Brenda was born in a tiny village in the north-east of England, and has come a long way since then, although her roots in that area remain deep and strong. Having felt ‘different’ for as long as she can remember, it’s not surprising that her work has been somewhat different too, and that it has taken her across several continents and more than a couple of careers.
As a spiritual healer, Brenda has combined the ancient and the modern, east and west, orthodox and complementary, in her busy practice, and over the years developed a method of working with people which allows them to be active partners in their healing, and to use their body, mind and soul to their utmost to become ‘the best that they can be’.
Be Fabulous caught up with her to find out more …
You say you have been a healer since you were a little girl. How did this happen and how do you use your healing gifts?
Usually I say I’m a ‘so-called healer’, since in fact the only person I can heal is me. However what I do is help stimulate others’ innate capacity to heal them. When I was four, I had a wonderful spiritual experience, during which I was suddenly able to see energy fields around people and, within them, vortices of energy which I later learned are chakras. I was transfixed with the discovery of the beauty and wonder of people, of the world. That thrill has never left me. I am still enthralled by people’s courage, resilience, their capacity to heal, to forgive. So I use whatever gifts I have to help people see themselves as the beautiful, wonderful, magnificent courageous beings, both human and spiritual, that they are as they come to terms with events and illnesses and come into their own power and become the best that they can be. It’s both an honour and privilege that people allow me to work with until they stand, unaided, in the greatness.
Why did you study medicine when you knew you already had the ability to heal?
I always wanted to be a doctor – a surgeon in fact – though for a variety of reasons I became a pharmacist first. The marriage of allopathic medicine and healing always felt essential to me – that we should utilize all the tools we have been given – ancient and modern, from east and west so as to diagnose accurately, investigate where necessary and then work in an active partnership with the patient or client so that healing can occur. So though I often use intuitive diagnosis, I still like to have state of the art investigation if necessary. What I find though, is that if I can keep my energy high and vibrant, the other person will often begin to resonate with me. Their cells then entrain to a new harmony and healing can be amazingly quick. However, symptoms fascinate me – I always want to know why they have occurred, what message they are trying to impart; what conversation this body – or mind – is trying to have with this person about something unhealed. So though the presenting symptom might be a pain in someone’s abdomen, I am much more interested in the real story and my intention is not to get rid of the pain, but help the person understand the pain. When they do, often, having being heard, it will leave. I loved every bit of my medical training and also the practice of medicine. I eventually left my fist love of surgery to move into psychiatry after a depressive illness, and it felt as though I’d come home. It’s a move I have never regretted since psychotherapy and well practiced psychiatry fit so beautifully with healing. And spiritual psychiatry of course recognizes all of us, body, mind and soul. Perfect!
Has it been easy to marry your taught ‘scientific’ gifts along with your innate healing gifts?
Yes, it has. And what I love to see is that the ‘scientific’ is always advancing and coming closer to the spiritual day by day. Whether in the field of quantum physics, the recognition of human mirror neurons, the recognition that raised vibrations can affect whole communities – all of this, scientifically proven, validates much of what healers have talked about and known as factual for many years. For those who have needed scientific proof, they can now have it. Many of the things that my medical colleagues ridiculed once upon a time, are now becoming almost mainstream and that’s great. To some extent though I have to say that powerful intuition and the ability to ‘see’ has sometimes been a disadvantage since, even as a medical student, I would ‘know’ things and then have to try to prove them scientifically before there were scientific instruments or investigations that could give us that proof. Sometimes that’s still a bit of a frustration. Also, I have often been concerned that some of the things that I use, such as mediumship and clairvoyance, can, of course, be misconstrued as hallucinatory experience. I know that I’m not psychotic, yet some people having these gifts, while not yet at the point that they can recognize them without fear and come to peace with them, would be diagnosed was psychotic. So having these gifts has made me look more and more at what is real psychiatric illness and what may be the rapid, and sometimes frightening, emergence of spiritual gifts. I believe therefore that a spiritual assessment – especially of first episode psychosis is something that anyone should be able to have.
What period of your life do think was the most challenging or life changing?
