have a desire to help one another. It must be standard practice that those who have much should give to those who are not so fortunate.

God is here now. The revelation of today is the revelation of yesterday. Knowledge depends upon the individual being ready to receive it. It is what we do in the service of humanity that is important for our soul growth.
Bio: I am an independent life and soul coach. I guide and inspire people to discover the influence of ancient and natural laws and virtues in society and organizations and how to pursue the life journey to self-fulfilment, happiness, inner tranquillity and enlightenment. I am a qualified teacher and author of books, presenter of workshops and products that build character and inspire righteousness. I love God and His unalterable natural laws. I love virtues, moral values and beliefs that inspire every member of society to exercise good judgment and wisdom in their daily lives. I strive to be a spiritual light-worker. I share ancient wisdoms, divine laws and spirit truths that inform and encourage people to believe in and practice these deep-seated principals and virtues that are essential to living in a peaceful, harmonious and productive society. When a person can walk away happier, more knowledgeable and with his or her soul touched, after having connected with me, then I have accomplished my task. My life ambition is to bring joy and tranquility to as many people as possible. I love to uplift and inspire people especially when they go through hard times. When I can demonstrate God's love, grace and compassion, and I can touch a soul, I am happy. I can help people to grow their souls, find spirit truth and connect with God, their guardian angels and spirit guides. I can help people to connect to a higher power of consciousness to be able to tap into the pool of universal knowledge that is there for everyone. I will demonstrate that they can overcome any physical difficulty. They can learn how to meditate and to grow the divinity within and that they can learn how to put their lives in divine order, set goals, and apply the power of thought, intentions, faith and prayer in their pursuit of fulfilment and greatness.

Instagram: bj.inspire
Twitter: inspirebj

Christina CHRISTOU

Christina Christou is a Holistic Life Mentor and Author of 'Write Therapy' a method of using the power of writing to heal the past and create the life you want!

Please tell Health & Happiness readers something about your background, interests and lifestyle Christina.

Christina: I have a background in counselling and psychology. I became interested in the power of thought 20 years ago after reading 'You Can Heal Your Life' by Louise Hay. The idea was new yet at the back of my mind, I thought this was important. I could understand what the book suggested but found the information difficult to put into practice.

I was brought up in the Greek Orthodox Christian tradition but, as a child, I didn't really understand the depth of the spiritual meanings. My siblings and I followed the faith, which are mixed with non-Christian rituals (as most religions are). Being an introspective child, I loved nature and owned many wildlife books. My ambition was to become a vet, or to be a wildlife explorer. In my teenage years, my reflective nature led me to express my inner turmoil through prose. I couldn't understand what was going on in my head unless I wrote about my experience in lyrical rhyme. The poems finished with a mention of love and God - not the associated religious thought I was exposed to - but something I thought to be true - that love is what matters and that God is love!

My adult years were devoid of any spiritual involvement except that my mum insisted my children attended church. I vaguely remember a feeling of self-righteousness when my life situation brought misery. I clung to the belief that 'the good suffer and that the bad will be judged in heaven'. This was, I suppose, some kind of faith, especially in the traditional view that 'through suffering are we saved'. I became interested in more spirituality when my mum was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2003. I read books on angels and explored other religions, such as Buddhism, and read a book called 'A Course in Miracles' which is channelled from Jesus. This helped me immensely when I was caring for my mother in the last months of her life. Through my grief and heart ache, I began channelling messages from the Holy Spirit. I wrote questions in my journal about her impeding death. I was concerned with forgiveness and helping her redeem her soul. I took this as my mission, to help her 'heal' her soul if not her body.

How did you get involved with this type of specialised healing and what training have you had?

Christina: When my mother died two years later, I went on a searching frenzy; I read books about the afterlife, visited psychics and mediums and I continued to write to angels in my journal. I met a medium at a psychic development course and she suggested I put a rose quartz in my bra as she could 'see' I was overwhelmed with grief (rose quartz helps with forgiveness and self-love). This is how I was introduced to my love of crystals. I was attuned to Reiki healing with and achieved my Holistic Crystal Therapy diploma. My thirst for all things spiritual led me to learning more about angels, ascended masters and energy.

As a Holistic Crystal Therapist I understood that healing had to be a holistic approach - mind, body and soul. My clients came for a crystal healing and would comment on how relaxed and light they felt after the treatment. But I knew that true healing could only take place if some personal responsibility was involved. Where crystals were helping to balance the imbalanced energies of the mind, emotions and body, there also had to be some action on the client's part to move forward in their life.

The loss of my mother reminded me of unresolved losses, whether they are through death or other endings. I realised that through writing about subjects such as grief, divorce and depression, there was a deeper emotional healing. On researching on how writing can heal, I came across evidence that the process of handwriting is like brain writing. The emotional section of the brain called the amygdala is activated and there is a benefit on health which lowers the heart rate and induces calm. My clients had similar issues that I had been dealing with. There is a saying, 'when the student is ready the teacher appears'. I realized that I could relate to these people because of my own experience. The world is our mirror! Everything speaks to us!

I met people with many different ailments, including breast cancer. At the time I just thought that it was a coincidence that I was meeting women who had either had breast cancer and had been healed, or were going through it. I seemed to see articles about it, hear it talked about on the TV and mentioned through other people. There is no such thing as coincidence. I realised this many times in my life. In August 2014, after having a lump checked out, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The messages where there; I had been feeling tired, working as a supply teaching assistant; giving crystal healings; putting the finishing touches to my book 'Write Therapy' and dealing with the usual stressors of life. I was burnt out!

I returned to my journal and wrote my reflections and the growing awareness of what I needed to do to heal. This was not new for me as I was used to keeping reflective dairies in my studies in counselling. My spiritual practice training was the same, where writing to my higher self, connecting to guides, angels and God were second nature. Personally using the techniques that I had learnt and written about in my book was a challenge for me especially with such a serious diagnosis. I had been trying to heal the world yet had ignored my own health and had not listened to my body's messages. I personally used the writing techniques in my book, to release fear and old beliefs. I wrote letters of forgiveness to others and asked for forgiveness for my own failings; I reflected on how my experiences had led to this illness, how especially my thoughts had contributed. I affirmed and created a new mind set and attitude for my own health and healing.

Wendy: Does your method differ from others, and in what way? Please describe your method and why it is an improvement.

Christina: 'Write Therapy' is an accessible way to use writing as a method of healing. In my book, I introduce and share tools and techniques to release troubling emotions. Writing and exploring your story are ways to tap into how we see ourselves, about the way we speak about ourselves to different people - in other words our personas or masks.

My workshops involve using metaphor and fairy tale to explore emotions through the safety of symbolism. I use creative and interactive ways to write about emotions. There is scientific evidence that supports that writing about emotions in the abstract as in poems or song, rather than in normal language, reduces traumatic associations. The aim of Write Therapy is to feel relief. By exploring old patterns and beliefs and replacing them with positive affirmations the individual can be helped to write the story they want for their life.

Writing is accessible and anyone can use it to release trauma and create a happier life. If handwriting is not possible, a keyboard, tablet or mobile is also feasible. As long as you can write, just do it and feel the relief that comes with it! Writing, especially handwriting, has an emotionally regulating effect. So where there is trauma, writing is a tool where relief can be achieved. It is effective for depression, grief, loss, illness, self-esteem, anything that carries an emotion. Writing your intentions, dreams and ideas is also a way of journaling. Another positive aspect of write therapy is writing about feelings of gratitude.

The difference between 'Write Therapy' and other journaling methods is the choice of different techniques, such as writing about trauma in poetry or in fairy tales or from different personas. There are a set of exercises which help to unclutter an over active mind. Connecting with a higher source by letter writing, such as writing to your past and about forgiveness. Write Therapy is on the premise of changing your thoughts to feel better so it uses the law of attraction and symbolism to appreciate that everything is connected. People are holistic and the world is interconnected. Affirmations are used to create a new life story, using vision boards, visualisations and meditations.

Write Therapy is not a guarantee that someone will not ever feel sad or get ill. My experience of breast cancer taught me that even with many years of using my journal that the natural processes of life go on. There are situations that we have no control over, and there are things that we have to accept and deal with. Writing can help gain a sense of control. For me, I only know what I am thinking when I write and that I connect with my higher self and the higher realms. Some do this instinctively but it can be learnt. I feel as though I am supported and loved as I get to know the workings of my mind, soul and emotions.

Where writing may not work, such as when a person is deeply depressed, just scribbling, doodling and drawing helps connect the brain to the hand and this process triggers the emotional brain. Sometimes too much self-reflection can be counterproductive, especially if deep seated emotions have been triggered. It is always wise to seek the support of a professional counsellor or psychologist in these cases.

I teach this method in workshops and individual mentoring sessions via email, face to face or skype. Visit my blog: http://angelguided.blogspot.co.uk/

Bernardo KASTRUP

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing.

He has worked as a scientist in some of the world's foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the "Casimir Effect" of Quantum Field Theory was discovered).

Bernardo has authored many scientific papers and five philosophy books: Rationalist Spirituality, Dreamed up Reality, Meaning in Absurdity, Why Materialism Is Baloney, and Brief Peeks Beyond.

He has also been an entrepreneur and founder of a successful high-tech start-up. Next to a managerial position in the high-tech industry, Bernardo maintains a philosophy blog, an audio/video podcast, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality.

Wendy: Hello Bernardo, I would like to introduce you to Health & Happiness Magazine readers. Please tell us something about yourself.

Bernardo: I have a Ph.D. in computer engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing (computers that can re-wire themselves so to autonomously adapt to the specific task at hand). I have worked as a scientist in places like CERN in Switzerland (home to the world's largest particle accelerator, the LHC) and Philips Research in the Netherlands. I have also had a life-long scholarly interest in philosophy, both Western and Eastern.


Wendy: You have a special philosophy of life based on your work with computers, can you explain this please?

Bernardo: Because of my science background, I started out as a rather cynical materialist. Part of my early scientific work consisted in trying to replicate aspects of human thinking in computers, so to solve engineering problems. The attempt eventually opened my eyes to some fundamental problems with the materialist worldview. For instance, materialists take for granted that the brain somehow generates consciousness, even though nobody today can explain how. But while it was clear to me that we could build artificial brains to process information like human brains, we couldn't even begin to think about how to create consciousness. How could a specific arrangement of electromagnetic signals suddenly lead to subjective experience? To expect a computer simulation of brains to produce awareness is akin to expecting a computer simulation of kidneys to make the computer pee on your desk. It's absurd.

But consciousness undoubtedly exists: it is the only carrier of reality anyone can ever know. So why can't we even begin to conceive of how to create it artificially? The answer slowly dawned on me over the years: consciousness is never created because it is the very ground of all existence. It was already there before the original act of creation. As such, consciousness is primary, everything else - from dust particles to galaxy clusters - arising from and within it. According to this view, the brain is merely the image of a process of localization in a stream of transpersonal experiences, like a whirlpool is the image of a process of localization in a stream of water.The brain doesn't generate consciousness for exactly the same reason that a whirlpool doesn't generate water. Active neurons are what experiences look like from the outside - not the cause of experiences - this being the reason why brain function correlates tightly with subjective states.
My philosophy of life entails that, for the sake of preserving a minimum degree of honesty in our culture, we must remain grounded in conscious experience. Experience is what there is before we start theorizing about the world and ourselves. It takes precedence over everything else. It is the departing point and necessary substrate of all theories.

Wendy: Based on your knowledge of computers, do you envisage a future very different from the one we know today?

Bernardo: Yes, I envision a future when human beings will understand, beyond any doubt, that their consciousness will never cease to exist. But not because of foolish trans-humanist ideas like the uploading of consciousness into computers, which are based on a complete misunderstanding of the nature of reality. Instead, I think that we will finally realize that, for the same reason that computers cannot generate consciousness, neither can the body. It is the body that is in consciousness, not consciousness in the body. As such, there is simply no reason whatsoever to believe that the end of your body will be the end of your consciousness. The body is merely what a particular configuration of consciousness looks like from the outside. Its dissolution upon physical death is merely the outside image of a change in our state of consciousness: from localized to de-clenched. This realization alone will have drastic implications as far as our cultural value system, personal priorities, way of life, economy and power structures.

Wendy: You have written several books, what do they have in common?

Bernardo: All my books elaborate on a philosophical view of the nature of reality called 'monistic idealism.' According to this view, a world outside consciousness is an unprovable and unnecessary abstraction. We can explain all reality without it. The implication is that all reality is then fundamentally subjective. The difference between the 'outside' world perceived through our five senses and the 'inside' world of thoughts and feelings is merely one of misidentification, not of fundamental nature. We misidentify ourselves with a particular subset of our stream of experiences - namely, thoughts and feelings - while deeming the rest of the stream - sensory perceptions - to come from a world outside ourselves. Think of it in terms of your nightly dreams: you misidentify yourself with a character within your dream, believing the rest of the dreamscape to be external to you. Once you wake up, however, you immediately realize that your mind was creating the whole dream. In that sense, you were the whole dream, not only a character within it. In my books, I discuss the idea that the very same thing is happening right now, as you read these words.
My new book, Brief Peeks Beyond (http://www.iff-books.com/books/brief-peeks-beyond) is now available for pre-order. Visit: http://www.bernardokastrup.com/

VALERIE Thompson

Valerie is a certified professional coach, specialising in executive and life coaching. From 1986 until 1989 Valerie formally studied mind-power under a leading American New Thought movement that is part of United Centres for Spiritual Living. She is the author of three books and her coaching service transforms stress and difficulties into opportunities, wellbeing and joy

Wendy Stokes introduces Health & Happiness Magazine readers to Valerie Thompson whose life story forms part of the National Sound Archives' social history project City Lives on account of career achievements. In 1973, aged 16, she joined Salomon Brothers, (the pre-eminent Wall Street firm at the time, since absorbed into Citigroup) and she worked her way up the career ladder, starting as a telex operator to become a director of the company and head of fixed income syndicate. Upon leaving Salomon, in 1987, she set up her own business, and for the next seventeen years provided consulting, recruitment, training, and outplacement services to financiers. She is now a certified professional coach, specialising in executive and life coaching. From 1986 until 1989 Valerie formally studied mind-power under a leading American New Thought movement that is part of United Centres for Spiritual Living. She is the author of three books and her coaching service transforms stress and difficulties into opportunities, wellbeing and joy.

Valerie speaks about her life and work:
"I was brought up in Dagenham, Essex, to parents with considerable problems of various kinds. My mother was dependent on tranquilizers and my father was dependent on alcohol. My childhood was stressful and when I started work at the age of 15, I had a lot to remedy within myself, so an ability to understand human behaviour and self development has always been important to me. When I worked in banking, personalities interested me most, and I was good at mediating between people and helping colleagues to work together. Conflict resolution is one of the main drivers in my life - not surprisingly given my history - but, of course, any solution, resolution or outcome, must be rooted in integrity and self-respect if it is to be of value to ourselves and others. This is true whether we're talking about inner conflict or conflict between two or more people.

Human beings are hugely sensitive and impressionable; if this was not so, advertising wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar industry, and we wouldn't be moved either way by a horror film or a comedy, by cruelty or kindness. And I was born a highly sensitive individual, with an ability to feel others' emotions and perceive another's thoughts. These came in useful when I worked in the City, but also led to my leaving the industry. Wherever we go, there's a system, and the UK has possibly the best in the world. Nonetheless, its mission is to drive the economy, and its methods do little to soothe the mind or nourish the soul.

