Insight Interviews: Mary Ann Somerville

Interview by Mary Mckeone



‘We are all creators in our lives,’ Mary Ann Somerville says. Mary Ann, who as an Insight facilitator based in the US, has for the past thirty years, been serving Insight, an international non-profit organisation which helps people improve the quality of their lives through connecting with the intuition of their hearts. ‘I was inspired,’ she says, ‘to do this work because to this day, witnessing the profound transformation of people touches my heart.’

Creativity and inspiration are very real for Mary Ann in her life. She takes a broad view of creativity. For her, creativity is wider than the traditional notion of artist or writer and can include just about anything: parenting solutions, cooking or even simple conversations. However, we don’t, always, consider creativity in that way, she says. Nor are we, always, aware that as well as creating positively, we can create negatively. Self-awareness is crucial. Because with self-awareness we can decide what type of vision we want for ourselves, for our lives and take action in that direction. This, Mary Ann says is very powerful. What is more, if we are self-aware, we get to track physically, mentally, and emotionally what is going on for us, where our focus is leading us and get to choose differently if we don’t like it.

Becoming aware of our creativity also creates choices. So often people feel victimised by their circumstances. When they are stressed, they contract rather than applying creative principles preferring to believe they don’t have a choice. And yet, as Mary Ann points out, sometimes reframing a situation, seeing things differently, will create new options. But it is when we get on to talking about inspiration that she becomes particularly animated.

‘Inspiration is my most favourite thing in the world,’ she says. ‘It is for me an inner state of alignment that has a quality beyond my normal way of thinking.’

She goes on to explain that when we are aligned with the three selves, basic, conscious and higher, the higher self has access to solutions and universal information which we don’t normally have in our everyday thinking. We light up with new ideas and often our greatest ideas appear in the shower, show up as a dream, when running, driving or in many other guises. Inspiration can also act as a guide as we move into the unknown of the future. It can provide a sense of perspective and in doing so help lift us out of fear in more challenging times. Accessing her inspiration is, for Mary Ann a lifelong journey of mastery. She has though, a number of tools one of which was given by her mother when she was a little girl. Whenever she had an idea which she didn’t have the answer to, her mother would tell her to put it in the hopper and trust it will come down in perfect time. The hopper is a mid-west term for a grain silo which drops the grain at the perfect time. The hopper has become a symbol for her of the part of ourselves that can access more universal knowledge. Mary Ann says, she still uses this tool to this day with one add on. She gives her basic self a timeline requesting she receive information by such and such a date. She says it’s important that when she receives the information, she then does the discipline of sitting down and acting on it which demonstrates to her inspiration, she is listening. She also has the Insight tools and principles which she applies regularly and reminds me how at the centre of the Insight heart chart there is, ‘I am experiencing self-awareness now,’ that place of natural knowing and how as we go through our day, we can keep checking in whether we are connected to our hearts and that place of inner knowing.

Our time is nearly up, but I must ask Mary Ann one more question. What has Insight given her? She answers with a graciousness which is in keeping with who she is.

‘Insight gave me the opportunity to show up in a personal expression which I would never have believed was possible,’ she says.


If you are interested in learning more about creativity and inspiration, do join Mary Ann's workshop on the 9th March 2022, where she will be speaking on creativity and inspiration, a subject dear to her heart.

Inspiration and Creativity: Embracing Change and Responding to Challenges in New Dynamic Ways

Mary ann will be one of our facilitators in our upcoming Insight I on 13 - 15 May 2022! To know more about how we can guide you in your personal development journey, click the link below.

Insight I Seminar, 13 – 15 May 2022


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.

Insight Interviews: Russell Bishop

Interview by Mary Mckeone


Who am I? What really matters in this world? Is there a difference worth making? What is my role in it? These are questions we have probably all asked ourselves at one time or another. Some of us may have got answers but for many, we are still seeking that deeper purpose in our lives. Russell Bishop, who created Insight along with John-Rogers in 1978, believes peoples’ need for deeper meaning in their lives is as much an issue today as it was back then. The taking of personal responsibility, being accountable, making healthy choices are important in helping us live more meaningful lives. These are things, he says, we hear a lot about, at least from an intellectual perspective. What we hear less of, Russell says, ‘is the focus on Loving.’ For him and what is at the heart of Insight is how Loving is the key: the key, he believes, to many of our individual and collective problems in today’s world. Although this may sound like left over hippy speak from the seventies, it is anything but.  Clean cut and cerebral, he tells me that the Insight I seminar, ‘The Awakening Heart: Becoming more of who you already are,’ was designed so ‘we could awaken to what is already present. To become more of who we already are. And who we already are is Loving.’

