© Lightening Magazine 2016
People all over England, Europe and America have chipped in to provide quite a lot of money to Yogabeats Conflict. I think it was almost £25,000 pounds we raised to do this project. This year we’re flying people out from The West Bank to Scotland to carry on training there as yogis.
Why have you chosen to fly people out of the West Bank?
It’s too dangerous in the West Bank.
I don’t recognise borders. There are no borders to me. Love is the only thing that exists. So, if we need to take them out of there, we take them out of there. I believe that yoga will create peace because it goes beyond where any source of politics goes.
These people are incredible. How powerful the human heart is in spite of conflict, in spite of oppression. I’m headlining a yoga festival in Israel and I told them I don’t want to keep any money that I make, that it will all go straight to the Palestinians and I said “you need to know that”. They said that was fine, that they were totally supportive. There’s a great tribe of Israelis that are for peace and compassion. I’m proud to say that a lot of them exist.
What’s inspired you to do this work?
It just happened quite naturally. I was in a war in Bosnia and I really saw humankind and all the aggression which was stirred up by politics. The press is always very economical with the truth because they bend the story by just leaving out a few words. The press are very responsible for creating a lot of the wars that we have on our planet right now.
I don’t see myself as a yoga teacher, I’m a yogi and I believe that our species will not survive unless we can carry out what is important to us.
There are no borders between countries and there are no borders between the human heart. All of this conflict is something we need to evolve past and for me it’s just pure intelligence. It’s just so obvious.
Why do you need a middle man for God? Why do you need a middle man for each other? You don’t!
You sound so fearless when you talk about doing something that would scare many people to do.
lt gives me such a pleasure to know that these people love me. I mean, they’re my family and so are the Israelis. I go between borders simply because I love both sides. It’s kind of hard to love one without the other. It’s totally impossible for me.
Is it safe there at the moment?
No it’s never really safe. I mean if it was safe, I wouldn’t do the work in the first place. It’s just, it is what it is and it always seems to work out.
So the intention, with the work that you’re doing is yoga for peace?
The yoga gives people there the physical and psychological tools to deal with being in an open prison. That’s what they are basically living in-an open prison and there’s no doubt about that. It’s a very difficult place. There’s no freedom. It’s very hard to get out of the West Bank. Life is extremely difficult and also frustrating. Yoga is a way that they can kind of find that inside of themselves and they can be free. So, you can have an overt oppression outside and inside a sense of freedom. I say interior freedom because everything that we feel comes from the inside.
Where did the idea originate, to use yoga to heal the conflict between Israel and Palestine?
I was invited in 2004 to do some yoga workshops in Israel by Israelis. I said “Yeah, I’m happy to do that as long as you provide me with classes of Palestinians too.” And they said “No, we’re in a war so that would be very difficult with a lot of potential conflict”. I said “Well then, I’m not going to come.” They said “Don’t be ridiculous.” I was in a Bosnia war and I don’t know what the enemy looks like, they’re just different people. To me, there are no such things as enemies.
Finally they agreed to let me teach a class over at Jericho. I went to Jericho and had 18 Palestinians in my first class. We went on the front lawn for prayer. And I had beats playing on the Boom Box and we were rolling and putting our legs up in the air. I really thought I might get into trouble, but I was fine and they loved me.
When I left the Israelis to go back to the West Bank they said “You know these poor people on the other side of the West Bank they don’t have good hummus. So, I became this hummus carrier back and forth and then finally they all wanted to meet each other.
In 2006 I was on a bus going to this meeting with 18 Palestinians. We were going to meet in Jerusalem at the American Colony in town and one Israeli came up to me and said “Can I have a word with you?” She asked “What are the Palestinians like? I’m really frightened of them because they killed a lot of my family.” I said “They’re just like you.” She says “Oh, you’re sure?” I said “Yes, don’t worry. You’re going to see how lovely they are”. So later that day, we’re in a hotel and I see this same woman hugging a Palestinian woman, and they were both crying. I just thought That’s it. That’s my work right there!
I mean, that one memory of them is burned like a tattoo in my brain forever. I can’t get rid of that. No politician can tell me that there’s anything better than that. The rest is just bullshit.
What gave you the confidence to take yoga into war zones?
I found myself in a war in Bosnia when I went there to run a radio station. I was going in and out of the borders during the worse part of the war and then I had my car stolen. I was on the run from the Middle Eastern police and I couldn’t get out of Serbia.
People looked after me when I had no money, nothing. I remember one time it was minus 24. It was horrible and they fed me, looked after me. I saw such human kindness. They didn’t really care that I was a yogi, they read me as a human being who was compassionate.
I felt my work was starting at that point. I didn’t think oh that’s what I want to do, that’s just what happened. For me, wherever I am is the place I need to be.
If you had to summarise your life’s purpose in a short statement, could you?
Yeah. My own self evolution. I know that my biggest pleasure out of this is my pleasure. I don’t give a shit about the world. I give a shit about MY world and I need to feel happy with me as a human being. I’m not such an egomaniac to think that I can save anybody. If I’m compassionate with someone else, loving to someone else, it’s because I’m loving for me. It’s a consequence of loving yourself.
So if you love yourself then you’ll love everyone else?
I think that’s one of the characteristics of all the advanced souls on this planet, they’re very childish and they’re in love with themselves but yet they do the hard work. It’s because they’re in a place of bliss.
It’s interesting to hear you say that you’re not trying to save the world, but your actions would suggest that in a way you are doing your bit to save the world.
Well we all have to come together now and stop it and rub out the borders between countries. It’s like someone saying well, I’m gay and I’m straight. I mean where does the borderline stop? Who knows? There is no borderline. It’s ridiculous. The line is in your head.
Okay that’s a great line to finish this interview with. Have a great time, wherever you’re going now.
I’m heading to Coventry for a big Yoga & Tequila Rave.
Yoga Tequila Rave- what?
Last year we had 240 people and we had 50 bottles of tequila. Basically, it started in Colorado when they wanted me to teach four hours of yoga. We had a break and they all disappeared and went into a bar. I walked in and they were all hiding their glasses behind their backs so I said “What the hell is that?” They went oh, it’s a tequila shot. I said “Well, okay I’ll do one of those too.” They said “Really?” I said “Sure.Allow us to celebrate. Don’t be such pussycats, you’ve got to celebrate your life. Don’t be wimps. Everything in life is celebration. Celebrate life in everything you do because that’s what it’s about. So, as I’m drinking the tequila I get a download from the universe, which is that I need to do tequila yoga. So I said “Let’s do tequila yoga!” and it was the best class I ever gave. Basically, one of the main principles is “turn off your head”. The head is political so if you cut the head off you go back to being simple. You just enjoy being alive without all the stuff going on in your head. You cut the head off. So I started to do this as a rave event; and now they are completely sold out yoga raves.
© Lightening Magazine 2016
Harmony has some beautiful songs available for download on bandcamp and is currently embarking on a U.S tour. We love her authentic, conscious heart-centered videos and music.