I've always had a spiritual dimension to my life; I had many dreams as a child which came true and, 45-plus years ago, I was a dab hand at reading tea leaves! I therefore enjoy a rich, inner life and consider the protection of my soul to be of paramount importance, whatever its hues and vibrational mix, it's my soul, and I care about shielding it from contamination! Not that I always succeed, since I am also caught up in this snap-judgemental world. That said, I do not think that any lesson or experience that colours a person's life could possibly have been avoided. We often think in terms of 'if only' but the sheer combination of energies which are required to make another choice means if that if another particular course of action were taken, we would be an entirely different person. Sometimes we look right, other times left, sometimes not at all, and the intensity of our focus has countless degrees. I have a good memory in certain respects, but plenty of things pass me by, because of conscious and unconscious choices. A human life is a complex dance of ever-changing vibrations.

I'm a great believer in a higher power; a pure loving and logical energy steeped in compassion, empathy, kindness and mercy, whose sole purpose is to protect and love. What underpins this belief is personal experience; I have been a beneficiary of profound benevolence on more than occasion. I'm also a firm believer in luck, and was tickled pink when I discovered the atom sometimes jumps; behaves unpredictably and throws up surprises. I've had my share of luck and this is scientific evidence, of which the world needs much more. My nightly dreams are also a constant source of insights, reassurance and guidance, as well as offering healing. As you may have gathered my private inner world is as fluid, dynamic and interesting as is the outside, and I've plenty of external pastimes as well. My main loves are meeting friends for dinner, usually 1-2-1 because I prefer meaningful exchanges, dancing when I get the chance, although moving any old fashion rather than formulaic, and laughing - I have a silly sense of humour and enjoy daft sit-coms - and I read and write a great deal.

Coaching of course is another love, as it enables me to engage with people on a deeper level. For readers who are unfamiliar with this subject, it is a confidential structured conversation to deal with problems and lighten our load, and it offers a professional service that's effective over a long period. In my view, we have at least four aspects of self; emotional, mental, physical and spiritual (spiritual is my term for our moral compass) and when these four are sufficiently integrated/in-tune, confidence and optimism outweigh their opposites and progress becomes easier. When life becomes lacklustre or stressful, it indicates that some aspect of self is not adequately aligned, and when that happens the ripple effect can compound matters. A business crisis, for example, invariably affects family life, personal well-being and relationships. Coaching provides a non-judgemental space within which a person can speak freely, they can clear their head, and work out the best ways forward. We are all a 'package deal', so to speak, and in my experience the best authority on a person is themselves, and what I do is help to bring their innate wisdom to the surface, and I act as sort of an anchor and a springboard, facilitating consideration of the pros and cons of possible actions or strategies. So I help people harness their natural gifts and talents, while taking into account their obligations and responsibilities, important relationships, history and unique way of being.

People lead such busy lives these days. 'Me' time is often sacrificed. This hinders self-awareness and self-acceptance. We are often told, "Be yourself" or "You must be true to yourself" which is fine if you know who you are, but this knowledge is a lifelong journey, and in the first instance, it requires time for thought and reflection. Yes, we pick up little bits about ourselves via our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions, but our true self is often hidden under a heap of concerns. We are social creatures, who need, and want to fit in and be accepted, and society and big business exploit these traits, and hinder genuine free speech and, in turn, self-knowledge. Close relationships for example tend to be subjective, spontaneously two-way, and geared to maintain and improve mutual acceptance. When a friend pours their heart out to us we tend to respond with our own stories, to strengthen the bond of friendship. It's the same with our family. And we have a desire to lessen a loved one's pain as soon as possible, and this often takes the form of unasked for advice, which is invariably based on snap assessments. This can as easily disempower others; leaving a feeling of being judged and misunderstood. By contrast, coaching provides liberating "me" time. The value of family and friends cannot be underestimated but there is a natural barrier to openness, as it is human nature to engage with different people in different ways, respectful of sensitivities. Society favours the stiff upper lip, putting others first and expediency over authenticity and is not conducive to inner well-being. Considering ourselves and others is not mutually exclusive.
To get where we want to be, we need to have a clear-enough idea of where that is, and to achieve that we must give voice to our longings, and anything that helps with this is to be applauded and encouraged.

For me, coaching is a natural tool because it plays to my strengths and interests. I have an almost insatiable desire to understand the invisible side of life, and I have great faith in the goodness and strength of people to win over themselves. By that I mean win over their conscious selves; to diminish, lessen, reduce, dissolve, etc. what has been adopted under pressure, in favour of more authentic expression. Think of a time when you tackled a situation you found daunting and came out the other side with a smile on your face. Did you feel relieved, reassured, refreshed? Whatever particular emotions you felt, the experience will have for sure expanded your freedom range because you made a deposit into your soul account, so to speak. Or perhaps you came out the other side feeling awful. It doesn't matter. You still expanded your freedom range and took a step in the right direction, toward soul-growth.

In fact I think one of the reasons that coaching is popular is because of the stigma associated with so-called mistakes and wrong turns that we might make in life. On the one hand we say "to err is human", yet on the other, there is a sort of secret shame about actions that lead to less than welcome outcomes. Another malady of the modern world is that success is defined by appearance. I also think the 'positive thinking' notion has got out of hand. The hidden message in the 'law of attraction' methodology is that one's current thinking and actions are flawed. As a consequence, positive thinking is used to quell rather than to free; to mask thoughts, feelings and emotions considered negative or undesirable. The truth is that these ideas would dissolve far more easily if they were allowed to surface and be aired. 99.9% of people are innately positive, sensitive, and above all good, yet they fear they're not and yet on another level they sense their goodness and feel misunderstood, which creates conflict and confusion. Coaching helps dissolve such conflict. Carl Jung felt deeply that the only route to wholeness was by embracing the shadow, which is essentially a host of inconvenient traits that we'd rather not have. As a result, we try to keep these at bay but they are saturated with value and silver linings, and welcoming them in to the fold means more choices at one's disposal.
Disappointment and guilt, for example, are common emotions that often come to the fore as part of the coaching process. During the early sessions when the focus is on sorting out the wheat from the chaff, the client will do a lot of stock-taking; a lot of talking about their life. This alone can bring about shifts in perspectives, new realisations, and a sense of burdens being lifted. As Bob Hoskins used to say in that BT advert, "It's good to talk".

Then it's a case of drilling down to explore certain emotions, motivations and aspirations and settling on the options that represent the best fit; those that feel right. As a coach, I'm not wedded to any particular style or methodology. I come to it in a holistic, pragmatic and sensitive way. I am often asked how coaching differs from traditional therapy, and there are a few key differences. Coaching is more interactive; a coach will ask questions, make suggestions, and generally prompt discussion of the pros and cons of an action or strategy. Another difference is that coaching is an international service, and, therefore, a remote service; 99% of my coaching consultations are conducted via telephone or Skype."

Valerie Thompson is the author of the following books:

The Logical Magic of Change: How to cope with just about anything and bring about positive change (Calmrise Publishing, 2010) Available in paperback and all electronic formats, including Kindle.

Red Flag Numbers: Phonetic Chaldean Numerology & Fallen Bankers: Were there signs? (Calmrise Publishing, 2013) Available in e-format only via www.calmrise.com

Laws of Contrition (Calmrise Publishing, 2011) Available in paperback and all electronic formats, including Kindle. Available from Amazon and all major online retailers.

Mastering the Euromarkets: A guide to the instruments, the players and the game (Irwin Professional, 1996). Available in hardback from Amazon.

For more information about Valerie Thompson's coaching services please visit: www.vtlife.coach.com

Valerie recommends Health & Happiness Magazine readers visit this website: http://www.hsperson.com/

August 2014 Wendy Interviews


Introducing this month, Avril Price, who specialises in 'constellating with cards" and 'bringing your archetype to life'
My passion is for Tarot Cards. I love them, the symbols, the colours, the huge and significant messages that each card or essence carries. Tarot can tell us so much about the sacred journey of the spirit in human form.

The posh name for this is 'psychospiritual dynamics' but I call it 'self discovery'. When we discover ourselves, we discover others and the world around us! Tarot is a mirror to the soul and each archetype within the deck reflects a human experience, on some level we remember and relate to these experiences through the archetype. The cards can help us to understand chaos when it occurs. Our true reality lies within, the external world is a phantom of that inner reality, an extension and something far more organic and present. Tarot can offer us a wide window in which we can explore our inner life and navigate paths through often difficult and perplexing terrain. Tarot teaches us balance; the cards offer insights into how we can be in the physical world, and gain a deeper perspective into the many rhythms that govern our life. We can also be helped to make empowered and important life choices which lead to a greater sense of authenticity. This in turn shapes the quality of life itself.

I have been 'journeying' with Tarot for over 30 years. The cards turned up in my life when I was least expecting anything, and from a most surprising source, from someone who was not really involved with the spiritual world. Like most of my arrivals, it was a fluke, however, Tarot teaches that nothing is ever random or by accident. Since 1997, I have taught Tarot studies at the College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington. My courses are designed for people to start at foundation level and work their way to advanced with the intention of cultivating their own passion (which allows the student to become the best that they can be). A good Tarot reader has many skills, from dealing with people, spirit communication and trouble shooting. These skills have to be honed, and my courses offer an environment for this.

I too, have various skills. I am a classically trained Platform Medium who works with Spirit communication. I work with the Aura, I read objects, (Psychometry), I channel past life information and work on both the practical and spiritual levels. I have been a consultant and tutor for many years and am also fortunate enough to travel with my work. Currently I have Tarot and psychic development groups in Germany and Finland and have worked in Turkey, Morocco, Greece and Spain. One of my favourite ways of using Tarot is to work in a 'constellation' group to further our ideas and insights into the influences and trends that operate, seemingly unknowingly in our life.

Our sub-conscious plays a bigger part in shaping our lives than we imagine and 'constellation' work can show us how useful this is. Constellating shows us that the conscious mind is only a tiny part of a much greater reality. 'Constellating' with Tarot is a creative experience. It allows us to examine the dynamics of a psychic consultation. We create the psychic zone many times per day and we perform on a psychic basis, using our intuition and our memory of the archetype to relate to each other's inner world dramas. It never ceases to amaze me how clearly we can attune to the life patterns and situations of other people and be involved with taking on the characteristics of situations and those involved within it.

The idea of constellating with Tarot began with me as a way to demonstrate to students the importance of the inner workings of our mind, the matrix of any consultation. Readers, whether they work with Tarot or otherwise, are often set apart from the process of a consultation (when in actual fact they are very much a part of it). When we arrange a set of cards into a spread, we are constellating an array of symbols and images. It is the same with a mediumship consultation. We are working with spirit and communicators and events are constellated, sometimes in unusual ways, but the result is the same. It is for us to gain a real and valid experience of the truth of human relationships and how we interact with each other. To do this, I invite someone from the group to be constellated and they tell us their story. They think of a life situation, which could be any situation, but it is more often regarding close relationships. The constellator then chooses various members of the circle to play the role of significant people within the story.

The constellator then arranges the participants around the room, placing them in positions that are meaningful. This gives the constellator a physical view of their own place within the situation. Firstly accepting this view, and then considering if change were possible what is it that needs to change. It is quite remarkable how psychic we are. Effortlessly, participants will lend themselves to the situation and be that person. We have created the psychic zone and we can feel its power. After the session participants are requested to take a tarot card. This provides a conclusion to the session adding credence and value to the issues concerned.

Another way of working with Tarot and constellation is to have a sole participant, and instead of people, the cards are used. I use oversized cards for this and they are placed around a room in any position. They play the part of nominated significant players. This is enlightening. It means we can very quickly get to the heart of a situation and the psyche of a person involved, often confirming intuitive information and perceptions from working with the archetype and the symbolism in the cards.

We all have gut instincts and we all know what may be happening on a subliminal level, but we often choose to ignore it until it is too late. Constellation work raises that which has lain dormant and hidden and yet has had a profound effect on life choices and sense of self. This work gives confidence through self confirmation and liberates through letting go of that which is not relevant or useful.

Bert Hellinger first developed the idea of Family Constellation. It has proved to be a popular form of therapy and has helped many people come to terms with their family dynamics and the part everyone plays in a family set up. One can discover the source of pain in dysfunctional relationships and by gaining this knowledge, one can go on to shaping more positive relationships and heal the past to create a brighter future.

Constellations can be used in business and unfolding the creative potential, this form of therapy is useful as it unpacks hidden potential and clarifies a modus operandi.

Dynamic Theatre, designed by Mark Wentworth also works well with Tarot constellation. In a recent workshop, we examined how one can move forward by becoming a component of the life issue in question. The results show that by furthering our insight of that which is burgeoning us we can lighten the load as quickly as flicking on/off a light switch.

Tarot constellation is a little bit different from his work in so far as the cards mirror both the hidden factors and also show the overall essence of the situation, striking at the heart of the matter. By looking at a situation through a Tarot lens we can create a new dialogue which leads to empowered life choices creating a new perspective, encouraging ownership and personal responsibility which in turns helps us to move towards our own transpersonal experiences. The whole point is to create a new reality for ourselves. So, in effect Tarot constellation allows us to look at any given subject from a multi dimensional angle; A mirrored and many layered universe!

I am passionate about spiritual work that is innovative and creative. I believe that Spirit are encouraging us to find new inroads to work creatively with them. Tarot constellating is open to anyone and you do not have to have any background in Tarot to achieve results. I facilitate as a guide and am available to explain the finer details of a Tarot card meaning. People enjoy having the visual of the card as a point of reference and are often impressed by the relevance and accuracy of the Tarot meanings. It is not what is said that we remember but what we feel and the cards are adequate exponents of the rich inner workings of our feelings and emotions.

Anyone can come along, no interview is necessary. A session can be on a one to one basis or can be arranged for a group. Corporate Tarot constellation is also useful for exploring Team work and team building.

If anyone should want further information about Tarot constellation then please email info@avrilprice.co.uk; and visit my website: www.avrilprice.co.uk

Laura Martinez Galera

is an ethical marketer , and a Co-Active Coach in training. She is the Founder of Circles for Dialogue, a social enterprise and a conversational space about mindful, compassionate and ethical ways of doing business and living life.

I would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to Laura Martinez Galera. Please tell our readers about your work please Laura

Laura: I believe there are two ways to live life: whether by listening to our 'inner guide' or by accepting what comes into our life. I have learnt to take the first option and in 2013, I was finishing a marketing degree and was holding down a well paid job in Madrid. I had everything that our society would consider 'success' - I had a marketing coordinator position in a business with a social purpose, I had money to pay my bills and to take holidays, I had responsibility and autonomy, and opportunities for promotion. I also had good friends and everything seemed ideal - but one thing: I was working very long hours, and not feeling at ease and especially fit and well. I had little or no fun or joy in my professional life. I knew that this was not the life I was intended for, and that there was more to life than this! I wanted to perform my job well and to be a flourishing human being.

One day my body rebelled, and with tears in my eyes and faith in my heart, I gave up my job and found myself back at home with my parents, with no money, and nothing to do (except for staying in my room, in silence, in the hope of hearing my heart calling). There was something about marketing and the business world that I rejected. After three months of boredom, sadness and small glimmers of awakening, one night my heart started to beat very fast and I felt this is the time was right to buy a ticket to London! Within days, my life completely changed.

I landed in London on 25th April 2012. After a series of unusual circumstances, I attended a documentary screening of the Dalai Lama. At this screening, Lynn Serafinn, the author of '7 Graces of Marketing' invited people to attend a marketing conference. This holistic model suggests we can create conscious unity and harmonious relationships with people, environment and the planet. The world needs conscious businesses to act as role models. It is based on ethical marketing education for entrepreneurs and businesses that want to do good and also make a living. This means, balancing self-interest and the interests of the community and the needs of the Earth as a planet.