‘Most people,’ he says, ‘have had enough experiences of life that make loving risky, and yet loving is our natural human condition. Awakening, too, is a natural process as a human being… [It is obvious] something that awakens was previously asleep but what is given less thought, is that something asleep was previously awake.’ He is keen to emphasise that when he designed Insight, he wanted it to be gentle in its approach rather than confrontational, and practical in application. ‘Insight is based on questions, not answers. Enquiry not direction. We pose, for example, questions of responsibility and accountability and have people look at experiences from their own life and ask: how did that happen? What was my role in it? Were other options available, options perhaps I did not see? Through asking these types of questions we help people discover choices which they are, and have been making, and options that could be present, if they choose them.’ As Russell wrote in the Huffington Post (16th December 2012): ‘By simply asking the question about your own personal responsibility for good not experienced or troubles that have befallen you, you are more likely to discover choices you have that could make some improvement to your current situation.’

Born in 1947, in the San Fransisco area, he is no stranger to responsibility. He describes his childhood as ‘at times challenging.’ His parents, children of the 1930’s depression in America, had gone to the San Fransisco area as a result of WW2. His father who had a Tool and Die business went bankrupt twice and the teenage Russell, the eldest of three, as well as going to school, worked twenty to thirty hours each week to help support the family. In 1966, his father died of leukaemia which meant he had to work fulltime to support himself through university. Having had fourteen surgical hospital visits by the time he was fourteen, he intended to qualify as a paediatric surgeon. However, this was the sixties and a time of great social unrest: a time when there was a strong demand for social and racial justice, a demand to end the Vietnam War. He pivoted away from medicine and ended up studying history and political science. Appalled by the social and racial inequities he witnessed in America, he became politically active and was a regular protester on student picket lines.

In 1971, when protesting at Berkeley and hit by a teargas cannister, he underwent a major transformation. Today recalling this experience, Russell still becomes animated. About to throw the cannister back at police, he had an out of body experience where from twenty-five feet back and twenty-five feet up he saw and heard himself shouting, in more colourful language than he uses in our interview, ‘why don’t you all *****love us?’ Moments later he was back in his body, with a huge awareness coming over him that the purpose he was there for was about love, about caring, about peace yet the strategy they all adopted was screaming and throwing things. He says that, for him, went, ‘disconnect. Disconnect. Disconnect.’ He dropped the cannister. He left the picket line. And back at a friend’s apartment in Berkely, stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom where he cut his hair which was long at the time, shaved his beard and sat crying into the mirror: ‘Who are you? What’s this all about?’ This momentary existential crisis was, Russell says, the turning point.

With a place at John Hopkins University to do a PHD in history, he decided this was no longer for him. Instead, he knew he needed to do something to help rather than simply complain about the issues of the day. He knew, too, he wanted to help people awaken. On his mentor’s advice, he enrolled in educational psychology focusing on the dynamics of group change. Russell was no stranger to personal growth work having as an under-graduate participated in thousands of hours of personal development.  Determined not to have a theory he wanted to prove, but rather document what he observed, he devised much of his own degree and brought in a variety of experts in their field. However, in 1973, he decided to attend, at his mentor’s invitation, a workshop on the power of positive thinking. During that four-day training, he witnessed people make bigger personal transformation shifts than anything he had previously seen in months of therapy or group work. So impressed was he by this work that within days he resigned from the university and chose to volunteer with the organisation. Within months he qualified as a facilitator and soon after was running the San Fransisco Centre.