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What type of healing do you do?
When did you discover an interest in the healing power of music?
It was a gradual progression of seeing results and getting feedback. I experienced it for myself early on, as a musician you soon learn about “The zone” no matter what music you play. This zone is healing in any form. I suppose what I have done is refine it and direct it towards healing and reconnection, because I believe this is needed the most.
No, I was brought up in a totally non musical family. I didn’t discover live music until my 21st birthday.
I call them Heartsongs. From the heart to the heart.
They are a combination of all my influences from folk music to Indian Kirtan, Buddhist mantras, Sufi chants. I love devotional music. Music with heart.
How did you develop your abilities and methods?
This is also a constant progression. Years ago, I just showed up. Now, as the circles have grown and my path become more clear, I am in constant preparation.
Every moment is in some way preparing and priming myself for the next circle or recording..
This is not accurate for me to call it work, as I never chose this as a job as such.
I suppose it has developed this way but really it is an outcome of my connection to myself and having the faith and strength to follow my heart against all odds; which in essence is where the real work lies.
When I connect to myself, I automatically connect to my path in life, my purpose and my passion, also my dreams. Following your heart is actually about doing what makes you feel good and gives you joy. As I live life in close connection to my heart, I can honestly say that equally, life is living me. Its a dance that is so beautiful I cannot turn away from it. Instead of investing my identity into the misperception of ego. I am more drawn to identify with this life itself in all honesty, and it seems that this life, or consciousness within me seeks for the benefit of all. It seems to create a space and an energy where all are lifted. This is a lovely thing to be a part of so i willingly follow and serve its will.
What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?
The obvious one is during the circles. Over the space of two hours there is a transformation that takes place that is difficult to describe in words. You really need to experience it but this video shows the journey of re-connection to the heart very well. It is a transformation wherein the veils of illusion that divide us come down and we begin to experience our true nature, which is love.
That I don’t exist as a separate entity. That I am an integrated part of the whole, a part of God and I have within me the same nature. This reflects in the way I see others and a great compassion is present. That i can relax and simply truly be myself without projecting a code or mode of behavior in any form. I can be spontaneous wild and free, without fear. This does not make me an out of control individual. Its quite the contrary. This actually makes me become more responsible for every breath I take and every movement of my being. This makes me become true.
Can you please share some powerful healing that you have experienced?
a true healer does not see sickness or disease or even healing, just wellness.
What happens to others is the responsibility of themselves.
Tina Malia, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das
Take the time to get your priorities right.
Just to keep growing with it and also to be prepared to let it it go. This is not who I am and there is nothing more important than to follow the heart wherever it takes you.
There is something magic that happens in the circles that over the space of two hours, can change our reality, the feeling can last for days and from some reports, it is life changing.
What I have done, is take it a step further and use the environment of particular high energy and beautiful places to support a group to go even deeper. We stay in that energy field, travel together and sing every day. I also share my morning practices of vocal tuning and emotional balancing using the voice, yoga and meditation. This experience can really transform our lives and is the essence of the few retreats that I run every year in different parts of the world like Ladakh, Corfu, Bhutan, The Grand Canyon, Chanting with whales in Australia and others.
Please check my calendar for the next planned retreats.
© Lightening Magazine 2016
Imagine that someone walks into a restaurant and when asked what they want, they answer “I don’t know”. When asked what they like, they answer “I don’t know”.
This happens in my practice more often than not. Over half of my clients, when asked why they came to see me, say “I don’t know. I know there should be more in my life but I cannot access it.” When I ask what makes them happy or what they want to do, inevitably the answer is often times “I don’t know.”
I feel like so many people these days are disconnected. They don’t know themselves, they don’t know their heart or their soul. They only know their thoughts- a frantic collection of media, family and societal driven wants and insecurities. Perhaps this is why the world is in the state that it is, because so many of us aren’t connected with our inner selves and therefore the world is fragmented, not whole. We are so full of expectations, obligations, projections and programming that we literally “don’t know” what we even want in life.
This is where I help people. I am trained as an energy worker in various modalities, as an intuitive and as a counselor. When people show up in my office all of these skills are used in an effort to bring about some peace, some healing, some shift. My work is ever-changing, deepening, expanding.
The healing modalities can be murky waters in terms of training and practitioners. Pretty much anyone can call themselves an Intuitive or Energy Healer and indeed, how do you train or measure these things anyway? I have always been drawn to rituals and mysticism and, after working in the corporate world for years, this led me to research various worldly religions and spiritual traditions in an effort to find peace and happiness in my own life.
My first healing course was in Reiki, including master level training. I went on to complete a 4-year program called Helix, which has foundational pillars of psychology, spiritual disciplines and energy work/metaphysics, and I was ordained as a minister of the Helix Healing Ministry. The program gave me a strong psychological & spiritual knowledge base, along with years of experiential work as a psycho-spiritual counselor. While continuing my corporate work, I started seeing clients for healing work in 2005 in New York City. In 2009 I stepped out of the corporate world and put my focus on my healing practice.
Since moving to Ubud, Bali in 2012, I have opened to even stronger energy and a deeper connection to my “Higher Self” and with the Divine. My counselling background taught me how to hold space, so clients feel safe enough to explore some of the most intimate and vulnerable places in their life during our sessions. This space allows for their potential healing.
I am in an interesting position, in which I am able to observe what seem to be collective trends in healing, because of where I work. I am based in the largest yoga and healing center in Ubud, Bali, a town known around the world for being a spiritual mecca for seekers, young and old. Tracking the collective healing by various regions in the world has been fascinating.
I have been in Ubud for almost 5 years, offering energy work and intuitive guidance. With my work I bring people back to the heart, to their inner wisdom, to their bodies. I try to deflect any projections they have around me being able to heal/save them and lead them into understanding that they hold the power themselves. People come to me and I do everything I can to find that space in them and lead them there. This might happen through talking and inquiry, it might happen through working energetically on the table.
I can guide clients back to hearing their Truth, but they have to do the work themselves. I’m not a magician and I don’t have any magic cures, but I do have Presence. And in Presence I hold a certain frequency or vibration, which is then offered to the person in front of me as a meeting point. I work energetically, either hands-on or off. I reflect back to them the perfection that I see in front of me. I hold a vibration of Love which surrounds and envelopes the client, inviting them to soften and expand. This is where shifts can happen.
I currently see people for one-on-one sessions and lead meditation classes out of The Yoga Barn in Ubud. I also offer intuitive sessions, supervision for those working in the healing realm, and an 8-week mentoring program all via Skype for my international clients.
In August I am leading a 6-day workshop for women entitled POWER WEALTH WISDOM and I am so excited about this! Women gathering in community to SPEAK about their lives, LISTEN to others share their journeys, and RISE up to responsibility. I have gathered an amazing group of women to share with us how they bring their evolution as Powerful, Wealthy and Wise women into their professions, relationships, family and daily lives. After each talk we will work with the subjects at hand and find ways to incorporate changes into our lives that support our evolutionary path.
