Tuesday, 5 May 2020

The PHS the next steps....

As with almost all physical events over recent weeks the PHS (People's Health Service) has had to rethink how it delivers ... 

We have instantly moved the meetings that were being held in Rickmansworth and North Watford online through Zoom. This ensures that we stay in touch and also keep moving forward. The very fact that we don't need to actually travel also provides an opportunity for people all over the country (world) to potentially join us and find out more about the initiative.

We are in a different world these days. Many millions of people have been self isolating in their homes across the world as we struggle to make sense of this pandemic and the ramifications.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Desi Stefanova Story - Part 2

... cont'd         

Up until that moment, cruising through life had been smooth, comfortable and familiar.

Suddenly and completely unexpectedly, this ‘smooth’ and ‘predictable’ game of ‘happy families’ came to a shattering end and I found myself falling into the deepest, darkest depression possible. To label that period of time as the ‘Dark Ages’ of my life would be an understatement and the only reason I am still alive to tell this story, is because I could not find a way to end it without hurting anyone else… (thinking of others’ pain came in handy this time!)

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

The Journey to the PHS

I guess I've always been interested in taking responsibility for my own health although to start with that happened without even knowing it.

Exercise & Discipline

I began playing Table Tennis when I was 8 and after a couple of years I started to get coached. I rose through the ranks in Watford fairly quickly, so at 14 yrs I was playing for the Hertfordshire county junior team.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Easy to understand philosophies to live your life

Louise Hay was an international, best-selling author, metaphysical lecturer and teacher. The book which brought her fame was “You Can Heal Your Life”. 

She developed her philosophies into an accessible format which anyone can apply to their own lives. Louise helped people, worldwide, to discover and implement their own power for personal growth and healing. 

This simple, yet powerful, philosophy states that we are 100% responsible for our own experiences and that every thought we think creates our future. The point of power is in the present moment. Underlying this is the core belief that NO MATTER WHAT THE PROBLEM, LOVING YOURSELF IS PART OF THE SOLUTION.

I first became aware of Louise Hay’s work about twenty years ago when I, by chance, discovered her book. Something about it resonated with me. I think it was its uncluttered simplicity coupled with profound, easily accessible philosophy. I began to put some of the ideas into practice in my own life and started to see small changes. As I progressed, the changes became more apparent and I became interested in learning more so I signed up for a Weekend Transformational Workshop. This was an intense and truly life changing experience. I was able to go deep within and to start my own healing journey. I followed this up with a ten week study course which enabled me to continue to grow and develop. At that time, I remember thinking that I would love to be able to teach this work and bring it to others. I tried to make it part of my life and to live it for myself. I saw, and continue to see, many changes as a result of living this way.

I have always worked in education and over the years, while working with students, I was able to use much of what I had learnt. Over the course of my career, as well as working with learners who have literacy and/or dyslexia issues, I have worked with people with mental health issues, young people excluded from school, people with behavioural issues, social problems, offenders and, more recently, Asperger Syndrome. I have been able to successfully share strategies and techniques with them to support their wider development, for example, many students also had anger, anxiety or self-esteem issues. To help with this, I was able to incorporate breathing and meditation techniques, letting go, forgiveness, mirror work and affirmations. Students who were open to this type of discussion reported that the techniques helped them to cope with their issues and to start to think differently which made me even keener to develop this aspect of my work.

In 2017, I had the opportunity to take the Heal Your Life® Teacher and Workshop Leader training and, twenty years to the month from my attendance on that first course, I qualified as a HYL teacher. In 2018, I travelled to the West coast of Ireland to take the advanced training and become a Coach. In January of 2019, I took the step of giving up my employment as a specialist tutor to focus on my work as a Heal Your Life® Coach, Teacher and Workshop Leader.

In the past, I have always been employed by someone so, when I left the security of paid employment, I began to think about how I wanted to take my work forward and that’s where Link4Growth/Link4Business comes in. I realised that as well as wanting to set up a successful healing practice, I wanted to be part of my community. I discovered our local group and went to a coffee event. The next thing I knew, I was part of the PHS group. I then developed a collaboration with another member, Caroline Byrne. (You can read more about Caroline here)

In the future, alongside my other work, I hope to be able to run some more groups and be involved in more collaborations.

