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Interview with the Author
On meeting Melinda Asztalos PhD, it is impossible not to see that this powerful woman is a force of nature and a fountain of wisdom. Her life has been marked by a staggering commitment to personal and spiritual growth and it shows in her deep understanding and compassion for the human condition. It is this depth of understanding that has produced the remarkable book ‘The Crack’ a much-needed book that presents the feminine approach to grasping the intricacies of being human and the indispensable yet heavily misinterpreted ego. Melinda is without doubt destined to compliment the likes of Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and Jon Kabat-Zinn in producing a remarkable and fresh perspective on the ego and on the true self, on how we can best understand them, and more importantly on how to experience them. She teaches us in a comprehensive method how we can diminish and eliminate ego-dominance, and how we can create space within ourselves, and within our lives. ‘The Crack’ is a manual to living as clear consciousness in human form, to relishing our human potential for conscious self-acceptance of all what we are, our shiny and our broken parts alike.
Melinda exudes a confident, calm and kind air, and as a breakthrough counsellor, she has transformed the lives of many. Born Hungarian, she lives in Flanders/Belgium since 2003. She always had a voracious interest in human movement, and she was fascinated by the secrets and the power of the body-mind connection. She explored her talents in different sports and became a dedicated yogi upon realising that the poses she naturally used as a child to bring her comfort were in fact very real and advanced yoga poses. Melinda has had the incredible privilege of following comprehensive courses, initiations and retreats, with the greatest Buddhist Lama’s including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On top of studying Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology and Kinesiology, next to a variety of other subjects throughout 12 years of university education, Melinda also completed her PhD where she researched the body-mind connection and developed the concept of mindful movement that became the foundation of her method of consciousness development “The 3M System”. In the scientific paper Asztalos et al. “Sport participation and stress among women and men” Psychology of Sport and Exercise (2012/13, 466-483), Melinda made her contribution to the massive challenge of bringing together Science and Spirituality as she introduced the concept of mindful movement in Science and made her first public attempt to locate the true self. Melinda is the living proof that “The 3M System” works, and in ‘The Crack’ she shows how anyone interested in spiritual and personal development can benefit from it. This book fills important gaps left open by other books and complements existing methods of consciousness development, fulfilling its purpose to help the great awakening of humankind.
Behind the spiritual teacher, Melinda is a prolific learner, reader and music lover. She loves soft jazz and is in awe of Leonard Cohen. Mentions of her life cannot be complete without highlighting her feline soulmate Kicsike with whom she takes a walk most every day in the nearby woods and fields to greet the sunset. “I am blessed with a little piece of Nature-paradise at a short walking distance form my home. My heart overflows with gratitude as I submerge in Nature’s embrace and I share the experience with Kicsike, who is the manifestation of the beauty and the abundance of Life. My soul cannot help but soar as I am freed from all complications of being human and I live the simplicity of being”.
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Interview with the Author
Sometimes in life you have to clear the decks and cast out all things before coming out the other side.
We have all experienced a moment of complete levelling like this in one way or another, but the majority of us have not experienced it in quite as dramatic a way as California resident Jenny Luangrath.
Jenny was born in the socialist communist ruled country of Laos, and at an early age was separated from her mother when the Government forced the freethinking parent to escape imprisonment and seek refuge in a neighbouring country.
Speaking about her mother, Jenny said: “She learned to be a survivor in her younger years and that paralleled my life, although I had to learn that at a much younger age than she was.
“And what that does is the universe gives you a way of thinking independently, and all that cleverness that you were gifted is used on thinking differently in order to survive.
“This came organically for her, and it was the same for me too, but my journey started when I was two years old.”
Cared for by relatives, the children were treated poorly, with the money being sent to care for them being squandered by adults. Jenny and her siblings were forced to be self-reliant and at times, rely on the grace of neighbours to get by.
Finally, word came that the children would be reunited with their mother who had set up a life for them in The USA, but they first had to endure a perilous journey, crossing a raging river under cover of darkness before reaching the boarder and their freedom.
Once in America Jenny felt like an outsider in the very different culture. But determined to succeed and she absorbed herself in her studies.
Jenny always felt different, and from a young age she was having supernatural and spiritual experiences, not yet making sense of the sightings and feelings, though she was never scared.
A prosperous career, properties and family life followed.
But following a series of personal events which saw it all come crashing down, the stage was set for a spiritual awakening which would change Jenny’s life forever.
“The universe knew what I was going to enter at that stage in my life so they had rearranged everything. Leading up to that my family and I had become estranged, I had lost my family and I had also lost the love of my life, the love of my life was the first to go, then my family and then my friends.
At the onset she says she felt ‘doomed’, ‘punished’ and ‘lost’. “I quit my job, and was in the process of selling off my properties.
“At that time I was working on life stabilities, acquiring properties and was always working. I was in survival mode.” She explained. It really wasn’t a gentle awakening for Jenny, it came like a big bang giving her little time at first to realise the gravity of what was happening to her.
Through this period and beyond her ego diminished and she encountered some remarkable events, putting her face to face with demons, spirits and other dimensions.
She said: “It was at the end of 2014, and after I was seeing a series of inter-dimensional beings, everything started happening really fast, at a lightening pace!
“I never took any classes to understand any of this, so it was challenging to understand what I was going through, but I understood that I was going through something spiritual.
“This was a huge moment and this work was the only thing that I had to focus on. I did not know I was having an awakening at that time, but the guardians, who I realised had been with me my entire life, showed up and advised that I go through this healing process because I had been so traumatised as a child.
“And for the first time at the end of this initial process, I felt self-love.”
Jenny came to understand in a unique and special way the very essence of God and consciousness and hopes that her experiences, told in her book The World Above Crescent Star will help others.
She said: “Because of my experiences I see things in the wider lens and the bigger picture. The challenging part is trying to hone that in and articulate that to someone who hasn’t had any of these life experiences or a conscious awakening.
“Some people have blind spots and can only see so far, and the book is about trying to articulate that there is a wider range.”
Nowadays Jenny’s spiritual experiences allow her to take an active role in helping others, and her insights are both inspirational and guiding for a lot of people.
Jenny has a popular Instagram account, and also shares thoughts and insights on her YouTube channel.
And speaking about the timing for her book and film project, in an age of polarised view- points, cut freedoms and pandemic thinking, Jenny added poignantly: “I do have faith in humanity, and I see people rising up and really standing up for truth and sovereignty. I know that at the end of all of this we will come out victorious. But we have a long way to go and it is process.
“This is a huge lesson for everyone in humanity and all of us, whether we know it or not, it is about respecting each other and uniting together this is something that we must all learn to get to the next step of our evolution.”
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Interview with the Author
What makes for the genesis of a creative?
Well, for Simon Welsh it was a terrifying two-year-long encounter (between the ages of 4 and 6) with a Miss Trunchbull-esque teacher; an encounter that caused doors into other worlds to open wide.
A journey that has led him into the darkness and the light in equal measures, Simon’s thirty-year writing career has been forged from his polarised experience of the plunges and exaltations of life. Amongst his accolades to date, the award-winning and socially on-point animated short film, The Ghastly Fowl, and his forthcoming Diary of a Fallen Angel series.
In his explorations of the world and himself, Simon has sat with spiritual masters, walked 1000 km across Spain, been ensnared by a cult, been arrested for singing, defended himself in court in poetry, fasted for 40 days and nights – and he’s even been a drug addict, exploring a promiscuous chemsex-fuelled lifestyle in central London.
Whoever said “Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future,” was on to something.