Of course, I am still doing my own work too! I believe it is really important to maintain personal growth, whether you are an energy worker or someone who just wants to be happy in their regular life. I am always open to new ideas and I am curious about what others know that I don’t. I will check out anything that allows me to feel expanded, free, and plugged into the Universe. When I began my spiritual quest I wanted to learn everything so I took lots of classes and read a ton of books. All of that information has helped me build a foundation in which I step off from. I feel the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, and yet I believe more and more that I can actually find all that I need to know within- with patience and persistence and continual ego check points.
For more information please visit:
© Lightening Magazine 2016
I walk back into my yoga studio, returning from a meeting with my specialists and processing the fact that I have Glaucoma and lost the sight in my left eye.
I grab my passport, jump in my car and drive to the airport.
I want to run. I don’t want to deal with this.
I sit there contemplating for hours, then decided that I have to stay here and go through this.
For the next 6 months, I was observing and listening and reacting from time to time. I was being scared and allowing fear to come in as i started to see my vision depleting each day more and more..Having to make adjustments in my day to day life but also in my yoga practice, I had to slow down, to change and to really surrender.
Things really became scary and real when i was teaching out East and walking home at dusk and was unable to see the street sign to get me home, so having to use SIRI on my phone to guide me home through tears.
Coming back home, i found myself in a place of fear, of no options, of vulnerability.
My Dad called me and my Dad is Mr. Research- i love him for it, He said “Kevin I’ve been up for days looking into stem cell treatment for your eyes”. He had called a hospital in China and asked every question under the rainbow. When he brought this option to me, i was unsure as it was a new treatment but my Dad persisted and sent all the information to my doctors who then gave their full support, so with that it cleared some fear.
Now the question was how, as the treatment was $30,000,that i didn’t have, My beautiful partner Andrea took it onto herself to start a GOFUNDME Page to raise money for me, without my knowledge! It blew me away, as people from all the communities where i teach globally came together and raised this money in less than a month.
I’ve always really struggled with receiving and here it was. i didn’t have a choice but to let that go and receive with a grateful heart. It was so hard but Andrea said to me “This is your Karma and you give so much, there has to be a balance., By allowing yourself to receive you are giving the other person the permission to do their work.”
On April 4th i travelled with my parents to Thailand to start a 3 week stem cell treatment. From day one, the care of the doctors and hospital blew me away. It was like a family that was there with you every step of the way- through 6 injections-2 spinal taps, bandaged off from the world. I was really learning to receive, as my mother had to feed me and my father had to hold my hand and guide me around. I had to really go inside and it was there where i really saw myself for the first time in my life. It was there that I was able to forgive myself from past things and let my past mistakes be my greatest gifts and really love myself for all of me. I am still processing now and so much continues to rise up from the depths and I’m so grateful, because this life and all of life is rooted in unconditional love.
This has been the most challenging journey of my life and I am grateful for every second of it. My left eye was black and it has now regained its peripheral sight. As the stem cells grow (I call them my little angels) over the next 4-6 months, we are hopeful that more vision will come, so I continue to nurture and nourish and love them each day. I am so grateful for this journey and this treatment
Love Light Liberation
© Lightening Magazine 2016
So, you have started growing vegetables?
Yes, and I have to say these vegetables are going to be so uniquely experimental.
Is that because of the way you’re growing them?
We’re just bathing them in love and excitement and treating them as if they’re our children. We are just trying everything that they would ever possibly like and singing nursery rhymes to the first sproutings and gonging them with sound. It’s really out there and it’s really fun, actually. When you see them start to popup and germinate, it’s really a turn on. Suddenly, you wake up in the morning and all these little green leaves are popping up out of the swirl. It’s pretty magnificent.
What have you got growing?
In the main farm- some people call it an allotment farm- we’ve got potatoes, beetroots, fennel, some marigold flowers, radishes, cucumbers, sunflowers and artichokes.
What inspired you to grow vegetables?
My girlfriend Raisa. It was turning us on forever. It’s very hard to find truly organic food. I know there are farmer’s markets, but they’re quite hard to find. It’s so much of a turn on to eat your own food, that you grew yourself.
I’d really like to start a community on some land that we’re going to get and I am learning to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on a very corrupt system.
I’m hoping to have a center called “Lion Heart”, where we would have a conscious dining center and a center for music, writing and performing. We’d have “Heart Mountain”, a child-led school where they choose their own educational directions based on what they feel passionate about. We’d have a laboratory for studying the properties of light and water, which is where the next great breakthrough in technology is going to come from. We will have all kinds of areas for growing vegetables and looking after animals. I really want a whole town of the future. Raisa just wants somewhere nice to live, in a quiet peaceful place. I’m going to have to maybe tone down my massive world domination vision and she’s going to have to put up with some of my more eccentric ideas and we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.
If you start small it could just naturally and organically grow like your vegetables.
I just know that in my career and in my heart, I’ve always started big. I never started small. I usually have some huge big vision and then do the closest thing to it.
That’s an interesting strategy which leads me into a question about your workshops and thinking big. “What About You?” and “Transforming Shadows”. What inspired you to create those workshops?
We had so many wonderful questions and answer sessions when we were presenting our films around the place, both One Giant Leap and What About Me? All the subject matter in the films was so personal and about practical daily living of life, so the conversations and the Q&As got very deep and people were opening up so beautifully but a 35-minute Q&A session was not enough. I also just wanted to do something else that wasn’t directly creating art and it was actually Raisa who suggested I do it. She just said “Listen, you’ve done your music, you’ve done films, you’ve done everything! Why don’t you book somewhere for a weekend and just offer your direct self and see who shows up?” I was like “well, what would I do with them for that weekend?” She said “Well, what do you have to share?” I think the one thing I do know about that not everybody does know about, is how to have an idea and take it all the way through the stages of actually making it, releasing it, having a bar code on it and maybe some awards and everyone loving it. So, I thought I’d make the weekend about that.
The main workshop now is “Transforming shadows”. That’s where we go inside and meet all the crazy characters that live in our head and all the dysfunctional beings that keep leaping out and sabotaging things, so we give them new jobs. That’s become more what I do now but on the project building master class “What About You?” we’ve now greenlit more than 1000 new companies and projects that definitely work.
I think the secret is not just in thinking big, you have to think big while having zero attachment to the outcome. That’s what everybody forgets.
You’ve got to do everything that you love and it will be so enjoyable, so even if it never got big it was still time well spent because you love doing it so much! If you can find something that you love the process of so much that, of course, you would prefer it to be big – but it’s not a deal breaker as to whether it was a good use of your time- then that’s what you should be doing.
I always ask everybody in the workshop “if you had all your life expenses paid for, what would you do after breakfast?” That’s your project.
Awesome wise words! So how has “Transforming Shadows” taken over?