I offer a variety of small group workshops and can tailor them to meet the participants’ needs. Some of the topics I cover in workshops include:

  • Building Your Self-Esteem
  • First Steps to Loving Yourself
  • Prosperity Consciousness
  • Healing Your Heart After Loss
  • Vision Boards and Intention
  • Goddess Workshop – The Ageless Woman
I also run longer more extensive courses and workshops, a few examples below

  1. 2 day Weekend Transformational Workshop
  2. 10 week Study Course
  3. 8 week Reframe Your Thinking For A Happier Healthier You (in collaboration with Caroline Byrne)

All the workshops incorporate exercises that Louise Hay pioneered including mirror work, affirmations, forgiveness, inner child work, meditation and visualisation etc. There is space for group work, working alone sharing - and some fun! The workshop space is a safe one where participants are free to explore within and to share, learn and grow.

My coaching work employs the same philosophy and techniques as the workshops. Coaching allows a person to work one to one and to examine the areas where they feel stuck, blocked or lost. As a coach, I do not try to fix my clients, rather I listen deeply and compassionately, hear their story, ask questions and make suggestions. I will guide clients to include the HYL techniques and inner work into their lives and I support each individual to find balance and clarity on their own healing journey. It is a shared process between equals.

All Heal Your Life® work incorporates a non-denominational, spiritual aspect. It recognises that there is a universal power and an inner presence that supports us. We guide our clients to become aware of, and to access, the intuitive part of themselves. This type of work fits within most philosophies and belief systems.

If you would like to know more about 1-1 Coaching or group workshops then please feel free to contact me.

Norah McLoughlin, Heal Your Life® Coach, Teacher and Workshop Leader

Tel: 07870 565 847
E mail: healingtide1@virginmedia.com
Web : https://healyourlifeworkshops.com/teacher/norah-mcloughlin

It can be tough being a good kid at school...

A wise man once said,Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man.I’d add, this is true for women as well!

I grew up in a family of well-educated parents who wanted their daughter to succeed. She was (and still is) quite good at problem solving and had (still has) a kind heart, if I may say so myself…

My early memories from pre-school are quite happy and up until the age of 7. I think my parents did a good job with installing solid foundations and beliefs about what is right and wrong in the world, as well as what it means to be a decent human being. I got pretty fluent at those from young age!

However, primary school brings mixed feelings and here is why. I was a pretty good learner and all subjects came easy for me. Being naturally inquisitive, and with a good capacity for remembering stuff and connecting between facts, I had no problem grasping any material. However, I had a problem of a different nature…

You see, my mum was a teacher in that same primary school (it being the only school in the village) so every step I made and every breath I took was reported to mum. My teachers would be telling her both the good and the bad news and I would hear all about it later at home, especially if there was any reports of bad news!

I was supposed to be her ideal child, not an embarrassment to her valued reputation, so I’d better behave! Funny how I never heard about the good news (I assume there must have been some good news, right?)… Only recently was I informed and realised how much all my teachers actually loved me, appreciated my talents and capabilities and how much they enjoyed having me as a pupil in their class – better late than never, I suppose!

In my parents’ defence, the dogma of the communist times proclaimed that “a parent must never show affection because this will spoil the child and kissing the child (Oh no, kissing!) is only allowed while the child is asleep!” My educated parents followed this instruction to the T. True, I did feel their love but it was hidden under a veil of mist, in case they spoilt me otherwise… (Hilarious!) Anyway, I learned to be a “good girl” from a very young age because that meant no trouble from my mum, my life would be peaceful because I would be spared the interrogation and all will be fine.

However, being the smartest in the class had its flip side, as you would imagine. I soon started being aware of my less capable friends’ disappointments and pains when they had poor marks in tests while at the same time I had no mistakes and teacher’s smiles. In an attempt to raise their spirits I would talk about my achievement in a derogatory way. I would say that the test did not matter really, that they would do better next time, or that I would probably make mistakes too next time! (Oh, Dear!) Nobody told me then that it was not a good idea to belittle myself so that they would feel less pain and disappointment. This is when and how I started playing small. Over time, I perfected this game and became a real pro at it.

An added ‘annoyance’ at that time was my height! Can you believe it, I was way taller than the tallest boy who was only a midget next to me! As a result, there was a constant flow of name-calling aimed in my direction. This was considered normal back then in communist Bulgaria where nobody had invented or heard of the term ‘bullying’ yet. As it happens, playing small, which had started on an emotional level, soon materialised on a physical level and my back started slouching in attempt to make me ‘smaller’. You see, I wanted to fit in. I desperately wanted to belong…

Long story short, this habit of belittling myself continued uninterrupted for years, probably because I was so very clever at hiding it and it served me well to find new friends and fit in. Before I knew it (and true, I had no idea I was doing myself disservice), I had become a master of suppressing my desires and at the age of 20, I had no desires left!