A typical conversation with Simon is characterised by intrigue. His conversation ranges from some of the raciest things you’ve ever heard, recollections of informal chats with the Universe, beautiful poems that touch the soul as he tells them to you and, occasionally, silence. And across this spectrum of experience, one can glimpse his deep and hard-won understanding of the human condition.
The ability to side-step the mundane or traumatic and move into dazzling imaginary worlds is a gift that most children lose while they are growing up. But Simon kept hold of his, at great cost, and has honed it as an aspect of his life-force ever since, radiating it in his excitement during a conversation: anyone meeting Simon gets the sense that anything could happen; a little unnerving at first, but ultimately wholesome and rewarding.
For Simon, the ability to maintain a perspective consistently touched by consistently ‘touched’ perspective, comes from trauma:
“As soon as trauma is inflicted, a survival mechanism spontaneously appears to protect the psyche from the imprint of the trauma… and if that survival mechanism is a door in your mind, leading you to other worlds where incredible things can happen, why wouldn’t you want to escape there as often as possible?
“Mrs. Drewitt was the worst. She would hit me with a ruler when I couldn’t remember the words correctly during reading practice and, as often as she felt like it, she would deny me toilet access till I peed my pants, at which she would hoick me to my little feet by the scruff of the collar with her chubby hook finger, and make the other children point at me and make noises of disgust before marching me across the playground to the nurse’s office. When the novel Matilda came out and my father read it to me, one gripping chapter at a time, I actually thought that Roald Dahl had been to our school and used Mrs. Drewitt as the inspiration for Miss Trunchbull.
“A great big troll of a woman; blue cardigan; duffel buttons; white t-shirt; shot-put arms. The lot. But back in the early 80’s this kind of behaviour from a teacher was seldom considered abuse.”
To cope with this barrage of daily anxiety, Simon used his imagination to escape to fantasy worlds inhabited by his favourite cartoon characters. Until he was six he even had a friend called William, who was so real that Simon would often insist an extra place be laid for him at meal times.
Simon’s parents would sometimes read him bedtime stories, after which he would press play on his tape recorder and drift off to sleep to the voices of Martin Jarvis, Roald Dahl, Ian Holm and others. The repetition of these stories and poems meant that by the time Simon was seven he could recite the whole of the first chapter of Stig of the Dump verbatim, as well as most of the lines from his favourite Mickey Mouse cartoons, all the adverts from television and most of the lines from The Wizard of Oz.
And in the light of these fantastical teaching materials, Simon always felt that magic and miracles were just out his field of vision. Indeed, when the words ‘hands together, eyes closed’ were sombrely announced in assembly, Simon was convinced that if everyone in the room were to shut their eyes at the same time God would appear, made of clouds and smiling. Of course, every time he tried to take a peek, God would instantly vanish, thus proving Simon’s theory to be correct.
Aside from trauma, Simon’s family surroundings served as a positive base to build on this creativity. His father was an English teacher at Eton College and the family lived in an early nineteenth-century terraced town house in Eton High Street: an old-world mixture of town and school, shops, photography studios, greengrocers, butchers, jewellers, pubs, antique shops and a bakery.
Swathes of ancient architecture, starched collars, bow-ties, tailcoats, churchyards and chapels have an enormous baseline influence on the life of a child growing up in such surroundings.
For the first half of his secondary education Simon attended a boarding school famed for its military and rugby prowess, a place where he was an outsider. “Being overly friendly, over-sensitive, overweight and kind of camp in an institution like that”, Simon recalls, “leads to your being one of the social ‘lepers’ of your year group. Well, at least in the early 90’s.”
When Simon continued his education at a Sixth Form college, he finally found himself amongst souls who hailed difference as a teacher, not a threat, and who found quirkiness appealing. His parents were naturally worried about their posh, camp, tubby son’s survival odds in the jungle of early adulthood, and so was he. But his fears and theirs were alleviated when, on the very first Saturday night after Simon had enrolled, eight enthusiastic new friends turned up at the front door asking if Simon could come to the pub.
It was the beginning of a new life. In Simon’s words, “a quantum shift into a whole new timeline.”
“The irony,” Simon reflects, “is that all the attributes that had caused me so much shame and reason to hide myself at boarding school… suddenly became inspiring attributes and I had tons of friends.
These experiences make up the foundation that has stood Simon in such good stead for a creative life: with all his childlike ‘what if?’ wonder intact, Simon has jumped, feet first, into a variety of projects, shows and performances. His twenty-year writing career includes copy for shows, events, talks, high-end architectural catalogues, a stage play, a soundscaped radio monologue and, most recently, an award-winning short film. He also accepts commissions for poetic portraits that capture the essence of your feelings for a loved one, through his unique poetic style.
Simon also runs a tantra-based coaching service helping people to seek empowerment through sensual touch (for massage clients) and through directed dialogues (for conversational coaching clients).
“I think I often have an altered perspective because, whatever I’m experiencing, I’m so often in wonder. And it never gets old. I’m grateful for all of it; every scrap of it.”
A mentor once told Simon: ‘You will get there either through inspiration or desperation. And I don’t care which!’ At the time Simon thought this heartless, but once he actually got there himself he realised what his mentor had meant.
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Interview with the Author
Dr Chris Blazina and Anna Webb are both experts in their field, and their research and knowledge of all things dog combine as a unique and enlightening force to be reckoned with.
The pair met when Dr Chris appeared on Anna’s highly regarded A Dog’s Life Podcast, which every week tackles a different hot topic in the canine world.
Dr Chris, who has written a book on the subject, shared with listeners the results of 15 years of research into the bond that men have with their dogs, and the story that made international news, that the majority of men actually love their dogs more than their closest family members!
A bond was formed, and the pair are now teaming up to work on TV series and book project Humans Are From Hell, But Dogs Are Heaven, which is currently in development.
Dr Chris Blazina has worked as a professor, researcher, writer, and psychologist.
His career in psychology focussed on men and masculinity, and how men are taught to be a man in current day society with less than beneficial effects in terms of learning to make and sustain important emotional bonds with friends, partners, and family member.
But his journey took a significant turn when his dog Kelsey passed away.
He said: “She was my best friend and portable family through graduate school and the early part of my career. It involved 14 years of making a bond that did in fact change my life.”
After his profound experience of grief at losing Kelsey, Dr Chris turned his research to the study of how humans interact with their dogs.
This enlightening research has been the subject of a book, and numerous internationally received articles in the popular press and within his profession.
He said: “When I started grieving the loss of my old friend part of that process was to understand why Kelsey was so important in my life.
“I revisited all the old psychological theories (and newer ones too) about how people handled grief. However, there was only a little bit available about how people deal with the loss of an animal companion—an animal or pet that is like a friend or family member.
“One of the realisations was grief involving people was a lot like grief with an animal companion.
“We build an attachment, we deal with loss, and we try to preserve some parts of our bond. The later part is sometimes referred to as a continuing bond.
“It is a new way to remember and connect with someone that has been lost. In my case the work I do involving animal companions is one key way of connecting to the important animal companions in my life past and present. They are my motivation and inspiration.”
He added: “My own story in conjunction with the male psychotherapy clients that I worked with left a very distinct impression.
“Male clients often showed a different side of themselves when discussing their pets. Even males that were usually emotionally constricted in everyday life with friends, family, and partners showed a tenderness when discussing their dogs.
“Some choked up and others openly shed tears saying they had not even cried like this when a parent died. I realised my story was not unique. Animal companions seemingly broke through much of the male socialised barriers that others could not. It was a special bond that needed more exploration and understanding.”
