This episode was published on 27 December 2019. Below is the full transcript, complete with links of all resources and events mentioned. This transcript is also available as a PDF with embedded links (18 pages in A4 format).
Summary: Learn what’s happening in Edinburgh, across Scotland, and in the U.K. in wellness news and trends from those leading the charge. MindstreamConnect.com editor Liza Horan interviews mind-body-spirit leaders Katy Lomas Olusanya of Calm on Canning Street yoga in Edinburgh, Angela Robertson of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, Adrian Boiteux of Holistic Ways Festival, Lynda Hamilton-Parker of Holistic Scotland Magazine, and Lauren Armes of Welltodo Global in this in-depth episode uncovering hyper-local to global trends. Guests also share their favourite practices for (trying to maintain) a holistic lifestyle.
Interviews recorded throughout 2019. Published on 27 December 2019
PDF Transcript Podcast Transcript
Welcome to The Mindstream Podcast, exploring the facts and the stories around mind-body-spirit pathways to greater health and happiness. I’m your host, Liza Horan.
Welcome to Episode 4 of The Mindstream Podcast where we take a look at the mind-body-spirit scenes on the local, national and international levels.
This jam-packed episode features highlights of my interviews with people leading the charge from natural, holistic health to overall wellbeing and even the more mystical aspects.
We start right here in Edinburgh with Katy Lomas Olusanya of Calm on Canning Street yoga and Angela Robertson of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival. Then we move beyond the city walls to Adrian Boiteux of Holistic Ways Festival. To find out what’s happening in Scotland, I spoke with Lynda Hamilton-Parker of Holistic Scotland Magazine. And we look at the national and even international level with Lauren Armes, the founder of London-based Welltodo Global.
While each of them are focused on one angle of mind-body-spirit wellness, there is much to cover and our conversations uncover the connections, the common themes, the trends that took hold in 2019 and give us a glimpse of what’s ahead in 2020; CBD and personalized nutrition are among them. We’ll also get insight into their own practices for staying grounded and connected for their own health and happiness.
GROWTH OF UK WELLNESS MARKET
Before we hear from some of the people working in the wellness industry in the U.K., let’s take a look at the numbers:[2:02] The £3.2 trillion global wellness economy has been growing nearly twice as fast as the global economy. That’s a bit staggering. And the closest thing to mind-body-spirit in that assessment is the Fitness/Mind-Body sector, and that comprises £456 billion of that £3.2 trillion valuation. That’s according to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2018 Economy Monitor, which is the most recent report.
Now let’s look at the U.K. market: The wellness market is estimated at £7 billion (Global Wellness Institute). Digging a little deeper, the “Alternative Medicine” market will grow £1 billion from 2015 to 2020 (Statista). The “Yoga and Pilates” sector is estimated to jump from £760 million in 2015 to £890 million in 2020 (Statista), so that’s £130 million growth to 2020 in a pretty established sector of the U.K. market. There’s more than 4,200 businesses in yoga and pilates today in the U.K. and they employ more than 16,000 workers — so it’s a growing workforce, as well (IBISWorld).
A fascinating fact that my research turned up showed that general book sales decreased 1.6% in 2017, but the mind-body-spirit sector increased sales over 13% (Nielsen Book Monitor). That shows where people’s interests lie.
So the global wellness economy is growing twice as fast as the global economy and while book sales are down, mind-body-spirit book sales are up over 13%, this shows there is a movement under way — globally and in the U.K.
So now let’s turn to the leaders here in Edinburgh, in Scotland and the U.K. and hear what trends they’re seeing.
Before we get started I’d just like to clarify that Mindstream is an editorial operation. My background is journalism and no one has paid for their interview spot today, so it’s completely objective.
WELLNESS SCENE IN EDINBURGH
Let’s begin a hyper-local basis with Katy Lomas Olusanya, the founder of Calm on Canning Street, a yoga studio in the West End of Edinburgh. It’s more than a yoga studio as there are classes, workshops, private practitioner spaces, and a vibrant community of down-to-earth yet inspiring people.
I met with Katie during a bustling day of the inaugural Wellbeing in the West End event last January [read Mindstream’s article on it]. She collaborated with other like-minded businesses for the weekend programme, featuring taster sessions on all sorts of modalities like Reiki, massage, aromatherapy, nutrition, and much more across a variety of venues all within walking distance to each other.[5:25] Host Liza Horan: Katy, tell me about the mind-body-spirit seen in the West End of Edinburgh.
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: It’s absolutely thriving! I think, especially in the last year, so many things have popped up and it’s just really promising to see so many different businesses — so many different studios, so many different wellbeing practitioners, basically, setting up businesses here. And lots of new spaces, as well, so self-employed practitioners are finding little rooms they can rent. And that’s why it’s growing, I think, because people aren’t having to hire a whole studio or big space. They can hire rooms, so it just seems people are flocking here, which is brilliant.
Host Liza Horan: What do you see as indicators of growth?
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: Even when you look around at the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants popping up. Even a year ago when I moved here. So I’ve been in Edinburgh since last September , and even since I’ve been here there’s been so many new vegan and vegetarian cafe popping up, getting much more popular. There’s events like the [Edinburgh] Vegan Festival and the [Scottish Vegan Festival] vegan food festival. The amount of yoga studios popping up! Since I opened — within the same three months there were another two or three that opened at the exact same time as we did. It just shows there’s a real appetite for it.
People are craving something to help them restore, to replenish. They’re really craving to press “pause”, to find space, to find the stillness, to find a sense of peace amongst their busy lives. Stress, depression, anxiety are on the rise and people are desperately trying to find ways to mitigate that don’t include medication. They want to find ways ways to manage all the mental health illnesses that people are facing, which come with our busy lives, our diets, our stressful jobs, the pressures of family, the pressures of trying to multitask. You know people are really trying to find new ways to manage it, and yoga and meditation are proven ways to manage so many different ailments, illnesses and to find that sense of connection within yourself and a sense of community around you, as well. This is why our studio is doing so well because people come and make friends with each other and find a sense of support and companionship. They can just unload their troubles.
What we love and what seems to be doing so well are things like the Women’s Circle. It’s basically every month and they also have a theme, so it could be gratitude, forgiveness, strength or fear, stepping into your power, your light.
Host Liza Horan: Great.
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: It’s always fully booked, every single month. It’s embodies movement so it’s a bit of yoga — gentle movement — and then guided meditation. We do angel card readings and sharing. It’s incredible! Three hours long and they just fly by. It sounds like it’s a long time, but…and you’ve been [she says to a woman nearby]…three hours goes so quickly for the Women’s Circle.
