I had a profound experience last weekend (September 24-25), which has changed my life.

I went to The Awakening Festival of Wellbeing, Self Care and Connection at Northwood House, on the Isle of Wight, where I discovered new things about myself.

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I had previously spoken to organiser Kate Taylor, for Isle of Wight Living magazine, and her words: "Self care is not selfish", had struck a chord with me, as a super-busy working mum.

The two-day festival included more than 50 different wellbeing workshops by practitioners from across the UK and beyond, including inspiring conscious living talks, yoga, movement, meditation, mindfulness, self-care sessions, crafting and holistic therapies, such as massage, reflexology, reiki and tarot readings.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Awakening Festival founder Kate Taylor (left), with practitioner Bhavani Vyas, who flew in from India to host the Satsang Musical Meditation session. Photo: IWCP/Kate Young.The Awakening Festival founder Kate Taylor (left), with practitioner Bhavani Vyas, who flew in from India to host the Satsang Musical Meditation session. Photo: IWCP/Kate Young. (Image: IWCP/Kate Young)

I heeded Kate's advice to keep an open mind and trust my instincts when picking what to go to.

I enjoyed Satsang Musical Meditation with Bhavini Vyas, who had come from India, then joined Isle of Wight practitioner Carol Macartney for Activate Your Joy With Yoga Dance.

I wanted to learn about crystal grids, but was instead drawn to speaker Donna Easton's Remembering Who The F*** You Are with Joyology, which involved singing, dancing and laughing.

WATCH: how speaker Donna Easton got everyone on their feet!


I grabbed a massage with Isle of Wight-based Ann Plimley, then headed to Writing Through The Wildness Of Life with The Unbound Press's Nicola Humber.

Then I joined Brighton-based Natasha de Grunwald for Transformational Breathwork — it's something I've never done before and I found myself shaking and experiencing a huge range of emotion.

Many say this is the release of stress or trauma, believe what you will, but I felt much better afterwards.

I was going to head to Qoya next, which is free dance, but didn't feel very energetic after breathwork, so I enjoyed Mantra and Celestial Communication with Carol Macartney instead.

WATCH: Well-Me-Oke, the mass karaoke experience during The Glitter Party


Saturday evening saw The Glitter Party. Highlights included femme fatale comedian Amber Topaz who had me crying with laughter, and Well-Me-Oke, a mass wellness karaoke experience with Donna Easton, which ended up with us doing the Locomotion around Northwood House.

Sunday's programme was chilled out and I enjoyed Sound Savasana with Mel Burrows, Ancient Thai Yoga Self Care with Natasha de Grunwald and Embodiment Breathwork and Sonic Sound Journey with Rachael Morley.

So what did The Awakening teach me? To stay open-minded and listen to my body and my instincts. We suppress so much without realising it.

Also I learned the value of connection with others — everyone there will have chosen different sessions and had different experiences, but as a collective we were non-judgmental and shared a sense of care and support.

Finally I learned that no matter what we face, we have choices — and spending a little bit of time on ourselves can help us keep healthier and nurture a more positive mindset, so we can make better decisions.