Dog guru Anna Webb believes all animals, especially dogs make us human, she thrives on teaching people how to make their dogs happy which in turn makes their owners happier.
Growing up Anna’s father was the secretary of the Shropshire branch of the RSPCA, this instilled in her a love of animals, not least by learning about animal cruelty and neglect cases at an early age, which taught her to like animals more than people.
Anna is the co-host of BBC Radio London’s Barking Hour, and in 2020 launched the A Dog’s Life podcast, which has been nominated for a national award.
Anna co-authored the ’sell out’ book Barking Blondes which was published by Octopus.
She is the go-to expert on all things dog for many news outlets and has a regular column in MyWeekly magazine in which she is not afraid to speak her mind on dog welfare issues.
Anna is well-known for appearing as the resident dog expert in a weekly slot on the long-running Alan Titchmarsh Show.
Anna, who has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT), is not afraid to tackle controversial topics, and recently spoke out when Formula One Champion Lewis Hamilton announced that he would be feeding his dog a vegan diet.
She said: “You would never give a rabbit a steak, and it’s the same thing. Dogs and cats are carnivores and by feeding them diets which don’t contain meat, instead of being ethical you are actually being very unethical, and putting your pets at risk.
“All of these products are very processed, and just like humans are being encouraged to eat these things by big brands so are our pets. But that doesn’t mean it is good for them.
“Diabetes in dogs is at record levels and that is because most ‘complete’ pet food is 50 to 70 per cent grains, which dogs do not need. These foods are bulked out with things like rice, barley and beet pulp, and beet pulp contains sugars, which is bad for their teeth and causes diabetes.”
As well as Dr Chris’ appearance, topics on A Dog’s Life are varied and no holds barred.
They range from ‘The Palm Dog’ award which is handed to the best dog actor at Cannes, how the landmark Charity, Medical Detection Dogs train dogs to ’ sniff out’ disease, including Covid 19, Katrina of Katrina and The Waves to in depth interviews with Dr Rupert Sheldrake (canine telepathy) and with her ‘house Vet’ Lise Hansen the homeopathic vet.
Anna added: “On A Dog’s Life we are not afraid to shy away from the subversive, but we have fun too. It’s a winning combination and now that more people have dogs than ever before, now is the time to reach an even wider audience too.
“I am loving working on this project with Dr Chris, it’s works as he focuses on the people and I focus on the dogs – just as I like it to be!”
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Interview with the Author
Mary Bishop has made a life out of providing comfort to others and her absolute conviction that there is life after death comes from a number of profound experiences of her own.
Brought up in a Christian family in the South East of England, Mary attended church but always found that the strict doctrine and sense of ‘fear’ attached to organised religion was counter intuitive.
So, as a very spiritual person and with a sense of ‘something more’ she eventually decided to pursue other paths.
Mary said: “I was brought up in the Christian faith, my Mum was in the Salvation Army and we would go to Sunday School, but I remember at five years-old, the Sunday School teacher telling me about Jesus being crucified with nails through his hands and feet and that didn’t go down well with me as I didn’t understand why.
I felt the church teachings were lacking, there was no warmth there, there was nothing that resonated with me.
Then, from the age of six when I used to close my eyes when I was in bed, I would see this huge tidal wave and it used to terrify me as I didn’t know what it was all about.
We did go to the seaside but I had never seen a tidal wave on the TV or in any books. Years later, I realised that this was one of my reincarnation experiences where I had been paralysed with fear on the beach as a cyclone brought in this tidal wave drowning me. I still get a catch in my throat now when I see huge waves on screen.”
Mary left school, and started working in a solicitor’s office, and it is there that she would make a friend who would share her spiritual journey, and introduce her to a profound life path.
Mary said: “I was in my thirties when a friend of mine introduced me to the Tarot, and from there I developed clairvoyance, which is inner seeing and I also developed mediumship.
My mediumship started when I was working at a festival and had been working all weekend with loud music going on a little distance away. I was so tired by then that I couldn’t actually read the Tarot cards, and I had all these people queuing to have a reading!
But then suddenly people from the spiritual realm started appearing in my inner vision and when one girl sat down and said ‘my friend died in a car accident’ and I asked ‘was her name Susan?’ she just gasped as it was correct!
A guy turned up and I kept seeing gymnastics parallel bars, and I kept saying to him ‘I see these 2 parallel bars’. When he said ‘my identical twin died at birth’ it made sense that the message given was actually about 2 identical people. So sometimes, actual events are shown to me or I see symbols like the bars which I have to try and interpret.”
Mary’s work in mediumship continued from that day, and during the 1990s ,she worked at the London Mind Body and Spirit exhibitions alongside well-known author and psychic , Sasha Fenton.
In 2001, she moved to Auckland, New Zealand and taught her own Tarot and Intuitive courses as well as teaching Tarot at college evening classes. Her work in the country was well-received and she was a regular newspaper columnist in Auckland.
In 2016, she released ‘Alchemy of the Soul – Learning to Dance With Your Own Divinity’, a heartfelt memoir which tracks her journey learning spirituality through some of her life’s toughest moments.
The book is far from simply a memoir though, and includes Mary’s own Soul Growth Meditations, available on YouTube, which can help others with healing, forgiveness and cosmic ordering.
Mary’s second book, ‘What am I Doing Here? A Journey Through Gaia’, is a fictional story which serves as an introduction to the major Tarot cards.
As her journey continued, Mary would finally find the answer to her childhood tidal wave visions years later, when she began experimenting with Past Life Regression Therapy.
The subject of Karma and Reincarnation, forms the basis of ‘What Goes Around Comes Around, A story of karma and reincarnation from Versailles to Brighton’, Mary’s latest book, as she felt this was a subject that she had not yet covered and wanted to share with her readers.
Mary said: “The friend who introduced me to Tarot, who I have known since I was in my 20s, trained as a regressionist therapist and practiced on me!
During these regressions, I discovered that whatever gender I am, doesn’t make any difference because ultimately you are your soul. Whatever is presented to you is how you react to it and in a lot of my regressions , I have realised that from all my obstacles and difficulties, I can learn and grow at soul level.
I have had some very interesting ones, and what has been so lovely is that I have had these regressions and then looked up on the internet and verified the facts I had seen in them!
I was in Holland in one regression and I was told that there was a war coming. I saw the people, how they dressed and saw the soldiers in uniform and I heard the date of 1640.
So I looked it up online and discovered that in 1640 there was a war near Holland and the soldiers were wearing the same uniforms I had seen.
In my very first regression, my husband died in an accident with a threshing machine. I’d never heard of a threshing machine but apparently they do exist! In that regression, I was just a very simple-minded girl who had been left at the doors of a monastery as an unwanted baby.
I felt this was authentic because if you were making it up you wouldn’t choose to be a simple-minded girl!
When you regress, the life that you see is usually relevant to your current life, so it’s all about learning self-awareness and growing.”
Since returning to the UK in 2005, Mary has continued to give readings and has also practiced in the United States. She also participates in a local psychic group, experiencing dramatic events while clearing ghosts from people’s houses.
And speaking about why she chose to write all of her experiences down in her books, as in her career, Mary’s heart is in an altruistic place: “I realised one day that when I die no one would know about it, so I decided to put it in my books.
If one day someone picks up one of my books they might get help from it, and they can see that I have lived through that situation that they are living through and I’ve come through the other side.”
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Interview with the Author
Meeting the good witch of New Orleans Kalila Smith, and her transatlantic teammate Billy Roberts is a profound experience.