I think because everybody benefits from going in and meeting crazy beings that are inside them, that they usually try to push away and instead realising that they have just been looking at them wrong. Everybody can benefit from that. Not everybody will create the project they really want to do by having no jobs and families, they’re not all waiting to do that great dream project.
Do you think that everybody can dive that deep? It’s not easy work, right?
It goes deep but it’s fun. If I only feel satisfied when you go deep then I’m “vamping” you to go that deep. Some people come and they go crazy deep, other people come and they just have an interesting intellectual experience and find that they walk away with some interesting new things to think about. Now that’s obviously what’s appropriate for them at that moment where they are. It’s nothing to do with me from where our vessel journey is taking them. I just cook the food and some might eat three bowls full and others might just have one mouthful, and the other one might spit it out. That’s none of my business. It’s very important as a teacher to not attach to how deep people go. Everybody’s got their own soul journey and for some, their process and their progress go fast, some other people are slow. I make it as palatable and as fun and accessible as possible and then I don’t attach one more inch to what people will do with it.
What are the benefits of attending a group process versus maybe one-on-one therapy?
I think it’s different things for different people. When you have a group, it’s wonderful for people who feel quite isolated; especially isolated in their dramas. They suddenly realise that their dramas are exactly the same as everybody else’s just with different hats on. Obviously with one-on-one I can go deeper and give focused attention for a whole hour or longer.
I just think that the greatest benefit of all is that whatever ailments you have just seem to disappear afterwards and that wasn’t my intention. The amount of letters I get from people that say “I did your workshop and I’ve had 20 years of eczema and it’s gone.” or “I’ve had panic attacks or depression and it’s just gone, I haven’t had it since the weekend” or “I’m now talking to my daughter for the first time in eight years”. None of these things are directly intended, they are just the obvious things that happen when you start editing yourself down and you stop running from 20% capacity so you start opening up to all the treasure that you always had inside. Most illnesses are a symptom of not doing that. Illness is a symptom of suppressing and holding ourselves back, of containing and hiding, of being dishonest with ourselves and to other people or wearing masks and playing roles. That’s what creates illness, all that suppression. So obviously when people start practising techniques which are less suppressive, then their body doesn’t need to act out with those ailments to get their attention as much because they’re doing what they should be doing. I believe a lot of disease, maybe all but certainly the majority of minor ailments, is really your body trying to tell you to stop suppressing.
That’s an interesting perspective. Do you have groups of people come to work on those things on retreats?
I would like to do that at Lionheart.
You do walking and hiking where you take people up a mountain, don’t you?
Yes, we do the heart mountain retreat in the fall and we’re doing a residential What About You? project master class on a beautiful Greek island called Paros in July that is also coupled with our music. We’re making an album there with incredible musicians. People are allowed to walk through in the evenings and hear what we’ve composed. There’s also one coming up in Nicaragua in October. These are usually things I’m invited to do. I rarely think oh I think I’ll do a weeklong retreat and arrange all of that.
How do you prepare yourself for holding space, and presenting and teaching workshops and retreats?
I can’t really do any preparation at all apart from my usual preparation for living my life, which is just being me- a more different, more prepared me for that group. I just be me. The most authentic version of myself in the moment that I can be and I trust that the rest will unfold.
That word authentic is very important in what you do and it seems to be the cornerstone of what you’re teaching.
However you are behaving will usually elicit that from whomever you’re in front of. So, if you’re being a petulant, argumentative little bitch, you’re going to bring out the petulant argumentative little bitch in the person you’re talking to.
So, people are a mirror?
Yeah. And the more you’re in your center and you’re authentic and you’re loving and kind, and not “doing kind” just being kind, which is a natural state. That kind spacious open part of someone else in front of you finds it generally quite easy to come forward.
That’s very true. Do you want to say a bit about your transition from pop star and filmmaker to where you are now?
I don’t really think about it as a transition. I think about it as an addition. I am still making beautiful music and I’m making a great film with Ram Das where we’re walking each other home. I’m still doing all of that. I’m just doing more I guess.
Is it like being on stage performing, when you lead workshops?
There is a performance aspect to it, as I’m like a fool. I’m not playing the fool and by me being like that, it makes everyone laugh at how we all are. So there’s a slightly performance aspect to being the first one to be ridiculous and being the walking permission slip for everyone else’s foolishness. And obviously, it does feel good when everyone’s really receptive but it’s not as rehearsed as performance can be, it’s much more spontaneous. I really enjoy that. When someone asks a question which I haven’t answered before, I usually will say something much more insightful and deep when put on the spot. So, I really love being asked questions.
So you even have given a Ted Talk, right? How was that?
Well that was funny. That was the first 16 minutes that I ever spoke without notes because you can’t have notes. That was just the beginning of totally jumping off the deep end with my mouth and trusting it would come out fine. And it was okay. Yeah, it was nice. Now I never use notes even if I’m talking for an hour. I’m doing a workshop this evening in about one hour from now called Ego Volcano.
Are you deconstructing the ego volcano or are you exploding it?
Well, it is about enjoying it but not being obsessed with it. The ego is an illusion and I think we’re meant to meet the ego fully and enjoy all it’s individual characteristics. I’m also remembering not to be governed by all its comparative uptight worries. That doesn’t mean eradicate it like many people try and do.
Right, so it means to just understand it?
Yes, understand it. It’s like, if you imagine playing a video game and you’ve got the little guy on the screen running around. You’ve got you on the joystick making it jump around. The guy on the screen is the ego. You are the glare of the game of the joystick. So the ego is directed by you. Most people think they are the character on the screen and they don’t realise that they are the ones holding the joystick so they’re just moving for whatever the ego wants. It’s a whole load of drama.
Is it possible to sit behind the ego and not be in it’s totally competitive uptight state, being very present, noticing how uptight it is and noticing all its fun thinking and still not taking actions or writing emails from that ego place. You still notice all the urgings, but you’re the soul who directs what actual actions get taken and what words get said.
So you’re about to go and teach that to a group of people this evening. Meet the Ego. Is this the first of that kind of workshop for you?
No, I’ve been sharing this with our online workshop groups once a month and we’ve done “Mojo Blast”, we’ve done “Looking for trouble”, we’ve done “What About You?” and many others.
Do these all form chapters in your new book “Insanely Gifted”?
Insanely Gifted is a condensation of all my workshops. The basic message is that if we really feel our feelings and participate with what our genius body is doing to discharge uncomfortable feelings and if we are really willing to be in a state of listening not doing (and other things like that), then life becomes much, much more relaxing and fulfilling.
Our creative projects, our intimacies, our missions, our parenting, our sex lives, they all skyrocket when we go into the listening field, into the spaciousness, into the space around things rather than constantly being yanked left and right by them. We need to give ourselves a moment of space, a moment of pause, and a moment of listening all the time.
It’s a book about all the different things I’ve learned from many different cultures. It’s about all the different tools that I’ve learned to be in balance and to be the most successful, enjoyable, full of potential life masterpiece that you can come up with.
