There comes a moment for any seeker after truth when the knowledge, self-inquiry, and practice suddenly integrate into a new sense of self. For me that dawning is continuous. Today, I live life one day at a time in gratitude for the opportunity to keep learning, keep loving, and be of service.
Every life follows its own arc of maturing and transformation and mine is no exception. Born in England, I have followed my heart, building a family in my 20’s, leaving my first marriage when my children were old enough, and striking off on my own to create a new life in Colorado when I was in my early 40’s. After many years of grand adventures in Colorado I returned to Cornwall, England to be near my family.
I have studied and given determined practice to everything that excited my passion for spiritual understanding and growth. And today, while I can list all that I have done to create who I have become, I am much more than the sum of my experiences. Presence and embodiment are the heart of my life and work. All that I have learned lives in me, no longer as knowledge, but as my very sense of self. My counseling and workshops are guided above all by a sense of reverence for life, compassion for suffering, and wonderment at our capacity to outgrow ourselves and change.
WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED LIFESTYLE BLOG
I am passionate about our health and the health of the planet and with that in mind I have a blog filled with recipes and good advice about how to live a whole food plant based lifestyle. What does that mean? It means eating no animal products at all. It means eating food that is “whole”, and as few refined foods as possible. At Joy of Yum you will find recipes for elegant simple food and drink. I aim for 99% oil free, whole food plant based nutrition, allowing us and our planet to have the opportunity to thrive. I am constantly exploring creative ways to bring the magic of nature to our plates. So dive in and join me. Eat well and care for the environment at the same time. Why not?
EDUCATION, FAMILY and CAREER
In my 20’s I studied Hotel Management, Catering, and Interior Design and then began my family. I have three sons.Today, the oldest is a businessman working in the oil recycling industry. My two other sons are both champion surfers and snowboarders. They are award-winning film makers and run their own media company.
Working with my sons, I have produced three documentaries, including From Fear to Faith which won “Best Short Film and Cinematography” at the Aspen Short Fest in 2005, Beyond Iraq which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, and Alive Day, about severely injured young military veterans rafting down the Grand Canyon. These films illuminate the human spirit and our ability to rise above tragedy and live lives of deep purpose and inner faith.
Since early in my life I have had a passion to understand consciousness and particularly the interface between meditation and body-awareness, what we now call psycho-neuro-immunology. In that journey, I have been a student of Siddha Yoga and of Advaita Vedanta with Professor of Religious Studies, John A Grimes, PhD, of the University of Michigan. In the 1990’s I organized the programs and Satsangs at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in the U.K. Parallel with my yoga practice, I trained in Reiki, Applied Kinesiology, Shiatsu Massage, and have extensive training in co-counseling. I have a diploma in Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy from the London School of Hypnotherapy and Advanced Psychology. For more than 30 years I have had a private practice as a hypnotherapist and body-consciousness teacher. And more recently Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle coach.
Since 1986 I have been a student of the transformational work of Dr. Richard Moss and for the past 12 years have been a co-facilitator at his Radical Aliveness Retreats leading body-centered movement and meditation practices. In the late 1990’s I did two years of intensive apprenticeship with Dr. Barry Grundland, training in his Body Health/Cellular Meditation methodology. For the past 15 years I have incorporated the work of these two teachers into my own workshops and private practice, teaching cellular meditation and whole-body breathing to individuals as well as holding workshops for groups.
I am a certified Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing trainer offering classes, one on one sessions and workshops.
In around 2004 I was pondering several question. What does it take to live a life grounded in a deep inner faith? A faith that is not founded on external beliefs or cultural mores. Is there a pivotal moment when despite what life hands us we choose not to become victims but to rise above suffering and live life from an authentic inner faith and abundant creativity? These questions lead me to create the documentary, From Fear to Faith in which Richard Moss, Deepak Chopra, and Father Thomas Keating offer their wisdom and insight to these questions. The film was made by the award winning production company Ikandi Media.
AND IN MY SPARE TIME
The creative urge is always alive in me. I am a passionate photographer and videographer. I love to hike in the mountains, ski, knit, restore old furniture, and in the last few years out of my sheer joy of learning and as well for an intellectual challenge, I taught myself website building and design. I design and build websites for organizations whose cause I resonate with and best of all spend time with my family and grand children.
Stimulating the creativity of others and most of all helping them discover the inner wellspring of aliveness is my life passion. I look forward to sharing my gifts, assisting you in your healing and growth, and knowing that as I do so I will be learning along with you. ~ Annalisa Mather