Their combined lifelong knowledge of all things spiritual is a force to be reckoned with, and though they grew up thousands of miles away from each other, there are parallels to their journeys which have led to their formidable work together.
The pair met each other in 2003 when Billy travelled to New Orleans to take part in psychic investigations. The pair immediately hit it off, and formed a formidable duo, collaborating on a number of projects and investigations, including the Afterlife Mysteries podcast, theatre shows, investigations and their forthcoming book.
Kalila said: “The chemistry with us working together was always spot on, really just feeding off one another, it’s amazing and a wonderful experience.”
Billy added: “We brought Kalila to the UK as well, around two years after we first met and we worked together in theatres and she did some demonstrations and workshops and it’s been a really good relationship.
“To be honest our relationship has grown, I feel personally that I have known her for a lot longer, and so does my wife Dolly. We expect to wake up one morning and find Kalila at the other end of the bed!”
Kalila Smith is a generational witch and healer, taking her skills and learnings from a number of traditional religions including Voodoo, which she practised for 20 years.
Coming from a 300-year-old line of New Orleanians with a mixture of heritage ranging from African to European, Kalila was exposed to spiritual practices from a young age which would take generations from a layperson to master.
She said: “I was in the voodoo religion for over 20 years and initiated as a princess.
“Prior to that I was preparing to initiate into a local witchcraft coven, right before the initiation I very serendipitously I had an encounter with the curator of New Orleans Voodoo who invited me to a dancing ritual with a snake, I went out there and I was gone, with all the drums and the snake and all the revelry, I was so enamoured with it that I stayed with it for 20 years.”
She added: “All of these religions they talk to the dead all day long like we speak to each other, my mediumship background came through all these African religions and then I got into spiritualism.”
A very similar, albeit more English, path was followed by Billy, who grew up in the Wiccan tradition, before being promptly sent to a child psychologist when he produced a scarily accurate reading for a teacher at school.
He said: “My mother was a medium and I lived in a place called Wavertree in Liverpool, and she was known as ‘The Witch of Wavertree’, I didn’t realise it then, I just thought everybody was the same.
“She used to make these concoctions and people used to consult her for readings, she would give herbal medicines and all even weave spells, she didn’t realise just how powerful she was.
“My grandmother was German, my dad is Jewish so we had a mixture in the family and I grew up thinking all families were the same.
“I had a very sickly childhood and spent 18 weeks of every year in hospital so I think that precipitated it, seeing dead people was commonplace to me.
“I was even sent to what is called a ‘special school’ for frail and fragile children. What this sheltered environment did was give me time to look at what I do.
“The first message I gave was to a teacher in school, and I’d seen two identical children with him, I told him and he went ashen and walked away.
“Later on the school nurse came to see my mother and apparently he had been a car crash and he had twin children and they were killed.
“So aged nine they sent me to child psychologist and I was with him for about two hours, and at the end of the consultation she concluded that I was just a sensitive little boy, creative with a vivid imagination. She told my mother I would grow out of it, and look at me now!”
In his early adult life Billy railed against his spiritual childhood, becoming a session musician, and going to live in Paris.
During the 1960s he played in bands supporting the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Rolling Stones.
But he couldn’t escape for long, and eventually realised that mediumship was his life path.
In 1980 Billy became a professional medium and founded one the UK’s first centres for psychic and spiritual studies called The Thought Workshop, we used to have complementary practitioners and a lot of Buddhist monks used to come there too.
“All this precipitated my knowledge of psychology because I wanted to know what was going on inside my brain. So I studied psychology and released that not everyone is the same, and the mediumistic skills are not normal.”
Likewise for Kalila, who turned her back on her practices for years when she had children, finally doing what she was always meant to do has come with added gravity the second time around.
She said: “My father would say things about reincarnation and would hint at things but they never said anything, it was something that people didn’t speak about.
“His mother who was Cajun who would participate in divination and healing, died three months before I was born, and my father had this strange thought that when she died she was reborn as me, he used to tell me ‘you are your grandmother’, he said ‘you look like her, you act like her and you think like her’.
“I don’t think I am reincarnated from my grandmother, because knowing what I know about the other side you don’t reincarnate that quickly.
“However, I do feel that even though I did not know her in my lifetime I feel very connected to her. And I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing now.”
At this stage in both of their lives Billy and Kalila’s knowledge is vast, and combined they present a real force for good.
Kalia has an extensive knowledge of magic spells and traditions, with a specialism in areas such as reversal spells, good luck spells and potions.
Billy’s specialisms revolve around ritualistic meditation, the healing touch and application and spells to improve your self-esteem.
“Our podcast Afterlife Mysteries is now going into season three, we do it together once a week over Zoom and we talk about issues relating to the other side.
“This could be about mediumship development, what is like on the other side, we are talking now about bringing in guests too.
“Whether people are mediums in training, whether they are just sitters or maybe just curious, everyone has an interest in the afterlife because we are all going to be there sooner our later!” Ends Kalila.
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Interview with the Author
The stillness of a silent retreat as a young man set businessman, teacher, author and philosopher Paul Palmarozza on a remarkable journey of discovery, a journey which has uncovered useful knowledge which could change how we all live our lives going forward.
Paul was brought up in New Jersey, where he had what he describes as a ‘good Christian upbringing’. “I remember I used to go to Catholic Sunday school and we had a teacher, a nun, and one Sunday I said: “Sister, next Sunday after class there is a Cub Scout Jamboree (I was in the Cub Scouts) and it’s going to be held at the Methodist Church. She said ‘You can’t go’.” Paul was confused as it was a Scout’s meeting, not a religious service. Paul went anyway and found the Methodists were not trying to convert him.
The experience of the rigidity of faith structures in the West became a subject of concern as he grew up. It did not undermine his spiritual belief in Christianity, but made him more conscious about the rules and regulations governing religious organisations. This well-accepted view by western religions that ‘I am right’ and ‘You are wrong’ has manifested in a huge number of Christian sects globally. It became part of his great study on cultural cycles, which if its findings are accepted, can help change the way that we view our world and our cultures.
Paul’s parents were first generation Italian Americans and their families had to work hard. Times changes and when Paul’s sister and he grew up in the 1950s, it came at a time when things were open for the taking, there was social and economic mobility, and the world was moving in a progressive, upward direction, or so it appeared.
He said: “I remember sitting with my sister on the bus when I was about 13 and she was 11. I said ‘Linda, isn’t it great that we are in a place where anything is possible, in America anything is possible.” That was the atmosphere of that time, but it also created a very competitive environment. Even early on you had to win; good grades at school, beat others in sports, have lots of friends. Losers were less.
Paul attended a Catholic High School, Seton Hall Prep, a well-established school that was founded in 1856. He said: “ I received a balanced education; good intellectual studies, good sports, some religious studies and many friends. We would go mass every Wednesday which was good as it came at a crucial time in my life-the teenage years. I am still in contact with many of my fellow students, 60 years later.”
And around this time of great development for Paul, his uncle asked him if he would like to attend a silent retreat, something which had a profound effect on the young man. “It was a weekend retreat and I thought that I would do him a favour by going. It was at a Jesuit monastery where 100 American men remained silent for a weekend, not an easy task. I connected with the silence and there was such clarity of mind and inner peace that I went with my uncle every year while I was still living in the States.”
Paul loved mathematics and numbers and was told by his teachers that he should be an engineer. So he went to study for a degree in the subject at one of the top Engineering Colleges in the US, NJIT, with classes 7 hours per day and 2-3 hours of homework each evening. A good discipline was established which proved very beneficial going forward.