We hope to attain more and more win-win, life-serving business models which will emerge and grow into conscious businesses and become the alternative to the current economic model, and one where major contributors can heal themselves and the planet upon which we all depend.

People feel good while doing good and stand for their values - they have authenticity in their businesses and they work harmonically and organically with life. This growth in business consciousness brings people emotionally closer and eliminates hierarchy within organizations and within the business sector. Every specie has its own unique and valuable purpose that is interdependent of the rest! So we are launching an age of reconnection and community - and ethical business and marketing are helping to move us forward along this road.

Recently I have started a social enterprise in London titled 'Circles for Dialogue'. Circles for Dialogue is a community and a conversational space for people of all ages and backgrounds that want to practise compassionate and ethical living - both in their personal and professional life. I see a circle as a magic space where the world can heal and become transformed and awakened, one person at a time, through heart-driving conversations in which love takes the lead.

The circle also invites us to practise mindful listening and speaking, sharing from our soul and seeing ourselves reflected in other people's words. I have experienced this sensation in circles in the past, such as the meetings of Wake up London. Every time I leave a circle, something shifts and causes an inner transformation and I gently start to take to other places in my life. The circle becomes the starting point of a positive ripple effect: it contributes to heal my inner self and my relationships with the external - friends & family, marketing, money, nature, etc. and ultimately the world I live in.

So the purpose of Circles for Dialogue is to create spaces for healing in the community through practising mindful conversations that will lead us to greater changes in our personal and professional life. We do this by gathering online, where we create dialogue by writing holistic articles and off line by gathering regularly in London to learn and connect in community around ways to be on business and life.

As an online and offline community, we share a huge desire to connect with each other in a way which is honest, just and kind. This means that we collaborate and communicate in a way that shows care and appreciation for each other's value, and we create spaces for personal and professional conversations, such our monthly online calls for community bloggers - volunteer bloggers who write articles for the wellbeing of the community.

We welcome people who feel inspired to join us as community bloggers. We have 5 people on board already, Harry, Anna, Arabella, Asifa and myself. We will be writing articles on a very wide range of subjects - inspired by ethical and compassionate authors from all over the world, such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Jean Shinoda, Joseph Campbell, David Whyte, Lynn Serafinn, etc. If you feel called to join us, and would like to know more, I invite you to get in touch.

Wendy: Then, please tell us something about the marketplace in general and how ethical marketing is different, why are ethics important and are they particularly important in certain areas, such as spirituality.

Laura: We have lived in a culture where consumerism takes the lead of our life. This means that media, marketing and adverting design our desires and our thoughts and influences what we buy, and who we buy from. In this context we´ve seen how small and local businesses "have been consumed" by big companies which have taken over the marketplace; how products have been standardised, losing their uniqueness and relation to the natural world; how money has become the force that runs our life by "if you can´t afford it you can´t do it. Human relationships between consumers and marketers have decreased; competition has gone to its extreme, making it very difficult for new entrepreneurs enter to the market; joy and fun at work are unproductive distractions; rest is not longer an asset and depression and anxiety are one of the most common illnesses. We need to add to this situation, one of the main consequences of the economic crisis, the rise of the social breach between the wealthy and poor, and this keeps growing. In times of recession we see rich people maintaining or expanding their wealth, while others are getting poorer. Many people are losing their jobs and young people find jobs very difficult to get after they finish their studies.

Consumerism generates 'illusory happiness' and a general sense of discomfort and lack of fulfilment in the workplace. The old economy is not sustainable any longer. This includes many business people that have realised that, unless we transform the way we produce and sell products, the Earth cannot sustain constant consumeristic growth. If we want to step into a new era of human consciousness, we need to create innovative solutions that can replace the old economy system for a new one that serves life and respects ecosystems. And these changes include the business and marketing sector which provides us with services and goods.

In the transition era, I believe marketing has an important role to accomplish, as the ability to communicate what we value and what we have to offer. We should have conversations that open new ways to see the world we live in. (We can name it ethical marketing, conscious marketing, green marketing, graceful marketing etc.) In essence what my marketing model provides is an invitation to do things differently, to act with responsibility towards ourselves and the world. I invite a look at the world with compassion, care and gratitude and to design our structures and systems to become life-serving. So then, as marketers and consumers, we can contribute to changing the structures we live in - businesses, workplace, institutions, etc. by aligning our values to our ethical marketing and business practises.

This is especially important to "spiritual people" that maybe, like me, have rejected the consumerist model, considering it a malicious a practise that uses up all our energy. In my experience, in the context of competition and the old economy this is very true. But, as we evolve, so do our practises, and we have found a way in which great people with great ideas can communicate with joy, fun and ease without needing to manipulate or force their audience. These people are naturally change makers, with a vocation for what they do and a great desire to take action and share it with others. They do good while doing what they love, and the world needs them as an example of how transparency, generosity and collaboration can lead the marketplace. Ethical marketing is a great communication tool to stand out and be the angelic guides for others, on the way to a more conscious, thriving and life-serving economy.

Wendy: Can you suggest books or websites which would help others to become involved in this type of work?

Laura: I recommend the business book that changed my understanding about marketing and enlightened my business journey: It is titled, "7 Graces of Marketing" by Lynn Serafinn. This book contains a set of values aimed at keeping the emotional, economic and ecological balance of our planet. The website also has plenty of articles about marketing gracefully. www.7gracesofmarketing.com

I would also recommend readers to have a look at the work of Charles Eisenstein: www.charleseisenstein.net and his book Sacred Economic - an holistic approach to money and the gift economy, in which generosity takes the lead of a prosperous society.

Also I am a fan of Tad Hardgrave so please visit his website www.marketingforhippies.com
There are lots of free stuff to help conscious entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Wendy: Do you support charities, if so which?

Laura: I support Wake up London, a community of young people aged between 16 to 35, for a healthy and compassionate society. We come together to practice the art of mindfulness, based on cultivating awareness of the breath and living deeply in the present moment. I would recommend this to anyone that would like to learn the art of living in the present moment and put it into practise in their every-day life. Many people, such as myself before I started practising mindfulness, thought that through meditation we were attempting to "achieve enlightenment" or that there is a "proper" way to do it, so we can get it wrong. However, the most meaningful thing that I've learnt by attending Wake up gatherings is that, there is nothing to do. We focus on our being and observe our inner self: thoughts, body sensations, emotions, etc. And we let them be as they are, without any judgement. All their sessions are free, with an invitation to support them (£3 - £5) such as to pay their rent and sustain the community. Normally, after the sessions the community comes together and goes out for a tea, dinner, etc. You're are very welcome to join us anytime!


LAURA MARTINEZ is an ethical marketer , and a Co-Active Coach in training. She is the Founder of Circles for Dialogue, a social enterprise and a conversational space about mindful, compassionate and ethical ways of doing business and living life. She has a B.A. in Marketing from ESIC Business and Marketing School (Spain). She is a graduate of the 7 Graces Foundations of Ethical Marketing programme, and current student of the 7 Graces Applications of Ethical Marketing programme. Laura is asking for people to contact her and get involved in some way with her organisation. You can email Laura: lauramartinezgalera@gmail.com and visit her website: www.circlesfordialogue.com

I would recommend this free, short, online film entitled "The New Story of Marketing", which is launching on 20th June 2014. This is a global movement for value-driven entrepreneurs and business owners that, like us, believe that marketing and profit can be ethical. This is a collaborative project that I am involved in with other ethical marketers. It is based on the '7 graces of marketing' model, and it also embraces other ethical models aligned with these values.So we invite people to join us and we are currently in partnership with many other new paradigm marketers, we will be offering free gifts related to ethical marketing and business.

Simon Pimenta

Simon Pimenta who is a Hypnotherapist, Coach, NLP Practitioner and 'Lightning Process' Practitioner

Wendy: We would like to introduce Health and Happiness Magazine readers to Simon Pimenta who is a Hypnotherapist, Coach, NLP Practitioner and 'Lightning Process' Practitioner. Please tell us something about yourself please Simon.

Simon: I work with people who feel stuck in some way, such as through extreme fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, stress related issues, insomnia or other conditions where they feel that they are not leading a full and active life and managing to reach their full potential. One of the approaches that I use is called 'the Lightning Process' (LP for short). LP is an empowering 3-day training programme that teaches you how you can influence you health and life, using techniques based on the way the brain and body interact. It is designed to help people identify and interrupt unhelpful responses- some of which are unconscious (so we realise that we are doing them) and to influence our physiology using mind/body techniques. It was developed by an osteopath, Phil Parker. Like many people who are attracted to helping others, I had a need to understand myself better and address my own issues. I trained as a counsellor, which helped me develop awareness of the causes of my own happiness and unhappiness. As I learned more about myself, I learned to helpfully assist others to make important changes in their life and relationships. 

I was working for a housing trust with men who had mental health problems and histories of homelessness. I remember when I was at school I was interested in understanding the causes of mental health issues. These were sometimes explained as a 'chemical imbalance', and there would be no attempt to look further. I was often unsatisfied with this explanation, and felt that treatment did not reach the roots of health issues. Psychiatrists, many of whom had a limited idea of the capacity of their patients, often promoted this view. This is not surprising, as they could only spend ten minutes with a patient every 6 months, in part due to working in an under-resourced National Health Service.

However, the staff at the housing trust could spend more time and would develop an understanding of how anxiety or depression, for instance, would be caused through difficult life experiences. I became more involved in management though this isn't what really interested me. I had four years as the Director of the trust and ran myself into the ground and in November 1997, I remained unable to work for the next 8 years, suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS for short). I spent three years barely living; just eating and sleeping. I felt extremely tired when I ate any food and I developed sensitivities to particular foods. I tried many remedies to relieve this condition, including acupuncture, herbalism, nutrition and cognitive - behavioural therapy. The professionals identified the organism, Candida, and also 'leaky gut' syndrome and I took supplements, and avoided certain foods, both of which helped to some degree. However, I was far from recovered and led a severely restricted life.

Then, I lost a dear friend, Mark, who had CFS when he committed suicide. I know of others who made a similar difficult decision to end their life. He used to telephone me from hospital, asking if I could help him. At the time, I was debilitated by this condition myself, and didn't know how to help. I believe that if I had known then what I know now, I may have been able to help him. In May 2005, I decided to take the 'Lightning Process' course. I had been on holiday to Spain a few weeks before and I was feeling very poorly due to the familiar pattern of slightly overdoing it, and then feeling exhausted. Doing the 'LP' was extraordinary. For the first time, I felt that I had a good understanding of why I remained ill, what I needed to do to regain my health, and I had a sense that my recovery was within my power. The approach of the 'LP' process recognises that CFS is a very real physical condition. However, it also embraces the approach that our mind and body powerfully influence each other. This is backed up by science. 'LP' completely changed the way I thought about my life and I began to make steady improvements in my health. People noticed a difference in me. I was able to do things that before would have seemed impossible, and I was able to be more physically active.

A few months after doing the 3 day LP training, I decided to start the Diploma programme, and then I took an advanced Diploma in Life Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. Training to be a 'Lightning Process Practitioner', took a total of 18 months. I now run introductory free talks, teaching techniques that we can all use to train the mind to change the brain (based on discoveries in Neuro-Science).

Simon recommends the following books:
Introduction to the Lightning Process by Phil Parker

Get The Life You Love Now by Phil Parker


Simon supports the following charities:
Save The Children
Mother of Peace (orphanage in Zimbabwe)


If you would like to contact Simon Pimenta, these are the details:

E: simon@inspiringchange.co.uk


020 8299 9534

07906 568 843

ELI Anderson

I believe that everyone is a storyteller and that stories are a global heritage. I have been writing for over 35 years, and have also been involved in publishing.

I am a master of the art of storytelling, a poet and coach with 'eAkan'. I have arranged a variety of lectures and workshops which include performance craft, musical theory, eldership, healthcare, storytelling, community education, mindfulness and poetry therapy and I arrange and deliver a variety of workshops where I mentor performers and musicians.

Wendy: From time immemorial, storytellers have used their art form to amuse, entertain, uplift, educate and facilitate healing, insight and knowledge. This is a true story of courage and strength and shows how love expressed as forgiveness can create a better world. When a 32 year old gun-man stormed into an Amish community schoolroom, he shot ten children, killing five of them before killing himself. The Amish, who live by strict Christian principles and without modern conveniences, forgave him for the murders. They attended his funeral and despite their own poverty, raised money for his widow and her three young orphaned children. The Amish are known for 'grace'- the ability to forgive grievous wrongdoing.

I would like to introduce Health and Happiness Magazine readers to Eli Anderson.
Can you tell us something about yourself please, Eli

Eli: I believe that everyone is a storyteller and that stories are a global heritage. I have been writing for over 35 years, and have also been involved in publishing. I am a master of the art of storytelling, a poet and coach with 'eAkan'. I have arranged a variety of lectures and workshops which include performance craft, musical theory, eldership, healthcare, storytelling, community education, mindfulness and poetry therapy and I arrange and deliver a variety of workshops where I mentor performers and musicians.

These are attended by people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and learning abilities. I am also an experienced lecturer, poetry therapist and theraplay practitioner. I deliver storytelling workshops called StoryWorks, where anyone can experience the excitement and wonder of this ancient craft. I also sit on the Board for an intercultural charity, called Nafsiyat. I am a Community school Governor and I occupy the role of an appointed Justice of the Peace - and I am a keen Star trek fan! I have caring parents and my work has been influenced by Khalil Gibran, Dr. Martin Luther King, Paulo Friere, Rumi, Deepak Chopra, Imhotep, Swami Prahbupada, Stevie Wonder, Sobonfu Some, Paul Robeson, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Nelson (Madiba) Mandela and Maya Angelou - to name a few!

I use a technique of 'narrative coaching' which includes mindful, experiential and holistic approaches to help someone to move from a negative to a more positive life.  The power of 'narrative coaching' isn't just to support and empower the person, but also to give permission to others to witness this and to risk change for themselves.

In a recent workshop, a young participant who had been the recipient of incessant bullying that had reduced her confidence and self-esteem had a very positive result of her storytelling work with me and re-entered the work place, full of confidence and ability to take on the challenge of reasserting herself. There was also a good outcome from an adult student who was undertaking a demanding degree course and whose cultural foundations had made her vulnerable to insensitive criticism. As a result, she had lost her self- confidence, and was working within traumatic relationship. This relationship also undermined her in many other ways. On completion of the course titled' Introduction to Storytelling and Creative Writing', she said, "The course not only provided me with storytelling skills but encouraged me to make big changes in my life!"

The eAkan website: http://www.eakan.co.uk

The word "Hadithi" means "story", and refers to the manner in which storylines can facilitate health and wellbeing.

For information about StoryWorks workshops and access to the Hadithi MasterClasses: http://www.meetup.com/StoryWorks.

To listen to the Hadithi Principle interviews:

September 2013 Wendy interviews:


Esther is a gifted Intuitive Healer, Reader, Medium and Psychic, a Life Coach, Broadcaster and Speaker.

She loves to work with individuals and support them to stepping into their truth and stepping out of their inner pain.

Esther wants to liberate individuals so they can
create a life of joyful abundance on physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological levels. Her work is the creation of Inner Fitness and Well-being.

I would like to introduce Health and Happiness readers to Esther Austin, please tell us something about yourself.
Esther: I am a gifted Intuitive Healer, Reader, Medium and Psychic, a Life Coach, Broadcaster and Speaker. I love to work with individuals and support them to stepping into their truth and stepping out of their inner pain. I want to liberate them so they can create a life of joyful abundance on physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological levels. My work is the creation of Inner Fitness and Well-being.

