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  • Sea, Sand & Soul Searching

    Posted Sep 8th, 2013 By in Blog With | No Comments Sea. Sand & Soul Searching

    A Fond Farewell

    ann_knoxYesterday I heard the sad news of the passing of a dear Soul Sister, Glasgow based fellow promoter and founder of The Truth Matters, Your Conscious World and the Conscious Life Directory…the beautiful and inspirational Ann Knox.

    Ann and I were a similar age. We were both single mum’s with grown up daughters…and a passion for creating inspirational events that we each hoped would make a positive difference to people’s lives in some way. Ann had a real gift for connecting people with the teachers and the messages they needed to hear and her creativity shone through the stunning websites that she created to promote her inspirational messages.

    Although we never actually met; Ann and I spent many hours on the telephone sharing our stories and our dreams for the future. I knew that Ann had been challenged by breast cancer a few years ago, but with her amazingly positive outlook on life, coupled with her commitment to living a healthy lifestyle based upon her understanding of natural approaches to healing and how eating the right foods can play a major role in one’s healing journey, she was a huge inspiration both to myself and to many, many others.

    Her death has come a huge shock and has really made me really begin to question whether our passions can lead us into overdrive and unless we remain mindful, they can easily take over our lives to such an extent that we can begin to lose sight of the innocent purity of life. Sometimes, just standing still for a while and simply ‘being’ is enough to bring us a great sense of peace and joy.

    It is a comfort to know that Ann shared her passing with her beautiful daughter Ellie by her side and I do hope that wherever her soul’s journey has taken her, that she is at peace knowing that she has left a priceless legacy to encourage each and every one of us to be true to ourselves, to take control of our own healing journey and to follow the wisdom of our hearts and the guidance of our dreams – wherever they may lead us.

    Angels and Soul Dragons

    Angels and Soul Dragons1I was preparing to take a step back from the whirl of Dragon activity to pursue a long held dream of island hopping around Greece for a few weeks when I heard of Ann’s death. As the time to depart for my latest adventure had been drawing closer, I was aware of my old companion, ‘Guilt’, creeping in to sit beside me as I began to question the wisdom of taking this time away from Naked Dragon with such a busy period ahead.

    Yet as I slowly come to terms with Ann’s passing, I realise that taking this time out to enjoy some Sea, Sand and Soul Searching, is vitally important to me in terms of re-affirming my value and self-worth. It is also about honouring a promise that I made to myself a long time ago to explore this beautiful region of the world, with no fixed plans and with my heart leading the way.

    I will use the time to sit and dream, to write and to contemplate the future of Naked Dragon. I have so many ideas and new concepts that would like to develop and I am also realistic enough to recognise that there is only so much that one solitary Dragon Lady can do by herself.

    Having finally found the courage to reach out to ask for support, I am looking forward to welcoming the Angels and fellow Soul Dragons that I know The Universe will send into my life at the right time to help support Naked Dragon on its journey towards its next stage of evolution as it slowly grows into its full potential.

    Going Home

    I'm HomeAs I was writing this Blog piece and wondering what Ann’s thoughts would have been around this subject, I opened my front door to let some air in and found this white feather nestled against the door mat. I believe this sign is Ann’s way of saying ‘Hello’ and to let me know that she has finally found her way ‘Home.

    Thank you for the priceless gift of your friendship Ann. May God bless your soul and may you always rest in peace.

  • Experiencing I AM

    Posted May 21st, 2013 By in Blog, Reviews With | No Comments 600x200-ND-banner-IAM  Scrolling Banner

    A Review by Julie Bryant

    Facebook ProfileIt was a real honour and a great pleasure when Naked Dragon was recently invited to collaborate with Team Desai to present Panache Desai at his first ever UK event in London – The I AM Experience – on the weekend of 17th-19th July 2013.

    With guests arriving from 17 different countries, it was a real testament to the quality of Panache’s teachings and the power of his energy to have drawn so many people from around the world wishing to finally experience themselves in the full magnificence of their being.

    A Simple Message

    Panache’s message is a very simple one…

    He describes himself as being an ‘Old Friend’ whom we have asked to remind us that we are NOT broken, do NOT require fixing and are PERFECT just as we are!

    When all you’ve ever wanted is to be fully embraced for who and what you are, Panache will say, “YOU are NOT the Problem. YOU are 100% Loveable. Get used to it!”

    The I AM Experience

    IAM-Slate3smallOver the course of the weekend, I came to understand exactly what Panache means when he says that I am not broken and there is nothing about me that I need to fix. I now realise that I have spent my whole life searching for the road that would lead me back home to myself and that I AM the ONE that I have been patiently waiting for all this time!

    Panache’s work is highly experiential and works on many different levels. For those of us who spend much of our time stuck in our heads, it was such a relief to let go, relax into the experience and to enjoy the simple pleasure being immersed in the beauty of our own being.

    The I AM Experience was rich and joyful with Panache sharing so much wisdom and universal truths in rapid succession that he hardly had a chance to draw breath before he was expressing yet another life changing statement!

    Panache is an embodiment of a Descended Master who has known his destiny from a very young age and his message is beginning to ripple outwards to reach into every hidden corner of the globe.