“This engineering degree turned out to be like gold in the 1960s and upon graduation our class each averaged about eight or nine job offers. I took a job with a small computer firm in the Midwest of the United States. My father, who had never been more than 100 miles from where he was born in Newark, just couldn’t understand that! “
“I had job offers from General Electric, IBM and other big companies, but something in me, an intuition, guided my decision. I was employee number 2655 and when I left 16 years later there were 40-50,000 employees. I learned to trust the quiet inner voice which has helped guide other important decisions in my life.”
Paul wanted to work with people so went into the sales and marketing side of the business. He realised that his technical education put him in a good position for success. He was assigned to work in Philadelphia as a sales representative by the time he was 25 he was managing a regional office of the business.
All was well, but during a reflective moment at one of the silent retreats he would plot out a different life path. He said: “The words just arose in the mind– you will live in Europe by the time you are thirty”. He continued working and attended evening classes to earn an MBA degree at Drexel University. The company expanded and established a European Headquarters in Brussels. In 1972 he asked to work in Europe and was offered a job in Brussels. That happened 3 months before his 30th birthday.
Within a month of arriving in Brussels Paul started attending a School of Philosophy, one of many branches of the School of Philosophy & Economic Science which was founded in 1937 in London. “I found a teaching all about the practical application of philosophy i.e. living the principles and not just an intellectual presentation of ideas. Most importantly, the teaching provided was a beautiful mix of Western and Eastern philosophy. That work became a life-changer.”
Paul also began teaching the courses at the school and has continued in that teaching role for 46 years, roughly the same amount of time that he has been meditating, which was offered as part of the school’s curriculum. This role as a teacher fulfilled a lifelong desire. Paul remembered that when he was young, people used to ask me what he wanted to be when he grew up. His repeated answer was ”I want to be a teacher.” He did not have a game plan, but it did work out that way.
During the time of work in Brussels in the 1970s a vision arose regarding the application of computers in education and training. This led to a shift in his business focus to that of training and in the 1980s when he moved to London he started a new e-learning business which grew and in 2001 became a publicly listed company on the London AIM Stock Exchange. This business activity continued in parallel with philosophic study and teaching and helping to raise a family of two lively daughters. He retired from full-time employment is 2011 and turned his attention elsewhere.
One important area which engaged him was writing books on Silence and values in business and in life. The 4 main titles are Principles to Profits, co-authored with Chris Rees, In Praise of Silence, If I Can… Timeless Values for Today and Ethical Entrepreneur.
He said: “I have experienced the benefits of practical philosophy and meditation not only in myself, but also in fellow students and those people that I have taught. It is the positive personal experience that has been my real motive for wanting to help others learn.”
Paul’s study on cultural cycles is an exemplary work, and draws from Paul’s own experience, including historical and astrological studies which has resulted in a clear perspective on what is going on right now in world history and most importantly a good way forward.
Paul and his team of researchers have studied in addition to Western culture, the Indian, Chinese and Arabic cultures and observed how a unique planetary alignment has set out a time frame which coincides with the periodic growth and decline of these cultures over the last 2500 years.
Paul said: “People in all of these cultures get to a stage where there is excessive focus on the material realm of life, where wealth, power, fame and pleasure become the predominant values and not such values as love, truth, justice and freedom which are the natural human values. At such times the spiritual realm of life and the importance of the family are ignored, as is care for nature. This inevitably results in increasing stress, tension and unhappiness which is clearly present now in our Western culture. In response there is growing interest in practices such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, which have come from the East initially, but there is also a rediscovery within the Western tradition of similar practices.”
Paul’s research and findings could all sound very bleak, but crucially the book provides a nine step action plan to help effectively deal with the challenges. “The way forward is characterised by three stages. The first stage is that we must acknowledge that we are having a problem. Right now many people think this is greatest most advanced culture ever, we are on a straight line upwards as technology is growing and getting more sophisticated. We convince ourselves that everything is fine, but that is what also happened in Europe at the end of the Roman Empire. We do need to be open and learn lessons from the past, which is one of the main roles of historical study.”
“ The West today is part of a global entity and as such we are much more connected with other cultures. When the West was in its downward inner cycle from the 4rd to the 13th century, we didn’t realise what was happening in places like China, where hundreds of years before the West they had invented the compass, gunpowder, and the printing press, the advanced technology of the day. We didn’t get there until the movement into our upward cycle in the 14th century. At this time there is growing energy and power in the other three cultures who have shown historically that they can be world leaders in many realms of life.”
“ For the second stage what we need is more quiet time. We need to quiet this continually moving mind, this mind that is focussed on the material realm and that is where mindfulness, meditation, reflection and silence need to be practiced more. It doesn’t mean we need to go into monasteries, but we need to establish these practices as an integral part of our daily life. The gift that contemplative practices bring is greater awareness, the mental space to calm our emotional state so that we can make good, balanced decisions.”
Paul’s view of the next stage is, “As a tool for actual social change, the third stage, we need to live the natural values and serve the real needs of ourself, family, community and society. A good example of a need that must be served is Climate Change.”
To help support this stage, Paul has founded a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, If I can…, and then designed and developed a series of online values apps to communicate to people globally the important message about these values. A daily online email focusses on a different value every week offering values-based guidance on how we think, how we relate to others and how we act. There is one series for everyday life and another specialising in values for the business world where corruption and greed have become all too common. He is also communicating the message of values in business as a Guest Lecturer at Regents University, London.
All is not lost, and it is clear that Paul has some hope for the future, particularly in the younger generation who he sees as being more open and ready to enact social change. They have seen the results of excess, they have seen that money is not going to bring happiness and that all is not well.
“When I was in the final stages of writing this book, I read, Plato Tackles Climate Change and began to appreciate more fully the catastrophic implications if we continue to abuse nature. The younger people are much more willing to acknowledge this and to start doing something to change the situation. Help is needed to focus this young energy in the right direction. The right direction is service of important needs without personal claims.2
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Interview with the Author
Ambika Wauters is a world-famous homeopath, educator, artist, author, healer and product developer.
She grew up in southern California, studied history at UCLA, (B.A class of 1966) and moved to the UK in 1969 to study for Masters in Fine Arts from the Royal College of Art.
Ambika achieved this goal, but during her time in London she became aware of her healing gifts, knowledge which would change her life path forever.
She said: “I had my realisation when I was at art school at the Royal College of Art in London.
“I was studying ceramics and glass and had some very inspiring teachers who worked in the field of metaphysics and taught all these things that just started to work in me, and then I went to a healing service with some friends and somebody said to me ‘you’re a healer’ and I didn’t even know what the word meant. I said ‘what does that mean?’ And they said ‘you’ll find out’…
“After that service, I came back to my flat in central London and just cried and cried because I wanted to be an artist, I didn’t really want to be a healer!
“I didn’t really fully understand what is involved or what it meant, but it was true that this path began to open up for me, and it was much more of service than art.
“Then I was invited to go to Spain to do arts and crafts at a centre that was opening up in humanistic psychology. And it was a wonderful invitation and it gave me the gift of being able to participate in the groups and the workshops, and it just started to open up a lot of different realms for me that had to do with healing and that was the beginning.”
As well as her time in London in the 1970s, Ambika returned to the UK in the nineties to North Yorkshire to study for a Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine from the Society of Homeopaths.
Her life of healing and service has taken her all over the world, and before returning to the US she lived abroad for nearly thirty years, spending 20 years in Spain and seven years in Zaire Africa.