Yet, this did not matter, I felt quite happy the way I was, not questioning the status quo and just sensibly moving through life caring for others and ignoring myself. As in a dream, I got married and had my two children. You guessed it, I still had no desires of my own. I knew exactly what my son’s dreams were, what my daughter’s dreams were, and, what their father’s ambitions and desires were, with all the details! Their plans and goals were my commands and I did everything in my ability to make these wishes come true! Quite successfully as well (of course!)…

Little did I know what was lurking in the shadows… Little did I know what huge change awaited me around the corner…

Monday, 27 January 2020

The powerful impact of Emotional Acceptance

I’ve always had a strong ability to feel other people’s emotions and from a young age this caused me a lot of pain because, at the time, I didn’t know how to distinguish what was mine and what was another’s emotions. It was very confusing.

Growing up, I don’t recall being really heard or listened to by my parents or immediate family. Any emotional outburst was met with disapproval and I would be told off or told to calm down but never asked why I was feeling the way I did. It was a typical upbringing of the times to be a child that was seen and not heard.

Of course I have some compassion for my parents because it wasn’t their fault. Neither parent is particularly good at expressing themselves or communicating their wants and needs easily as they had not been brought up to talk about emotions and so the natural way of handling this was either to tell me to ‘get over it’ or ‘not to upset anyone’.

However, this inability to express myself would create within me deep emotional pain and I would feel guilty for having emotions, not understanding them, not understanding why I couldn’t let them out and not knowing how to process them.

As time went on, I learned that my feelings weren’t as important as others’. I learned to suppress, ignore or distract from any discomfort so that I wouldn’t upset anyone. I remember many times crying myself to sleep, feeling misunderstood and unable to like myself.

When my mum suddenly left the family, I was in my very early 20s and I didn’t process any of my emotions. I don’t recall discussing it with anyone really. People were shocked but no-one asked how I was, it was just ‘one of those things’.

I was having difficulties with my boyfriend at the time and remember many times bursting into uncontrollable tears in the office. I would hide behind pillars in the open-plan office hoping no one would see before making a B-line for the ladies toilet. I didn’t consider that it might have anything to do with my parents’ break up because my mum had often been angry while I was growing up and so I didn’t have a close bond with her. I realise now that she had clearly been unhappy in the marriage for some time.

20 years ago we didn’t talk about mental health, so this was unfamiliar territory. I went to see the doctor about the uncontrollable crying and was prescribed Prozac. It kicked in pretty quickly allowing me to focus on being a support to my dad, who seemingly hadn’t seen this coming either.

6 months later, I took myself off Prozac because, as someone who is very in touch with her emotions, I became aware that I had no emotions whatsoever. I didn’t seem to care about anyone or anything! This concerned me and I decided that I wanted to at least feel something, even if it wasn’t always pleasant.

Life went on and with it came a series of unsuccessful relationships, yet I didn’t make the connection that deep down I felt abandoned and so this subconscious belief would keep playing out in all of my relationships.

Working in the television industry throughout my 20s and into my 30s, I discovered my passion for real stories and had a dream to be a documentary filmmaker. I’ve always loved learning about different cultures, anthropology, the natural world, psychology and even metaphysics: ultimately anything that delves deeper into what it means to be human. More recently, I have discovered that this deeper understanding is my natural gift and I am very able to read people and intuitively guide them to discover their own insights.

After being made redundant I again became more in tune with my mind and body. I remember sitting on the sofa in my flat in South London being very aware of having my own thoughts and these thoughts started to explore what I really wanted to experience in life. I didn’t want to just be a cog in the corporate wheel; I wanted to help others share their stories that would make a difference in the world.

I soon took a short contract working on I’m A Celebrity in Australia, partly because my mum (who is Australian) was living close to the jungle residence and so there was an opportunity to rebuild our relationship, and partly because I was running away from my life. After completing the contract and with no firm job or home to return to in the UK, I moved to Sydney to freelance on Observational Documentaries for independent production companies. Yet, I was still running.

During this time, I began working on my own ideas for documentaries and when I returned to the UK having made a debut short film featuring puppeteers in Burma (which screened on all routes with Singapore Airlines), I realised I could run but I couldn’t hide from myself.

I became quite reclusive working intensely on my spiritual growth and this, along with some small career success, strengthened my desire to explore and communicate topical social and environmental themes.

I followed up with another documentary featuring puppeteers in India (available on Amazon Video) and this brought about an introduction to a US-born female puppeteer now living in the UK, who was a survivor of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Puppetry fascinates me because it is the oldest form of storytelling and has the power to reflect the human condition.

