How Nature Can Start the Healing Process with CJ Williams on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger
In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (facilitator and retired naturopath with 30+ years of practice) speaks with CJ Williams about the importance of looking after wildlife and protecting the environment.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
some of the messages in there really brought it home to me about this need, and the lack, if you like, or the lack of education, our children do get in the regular curriculum. To know more about this, and actually, as I’ve got more into it, I’m actually astounded by not only the lack of knowledge within children, but also adults as well about animal species
But more than that, I think a lot of them do stress the importance of the work in terms of yeah, nothing is being done about this to educate kids. And, the main point about the whole message is for children to learn about it, whilst they’re having fun. So, to play a board game with their family is a positive thing anyway because it gets them off the screens, which there’s always too much
And it is some of that as well, of course, but that really at the end of the day, if one reader, one child can become a zoologist or, or a conservationist, hopefully a marine biologist, as a result of being inspired by reading my stories, then that will be it for me that that I will be satisfied, you know, so, that will have sort of complete the healing process, if you like from someone who has come full circle from being like you said, you know, naturally aware of the importance of nature and the other species and everything surrounding us to go into a different world and then coming back again into recognizing the importance of that.
ABOUT CJ WILLIAMS
CJ Williams is one of six siblings and is a former City of London trader, who was also an independent headhunter in financial markets. He came up with his brand altogether, which he will establish as a recognized player in the educational technology sector. His ultimate aim is to fund a charity called RACE – Raising Awareness in Children of the Environment. As a parent, grandfather and country boy at heart, he is passionate about looking after the countryside and ongoing green issues, to Save The Planet. His inspiration originally came from the likes of Carl Hiaasen, the investigative journalist and hilarious author, the respected conservationist Rachel Carson and, more recently David Wallace-Wells as well as the brilliant Sir David Attenborough, of course. He has three sons by wife Justine: Oliver, Jack and Hugh, and they are grandparents to Louie, Ella and Freddie. He wants to help parents reclaim their children from screens with the launch of his book series and a double-sided, fun and fast family board game with a wildlife and environment protection theme, for two to four players from the age of 4 to 104 called Planet B Race all about animals – their habitat, bodies, diet and threats and good and bad things impacting the environment. He has collaborated with a number of people on the project, including talented illustrators Milli-Jane Pooley and Nadja Vorovich, Jay at developer TJ Technology, Olivia Gibbs at Innovative, Terry Burns and editor Marcy Pusey. CJ would love to hear from people who are interested in becoming trustees of his charity – conservationists and people with previous experience on boards, for example.
Core purpose/passion: My passions of nature and writing enable me to do what I truly love to spread the word.
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About Manon Bolliger
As a recently De-Registered board-certified naturopathic physician & in practice since 1992, I’ve seen an average of 150 patients per week and have helped people ranging from rural farmers in Nova Scotia to stressed out CEOs in Toronto to tri-athletes here in Vancouver.
My resolve to educate, empower and engage people to take charge of their own health is evident in my best-selling books: ‘What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask: The Mindful Patient-Doctor Relationship’ and ‘A Healer in Every Household: Simple Solutions for Stress’. I also teach BowenFirst™ Therapy through Bowen College and hold transformational workshops to achieve these goals.
So, when I share with you that LISTENING to Your body is a game changer in the healing process, I am speaking from expertise and direct experience”.
Mission: A Healer in Every Household!
For more great information to go to her weekly blog: http://bowencollege.com/blog.
For tips on health & healing go to: https://www.drmanonbolliger.com/tips
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About The Healers Café:
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Welcome to the Healers Café. Conversations on health and healing with Manon Bolliger. A retired and deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 plus years of experience. Here, you will discover engaging and informative conversations between experienced healers, covering all aspects of healing, the personal journey, the journey of the practitioner, and the amazing possibilities for our own body, and spirit.
So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I’m with CJ Williams and he’s got a very interesting path. He started as a trader and then a headhunter in financial markets, and now he’s really into inspiration and education to do with bringing consciousness and awareness, raising awareness in children of the environment. He’s got board games, books, and all of this has been part of a healing process. And as you all know, it’s a time where our connection to nature to the environment to all the animals and everyone that everything that’s living on Earth really does matter. So welcome, CJ, and yes, feel free to maybe expand upon that journey that because that’s…it seems so different, you know, and yet, does it really need to be opposite? Maybe not. Maybe it’s an integration. So, I’m very curious about your journey.