Speaking about her travels, and how she likes to live her life now, Ambika said: “I lived in Spain for 20 years and I love Spain, I lived in the hills near Ronda and had a little farm and I miss that simplicity. I try to make my life as simple as it was then.
“When you’ve had a taste of simplicity, it’s an incredibly seductive way to live your life.
“In the complex western world people are very tied in knots with the intensity of life, so where I live is very quiet, very remote, very laid back and I like that.”
She added: “Some of my travels were for work, others to learn or teach, all of it designed to satisfy my restless spirit.
“I found the world to be beautiful and interesting. It left an indelible mark on me, teaching me that love unifies people and healing is a universal truth.
“We all have the innate ability to experience the sacred because it exists within us.
In 1998 Ambika returned to America and in 2001 she created the Institute of Life Energy Medicine.
The Institute provided an educational base to her work, and she began to teach classes on the Human Energy System, offering training in homoeopathy and the chakras.
While continuing to write about energy, homoeopathy and healing, Ambika also developed homoeopathic products that work on vitality and regeneration and support people through trauma, pain, separation and loss.
And since that original realisation, Ambika has clocked up fifty years of spreading her healing gift, and journey which has taken her to the most unlikely of places.
In the UK she taught homoeopathy at Cranfield School of Business Management to business people suffering from the stress of long haul travel.
Speaking about this time, she said: “Cranfield turns out high level senior managers and business people, but these people were exhausted. This was before the internet really took off. I was a homoeopath and I had treated somebody who was very delighted with her outcome and she brought me into Cranfield because I had solutions for these long-haul flights that these guys would take from London to Sydney, and they’d be there for four hours and then turnaround and get on the plane and come right back – that’s exhausting.
“I made these kits that would help them sleep, help them poop, help them with their digestion and headaches and jet lag, and I would give a short lecture on homoeopathy.”
Ambika also brought homoeopathy into Visa International, Piatkus Publishing and the John Lewis Partnership which operates over 35 businesses.
She also ran two healing seminars at their castle on Brownsea Island in the UK.
In 2005 Ambika started The School of Spiritual Homeopathy in Chicago and later a site in Tucson.
She said: “The school ran for five years before I became CEO of the Institute of Life Energy Medicine School of Healing, which is now a completely virtual school, allowing people around the globe to partake of classes, purchase products and benefit from consultations and programs on line.
“I still contribute to both national and international homoeopathic journals sharing my developments in energy medicine and healing.”
Ambika has written more than 20 books, including The Homeopathy Bible, works on the Chakras and a series of Oracles.
And she says that if she had to pick a favourite, it would be her most recent work.
Ambika said: “I love the Oracle The Angels of Light which was published last year. I love it because not only did I get to write it, I got to do the illustrations, and that’s something that has been developing over the past four or five years. Just the desire to paint, and the desire to write about them. So I would call that my absolute favourite.
“I’ve got about four more Oracles with paintings in the pipeline, to be able to paint and write and express my higher truth, all together in one thing. I just love it.”
Speaking about the books that she herself finds inspirational Ambika added: “I like to read a good story, I love a good story!
“Somerset Maugham, I just read short stories by Doris Lessing who won the Nobel Prize in the 80s, what an incredible writer! “I go to goodwill, I go to thrift stores to pick up books that I think I would like to read. I love reading and my whole life I have been a reader. But I do also love a good murder mystery on the telly!
“I’ve been watching them for about two and a half years, that has taken me in. I thought ‘what is it that I like about this?’ And it’s that people solve problems in a non-rational way and that’s basically what I do as a homoeopath.”
It’s fair to say that Ambika Wauters has forged her own strong path in life, and that path has been one which has inspired and benefited others. Ambika herself was also keen to share the sources of her own inspiration, and speak about the people in her life which give her soul strength: “I had a teacher in India named Pappa G who was incredibly inspirational and loving. I went to India twice to see him.
“I’m also inspired by my friends who have been incredibly supportive when life was tough and I needed a friend who saw me through.”
She added: “And Susan Mears, Susan has been incredibly inspirational in my life, I have known her for almost 30 years, I was the first one on her books, 01!
“And she’s like a sister, she is a very dear, dear friend and she has inspired me.
“I get inspired pretty easily. Sometimes a child can tell you something, a client can tell you something.
“I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I do like to listen, and then somehow something clicks in me, and I think ‘I’m going to write about that’.”
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Interview with the Author
To put it lightly, Stewart Pearce has had a formidable career as the go-to voice coach for the great and the good, and his pedigree and reputation precede him wherever he goes.
Known around the world as the ‘man who gave Thatcher her voice’ Stewart is as comfortable working with Hollywood stars as he is attending to contemporary Corporate Managers who are experiencing levels of hyper-stress affecting their performance, or workshopping offenders in HM Prisons.
Stewart’s work has inspired change for over four decades and during key moments of history, he can be found standing in the wings, helping thought-leaders and change-makers to achieve a more authentic presence in order to fully achieve their potential broadcast to the world.
None benefited more from Stewart’s work than Diana, Princess of Wales, who he worked with during the last two years of her life, and at a time when she was evolving to establish herself as a strong, solitary feminine presence on the international stage as a Peace Ambassadress
Diana, of course, achieved just that, and in his book ‘Diana The Voice Of Change’, Stewart examines the Princesses’ legacy, the changes she forged and how readers can use the same techniques that Stewart and Diana put together, to become change-makers themselves.
Stewart was born in London UK and having trained as an Actor Teacher worked in Repertory Theatre as an Actor during the 1970’s.
Then in 1980, his practice as a Voice Coach began teaching under the auspices of Cicely Berry at the ‘Guildhall School of Music & Drama’ for Patsy Rodenburg. It was through Cicely that Stewart began working with Mrs Thatcher.
At that time the Conservative Party was working to transform its image and had hired publicists Saatchi and Saatchi to rid the party of its stuffy upper-class reputation.
Mrs Thatcher had become the leader of the party, and key Conservative figures wanted to make the most of this progressive step by hiring Stewart to help Mrs Thatcher make the most of her voice through the opportunity of becoming the UK’s first female Prime Minister.
Years later Stewart’s work with Mrs Thatcher would be documented in the Hollywood film ‘The Iron Lady’ starring Meryl Streep.
Stewart said: “Cicely said: ‘and there’s this woman I want you to work with, I don’t want to work with her being a Socialist, and she’s just taken over as leader of the Conservative Party.” So that was my entre to working with Margaret Thatcher!
“Two weeks later there I was walking into Downing Street, and Margaret was so kind, and I saw immense charity in her regard of other members of her staff.”
“I once saw her look after a member of staff who had become unwell, and Margaret was simply amazing. Not the Iron Lady that everyone makes her out to be. She wore that breastplate for the country, but personally, she was very easy to work with and immensely appreciative at that moment in the country’s history. I remember Margaret saying: ‘Just tell me what I need to do!”
Stewart was also the Head of Voice at the prestigious ‘Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art’ from 1981-1997.
Then during the miner’s strike, Stewart was contacted by Anthony Wedgewood (Tony) Benn, the newly minted MP for Chesterfield. Mr Benn has been born into nobility but had battled to renounce his title being an ardent Socialist desiring to sit in the House of Commons, and not in the Lords.
Being a committed socialist Tony was staunchly in support of the National Union of Miners leader Arthur Scargill and the strikes taking place at that time. Yet Tony was fully aware of his privileged background and wanted to be seen as a man of the people, opening to his constituents in an amazingly honest fashion.