Guest at Calm on Canning Street: Yeah, sometimes it actually runs over and you’re like, “What?!”
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: You can’t believe three hours is gone. There’s lots of options to share — and you don’t have to share — but people tend to, don’t they? People tend to speak and we listen to each other and we hear each other and then it all resonates. Everything that everybody says, we could all relate to. So we’re all there being like, “I’ve felt that” or “I’ve done that” or “I’ve been there” or “I’ve moved through that challenge.” It feels reassuring and really powerful that you come away feeling really inspired and really connected. You just feel really connected to womanhood.
Host Liza Horan: Do you believe mind, body and spirit are connected?[8:55] Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: Absolutely, they’re interconnected 100%. And although sometimes it feels like the mind is moving away from the body, and the mind wants to think a certain way…then you’re led by the heart and it all feels disconnected. Things like yoga bring it all back together. With meditation you get access to your inner source. So when all the mind is being all fractured and chattering and you feel that sense of overwhelm, when you move into meditation and yoga and you use those tools to access that kind of inner knowing and intuition; where you give your inner voice a chance to actually speak; where you can actually have the time to recognise What does your mind say, what does your heart say, and actually where does the truth lie. They can feel separate a lot of the time, but there’s a sense of connection within the spirit, I guess. The spirit is the thing that connects everything together. So, yes, I think they’re definitely connected — 100%.
Host Liza Horan: Thank you. I heard great quote that really sticks in my mind. It says, “Praying is talking to the universe and meditating is listening.”
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: Yes, I read that or heard that somewhere. I love that, too!
Host Liza Horan: So when you say, “What does my mind say, what does my heart think, and where is the truth,” that’s another great quote I’m going to remember!
Guest Katy Lomas Olusanya: You need to get access to that inner voice and you can’t do it in normal life. There’s no space. How do you cultivate the space where your voice can speak? It’s so difficult in everyday life, so we have to cultivate the time where we can come back to our kind of essence, our inner self, our real self, our true source. And all these practices are amazing for doing that.
Host Liza Horan: Thank you very much.
Wellbeing in the West End runs again the 11th and 12th of January 2020 and tickets are on sale right now. Just search “Wellbeing in the West End” on Eventbrite or Facebook and you’ll find all the details.
Next let’s turn to Angela Robertson of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival. I spoke to her last January during the festival and it’s happening again the 1st and 2nd of February at the Assembly Rooms on George Street. You can head to Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival.com for details on the talks, marketplace and classes happening there.
I spoke to Angela Robertson and was very interested to hear how she and business partner Jaz Lacey-Campbell — through GoodThinking, their [events and PR] firm — partnered with the Edinburgh City Council to bring the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival to life.
Host Liza Horan: Can you share the inspiration behind the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival and how it came to be?[11:45] Guest Angela Robertson: It began as an idea which my colleague, Jaz, and I had around creating an event around the authors that we had worked with. Our background is book publishing. We worked with a lot of very good authors around mental health and psychology, and neuroscience, as well as general wellbeing and food. It was something that we were very interested in personally. We’ve both got members of family who have mental health issues. My sister is bipolar, so I’ve grown up all my life around understanding about mental health maybe more than a lot of other people have. So it’s something very personal to me. And we decided that we thought maybe there would be an audience for people to come and hear speakers talking about wellbeing in a much more holistic sense to bring together the four pillars of health. [12:40] Host Liza Horan: Can you describe the four pillars?
Guest Angela Robertson: What you eat, movement, rest, and purpose. It’s not just one side — it’s about mental and physical health and everything that comes around that. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, who’s on today, he had to book out last year called The Four Pillars (sic) of health and this year there’s one about stress and, again, it’s a four-pillar principal and that’s something I have come across quite a lot actually: The fact that nothing works in isolation and everything works together. So if you eat all the right things, but you don’t move, then that’s not good. If you’re living your life where you’re eating right, you’re moving right, you’re doing all the right things, but you’re not satisfied within yourself then that’s not going to work either. And I think that’s something that we adhere to in the Festival. We want to make sure that we cover all those areas so that people get a chance to explore each one of them for themselves and realise how they all work together.
And, obviously, the appetite was there. We’ve been to things in London — we know there’s a lot happening around that — and we wondered whether there would be an audience in Scotland for it. We knew that there was a lot of people doing a lot of great things up here. Obviously, yoga has really taken off a lot. There was more and more vegan restaurants opening up, there’s a lot of people doing life coaching. And we just thought, Wouldn’t it be great to bring all these people together?! Everyone is doing everything kind of separately and we wanted to bring it together.
Host Liza Horan: Can you tell us about the audience for the Festival?
Guest Angela Robertson: Last year , it was, obviously, a huge experiment. We didn’t know who the audience was going to be, and we wondered if it was going to be the kind of the Lycra-clad young Instagram followers or who the audience will be. And, actually, I thought they would be more of those, but it was very mixed, which was really good to see, and I think that’s the one big learning that we’ve had: That it’s actually across all ages. You get people who are just really into yoga who want to do the classes, and you do get the younger people who now are much more into wellbeing than when I was young, so that’s encouraging! And then you also got people who are older who just want to know more about their health and look after themselves more.[14:52] And the other encouraging thing is across the demographic, as well. We wondered whether:
Is it too expensive for everybody to come? How do you make it work financially? It’s very expensive to put on. But, actually, we have found through working with charities, as well, that across all backgrounds people are really interested in the subject. For instance, I’ve got loads of people that I know personally and family members who would not normally come to something like this because they think it’s not for them — it’s for other people. I think that has kind of been eroded away. I think the conversations that everyone’s having about mental health now, they’re much more willing to give it a go to get involved. Particularly the younger people, obviously. I think barriers have been broken down a bit, which is great.
Host Liza Horan: Wellbeing and wellness cover a large swath today. What would you say your angle or approach is with the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival?
Guest Angela Robertson: For us, “holistic” doesn’t mean crystals, doesn’t mean things in that sense. Most of the things that we believe in are evidence-based, have a scientific background, or at least people who are qualified in their areas. We’re not promising people something that they’re searching for — this is all based in fact. So that was really important for us. So, in the marketplace, we have a lot of people who apply to do talks or to exhibit in the marketplace, but if it’s something that we don’t
believe in, then we won’t put it on. And not everything has to have real scientific background. You know, there are things like Ayurvedic medicine and things like that a lot of people believe in. That’s the kind of thing that we would be okay with, but, you know, we’re not okay with people that kind of promise cures for things.
For us, it’s really about bringing it out of that Tarot reading-crystals type of festivals that go on. That’s fine if people are into that, but this is more about actual facts and experts and doctors, as well alongside holistic practitioners, as well.[17:05] Host Liza Horan: Are you a skeptic?
