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Ian's April 2020 Newsletter, part 2

April 28, 2020
In light of deciding to teach my very first Level One Workshop ONLINE, I thought it would be timely to discuss how this workshop came into being..
Ian's April 2020 Newsletter, part 2

In light of deciding to teach my very first Level One Workshop ONLINE, I thought it would be timely to discuss how this workshop came into being and some interesting - at least to me - tidbits that have occurred over the last 30 years that I've been teaching it.

Firstly though, I have to say I love teaching the Level One Workshop. I see it as the doorway into the incredible world of the Bush Essences, which I have been immersed in for the last 35 years and which has taken me to all areas of Australia, researching and making the Essences.

I often get asked if I'm tired of teaching the Level One Workshop. My answer is always no! Every Level One is different, because the participants are always different and there are always new questions being asked which brings in the option for me to introduce new material. I also access and receive new information and insights whilst teaching. Sometimes, a whole rush of information will come through me and I often say to myself, “Wow! Where did that come from, that sounds good, I hope I remember that!"

However, the thing I love best about this workshop is the participants. I get incredibly excited to be able to open up the world of the Bush Essences to these people, to show them the potential of what these remedies can do and how they can transform their lives and the lives of the people they are in contact with.

Since I started teaching this workshop all those years ago, I've taught thousands and thousands of people and have been listening to their stories, insights and testimonials. Hearing the wonderful results of how people have used the Bush Essences on themselves, friends, family, pets and patients if they are a practitioner is incredibly rewarding and satisfying for me. This is why I teach the Bush Essence Workshops - to get their healing message out into the world. My goal has always been to have the Bush Essences in every home, so that the children can be brought up with them.

At the workshops I've also heard and witnessed the unique ways people have been working with these remedies - adding them to food and clothing manufacturing; in agriculture; landscaping; adding them to oil paints to enhance their creativity and the impact of the art and of course healing.

As a consequence of all this information and an expanding understanding of each Essence, I find from time to time that I have to remove an Essence I would normally cover, from the Level One Workshop because there is not enough time to cover everything. It's as if the Essences are like a raw unpolished diamond that, with the input from others, becomes polished and we see so many new facets emerging. How could I ever get tired of this workshop when all this is occuring? It's also been an opportunity for me to meet wonderful people all around the world and it has been like a red carpet being laid out before me, where people in other towns, cities and countries share their favourite, special places that as an ordinary tourist you would be highly unlikely to stumble across.

Early beginnings
The workshop was originally designed to showcase the four Combination remedies that we had at the time. Those being Emergency and Cognis, which were taught on the first day of the workshop, whilst Confid and Dynamis were taught on the second day. By the time I started teaching this workshop in 1987 I had already been practicing as a naturopath for nearly a decade and I incorporated muscle testing into the workshop to demonstrate the difference between before and after taking a remedy.

Bushwalks were always an integral part of the workshop when being taught in Australia, as there was always the opportunity of seeing some of the Bush Essence flowers in the wild. Over the years, looking back now, there have been some very amusing incidents, though they didn’t always appear this way at the time.

Bushwalk during a bushfire
On one occasion backburning by the local fire brigade had gotten out of control and was bearing down on the 40 workshop participants I was leading through the bush. They all seemed a little oblivious to the danger, wanting to stop and take photos. It was challenging to hurry them along whilst not creating panic and fear. We all survived!

Red Belly Black Snake
It was a similar situation with the first group of Japanese who came out to Australia for a workshop with me. We were walking along a narrow trail, two abreast, when I spotted a very large, venomous red belly black snake lazing in the sun across the trail. The first handful of the people who saw the snake got very excited and grabbed their cameras and rushed closer to take a photo. Again, without wanting to scare them, I came up with the story that we didn't want to scare the snake and should give it plenty of space. Fortunately, after a minute or so it slithered away into the undergrowth. It was a very different experience to an earlier group who had come from Brazil to do the workshop with me in Sydney. On our first bush walk on a coastal cliff top, I spotted a Crowea flower about 15 or 20 metres from the trail and immediately headed off towards the flower, talking excitedly about its healing qualities, imagining that the participants were following behind me. However, when I turned around, they were all clinging to the trail and told me they were terrified of what they had heard and read about venomous Australian snakes and therefore reluctant to leave the trail.

Incredible weather for ABFE Workshops
I always feel my work and my workshops are very blessed and protected, that Spirit is watching over us. For many years I had been amazed how I have never cancelled the workshop’s bush walk because of bad weather. Even when there was torrential rain or grim forecasts the weather would miraculously clear and change when we were due to go outside. Well almost always. On one occasion in Melbourne I made the mistake of proudly making that boast. At that point the weather was OK, but literally within ten minutes rain was pelting down on our tin roof and didn’t let up until the end of the workshop. The only time there has been no bush walk!

Blood curdling screams
In last month’s newsletter I discussed Turkey Bush and the story of the first workshop where, after making this Essence, we had more time for painting than usual as this was a residential workshop. In the middle of the night, in the large open room, where everyone was in their sleeping bags, out came a blood curdling scream, which you would have thought was the result of a violent murder. Fortunately, it was only someone having a nightmare – though not a lot of people got back to sleep that night!

She Oak and Infertility
There have been numerous funny incidents occurring at different times during this workshop. In Barcelona one year we had just finished covering She Oak, especially in relation to infertility, before going outside to a local park for a Spanish ‘bush walk’. Lo and behold there was a beautiful She Oak tree in the middle of the park and lying underneath it was a young couple kissing. This generated a lot of amusement and elbow nudging among our group chuckling at how they would have to be careful not to get pregnant!

Bottlebrush fire-burning process
I used to do a fire-burning process to conclude the coverage of Bottlebrush, which is all about letting go. Participants would write down on paper what they wanted to release from their life and we had a fireproof metal rubbish bin where they would burn their pieces of paper. I decided to stop this process after an unfortunate incident in Buenos Aires where the organiser provided metal-looking bins which were actually plastic and that melted on to the carpet and set off the fire alarms!

Trust walks and a clifftop
In the early days I used a venue in Sydney that had a nearby clifftop with quite a large drop to the rocks and ocean below. This was the ideal place to do our trust walk, where participants break up into pairs with one person closing their eyes and being led by their partner to experience flowers and trees with their eyes shut. I noticed that more people than at any other venue took the occasional peek to make sure they were still on terra firma!

All the usual material and processes will be covered in this ONLINE Level One Workshop. Obviously, we won’t be able to do our bush walk, though for those who have a fear of snakes or ticks, this will be a positive! If you’ve never done a Level 1 workshop, I highly recommend it and I look forward to sharing it with you. 

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