Stewart once travelled with Mr Benn to a rally in his constituency at the height of the miner’s strike and reported: “Over the years I have developed a series of key skills where we take the informal into the formal, the ordinary into the hyperbolic, to always encompass grounded-ness and earthiness – today we call this authenticity!”
“I remember going to a rally where Tony needed to speak and yet the Miners wouldn’t let him speak as they were so angry. Tony was a fine speaker and an honourable man and so the protest wasn’t to do with the fact that he was simply a ‘fat cat’. I remember him coming off stage looking as white as a sheet and saying ‘ What do I do? What do I do?’ and I retorted ‘well you haven’t actually asked them what they are concerned about, what they are angry about, why don’t you ask them to talk to you?’
“So Tony went back on stage and through the mike said ‘Please forgive me, I recognise that I have just been talking at you, and I need to be speaking with you, please tell me, what is it that you are so angry about?’
“Spontaneously men in the crowd started putting their hands up and speaking. In a sense Tony allowed them to express their outrage and so they felt seen and honoured….. they felt appreciated. In the Nineties Stewart’s work with Mr Benn led to him being recommended to work with Mo Mowlem, the formidable, but newly-appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as she set out on a path of brokering deals with the IRA and Sinn Fein which led to ‘The Good Friday Agreement’.
Stewart said: “Mo was fearless and vastly intelligent, but her voice was weak and I was brought in to strengthen her voice, which we did. In fact, I visited her once or twice in Northern Ireland and helped Mo with major speeches. What was great about Mo was that she would never lose her cool, sitting at a debating table with members of Sinn Fein or IRA, those tough guys became her boys. Mo was amazing and cast the mantle of peace everywhere.”
Alongside these historical appointments Stewart worked extensively throughout the theatre industry, at the ‘Actors Centre’ in the West End of London, and as a coach with many major companies in the West End or for the Arts Council ‘Actors Touring Company’.
Then, from 1997-2010 Stewart became the Master of Voice at ‘Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’ for Mark Rylance, the first Artistic Director of the newly reconstructed Theatre.
Stewart said: “Mark Rylance was initially a client introduced to me by Richard Olivier, Lawrence Olivier’s son. Then in 1996 Mark was appointed the first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, through the legacy of Sam Wanamaker who had initially pioneered the project. Sam had escaped McCarthyism in the 1950’s, had arrived in the United Kingdom, and walked along the South Bank looking for Shakespeare’s Globe, but could only find a brass plaque from the people of India! He swore at that moment he would rebuild Shakespeare’s Globe and campaigned the project throughout 1970 onwards.
“Sam, unfortunately, died in 1993 before the building was opened, and Mark Rylance became the artistic director. In 1996 the company presented a prologue season of Two Gentlemen of Verona, and then the Theatre was officially opened in 1997 by the Queen. Mark visited me during this time, and I advised him because the players were having great difficulty being heard – the theatre is open-air with a tremendous amount of traffic both air and boat. Of course, I did see the inaugural production of Henry V, gave feedback, and then Mark asked me to be his Master of Voice, a position I fulfilled until 2010.
“It was just amazing being there, it was extraordinary, I will never forget the experience and I will remain eternally grateful. You see Mark is a very remarkable human being, a very sensitive man, and a fantastic actor. Indeed many of his peers say that he is the greatest actor of the 20/21st century. Mark is also a very spiritual man and so the constitution of The Globe was based on grace and an ethos which regarded the dignity of labour as its highest priority. There was such a rare atmosphere in the building during the ten years Mark was in charge.”
Throughout the Eighties and Nineties Stewart also regularly coached premier theatre companies such as Classic Stage Ireland, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Long Wharf Theater Connecticut, The Royal Court Theatre, and Sonia Friedman Productions in the West End, and helped to create a Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe for young American Actors.
Clients have included the luminaries of the entertainment industry such as Frances Barber, Minnie Driver, Kathryn Hunter, Vanessa Redgrave, Janet MacTeer, Michelle Williams, Emilia Clarke, Gwendoline Christie, Jonathan Cake, Simon Callow, Hugh Bonneville, Matthew Goode, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Owen Teale and Sebastian Stan.
In addition, Stewart continued to coach global game-changers including Dame Anita Roddick, Benazir Bhutto and the presenters for the London 2012 Olympic bid.
Currently, Stewart works throughout the international corporate market, dealing with many aspects of the presentation process including authentic communication, presence & vocal gravitas, persuasive presentation and The Voice of Change. Having experienced leading empowerment models, such as NLP Stewart brings creative self-development issues to the arena of personal presentation. Clients have included: Allen & Overy, L`Oreal, BT, BBC, ITN World News, McKinsey & Co, Merrill Lynch, WPP Spark Lab Programs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Momentum PR Dubai, Vidal Sassoon, Redken, Young & Rubicam, The Soul Cycle, Toni&Guy, and McKenzie Boston.
Stewart’s seminal text ‘The Alchemy of Voice’ was published in 2005 by Hodder & Stoughton, and then republished by Findhorn Press in 2010, and he regularly appears in the media addressing the issues of Voice and Persona as powerful expressions of human integrity.
He has also pioneered sound as a healing modality since 1997 teaching at the College of Psychic Studies, London from 2008 – 2016. Other books he has published are “Angels and the Keys to Paradise”, “The Angels of Atlantis” Book & Oracle, the “Angelic Heart Sigils Oracle”, “The Hearts Note” alongside several award-winning recordings.
In January 2020 Stewart was thrilled to publish his fifth book Diana The Voice of Change in the UK which became a best-seller and which is scheduled for a US launch in January 2021.
The book throws new light on the most famous woman of her time, as well as drawing the reader to their own dazzling transformation. Having coached Diana during the last two years of her life from 1995 until 1997, Stewart writes of her extraordinary essence, how she evolved into radiance, and how her personal challenges, largely created through the rebuke and repudiation of the Patriarchy were transmuted by powerful exercises, meditations, prayers and affirmations, many of which he has included in his book. The read is a truly unique insight into one of the most extraordinary social pioneers of our time.
Stewart was chosen for the job by Diana’s mutual friend Mara Berni, who ran the San Lorenzo restaurant in Knightsbridge. At that time Diana was a firm daily fixture on the front page of every newspaper in the land, and though their meetings would be conducted in secret, Stewart says he had some trepidation at taking on the work.
He said: “Frankly I had huge reservations about becoming involved, not because I wasn’t honoured by the commission, but because I couldn’t envision how I could be part of the circus that surrounded dear Diana, as she was hounded by the paparazzi and plagued by criticism. Wonderfully she agreed to complete confidentiality, and so her position became more secure.”
Indeed, Diana benefitted from the work with Stewart so much, that she described him as her ‘tiger tamer’. Diana said: “Stewart’s gift is incalculable. His timeless wisdom and practical knowledge is unique and give him a leading-edge position as a Master of Voice and Performance, who not only coaches but truly heals.
“Stewart is an inspiration to us all and has helped me personally with such love generosity. We all need Stewart in our lives!”
Stewart’s work continues, and with Diana the Voice of Change, he hopes to use the experience and techniques he taught to Diana to inspire others to change their own lives for the better.
To request an interview with Stewart email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07817134998
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Interview with the Author
Reiki Master Torsten A. Lange’s remarkable personal journey took him from being a successful international entrepreneur to bankruptcy, homelessness, and verging on the brink of ending his life, to a deep transformation through Reiki.