Guest Angela Robertson: Yeah, I mean I’m not a sceptic — really, I’m actually quite open-minded! I’ve had lots of experiences that I can’t explain, but that’s my personal thing. I wouldn’t try and put that on other people because I believe that that isn’t the right thing to do.
When I was younger I had out-of-body experiences where I would feel myself go up to the ceiling. And I didn’t know what that was because I hadn’t heard of such a thing. But I had these experiences, and I thought, What’s going on there? It was really terrifying. I had lots of things like that. I had looked into it and, you know, all I can say is, “This happened to me, but I don’t know how to explain it.” I would only have someone talking about something like that as a kind of interesting phenomenon but not as something that…you particularly want to pursue.
Host Liza Horan: Fair enough! Can you shed light on the relationship with the Edinburgh City Council?
Guest Angela Robertson: They’ve invested, so there’s a recognition that it’s something that they want to offer the city and it is something that we want to look to how we develop this and also make it accessible for people that need it the most. So we’ve partnered with SMH, which is the Scottish Association of Mental Health, and also we have people from Streetfit Scotland here, and The Cyrenians, who are the charity who work with homeless people and people with mental health issues. For both us and the council that’s really important that we reached those people. So now what we’re doing next is looking at how we might be able to work with these people in the future and connect charities, so we are still very much learning, but both sides are invested in it.
Host Liza Horan: What does the future of the festival look like?
Guest Angela Robertson: I think it’s just a really good chance for the city to get more connected and I think that’s what we would like to do. We’d like to try out a few more things throughout the year, do some partnerships, work with different groups. Really, for us, it is about connecting everybody together because there’s so many good things going on. It’s nice to have a sort of hub to work with these people so that’s how we see the future.
Host Liza Horan: Thank you Angela. Mark your diary for the 1st and 2nd of February as the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival features tons of speakers and exhibitors and classes, including Olympic gold medalist Kelly Holmes, the award-winning cookery writer Jack Monroe, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee with the BBC, and Mother and Papa Pukka you might know from Instagram. You can find all the details at EdinburghWellbeingFestival.com.
At the other end of the spectrum, I caught up with Adrian Boiteux, whose Holistic Ways Festival brings together enthusiasts around the more experiential modalities of energy healing, sound therapy and intuitive communication. Crystal features largely at these events, too, as Adrian carries on the decade-long family business Lotus Crystals. There are seven to eight Holistic Ways events held per year with live music performances, exhibitor stands of mini treatments, intuitive readings, as well as items for sale from mind-body-spirit retailers. I’ve been to the Holistic Ways Festival in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but they also run in Aberdeen and Dumfries, and they’re looking to expand beyond these cities.
WELLNESS SCENE BEYOND EDINBURGH
Hi Adrian, thank you for being on The Mindstream Podcast. Can you tell us what’s happening with Holistic Ways Festival, and what sets it apart from others?[20:47] Guest Andrian Boiteux: The events are starting to grow feet. People starting to hear about the events, and when they come to our events and they see that it’s all about sound and colour and mood.
It’s different to your standard one. And it’s also about creating a space for new, up-and-coming businesses — people who are trying to break in but haven’t had the opportunity to be able to have that talk space or that stall space. That’s what Holistic Ways is about. It’s not necessarily having all those mainstream options available. It’s about having the smaller people — the people who require that space to be able to sell their wares, or do the therapies and stuff like that. To us, that’s what it’s all about: Giving people a platform and the opportunity to be able to move forward with their passion and their dreams…and get away from the rat race a little bit.
Host Liza Horan: Lotus Crystals was the family business and it expanded into Holistic Ways. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Guest Andrian Boiteux: So I was very much brought up with it. The Lotus Crystals aspect of it started back in 1994, when my mother and father started running crystal house parties. So you’re basically taking loads of crystals to houses having a party in telling people about their so-called benefits and the geological side of it, and, obviously, of the spiritual side, of the healing side of it, as well, which some people are a great believer in.
I used to call her “the wise white witch.” She was a very spiritual person, very holistic mind, very Pagan, I suppose. And during my upbringing I used to sit in gatherings of like-minded people who used to go on ghost hunts, used to go to old castles when my mum would take groups of people…old buildings and go ghost hunting and all that sort of thing. My mum was a Reiki Master. She was a Tarot reader. She tried many different aspects. My father was a hypnotherapist, amongst event organising, as well. That’s when it all started, and from there it was just a part of my life. Hearing crazy stories my mum — thinking she was in a wired to a different planet sometimes — but then as you get older in life and you actually look into some of the things that she was speaking about and she couldn’t have been any more spot-on about a lot of things that she spoke about. So it was very much a way of life.[23:07] I suppose, in some respects, it’s a very gray area as to, Has this been scientifically proven to do X and to do Y?
I do not sell crystals or give people advice on that side of things because it is such a gray area. What I will say is that I personally believe. And I know people who believe. And I know that it is written that. And I know that it is said that crystals do X, Y and Z. And I think that, you know, if that’s just planting a seed in the mind and that then benefits you, what’s wrong with that?
There’s nothing wrong. It’s all about making your mind, body and spirit a lot happier than it is and if that saying a stone in this hand is going to make me happy — and you believe that — and it does that then, I suppose, if it’s a placebo in some respects, then so be it.
I do believe that crystals — especially quartz, the way the quartz oscillates and [its] frequencies and all the rest of it and how it’s been used in ancient times — it can’t be wrong in my eyes, personally. But, you know, it’s that day and age, which frustrates me sometimes is that you have to be careful what you say, but the way that I always put across is that that’s what I believe. And sometimes — don’t get me wrong — I hear some far out things and I think, pffft…nah. But there’s other things that you do [believe], and crystals has just been one of these things I’ve been brought up with for a long time. I carry crystals around my car.
Host Liza Horan: You mentioned that you’ve been approached by skeptic groups before. Can you expand on that?
Guest Adrian Boiteux: We have had skeptic people come on and I welcome them. I’ve even said to them, “Would you like a stall?”
I feel that everybody should have the chance to say what their beliefs are. What annoys me about it is the way that they troll and the way that they can hound people. Especially how these groups are set up. But I’m very much a strong believer that everybody has their own views in life — everybody. And I’m not going to say, “Well, I’m against you believing that.” If that’s what you believe then that’s what you believe, and I’m nobody to tell you not to believe that way. So it’s the same with the skeptics, you know. If they are skeptical about something I welcome them along to go to ask questions to the exhibitors and go and have that conversation.
The skeptic people wrote a piece on our event and they actually said that the value for money of the event was very good, however, you need to be wired to a cuckoo clock.