What’s the greatest key that you’ve been given or that you’ve found along the way for staying in balance?
The ability to walk around inside of your body and like a wine-taster, feel what’s being felt in a different place when you’re feeling reactive, rather than abandon that feeling and fight whoever did it to you.
If somebody triggers you or something upsets you, usually what we do is jump into the masculine side of our essence and jump into controlling it back to how we want it, fighting that person, manipulating that person, complaining, escaping. We rarely do the feminine thing, which is instead of doing something we decide not to let it impact us. Instead of turning away from the feeling, turn towards that feeling. Feel it, know that it was yours already. No one put it in you. They may have triggered you, but they didn’t cause that feeling, rather they are triggering feelings that already live in you and have been there like little pressure cooker time bombs waiting to go off. This really is the difference between living life as a slave or living life powerfully!
© Lightening Magazine 2016
I’m sitting here with my pendulum, rose quartz. I always use it because it’s gentle. I’m trying to program it. It’s wonderful we’re talking because I have been on the journey of the retrieval of the soul. Do you know what that is?
Can you tell us about that? It sounds very profound.
The journey of the retrieval of the darkness of the soul is where you literally have to go through your past lives and your current life problems to heal the soul. That is part of my understanding from all my past lives. I understand why I was given this gift of a brain tumor and the point is to make me more enlightened. People might find that quite shocking to hear that I think it’s a gift. I understand what I’m doing is to better me in this life and also to take me forward in the next. Depending on the soul journey in each of our lives, the way we behave takes us forward or backward in our lessons in the next life. I wonder if it is ever completed?
What the world needs to understand and what is missing in the modern world, is the connection between people.
When people get sick every person is treated with the same treatment but we’re all completely different human beings and individuals. What’s come to light for me, is that we’re our own individuals on an individual life path. Whether you have children or a husband, you are one separate being connected with all beings. You cannot possibly treat every patient with the same medicine because everybody is individual and reacts differently. People’s minds think differently, their souls are either asleep or awake like mine, but most humans are “asleep”. How I see it is, a doctor goes and studies in a specialised subject and they are taught to treat-let’s say in my case a brain tumor with A, B and C. However, everybody has a different life path and a different physical reaction and every person is in a different stage of health and age. You have to bring individuality, spirituality and treatment into the person with the illness.
People could also start to incorporate the idea that emotional stress or pain can eventually manifest into the physical. Treatment would be much more successful if individualized to each human being, eliminating the theory of one pill suits all.
I had a conversation with my doctors when I initially met them and one of the first questions they asked me was “Have you had trauma in your life?”. I was told that they were quite shocked that somebody my age had an astrocytoma grade 3 brain tumor. Everything is connected. I personally have a very karmic life journey. My intention is to to use my experience and persona to talk about the healing choices I made and have had success with. I truly believe that is the main reasons I am still here. When I was diagnosed and told that I would not survive, I made the most profound intention with spirit -that if I was kept alive, I would spend the rest of my life helping others to heal. My intention is to live up to that agreement in the best way I can. I experienced western medicine that failed me and then a gentle holistic medicine which has healed both my tumor and me entirely, in a completely different way.
Your journey starts from the second you arrive in this world and I had to fight for my life. I was a premature baby! I understand it. I get it. I also understand, in this life I had to go through that experience because it set me up for battling this way through life. The doctors told me that a tumor can grow up to 20 years in the brain but every patient is different. So you can have a grade 1 or 2 that’s not malignant growing in your brain very slowly for maybe 10 to 15 years and then suddenly, it can accelerate into a palliative brain tumor, which is what happened to me. They don’t know for sure, but it can be that long which would make sense to me because of the trauma I experienced in my past.
My marriage was coming to an end and I went to stay at a healing retreat and met a Shaman there. She asked me to do a ceremony under the full moon. She didn’t tell me what to do and the next morning I told her what I’d done and she said “I did not tell you what to do, but you knew exactly what to do.” She was right, I did instinctively know what to do- a way of building a fire where you take all of your pain and write it on paper and throw it into the fire to release and let the pain go so the healing can begin. I started on this journey with her and for 10 years, I studied with her nearly every day for about two hours a day. We discussed everything from my past lives to Egyptian history, to Atlantean history. She said to me “You know this information” and something in my head was like “oh yeah, I think I do”. I started to connect very much the Shamanic people and profound teachings. After 10 years of studying shamanism, quantum thinking and quantum theory; I really attached to quantum healing, quantum physics, whatever you want to call it. The power of the mind. The power of the word. Your intention and connection with spirit. It’s been a long journey and during the journey, I collapsed with a brain tumor.
I’ve had some very profound meetings with Spirit. Once, towards the end of my marriage when my ex-husband and I were on a trip to Peru. Boy did I connect at the top of the walk and something happened on that trip. The more we journeyed up the mountain I was like “I know this place. I know this. But how do I know this?” It was to be the most profound connection to Spirit and experience in my life thus far. When we finished the trip we went to the Galapagos and we went out onto boats and there were too many people in these boats. We all went down scuba diving and the Captain of the boat kicked my face. I lost my mask and panicked and I lost my regulator. I did what you shouldn’t do- I swam straight to the top- which is how you get the bends and you can die. I came out of the water, and I could see my husband following me. I saved my own life because I coughed and threw up instead of breathing in. To my shock, when I turned around he’d left me in the middle of the ocean and swam back down. So I was suddenly alone. There was a Peruvian man that didn’t speak any English with a dingy. And he pulled me onto the dingy. And I was like “shit, I’m going to get the bends!”. He took me back to the catamaran and nobody in the group had noticed I’d gone, not the captain, none of them. I went back onto the boat and I started speaking to Spirit. I was really frightened.
When we were in Peru before we climbed the mountain, we went into a church and a spiritual woman gave me these toffees and with it she gave me a little picture, which I have upstairs, of Jesus being whipped. When I got back on the boat this stamp was in the middle of the floor. How it appeared to me there, I have no idea.
The two guys running the boat were Peruvian. They didn’t speak English. I sat kind of rocking in the shower. Thankfully one of the guests on the boat came back onto the boat and was a professional diver, he said “You have to get back in the water immediately because you’ll get the bends. You have to go back in.” I was like “no way” I was so frightened. He said “I will come with you down to the bottom and I will be your eyes, but you have to go back in. Because you need to get oxygen back in.” He was amazing and he free dived as I went down and said “follow the chain to the sea bed.” It was the clearest, purest blue. I asked Spirit to please, send me two sea lions or two creatures to comfort me. Within minutes, they appeared like a gift from heaven. It still moves me to think about it. Two sea lions just arrived and they swam around me and then two hermit crabs followed by two turtles passing by me. I was like “wow, I asked and it appeared” and from that moment, I knew there was something else with me guiding me and I have felt that way every since.