    Being in Panache’s presence,  I had no choice other than to recognise that the entire universe resides inside of me and that as I allow the full light of my luminosity to shine, the beauty of my soul and the magnificence of my being  is reflected back to me. Panache says that as we recognise the energy we are projecting, the mirrors will simply break into pieces as they are no longer required!

    In the past, I have often repressed my emotions resulting in the creation of many blockages in my energy field causing all kinds of challenges to my sense of well-being.

    To begin releasing these blockages, Panache explains that we need to be willing to be courageous and vulnerable. He encourages us to feel safe with who we are and to be ready to embark on a vibrational journey towards a state of grace.

    From this state of being, we can allow all of our emotions to arise knowing that everything in time passes and that everything washes through. In order to continue raising our vibrational levels, we need to keep releasing our emotions, none of which matter or have any power, unless we make them matter or assign a meaning to the feeling, because the light that we are never changes.

    Panache describes being Naked as stripping away everything to get to a place of NO-THING-NESS. And from this place of no-thing-ness, we understand that we are…

    A NO-Body, Experiencing NO-Thing and Going NO-Where!

    The road to madness is to drive ourselves crazy as a result of Wanting to be SOME-One, Experiencing SOME-Thing and Going SOME-Where!

    As we continue being a NO-Body, everything happens spontaneously through us. Panache asks us to be available, to be present and to watch what happens. When we are willing to be open, the universe will do the rest as the Divine’s version of our life is always better than our own!

    By being who we are, our light becomes so strong that we remind others of their own light and who they really are. Our gift to the world is to find our own expression in whatever we are doing and whatever it is, to do it our own way. The world is how WE see it; and we need to have the courage to see the good in everyone and everything.

    It is time to make LOVE the New Normal as everything we do that takes us away from being open and available for life is a distraction. As we become more of ourselves than we have ever allowed ourselves to be and as we begin working with spirit, there is no longer a need to hold onto our modalities as God is going to start talking to us througH EVERYONE!

    No Lessons – Just Experiences!

    Panache-Head-Shot-Real-TalkEven though Panache believes that we are here to have experiences – not to learn lessons – he is nevertheless an engaging and entertaining teacher who had us all laughing and crying in equal measure throughout the course of the weekend!

    Panache raised the vibrational levels in the room to such an extent that by the Sunday morning I could feel the waves of energy flowing throughout my body as I began clearing not just my own ‘stuff’, but many lifetimes of fear based belief systems from seven past generations of family members. By clearing these huge blockages of fear stuck in my energy field Panache explained that I had also freed the negative energy blockages from seven future generations of my family; all of which all sounds pretty cool to me!

    Having been immersed in this hugely transformational experience with Panache, things have begun to change for me on many different levels already. At the time of writing this piece, two days after the I AM Experience, my body is beginning to catch up with the shifts in my energy field and I am now feeling much lighter, freer and in a greater place of self-love than I have ever experienced in the past.

    Panache’s message might be a simple one but the shifts in consciousness that he facilitated during the course of the weekend are truly powerful beyond measure.

    It feels wonderful to be part of this rapidly expanding global Desai family and as Panache rightly says, there is no need to come back for another such experience as we now truly understand that there wasn’t anything to ‘fix’ because we were never ‘broken’ in the first place!

    However, if we do chose to attend another event in the future…and I can almost guarantee that many of us will… it will be because we have chosen to experience some more of Panache’s good vibrations; to have fun meeting some of our ‘old friends’ and to enjoy seeing the beauty of ourselves being reflected by a group of people representing our fellow 7.2 billion beautiful beings on this planet!

    It was a priceless gift to have experienced this very special weekend with Panache in such an intimate setting. I truly believe that he will soon become a household name and that the next time he is back in town, he will be speaking to crowds of hundreds – if not thousands of new fans!

    Such is the power of his gift to reconnect us to our true selves that everyone will be wanting to ‘Meet their Old Friend – Panache Desai.’

    Panache Live

    Panache’s next live event is Living in the Heart of Possibility at the Global Gathering in Florida on 21st-23rd June.

    Living in the Heart of Possibility – Global Gathering: June 21-23 from Panache Desai on Vimeo.

     

     

  • A Love Note to Self

    Posted Apr 26th, 2013 By in Blog With | No Comments Daring and Mighty LOVE

    A Guest Blog Post by Katie Phillips

    Welcome to my guest blog on the thing I am most moved by…LOVE

    Or more specifically –

    SELF LOVE!

    The thing is, when I make a decision to understand the nuts and bolts of something, and then teach it, it becomes a life long purpose which reveals layer upon layer upon layer of deeper learning and truths.

    Just when I think I have a handle on it. Just when I think I have the best juicy nuggets to share with you, I find ‘the’ best bit. Then I discover some more! And, I just keep on learning.

    Self love is miraculous and literally life changing.

    More LoveIt wasn’t an easy path for me to reach it. It was my holy grail. So, once I had it, I was determined to hold onto it. It simply was not an option to lose what I had found and yet I was nervous that somehow I would revert to the way I was – empty and lost. I wondered how I could keep my balance and focus on what is real and true when I live in such a busy, demanding world. That would be the true test.