Host Liza Horan: Ouch.
Guest Adrian Boiteux: That’s their opinion, but if people are coming along for the readers and all the rest of it, we advertise that it’s for entertainment purposes only and you must seek professional advice in the first instance. Always go to your doctor if you’re concerned about this [a health matter] because these are complementary [practices], these are not alternative. And there are lots of alternative therapies are there for lots of different things. We tick all the boxes as far as that’s concerned.
Host Liza Horan: Adrian, what trends do you see?[26:04] Guest Adrian Boiteux: It used to be more about mind, body and spirit, which was more about crystals and intuitives and Reiki, but now it’s more about health and wellbeing. And I suppose Holistic Ways is changing with it. I don’t want to go completely in the direction of health and wellbeing. I feel that it’s all connected: It’s all about the mind, body and spirit being healthy and your wellbeing from that, but I feel the people more so now are looking for the therapeutic side — going for massages, going to see aromatherapists…how you can look after yourself better.
And it’s going very much down the road of sustainability. It’s going down the road of ethical. People say, “Okay, I’m using a cream. Where did the stuff in that cream come from? How is it made? What chemicals are in it? Is it completely natural? Is it vegan-friendly?”
For instance, I try my utmost to ethically source everything that I get and the things I am buying are ethically sourced, and the fact that people who are putting in the hard work and the legwork to make that product are actually getting something in return.
People are very much about that now — the ethically sourced side of things and the natural, the ‘chemical-freeness.’ And we have people coming along with chemical-free cleaning products and people were saying, “Wow, you got people selling cleaning products?” Well, yeah, why not? Because at the end of the day it’s about your health in the house and using things that do not have any chemicals in it so your kids and your animals and you are not breathing that rubbish in.
For instance, the food that I put on at the events is vegetarian and vegan. When I put out a survey to find out what people wanted, that’s what they wanted. So it is going down that very much healthy options, healthy eating.
I like creating something that benefits everyone. That’s what, at the end of the day, puts a smile on my face is making sure that the visitors are coming through the door happy, that the exhibitors are happy. And it is just about creating that space that makes everybody that’s in it happy and feel good, and leave the place going, Ah, I feel good. Good vibes!
Leaving here today, I will go away happy because it’s been one of the busiest events. I’ve had beautiful feedback from people coming up, leaving the event, saying, “Thank you so much for putting this on. I’m glad we found you now. We’ll be back again.” It’s just those little pieces of people coming up and going, “This is different. This is something nice. This is something refreshing.”
Host Liza Horan: The next Holistic Ways Festival takes place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on the 1st of March. Tickets are available at HolisticWaysFestival.co.uk.
WELLNESS SCENE IN SCOTLAND[29:03] We just covered a pretty wide range within the mind-body-spirit scope of wellness, hearing about yoga, meditation, science-based modalities, and even the more mysterious aspects.
Now I’m very happy to welcome Lynda Hamilton-Parker, the founder of Holistic Scotland Magazine to The Mindstream Podcast.
I hope you’ve picked up a free copy of Holistic Scotland from a local retailer like Jan de Vries or Maggie’s cancer care centres or an event like the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival. If not, you can head to HolisticScotland.com to find a location near you or you can get a free copy of this quarterly publication by signing up for a subscription — all you pay for is the sustainable packaging and the postage.
Welcome to The Mindstream Podcast, Lynda! Can you begin by telling us about Holistic Scotland?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: Holistic Scotland is Scotland’s free natural health and wellbeing magazine. Within that we cover natural health — things like mindfulness — complementary therapies, clean beauty, eco-living, and the great outdoors.
So when we talk about “holistic,” we don’t mean go throw all your pills in the bin. You know, if you need these pills for a medical condition and they’re working for you than that absolutely has to be part of your healthcare regime. And “holistic” just means looking at the bigger picture so while taking the pills for whatever condition you have, it’s also about nourishing your mind and the rest of your body to promote healing and ensure your ongoing wellbeing.
Host Liza Horan: And who is your audience?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: I’d say the audience is primarily women, although we do have a growing number of male subscribers and Holistic Scotland really is for everyone. It’s for people of all ages, all backgrounds, both men and women, anybody who wants to take more responsibility for their own health.
Host Liza Horan: Can you expand on this eco-lifestyle or eco-living concept?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: Within the magazine we cover various environmentally friendly things that you can do, also, to do your bit — whether it’s a feature on beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling film or how to reduce food waste, that kind of thing.
We know that our readers are passionate about more sustainable living. They are looking to reduce packaging on the products that they buy. It seems like a natural fit. When our readers are concerned about the chemicals that they’re putting either into their bodies or onto their skin, they’re also conscious of what they are putting back out into the environment, as well.
Host Liza Horan: It feels like there’s a movement under way, an expansion of awareness and consciousness that actually moves into accountability, ethics and morality. Would you say those things go hand-in-hand?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: Yes, definitely. And I think that practices like mindfulness — media are talking about self-care now and things like that — they go hand-in-hand. It is very much about taking ownership of your own body and also your part in this wider ecosystem, your part on this planet Earth, and how you can make a difference.
Everything we do we try and be as ethical as possible. It’s quite important to us that we are not contributing to any plastic pollution and that all our magazines are sent out in sustainable packaging.
And what’s great about Holistic Scotland Magazine is that we’re unearthing all these people and these companies with great ethics and values and there’s a great growing community in Scotland, and an appetite for this. It can be easy to think that the world is a really negative place when you surround yourself by negativity and mainstream media is covering all the “doom and gloom” and things like that. But Holistic Scotland‘s a real feel-good read. It brings together all the elements of exactly that — taking responsibility for yourself, for your health, for other people, for the planet.
Host Liza Horan: It sounds like morality is making a comeback! Can you shed some light on the market in Scotland right now?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: In Scotland, the health and wellness market is huge. It’s grown at a tremendous rate. Worldwide, the wellness industry is thought to be worth more than $4 trillion. It’s actually growing at nearly twice as fast as the rate of the global economy as more and more people spend money on health classes, treatments and retreats. In Scotland, it’s quite an untapped market. Down in London, for example, we have quite a few magazines big glossies covering things like natural health and within that a lot of companies striving for a space in the green marketplace and clean beauty and things like that, but this is something that’s just really coming to the fore now in Scotland.