By 1977, through his girlfriend at the time, he had become aware of John-Rogers’ work. He had read much of what John-Rogers had written and though he’d previously dismissed it, he now found himself enthralled. Frustrated by the lack of consciousness and focus on loving that he observed in many of the personal growth trainings he facilitated, he contacted John-Rogers and offered to design a training programme which would have a practical application and help people make better choices. John-Rogers was interested and in January 1978 the first Insight seminar took place in Santa Monica. It was an overwhelming success. Forty years on, an emotional note is detectable in Russell’s voice as he recalls how powerful and transformative that seminar was for so many people. Of the one hundred and fifty participants, one hundred and twenty-three expressed interest in advanced training which had not yet been written. This was the beginnings of Insight. It took off and over time was operating in forty-three different countries around the world. What Russell attributes in part to Insight’s success is that unlike so many of the other personal development programmes which operated from the premise something was wrong with you, and you needed to be fixed, transformed, or changed, Insight was about awakening you to what is already present and who you already are. And who you already are is loving.

Although Russell acknowledges that the level of consciousness today is much higher than it was thirty or forty years ago, the conflict and divisions in the world which we witness daily means that the opportunity to help people awaken to their deeper purpose is still there. He sees, too, how this work is equally relevant to business. Having worked with many different corporations, he has found that like individuals, ‘businesses often lack a clear understanding of their deeper sense of purpose, direction, and mission in life.’ By advocating ‘purpose before profit’ in the commercial world long before it became fashionable, he was in many ways ahead of his time.

Insight has obviously been significant in Russell Bishop’s life. It has given him a job, the opportunity to meet with all sorts of people, but as the organisation grew, he says, to keep pace with it, he too had to grow enormously. He also had to: ‘keep deepening my own awareness of the distinction between what do I want in terms of an object of focus and what experience am I looking for…which is a core question in Insight.’ Having learnt at a very profound level, flexibility, adaptability and how to let go, he can now, he says, work in any environment: ‘The lexicons might be different, but the principles are the same. Systems don’t work people, people work systems, and people can work any sort of system if we really respect the person.’ This respect for the person runs deep and one of the major things he has learnt over the years: ‘is how to recognise the capability and the gifts an individual brings so that they can begin to bring the gift and the contribution that’s needed. It’s not about bringing the person in line with the system but bringing the system in line with the person.’

It seems a good place to end our conversation with a man who is responsible for helping raise the consciousness of so many people in the world, as to who they really are.


On the 9th June 2021 at 7.30 BST, Russell Bishop will be facilitating an online workshop on The Dynamics of Choice: Are You Creating The Life You Want Or Settling For What Shows Up?


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.

Insight Interviews: Stacey Medalyer

Interview by Mary Mckeone


Stacey Medalyer has lost count of how many Insight seminars she has participated in and assisted on. Born in Whitechapel (within the sound of Bow Bells) she was introduced to Insight twenty-five years ago, a shy nineteen-years old living at home. She has been involved ever since. What appeals to her about the organisation is its inclusivity. ‘There is space for anyone, it doesn’t matter what their background is,’ she says. Feeling she belongs is important to her. When she did Insight I as that shy teenager, she was she says at times overwhelmed with much of it going over her head. ‘I didn’t really understand it intellectually, but something touched me deeply and I knew I wanted Insight in my life.’ Looking back, she realises she discovered during Insight I, ‘that the world was a much bigger place than she experienced before. My eyes were opened, and I saw there was a place out there for me.’

A place out there for me,’ swiftly moved to, ‘I have a place out there,’ when she did Insight II, a few months later. Insight II gave her a better understanding of who she was. And if Insight I opened her eyes, Insight II gave her the ability to see.

‘It gave me hope and possibilities.’

Hope and possibilities are something Stacey is still experiencing. Within two years, she left her job and went to work for the Insight office as staff. She did Insight 3, followed by Leadership and in the late ‘90’s created the first Kids Seminar in the UK. She also began assisting on seminars, something she still does today. But back then, assisting took her to the US, Siberia and Israel. It was when assisting in Israel that proved a major turning point and was one of her biggest life lessons. Like many people, Stacey found dealing with big emotions challenging. However, during one of the exercises an assistant was required to take part to make up an uneven number. No-one volunteered. In fact, with regards this exercise, Stacey didn’t think she had any further work to do on it. As no-one had volunteered, names were put in a hat and it was Stacey’s name that was picked out. It proved to be a very emotional exercise for her but through feeling safe and supported, she learnt that experiencing big emotions did not need to be frightening. ‘It was so freeing for me,’ she says. ‘I knew I could go deep and survive it and from then on, I was able to participate 100 percent.’