Once I knew there was that protection there, I could really connect with guides, and it all started to happen. My third eye opened and I started doing readings for people. I found out I’m what’s called a clairsentient, clairaudient, and clairvoyant. I have developed as a pure clairsentient, I’m an empath and very clairvoyant. However, I don’t tell anybody their future and I am against people predicting the future. The future should just happen and that’s the whole point. I have never taken any money for it because I don’t believe in that. I think the reason people respect me is because I never took any money so it was pure spirit.
All of these things started to happen while I was training with my healing teacher over a long period of time. All along, I’ve had this inner strength, no matter what is thrown at me- I rise. What disturbs me is how I come into my own when the shit really hits the fan. If you give me the worst set of circumstance, that’s when I become really strong but I’m tired of that. I am entering a more peaceful and loving place. The more I heal, the more my life heals and my world opens up with loving connections.
When I got sick it happened very suddenly during the night. An encounter with a very negative situation made me collapse. This was to teach me that there are negative people who come into your life and they’re very important because the negative people if you understand it, push you to become more positive. You have to thank the negative people because they’re there for a reason. Positive people are there as a gift. Negative people are there for the lessons and you have to take note of why they’re negative and turn a negative into a positive- if you understand how to deal with it. I was to discover all of this through the diagnosis of a brain tumor.
The night I collapsed was to be my biggest test in my own spiritual journey. I woke up and threw up and went back to bed. I woke up in the morning and I looked at my phone, I couldn’t read or understand anything on the phone which I thought was a bit odd. I then spent the entire day just being sick every 15 minutes and the pain in my head just was like “oh my God!”. It wasn’t until the evening that I finally went to A&E and I sat for over six hours in emergency with a sick bowl. I was seen by a junior doctor and I told them that I couldn’t recognize any words.” The Doctor said I was having a bad migraine, and they sent me home with a couple of Paracetamol and some fluids in my body. The next day when I woke up I collapsed again on the stairs but still decided to take a trip to Italy that I had already booked to go to Bologna for the leather fair. My logic clicked in, so I got on the plane on Monday and in the airport I couldn’t read the gate, which I thought was odd. I remember going up to people with the yellow tops on in the airport saying “Excuse me. Could you tell me where my gate is because I can’t read anything?” I don’t know what I was thinking getting on a plane, but I got on a bloody plane and went to Bologna.
In the hotel the night before the fair, I went to bed and I woke up again and this time it was really frightening. I looked in the mirror and my face was completely distorted. It was like my lips were over here, my eyes were over there. I took three aspirins and then suddenly at the fair I felt really strange I said “ please I need an ambulance” and then I woke up totally disorientated in an Italian hospital. I was obviously going in and out of consciousness but then I was seen by a doctor and she said “I really think we have to keep you here and you need to have a CAT scan.” Again, my logic kicked in and I refused as my flight was in a few hours and I wanted to be back home and the doctor said to me “You need to have a cat scan tomorrow”. I got on the plane and went back to The Hospital in London and sat there for another four hours and then finally had a CAT scan five days after I had first collapsed at home.
Eventually, a woman walked in and she looked at me and my mother and said “Amelia, I need you to sit down” she continued, “We have found a massive shadow on your brain.” And it’s like said in slow motion and she said “We don’t know what it is, but we have to take you to a specialist hospital immediately.” Then there were standard tests to determine what was wrong, including a lumbar puncture in my spine when they took fluid from the spinal cord, because they thought maybe I had an infection of the brain.
When the doctor came up to me, I could see that they were about to deliver some very bad news which they did. then they said “we ‘re not really sure what it is, so we want to do a little biopsy. So they take a tiny cut into the skull and I think they take a piece of whatever’s in the brain and I said “No, no, no.” because I didn’t want to be operated on twice. Then my intuition kicked in once again and I insisted they just go straight ahead and do a debunking operation. They looked a little perturbed at my insistence. All I can say is that I knew that something had to be removed at this stage. They told me that no one had ever asked them to bypass the biopsy before but I said “You need to take this out of my brain.” I remember them looking at me going “who is this woman?”. They sent me home with a debunking operation date for 3 weeks later.
My operation on the 30th April 2012 lasted 8 hours with 3 main neuro-surgeons and 12 people in the room. I had to sign papers to say I probably wouldn’t survive the operation and if I did, I could be paralyzed, blind, and paraplegic. I was told it was very dangerous and I was in no doubt that I would come out of it. I flatlined at some point during the operation and experienced a tunnel of pure white light but it clearly wasn’t my time to cross over. Spirit obviously had other plans for me.
The debunking operation revealed a more serious situation than I could ever have imagined. The Doctors told me I had one of the rarest brain tumors- an incurable grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor. The Doctors looked pretty perplexed at the rarity, the size and the severity of my situation for my age. I was told this was incurable and that they wanted me to have six weeks of radiation and chemo to the brain, which only had a 30% chance of working to give me possibly 18 months to live. This was not in their opinion to save my life, simply to give me some more time.
I was told that my treatment was going to be six weeks of radiation and temozolomide chemo every day to the brain for 6 weeks. Interestingly enough, I told them I didn’t want the treatment and they asked me to come in and see the oncologist and there were four men in a room. I remember saying “Why are there so many of you? Do you think I’m going to be a problem?” and they all together in unison went “Yes”. It was very intimidating. They sat there and leaned forward to me, and said “If you do not have this immediately, you will die.” There was nothing else around. I hadn’t looked so I didn’t know. The healer I was working with said to me “I have to hold my tongue”, because she said she couldn’t get involved in my decision.
Frightened and against it, I accepted 6 weeks of treatment every day. Nobody came with me because I quickly discovered that nobody could deal with it and so I found it easier to get on the bus, go to the hospital, have it done, and come home.
From that period the Doctors wanted me to have another six months of chemo. I tried one more month and my skin felt like it was crawling and I just couldn’t take it. I finally stopped on the fifth day and said “No, I’m not having it anymore” because I did not believe something that made me feel that sick could be doing me any good. I already felt like I’d had too much. The doctors were horrified and I was told I would die at this point. So, I went on the internet, my healer and I, and found two things: a guy in America that wanted a £150,000 pounds to do plasma treatment. So that was an option, but the idea of raising that money was pretty scary. And then I saw a little film about a baby that was eight months old. She had a little tumor in the middle of her head and it was on Huffington Post and this doctor said “This is a miracle, this baby girl. Her father had chosen to give her cannabis oil on her pacifier because he didn’t want her to have radiation to her brain.” As soon as I saw the film it was like boom, that is what I’m going to go for. The Doctors meanwhile, just kept saying “We think the treatment has failed. There’s been so much swelling on the brain from the radiation that we can’t see because it’s all cloudy. It’s like it’s still inflamed.” Soon after that, it was confirmed that my tumor had grown back and that the treatment given to me had completely failed. I was told this was the most life threatening and incurable form of cancer and I had 6 months left to live.