Host Liza Horan: How did you come to found Holistic Scotland?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: My background is in PR, and when I worked with companies doing some of these great things I found that there wasn’t really an avenue to tell these stories because mainstream media, at that time, perhaps saw things like holistic therapies as a wee bit “new age” still, even though they’ve been around, some of them since the dawn of time. But I felt there was no magazine dedicated to sharing these stories for people who were interested in natural health and taking responsibility for these kinds of things. To find out, you know, where to go to, where to find others who share the same mindset, and things like that. Some of the other media outlets may be a bit skeptical about these kinds of things, saw them as a bit “airy fairy,” but now more and more of the large media players are starting to take notice and it’s becoming more mainstream now. It’s no longer “alternative” health. It’s becoming the norm. It’s an industry that’s set to grow — it has to! I mean, health isn’t going anywhere — we have to look after ourselves, that’s the bottom line.
Host Liza Horan: Do you have some examples of some therapies that have moved from the fringe to the mainstream? What have you seen?[35:27] Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: I suppose things like herbal remedies used to be quite an unusual thing for someone to take. Traditionally we would go to our doctors, they would write a prescription for something, which would — nine out of 10 times — be pharmaceutical prescription drugs. But these days we’re seeing more and more plant-based remedies popping up in the likes of Boots and Superdrug. So they are in the larger stores and supermarkets. We’re no longer having to hunt them down online. Or, you know, it used to just be Holland & Barrett, maybe, or your independent health store that would have these kinds of things, but now we’re seeing them everywhere — even gyms, yoga studios and things like that are starting to stock some of these things.
Things like flower remedies in the past have been seen as a wee bit sort of hippy, but as more and more evidence and research comes to light, actually, which proves that their worth, if you like, then the bigger companies are looking to get involved in and take a share of this market.
Host Liza Horan: How entrenched is herbalism in traditional medicine today here? In the U.S. it seems very much a fringe aspect, but I understand that in the U.K. herbalism has been more integrated with traditional medicine here
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: I think it’s a mixed bag. There are some doctors who will and there are some who kind of still will poo-poo the idea kind of thing. There is, actually, one sort of holistic hospital in Scotland: It’s the Centre for Integrative Care. It’s at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow, and you can actually ask your doctor to be referred there for treatments that can help you manage your condition with things like acupuncture to help manage pain or relaxation. But not a lot of people know about it because GPs aren’t actively referring people or letting them know that they can be referred there. So I think it depends on your GP. I think some GPs are more open-minded than others.
Host Liza Horan: It really feels like we’re “back to the future” here: One of the Greek philosophers said, “Food is medicine.”
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: Yeah, so all these things aren’t new, it’s just that we are rediscovering them or just looking for something. I think maybe what we were doing wasn’t working. Things like sound therapy. I mean, people are really just sitting up and taking notice of that now. Things like sound healing, sound baths, different instruments that create different vibrations, which have healing properties. But this isn’t a new thing, it’s been around since caveman days. Aborigines used didgeridoo to heal. You know, we’ve had chanting in temples, which is a form of sound therapy.
Host Liza Horan: And if somebody go searching for that kind of thing, very soon in their search they would see “shamanic healing.” Or they would see a retreat that has a shaman, for example. Do you feel this whole shamanic aspect, for example, is still in the shadows or do you think it’s emerging? Do you think there’s a taboo around that? What’s your take?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: It’s certainly becoming something that’s more popular. I think that people who, perhaps, were a bit frightened what “shamanic” meant are finding it more accessible now that there are things you can go to — like workshops and shamanic drumming circles are becoming really popular and there are courses in shamanism and things like that.
But, yes, I think there is still an element of taboo and it’s down to peoples’ different beliefs and things and that’s fair enough, but with magazines like Holistic Scotland it at least gives people a platform to talk about and to read about these kinds of things to decide whether or not it’s for them. I suppose we’re bringing to light the things that you know you can’t get in the Daily Record and things like that…unless it’s super quirky.
Host Liza Horan: Is there any therapy, product or practice that’s come along that has really surprised you?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: I think the rise of CBD and its use in this country has really fascinated me. Again, it’s something that’s been around for years. Researching and speaking to experts, looking at the evidence, and trying it for myself as part of the journey with Holistic Scotland Magazine — that has been a real eye-opener into the endocannabinoid system. And I think I’ve discovered parts of my body I didn’t know existed, from these receptors that we all have to even people talking about the vagus nerve a bit more, the soas…all these things come into play and these are all things that we can help to nurture with the likes of CBD.
CBD isn’t the only oil to contain properties that can help us. It can be found in things like black pepper and umteen different things. But, I think, the people who are out there championing CBD are
educating us on how the body works and, as I say, these receptors and how we can top up our bodies with supplements, what can help to relieve pain and anxiety and things like that. It’s something that unless you try it for yourself, it’s difficult to understand it’s benefits and there’s still a lot of misconceptions and confusion, I think, about it.
We’ve been exploring this with various companies in Scotland, telling their stories about what led them to diversify into the CBD market — which is currently huge — and there’s a personal story behind each of them. Each of them are people who had their own long-term chronic conditions. Nothing was working for them. And, of course, trying CBD as a last-resort, it really worked for them. So much so that they’re keen to help other people access and benefit from this.
I myself, I had some nerve pain that I couldn’t get rid of — normal painkillers just didn’t touch it — and I was in agony. I could hardly sleep for the pain. And my doctor told me that there isn’t really a lot you can do about it; it might flare up and go away, and things like this. So I tried some CBD: The first day it didn’t really make any difference, but by Day 3 I was completely pain-free for the first time in months. So that’s my own personal experience with it, and I’m just amazed that this little bottle of oil that comes from a plant can have so many healing properties.
Host Liza Horan: That’s great! I mean, it’s so exciting to think there’s a frontier out there yet to be discovered or as you say rediscovered for our health and wellbeing.
Now switching gears a little bit, I’d like to ask you about how Holistic Scotland manages the legitimacy of certain practices. The areas of complementary, alternative, natural health, and some of these spiritual healing disciplines fall outside of regulated industries. Now the CNHC, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, is devoted to consumer protection and holds a registry of professionals that meet their standards, but can you talk about how you manage this at Holistic Scotland Magazine, please?
Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: We have to be very careful that what we are featuring is beneficial for people to read about; you know, it’s in the public interest. It is credible. We only
people who we’ve checked out and, as I say, there’s evidence to back up what they’re saying or they’ve got the necessary qualifications. But not everyone does and everyone can claim to be a “something” — a psychic, an herbalist — when they’re not. So we check these things are very carefully so that by the time you come to read the magazine you don’t have to worry. That’s all being taken care of for you. The same with our products. We check every product that we mention, feature, recommend for its ingredients. We have a “bad” list of nasty things like sulfates and parabens that we avoid. Same with food. Yeah, so everything is very carefully considered and put together.