Nowadays Torsten is a leading light in the Reiki world and has trained thousands of students in the practice after setting up The Reiki Academy in London.
His book, Reiki Made Easy is also used as a training text for Reiki masters around the world. But not only that, determined to bring Reiki to a wider audience, Torsten embarked on ground-breaking scientific research, which would deliver findings of the benefits of the practice that even the most hardened of sceptics could not ignore.
Torsten was born in 1968 in Hamburg and was the youngest head prefect in his school’s history. He attended Hamburg University where he read Lutheran Theology for three terms.
After university Torsten spent three years in the army before achieving his Political Sciences degree at the University of Hamburg, in his early 20s he was chairman of the local Conservative Party Association.
After founding a successful wholesale and retail business in Germany he moved to London and opened a flagship store for silverware and jewellery on London’s Regent Street in the year 2000. Life was good for Torsten and he won a commission designing jewellery for a French fashion house. But in 2005 disaster struck, and he was forced to file for bankruptcy due to external influences. This meant that he lost his family home in Germany, and homes in Berlin and London. Torsten was homeless, and to make matters worse so was his mother, and the pair endured several months of ‘sofa surfing’ at friends’ homes. During this time Torsten was desperately trying to restart his business, and at times struggled to have enough to eat. He considered suicide and started working as a cleaner.
Speaking about this chapter of his life, which is documented in his forthcoming book, Torsten said: “The book starts with the sentence ‘I’ll never forget the day that mum and I wanted to end our lives’. “We were in London together, we went through this bankruptcy together and we lost everything together. “We were homeless for a while and it was very, very difficult and there were times that we could hardly feed ourselves. “After two years things weren’t really getting better and we were on the brink of losing our home again because I couldn’t pay the rent and I just thought ‘I can’t do it anymore’ and mum felt the same. “But we then realised that we couldn’t go through with it. And the deepest reason behind that was that at that time I was reading a book called “Conversations With God, which is all about reincarnation, and this idea was an idea planted in my mind. “And I thought if I don’t get over this now if I end this now then I will probably have to experience it again and that is the last thing I want to do!”
From rock bottom, Torsten started to build himself back up, and an opportunity arose to refurbish properties. This coincided with the very day that his mother took a Reiki course, and subsequently purchased one for her son as his Christmas present.
In 2008 Torsten started the Reiki 1 course and progressed to Reiki 2, eventually becoming a master in both the Western and Japanese traditions of the practice. He said: “My mum read a book and it mentioned Reiki and she was so excited by the idea that someone could have healing hands that she wanted to learn it.
“And when she came back she gave me a Reiki treatment and my headaches were getting better! “But it was quite soon after my bankruptcy and I needed to work every single day, so I felt ‘I need money, I need success’ I don’t need healing hands. This can wait. After all, I just saw it as a complementary therapy. “But my mum thought it was so profound that she basically just bought it for me for Christmas so I couldn’t refuse and I had to go!
“Sitting there on the first day I could actually feel something, and as soon as I felt it in my hands, I knew there was something there. “My life changed, I got more jobs and I was put on track – I realise now that it was all down to Reiki. As soon as we connect to higher vibration energy it affects every aspect of our lives.”
In 2010 Torsten’s life was completely transformed when he established the Reiki Academy in London, the UK’s largest Reiki school. He also travelled to Japan to conduct research and discovered new findings of the history of Reiki. Torsten then began to study past life regression and received training from Dr Brian Weiss. This has led to a series of experiential workshops on the subject. During his own journey with past life regression, Torsten discovered that Reiki has always been part of him, and that dates back to the founders of the movement. He said: “I came to it by accident, although I don’t really believe in accidents. I found a book about past life regression and I thought it was so fascinating, the way there was proof given about the insights more and more I started to wonder if this could be helpful for me. “In my life, I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to do Reiki completely, and why I was resisting it in a way. “I felt at the time that I wanted to have a ‘normal life’ and I didn’t want to just be the guy with the healing hands sitting crossed-legged on a meditation cushion. “I wanted to go out, have friends and just ‘be normal’.
“This was such a strong urge that I didn’t understand why it was so deeply rooted, and I wondered whether there were any blockages or misunderstandings in past lives. “And I realised that I had been a spiritual teacher in previous incarnations, and this time I really just didn’t want to do it again! “I wanted to be normal for once. “It led eventually to this realisation and then to accept that it is ok to have a normal life and bring this Reiki understanding into normal life.
“People can do what their passion is, but it’s not separate from their normal life. It gave me a real understanding of the need for wholesomeness in this way. We are all spiritual beings, but we can enjoy other things too.” He added: “It led to a really weird experience where I woke up really early in a hotel room in Kyoto and saw someone something that looked exactly like a past life regression, I felt I was in there, it was the time when Reiki started, and I realised that I was there at the time.
“Unfortunately I was part of a group which sought to have the founder of Reiki thrown out of the monastery because he didn’t fit in with the kind of orthodox thinking which I was very much a proponent of.”
Part of the journey to this deeper understanding was a psychic encounter with Reiki’s founder, who became Torsten’s constant companion while writing his new book. Torsten says that Mikao Usui “co-authored” his new book and instructed him to bring Reiki into the 21st century. He said: “It turned out that, in retrospect, my life path shows amazing parallels to that of Mikao Usui – a karmic way to help me understand the deeper foundations of Reiki.” He added: “I often find him sitting next to me, sometimes when I write I sometimes feel I need to stop and re-word something or I just ask ‘what am I supposed to say now?’ “There is one chapter in the book entitled ‘that’s why I’m telling you’, because that’s what he said when I asked if I should really put in the book what he was telling me.”
As well as this, Torsten has carried out verified scientific research into the effect of Reiki on water, leading to the world’s first scientific proof of the different vibrational levels, how Reiki works and led him to find the world’s first independent scientific proof of Reiki.
Speaking about the need to provide people with scientific ‘proof’ that Reiki works he said: “In science, we need to know what can be proven, and there have been several experiments and research done in hospitals which establishes that Reiki has a positive effect.
“But I thought there needs to be something different, where the human factor, the placebo effect is completely excluded, and quite early when I started with Reiki someone suggested that I should start giving Reiki to water and see if I can taste the difference, and I have done that with every single student, thousands so far and they are just mesmerised.
“It tastes smoother, more pleasant, somehow more enjoyable.
“But of course the question of taste isn’t really very scientific, so after searching the world for a laboratory that would have the tools to measure any potential changes. “I eventually found a laboratory in Switzerland, and they measure on the basis of looking at the crystallisation and minerals, and the trace elements in the water, they measure whether it is from a natural source or whether it is polluted and artificially cleansed.
“While it may still be drinkable it has information that it was polluted at some stage. “So in Switzerland, we filled several glasses with tap water and I sat there in the laboratory giving Reiki to the water for an hour. “And the quality changed from decent quality tap water to entry quality spring water within only an hour, and we have done that several times and the quality always changed significantly.”
And when Torsten used focus symbols, for example for physical healing, the water was purified in different ways. Showing that these tools also work, and can have the same impact on the make-up of the human body which has a high percentage of water. He said: “It was just absolutely surreal, and this really for me shows that there is a science within Reiki and that it works on different vibration levels. This is what my continued research is on because it is a way to understand the whole universe.”
Torsten’s new book documents the personal journey discovering the hidden depth in Reiki. It revolutionises the common understanding of Reiki and moves it from the niche of complementary therapy to a system of explaining the spiritual set-up of the universe. It is the “untold story” of Reiki with fascinating new revelations about its history.
To find out more about Torsten visit