The research to find medical marijuana took 4 months and led me to a Shaman. At Christmas, I got the first dose of medical cannabis. I started ingesting 300 drops set in pure alcohol because it’s easier to take than the oil- you can be very precise with it. The Shaman said to me “I’ve never treated anybody with a brain tumor.” and he said “I think you need the highest dose” so he gave me 300 drops, which is about a quarter ounce of dried matter a day. For the first six months, I was taking 300 drops- this was January 2013.
When I met my oncologist after 6 months, they once again confirmed the tumor was growing. I was devastated because I thought the treatment would be working. I asked probably the most important question of my life to the oncologist “Is my tumor growing very quickly or slower than you would expect?” and he said “Actually, it’s growing a lot slower than we would expect.” So, I went “do you think the cannabis is making the growth slower?” and he said “I don’t know because I’ve never heard of anybody taking cannabis before”. It was like a lightbulb went off and I phoned the Shaman and I said “They’ve given me until Christmas to live. I think the cannabis is doing something, but I think I need to double it.” And he said “I’ve never given anybody 600 hundred drops. So he said “Let’s ask the pendulum.” The pendulum did this, spinning like crazy and he goes “okay, it’s a very high dose and more than I would normally give but your tumor is aggressive, but let’s do it.”
Six months later, for my next MRI results; I went with my two best friends Alix and Peter my business partner. All of us were petrified of what the Doctor was about to say because the last diagnosis was palliative but then the Doctor said “ Your tumor has started to shrink!” I was like what? And she said “Yes, your tumor has started to regress.”. This amazing news showed us that the 600 drops were working.
From that moment on, I took 600 drops of cannabis a day and I alkalized my body very simply : no sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no meat.
Throughout my healing, I exercised and danced and walked in the park every day. I only watched romantic or comedy films- anything positive. I cut everything I felt was negative out of my life, to save my life.
I could have, should have, would have died.
I strongly believe that my reason for being kept alive was to experience this and to help others.
Do I believe the cannabis shrank my tumor and restored some of the damage in my brain from the radiation and chemo? Yes, I absolutely do %100 and so did the doctors. And I ask it to continue doing that, every day.
In my case, with such an aggressive tumor I ingested a mix of CBD oil and THC. Some cancers can be treated with just CBD oil. Cannabis is a medicine plant. It’s been around since the dark ages and it works, you have to ingest the oil though, not smoke it. It works by going through the whole endocrine system and works on everything in the body. To be specific, when you have an angry cancer cell and you take cannabis oil, it goes to the cancer cell and locks into it which makes the cancer commit suicide in a clean way with no damage to the body at all.
I believe I was given this experience in this lifetime to highlight what is wrong with standard medical treatment and I’m here to campaign for what I believe in, which is cannabis as a cure for cancer.
We’re not talking about kids getting high on skunk. This is very important. That’s a falsified drug that dealers have developed to get kids very high. If you treated someone with oil made from skunk it would blow their head off and that’s not what you want.
You mentioned that you would love to see the creation of a different type of hospital, a sanctuary.
My vision going forward in the future, is to promote consciousness meeting medicine. I have a vision of a holistic place, which my Father who is an architect could design. It would be in the middle of a forest. In the hospital, we would have holistic food and healers doing energy work alongside the doctors- bringing medicine and healers together. We would teach people how to ground their body and how to be mindful. We would map them with love. We would have a cinema where they could watch romantic or comedy films. We would feed them beautifully and would take them for walks in the forest because that’s what people need, plant energy, plant medicine. And we would make the rooms really beautiful. And there would be flowers in all the rooms. From my experience, if you are very ill, you need as much love, peace and beauty around you as is humanly possible. At the moment, this does not really exist on an accessible level.
I would also like to stand on a platform and share my experiences to educate both doctors and patients. My dream would be to give a TED talk. It is really quite fabulous that my name POWERS perfectly fits the story. I am a woman who has defied the statistics, healed myself and is creating a fashion label.
I can show the world that even if you don’t have children, are single and you’ve been told you’re going to die, that’s rubbish because you can still do great stuff and be absolutely fabulous!
© Lightening Magazine 2016
How did you transition from the Corporate world in London to being a healer in Bali?
I was ready! I was practicing yoga and 5 Rhythms dance for 7 or 8 years… studying spirituality, absorbing hundreds of personal development books. I had my own art studio and was making art and having shows for 17 years and my art is a way of looking deeply within– it’s a kind of meditation and also is where I learned to stop listening to the critical inner voice ‘you can’t put red there!’ – as ‘I already did!’
When I left BNP Paribas, where I was a consultant in IT and systems design, I enjoyed a hero’s sendoff –my journey out of Corporate, to Bali was a journey that my colleagues might have loved to make.
In Ubud, Bali, I began teaching Kundalini Yoga. Then, I was initiated into Advanced Light Language – a powerful healing modality using sacred geometry, light and colour, and I began to realise my gift as a healer.
What kind of healing do you do?
Using The Reprogramming™, my deep talking and transformation process, I help you access the web of hidden core negative beliefs that may be trapping you. It’s dynamic and fun – often surprising, as we uncover and release your true root causes!
To clear emotional baggage, you lay on the bed and I use intuitive healing with a high vibration of light, cocooning you in sound healing music and crystals until you feel lighter and happier.
Why do you do it?
I do it because it’s easy for me, because I am good at it, because it is intriguing, and because I get great results for people, and that is very satisfying.
What transformations have you experienced and witnessed in others?
Oh, difficult to choose! So many great moments over 20 years and more than 10,000 clients.
The best, is in myself – I now have inner peace. I no longer suffer from negative or critical mind talk at all. I feel that is a fantastic achievement! How many people do you know with POSITIVE mind chatter? I guide my clients to reach that peace as well, when they complete my program The Gift of Harmony, a deep step-by-step transformation, to release core issues and balance 4 (normally warring!) parts of yourself.
At the Four Seasons, where I was Master in Residence, one client, a company chairman, said I transformed her life. I helped her let go of 30 years of grief.
Another client said he wouldn’t have had his child, without “The Gift of Harmony”. It helped him resolve relationship issues and commit. Now his lovely daughter is 11.
Several clients have said ‘I wish I’d met you 10 years ago – I would have saved thousands of dollars in therapy!’ – you can see comments like this on my Tripadvisor – ‘Jelila Spiritual Healer’.
Crystals are obviously an important part of your work – how do you use them?
I was blown away when I first discovered the power of crystals – I was asked to do a crystal healing and found I could just naturally do it – I felt I was tapping into knowledge that I already knew!
In Singapore, at Sanctum, and Basic Essence Healing Centres, I continued practicing crystal healing, using the power of the crystals to move energy, release negativity, balance emotions, harmonise chakras, and create peace and wellbeing.
How did your Crystal Healing Necklaces come about?
Individual crystals got lost in the bed, so one day I created a ‘chord’ of crystals, 1.2 metres long – a strand of rainbow crystals to balance the chakras – “The Yoga Chord”. I love using it for healing as it is so easy to move anywhere on the body. My clients loved it too, and wanted to buy it to wear, and so my healing crystal necklace range was born.
