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Turning grief into inspiration

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Angela Holton was devastated when her dog Kobi died.

Instead of wallowing in her grief, she did something positive in memory of the 14-year-old Yorkshire Terrier: the New York real estate agent quit her job and started a business here.

Love Sanctuary offers inspirational workshops and motivational coaching to people in need.

“One evening after [Kobi] was gone, I was really having an inconsolable moment,” she recalled.

“All of a sudden my spirit said to me, ‘You have to teach what Kobi taught you. You have to teach compassion, and self-love'.”

Since then that's been her mission.

“I took my pain and turned it into my passion and purpose,” she said. “I started a website, a blog and a podcast called Love Notes. I trained in a coaching programme and as a seminar teacher. I hit the ground running. Things have happened very quickly.”

She believes people must first love themselves if they want to achieve spiritual wellness.

“Before there is health, financial prosperity, relationships or family, there is self-compassion,” she said. “I think we all struggle with loving ourselves unconditionally.

“We often don't know what self-love looks like. We don't come with a manual that teaches us how to love ourselves.”

Ms Holton fell in love with Bermuda last year, after visiting friends. She runs Love Sanctuary in partnership with MediaCom, owned by Opposition MP Walton Brown.

The New Yorker finds it a lot less stressful living here.

“Sometimes I'd meditate at the grocery store,” she said.

“I wouldn't sit down, but I would close my eyes and breathe deeply; it helps you to be present in the ‘now'.”

“If you can't find calmness in Bermuda, I don't know if you can find it anywhere.”

Despite that, she believes meditation is something that's necessary even here.

“Wherever you live there are common everyday stresses,” she said.

“Meditation helps us balance and cope with life's stressors. In addition, meditation assists us in connecting with our intuition and inner wisdom, so that we keep better thoughts and make better choices, which guide us more purposefully and peacefully along our individual journeys.”

She said one of the rewards is getting random e-mails from people saying how much her podcast or blog helped them. “These are people I don't know,” she said. “That is powerful to me and inspires me even more.”

The hardest part is maintaining the social media side of things.

“It is time-consuming,” she said.

“I want to focus on content and what the meat of this business is about, but I am also the person who is doing everything else.

“It can be exhausting, but I love it.”

Ms Holton has co-authored two books: Whispers of the Heart and Manifesting Modern Miracles, and hopes to write her own book soon. She has yet to get another dog. “I think they bring a kind of sweetness to your life,” she said. “Right now, I am creating a different kind of sweetness through my work with Love Sanctuary.”

She's now offering a six-week workshop to help people find inner peace at Masterworks. It runs every Wednesday, from 9am to 9.45am, until July 27. The cost is $50 for six weeks or $15 for drop-ins.

Visit www.lovesanctuary.com or e-mail angelaholton@lovesanctuary.com.

In memory: Angela Holton in Italy with her dog Kobi, the inspiration behind her Love Notes workshops. (Photographs supplied)
Angela Holton meditating at the beach (Photograph supplied)
Spiritual moment: Angela Holton meditating at the beach
Angela Holton meditating at the beach (Photograph supplied)
Angela Holton meditating at the beach (Photograph supplied)
Angela Holton meditating at the beach (Photograph supplied)
Angela Holton meditating at the beach (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 23, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm)

Turning grief into inspiration

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