It is clear speaking to Stacey that Insight has had a formidable influence in shaping who she is today. Before her twenty first birthday, she did a Tony Robbins seminar in Hawaii which she says she would never have done before doing Insight. When working with special needs children in an International school in Surrey, she suddenly found herself without a job when the father of the American family she was working for was unexpectedly made redundant. As she had always wanted to work in an orphanage, she took advantage of her situation and after fundraising and sorting her affairs in the UK, went to volunteer in an orphanage and teach in China for three months. Would she have taken those risks had she not been involved with Insight, she wonders aloud? Although there is no way of knowing for sure, she thinks probably not. What she is sure of is that through her work with Insight she gained a confidence and belief in herself which allowed her to take risks that helped her grow as a person.

Today, Stacey is a humanistic therapist with children, teenagers, and adults. At the core of humanistic therapy is the importance of being your true self so you can lead your most fulfilling life. Alongside this is the belief that because everyone has their own inner wisdom, they can make right choices for themselves. Stacey acknowledges the impact of Insight’s teachings and says that for her the most important is that we always have a choice, no matter what the circumstances. This, she believes, gives us a great sense of freedom. As someone who likes to get things done, she loves, too, that Insight’s teachings are contemplation in action: going within is important but so is taking specific action. With twenty-five years under her belt, she plans to continue being involved aware that no two seminars, no matter how many times you take them, will be the same experience.  As co-Team Captain on the recent online Insight I seminar, she has become an ardent fan of the online experience. ‘It is,’ she says, ‘one of the greatest blessings of Covid that we now have the opportunity to go global with this very important work.’


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.

Insight Interviews: Jerko Bozikovic

Interview by Mary Mckeone


Jerko Bozikovic is someone who knows how to enjoy life. We are meeting on zoom to talk about his experience of the recent online Insight I seminar and his enthusiasm bounces through the screen. Although during the seminar he was in my resource group, I only know that he lives with his partner, Joram, also a UK Insight grad., on a farm in Belgium, that they have chickens; peacocks; three goats; nine cats and a vegetable garden. Jerko’s day job, I discover, is a corporate trainer, an executive and life coach, and a keynote motivational speaker. He, also, has a long history with Insight and was very involved in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Insight, he tells me, first came to Belgium in 1993. Aged twenty-four and a professional dancer, he took the seminar the following year. “It was fun,” he says, with the bonus that, “a bunch of friends, colleagues and family were involved. A big family affair,” he adds, laughing. But it was more than simply fun. It is clear when he speaks that the work of Insight touches his heart deeply. Between 1995 and 2000, still dancing, he became the Belgian City Director of Insight on a voluntary basis. Involved in organising four or five seminars a year, it was a vibrant community with participants coming not only from Belgium but other European countries such as the UK, France, and Spain. By 1997, he considered becoming an Insight facilitator and went to Los Angeles where he did Insight IV. He co-facilitated a Teen seminar in Boston as well as an Insight I in San Francisco and whilst up to now he has prioritised other aspects of his life, becoming an Insight facilitator is still a goal. “The Insight principles are the foundation for my life, both personally and professionally. And though I have done lots of other personal development courses, for me Insight is the most complete, the most valuable [work] on every level.”

Often Jerko’s involvement in seminars was as an organiser or an assistant so his recent online participation is the first Insight I seminar he has done since 1994. As he describes his experience, his face visibly lights up and his speech quickens. “I found it really intense, at times a roller coaster and I didn’t anticipate the impact it would have on me. The richness of knowledge I got from it, the richness of the experience I went through…to be a participant was the best gift I could give myself.” What fascinated him was how many of his experiences during the seminar mirrored to him ongoing experiences in his life and particularly those in his relationship.

What did he think of the Insight I online version? “During lockdown I have had to do all my corporate training and life coaching online, so I knew what could be achieved virtually. But I had no idea how many of the Insight I processes would work online, and I was sceptical whether it could be pulled off. I, also, thought for some of the exercises I had no more [inner] work to do, but I was amazed at how beautiful, how profound I experienced them. I felt so connected to people, and although online is different to being in the room, it is in no way less, nor was there any absence.”