Host Liza Horan: Besides CBD for nerve pain, would you be willing to share some tips that you rely on for a holistic lifestyle?[44:04] Guest Lynda Hamilton-Parker: I couldn’t live without water. [Laughs] That seems like a no-brainer, but lots of people don’t drink enough water. So if I was to give any kind of health tip, it would be: Make sure you drink lots of water — that really does help in so many ways.
And get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep has a major impact on your mind and body. It’s one of the easiest and most effective things we can do to keep ourselves healthy. And your body does lots of prepare work and processing when you’re sleeping, so that’s crucial.
And then the last thing that I couldn’t live without is…it’s a close call between yoga and Vitamin D. [Laughs] I swear by Vitamin D supplements. Everyone talks about Vitamin C for boosting the immune system, but taking vitamin D can have a similar effect. And I find that since I’ve been taking a supplement I have had fewer colds and haven’t been poorly at all. And, of course, it helps our bodies in so many ways.
But for relaxation, yoga is super good. It’s key to find a class that you really like, an instructor that you really like and, of course, the type of yoga that’s right for you. I do zen yoga by candlelight.
Host Liza Horan: Now that sounds relaxing! Thank you for joining us on The Mindstream Podcast.
For more on the holistic scene in Scotland, you can go to HolisticScotland.com, pick up a free copy of the magazine and — starting the 7th of January — you can tune into the Holistic Scotland show on Wellbeing Radio. Their show will take place 8 to 9 every evening, and Wellbeing Radio is a 24-hour a day program devoted to health and wellness.
WELLNESS SCENE IN LONDON, ACROSS THE UK & BEYOND
There’s lots happening in Edinburgh and across Scotland as you’ve heard, but now let’s expand a bit to the whole of the U.K. — and even beyond — as we hear from Lauren Armes, the founder of Welltodo Global, which is based in London.[46:07] Lauren Armes has built the business over the last few years of offering content, events and advisory services around the wellness industry. I attended the Welltodo Summit this past summer and it was a full day of talks, networking and product sampling with those who were either into wellness or work in the industry. Some of the speakers and exhibitors included leaders from Rude Health, Pukka, Classpass, Perkbox, Headspace, Deliveroo, Form Nutrition, Mindbody, the list goes on. And I will add that it was the best goody bag I’ve ever gotten at any conference anywhere — it was really great. The Welltodo Summit 2020 is coming in June. You can find out about that at WelltodoGlobal.com.
Lauren, welcome to The Mindstream Podcast. Can you tell us about Welltodo Global: Where you are today and what you offer.
Guest Lauren Armes: Our mission is, fundamentally, just to help people who are building brands in the wellness industry to innovate and to grow and, ultimately, to be leaders in the industry category in which they operate.
And I guess our secondary mission is helping people who, perhaps, are not quite ready to take that leap and start a business in the wellness industry but instead are passionate about working for a brand that has a deeper set of values and will align with their own personal values and mission, and so want to make that career transition and, perhaps, find a job in the wellness industry.
We’re definitely growing and I think that’s in response to the fact that the wellness industry is such a captivating industry right now as we enter a chapter in our history of people feeling more stressed than ever before, more digitally distracted than ever before, more affected by lifestyle disease and disorders than ever before, and that mental health is becoming a really prime topic of conversation that wellbeing ultimately plays into supporting and preventing for the long-term for people. So it’s a really exciting space to be in.
Host Liza Horan: Can you comment on the state of the wellness industry in London and the UK compared to global trends?
Guest Lauren Armes: I think that when I first started Welltodo, it was quite common to hear that, you know, London was 10 years behind New York, and then, within a year, it was sort of “London is five years behind New York.” I think, more or less, now if you were to look at the key categories of wellness — be it fitness, food and drink, nutrition, technology, and let’s say workplace wellness or beauty — that really anything that’s accessible in the U.S. is now accessible in one form or another in the U.K. And I think social media has driven the rate of growth and acceleration of that process. Social media gives us a birds’-eye view of a category and speeds up the process of which brands replicate that. So the success of SoulCycle in the U.S., for example, was very quickly replicated here by a number of different brands in the boutique spinning space. The success of beverage brands like Hint Water in the U.S., which is a juice flavoured water product, were quickly replicated in the U.K. And so I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything that you desire as part of supporting a wellness lifestyle that is available in the U.S., which is sort of the leading market for this, this is now readily available as far as products and services go.
I suppose as far as the consumer thinking is concerned, I think there are definitely some markets globally that are more aware of the less individualist approach to wellbeing and the more collective approach, which is people starting to think more about not just themselves in the wellness ecosystem but also the planet and our biological ecosystem when it comes to animals and plants and the impact of consumer behaviour on the environment itself with respect to climate change and the climate crisis that we’re ultimately facing.
So I think that London is sometimes caught up in a little bit of a bubble when it comes to wellness, but I think there is definitely a community of people driving thinking beyond the individualistic approach to wellness, which I think is good, and I think that that will continue to be a prevalent conversation.
Host Liza Horan: Can you tell us how you came to found Welltodo Global?
Guest Lauren Armes: [After moving to the U.K. from Australia] I found myself very quickly working for a number of different companies in London and not necessarily feeling that deeper sense of fulfillment that I was craving. At that time I was not pursuing or even thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship. In fact, I’d never thought of myself as being a business owner. However, I was becoming increasingly aware that I was looking at my company director in those businesses and, ultimately, not finding myself aspiring to be them in 10-15 years’ time. And so, I suppose, when you feel that deeper dissatisfaction in your career, something starts to shift and you start to ponder that question, What am I meant to be doing? And I knew that there was a voice within me that was saying, You’re meant for something more than this!
I suppose at that point it’s quite common to start thinking, Well, what am I really passionate about? And for me the two things that I ultimately landed on — and this is over a period of six to 12 months of researching and reading, thinking and journalling, and meditating on this question — those two things for me were wellness and entrepreneurship.
I was fascinated by how people start with an idea and turn it into a successful business, and I’d always been interested in that. And I was fascinated by this burgeoning category of wellness businesses or just in wellness, generally, that was really having an effect on the city of London. Saying that, I was seeing a lot of boutique fitness studios opening. I was seeing a conversation shifting around yoga for the mainstream, meditation for the mainstream. Apps like Headspace were launching and in their early first days. People were more cognizant of the food that they were putting in their body and the products that they were putting on their body. And, as a result, some really cool new places were opening where you could go and eat healthy food. And the creation of products and entering into the supermarket chains with categories around free-from, and dairy alternatives. Just a prolific sense of information and education coming from online platforms around wellness. It was brand new and I could really see that a lot of these trends are coming from Australia and the U.S.