As a child, I  had a deep sense of knowing and insight into a life beyond the one we know. I  could read people's emotions and people were drawn to me. I remember prancing and dancing in my bedroom and people would always say that my head was in the clouds. It was years later that I actually realised that I was communicating with another world which to me was the norm. I also remember having some amazing and sometimes scary experiences in that room as well! 

Even though I've had some a very challenging and often painful life experiences, such as a painful 14 year marriage, and briefly I was homeless and experienced bouts of depression, when my younger sister died of breast cancer in 2006, I had a profound shift and spiritual awakening which was, I believe, a result of this upsetting situation and my psychic abilities developed. The first of these was my eye sight as it became much sharper and clearer. The  second  was of strong vibrations which moved down my left leg and thirdly my auditory senses became extremely heightened. I astral travelled and in order to understand what was going on, I called a psychic line and was told I had just opened up spiritually and was moving at an incredibly fast rate. I realised that I had a gift to conduct healing and I decided to be obedient to this calling and to heal and support transformation in peoples lives. The mere fact that people would approach me frequently wherever I was, open up about their problems and on occasion ask me to pray for them was an indication that I was on the right path.

The word Qarma is a play on the word Karma. It has a nice soft lilt to it when pronounced correctly. I am based in South East London, but I travel to see clients also.
I help out a lot at various local events and also I support people by giving guidance and healing, sometimes in an unpaid capacity and I've been told I have a lot of compassion. I am often approached by people and I have to be mindful to protect my energy. I trekked the Inca Trail five years ago raising funds for Breast Cancer Haven and I help out as a volunteer at the Hackney Marshes Half Marathon.
I have two slogans:

"Wherever you have been in your life, whatever you have experienced, know that you do not have to carry it like a cross and that that you can be healed and live a liberated life."

I used pain as my stepping stone to step into my greatness. Pain has moulded and shaped me into being the person I am today."

What is the importance of health generally and what method do you use to achieve happiness?

Esther: To me the importance of health is that it empowers us to live a beautiful life of abundance and an appreciation of love, friendship, relationship, opportunity and  experience. I don't mean that we should get caught up in materialism but to appreciate and enjoy the simple beauty of being alive. Whatever we create within ourselves influences the quality of life we experience. Health spans the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental aspects of self. Each one influences the other. To obtain happiness is to become aware of who we are, to be vulnerable, to look into truth where even our shadow side is without judgement. We can then heal what needs to be healed.I love the quote by Gandhi which says "Be the change you want to see in the world." In my line of work, I see all kinds of difficulties and its liberating to empower clients with the knowledge that thought becomes beliefs. We are the sum of our thoughts. 

I believe happiness is achievable for everyone; for some people they are not in an environment or around people which empower and inspire or bring out awareness that change can occur.Many people do not realise they can make choices about their lives, neither are they aware that they can change the way they perceive their experiences.

Wendy: I notice you work with a male partner, please tell us more about this.

Esther: I have been blessed with an amazing partner. We have been together for two years and work on our relationship on a daily basis. We usually exercise, meditate and then set our intention for the day and for our relationship. We are cultivating an experience in our lives which is very much about love, good communication and a beautiful union. Working with Ken enhances what I do and through the testimony of our interaction and lives, this energy then seeps into every aspect of our work. Our relationship also influences my speaking engagements and my radio station. I host a show called 'Pillow Talk' which is about love and relationships and forming rich spiritual experiences.Yet the main relationship is with ourselves and the source of all life.When we learn to fill any vacuum in our lives and focus on what is really important, we can achieve beautiful life experiences which are filled with love. I aim to cultivate the same experience with my two children, now young men of 21 and 18.

Wendy: Can you explain to readers a daily method they can do themselves which will help them to improve their health or happiness or relieve stress?  
Esther: Yes I have:
  • Twenty minutes of exericise a day or 3 times a week This could be walking or other light exercise
  • Purchase an exercise hoola hoop, put on some music and have fun whilst getting fit and letting go of stress.
  • Find an open space. (there are lots of parks and open spaces around). Sit in the womb of nature and de-stress and allow nature to nurture you.
  • Laughter is a great way to relieve stress and listen to music
  • Deep breathing oxgenates the cells and brings about many other health benefits.

  I notice you host a new radio show. Please tell our readers why you set this up and what your show is about and how they can hear you and when?

Esther: I call Qarma Broadcast my 'baby' because I set it up in 2007 in dedication to my late sister who died from Breast Cancer in 2006. Initially I interviewed people as MP3's with the image of the interviewee but it was my desire to be able to interact with my audience and in May 2013, I launched Qarma Broadcast as an internet radio station.Here you will find shows covering spirituality, consciousness, healthy eating, well-being, healing, tantra, and inspiring and thought-provoking interviews, competitions, live readings and great music.  

I wanted to have an inspirational and positive mouth piece which offered genuine, honest, open and loving information about how people could live and understand life better.I wanted to create a platform which offered more harmonious information than the mainstream media. I am working on bringing on board more presenters and I have had amazing interest so far.
I host a show on Wednesdays between 8pm-10pm. It is called 'Inspire Me' and on Fridays, it is called 'Pillow Talk'. My partner, Ken, hosts a show called 'The Longevity Show'. Please check the website for show times and dates.

I have recently set up a Psychic Line, Qarma Psychics which offers readings. I have devised a four point plan with this service.Usually when people apply for a reading they are told they have to work on themselves, yet most people do not know where to start or how. So I offer a process where they can get support from what comes up in the reading so they can resolve a particular situation.The website is still a work in progress but will be up by July 13th. I
am passionate and love everything I am gifted to do. I feel privileged to have been given the gifts to share with humanity and this is a beautiful journey and the creative process is always opening up within me and through that I share and inspire.

Main website:
Holistic Website:
Broadcasting Website: www.qarmabroadcast.co.uk

August 2013 Wendy interviews:

Stephen Russell

A master of the Taoist martial arts - tai chi, xing yi, pa kua and white crane and a doctor of Chinese medicine, The Barefoot Doctor is also student of philosophy, belief systems, spirituality and human potential.

He studied psychotherapy with RD Laing for three years and shamanism with the native American Indians of Taos, New Mexico for four years.

Returning to London in the early 80s, he ran the UK's busiest acupuncture healing practice for 17 years, growing in acclaim and treating celebrities including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Jade Jagger, the Pink Floyd etc

I would like to introduce Health and Happiness readers to the Barefoot Doctor. His name is Stephen Russell and his articles often appear in national publications.

Wendy: Hi Stephen, please tell us something about your personal life journey, and how did you get the title 'The Barefoot Doctor'?

Stephen: I chose this name for a music band back in 1989 where I played live music barefoot and I also worked barefoot when I was giving holistic health treatments . Without shoes, I am in touch with earth energies and it keeps me grounded. The ancient Chinese had a tradition where doctors travelled barefoot and this became a metaphor for humility (like Cane in King Fu, a cult TV series from the 60s). Usually these poor doctors were women healers who walked from village to village to bring health, relief, music, solace and comfort. This is my life agenda (except I pad about all over the world instead of rural China)!

My life-path has been liberally strewn with extraordinary life events. As a 6 year old child, I heard the background radiation wave (the AUM) and I knew God was 'talking'. When I was 14 years old, I magnetized a man who was going to jump off a roof by pulling him energetically back from the edge and thereby saving his life. When I was 20 years old, I met the extraordinary Scottish psychiatrist Ronnie Laing and persuaded him to take me on as a student. This was a fairly major event in my life (and remarkably presumptuous looking back). On my first day as an apprentice to become a doctor of acupuncture and was wearing a white coat, I wondered how I'd found myself in such an amazing position! Another wonderful moment was when I saw my toiletries range flying off the shelves of Boots Chemist and another when I performed my lyrics on stage to 6,000 youngsters four times each night at the Amnesia Club in Ibiza and I also loved drumming and chanting with my Native American friends at a peyote ceremony high in the New Mexican mountains. My life has been quite incredible with so many happy moments. I believe suffering is a delusion. Happiness is our natural state of being and is ever-present whenever we stop worrying. Happiness occurs spontaneously when we retrieve the authentic aspect of our self that bears witness to life's unfolding, transcendently, impartially yet compassionately. As soon as we transcend preferences and understand that every 'yin' has its 'yang' and vice versa, we are able to appreciate the gift of all gifts (and in the search for some gifts we forget the main one) that being alive is sufficient to appreciate life itself. So, happiness is more real than any other state. In fact, it is the only authentic state, for even in the midst of the most traumatic grief or anguish, if at one with our true self, the underlying delight in simply being alive is constant and unshakable.

Wendy: What can you suggest about maintaining good health?

Stephen: Keep supple and flexible of mind and spend time with younger people as this helps to keep the mind active and avoid worry. Don't take yourself too personally, especially spend time in nature, avoid fast food and don't drink alcohol, and be delighted to be alive every moment. Laugh and smile as much as possible and seek out friendship, beauty, love and peace as these help on an every day level. I also advise chanting for all kinds of stress and ill health and this can be done alone or with others and can be done at anytime.

At www.barefootdoctorglobal.com you'll find more information. There is a free audio download of 'The Taoist Way to Health and Wellbeing' and useful information including how to sign up to the mailing list.

June 2013 Wendy interviews:

BONNIE Cehovet

Bonnie Cehovet has been a professional Tarot reader for over fifteen years, and is a CTGM (Certified Tarot Grand Master). She is also a Reiki Master/Teacher, and uses Reiki in her Tarot counseling practice. She is a published author, and has written books on the art of Tarot.

Wendy: Hello Bonnie, I would like to introduce Health & Happiness readers to you and your work. Please tell us something about yourself:

Bonnie: I am a Reiki healer and an author, and I reside in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with my three cats - Gray, Midnight, and Pumpkin. I have co-authored a book with Brad Tesh under the title 'Seek Joy...Toss Confetti' and it is about how we can bring more joy into our life. The book provides action steps for readers to use on a daily basis (this is where the 'toss confetti' comes in). Transforming sorrow into joy is an art-form and the book includes 'cycles of life rituals' which help us to understand the cyclical nature of life and how we can create greater happiness. Another of my books focuses on the subject of self-help and is titled. 'Surviving the Holidays - Taking Charge of Your Life'. Whatever our circumstances, we can do something to alleviate problems. I also have a great love of Tarot Cards!

Can you tell us more about 'Cycles of Life rituals'.

Bonnie: At times throughout the year, I hold a ritual to celebrate the significant moments in my life. Birth, death, promotions, business opportunities are all mile-stones andI combine acknowledgement of these with the passing of the seasons. I mark my life's events with ritual so that I hold a memory of what is, and what can be. Small daily rituals... a morning cup of coffee, the table set in a caring way, time spent in the garden, even making out a grocery list, all help us to stay grounded, centred, and on our chosen path. Beltane is an ancient Celtic celebration held on the first day of May and it marks the transition from winter into spring. It is one of the four major pagan celebrations when the focus is on fertility and prosperity. It is also about love! While I do not personally follow a Wiccan or a Pagan path, I do celebrate each season as a way of honouring the cycles of life and the cycles of nature, and to give thanks for everything Mother Earth provides.

I perform my rituals late at night - generally between 11 pm and midnight when everything is quiet and I will not be disturbed. I create an altar that reflects my tastes and interests, and I choose coloured candles, crystals, and, in this instance, flowers of the season that sometimes I pick myself from my garden. I close the doors and draw my curtains and cleanse the room and burn sage. I then call the seven directions (North, East, South, West, Above, Below, and Within) to be present with me and state my intention for the coming season. I meditate on the flame of the candles and on specific meditations that I have chosen as suitable for the energy I need in the forthcoming months. I may also take a guided inner journey. I find that my Spirit Guides and other spirit entities arrive on their own, but it is perfectly acceptable to request specific spirits, such as angels or ascended masters. Sometimes, I ask a question or meditate on a specific issue, sometimes I contemplate or just let my mind wander. After my meditation and inner journeying, I lay out a spread of Tarot cards to do a reading for myself for the coming season and then close my ritual by saying farewell to the directions and the spirits which oversee them. Each year I create a new template or format for my readings. This is what I used most recently.

1. How can I nurture my present relationships

2. What will bring balance to my current relationships

3. How can I best express my joy in these relationships

4. How can I best bring prosperity and abundance in my life?

5. How can I creative passion at this time?

6. How can I honour Mother Earth?

Please tell us something about your love of Tarot cards.
Can the cards reveal a message for our world or are they exclusively for personal messages?

Bonnie: Tarot Cards can provide messages and advice on global matters. They also provide personal insight, knowledge and guidance and are a wonderful source of learning. I have been a professional Tarot reader for the past eighteen years and review Tarot Card decks. Setting an intention and a focus are primary issues when working with the Tarot. The focus can be on an individual, on a group, on a local community, or on the global community. The archetypal nature of the Tarot will respond to any and all questions, and offer guidelines on how to move forward with a particular problem. The Tarot is ideal for rituals, with their archetypal energies and beautiful imagery. Through combining Tarot and ritual, we strengthen who we are as individuals. What better way to maintain the courage to walk an individual path!

I drew one card to answer your question, focusing on what we need to know on a global level at this particular time in our evolution. The card drawn is titled 'Two of Swords' and I used one of my favourite decks, Pamela Steele's Steel Wizard Tarot (independently published, 2006). Swords are about communication and Two of Swords indicates that the situation is at a stalemate, but also that we are being asked to make a very difficult choice … and the available options all come with a price. We are being challenged to focus and come up with a solution. This decision must be made … it is not something we can avoid. We need to move deeply within our consciousness in order to make this decision … and we need to recognize that, at the moment, we might not have all the necessary facts to help us to arrive at the best decision.

Creativity is at the foundation of your working life, is education and training an important factor in being able to earn a living from what you enjoy?

Bonnie: I believe that education and training are the important factors for everyone who seeks to follow their passion, and especially to be able to earn a living from what they enjoy. Education comes in many forms … it can be formal education, it can be classes or seminars, it can be attending conferences, it can be teaching (in all of its various forms), it can be writing, as we learn not only by attaining qualifications, but through life experience. A large part of my education at this time comes from social networking, from blogging, and from reading blogs and articles that others write. As I learn new skills, I am better able to express myself and also to help others on their life journey. I love to express myself creatively, and to earn a living from following my passions. At this point in my life my focus is transitioning from Tarot to writing, which has always been one of my main passions. I have written two Tarot books that were published through Schiffer Publishing ("Tarot, Birth Cards and You", and "Tarot, Ritual, and You").

Which other books have you written, Bonnie?

Bonnie: 'Tarot, Birth Cards, and You' (Schiffer Publishing, 2011), 'The World of Tarot, As Seen Through the Eyes of the Interview' (Create Space, 2010), 'Tarot In Review' (Lulu, 2008), and 'Tarot, Rituals, and You - The Power of Tarot Combined With The Power of Ritual' (Schiffer Publishing, 2013). My website has informative links for writers and other useful tips for visitors: http://bonniecehovet.com

Anna Ziman

In the Sunday Times 'Style' Magazine, columnist Stephanie Theobald described my next guest, Anna Ziman as 'a big name in the Goddess world'. Anna provides an opportunity for women to discover ancient feminine energies and embrace the magical and mystical realm. Here she speaks to Wendy about her life path and her work with the Goddess.