Jerko lists the many advantages he sees with Insight online. With the seminar zoomed into your home, there is no need to travel or fork out money for travel or accommodation which for some can make the difference between participating or not. It is, also, he thinks, equally as powerful and intimate as being in the room, something which surprised him. Another advantage, he sees, is that online is “available to a much wider audience yet requires less time, energy and money to organise. This means more seminars can be put on each year with a bigger uptake.” But he recognises too, that there is much to recommend having a seminar in the room and that online is an addition rather than an alternative. That said, he sees it as a great opportunity to expand the Insight community both within the UK and globally.

Insight UK & Belgium are organising Insight I ONLINE Seminar in November 2021.

For further information please check the NEXT EVENTS here.

Insight Interviews: Mark Anfilogoff

Interview by Mary Mckeone



Mark Anfilogoff was a latecomer to Insight seminars. Although, on the fringes of Insight for many years [his wife was involved,] he was resistant to taking the seminar. An engineer by profession and now a technology consultant, he strikes me as a man who wants to get things done and can, sometimes, feel impatient with introspection. Yet, once he jumped there was no stopping him. Between 2015 and 2016, he did Insight I, II, III, and IV. To do four seminars in twelve months is no mean feat given that Insight IV was held in Chile which meant taking a month off work. Since June 2015, he has assisted in, almost, every seminar there has been in the UK.

So why the turnaround? He says tongue in cheek and with a chuckle, it was his wife’s persistent drip feed encouragement which got him in the end. Whilst that might be partly true of Insight I, he accepts it is not the whole story why he did three further seminars in quick succession. Insight I was, he says, a positive experience where he met interesting people. But it did not have, for him, the WOW factor some speak of. It must, though, have had an impact because at the end of the seminar, having formed a bond with three others they all decided to sign up for Insight II, a few months later. He enjoyed Insight II, and again, found it good fun despite having its challenging moments. Mark describes himself 'as not much of a talker.’ But after doing Insight I and II, he became aware of a gradual opening up from within which continued when, the following month, he and his wife did Insight III together, in Bulgaria. This, he says was his ‘ah, ha,’ moment: the seminar which made the difference.

No doubt building on the previous two seminars, taking part with his wife, and being in the mountains with snow still on the ground which gave it something of a holiday feel, added to his overall experience. But the real difference, he says, was learning about and practising neutrality. This is the premise on which Insight III is based and it gave him a new and exciting perspective. Neutrality, contrary to what many people think, is not passive but rather active engagement without attachment to outcome. It is also about being non-judgemental. Neutrality implies tolerance. Mark found that viewing events, people, or situations from that higher perspective shifted his perceptions and helped him communicate on a deeper level with others. He, also, found he was better able to overcome his familiar tendency to drift back to old stuck patterns. But the quality of his relationships and his improved communication skills were not confined to his personal life. Significant changes began to occur, for the better, in his professional life. As a Technology Consultant, he specialises in aligning people with technology and inviting them to think and work differently so that better outcomes can be delivered within an organisation. Confidence, clarity, receptivity, and the ability to communicate are all necessary skills Mark has. Since the seminar, he has discovered that when he adopts a neutral position in the workplace his communications are, undeniably, more effective.

After Insight III, Mark was hooked. He was determined to do Insight IV in Chile in January 2016, only a year after he did his first Insight I. The tables, too, had turned. He, now, found he was the one persuading his wife. ‘If not now, when?’ became his rallying cry, adamant he wanted the benefit now, rather than in two years’ time. Neither Chile, nor Insight IV disappointed. Remembering his time there, the joy he experienced is evident in his voice. ‘It was an amazing experience. The warmth of the reception we got from the South American Insight community was fabulous. Although it was winter in the UK, there it was summer. We stayed in the centre of Santiago and even had an apricot tree in our garden. The seminar was fascinating, a key aspect of which was [to realise more] how you present in the world and giving you tools to expand on that. We were part of a team for a month. It is not often people get the opportunity to focus for that much time on themselves. It really made a difference in bringing greater awareness to the truth of who I am.’ Since then, he and his wife, have not only assisted regularly in the UK and continue to play a major part in providing support for the organisation, but have gone twice to Chile to assist on Insight IV. Feeling now, very much part of the community there, they hope to assist again at some point as and when coronavirus permits.