How do you use them?
Wear them, and place on the body during Crystal Healing. More about my methods and how to use my healing crystal necklaces are in my book ‘The Power of Crystals’.
How do you program your crystals?
I set an intention, then I ‘talk’ to the crystals, until they agree to do it!
How do people feel when they wear your crystals?
Uplifted, positive, happier, more focused. My clients adore them –especially the Yoga Chord –if it breaks, they can’t wait to get a new one!
You replace them if they break?
Yes because a crystal can break when a pattern breaks. Obviously my clients are always advancing, so this does happen! That’s why I guarantee them. I usually tell them why it broke.
Are you psychic?
Yes of course! I am clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient – I can see, hear, feel, and know what is going on with you, and I have ‘inner guides’ who tell me.
How about your music?
I sing my own healing songs, live, to my clients. I sing ‘Light Language’ a funny sounding language that people say touches their soul. It conveys deep emotions and knowledge through the vehicle of sound healing. It reaches the parts others can’t reach. My song ‘The Law of Attraction’ teaches how to manifest your desires, and also has a positive, attractive vibe to help that happen! Here is an excerpt, you can listen and download the song and read the full lyrics, at the link below:
The Law of Attraction
by © Jelila 2005 All Rights Reserved:
Constructive thoughts will win the day, so it pays, to take time to perfect your creations –in your head first.
Make your imagined design the most perfect thing you can – as an idea, a mental plan – before you make it.
That way, you won’t have to break it down, and do it again, another day!
Like this, you’ll avoid strife, and easily bring the thing to life, in the perfect way.
That’s the Law of Attraction!
And your CDs?
I’ve recorded 14 CD themes of my healing music. My favourite is Lullaby for the Inner Child – deeply soothing, with words your inner child loves to hear, it starts off with peaceful Light Language song.
How about your other books?
The Gift of Harmony portrays your inner world in a new yet simple way that is wonderful for relationships. Alien Wedding reveals some ancient negativity you can cleanse, The Reprogramming I and II, let you learn from (fictionalised) healing sessions of others and release stuff yourself as well. All are available on Amazon and Kindle and in my online store.
One last thought?
Don’t give up! Everything is possible, and it’s easier than you think.
With The Reprogramming™, you can reach any issue, change anything, when you reach and release the core negative beliefs that are truly driving you – and in days and hours, not years!
My intention is to help you overcome any issues gracefully and go on your way, as soon as possible, living a happy life!
© Lightening Magazine 2016
It pains me to say this, but there are quite a few people these days who have a negative opinion of hip hop, and I think they’re justified. When you look at some of the ways it is represented in the mainstream media, it makes sense. Radio stations are flooded with uninspired songs touting shallow pursuits like designer clothes and emotionless sex. Rap icons glorify violence and drug dealing. And major hip hop blogs spend more time covering twitter beef and groupie fights than the music itself. But that’s not what hip hop is supposed to be about, and it’s certainly not what it was when it started. Most people think that “hip hop” refers only to the music, but in reality, when the term was coined it encompassed five pillars; rapping, DJing, B-Boying, Graffiti and arguably most importantly, Knowledge of Self. Regardless of which of the first four pillars you engaged in, it was always a path to the 5th pillar. Today I’m going to talk about using my favorite of these pillars, rapping, to increase my knowledge of self, as well as heal some of my past wounds in the process.
For those of you who have listened to my music or seen me perform, you may remember me best for my comedic songs. They tend to be the ones that people enjoy the most. But if you’ve dug a little deeper you will probably find that I can get quite introspective with my lyrics. In fact, even with my comedic songs I will often do this. I like combining levity with seriousness because it makes inner work fun. I want the pursuit of personal growth to be enjoyable, and I can’t think of a more joyous way to do that than to rap about losing my pants while taking a long, hard look at what’s underneath. The surface that is, not my pants.
“Then I found my pleats just in time for a hot date with,
this girl I met at the class with all of the sadists,
I was gonna put on my best mask so she would be fascinated
but then I realised that I would only find true love if I showed up truly naked”
Many times in my life I’ve put on a mask to impress someone, whether that be a friend, a teacher, an employer, or a prospective lover. And after writing a four minute song of comedic punchlines about misplacing my corduroys (which are making a comeback soon I swear to you), I somehow stumbled upon this nugget of wisdom. This is often the progression of events when I write. No matter what the subject is, I will almost inevitably circle back to uncovering something about myself. Or at the very least reminding myself of a lesson that I may have forgotten.
I lived in Ubud for 3 years and I experimented with my fair share of healing modalities, for lack of a better word. Some of them were very powerful. Some of them were downright dangerous. The realization that I kept coming back to, over and over again, was that the most potent healer in the world, is always yourself. I believe that there are many great healers that can help, and many amazing tools to improve your own capacity for healing, but regardless of who or what you engage in, responsibility for self is always the key. And there is no chance of responsibility for self without knowledge of self.
Which brings me back to hip hop. There are few things in the world that I find more ecstatic than finishing an awesome verse and rapping it all the way through for the first time. And then performing that song live for the first time and getting an enthusiastic crowd reaction. So with the idea that all hip hop pursuits are meant to funnelled into an increased knowledge of self constantly in my mind, I can heal myself while I do what I love. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to heal myself. So let me give you an example of when I recently had a major epiphany while writing a song. The track is about this sensation I’ve experienced lately where my mental perspective and emotional state spin around so fast that I can’t tell what is true and what is ego, and all I can do is just sit back and watch. I knew I was going to write about this when I started but I had no idea where it would go. But when I’m focused and in the zone, my words tend to go where I need them to. They took me to a girl I had recently developed feelings for. One minute I was in love with her, the next I thought my desire stemmed from my ego fearing the loss of her. I realised that this whole spinning sensation had blossomed from my ambivalent feelings for her, and that it was seeping into the rest of my life. So I explored this by writing about it, and by the end of the verse, out popped the epiphany. It was something that had been holding me back for a long time and I never even realised it.
I discovered that I had a deep rooted belief that I could only achieve my goals if I was alone, and so I was preventing myself from pursuing romantic relationships and unconsciously using this excuse to justify it. This realisation cleared up my thoughts and emotions, the spinning sensation subsided, and I was able to feel clearly what I truly wanted. So I went for it. And though I didn’t get it, I’m much better off for trying. I’m pretty much always better off for trying, and I couldn’t even begin to count how many incredible things making hip hop has influenced me to try.
Jonny Freesh is a 3rd culture kid originally from Canada, last seen in Indonesia and now found frequenting hip hop nights in Melbourne. He brings a truly original brand of hip hop to the table that he likes to call “explosively quirky”, and is known best for his visually jaw-dropping music videos. When he’s not rapping about losing his pants or his beard, you’ll probably catch him ranting about how crowdfunding platforms like Patreon are the future of the music industry.
© Lightening Magazine 2016