Mind, Body and Dispirited

The Mind, Body, Spirit Festival just took place at Earl's Court, London. It was billed as 'inspirational, awesome, new and stimulating'. Our intrepid Arbiter of Taste (self-appointed), Jane Anderson, went amongst the shamans, healers, yogis, vegans and 'thought leaders' to feel the vibe and ended up... a bit low. She writes...

"I haven’t been to the Mind Body, Spirit Wellbeing Festival in Kensington Olympia for about twenty years but I went yesterday to see what's changed and to attend the Teal Swan workshop.

I found I was attracted to a select few stalls: the Qi Wellness Stall, the Live Blood Analysis stall (‘Regenerative Health’) and the vegan experts InSpiral. Everything else I avoided as it was all a bit too ethereal for me to engage with (except for the Conscious Chocolate stall - I engaged with that). I had some Qi body work which was incredibly painful and I felt more worried than revived. My practitioner explained that she lived a bit like a monk and that she practised Qi Gong for 4 hours every day in order to harness the Qi and use it to heal other people. All the payment for this therapy goes towards the upkeep of the charity Qi Wellness and all the practitioners volunteer. My therapist seemed so vibrant and earnest that I signed up for a series of sessions in the hope that I'll move some of the chemotherapy (from four years ago) out of my body as its 'causing blocked energy in my abdomen and head'. Later in the Live Blood Analysis I was shown how my cells were lacking oxygen and I had a viral infection, parasites and a leaky gut: all apparent in the picture of my blood. My diet and lifestyle have lapsed in the last 9 months and sugar, diary, wheat and animal fat have crept in a bit too far and I gave up walking regularly and practicing qi gong. As for my vegan panini from InSpiral - it was a whopping £8 with a bit of a salad thrown in, and the gluten-free bread was not nice. Normally when I've eaten their food at wholefood cafes and markets, it's been excellent, but this time I felt a bit cheated and disappointed.

The Teal Swan workshop was the least enlightening part of the day. Teal is a Spiritual Catalyst and I listen to her whilst I’m cooking or cleaning in preference to the radio. I was really looking forward to seeing her in person, knowing her intense and inspiring history and having found her insights valuable. Teal didn’t disappoint, but the ‘workshop’ involved witnessing someone else go through a process on stage and my personal take on it was that the chosen people were so uninspiring that it all went pear shaped with Teal assuring the audience (well, those who hadn’t already left) that her shows usually end on a high with everyone feeling inspired and energised. It certainly was not the case on this occasion.

I have to sadly report that what I've gained from this Mind, Body Spirit Wellbeing Show is a massive kick up the bum. I realise I have to up my game and stop pretending that I can eat like 'everyone else'. The truth is I haven't felt at all well lately with my 'relaxed' habits, so I'm going back to trying to distract myself when the cheese on toast or the Ben and Jerry's or the Maltesers come out, and stop drooling like a sad labrador and get on with something else. Like making my own tasty gluten-free, vegan Panini, at a fraction of the cost..."


Jane Anderson,

Arbiter of Taste (self-appointed)