Mark sees himself as ‘a work in progress.’ His continued involvement in Insight is because for him the organisation, ‘is a bit special’ and at a time when there is so much division in the world, Insight’s aim ‘to assist in transforming ourselves into loving so that the greater transformation of the planet to loving will take place,’ is, he believes, even, more important. He also thinks Insight has played a valuable role during this global pandemic by offering free workshops which bring people together from all over the world in a shared experience. Under what might sometimes be considered a slightly brusque exterior, he is obviously a sensitive man who wants to make the world a better place and, in the process, get things done through his willingness to serve.


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.


Insight Interviews: Ruth Rochelle

Interview by Mary Mckeone




‘Awareness is a route to wholeness,’ says Ruth Rochelle, an Insight facilitator for over twenty-five years, who did the first Insight I in 1979 in the Café Royale in London with Arianna Huffington and which was facilitated by its creator, Russell Bishop.

‘Insight I, for me, was very powerful,’ she says. ‘It was a life-changing shift in [my] consciousness where I became aware of connecting with my heart and all of humanity…and when for a moment in time, the separation of individuals no longer existed.’

During those four days, she discovered that by being in self-awareness, we have a natural knowing, and that her inner wisdom was something she could rely on. She, also, learnt about the power of intention: how when we focus on a goal with a singularity of mind and then take action towards it, not only are we more likely to realise the goal but we feel stronger and more confident in the process. This, Ruth found was the case, even after the seminar was over. In discovering she had more courage to go for what she wanted, she found she was willing to go outside her comfort zone and achieve results which were stretches for her. She cited one example of going for a job in mental health which her heart called to her to do, but for which she had no experience. Notwithstanding, she got the job. And loved it.

After Insight I, she knew she valued this work enormously and was clear she wanted to do more of it. A few months later, she did Insight II. That too, was ‘amazing, powerful, profound and exciting.’ But it was not until some time afterwards, she fully appreciated the power of Insight II, and better understood how our deep-rooted, conditioned fears and beliefs can limit us living fully from our hearts. ‘Insight II gave me a clear powerful perspective on my beliefs and resulting habitual behaviours,’ she tells me, and ‘by being able to view those limiting beliefs more objectively, I realised they were not the truth.’ This realisation provided more expansive choices, so she was better able to change things in her life no longer working. Even today, she says, Insight II, still has a huge impact and she regularly uses its tools.

Over the last year, she has had plenty of opportunity to use the Insight tools. Like many of us when the pandemic struck, her life, as she knew it, was turned on its head. Early on, not only were several big projects cancelled but all her regular work stopped. She didn’t qualify for government financial support and suddenly it looked like she would have no income. Familiar limiting patterns were triggered – old fears, feelings of unworthiness, a sense of exclusion, and mental negative scenarios of what if: ‘I can’t pay the bills, the mortgage, buy dog food, etc’.  What liberated her was being very present and compassionate with herself and not denying what was happening for her, mentally or emotionally. ‘Living on my own in lockdown,’ she says, laughing, ‘there was no escape from my experience so I might as well learn and grow from it!’  ‘Participate in your experience’ is a recommendation from Insight I.  ‘Simple Awareness is often curative.’ said Fritz Perls – quoted in Insight I.   ‘In allowing my awareness into those deeper places of pain without resisting, I was able to flow with it and ride my own familiar wave until I found myself naturally moving back into my heart and into my loving and from there, I could ask: is what I am thinking and feeling really true in this moment?’  In the centre of the HEART CHART presented in Insight I there are the words ‘LIVING IN SELF-AWARENESS NOW’.  Moment by moment awareness is such a powerful key!  What she found was an opening up of gratitude for all that she did have: a home; plenty of food for her and her dog; the support of family and friends who love her dearly, and much, much, more. Depletion was transformed into potency and confidence which grew along with self-trust and lightness of heart.  ‘I am being more creative than I have been in a long while, and as a result, I have attracted more work! What I have been through in 2020 has been priceless. It has been an opportunity to deepen my love for myself from the inside out and allow my gifts to [further] blossom.’