    Little did I know that tapping into that great power of love within was just the beginning and now that my spirit was running the show, there was no going back – so I actually had nothing to fear!

    But I did fear. The thing I feared most was whether I could stay in love with myself when I had and wanted others to give my love to. Was there enough to go around?

    Loving the Self

    I have a young son whom I LOVE…DEEPLY

    Katie's BoyPre-self-love-affair though, my experience of loving him – although a wondrous thing – left me bereft of any love left for myself, let alone anyone else.

    When I discovered that there was something equally wondrous inside me, that deserved my love and attention, miraculously my ability to love in general increased. I had a greater capacity for myself and my son. I have been able to love him in a consciously deeper way without losing anything of myself. And, because I love myself, I am pretty sure he feels my love for him in a healthier more dependable way.

    Not only do I have a healthier, more loving relationship with my son, I also have happier, more loving friendships in general. I have a home that is brimming with love. I have work that is completely heart and love centred.

    Lots of evidence is mounting up to show me that there IS enough love to go around and that the more I love…the more I love!

    The more I give love and the more I give it to myself, the more I receive it from others. It is abundant and limitless. And, even cooler, the energetic vibration of love is the highest there is, so it literally has the power to create anything I want. When love is in charge, love expands to touch and support every part of my life and every dream becomes a possibility.

    A Love Note to Self

    I have written this post as a NOTE TO SELF because I need to remind myself of the FACTS

    Katie PhillipsYou see, I am SINGLE!

    For the first time ever, I am very happily single. And have been for a while now:-) It has been a blessing. I always thought ‘comfortably, happily single’ was for other girls. It was another holy grail.

    Lately though, I have been wondering if I am ready to invite an intimate relationship back into my life.

    Is there enough love within and around me to hold the vulnerability and connection of intimacy?
    Can love hold the space when a new energy comes in to alter my tidy, ordered life!?
    Will I be able to do the work I love, with the same level of passion if I am giving my passion to another?

    You get the drift.

    If I love someone new, will I still be able to love myself?
    Can I have it all? The holy grail trifecta?!
    Cups that runneth over?

    AM I DARING & MIGHTY?

    Heck Yes!

    Be Daring & Mighty

    Katie PhillipsKatie Phillips created Daring & Mighty to support you on your journey of change and growth. She is passionate about encouraging and inspiring you to dare to live a mighty life!

    Katie has a beautiful range of gifts to affirm where you want to be and how you want to feel – from Wall Art to Gratitude & Dream Journals to iPhone covers!

    To discover more about Katie’s work and beautiful products, please click HERE

    Limited Edition Journals – A Gift for YOU!

    The LOVE JournalTo celebrate Naked Dragon’s 2nd Birthday, Katie has generously designed and commissioned a limited number of these stunning journals.

    Handmade using re-cycled leather, these are truly one-off limited editions – never to be printed again & not for sale anywhere!

    The words on the cover of the journal describe Katie’s new book, ‘How to be Daring & Mighty’ which is being transformed into an intensive 3-month course and an on-line programme which will be released in a couple of months.

    This beautiful books are included in the stunning gift bags of Dragon Delights being offered to the first people to book their tickets to Naked Dragon’s birthday event with energy master Jason Chan on Wed 15th May.

    For more details and to book your ticket – and to bring your friend for FREE – if you book by 30th April…please click HERE

     

  • Reflections: The Yogic Journey of Life

    Posted Mar 23rd, 2013 By in Blog With | No Comments dearcreator1banner

    Dear Creator… A Guest Post by Tao Porchon-Lynch

    Dear Creator, who travels through the planet, the oceans and the atmosphere which pulsates within the heart of every atom. Make the breath flow throughout the universe with every body of water across plains and plateaus.  Through every plant and every tree in constant flow is the river of life. No matter the strength of every creature and every inhabitant between earth and heaven, you are omnipresent, omnipotent, for if you can move mighty mountains and mighty oceans, cannot you move and cleanse all that is negative within us and around us?

    I asked you at this very moment to help me accomplish my dreams, for it is not your wish that a few have all and so many suffer. You made us, you are around and within us, and you can open the door. This I believe, not of tomorrow, but today.

    Ganesh, all powerful, who represents all good, listen to my request and open the door to grant it. Welcome my soul into the richness of the universe.

    What do I wish?

    To help others.

    To help myself so that I represent for them your  power within me.

    To make possible the power to wipe out all obstacles.

    To feel the dance of life without problems.

    To become the very essence of yoga. Understand it so I live and teach it every day.

    If we work in harmony with Nature, we get results.

    In spite of the wide gaps that still exist in our research of why we are on this earth.

    For the glory of renewal blows away the darkest clouds of yesterday and the soft breeze of dawn is the melody of the renewal of life.

    Chinese claim that the magnetic forces rise through the soles of the feet, which act as a receiving channel for the life force to flow upwards and blossom.

    So, don’t look downwards, or backwards, but rise with the sun and you will see the beauty burst across the heavens and into your life and body.