It feels that almost every moment is life changing and to pick one period seems impossible. But of course marrying; having children and grandchildren too; becoming a doctor – all of that has been deeply life changing. But perhaps the most significant is my endless love affair with Africa. As a child I was in love with Africa before I even knew what Africa was – well in this life-time anyway. Finally managing to be here in Zambia in my late twenties was probably one of my most life-changing times. I grieved it when, years later, I had to leave and, though it was right and perfect what happened while I was back in UK and then living in USA, finally coming back home to Zambia on my 60th birthday was beyond my wildest dreams. I love the Zambian people, I love the land, I love the sounds and the scent of Africa and I know, beyond doubt, that this is my spiritual home and, even though living here is not always easy, I am happy and hope I will stay here for the rest of this lifetime.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The people I think. As I said I am enthralled by people. Every single person who presents is unique and amazing with a history that makes perfect sense of exactly where they are now, why they have the symptoms they have, why they believe what they believe, why they have chosen to do what they have done. Sometimes I feel as though I’m living in a magical detective story as they allow me to help them piece together the journey of their soul to this moment and discover that all is perfectly in divine order, but they can now decide upon different choices if they wish. I watch them and love them as they discover their brilliance, accept themselves, forgive what may have seemed unforgivable, mobilize power they never knew they had and move on. What could be better than that? I love it!
Who or what has been the strongest influence in your life?
Oh so many people, so many events. But running through my life for over fifty years has been my deep love and friendship with my ex-husband Les. Even though we have been divorced for over twenty-five years, he has always been there wishing me well and wanting the very best for me. He has always been the wind beneath my wings.
Someone like you seems so incredibly talented in so many ways, so how do you keep so “down to earth”?
Well, this is where I chose to be for now – here down on the earth living a human life among other amazing souls who made a similar choice. I think that every one of us is so extraordinary that we all become ordinary again. I love being a woman, I love to do very ordinary things that give me pleasure and fun and sometimes that drive me bananas too. I also do grounding exercises every single day to keep my human connection with the earth. And I never forget that I am a little girl from the north east of England who came from poor beginnings and that my task is to help everyone realize that no matter where we came from, no matter what obstacles we had, no matter what education or lack thereof, no matter what poverty – we can learn to stand up and be fabulous!
What are your guiding principles?
Love, love, love and more love. Add to that being willing to listen and up-date our truth and integrity and never overpower, disempower or be disempowered. And for me, my on-going conversation with the one consciousness – what I usually refer to as the Divine – guides me always.
Many women today struggle to combine work and family life. You have children and grandchildren, so how did you successfully combine both?
I’m blessed that my family have understood me, and certainly in latter years have simply accepted that I am who and what I am. There have been times of course when my work has tugged me in one direction and my family in another. I have such compassion for women who have difficult choices to make in that department. But I feel that if I’m at peace, if I’m happy, if I’m healthy – then my relationships – with family, friends, colleagues and the world – will be so too. I hope they would say that it is so.
You look amazing – you are 68 years old but look 20 years younger – what’s your secret?
Well thank you! My mother would have said ‘it’s all in the genes’ and no doubt some of it is. But because I need to work at a very high vibration and my stamina needs to be high, I work on myself every day – I meditate, I swim, I dance – and I do my chakra work! That means that every day I check to see just where some dust might have landed on my energetic field since last I looked – what event I may not have fully understood, what I may not yet have forgiven, what truth I may have missed – and I do what’s necessary to sort it out. And I live in the moment. I spend as much time outdoors as I possibly can and I try never to let a day go by without some laughter and at least one hug!
It’s obvious you have done so much in your life to date, but what would you like to achieve in the next 10 years?
I would like to have time to write more while still doing the work I cane to do. So I’m aiming to get out to a wider audience if possible and also having more people coming here to Zambia to work with me rather than me having to travel so much. I love to take a spiritual approach into the corporate world and would love to do more of that. But basically I will be where I’m meant to be, doing what I’m meant to do and everything will be great.
What 3 things would you advise woman reading this to do in order to “Be Fabulous”?
Love with good boundaries; recognize yourself as the centre of your universe and take care of you before you try to take care of others; live all your gifts – sing, dance, laugh and play and make love wild gay abandon! Sorry – that’s more then three…