CJ Williams 01:56
Okay. Thank you, Manon. And thank you very much for having me. It’s good to get to meet you. Yeah. So, my journey, as you say, I was a dealer in financial markets. And from there went into a second career, which was then recruiting for people that I used to work with, so other traders and salespeople within financial markets as a headhunter never particularly like that word, because it’s the literal definition of that is savage, but I guess that’s partly does reflect the behavior in that particular industry. But, as far as healing goes, I think one of the points I really wanted to get across and to speak to you about was, I consider my own healing has really been part of the career changes I’ve made. Because what I was doing was actually a very well paid job. Initially, we used to have to get up in the middle of the night just to get there and worked with people that I didn’t particularly get on with doing something that I didn’t particularly enjoy. But it was very financially rewarding. And, you know, that’s how I managed to put my own kids through school and college and feed and clothe them and proud of that, to an extent, but it always felt like a bit of a cop out because it went against the grain of what I had been taught and believed, which was, you know, what life …
should be about. And, you know, I went to a Christian school when I was a kid, and I went to Sunday school and knows we had scriptures and assembly every morning where we were taught lessons about how to behave. And I always carried those messages throughout the day, and it stuck with me and I kind of felt I was being a little bit disingenuous and not true to myself by not following what I truly believed in which was, you know, do something you enjoy and what you’re good at, which for me was always writing something I’ve always been passionate about and loved. And also, as a country boy grew up in the countryside. I’ve always loved nature and always been very keen on wildlife and, and animals. And so really, I guess I hit a bit of an aha moment or an epiphany where it was, ah, I now know what I can do to combine the two things I like best nature and I’m writing and I can spread a message to the world, basically, to kids to teach the next generation about the need to look after wildlife and protect the environment and the importance of that. And I can tell you a little bit more about how I how I reached that point, if you like.
Manon Bolliger 04:58
I think that would be interesting because you know, many people, especially now that have either lost their jobs or, you know, been coerced potentially out of their jobs. Not always willing fully and they’re searching, you know, and it’s a…it’s a time, I think it’s very intense…some people say spiritual time. Again, I’m not talking about organized religion necessarily, but it’s really a time for deep inner reflection. And often when we make these major changes, like what you did. Learning what it took, and what happened, how did you get through it? What instigated it really, you know?
CJ Williams 05:42
Yeah, it’s very interesting, because, as I say, I felt a bit lost in some of my previous jobs. Because it’s all very well, as I said, you know, getting well rewarded for that. But if you don’t, if you’re not happy, you’re not enjoying it. You don’t particularly…you’re not particularly motivated. It’s not a healthy thing. And I guess I’ve been lucky to arrive at this point now where I’m doing something which I do really enjoy. And I think it’s important and valuable, and, you know, to take a message to the world. I can tell you a little bit more about that, as we go on, but I am I arrived at this point, really, by reading myself a real mixture of sort of eclectic mix of, of works by various people. And one of the people inspired me is a crime writer actually was an investigative journalist, hilarious guy, I’m sure you’re familiar with very popular guy called Carl Hiaasen. And he grew up in Florida, where he’s passionate about the Everglades and his surroundings, and what’s been happening in that part of the world. Without going into too much detail about that in one of his books, because as well as being a crime writer, crime as in crime capers, really in Florida, but he has gone on to write children’s and young adult books, and they are very much taking a message to the world about the need to look after the environment and protect wildlife. And one of the people he referred to in his books, was a lady I wasn’t familiar with, but a very eminent scientist going back to the 50s, she published works about this very subject, as a conservationist and an eminent scientist say her name is Rachel Carson, who you may know. And he referred to the Silent Spring, which obviously, you know, on his recommendation, as it were, I went out immediately and bought that book and read it and was absolutely hooked. And some of the messages in there really brought it home to me about this need, and the lack, if you like, or the lack of education, our children do get in the regular curriculum. To know more about this, and actually, as I’ve got more into it, I’m actually astounded by not only the lack of knowledge within children, but