Wendy: Anna, how did you get involved with the Goddess?
Anna: I had a calling from childhood and I have a photo of myself where I had lined up my dolls whom I saw as spiritual beings and was kneeling in front of this congregation, teaching them. I have always had a love of creativity, art and drama and I like to uncover and discover the truth behind everything. I did an English and History degree, then went to Drama School and became a professional actress, teaching between acting jobs. The Goddess found me rather than I sought Her at a difficult time later in my life and I realised there was a lot of power in working with ancient female energies. I became involved in shamanic ritual and studied with Martin Prechtel and Dr Chuck Spezzano of the Psychology of Vision. Then I retrained as a counsellor and therapist. Chuck described me as a 'high priestess and mystic'. I worked for Clean Break directing women ex-offenders in drama groups and this offered a space to allow deeper and richer emotions to be experienced and expressed. In an exclusively female setting, there is greater openness and permission to discuss the difficulties women have through life and to heal those wounds through the Goddess.

Wendy: Can men gain from honouring the goddess or is it exclusively for women?
Anna: The Goddess is not exclusive and neither does She exclude anyone. It is possible to connect with her energy and still have a traditional spiritual/ religious practice. Men can also honour Her. Men attend some of my workshops (though most are exclusively for women) such as one I ran based on Oya, the African Goddess of Change. When I worked as a counselllor in Brixton and The Mount Prisons, I discovered many of the male prisoners had not had a caring and nurturing mother and needed reliable and caring feminine energy. The work was about building self respect and understanding.

Wendy: What is required of those who wish to follow this path?
Anna: It is not really about what we can get, but what we can give. The path is one of wonder and mystery and constant learning and growing as a person: it stretches us and we drop our masks and discover new parts of ourselves. We need to be open to discovery and take a risk of finding something greater than we thought possible. In my workshops, I provide a safe space to celebrate, grieve, laugh, dress up, dance, sing, re-enact stories to heal the past and journey to other realms. We have no words to describe what happens, but certainly something magical and fresh happens, to our emotions, our body, our understanding, and we take a new inner knowledge away from the workshop. I create rituals and ceremonies - Why do we give our rubbish rather than our gifts to Earth Mother? Why do we mine her bones and wear them as gemstone adornments? We have lost a sense of honouring what gives life and sustains us and a sense of the sacred. The Goddess invites the magic of change. When we contact Her, we honour the Earth and can begin to appreciate the wisdom of indigenous tribes. They have retained the ancient knowledge of what is 'holy' and precious about life. In the workshops, when we see another person's growth process, we can empathise and connect to them and their personal life. We can access the 'crone' energy, the knowledge and wisdom that people gain when they have lived their life and found answers to life's most important questions. The elderly are not appreciated in Western culture but, by working with the Goddess, we remember so much that we have forgotten. It is a calling, a surrender to the mysterious. The Goddess has many aspects, throughout time and throughout the world, and She has been worshipped under many names, in many cultures, all worthy of exploration.

Wendy: What does the goddess hold for those who attend your workshops?
Anna: Women of all ages and from all backgrounds attend my workshops, from cleaners and home-makers to bankers and lawyers and amazing things happen. I worked with a woman who was self-harming. The Inuit tell a story of their Sea Goddess whose father cuts off her fingers and throws her to the fishes. After walking through the pain of the sea, this client never self-harmed again. I had a client who thought she was ugly and we worked with Aphrodite. By dancing in the centre of a lake, she accepted herself for the first time and developed greater confidence so her life changed when she got a high profile job and fell in love. Working with these energies is powerful and profound change does happen.

Wendy: What do you offer?
Anna: I am involved in writing a book at the moment and I am also arranging further training courses, residential retreats and workshops. I also provide healing and rights' of passage ceremonies, one to one counselling and other consultations.

Wendy: Where can you be contacted?
Anna: Please visit my website: www.goddessworkshop.co.uk/
email: bookings@goddessworkshop.co.uk
Landline: 0207 515 8752 Mobile: 07946 635 783


Between tour dates, Colin has lived in Zarzadilla De Totana, Murcia, Spain in recent years where he has enjoyed time with his civil partner, Mikey, and where he has supported and fund-raised for a dog sanctuary.

Last month (July 2015) he needed to cancel tour dates due to radiotherapy illness.

Sadly, he lost his fight to lung cancer on 25th August 2015 and we send our sincere condolences to his large congregation of friends and family.

Here is the interview between Colin and our interviewer Wendy Stokes conducted in March 2013

Colin Fry is one of the UK's leading Spiritualist mediums, with magazine and radio credits to his name, and Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes and 6ixth Sense TV programmes.

He has worked with Derek Acorah, Tony Stockwell, TJ Higgs and other well-known mediums. Colin has on average 130 live appearances each year, and has visited Australia, Japan, Ireland and many other countries.

Wendy Stokes introduces Health-Happiness readers to Colin Fry who is one of the UK's leading Spiritualist mediums. Suzi Quatro calls him 'The Real Deal'. Colin will be 51 years old in May and has been working as a psychic for the past 35 years and is a registered healer. He also trained as a bereavement counsellor and has recently been ordained as a Spiritualist Minister with the United Spiritualist Church. His 2013 tour dates of the UK began last month. Colin now lives in Spain. His hobby is collecting antique clocks and watches.  


Wendy: How would you describe your spiritual path, Colin?

Colin: When I was 11 years old, I was walking home from school when an ambulance passed me in the street. I heard my deceased grandfather's voice saying, 'Mum has had an accident but will be OK'. When I arrived home, my mother had fallen down the stairs! I have been a medium since that time and have taken many additional qualifications which I pass on to others through teaching, ministering, healing and supporting. I try to make a difference to the world! My work as minister, medium and healer is a vocation and it requires a great deal of me. Since discovering the art of positive thinking, I have become passionate about it. Thinking positive has such potential to change and enrich lives. I find it is totally complementary to my spiritualist beliefs. I think if I could encourage everyone to be appreciative of all the good things in life and pass them on to others, then I will have accomplished something valuable. I think it is possible to express a caring spiritual path in many ways, such as adopting homeless dogs or supporting a charity which is dear to your heart.

Wendy: What do you say to those who do not believe in the afterlife or that those who do not believe that the spirit world can communicate with us?
Colin: For those who believe in the afterlife, no evidence is necessary - and for those who do not believe, no evidence is enough! There is more to mediumship than 'proof of survival'. Some people do not want to believe. I am very strict that no-one gives me any information about who is in the auditorium prior to a platform event so I do not overhear a conversation about someone who is present.
Wendy: Can you tell us about your spirit guide?
Colin: I tend not to speak about my spirit guides because, when my audiences come to see me, I am contacting their loved ones and friends and this is why people come to see me but all mediums should be proud of their spirit guides, of which we all have many over the course of our life. Magnus is my principle guide, and he is the spokesperson for a number of eminent spirits in the spirit world, collectively known as the 'Diamond'. Magnus speaks through me when I am in a trance. He has encouraged, supported and protected me. Occasionally, I conduct trance demonstrations and those that have an interest can speak with him directly. There are two DVD's available which demonstrate our work together, 'A Voice from the Light' and 'Magnus Guides'. Magnus also assists me when I am healing. Sometimes, during a demonstration, I am guided by Magnus to offer healing to those in the congregation. Magnus teaches that love is paramount, life is eternal and that we must care for the world that children will inherit. Magnus was a wealthy technical publisher who lived in West Kensington in late Victorian times. After death, he realised he caused others suffering and pain and now, from the spirit realms, he wishes to make the world a better place for everyone.       

Wendy: Can you tell us about three people who have influenced your life?  
Colin: The first person who comes to mind is my dear friend, George Cranley. George taught me always to try to be the best I can be, and to try my hardest at all times. He also encouraged me to be cautious, which is unusual. Most people encourage everyone to "take risks", but George said more or less "take calculated risks". He was a moderate man. Another person who comes to mind is Michael Cotton, who guided me in my youth and kept me out of trouble. I can't describe how important he was to me and I owe him much. All young people should have a father-figure, such as Michael. He will be remembered for his kindness for a lifetime and beyond. I don't know if readers will be familiar with the amazing medium, Leslie Flint, a direct voice medium who was tested considerably during his lifetime. His work impressed me because many famous people spoke through him.

Wendy: What major event has influences or changed your life?
Colin: The preparation and passing into Spirit of my dear friend, Michael Cotton, is the profoundest event in my life. He believed in me at a time when I did not believe in myself. I cared for him for eight years when he was diagnosed HIV. The day he passed into Spirit, I decided to commit myself to mediumship and healing. He has been, and still remains, the biggest influence on my life because the legacy of inspiration he left with me has allowed me to create friendship bonds with some of the most wonderful people imaginable. Michael taught me to see good in people and also to believe no mountain in my life is too high to be conquered. I

Wendy: What country or place has had the biggest impact on you?
Colin: Brazil is a truly stunning country and the people are very spiritual, warm and friendly. My civil partner and I got engaged there so it will always be an important place for me and one to visit again in the future.  

Wendy: What book would you recommend to anyone who is interested in mediumship?
Colin: 'On the Edge of the Etheric' by Arthur Findlay. Arthur Findlay was born in 1883 and was what would be called a Renaissance man because he was an accountant, a writer, a stock-broker and a researcher. He was a founding member of the National Institute for Psychical Research. 'On the Edge of the Etheric' is only one book of many that he wrote. In it he discusses the theory that spirits are linked to subatomic physics. This was amazing and research into orbs by physicist, Prof Klaus Heinemann leads to a similar conclusion. Arthur Findlay was also an Essex magistrate and bequeathed his wonderful home, Stansted Hall, for use as a Spiritualist college.

Wendy: Do you have a channelled message, Colin, for our world leaders?
Colin: The world relies on each and every person to make it a better place. Life is not all about material considerations; the planet needs each person to act now to promote and implement environmentally friendly energy. We must stop talking about ecology and actually address the problem on an international level. After thousands of years of historical experience, it's time everyone understood that war only begets more war. It's high time our society was advanced enough to resolve issues without conflict.

Wendy: Can we contact you?
Colin: Yes I am contactable through my websites: www.colinfry.com   www.thefriendsofcolinfry.com  and also by joining my Facebook page

Wendy: Can you list your books for us, please, Colin?
Colin: All my books are in paperback and kindle formats and published by Rider. They are available from all good book retailers or from my website. My latest book is an autobiography titled 'The Happy Medium - My Psychic Life'. Also available are 'By Your Side', 'Life Before Death' and 'Secrets from the Afterlife' and 'The Message'.

February 2013 Wendy interviews:


Nimue Brown is the author of 'Druidry and Meditation',
'Druidry and the Ancestors' and 'Hopeless Maine'.

In her late teens, she came into contact with Druidry - an 'ah-ha!' moment, as it dawned on her that this path fitted so many important aspects of her life.

Wendy: Please tell Health & Happiness readers something about yourself, Nimue

Nimue: I have very an unusual lifestyle. I live on a 45 foot narrow boat in the Gloucestershire countryside. Walking and cycling are my primary forms of transport and I am also a vegetarian.

Please tell us about your spiritual path.

Nimue: In in my late teens, I came into contact with Druidry - an 'ah-ha!' moment, as it dawned on me that this path fitted so many important aspects of my life. There is a Bardic path and I'm an amateur folk musician and I've been a professional author for many years and I delight in expressing myself in words. I am a great believer in the power of stories to inform, uplift and heal and to create discussion and learning. I trained with OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) and I have run meetings (called moots), a folk club, various workshops, open rituals and meditation groups. I also have taught privately and was a founding member of Druid Gorsedd Bards of the Lost Forest. Community plays an important part of Druidry and I am planning more events in the near future.

Druidry is inspired by what we know about the ancient Druids and the Celtic culture. It has a celebratory and honouring way of living that prizes service, creativity, green living and the practise of good relationships. It recognises that we live in relationship with everything else so we try to live lightly, responsibly and with awareness.

Please tell us about your work as an author and writer.

Nimue: My two books on Druidry are: 'Druidry and Meditation' which draws on my longstanding personal experience of deep contemplation, and 'Druidry and the Ancestors - Finding Our Place in Our Own Ancestry' which explains how to gain and express reverence for our ancestors.

In addition to these, I have created a graphic novel with my husband, Tom Brown who is a very talented gothic artist. Our first joint book is titled 'Hopeless Maine' which has a number of supernatural elements, including a witch character. It is a fantasy genre called 'steampunk' and I am working on a second steampunk novel which contains comedy Druid characters. I also blog and write features when they are offered.

What is special about living on a narrow boat?

Nimue: The canals in the UK were constructed early in the industrial revolution to transport coal, iron and other heavy goods and the first boats were designed to be drawn by horses that walked along tow paths. Narrowboats are about 6 feet wide, hence the name. When wages were low, boaters and their families began to live onboard. There were working boats on our waterways until the Second World War. These days, narrowboats are used mainly for leisure use but many people like to live aboard. It's a challenging way of life, particularly in bad weather, but there's a wonderful sense of community and we look out for each other. There's an undeniable romance to the lifestyle. We think of ourselves as water gypsys and proud of our unconventional life-style. It's wonderful to lie in bed listening to the birds and the rippling water, maybe the gentle rustle of a breeze in the trees. Barn owls are my favourite bird and sometimes, I hear the call of a curlew. Their haunting cries speak to my soul. There are great crested grebes, herons, egrets, all manner of ducks, and I have been privileged to see wild cranes. These birds were extinct in the UK and are returning thanks to a re-introduction programme. They are such beautiful birds. It is a challenging way to live, but there are so many breath-taking moments to be treasured.

How important is ecology to you and living a life in harmony with nature and its rhythms?

Nimue: The water I use goes into the canal where my neighbours, the birds and fish live. We have a solar panel and a wind turbine and are unimpressed by gas guzzling cars and a 'throw away' lifestyle. Living in a small space teaches us how little we need. However, rural isolation gives me few choices about where I can shop, so I am unable to act as ethically as I would like to in my purchases. I'm always striving to do more when it comes to green issues.

I have a deep need for access to nature, trees and wild-life. I love to be under the Gloucestershire sky, to see the moon rise and moon set, and to see shooting stars on clear nights. I appreciate the immediacy and realness of living close to the natural world.

What makes you happy?

Nimue: By most people's financial standards, I live the life of a pauper. Aside from my computer, there is not very much difference between my life and the boaters of a hundred years ago! I hand wash clothes and use wood and coal for heating. Nevertheless, this is one of the happiest places where I've ever lived. With caring people, almost anything can be enjoyable, and without them, the loveliest place can be miserable! Moments of connection, sharing, understanding and kindness, these make life worth living and I have so many wonderful friends within the Druid, Folk, Steampunk and publishing communities where everyone contributes to make a life rich in ways that money cannot buy.

Nimue Brown is the author of 'Druidry and Meditation', 'Druidry and the Ancestors' and 'Hopeless Maine'.



JACKY Newcomb

Jacky is known by her fans as 'The Angel Lady'. She is a multi-award winning, Sunday Times best selling author of  'An Angel Saved My Life' and 'An Angel by my Side'; the regular angel columnist (for Take-a-Break's Fate & Fortune Magazine), and paranormal experiences expert specialising in angels and the afterlife. Jacky is a regular on ITV's This Morning and Channel  5's Live with... as well as guest appearances on SKY, GMTV, LivingTV and others.

Wendy: Hello Jacky Please tell Health and Happiness Magazine readers who are the people who have influenced the course of your life or have shaped your calling to work with angels?
Jacky: It happened many years ago and was an extraordinary moment, an 'ah-ha' experience as they say! I was watching This Morning with Richard and Judy. The angel teacher, Diana Cooper was being interviewed and was talking about 'angel encounters'. I suddenly realised that some things that happened to me as a child were related to angels and I began an intensive study which led me writing my first book on this subject. My parents were very influential in wanting the best for me and my mother insisted I develop confidence in myself by joining the debating society at school. My late father was a sincere and deeply loving man who encouraged and supported me in all I wanted to do. He is now a regular visitor from the afterlife and I see him frequently in dream visitations. He brings me messages of wisdom and understanding. My sisters and several other relatives and friends have witnessed his visits from the spirit realms. I have been privileged to meet and work with many well known celebrities since my books first appeared. So many people have been immensely generous with time and energy. I learn so much from others, especially those who share their experiences with me.