    I thank you for helping me move through the stages of my life to enact my dreams and to pass them on to others. I am “Om,” one without a second with “You,” and the whole universe.

    Look to this day for it is Life

    So look to this day for it is life, the very essence of life. In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty. For yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness. And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day. Such is the salutation of the dawn.

    Then all your dreams become a reality

    Asato ma sad gamaya

    Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya

    Mrityor ma amritam gamaya

    Lead me from the unreal to the real.

    Lead  me from darkness to light.

    Lead me from death to immorality.

    Om Shanti  Shanti  Shanti.

    Shalom. Shalom. Shalom

    Namaste

    -From Tao’s Reflections: The Yogic Journey of Life

    *** Join Tao at Her First UK Yoga Retreat: 28th-30th June ***

  • What’s Made Me Who I Am?

    Posted Mar 21st, 2013 By in Blog With | No Comments 600x200-ND-banner2-IAM 2nd Banner - Blog

    A Guest Blog Post by Panache Desai

    Who Are You?

    Your story? I am a victim of abuse… a social wall flower…  a type A overachiever…  chronically sick… the black sheep of the family….

    Your role?  I am a bad mother… an unmotivated worker… a frustrated spiritual seeker… an unemployed breadwinner… an exhausted caretaker….

    Your past? I am a divorcee… a high school dropout… an alcoholic…  a sufferer of depression…. 

    From the moment you were born limitations were spoken over you. Most conveyed unconsciously through the fear-based judgements of others. What self-limiting statements did you grow up hearing? You’ll never be as good as your brother… You were always frail… You’re a failure at maths… You don’t know how to get along with others… You’re as clumsy as an ox… You were born angry….

    The repetition of these judgements, at first by others and then not surprisingly by yourself, cause them to become ingrained in your subconscious.

    The Power of Connection

    In how many areas of your life have you allowed these  statements to define and limit who you are?

    As you think of them notice how you feel.

    Ready to hear how powerful you truly are?

    Because you vibrate these beliefs, life’s experiences echo these limitations back to you at every turn.

    Are you experiencing an ‘Aha’ moment right now?

    Is life today a reflection of these limitations?

    Awareness opens the door to the eradication of unconscious binding judgements.  You’ve just taken the first step to radically shifting your life. At the deepest level of your being – your vibrational expression – you are something far greater than you’ve ever allowed yourself to be.

    You are whoever you say you are.

    The power of I AM makes it so.

    I Am more than I’ve ever allowed myself to be.

    Will you receive it?

  • Three Magic Keys to Unlocking our Soul’s Purpose

    Posted Mar 6th, 2013 By in Blog With | 1 Comment threekeys

    Three Magic Keys

    Witnessing some of the changes that other people are going through during these times of great change inspired me to identity these Three Magic Keys and to explore how we can use other people’s experiences to begin Unlocking our Soul’s True Purpose.

    FIRST KEY ~ LET GO

    article-1179969-021046A1000004B0-742_468x383TEN years ago I was offered an amazing work opportunity in the Middle East which involved having less than two weeks to pack up my home; say goodbye to my friends and family; let go of almost all of my possessions – and leave behind my life in the UK.

    With very little time for my fears and doubts to take hold, I followed the guidance of my heart and a couple of weeks later I was sitting on the plane feeling lighter and freer than at any other time in my life. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and was a great lesson in the joys and benefits of travelling light!

    The wonderful music maestro, Tim Wheater, recently announced on Facebook that he had reached a “Milestone Zen Moment” and had decided to really let go by selling his house and nearly all his possessions to create the space his soul required to follow his path of creativity to seek and develop a new language of sound that will vibrate globally.

    His words seemed to resonate with many of his fans as the response to his heart felt words created a wave of good wishes and expressions of longing to find the courage to take their own first steps towards personal freedom. Tim also reminds us of a quote from the  inspirational writer, Julia Cameron, when she says, “Take the Leap and the Net will Appear.” And so it will when we trust in the universe to support us as we choose to simply Let Go…and Let God!

    SECOND KEY ~ LIVE SIMPLY

    R4630-may-i-liveLIFE is so much more enjoyable when we stop chasing our own tails in pursuit of whatever it is that we think is missing in our lives – or what we believe we need more of. Once our basic needs of warmth, food, shelter and community are taken care of, anything else we may acquire or experience is just the icing on the cake!

    Last week I had the pleasure of hearing Rev Peter Owen Jones talk at Alternatives in London when he shared his story of How to Live a Simple Life; a process that he demonstrated during the BBC TV series of the same name after being given the challenge of following in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi and living for three months with no money, no home and no obvious means of support.

    His story is a real inspiration and one that you can hear for yourself during his talk at Naked Dragon next month.

    THIRD KEY – LOVE YOURSELF

    cute girlWE can only truly express Love when we understand what it means to Be Love. And this starts by learning how to love and accept ourselves unconditionally.

    Without a strong and healthy sense of Self-Love we can become needy and form attachments to other people in a mistaken belief that their love for us can fill a hole in our hearts which only the power and grace of self-love can truly heal.