And so it was at that point that I recognised that there was a sort of gap. It was an opportunity. And for somebody like me, who was interested in this intersection of wellness and business, it felt that there was not a community that there was not an online portal for information and that, really, I felt it was an opportunity for me at that time to create that.
Host Liza Horan: Great, Lauren, thanks for taking us through your journey. Can you share your thoughts on what the challenges are in the wellness industry today?
Guest Lauren Armes: I would say that there is still a lot to be said around diversity in wellness. There’s a perception that wellness is still an elite and, in some ways, inaccessible marketplace. There are aspects of eating organic food or exercising in the trendy fitness hotspots that are prohibitively expensive, and with more scalable concepts that accessibility element shifts. But even when you look at the way that brands market to consumers, there’s definitely a lack of diversity for minority groups. You have your sort of classic perception of what a wellness consumer looks like, and she’s probably between the age of 20 and 30, white, thin, female, and probably quite affluent. I think that’s definitely been the pin-up girl for the last five to 10 years and that is shifting. There needs to be a more frequent conversation around accessibility from both price-point perspective, but also in terms of who that stereotype is as far as a wellness consumer is concerned.
And I think the secondary challenge is really off the back of what I was just saying as far as the broader impact of wellness — from not just the individual’s perspective but also from the environment. I say that because there are brands that are promoting the benefits of drinking turmeric, for example, and their packaging is non-recyclable plastic. And so you’ve got this paradox of: This is good for you but what footprint is that leaving on the planet? And what impact is it having on the next generation of consumers or for our children or our children’s children. And that’s a challenge that ultimately will tie a brand back to its own values and keep it accountable for thinking not just about big commercial aspects of building a business, but also being purpose-led and finding that balance between profit and purpose.
Host Liza Horan: I believe there is an undercurrent right now of morality emerging, starting with individual awareness and a sense of accountability. While we’re seeing conscious consumerism,
brands taking this very seriously. I take it as a great sign of hope, actually, for the future. Do you feel there is a growing awareness right now about personal behaviour and how that translates into what’s happening in society? What are you seeing — can you comment on this?
Guest Lauren Armes: Hmmm. Yeah, I think when we are constantly bombarded with discounted propositions in terms of fast fashion and fast food, and fast everything, consumers do want convenience. And with convenience there’s a price to be paid — quite often to the detriment of the environment. I think that fast consumerism does not lend itself to conscious consumerism. And that’s where we need to really stop and slow down and think about the impact of our decisions in that moment of hasty demand and consumption, and think about the consequences of those purchasing decisions.
A great example is that there definitely is an undercurrent in the fashion industry, and publications that lead that conversation to the industry are definitely aware that brands like Zara or Topshop or H&M — that have promoted this idea of fast fashion and constantly evolving consumer trends, and responding to that; online shops like ASOS adding 5,000 new items a week to their online stores — is just perpetuating this mentality of a throwaway society of I want something new and I constantly want to be inspired by something new. And social media perpetuates that, as well, because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to peoples’ accounts that we’re scrolling through and thinking, I want what they have, and if you Just swipe up! You can buy right now! And that has to change. And for anyone who’s even slightly aware of the climate crisis that we are facing, that mentality has to change.
And there are some brands doing some really wonderful things around creating more sustainable options, which are great because if they’re not accessible, then we can’t change the behaviour. But I think there has to be quite systematic change that takes place in order for us as individuals to actually change our behaviour. I think largely, as you’ve said, there’s murmurings of that conversation, but for the mass market, I don’t think people really have any idea around how bad actually is.[58:52] Host Liza Horan: It’s a sobering topic. Okay, let’s switch over to opportunities. What do you see ahead?
Guest Lauren Armes: To all of those points around challenges, there are also opportunities. There’s a wonderful opportunity for opening up this conversation about our collective impact on the environment. There’s a wonderful opportunity to bring diversity to the wellness conversation. There’s a wonderful opportunity for people to move out of an unconscious life where they go to work on a Monday morning to a job that they hate or to a job that provides no fulfillment to them…to people who are stuck in relationships that are unhealthy or toxic…to people who make decisions about what and where they consume or in what volumes to really be enlightened to a way of living that is fundamentally more joy-filled and that in which you can ultimately be happier. A healthy body is a happy body. An active body is less stressed, is less anxious. So there’s some incredible opportunities with the businesses that are evolving in this space, as you said, for people who already have a strong skill set. If you’re a marketeer and you work in an industry that does not inspire you, take those marketing skills and add them to the value set of a business that has the same values that you do.
We see this all the time with coming to us or coming to use the Welltodo Careers platform, who are so passionate in their personal lives about wellbeing but have to wake up on a Monday morning to a job that they hate or that sucks the life out of them — and our desire is to show them the opportunities that exist in this industry that is fast-growing and that people are so receptive to. For them to take that existing skill set and use it more effectively for an industry that may feel more authentically aligned to. And, also, that there are a lot of career opportunities in the space that are growing sectors: Nutrition, nutritional advice; there are a lot of people training in fitness and yoga and meditation, and looking at ways to add value to the corporate wellness sector. So I think, ultimately, the opportunities are endless from a career and a business perspective and that we’re only going to see this industry continue to grow.
Host Liza Horan: A growing industry is great news and we surely know the need is there.
I understand that nutritional psychiatry is going to be an area of growth and while there is research pointing to the association between poor diet and mood disorders, depression, and anxiety — and by “poor diet,” we’re including the traditional Western diet of highly processed foods. A significant report was published December 19th in the European Neuropsychopharmacology journal showing further evidence your food intake and the quality of your food have an impact on mental health, mood and cognitive performance. And, of course, we know there is an association between the brain and the gut. It was interesting to me to learn this year that “abdomen” actually means “second brain.” This sounds like something we’re going to be hearing more about as more research unfolds.
Lauren, what are you excited about for the future?
Guest Lauren Armes: I would have to say that it’s the personalization element of nutrition. As an example, I had a company reach out to me a couple of months ago that were just launching here in the U.K. called Bioniq. And what they do is they send someone to your physical location — be that home, office — they take a blood sample, they send it to a lab where they analyse your blood in quite a lot of detail. And then they look at, from that blood analysis, your deficiencies on a very specific level. You might have a deficiency in magnesium, with vitamin D or B12, and you’ll receive a full analysis and then a follow-up call with a nutritionist, who gives you specific nutritional advice. And then two weeks later you receive your personalized nutritional supplement that’s taken as a scoop of granules with water in the morning and evening. And then, a month from that date of taking that supplement, your blood is sampled again and they’re able to actually measure and show, through those indicators, that your health has improved in each of those areas.