also adults as well about animal species. Because my book…the first book is published now on second one is a work in progress, but there was also a board game I’ve released. And part of that is the journey, a part of that is a quiz about animals and their bodies, their habitat, their diet, and the threats and challenges they face, mainly human parents, but the lack of knowledge when I’ve played it, and obviously tested that game before launching it with adults actually astounded me. And because it’s a passion of mine, and I’ve always been, you know, up to speed on the various animal species. I don’t prove I don’t claim to be an expert at all, but there was just a real lack of knowledge amongst a lot of the people. I test playing it with. Anyway, that’s another matter but having been inspired by people like Carl Hiaasen, and then Rachel Carson, obviously to David Attenborough, who I think is globally popular now. You know, he’s taken a lot of messages to the world. His recent witness statement was all about, you know, going into more renewables now, rather than traditional energy. You know, reforestation instead of deforestation, eat less red meat. You know, try and address the balance between the poor and the rich, and then also look after our ocean. So those kind of five key things, I think, are vital. And so, he’s something of an inspiration as well. And yeah, so that tells you a little bit about how I arrived there. But I think it was literally all part of the healing process for me, because coming from a background originally going to a Christian school and having assembly every day where we had readings from the scriptures, and then that message, those messages staying with you throughout the day, so you learn to behave in a certain way. I wasn’t really happy in an environment where a lot of that was really disregarded or gone out the window, and the behavior was a lot of the time not very Christian. So, I always wanted to come back to doing something more moral than those, those traditional,
Manon Bolliger 10:59
What is it that you found in the Christian education that you missed, that you felt what like were values? I mean, because it’s all value driven on some level, what is it that you felt was missing?
CJ Williams 11:17
I suppose, carrying and, you know, carrying the sense of looking after and protecting and really recognizing, I think the interrelationship the importance of that, you know, interrelationship between all spieces. And the importance of them at their message came home to me even more through some of the readings I did in later life. And the interdependency is the really important thing. And, you know, as I said, it’s very topical now. And it’s become even more so I embarked on this project several years ago now. So, it’s not as if I’m jumping on a recent bandwagon, but it has become increasingly popular with the likes of Greta Thunberg, doing her piece, which is important. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of a 16 year old standing up and ranting at the world and telling her an older generation where they’re wrong, because that’s not necessarily the way to get the message across. But, you know, anything helps, and I’m certainly not the first person to write literature, you know, children’s fiction, where animals are kind of humanized and given a voice you know, Beatrix Potter, I’m sure has done it far better than I have as, as Roger Kipling, and Walt Disney and numerous others, but it’s a way I could get the message across. And, you know, unfortunate in that all the reviews I’ve had so far have been extremely positive. But more than that, I think a lot of them do stress the importance of the work in terms of yeah, nothing is being done about this to educate kids. And, the main point about the whole message is for children to learn about it, whilst they’re having fun. So, to play a board game with their family is a positive thing anyway because it gets them off the screens, which there’s always too much. Well, there’s always parents who are keen for them to not come off modern technology completely, but to spend less time on it and to spend more time perhaps, you know, interacting with their families.
Manon Bolliger 13:45
Interacting is one of the big things too, and I really picked that up when you’re saying with animals as well. And if you look at you know, animals as contributors towards all healing processes, you know, we know that with, with dogs, we know that with cats, we know that with courses, there’s all kinds of courses and trainings, you know, where the animals can so help facilitate and aid people who have you know, anxiety disorders, PTSD, all of that there’s like, there’s a deep knowing that there’s an interconnection, but it’s not…it’s like you said it hasn’t been developed young. Or reemphasized I think, you know, when we’re young we have that connection. It’s like an intuitive knowing.
Commercial Break 14:44
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Manon Bolliger 15:27
That we’re can we’re truly interconnected. And then we grow up and everything gets compartmentalized. And you, you start not seeing the unity of it all. Does that? Do you resonate with that?
