Ian's Update

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Ian's May 2021 Newsletter

May 18, 2021
It’s an understatement to say that Covid has changed everything!
Ian's May 2021 Newsletter

It’s an understatement to say that Covid has changed everything! One of the biggest impacts for us at ABFE has been in our Education department. For the last 30 plus years I have been running workshops in Japan and Europe during our Australian winter - except for last year and now this year as well. I must say the Australian winter last year was a pleasanter than expected experience!

I ran my first online webinars back in 2014 and have been doing a number of the one-day workshops in this format ever since. However, for the very first time last year, due to worldwide lockdowns, I ran my Level 1 workshop online. Overcoming the many logistical challenges was certainly worth the end result as we had well over 500 people from 25 different countries who registered.

Malcolm Cohen, one of my longest-standing friends, who amongst many talents is a TV and film producer, helped transform my office at home into a very compact recording studio. I was also ably assisted by James O’Connor, our packaging manager, who donned an IT cap to be my offsider as well as offering tech support to participants. It was so much easier having James handle all the logistics and recordings so I could focus merely on presenting.

Unfortunately, it seemed most businesses decided they needed to invest in equipment for their Zoom presentations at the same time as us and essential green screens were as scarce as hen’s teeth. Luckily, we procured one in time for the commencement of the Level 1 webinar. The next challenge was how to include all the live demonstrations that I do when teaching my Level 1 workshop to an audience. I love the fact that I’m able to not only tell participants that the remedies have certain qualities but, through Kinesiology, can demonstrate that this is actually the case. People can see just how quickly – literally seconds – the remedies are able to bring about a profound, measurable, and visible change. After a fair bit of trial and error, we were able to incorporate the Kinesiology demonstrations from my Level 1 DVD that had been recorded decades earlier. I think some of the online participants may have got a slight shock to see this much earlier version of me pop on their screens!

Buoyed by the tremendous response to the Level 1 webinar I then proceeded to teach both the Numerology and White Light Essences workshops online. It was quite wonderful having hundreds of people all around the planet meditating at the same time each week on the seven White Light Essences which we covered in great detail during the webinar.

Later this year I will be conducting online for the first time the Divine Presence Essences workshop, where again we will have all the participants not only discovering the qualities and story behind these four Essences (Isis, Solar Logos, Gaia & Rainbow) but also, in turn, meditating together after taking each one.
Fortunately, the Covid restrictions were eased at the end of last year enabling us to reintroduce our face-to-face workshops and I taught both the Level 3 and my Kinesiology & ABFE workshops at Terrey Hills - neither of which lend themselves to being taught online as they are both very hands-on. At the Kinesiology workshop, I was reacquainted with Katherine Beaumont who, twenty-odd years earlier, had studied with me as a naturopathic student when I was teaching the Bush Essences at Nature Care College. Katherine and her husband Dale run a very successful company called Business Plus and Katherine mentioned that I may like to use their recording studio.

Earlier in the year, we had quickly gone from using a system known as OBS for the replays which gave a much better quality than Zoom, which we used to broadcast live. However, the problem with using the Zoom format – whether live or in the replay, was that in the PowerPoint I would appear as a tiny little image on the right of the screen, with the rest of the screen showing the slide of the flower (as seen in the photo below.) This didn’t allow for very good interaction between myself and the audience. On seeing Katherine’s studio – which was basically a TV recording studio – we could straight away see we had to raise our bar.

My last online workshop, Mental & Emotional Wellbeing, was actually recorded in their studio and the quality was so much better than our previous webinars. I could be seen at the same time as having the flower image appear next to me on a monitor. Inspired by this and with the help of Andy, who runs their studio, we started purchasing all the equipment to build our own TV studio in our Terrey Hills office so as to bring us up to that level.

For our next Level 1 online workshop – very auspiciously the Winter Solstice here - we will be incorporating three cameras rather than the one that we were using previously. This will allow us to have three different angles and views which will make the presentation far more interesting and dynamic. After recording the Mental & Emotional Wellbeing in Katherine's TV studio I'm now a dab hand at knowing which camera to switch my focus to depending on my subject matter!

Today we had special noise reduction curtains installed. We have already made and installed soundproofed wooden boards to the nearby windows - the main sources of noise entry. We have also purchased 6 studio lights; coloured filters; splitters and new microphones. We also had builders make special panels to go behind me, which meant we no longer needed to use green screens. Meanwhile, James has been getting himself up to speed with all the various technology and doing trial recording sessions with me so that we will have excellent quality recordings.

For me one of the great advantages of doing the workshops online is that we can have people in locations not only in Australia, but anywhere in the world, able to access the workshop - even in countries where neither I nor any of our overseas teachers have presented the workshops previously. Also, when the time difference makes live attendance impractical for someone in a country where the webinar is commencing in the wee small hours of the morning, then they are able to watch the replay. Many participants have reported finding it very beneficial to be able to go back and re-listen to certain sections of the webinar. Once they're registered those replays are available indefinitely for them to go back to whenever they wish.

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