    One of Naked Dragon’s favourite speakers, Dr David Hamilton, has recently turned his attention to exploring the health benefits of Self-Love with his new course, I Heart Me: The Science of Self .

    David’s scientific research into the power of our thoughts to heal our lives has led him to believe that Loving Ourselves is the most powerful and transformative thing we can do for ourselves.

    Living from the Heart

    Since identifying these Three Magic Keys and starting to Unlock my Soul’s Purpose, I have begun to experience some wonderful shifts within my inner and outer worlds.  There is a real sense of ‘coming home to me’ and it feels really good to know that I am finally on the right path towards Living my Life Simply…and From my Heart.

     

  • Duvet Days – 10 Great Things to Do in Bed!

    Posted Jan 5th, 2013 By in Blog With | No Comments duvetdaysbanner

    A Gift of ME Time

    Writing a post on Facebook this morning stating that I was enjoying a morning in bed getting better acquainted with the joys of my new i-Phone, I realised that it has been many years since I’ve consciously given myself permission to enjoy the wonderful delights of a Duvet Day!

    And what better time to indulge in such pleasures than at the start of a New Year when the weather is cold and grey outside and my body is keen to stay in hibernation mode for as long as possible!

    In the past, the only time that I would only have given myself such a gift was when I was feeling under the weather for some reason and felt that I could justify what I would normally have perceived as being a ‘waste of valuable time!’

    And yet, giving ourselves permission to ‘escape’ from the world for few hours…or even a full day…can result in one of the most productive days we’ve had a in a long time as we allow ourselves to SLOW down a little and to create the SPACE to listen…and really HEAR…the whispering of our heart’s desires.

    Time to Just BE

    In today’s fast paced world, it is good to stop and just BE for a while. And if we should choose to DO something within the narrowed down confines of the world of our bed; then we can choose to make the Doing more of a Mind-Full process.

    Or in my case, as I sit here on my bed with my laptop resting on my knees, munching on a rather large bowl of home-made popcorn – it is really more of a Belly-Full process!

    So, after giving this subject some ‘slowed down’ thinking space, I’ve come up with a top ten list of my favourite Duvet Day activities otherwise known as…

    My Top Ten Favourite Things to Do in Bed!

     1.                  Daydream – This is one of my favourite activities and a wonderful time to  remind myself that if I can Conceive It…and Believe It…then I CAN Achieve It!

    2.                  Meditate – Although I meditate on a regular basis, there is something even more special about mediating whilst sitting on my bed and being surrounded by the comforts of my lovely bedroom.

    3.                  Read a Good Book – I’ve always been an avid reader, although since life has become so fast paced I am often so tired at the end of the day that I rarely get to read more than a few pages of my book before I fall asleep, so it is a real gift to have some quality time to really engage with the story.

    I’m currently reading a brand new spiritual novel from the Hay House stable called ‘Men, Money & Chocolate!’ by Menn Van Pragg. Definitely one for the girls – and a good fun read to boot!

    4.                  Eat and Drink! – Having just polished off the previously mentioned bowl of home-made popcorn and drowned a rather large mug of coffee; my attention is now turning to the idea of tracking down some Chocolate – thoughts which I’m putting down to the influence of the aforementioned book!

    (However, thoughts of Men & Money can wait until my next Duvet Day!)

    5.                  Snuggle up with a Loved One! – Given the current absence of a furry cat, dog, budgie(!) or another human to snuggle up with; my much loved teddy bear fits the bill admirably!

    6.                  Phone a Friend – It’s always good to talk…and even better when you can give someone your full attention without having loads of everyday distractions going on around you.

    7.                  Sleep – As I am already in bed, I may as well take full advantage of being able to indulge in the luxury of having a quick snooze every couple of hours!

    8.                  Write a Blog or Gratitude Journal – Having this quiet time to think is a great opportunity to do some creative writing in the form of a Blog or to make some entries in my Gratitude Journal

    9.                  Create a Vision Board – Okay, maybe not create an entire Vision Board as having a pair of scissors, a tube of glue and a large piece of cardboard in my bed is probably taking the idea a bit too far! However, it is a great opportunity to browse some magazines to find suitable images for adding to my vision board at a later date.

    10.              Go with the Flow – No plans. No agenda. For one whole blissful day I have no-one to please but myself.  What joy!

  • Dancing with Dystonia

    Posted Dec 2nd, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments dancingwithdystoniabanner2

    What is Dystonia?

    Dystonia is a malfunction of the part of the brain (basal ganglia) that controls different muscle groups. It is a movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily.

    The neurological mechanism that makes muscles relax when they are not in use does not function properly and opposing muscles often contract simultaneously as if they are ‘competing’ for control of a body part.

    These involuntary muscle contractions force the body into repetitive and often twisting movements as well as awkward, irregular postures. There are approximately 13 forms of Dystonia, and dozens of diseases and conditions include Dystonia as a major symptom.

    There is also thought to be a link with Parkinson’s which originates in the same part of the brain (basal ganglia).

    Watching this interview with Michael J Fox (who also suffers from Parkinson’s) as talks about his facial Dystonia, I felt huge admiration for Michael’s courage in sharing his story in such a public way. I am very grateful to him for doing so, as he has given me the confidence to stand up and begin sharing my own story.