Wendy: What country or place has had the greatest impact on you?
Jacky: After I'd suffered a deep depression, my husband and sister-in-law accompanied me for a holiday in Scotland. As we crossed the border, a large eagle swooped down over the windscreen of the car and I saw it as a sign of my recovery. I felt free and was able to shed a lot of egotism and really allow my spiritual wings to develop. I was inspired to go with the flow from that time on. On another occasion on that holiday, we spotted a wild deer and there was a moment when our souls connected. It was a very surreal moment but one I will never forget. Nature really helped me during this period of recovery and it gave me a lasting respect and admiration for all life forms. I became less self conscious and this letting go freed me from my prison of depression. I love to visit to Cornwall and would love to live by the sea especially Gwithian beach which has miles of endless white sand. It's the place where I feel closest and most connected to the source of spirituality.

Wendy: What major life events have shaped your personality and the direction of your life?
Jacky: My father had a very serious car accident when I was 6 years of age. The shock of visiting him in hospital was a great trauma to me. He was wired up with 60 stitches in his face and I never got over his vulnerability and that death is always so close and so eventually inevitable for us all. He actually lived to a ripe old age but as I was confronted with the potential loss of him to death while I was so young, this certainly prompted my interest in the afterlife. Since childhood, I have felt I needed to know about death and I feel my search has revealed that I have great certainty now that life definitely continues. I feel my life has always been guided by spirit mentors and I feel a strong sense of knowing that everything we live through is a learning process. Even when really bad things happen to me, I say 'what can I learn from this?' or 'why did that experience happen to me?' Luckily for me, my husband John is also a spiritual person so we don't bear grudges or get upset when times are difficult. We just get on with the learning process.

Wendy: Which books would you like to recommend and why?
Jacky: My favourite books are by Dr Michael Newton and are entitled 'Journey of Souls' and 'Destiny of Souls'. They chart hypnotherapy sessions with his clients who remember where they 'were' between this life and their past lives which he reveals as a heavenly place. Dr Newton's books challenge the way we consider our physical realities. I also suggest to friends books by Dolores Cannon. She is also a deep trance hypnotherapist and has recorded people talking about living between lives and past lives. Some of her clients have recalled lives on other planets and existences in other dimensions. Some people might find this strange, but I find it fascinating.

Wendy: How would you define the word 'spirituality'?
Jacky: We are far more than just our physical body. We are an eternal spirit. This spiritual part of ourselves is immensely important to the way that we live our life and also to our health and wellbeing and also to others who we come into contact with on an everyday basis. Many people write to me with stories of their life which often contain the wisdom that love is the most valuable and important commodity in this world. This is spirituality!

Wendy: Do you think the angels have a message for our present world leaders and if so, what is this message?
Jacky: Yes, I think this is an important question. Angels and elevated spirit beings want to bring their messages not just to ordinary people but also to world leaders. These great spirits always instruct the need for greater care of our planet. Many positive changes are already taking place but we need to work faster to reverse some of the damage as quickly as we can. They also speak about the most vulnerable and needy people in the world and how we, in the West, have a responsibility to attend to the needs of those in pain and suffering where-ever they may be.

Wendy: What have you been working on recently, Jacky?
Jacky: I have an interest in many aspects of spirituality, including power animals, psychic experiences, reincarnation and all kinds of fascinating mysteries. I have written 14 books in total, in addition to TV and radio appearances and writing feature articles (such as my regular column in Take a Break's Fate & Fortune Magazine). I travel all over the country providing talks and book signings and offer angel card readings, all info on my website where you can also find a large A - Z information page about angels, download a free newsletter or enter a chat room to chat with others who have a special interest in angels: www.AngelLady.co.uk

Joylina Goodings

As a professional speaker, experienced workshop leader, popular soul coach and personal mentor (specialising in spiritual and psychic development), Joylina inspires people all over the world to uncover and embrace their full potential.

Joylina invited me to her home in a leafy London suburb. The room was very beautiful and it reminded me of a high mountain landscape. I was not surprised to hear that Joylina has been involved with leading spiritual holidays to places of spiritual interest around the world. She has visited S America, S Africa, Europe and Australasia, Tibet, Thailand and Bhutan. Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayan foothills, is known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon and is one of her favourite places for their emphasis is on Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product and the people from young and old, rich and poor all have wonderful smiles on their faces. Even the ferrel dogs don't fight for food, they wait patiently in a line for the tourists to feed them.

There are many Buddhist monasteries in the region and Joylina told me the head Lama recognised her group members as "sisters in spirit" though of different religions and from different parts of the world. Joylina describes the meeting "He gave each of us a personal blessing which included chanted prayers and an anointing with holy water. It was
Remembrance Day, November 11th, when the armistice was signed to end the first world war and we were saying prayers for peace around the world when the Lama invited us to the monastery balcony, which overlooks a steep ravine where he also prays for all sentient beings each day. The lama asked if he could join us and we held hands in a mutual prayer. Then we recalled the legend which tells of a place where the Buddha hit a rock with his staff and water gushed out and we were shown this spiritual spring of sacred water and we filled our water bottles. It was a very memorable and moving morning."

Joylina described the reason for these trips. "Today, there is a keen search to discover who we are and how we can express our life purpose. These holidays are transformational journeys where each person is encouraged to find authenticity, integrity and personal responsibility. It's important for everyone to discover how we, as individuals, can be of service to our world. In our society, we have necessities and many have considerable luxuries, but the real quest is for self discovery, to understand the self in relation to others, and to take our learning to those who can also benefit from our understanding and wisdom. It's these values that provide fulfilment. My aim is to support my clients on an inner journey as well as to visit places where the land energies facilitate personal transformation".

Joylina is passionate about her work and her competency comes across in her warm voice and easy manner. She explains that more women than men attend her spiritual holidays though some brave men are pioneers and enjoy the company of questioning women. I sensed there was more to Joylina than just a tour guide and she explained, "These holidays to sites of outstanding beauty or historical importance are an ideal place for me to support my clients in the discovery of spiritual values and how they can live a rich and fulfilling life, to be the best they can be".

Five years ago, Joylina was invited to become the spiritual consultant for the 'Sfinx Group'. This is a group of women from many countries with a common desire for personal and spiritual growth. Joylina describes an African Safari, "One particular evening stands out in my mind, we sat by a gently flowing river under a clear night sky. The moon was
decorated with a double corona and was so bright you could read a book by its light. We offered a prayer for peace throughout this ancient country, the cradle of humankind. We visualised the Great Rift Valley filled with love. In the morning we visited rock art that was over 10,000 years old. It was a wonderful trip, full of gratitude, kindness and wonder."

Joylina has been on her own personal spiritual journey. "My mother caught a slight infection that developed into a life threatening illness. The doctor was called and attended the next day and she was rushed into hospital with pneumonia but they could not save her life and she died. I was only nine years old and had been taught that Jesus was a healer who cured people by touch. I recall wanting to touch my mother because I believed I could heal her. Children under 14 years of age were not allowed to visit relatives in hospital wards in those days so I could not put my arms around her. Following her death, her spirit was close to me for many years and I would speak with her. Her presence was a great comfort to me. She had been told by a fortune reader that she would die at the age of 30. This was a true prediction. Due to this, I had a fear of the occult and it was not until the tragic death of my husband that I became interested in
psychic matters."

Joylina's strength, compassion and calmness are demonstrated when speaking about these traumatic times. I asked her if she had spirit guides or any experiences of the paranormal. "I have several spirit guides who have worked with me over the course of my life and I also work closely with angel energies that nourish and guide me. Many extraordinary things have happened to me in the course of my life. I dearly loved my husband Andrew, who sadly died of alcoholism. I had two young children at the time of his death. It was difficult but I learnt a great deal.

Joylina believes in reincarnation and describes an insight of a past life. "My favourite junior school book was the Adventures of Ulysses and throughout my life I been attracted to the Greek islands. On the island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea I had a clear impression of a previous life. I remembered being a commander of an army that destroyed a holy temple and killed the female devotees. One man had committed suicide in the sea because he felt responsible for the temple's destruction".

Joylina is a fascinating and interesting person with considerable intelligence and understanding. I asked about her education and work. "I had an ordinary education, my parents were both teachers and later my father went into business. I've had many career changes. I've been a secretary, house-wife and mother, worked in the City of London
where I took a post graduate degree in marketing and communications and later I studied psychosynthesis counselling and qualified as a bereavement counsellor and a master NLP practitioner. I work now as an inspirational and motivational speaker, a spiritual columnist, and card reader and, of course, facilitate sacred journeys."

Over the years her work has developed from focussing on tarot and angels readings which offer guidance on the opportunities available to her client's way forward to a more supportive mentoring role through soul coaching, where she supports her clients through the transformational process of creating rich and rewarding lives in line with their soul's energy. She also believes we each have our own role to play in the conscious evolution of our world. Our pasts may have made us who we are but she believes our futures are of our own making and that as we find inner peace and unity within ourselves we will create peace and unity in our world. Joylina believes this can happen within her lifetime.

Joylina comes across as very capable and articulate, with an astounding knowledge about life which few people can equal. Joylina went on to describe the importance of her daily meditations. "I send distance healing to those on my healing list and to all troubled parts of the world. When possible, I meditate for two hours each day - it's time well spent."

I was admiring the painting that was hanging over the fireplace and Joylina smiled a proud smile, "It's called Angel Light and is by the artist, Adrian Holland. He produced the paintings for my Angel Intuition card pack which I use to give selected readings for my clients". What does Joylina intend to do in the future? "Continue to mentor and coach my
clients by providing them with tools and techniques to transform their lives. This is my joy helping people become happy today rather than one day. I do this through speaking engagements, fully supported on-line self development courses, readings and also through writing." And what of Joylina's plans for the future? "I intend to write more and would like to set up a respite centre for people with personal difficulties, such as recovering alcoholics and drug addicts and people who for no fault of their own find themselves homeless. Somewhere where people how are at their lowest ebb have the time, space and support to re-discover their true self and their purpose. So many current facilities are either expensive or religious based. Even after people leave rehab, they usually return to the same environment that caused their issues and therefore many return to their old ways. I would like to create a safe holistic space where they can
share their experiences, address their unconscious patterns and re-discover their divine nature" Joylina is a true emissary of light in this often difficult world!


Barbara Meiklejohn-Free

Meet the UKs most powerful shamanic goddess -
an interview with The Highland Seer.

Wendy: I would like to introduce Barbara Meiklejohn-Free to readers of Health-Happiness. Please tell us about your childhood and the early influences that formed your extraordinary life path, Barbara.

Barbara: I was adopted and had been told that my parents were killed in a car crash. My adoptive father drank and fought with my mother. I remember feeling that I did not want to grow up and become an adult. I had only a few friends at primary school because I was considered strange and outspoken. I was constantly in trouble with the teachers, and spent more time outside the classroom than in it - I was a child outcast. The friends that I did have were boys and I could climb any tree and fight just as well as they could and I excelled at sport. In those days, there was no understanding of learning difficulties. I hated reading and writing because the written word made no sense. I was constantly told that I was stupid, worthless and a troublemaker. I was not loved. I enjoyed being in Nature; with the trees, the elementals, the animals and birds. I was safe in the arms of Mother Nature. And this is where I met and came under the watchful eye of my first mentor, Swein McDonald, known as The Highland Seer. He opened the doors to many other worlds which were filled with soul and powered by Spirit. Learning about our ancestral ways, our rites and our amazing connection with Earth gave me a will to explore and love my life.

I know you have had many amazing spiritual experiences, please choose one to tell us about.

Barbara: My first initiation into the art of the vision questing ceremony was on my home land of Scotland. One day when I went to visit Swein, he decided that we would go for a walk. He picked up a blanket and said, 'We will be out for a while, so we'll make sure you are warm.' We climbed the hill behind his croft where there was a forest of Scottish pines. We found a secluded area and he said, 'This is a sacred grove, a special place where our ancestors gathered for thousands of years; here you will be safe. The Spirits will take you on a journey to help you find the visions you are seeking.' He stood at what could have been an entrance to an ancient grove and started talking to the Spirits and he asked permission to enter into the other worlds. I stood behind him holding my breath, and felt as if everything in the forest was doing the same! Time stood still. The land surrounding us changed and came to life. Everything is connected and nature looked like a giant spider's web as luminous threads floated through the air from tree to tree and from bird to bird. Then I heard a buzzing sound which I thought was from bees. I could not locate any sign of a hive or nest and I shook my head to clear my ears. Swein laughed and asked, 'Are you okay, lass?' 'What's that noise?' I asked. He smiled as he replied, 'Oh, you mean the fairy folk. It's them talking. It sounds like the humming of bees. The droning you hear are spirits talking to one another.' I imagined recording my voice on tape and then speeding it up one hundred times to make a sound like that. I asked Swein if he meant the spirits of people were talking to each other. 'Much more than people, lass! You are hearing the Creator and Creation as one voice,' he replied. He took his staff in his left hand and held it out in front of him as he walked around me in a clockwise direction. He moved into the circle and struck the ground three times, leaving his staff in the ground in the centre of our sacred space and declared, 'The circle is now open so we can communicate with the other worlds. You are protected and safe within this sacred place. It is time for me to leave you so that you can journey and become one with all of Nature around you. The elements are your teachers. Go into the silence and listen.' Well the next few hours were incredible. What I saw, heard and felt will stay with me for eternity.

Wendy: You have travelled extensively, especially to visit your native American relatives in the US. Can you tell us about your unusual background and heritage?
Barbara: As an adult, I discovered my blood family. My mother had not died as I had been told. She had many children. I met my mother and siblings and, although she and I never had the 'ah-hah' moment, I did learn that my heritage comes from the old Scottish St Claire clan. Through past life regression work and learning of the connections with my ancestral lineage, I have discovered ties with Native American tribes, with Egypt and I feel a 'Calling' to visit Asia, so who knows what that journey will reveal. However the title of 'The Highland Seer' is the one I get asked most about.

Wendy: Why are you called 'The Highland Seer'?
Barbara: I am honoured and privileged to be the current custodian of this title, gifted to me by Swein McDonald. Under his guidance, I learned what it means to 'walk your talk' and to answer your Calling, to connect to Spirit, to search for the Great Mystery that is the driving force behind all life and all creation. This has involved me in many decades of embracing and learning from life's experiences; both beautiful and brutal, to hold a space for sacred knowledge that can help others to reconnect to their authentic selves and spiritually evolve. A very important aspect of this undertaking is the connection to those who have passed and helping people to come to terms with the revelation that life continues, even if they cannot comprehend it in this physical world. Often the specific and profound messages that I provide, help to settle hearts and allow Spirit to soar. Much of what I do in this capacity helps people to heal. I can teach them specific exercises and meditations to 'let go' or 'release' whatever no longer serves them. And in all my work, I too am learning, evolving and growing towards my destiny, so I am very blessed to have been given this opportunity to carry this legacy.