This project never came to fruition. However, through it I learned a number of things:
  • how to create boundaries so I didn’t get weighed down with other people’s trauma;
  • I have strong listening skills and am really able to hear what is being said and validate another’s story;
  • We are not our stories, neither are we our emotions;
  • It is our emotional response to a situation that creates trauma;
  • We cannot fix our emotions with our minds.

The latter two points are the key to resolving many of today’s mental health issues because it is not necessarily the experience itself but our perspective of the experience that creates trauma. The problem is not with the mind, it is the emotional charge that drives the mind’s thinking.

The truth is, it is not our emotions that cause us pain but our avoidance of facing our emotions that brings psychological pain. Emotions are simply energy in motion. If we do not process them, they cause us all sorts of havoc, from repeating painful cycles to physical and severe mental problems.

How do I know this?

I know this because I have received counselling, taken a CBT course, done positive affirmations and, whilst they have a place, they DO NOT resolve our mental and emotional pain.

For the past 6 years I've worked with two personal coaches and more recently studied Energetic Codes and Alchemy. This combination has empowered me to really understand the depths and root causes of mental and emotional problems and why we behave in certain ways or experience certain things. I cannot emphasize enough how life changing having a coach is. Having someone to listen to you and to help you work through emotional challenges is invaluable and I am not the same person I was 20 or even 10 years ago because I had a coach.

Whilst I still enjoy telling stories that make a difference, it’s fascinating to reflect on my journey and how these experiences, along with years of personal development, have lead me on a path towards coaching. Being able to help others through their painful stories, coaching them out of the darkness and into their light using tools and techniques I have learned and developed from my teachers and mentors is incredibly rewarding as I love to see others grow and go beyond their self-imposed limitations.

Emotional Acceptance has a powerful life changing impact because we work through the emotions that are causing the mental and emotional pain so that you come through it having fully owned each painful experience. Once you have owned it fully, it dissolves, once and for all.

If you’re struggling with any mental or emotional issue, I offer a 1-hour introductory session for £50 so that you can experience the power for yourself. I would love the opportunity to serve you with the tools and higher wisdom I have developed in myself.

You can reach me at 

T: 020 7871 3641

or book in via my Facebook page: Victoria Hart Emotional Acceptance Coach

From Tupperware to Psychotherapy via cancer...

For some unknown reason, I’ve always been the ‘go to’ person when people seek help (hopefully, I’ve given the right help and advice). Even at school, friends came to me (not for copying homework though…, that wouldn’t have done them any good at all! 😊)

When I was growing up I wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, back then, student-nurses weren’t allowed to get married within the first 3 years of their training and since I’d already met my future husband, I never started my training.

I’ve done many things over the years... I started off as a sales assistant in Kendal Milne in Manchester (Manchester’s equivalent to Harrods). Whilst the children were growing up, I did ‘Party Plan’ (Tupperware and Cosmetics Companies). For a while I even became a financial advisor.

But wherever I worked, it always involved interacting with people - people of all races, diverse occupations and different professions - because that’s what I do - I love people and enjoy helping where I can.

I always regretted not doing nursing so when I had enough money I started my training in Psychotherapy and Hypnosis. I opened my Practice in January 2010 in Watford as ‘Watford Therapy’, and it grew from strength to strength. I also added to my training other techniques such as NLP and BWRT which give an amazing transformation to the psyche.

Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve 2012, I was diagnosed with Cancer, and because of the treatments and the recovery period, it was 2 years before I was able to return to my practice.

I reopened my practice re-naming it ‘Therapy 4 Stress’ and here I am again, back in shape, helping people overcome their anxiety, stress, fears and phobias - regardless of their origin, anything from a diagnosis of cancer to fear of spiders. I specialise in helping people to get relief from their issues.

However, I’m not a magician and my therapy is not an alternative to medical help. I work side by side with the medical teams when necessary. I just really love seeing people being able to enjoy their lives.

My contact details are as follows:

Renie Price
T: 07956002424 

WENTA Business Centre
Colne Way

Friday, 3 January 2020

What is kundalini yoga?

Perhaps it is best to answer, what is kundalini or kundalini energy first

This energy is often referred to as a dormant energy that lies in the lower chakras – so in the region between our belly bottom (although nearer to our spine than the front of our bodies) and sex organs.

Through kundalini yoga we give this energy a gentle ‘kick’ to awaken it and help move the energy up the chakras towards and up to the crown chakra, which it at the top of our head.