CJ Williams 15:42
Absolutely. And, you know, I think that is very, very important point that, you know, it’s easily forgotten, especially when you’re working in a kind of dog eat dog world, fast paced environment, yeah, where some of those values do go out of the window. So, I think that’s absolutely true and massively important. And, again, it’s all part of this kind of journey, healing process and transition for me from one career into another, and doing something true to your heart, and hopefully getting the message across. And, you know, something I’ve learned along the way, I’ve met some really interesting people, because clearly, you know, projects of this type, you can’t do it alone. So, bring collaboration with some very interesting people. I have a fantastic illustrator, for example, who I stumbled across is a girl who’s local to me who I think’s a genius. Another very, very important person for me is my editor who I’ve met, personally loved dearly. And she’s not only an editor, because she’s an author as well, but she has been invaluable. And she’s someone who has had a very tough life, Marcy Busey, who has taught me a lot, and you know, she’s a devout Christian, a therapist, and for meeting her and being encouraged to meet others within her group. I’ve met other people who’ve gone through much more healing than I could ever hope to achieve or want to really, I’m talking about, you know, physically and spiritually and emotionally and all those things. And another one of those was, how Elrod actually who I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to, and he, I don’t know if you’re familiar with him, and, um, but he was given up for dead actually, at one point in his career, sorry, in his life, but also, as even since recovering from that very, very serious car accident, has recovered from cancer. And he’s written a book, which itself sells in the millions worldwide, it’s the Miracle Morning, which, again, is something I follow devoutly now and, you know, and it’s, it’s hugely important to me. So it says…so all these people along the way, having embarked on something new, have all been part of the healing process, if you like, and the learning curve, the transition, but one of the things was coming back to Marcy, my editor, she said to me, what do you really want to achieve from this first book, and I said, Well, look, any author will probably tell you that they ultimately would like to be top of the blessed bestsellers list, you know, or receive a fabulous reviews or you know, make great book sales. And it is some of that as well, of course, but that really at the end of the day, if one reader, one child can become a zoologist or, or a conservationist, hopefully a marine biologist, as a result of being inspired by reading my stories, then that will be it for me that that I will be satisfied, you know, so, that will have sort of complete the healing process, if you like from someone who has come full circle from being like you said, you know, naturally aware of the importance of nature and the other species and everything surrounding us to go into a different world and then coming back again into recognizing the importance of that.
Manon Bolliger 19:45
I wonder how it might be for children who are not really even shown that nature you know, or not, have these parks that barely have grass, you know, because they’re trodden upon them, and parents now who have to have two jobs to be able to survive. And you know, they’re in cities, and I don’t know how much they get.
CJ Williams 20:18
I think it’s a great point. And another part of the inspiration for me actually was, I was staggered, astounded to learn that some kids when, you know, urban dwellers, I guess, when asked, where does milk come from? And it sounds a bit cheesy, but you know, they literally say the supermarket, rather than knowing that it comes from a cow, that is the lack of knowledge, you are talking about. And one of my longer term goals, actually, this whole brand and project is to ultimately begin launch and fund a charity, which will be called Race, R A C E, which is actually an acronym for raising awareness in children of the environment. And what we hope to do is to be able to take kids, you know, who are maybe deprived or haven’t got enough access to the countryside into country parks, and, you know, farm schools and nature reserves and let them experience firsthand, a little bit more about
Manon Bolliger 21:37
Especially in in early childhood, if possible, because those are such the formative years, and it actually makes me… it reminds me of a small story, but I had taken my youngest daughter to India, for a conference, this is quite a ways. Now she’s a full on adult, and it was a homeopathy conference, and we were talking about felines, and, you know, the whole, like, all of the tigers of the lions and all of this and, you know, when I got back to her, I would explain to her, the differences and the temperaments and how these different animals operate, you know, and several years later, yeah, I found her once just crying in her bedroom. And I said, what, what’s wrong and she, like, she was sobbing and sobbing, and then she said, you know, I can feel it…it’s almost the end for the Bengal tigers. And it was such a deep connection. It’s like, I don’t know whether it’s the trip that had started her this connection, or whether she would have always been connected, I don’t know. But, you know, for her to have felt such a connection is…it’s quite remarkable. And, now she’s an animal lover, and she’s actually starting her own farm. And so, you know, you can see that it’s sort of all connects, but I hope there’s a pivotal time period. Where otherwise, is it still a longing? You know, for me of course it is. But I had that privilege. You know, yeah, how to get up early enough to create some connection to, you know, to nature, I think would be really important. I’m gonna ask you a very strange question just as we wrap up. But if you now knowing what you know now, and your own transformation, and your reconnection to what you value in life, and doing what you love, when you look at the whole finance world, if you walked into it now, knowing, you know, being who you have become, because there’s always movement, do you think that we could have a finance world that is much more aligned with interconnected values and all that? Does it need to be the way that you experienced it?