I think that what that changes is this sort of trial-and-error approach to wellbeing that we’ve been forced to accept to date because that technology has not been available to us. And now there are brands that are kind of bringing that access en masse and it means that we don’t waste money on supplements that we don’t necessarily need, we have a measurable outcome which we can see has made improvements to our health, and that, ultimately, we can optimise our health in ways that are efficient and financially more effective for us and ultimately yield a measurable outcome. I think that changes for the consumer this notion of wellness being a vague, fluffy concept into something that is extremely measurable and extremely precise, and I think that’s really exciting.
Host Liza Horan: That’s great. It is super exciting. Did you actually do it?
Guest Lauren Armes: Yes, I did it.
Host Liza Horan: Did you find that to be helpful to you?
Guest Lauren Armes: Yes, I did. I found it really helpful to give me measurable results and to then be able to have gotten personalized advice on why those results are more optimal than the results I had prior to taking the supplement, and I think there’s something quite empowering in that.[1:05:05] Host Liza Horan: Lauren, as a busy entrepreneur who is in the wellness industry, can you share some of your tips or practices for staying grounded and still getting it all done?
Guest Lauren Armes: Yeah, for sure, no problem. So I will certainly caveat this all by saying that I am not perfect. I have a pursuit of balance that, in itself, I take with a pinch of salt because I think that adding “balance” to our already chaotic to-do lists can be sometimes just as stressful as the pursuit itself.
The things that I’ve benefited from are probably four main areas. One would be finding ways to exercise that I enjoy and that are fun for me. There’s no point in you dragging yourself kicking and screaming to a gym if that is not a place that you feel inspired. There’s a sense of personal enquiry that happens there and has for me, and one of the things that I learnt was that convenience was a big part of it for me. I won’t commit to regular exercise if it’s inconvenient for me and it feels as though it’s draining time out of my day. So I love being able to ride my bike to a meeting or to do something functional or to find an opportunity to walk somewhere. For me, I found a little exercise studio that’s really close to my house, so it’s five minutes’ drive and that makes it easy for me and easy to commit to. And there are so many great apps that allow you to work out at home, and I think that’s helped a lot of people who found it difficult to go to a gym to actually commit to exercise in a way that is fun, inspiring and accessible, so that’s one aspect.
The second is sort a development on that idea of personal enquiry. I’ve invested a lot over the years in
coaching and development. So I, myself, have had numerous business coaches, invested in numerous personal development programs and conferences and seminars, and I find those to be invaluable
for myself in the pursuit of growing a business and building a team and being a leader and building an innovative company in that I’ve had to break down a lot of beliefs that I have around my ability to succeed, my ability to be everything that I want to be and achieve in my life.
For me, personal enquiry helps me stay grounded, as you say, because I have a better understanding of when I’m operating in a state of thinking instead of being and when I’m operating from a place of fear rather than from a place of gratitude or contentment. And that, for me, happens through journaling and reading and educating and seeking out support from qualified experts like coaches and mentors.
So my third thing would be meditation. I had done a course in vedic meditation, which I really enjoyed, through the London Meditation Centre. Over four days you learn the tools and techniques to meditate on your own, without reliance on an app. It’s amazing — it means that anywhere you are in the world, any time of day, in any situation, you can sit and meditate on a mantra — and that, for me, just is a game-changer. Physiologically, the benefits are extremely well documented and researched, and, I think, for anyone who’s tried meditation there’s just no argument against its benefits. You immediately feel more in control, more relaxed, more content, more present, and I really benefited from that over the years.
Then I suppose the fourth one to me is just having great relationships. I’m very lucky to be able to be working with my partner in the business. We’re now growing the business together. We’ve got a great team. I think that, you know, you can eat well, you can exercise, you can meditate, but if you don’t have the joy of being able to interact and give back and be of service to others — then those things don’t have meaning in the way that they do when you’re attached to a group of people and a community and you’re driven by shared objectives and shared ambitions.
I’m really lucky through the work that I do to have cultivated a wonderful friendship circle of other very ambitious women and that I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship with someone who’s very supportive and honors my ambition, as well. So I suppose that’s my personal approach to wellness which, as I said at the beginning, is not something I get perfect all the time, but is a work-in-progress for sure.
Guest Lauren Armes: I wanted to thank you for the opportunity for being on your podcast and for having such a wonderful conversation together.
Host Liza Horan: You’re very welcome, Lauren, and thank you for being part of The Mindstream Podcast. For listeners who were interested in the wellness scene or making it your career or building your existing wellness business, go to WelltodoGlobal.com and WelltodoCareers.com.
UPCOMING WELLNESS EVENTS
With the new start of the New Year coming up you may like to look at your 2020 calendar and put some great wellbeing and mind-body-spirit events on there:
Go to WelltodoGlobal.com/events to see all their events beyond the Welltodo Summit to their Founders Series and building a wellness brand.
Wellbeing in the West End happens the 11th and 12th of January and those tickets are available on Eventbrite.
The third edition of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival is happening February 1 and 2. You can get tickets at EdinburghWellbeingFestival.com.
New this year is The Get Well Show, happening in London at Olympia, February 21st through the 23rd, and it’s brought to you by the team who publishes the website called, What Doctors Don’t Tell You. You may know Lynne McTaggart, who is behind What Doctors Don’t Tell You and The Get Well Show. She is a best-selling author and a researcher into intention, spirituality and new science. In fact, she’s the author of The Power of Eight, if you know that book. I’ve read the book and I participated in a Power of Eight intention circle for several months and it was absolutely fascinating — and Lynne covers the science of that.
The Wellness Summit also is happening in London on the 29th of February. You can find out about that on Eventbrite.
Moving into March: On the 1st, the Holistic Ways Festival comes to the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. And in London The Sleep Show [which is connected to the Mindful Living Show, March 6-7] focuses on the science and lifestyle practices that can help you sleep well and live happy. You can find details on there on Eventbrite.
If you happen to be stateside, check out TheBestYouExpo.com. That event last year was in London, but this year it’s in L.A., the 20th and 21st. It’s billed as the largest personal development gathering on the planet, and in 2021 it’s going to return to London.
But, first and foremost, mark your diary for January 1 at midday for the launch of Wellbeing Radio that’s based right in Fife, Scotland. Head to WellbeingRadio.co.uk for details and to listen.
I’d like to say very warm thank-you to Katy Lomas Olusanya of Calm on Canning Street, Angela Robertson of the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, Adrian Boiteux of Holistic Ways Festival, Lynda Hamilton-Parker of Holistic Scotland Magazine, and Lauren Armes of Welltodo Global for joining The Mindstream Podcast to talk about the local, national and international scene.
The Mindstream Podcast is put on by MindstreamConnect.com.
Thank you for listening. This is Liza Horan, signing off with love and light.