    YouTube Preview Image

    The Numbers

    Unbelievably, there are more than  70,000 known sufferers of Dystonia in the UK alone – the same number as Clinically Obese people – and yet very few people have ever heard of this chronic condition that affects so many lives.

    There are also many thousands of others who have been misdiagnosed due to the current lack of knowledge about Dystonia.

    In North America there are known to be 550,000 people diagnosed with some form of Dystonia; although it is believed that the real figure is more likely to be in the region of 1,000,000.

    That is a huge number of people to be suffering from a condition for which there is currently no effective treatment – or hope of a cure – from a medical establishment that really knows very little about the condition.

    Funding is also very limited thereby affecting the amount of research taking place. The main reason for this shortage of funding is a lack of awareness. 

    Dancing with Dystonia – My Story

    My personal Dance with Dystonia began in 2008 whilst I was working in Europe. My position as head of a team of operations staff carried a great deal of responsibility and often required a great deal of hand written work.

    During the first week in my new role, I noticed that I was beginning to experience problems holding my pen. It kept slipping out of my hand and across the page, requiring me to re-write many pages of work.

    As this began to occur more frequently, I became very self-conscious as I couldn’t understand what was happening – or what I could do about it.

    My hands continued to misbehave for the next couple of weeks before beginning to ache like crazy. I would awake in the mornings with both hands curled into a ‘claw like’ grip and it would take best part of an hour for them to uncurl.

    I was unable to lift the kettle to make a cup of tea, get myself dressed – or even wash my hair. Basic manual tasks were almost impossible until I regained some sort of control over my hands and the reflex spasms that were causing me to lose my grip on simple objects.

    During the day, my hands would begin to shake and I would have to walk away from my desk and do another task before my colleagues began to notice the spasms and start to question my ability to do the job.

    I was becoming very distressed, particularly as hand-written creative writing is one of my passions and my growing inability to write more than a few words was beginning to rob me of one of my greatest pleasures and joys in life.

    Obviously something wasn’t right…but as the symptoms didn’t fit within my limited range of medical knowledge…I just tried to ignore them in the hope that they would go away.

    Sadly that wasn’t to be and over the next three months – as the discomfort and pain became steadily worse – I decided to return to the UK to be referred to a neurologist.

    The Diagnosis

    I was finally diagnosed with Focal Dystonia in November 2009 – a condition for which there is currently no known cure – and only limited options for treatment – most of which are pretty ineffective.

    It was the first time I had heard the term Dystonia, even though my younger brother had been suffering from Cervical Torticollis for the previous five years – a different form of Dystonia which causes his head to be permanently twisted to one side.

    Not once had I heard my brother refer to the condition as being called Dystonia, so it came as a real shock to find that we were both suffering from the same condition. He has now been in agony for many years as his body continues to twist and distort and pharmaceutical treatment has so far proved to be totally ineffective.

    It is hard to observe my brother suffering in this way and even though he tries to stay upbeat I can sense him smiling through the pain. I have so much love and admiration for his bravery in agreeing to be a ‘guinea pig’ for the medical establishment by giving his consent to try out new drug treatments for a condition they still know very little about.

    Sadly, none of these treatments – including the most common form of treatment –Botox injections – have had any beneficial effects and he has now drawn the line at subjecting himself to DBS – Deep Brain Stimulation – which is often offered to sufferers as a last resort due to risks involved in the procedure.

    We have also recently come to understand that our Mother’s long standing throat condition could be due to Vocal Dystonia.

    The On-Going Journey

    My personal journey with Dystonia has progressed since my diagnosis three years ago and the condition now affects my eyesight, my neck and right shoulder - and just recently my stomach muscles have decided to join in the dance!

    As I strongly believe that the body has the ability to heal itself, I have refused all offers of the same type of treatment as my brother, as it is my belief that a natural cure – or treatment – for this distressing and painful condition will be found in the near future.

    Since the diagnosis, I have been exploring a natural and holistic approach to managing my condition; whereas my brother has chosen to walk the pharmaceutical path – so far without any noticeable success.

    I am now on a personal quest to explore the many holistic approaches to self-healing with the intention of discovering a natural and non-intrusive approach to managing and ultimately finding a cure for this extremely debilitating condition.

    A Natural Approach to Managing Dystonia

    Having explored many different therapeutic forms of treatment, the most beneficial approaches I have so far found for managing and REDUCING the effects of my condition have been;

    1. The McTimoney Technique - a gentle Chiropractic treatment 
    2. Sound Healing – powerful healing sound vibrations, particularly with The Gong
    3. Reflexology sessions – combined with the use of a range of hand-made, aromatherapy based and kinesiology tested Natural Foot Creams
    4. Vegetarian Diet
    5. Homeopathic Treatment
    6. Daily Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness - nourishing my body and mind with positive loving thoughts
    7. Researching and implementing the findings of some of today’s leaders in the fields of NeuroplasticityQuantum Physics and the Re-programming of the Mind,

    This includes the work of…

    Dr Joe Dispensza
    http://www.drjoedispenza.com/

    Dr David Hamilton
    http://drdavidhamilton.com/

    Dr Deepak Chopra
    http://www.deepakchopra.com/ 

    …amongst many others.