Wendy: What recent project are you developing?
Barbara: I have noticed a profound increase in 'traffic' from Spirit. By that, I mean, I am hearing from, receiving visions of, and dreaming about, Spirit more often and I am being urged to write, create music and travel in order to spread our ancestral ways to as many people as need to receive them. I have just completed my second book 'The Shaman Within- Reclaiming our Rites of Passage'. I have just launched three further CD's, two or which are meditation CDs and one that is a music CD of pure ambient energy. This CD incorporates essential oils from Egypt and includes Chakra work which can have a considerable impact on those who use them. I also use them during workshops. To find out more, please visit www.spiritvisions.co.uk.
Thank you Barbara, we wish you every success with this and other ventures.


Daphne facilitates workshops on the subject of how to heal your life, how to get to know your inner child, how to manage anger, how to develop love and forgiveness, improve relationships and manifest good things in life

I grew up on a farm in Ireland. We had cows, young cattle, sheep, pigs, hens, dogs and a horse. In the mornings, I got up early fed the cows with hay, milked them, let them out to graze, fed hens and pigs and counted the sheep. Life was very hard and I learnt determination and perseverance and not to be afraid of responsibility. At twelve years of age I nearly died when my appendix burst and I contracted double pneumonia which caused pleurisy. I spent two months in hospital and was so weak that when I was allowed home, I was unable to walk up the stairs to my bedroom. But being brought up on a farm gave me a great love of nature and animals. I ran the 80 acre farm myself because my mother was unwell and my father was working in England as the farm made so little money and there was no work in Ireland. My father had first come to England to work when I was about 7. My mother couldn't help out on the farm because she suffered from arthritis as she had previously broken both her legs. One had been so badly broken that the surgeon told her it was like an egg shell that he could crush in his hands. During the summer holidays, we hired neighbours to cut the meadow and help make the hay etc. We had no running water and I had to bring water by bucket from the river to the farm. It was hard work but at the same time I enjoyed it.

I also had attended college. We went to Technical College from the age of 14 in Ireland. We stayed there usually until the age of 17. It was the norm. A special bus arrived from Dublin each day, picking up the children for college and then brought us home again the then evening. It picked me up at 8.20am and dropped me home again at 5.15pm. Then, I had my dinner, which my mother had ready. My best friend died when I was 14 (it was at this time I began thinking about life after death). I was brought up in the Church of Ireland and attended a boarding school but after my illness, I was sent to a Catholic Convent. My mother sent me and my siblings to Sunday school which was run by the Presbyterian Church, so I had contact with a mixture of different faiths. Later in life, I visited Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist temples as part of my wider search for spirituality. I decided to train as a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking, a term which embraces all faiths and I call myself a 'free spirit'.

When I was 40 years of age I realised that, due to so many difficult life experiences, I had closed down emotionally. It was at that time, that I met Kathleen Coster and had one to one counselling, then joined a support group. Over the years I trained with the late Gill Edwards and took counselling qualifications, then trained as a Louise Hay 'Heal Your Life' Teacher. I also trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique, EMF, Bowen Therapy and I became a Master of the Reiki and Seichem healing techniques. I then trained as a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking with James Twyman, and most recently trained in Theta Healing.

Other than my childhood days, my greatest challenges have been teaching the 'Heal Your Life' and the Reiki and Seichem courses in adult education institutes. I found these difficult because I am very shy but, within time, I developed confidence in running workshops and lecturing. Another great challenge was when I was travelling with a friend in India and Sri Lanka and she returned home and I travelled on alone. During this time, I needed to overcome a number of anxieties. For a charity, I walked 110 miles from Assisi to Rome and, at the time, I was very out of condition, having not done any regular exercise for many years. Each morning, I walked 4 - 5 miles and 15 at weekends. Many days, I was still tired from the day before but the camaraderie was wonderful and I was carried along the route. My latest challenge, and by far the biggest one, was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is because my mother died with breast cancer, my father with bowel cancer and my brother with pancreatic cancer. I got through it and am working harder than ever!

I have been supported by many people along the way; teachers, students, friends and colleagues of all kinds. I use all the accumulated knowledge and experience for the workshops and courses which I now teach. I am richly blessed to have so many friends who are trained in different healing modalities. I have experienced many kinds of therapies throughout my life and have lots of very good friends and I am very grateful to everyone for the care and support that I received.

Self development has made a great difference to my life and I want to offer this gift to others. Now, I facilitate workshops on the subject of how to heal your life, how to get to know your inner child, how to manage anger, how to develop love and forgiveness, improve relationships and manifest good things in life. I am working towards running mind, body and spirit workshops based on what I learnt from my own experience of dealing with cancer. I also offer one-to-one counselling based on Louise Hay and metaphysical subjects.

I can travel to facilitate group workshops or hold events in London. If people want to contact me they can reach me by e-mail onesoul@daphnewhitehouse.com

or by telephone 07779 453 302 or 0208 531 3441. For more information visit my website: www.daphnewhitehouse.com

Hans De Waard

Founder of the 'Jacket Technique' (JT for short) which is a safe, effective, quick and easy method to relieve a number of health conditions.
Please click on the photograph to be directed to the interview

I would like to introduce Health-Happiness readers to Hans de Waard. Hans has devised the 'Jacket Technique' (JT for short) which is a safe, effective, quick and easy method to relieve a number of health conditions.

Wendy: What types of conditions is JT best suited to?
Hans: JT can address all kinds of psychological and stress conditions. It can also help with relationship difficulties and can free creativity and end limiting beliefs.

Wendy: Can it relieve clinical depression and chronic anxiety states?
Hans: The aim of the Jacket Technique is to increase awareness and relieve psychological difficulties of all kinds, including depressive thoughts and anxiety states. We have had some very good results from both these common ailments.

Wendy: Have any trials been conducted on smoking and other addictions?
Hans: No trials have been conducted at the moment, but we have considerable experience in this field. Feedback from our clients informs us that after releasing limiting blocks to progress with the use of the Jacket Technique, it is then far easier to deal with addictions. Many people with severe and chronic complaints have clearly improved after JT.

Wendy: What could I expect from a Jacket Technique session?
Hans: The response from the experience depends on the presenting problem and which jacket(s) are removed during the session. It's important that everyone has realistic expectations. As each individual has many jackets, we have given the more common 'jackets' names, such as 'the Trauma Jacket', the Cord Jacket' and the 'Projection Jacket'. There are others, such as Stress, Fatigue, Implant, Virus, Curse, Black Magic and Miasma and more information is provided about these in my book, the Jacket Technique'.

Wendy: Are there any contra-indications to the use of the Jacket Technique?
Hans: No, anyone can safely use the technique with the help of a trained JT practitioner. This includes pregnant women and terminally ill people. We work with careful formulated intentions.
These intentions are:
  • Treatment is only carried out with the direct permission of the person involved. For children under the age of 11, parental supervision is required.
  • Only the jackets, or parts of jackets, from which we are suffering (the damaging part) are removed and with respect for free will and growth in awareness.
  • Supportive jackets are put on with the intention that they shall remain for as long as they do us good and help support our growth in awareness.
  • Everything is carried out in a way in which we can manage easily on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. So nothing has a deleterious effect.
  • The Jackets are removed in the Now, the timeless. In other words: at the moment of creation.
  • The Jackets are removed on all levels on which they are worn. This may include physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, conscious, subconscious, sub-personal, DNA and soul level.

Wendy: Can therapists train to use the Jacket Technique for their clients? How long does it take for therapists and healers to train?
Hans: Yes, I offer courses for health professionals to become a certified JT practitioner. These are in several countries, and my UK tour is commencing shortly. Jacket Technique International (JTI) offers four training levels:
Basic Practitioner Training (JT) Three days training to release 'jackets' on yourself and others (including the Essentials of Jacket Technique Coaching).
Master Practitioner Training (JTM) Two days training to learn and be supervised in the Advanced Jacket Clearing Techniques.
Instructor (JTI) Training to teach Basic and Master (above).
Master Trainer (JTMT) to teach Instructors (and all levels).

Each of the above can be either foundation courses or as an addition to an established training that a counsellor, therapist, healer, coach, etc, may have already. The Jacket Technique supports all other treatments, trainings and therapies and is used as an adjunct to existing training or as a 'stand alone' qualification in its own right. Each training course require four days of training and three of practice.

Wendy: Will you be coming to the UK to provide tasters to therapists and healers who want to learn the Jacket Technique?
Hans: Yes, we are planning the first introduction tour for the last quarter of 2012. Dates will be published on our website. If organizations are interested in booking a lecture or workshop, they are welcome to contact us and we will try to fit this
in our schedule.

Wendy: When and where is the book launch and where can the book be purchased?
Hans: The book "The Jacket Technique" will be published on the 28th of September 2012 in the UK, US and other English speaking countries by Ayni Books. Order at any bookstore or from Amazon. During our introduction tour books will be available for sale. An EBook will be available at a later date. This book contains all the background information about unwanted blocks we carry with us and includes the 'Playboard of Life'. It also offers original and helpful exercises which facilitate the removal of a number of 'jackets', a CD is available and there is a free online 'jacket' removal section on our website.

AYNI Books
ISBN 978-1-84694-217-4
UK £11.99
US $19.95


, Baby Reflex
practitioner and
Laughter Yoga Coach

I would like to introduce Health-Happiness readers to you, Simi, please tell us about reflexology.

Simi: Reflexology is a holistic therapy that uses a specific massage technique which is conducted to the feet and hands. The method originates in China and Egypt. The modern method of Reflexology, as we know it today, was developed by medical doctor, William H. Fitzgerald. He was an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon and he first named it 'Zone Therapy' and used it mostly to assist in the relief of pain. Zone Therapy was further developed by his friend, Dr. Joseph Shelby Riley and his wife Elizabeth, and later, Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist who worked with the Riley's finally charted the precise foot maps and named the therapy "Reflexology".

There are many theories about how Reflexology works, but generally it is based on a principle that every organ in the body has a reflex point on the feet and hands. According to Eastern philosophies, there are twelve main energy meridians that flow through our body. These have endings on our hands and feet. If these meridians become blocked, energy cannot flow and therefore, we can become ill. By stimulating the reflex points on the feet and hands, we remove the blocks on the meridian channels and allow the energy to flow.

The benefits of Reflexology are individual, and are mainly to reduce stress and balance the body systems and energies. Stress can account for up to 80% of modern illnesses and reduction of stress helps improve general health. One session of Reflexology per week would relieve stress without recourse to alcohol or drugs (which are frequently used to destress). When I was a teenager, my friends enjoyed it when I massaged their hands.

Wendy: What qualifications do you have?

Simi: I discovered Reflexology is a respected therapy so I decided to qualify when I came to the UK several years ago. I took courses to practice professionally at various colleges, including the Central London College of Reflexology. I took additional courses in Aromatherapy and non-medical Nutritional advice, both combine well with Reflexology. I also qualified in Maternity Reflexology, Spinal Reflexology, Chinese Foot Massage, Hot Stone Reflexology and Baby Reflex. I joined the professional organisations (FHT, AoR and CNHC) which require continuous development by their members and I update my skills and qualifications regularly. I have purchased a special reclining chair/bed which enables my clients to fully enjoy and receive the benefits of the experience. In addition to hand and foot reflexology, I also provide head and neck and auricular reflexology.

The technique of Reiki Healing also works in combination with Reflexology, as well as on its own. I was impressed with Reiki and added a Reiki qualification for its use in animals.

Wendy: What is Baby Reflex?

Simi: Baby Reflex is a workshop provided by Baby Reflex trainers for mums and dads to learn a very simple and effective technique which they can then give to their babies (over 3 months of age). Grandparents, carers and nurses can also learn it. Baby Reflex provides a powerful, yet gentle and natural method to calm a baby who is stressed or has been unwell. It is easy and fun to learn and can be used instantly and almost anywhere, when standing in a queue, sitting on a bus or walking in the park. It strengthens the bond between a small child and its carers. I teach this technique in clients' homes, usually to a family of four or five adults and it is a wonderful Baby Shower gift to a new mum. It can also be taught to individuals. I have also demonstrated at exhibitions and in a hospital setting.

Wendy: You are involved with 'Laughter Yoga', Simi? What is this and what are the benefits?

Simi: Laughter Yoga was started by Dr Madan Kataria, a medical doctor from India. He was intrigued by the case of the American writer, Norman Cousins, who was very ill but baffled doctors by successfully fighting his illness. His secret ingredient was laughter.

When we laugh for longer than ten minutes, our stress hormone levels have been shown to drop considerably, while the levels of our endorphins (called "happy hormones") rise. This results in more positive mind-set, increased energy and self-confidence. Dr Kataria was joined by four people in a park in Mumbai and the first Laughter Yoga group was born.

Laughter usually occurs for no longer than a few seconds. Laughter Yoga is a combination of yoga breathing (which is called pranayama) and simple, playful exercises. Combined with eye contact the laughter for no reason can last much longer than necessary 10 minutes and when one person starts to giggle, the emotion is contagious and everyone starts to laugh.

Dr Kataria considers Laughter Yoga to be a peace movement as when you laugh, you are unable to feel aggressive or hateful. Laughter Yoga events take place throughout the world. There are over 2000 clubs in over 65 countries. I am a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and facilitate laughter events throughout London.

Wendy: May we have your website for more information?

Simi: Certainly! My website is: www.anima-sana.com and readers are welcome to join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Simonida.K?ref=ts

This month, Wendy interviews:

Jocelyn Chaplin

Jocelyn is a London-based psychotherapist, writer, teacher and artist and is developing a new form of spirituality that has equality at its heart. Jocelyn describes it as 'a spiritual complement for the increasing desire for greater equality in our divided world'.

I would like to introduce Jocelyn Chaplin to Health-Happiness readers. Jocelyn is a London-based psychotherapist, writer, teacher and artist and is developing a new form of spirituality that has equality at its heart. Jocelyn describes it as 'a spiritual complement for the increasing desire for greater equality in our divided world'. For many years, Jocelyn has worked at the cutting edge of therapy, politics and conscious living.

Wendy: Hello Jocelyn. You have been involved with issues of equality since your twenties. What changes have you seen since you wrote the book 'Feminist Counselling in Action' in the 1980s?
Jocelyn: Feminism was at its peak and fortunately, there have been enormous changes for women since then, especially in the work place. But, even then, I noticed all kinds of inequalities, not only gender ones and they are still with us. There are many obvious ones, of wealth and poverty, race, sexuality, ageism etc., and also everyday judgements about what is inferior and what is superior. These prejudices are internalised in our unconscious. The deeper changes in attitudes towards women and other groups which suffer from prejudice have been slower to change, and there has been a massive backlash against feminism in the global collective unconscious. Fundamentalisms of all kinds are expressions of this reaction.

Wendy: As a practising psychotherapist, how can we keep mentally and emotionally well and what part does spirituality play in being healthy and happy?
Jocelyn: The less we judge ourselves and others with internalised hierarchies, the healthier and happier we will be. A spirituality that explicitly dissolves the external and internal hierarchies is vital so that we can deeply accept reality. Living mindfully in the present moment - by simply noticing the equalising rhythms of the breath for instance, helps us stay centred and calm. Attuning to the rhythms of nature outside ourselves as well as within keeps us in the flow. Keeping our hearts and minds open makes space to receive for the love that is all around us.

Wendy: What is the basis of your latest book 'Deep Equality - Living in the Flow of Natural Rhythms'?
Jocelyn: I show how to free ourselves from the old structures of dualism, hierarchy and power struggles, and how to become more in tune with nature's equalising rhythms, and achieve life from our loving and empathising core. There are many personal stories of my own and other people's lives, and references to ancient, more attuned cultures, such as Minoan Crete 2,000 BC. The cover of the book shows oscillating strings of sub atomic matter which is the equivalent of the breath of the cosmos - everything in the universe is rhythmic. My book describes how we can free ourselves by thinking rhythmically and helps us to attune more effectively to those ever changing equalizing forces that flow through us. Rhythms interconnect opposites, while hierarchies divide.