CJ Williams 23:45
Yeah, I totally agree. And, you know, luckily, for me being brought up in the countryside, I was very lucky as a kid, I think, to be able to go to the local duck ponds as they were and be able to fish out great crested newts and study them and then obviously return them to their environment. They’re very much a protected species now. Certainly, in UK, I think in Europe and, you know, to see them firsthand and know them and be familiar with them was a privilege. I also had another great experience as a child to be stalking if that’s the right word, not really stalking, but following a herd of local deer, of which there was an albino stag. And you know, to get up close to that creature and animal when it was drinking from a pond in a world without knowing we were there watching it was another fantastic experience. So, you know, at a very young age to firsthand witness things like that, for me, were very rewarding and stay with me and another reason really why I want to share that or to allow the next generation to be able to experience such things as well. And hopefully some of my stories will do that. So, the first book is To See Them as the title and the second one is Wise and Wonderful, which is a work in progress now and it’s alphabetical so there’ll be a creature from A to M in the first book, and then from N to Z in the second one. And each has its own particular story in terms of the threats they face in the world, and what we can do about it is actually the message. So hopefully, that will teach kids and they can start to do more of themselves as time goes on to make sure we are looking after these animals and the titles by the way, I’ve stolen from a well-known hymn that we used to sing at school, and I’m sure kids still do, which is all things wise and wonderful. I couldn’t have a couple of titles. From that, because James Harry up with his work had already taken those. So, I was able to find these other ones. But in any case, as I say, the board game is out there, it’s on Amazon, and, you know, children do enjoy playing it. And hopefully, again, they’ll learn something from that, and those messages will stay with them. And, and they can, you know, carry that forward, and it will be a better world as a result. No, it’s a very, very good question. And I think there is definitely hope there. And, you know, I’m still in touch with a lot of people from that world, and, you know, got some very, very good friends and ex colleagues and associates, and acquaintances from that market, and it is changing a great deal for the better, and there’s much more emphasis now being placed on important human things such as diversity, but also sustainability and social responsibility. And all those factors now, is huge amount of emphasis being placed on that. So, it is definitely improving. You know, and will continue to do so I hope and that applies not just to, you know, the big banks and the big fund managers, but also to, to a lot of the big energy companies and other industries, where there is a real conscious, and this has been raised now, and hopefully we’re making a move in the right direction. Certainly, when it comes to the big issues like global warming or climate change, whatever you want to call it.
Manon Bolliger 28:36
Especially right now. Oh Sorry.
CJ Williams 28:38
No go on.
Manon Bolliger 28:39
If it doesn’t get co-opted by the politics, because there’s lots of politics of cooling, destroying what otherwise is, you know, I would think common sense, you know, we have to live in nature. You know, it’s not a battle against nature. And so, there’s a lot of fundamental changes that, you know, that I’m looking forward to.
CJ Williams 29:07
Yeah, no, absolutely. Me too.
Manon Bolliger 29:09
Yeah. Okay, well, CJ, thanks very much. And if there’s any last words, you want to share that.
CJ Williams 29:17
I’m not sure. You know, I know you’re, you’re very much all about healing Manon and, you know, I really enjoy your podcasts and the messages that I get from there, I think are valuable and not so sure mine was so much about healing. But I feel I’ve gone through a lot of healing myself as part of this transitional journey into something worthwhile. So, you know, keep doing the good work, really spreading the message but it’s been very enjoyable and thank you.
Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting TheHealersCafe.com and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or DrManonBolliger.com/tips.
* De-Registered, revoked & retired naturopathic physician, after 30 years of practice in healthcare. Now resourceful & resolved to share with you all the tools to take care of your health & vitality!