    With the amazing work these people are doing, my intuition tells me that their valuable research will ultimately hold the key to unlocking the mystery of Dystonia and other similar neurological conditions.

    Moving Forward

    It is my dearest wish to play a small part – on behalf of my brother, my mother, myself – and the millions of other sufferers worldwide – to raise awareness of Dystonia and to fulfil my dream of moving us all towards Dystonia Free Life.

    It is my hope that by continuing to share my story, someone else with a similar condition will be inspired to find the support and encouragement they need to take charge of their own healing and to improve the quality of their life in some way.

    After all, Miracles DO Happen Every Day!

    Dancing the Dance

    During 2013 I will initially be blogging about my on-going exploratory journey to find effective ways of managing my condition, before launching a not-for-profit organisation called ‘Dancing with Dystonia’ as soon as the support and the funding is in place.

    The organisation will share knowledge and the latest scientific research, as well as promoting a holistic approach to managing and ultimately - finding a natural cure – for this debilitating condition.

    It will help to build supportive online and local community groups, and provide an educational resource for those affected by Dystonia and other similar neurological conditions.

    THANK YOU – for reading this far – and for giving me the opportunity to share some of my story with you.

    I would love to hear from you if you know of any effective natural therapies - or treatments - for this condition…or of any other pioneering work being done in this field.

    If you would be interested in playing a supportive role in helping to create the new organisation, please email me at: julie @nakeddragon.co.uk and we can start the conversation!

    Or if you are affected by this condition, know someone who is…or would just like more information on the different approaches I am using to manage my condition, please feel free to contact me on the email address above and I will be delighted to help.

    A Little Reminder that The Dance resides in All of Us.
    Look out for the Dancing Sheep half way through this great video!

    YouTube Preview Image

    Support Dystonia this Christmas

    Naked Dragon’s special Christmas Concert with the Voice of 100,000 Angels – Lucinda Drayton – on Sunday 16th December, is being held in support of The Dystonia Society and MacMillan.

    If you would like to join us for this evening of beautiful music, please book your ticket asap as these are selling out FAST!

    Further details of this magical event can be found HERE

    We will also be holding a raffle on the night to raise additional funds. A full list of our fantastic prizes can be found HERE

    Further Information

    Further information about Dystonia can be found from The Dystonia Society

    http://www.dystonia.org.uk/

     

     

     

  • 7 Graces and The Road to Peace

    Posted Jun 20th, 2012 By in Blog With | 1 Comment 600banner2

    A Guest Post by Lynn Serafinn

    Dear Friends of Peace,

    My name is Lynn Serafinn, and I am the Founder of the 7 Graces Global Conference.

    I am writing today to extend you an invitation to attend this conference for free. But before I do, I need to tell you why I am doing this.

    Last night I attended the premier screening of Road to Peace, documentary film (and in my opinion, the definitive one) about the Dalai Lama and his message of Universal Responsibility.

    This remarkable film sprang from the inspired heart and talent of my dear friend, Leon Stuparich, who before my own eyes has transformed into what could only be described as a transparent and passionate cultural leader of the important message His Holiness speaks: that all the problems we face in the world—from economic to environmental to social justice—are of our own creation, which means we can also turn them around.

    But this turnaround can only happen when we understand that our worldwide unrest is not the result of political or religious disagreements, but rather unrest within each of ourselves. This means that true and lasting peace can only begin when each of us starts to walk on the road of peace within our own heart.

    In such a state of being, we can work collaboratively together, and invite an open dialogue for change based upon our common desire: to restore harmony, balance, abundance and love to people and planet.

    At the screening Leon mentioned that he is one of the speakers at the 7 Graces Global Conference, taking place in London and via interactive live stream this weekend on Friday June 22nd through Sunday June 24th. The aim is for people all around the world to participate in this important dialogue together, and to come away knowing they are part of a much bigger worldwide community of people who are committed to taking responsibility for positive change in the world.

    This conference is a project I started to being the dialogue of Universal Responsibility with particular focus on business, marketing and media. It is my opinion that the vast majority of our global problems are rooted in our consumer culture.

    Therefore, using the same logic shared by HH Dalia Lama, the key to finding solutions to those problems must also be possible when we begin a dialogue about how to transform the world of commerce so it embraces Universal Responsibility. Our key question needs to be: “How can we heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell?”

    The 7 Graces are a set of values that define the ingredients for this harmony and balance: Connection, Inspiration, Invitation, Directness, Transparency, Abundance and Collaboration. During this 3-day conference, our 9 guest speakers will be guiding our delegates through these 7 Graces, and engaging everyone, both in London and on live stream, in a worldwide dialogue about how we can bring these graces into our personal lives, our businesses, our communities and the world at large.

    You can read about the conference at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/7GGC.

    On that page, you will see that the cost of attendance is listed as £275.

    However – I would like to invite you to…

    Attend The & Graces of Marketing Global Conference…
    For FREE!