Wendy: Are you politically active and what are your hobbies and interests?
Jocelyn: As well as fully accepting just what is, it is also important to change the world in whatever small ways we can. I have been involved in many movements for social and political change from the anti war movements and Occupy London, to Climate change protests, etc. It can be hard to combine a spirituality of acceptance with action, but for me they go hand in hand. Where it's been appropriate, I have been involved in rituals to support actions, such as invoking the goddesses of London for the benefit and wellbeing of our capital city. Halloween (2008) at Canary Wharf saw us 'Dancing on the Grave of Capitalism!'
    I am an artist and paint pictures that are prayers for parts of the world where there is violence, and which call on ancient goddesses of the land. The works are semi figurative, semi abstract and include lots of wavy, flowing lines. I have occasional exhibitions of my artwork which I enjoy. I also love to dance, especially on the streets at The Notting Hill Carnival.

Wendy: May we have a short extract from your latest book, please?
Jocelyn: This describes the core of my philosophy:
'In our human world, the drive to equalize can be seen as the equivalent as the balancing force in nature. The equalising rhythmic structure that underlies the flow gives us different ways of thinking, different paradigms to apply in everyday life... if we started to think rhythmically it would involve a complete shift in the very roots of our thinking process... it could be just the kind of radical change that the world desperately needs for the 21st Century.

'With the splitting of the atom everything has changed save our model of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalled disaster.' Albert Einstein.

'What exactly is problematic about our models of thinking? When we look deeply into our thinking for the past 4,000 years, we see one all-pervasive form. We see images of pyramids, of ladders and of vertical power relations frozen in time... but what can we put in their place? A half hearted belief that equality is a rather good thing is simply not enough! I want to suggest that we need a new consciousness in which 'equalising' is the very essence of our belief system, not just an optional extra. Equalizing is a primal creative force and can even be called 'the spirit in matter'.'

More info on the website www.serpentinstitute.com Next course starts 18th.Sept 2012 and includes a philosophy of interconnected opposites, I will teach a practice to honour the equalising rhythms of nature, of the the breath and of the seasons. etc., and this will include a psychology to free ourselves from hierarchical mind-sets and to live more 'in the flow of natural rhythms'.

June 2012, Wendy interviews:


John Birch developed an interesting method of raising money for charity! He embarked on a home-made retreat that included renunciation and self-sacrifice for a charitable cause. John has worked as a UK tutor for "An Introduction to Contemporary Spirituality - The Soul's Journey" by William Bloom and ran the Spiritual Path Network in the UK to help people discover their spiritual path. He has trained mediums and healers. 

John Birch developed an interesting method of raising money for charity! He embarked on a home-made retreat that included renunciation and self-sacrifice for a charitable cause. He restricted his environment by reducing general distractions and cutting out modern comforts and necessities, such as food, electricity, and contact with friends. With these indulgent pastimes out of the way, John went into solitary confinement in his home to raise awareness for the plight of the fast diminishing Amazonian rainforest. His retreat also had the added advantage that John could put the money that he saved during this time towards a cause that helps the world's largest endangered rainforest and the people that are dependent upon it.

The Amazon Cry Foundation is a registered charity that was founded to prevent illegal logging and mining in the Amazon region and also to provide a school, language lessons and a workers' co-operative for the people of the Amazonian basin. The Amazon is a natural temple and its destruction is a threat to the planet's future health. Throughout John's silent week, his feelings of emptiness and a connection with the struggling people of the Amazon surfaced. His solitary confinement became a vision quest. During his deep meditations, John, who is a visionary made spiritual contact with a native shaman, and clearly saw the man's face, with beads of sweat, tattoos and fish bone piercings. John feels his self-imposed week of hardship gave him an empathy and compassion towards the Rainforest people. He noticed that his sense of time slowed and he adopted a more natural pace of life. He also appreciated the solace and calmness of silence and heard bird-song and other natural sounds with new ears.

John has worked as a UK tutor for "An Introduction to Contemporary Spirituality - The Soul's Journey" by William Bloom, and William provided the preface to John's book of his experience. John has worked with William Bloom on 'the Holistic Spiritual Project' which endorses the wonder of life and celebrates diversity, ecology and health.

John's intention is to challenge buying habits and to use purchasing power. He suggests we reduce the demand of the hardwood trees of the rainforest by avoiding buying hardwood furniture. We need to be aware that the Rainforest is being cleared to raise soya crops for animal food. This is an extravagant use of land for meat eaters and, if we reduce our meat consumption, we also reduce the loss of this extraordinary rainforest.

John ran the Spiritual Path Network in the UK to help people discover their spiritual path. He has trained mediums and healers.  

He worked as a Production Buyer for a Brewery in the North of England and in his spare time is dedicated to conserving the Amazonian Rain-forest and to protect the tribal people who are dependent on the forest for their livelihood. John has become an ordained brother with an interfaith fellowship that believes in leading by example and sowing the seeds of ecology, peace and kindness.

When I interviewed John, I asked: What country or place has had the greatest impact on you? And John replied "I think that the town of Glastonbury has had an enormous impact on me in recent years. I first went there several years ago to work with William Bloom on the final drafts of his course, 'An Introduction to Contemporary Spirituality: The Soul's Journey'. I then relayed it back to my teaching the course at the Blackpool & Fylde College. William and I became good friends and he kindly provided the narration for a spiritual film I made a few years later. I facilitated a Hand-fasting Ceremony in the Chalice Well Garden on the request of one of my former students. It was a very moving and memorable day. I have fond memories of Glastonbury when I sat with a friend in silence on a bench in the Chalice Well Garden for a period of two hours. Time seemed to disappear and we  both had tears of pleasure in our eyes. It was a special soul-enriching experience for both of us." John has also facilitated retreats and workshops in remote UK woodlands and has been involved with One World, a festival that has been running for 14 years on macrobiotic principles.

Asked to describe which books John would you like to recommend to readers and why, he describes several. "I moved away from reading books a few years ago because I more often found that the words and experiences of others did not synchronise with my experience or fit with my inner truth. If I were to recommend a few books, however, I would choose Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now and Ram Dass' One Liners. The first is a little difficult to get into, and the second, a 'dip in - dip out' coffee table book.  Both provide the reader with a way to consciously and compassionately engage in the world in a mode of acceptance and presence. Both carry transformative insights that are simple to grasp as the greatest of truths usually are."

John edited a monthly newsletter offering a variety of spiritual paths which has been read by thousands of people and published free of charge. This newsletter has been central to John's mission, to help to increase a 'collective' sense of planetary responsibility.  He is currently creating a retreat centre in France and is writing a book about his spiritual journey.

Wendy Stokes interviewer, columnist and author of The Lightworkers Circle Guide - A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' which raises awareness and funds for The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. H-H readers are welcome to join Wendy on Facebook.

Here are links for John Birch 'Spiritual Paths'



Or search for Spiritual Paths Bro John Birch into youtube, to watch a series of his videos.

May 2012, Wendy interviews:

a Tutor at the Academy of Tarot and a Speaker at the 2012 UK Tarot Conference and at The Riveria Tarot Conference. She speaks about her career as a spiritual growth consultant

"My work is completely different from the norm! It is hard to imagine how much work I get done in a week but I feel so fortunate to have found work that I love and which helps others on their personal and spiritual journey. Before I first became a freelance, I spoke to a friend about living on a tiny budget and doing without luxuries that others take for granted and I decided I am prepared to make sacrifices to do the work that I feel guided to do. I specialise in helping my clients discover how they can gain control of their lives and do whatever will give them happiness and I assist them to become aware of their patterns and how they can develop their confidence and make better choices. I do this through the use of tarot cards, spiritual healing methods, Past Life Regression and Astrology. I provide one-to-one consultations at the prestigious Mysteries Centre in Covent Garden and at my private practice in Cornwall where I can be reached by Skype or phone and I have clients around the world. Individual sessions are based on coaching and counselling and the use of my intuition as a medium. Many people still have an out-dated view of psychics. As a psychic, I don't provide predictions but I do help with personal insight and the ability to deal with feelings and events. I use tarot cards for those who seek self- empowerment and enlightenment and I find them a very good tool for assisting with certain problems, or for the initial appointment. Dependency on stimulants and relaxants can sometimes be revealed in a spread or come up in the counselling session as can other health matters. Legally no-one should advise on health issues or diagnose illness unless they are a qualified health professional, however, my work often reveals many kinds of peripheral matters. such as spiritual blocks, breaks and disfunctions that can be discussed and improved.

I host regular residential courses in Cornwall. Here we have time to explore the tarot and other psychic arts that can lead to self- development and empowerment. The centre in Cornwall is a very magical place, set in acres of fairy glen woodland of bluebells and surrounded by the UK's best beaches of white sand and turquoise sea. The energy is very conducive for learning the intuitive arts. My passion for unveiling the mysteries burns so strong within me that my first book is about the tarot and is being published this summer by O Books. It is titled "The Transformational Truth of Tarot".

I also wish to support the work of others who are interested in mind, body and spirit subjects so I help to run the only online booking agency for courses in this field called Initiation Workshops. It puts tutors and students in touch with each other. The student chooses the course they want and can book it immediately and we have the deposit as our commission (20%-30% -capped at £50). At Initiation Workshops, we have the ethos of working together without competition and in the spirit of a win-win philosophy. I think the work I do is in my veins. My Grandfather was a practicing spiritual healer and the most spiritual person I have ever known. Just being in his presence was extremely calming. Grand-dad owned a butcher's shop and only stocked organic and free range food. He was very caring and when customers asked him why he wouldn't stock Veal, he would educate them on the caring management of livestock. "

~ Please describe 'A Week in the Life of Tiffany Crosara?'
"Monday through to Wednesday, I live with my husband, my stepdaughter and our two cats in Mousehole, a tiny fishing village only a few miles away from Lands End. There is a wonderfully reclusive energy here and the pace of life is slow but I have a beautiful therapy room and work long hours. "Work" could be with individual clients or Skype sessions or promoting my own courses, or helping to promote others. It could be work required to boost sales of my book or for future books I am working on.

Every Thursday I commute to London. I wait for the 1pm bus between the quaint clock tower and the harbour which drops me at Penzance for the 2pm train. This arrives in Paddington at 7:30pm. I use my computer on the train. When I am in London, because of the extremely high accommodation rent, I stay with kind friends. On the first Thursday of the month, I host a meet-up at Mysteries that evening and every Friday and Saturday I am at the Mysteries Centre in Covent Garden providing tarot readings, with occasional healing and past life regression and a class on Thursday evenings. Sundays, I am often facilitating a course at Mysteries. Then I get the last train back to Cornwall at 6pm arriving home at midnight."

~ What skills are needed for your work?
"The ability to listen to Spirit, organisational discipline is also very important. I need to have a deep commitment to what I do and to be reliable and sincere. I try to offer everyone the very best of me, my full attention when I am with them, so they feel their situation is well considered and they are supported in making changes in their lives."

~ I know you are well qualified for the work you do Tiffany,
can you list what qualifications you have gained to date?

Cert.Counselling (Central School of Counselling & Therapy '96)
Cert.Understanding Challenging Behaviours (Hesley Group '98)
Cert. Communication (Hesley Group '99)
First Degree of Usui Reiki (Taggart King (Reiki Evolution) lineage '01)
Second Degree of Usui Reiki (Taggart King (Reiki Evolution) lineage '02)
Diploma Tarot & Cartomancy (New Age Foundation/ British School of Yoga'03)
Diploma in Palmistry (New Age Foundation/ British School of Yoga '04)
Diploma in Parapsychology (New Age Foundation/ British School of Yoga '05)
Third Degree of Usui Reiki (Taggart King (Reiki Evolution) lineage '06)
Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Past Life Therapy (Past Life Therapists Association '09)
Creating Success and Abundance (Network Training '10)
Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector (Cornwall College '10)
Workshop Facilitator Training (Network Training '10)
Life coaching with Emotional Wisdom (Network Training '10)
(Various Astrology training- until the present day)
Magnified Healing Phase 1 (2012)

~ Do you have time for hobbies, if so, what are they?
"I love to dance but wish I had more time to do it".

~ What is your favourite film?
"An American drama titled 'Pay It Forward' with Kevin Spacey. It is about a boy who launches a good will movement. It is a most inspiring story."

~ What would you like to change about life in the UK in 2012?
"At the end of last year I had three dreams on consecutive nights. In the first one Spirit gave me a card reading and the card I picked was called Infinity and it had the symbol (it is like the number 8 lying on its side) reversed. So I asked, "What does Infinity Reversed mean?" And the reply was that Infinity was humanity, and that humanity is reversed right now, but this year they will be turned up the right way, they then added that I was going to be very busy and have to work really hard.

The second night I dreamt my friend informed me that I was just around the corner from my retreat centre in the hills in Italy (it is my dream to have such a place. She offered me a lift there as walking was dangerous. I went to my hotel room to get a coat and discovered my room had been broken into and all kinds of people there were suffering, some were zombie-like and I was so scared. I tried to keep them out but the locks were broken on the doors. I remember trying to jam it locked with crystals. Then the same spirit voice from the night before said 'Tiffany we told you last night, you are going to have to work very hard and help a lot of people before you get there."

On the third night Spirit told me I needed to get a Piscean Aura Spray for 2012! Do readers know what this could be? They provided the way to order it through mail order in Prediction Magazine. I am a Leo Taurus Ascendant Fire Snake and decided to do things my way so went to a shop in Islington to find the spray (even though I knew in my dream they wouldn't have it!) The lady in the shop asked me if I was pregnant - to which I answered" I hope not"! She then said "well never mind, even losing a baby can be fun if you look at it from the right perspective". I remember feeling shocked at this in the dream, particularly as my own daughter passed at 4 months. So what messages did I glean from these very strong dreams about humanity in 2012?

1) That it's not about changing the world but our perspective

2) That stress is a man-made perspective causing divide and separation

3) That humanities perspective is changing

4) To suspend all judgment!

So what I would like to see in this change for the world and not just the UK is that everyone is educated and can live a path of truth, can feel their own connection to Source, live their own purpose and do themselves and the world justice".

~ Do you have a special belief about 2012 and beyond?
"Well I never really did believe in the whole 2012 thing until last year, whenever I did meditations more messages like I was getting in my dreams would flood in. Messages mainly about how we are all born on this earth with a purpose- agreed by our soul and the universe. Yet a lot of us have got stuck in the rat race. We don't know what our gift or purposes are, and this is why we are seeing the system going through breakdown. It seems this disconnection from our own God given gift is no longer being supported and we need to really connect in with spirit and ask what it is that feels true and right for us to live out, trusting that we really are co-creators of our own lives and anything else is just illusion. I hope that we get to see a much more consciously aligned humanity and world, working on the win-win philosophy rather than the more for you is less for me principal. One where people feel free to live out their dreams, to feel inspired and passionate, rather than be fearful and stuck.
~What is your website and can our readers join you on Facebook?
My websites are:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632501080#!/pages/Initiation-Workshops/191567894189850
Meet Up: www.meetup.com/London-Initiation-Workshops-Mind-Body-Spirit-Meet-Up/

Twitter: initiation Tweet or Transcendentaltif

Readers can also meet me in person or book a consultation with me at Mysteries, 11-13 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden.

Tiffany Crosara, M.M.A.N.A.F, M.S.W.A
Tarot Consultant and Trainer
Reiki Practitioner and Teacher
Past Life Regression Therapist and Tutor
Tutor for The Academy of Tarot
Consultant and Teacher for Mysteries

Tiffany's book is now available to pre-order. Please contact her to order your copy now.