With our kundalini energy raised and awakened we can better effectively meditate and relate better with ourselves and in all our relationships.

Through kundalini yoga we learn different breathing techniques and also learn the simple yet powerful deep breathing technique for everyday life.

Through the use of postures we create tension and relaxation throughout our bodies and through a series of exercises, or postures (kriya) we can manipulate and manifest better health and wellbeing, including releasing anger and healing ourselves.

This type of kundalini yoga, which was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan, was a sacred practice only those for elite. It is a powerful yoga which we can incorporate into our daily lives.

Kundalini Yoga classes – 6 week introductory course

This 6- week programme will provide you with an understanding of kundalini yoga, help increase and deepen your connection to yourself and those around you and give you the tools for improving your physical, mental and emotional balance.

Venue: Watford Community Hub, Harebreaks, North Watford

Day: Tuesdays – 7, 14, 21, 28 January and 4, 11 February 2020

Time: 10 – 11.30 am
Cost: £10 drop in; £54 for full course, if booked prior to start

What to bring: Mat, blanket or cover for relaxation and water

Contact: Harsha (Gobind Seetal Kaur) 07957 409905  gobind@kundaliniyogawatford.co.uk

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Would you help bring our local community together?

Random Cafe - Meriden Community Centre
Our communities are diverse, vibrant places filled with people doing interesting things. One of the sentences I hear very often is "I wished I'd known about that, I would have loved to have gone along".

The challenges for getting information into the community are many but if we assume the simplest way is via the internet these days then we are presented with a myriad of choices once again...

Which platform (service) shall we use? (e.g. Social media, eventbrite, local marketing website, local newspaper), how many people are likely to see it?  What will it cost?

Of course it very much depends on the nature of the information you want to share

  • Local news story (Business, Charity, local success, sports news) 
  • Paid for event (education, seminars, service)
  • Community events or local news stories (free)
  • Networking events
  • Local videos of things happening
Link4Growth SWHerts TV

What would be ideal is if we had a place to share this information online that was available to everyone, was easy to navigate, and free to put everything that was going on.

How could that happen?

Well it already exists. Built on a free platform it provides us with all of the above and is totally FREE for us to gather everything together into one place via a "Community Hub". That's the easy bit really. The next big task is to get information into it... 

Projects & Charity Corner 

That's where help is needed!

Before we get into what help is needed, first let's explain who is behind this initiative, why, who benefits, and is this a commercial venture in any way?

Who is behind the initiative? : Link4Growth South West Herts community
Why is it being done? : To provide a central treasure chest of local information "by the people for the people"
Who can benefit from the community hub? : Quite simply anyone living in the area
Is it a commercial venture? : No, purely for the benefit of the community, Free to operate & use
Who provides the news? : We do, the people making the news in our community

Why is help needed?

SWHerts is an area that is covered by 14 towns and villages shown below :-

Watford | Rickmansworth | Croxley Green | Northwood | Bushey | Oxhey South | Oxhey | Carpenders Park | Kings Langley | Abbots Langley | Garston | Leavesden | Chorleywood | Harefield

Each of these areas has its own area with multiple pages, links, news feeds (twitter), calendar and stories. There is quite a lot of work for each town. We have built a template for the Watford area and are now looking to grow the other areas.

Everything is in place for us to make this a huge resource for the area. It costs nothing to host and update and yet can scale to whatever size we'd like to make it...

Who would enjoy being involved with the Hub team?

If you are already involved in your local community and have a good idea about what is happening that would be great. Typically if you are one of those 'goto' people for local knowledge that would be perfect.

If you like writing stories about local people, local events or even like to make general commentary about what is happening locally then this would also be awesome... 

Events & What's on... for each town / village
If you are handy with a camera, video... or are already creating content which you'd like to be shared to a wider audience the TV section could work well for your creativity too!

We'd also like a graphic artist to get involved as it would be good to give the hub a bit of a refresh and new thinking would be great.

If you would like to make a local contribution, with a fun team, with no pressure, but where you can make a difference... this might just be just the thing.

What skills are needed?

The following technologies are used, however training will be given, providing there is a good understanding of the Internet and computers in general.

Google Calendar
Google Drive
Image editing (types, cropping, resizing etc.)
Google sites

Is there any payment for contributing?

There is no payment, however there would be plenty of opportunity for exposure. Plus many of the people involved in the community run businesses with plenty of networking opportunities to meet people face-to-face. Once a conversation starts, who knows where it will lead!

Great opportunity also to learn new skills and be amongst a very positive, pro-active, co-creating, community network of people.

How do you make an enquiry for more info?