    As I would like to offer a gift to all the peacemakers reading this letter: please come to this conference at NO cost.

    To accept this invitation, please fill in the form on this page:

    http://bit.ly/7GGC-Peace

    I would like to fill the room with people who are ready to become the change, and inspire the change in others. To show your sincerity about attending, I would ask (if you can) that you make some sort of contribution, according to what you can give freely and easily, to help defray the high cost of putting on such an event and the 3 vegetarian meals that will be served to everyone who attends.

    Any contribution is gratefully accepted, no matter how small. And even if you honestly cannot afford to offer a single penny, please come anyway. If you are passionate about this subject, I really want you there.

    And, to show my support for Leon’s work, when you make your contribution, I will also ask you to tell me how much it you would like me to donate to Leon’s Road to Peace Productions, so we can help him bring this film to schools, prisons, community groups and anywhere else this message is needed.

    If you would like to accept my gift, and join Leon, me and dozens of other peacemakers for the 7 Graces Global Conference, please fill in the form at http://bit.ly/7GGC-Peace before 12noon Thursday June 21st, so we have time to alert the venue and caterers you will be there.

    And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/contact

    Here’s to creating a more responsible world together.

    Warm wishes,

    Lynn Serafinn

    P.S.: If you would prefer to attend the Live Stream instead of coming to London for the conference, you can do that too.

    Just go to http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/7GGC and enter the coupon code road-topeace-50 and you can register at half price.

    This will give you access to all 10 interactive sessions during the conference, and to the video replays for 3 months!

  • Food for Thought

    Posted Mar 24th, 2012 By in Blog With | No Comments bannerfruit

    A Taste of Raw Food Heaven

    Three Vibrant and Healthy Recipes by the UK’s Leading Raw Food Coach Karen Knowler

    The Green Smoothie

    The Green Smoothie takes just three minutes to make, uses just two ingredients, can easily be considered a meal in and of itself, and will give you energy and taste to fuel you up for the next exciting activity!

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Blender

    Ingredients

    1 large sweet and ripe mango (or 2 small ones)
    5–6 large handfuls of spinach

    Directions

    1. Chop your peeled mango into pieces and put into a blender first (it’s important that you put the mango in first, as it creates the juice which the spinach can be blended into).
    2. Wash your spinach thoroughly and add to the blender.
    3. Blend the two together thoroughly until a thick but bit-free consistency is achieved.
    4. Taste-test: If it’s not sweet enough for you, add 1–2dates or more mango. If it’s too sweet, add a bit more spinach.
    5. Finally, if you prefer your smoothie less thick, simply add water to reach desired consistency.
    6. When you’re happy with taste and texture, pour into a tall glass and swoon. Feel the green goodness flooding into you!

    Karen’s Tip

    I recommend that you make 2 pints worth (the above recipe will make roughly this amount) and drink one immediately and put the other into a pint glass and keep in the fridge until later in the day. The latter makes for a great afternoon ‘snack’ or satiating pre-dinner filler. Two in a day? It’s super-efficient, doesn’t take any extra time to make and you’ll be feeling so much better in no time at all!

    Fresh Strawberries Dipped in Raw Chocolate Sauce

    This treat is beautiful to look at, tastes divine, feels naughty – and is the perfect dish to share with a lover!

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Food processor

    Ingredients

    Fresh strawberries (as many as you desire)
    1 cup raw cacao powder (cocoa powder also works but may be stronger)
    1 cup agave nectar

    Directions

    1. Wash your fresh strawberries well, taking care to leave the stalks on. (Sensual Eaters like the contrast!)
    2. Put your cacao powder and agave syrup into the food processor and blend until you have a thick, smooth, chocolaty mixture that is the same consistency all the way through.
    3. Place your strawberries in a medium-sized bowl and pour the chocolate dipping sauce into a smaller bowl in the middle.
    4. Enjoy by simply dipping the strawberries into the sauce and eating/sharing/feeding as many or few as desired.

    Karen’s Tip

    This sauce keeps brilliantly in the fridge for a few weeks, so make as much as you want and enjoy!

    Raspberry Passion Pudding

    This recipe is a dessert or summer brunch recipe that’s universally adored, can be decorated any way you like for the wow factor and, better still, takes only a couple of minutes to make. Well, we wouldn’t want to keep you from your guests now, would we?

    Serves: 1–2

    Equipment: Blender

    Ingredients

    3 cups frozen raspberries
    1 passion fruit (cut in half and seeds squeezed out, shell discarded)
    1 mango, peeled and pitted

    Directions

    1. Place the prepared fresh fruit into the blender first, then add the frozen raspberries on top.
    2. Blend all ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy with no lumps.
    3. Taste-test before serving. If too tart for your palate, add some honey or dates to your blend.

    Karen’s Tip

    Feel free to add any other fresh fruits of your choice and decorate as desired.

    Meet Karen at Naked Dragon


    If you are interested in learning more about the part that a raw food diet can play in creating a state of optimum health and well-being, you are warmly invited to come and hear Karen speak at Naked Dragon on Wednesday 28th March at 7.30pm.

    For further details and to book your ticket, please click HERE

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