The current restrictions, of course, mean Insight workshops and seminars are now taking place online. As a successful executive, leadership and team coach, (see more at who has often facilitated online, I ask her view of the upcoming Insight I which will be held online between the 4th-7th March 2021. She acknowledges being online is different to being in the room but says that there are definitely advantages and that this new development for Insight, in her opinion, is very exciting. Not only does it give the organisation the ability to provide a service beyond boundaries (the global Insight I, there were participants as far afield as New Zealand, Africa, the UK, the US, and South America,) but she knows from her own experience, connecting with other participants, whether in the room, or not, is equally possible. People now can have profound and meaningful experiences in their own homes. As someone who is a big fan of exploring ways to do things better, Ruth finishes our conversation saying: ‘What is so wonderful about the Insight experience is that because a participant works with their current reality, and what stage they are at in their life, each seminar will be different, even if the same seminar is taken for a second, third, or fourth time… So, anything, at this point in history, that connects nations and brings diverse people together in a loving, uplifting and accountable way must be a good thing.’ I have to say, I agree.


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.


Insight Interviews: Ginny Fraser

Interview by Mary Mckeone



There is no denying Ginny Fraser’s resilience. Diagnosed, in 2001, with terminal cancer and given six months to live, she defied the medical prognosis and nineteen years later is still very much alive. When I speak to her in December, it is clear Insight has played a prominent role in her life and in particular, her surviving cancer. ‘I didn’t entirely do the conventional treatment route. I used a naturopathic approach,’ she says. ‘And many of Insight’s teachings were by then embedded in my system. I had the belief I could survive. I just had to keep on taking the next step’.

On the recommendation of a friend, Ginny did Insight I, in 1985. At the time, she worked as a journalist, a ‘tough girl,’ who partied hard, but had no idea of who she was or what her purpose in life might be. ‘The truth was,’ she says, ‘I was lost. Looking back, now, to those first three days of the seminar, I was so disconnected from myself.’ Then something shifted. There was no fanfare of drums, no flashing lights, but rather a quiet moment when suddenly going up in the lift to the seminar room on the Friday night, she sensed something inside her had changed. When I question her more on what this shift was, she says ‘Knowing what I know now, I would say that maybe for the first time ever, I connected with myself and my heart. Before that, I had no idea what an awakened heart was.’

Not long after Insight I, she did Insight II. It was, she said, a deepening of what had gone before. During that seminar, ‘I got to really experience the opening of my heart.’ The protective wall she had erected around her ‘tough girl,’ image was slowly beginning to come down and she found herself more willing to show her vulnerability. Insight III followed and then Insight IV. It was during Insight IV she fully acknowledged her desire to facilitate seminars. She knew she was beginning to tentatively step into her full potential and open to a new sense of possibility. The facilitator’s training was a rigorous process. But Ginny knew she wanted Insight in her life, that she was willing to do what it took and to live by the qualities of her heart, demonstrating: commitment; willingness; loving and courage.

By 1988, she had moved on from journalism and was working full time with Insight as their co-Managing Director. She loved the job which involved, amongst other things, organising volunteers, and enrolment. She also facilitated Insight seminars around the world from Siberia to Brazil and many countries in-between. But in 1994, she was diagnosed with skin melanoma. This was treated conventionally. Two years later the cancer had returned, and this time was found in her lymph nodes. She opted for Gerson Therapy (a regime of 13 vegetable juices and 5 coffee enemas DAILY) which she thought was successful until five years later, and not expecting it, she was diagnosed with Stage IV terminal cancer. Tumours were found in her brain, her spleen, her hilum, and her stomach. She was given six months to live. Her life, she said, ‘was simplified down to the question: would I live, or would I die?’

Her journey of recovery was not easy physically. She had brain radiotherapy and embraced a very tough and unconventional, naturopathic regime which at one point involved taking 122 supplements per day and at specific times during the day. Yet, Ginny speaks of this experience as being deeply profound. She says, she found a new sense of serenity and a sense of empowerment from actively participating in her own healing and taking responsibility for her life. How she dealt with her cancer on the non-physical level was, she says, primarily through her spirituality and her manifestation of Insight’s teachings, which she had absorbed over the previous years. In particular, she had a clear intention to get well. At no stage did she rail against the cancer, or the treatment. ‘I stayed pretty present’ she says. By accepting the situation as was, she was able to stay open to the unlimited nature of possibility and the most powerful discovery of all: ‘the power of my heart.’ Since her recovery she has climbed mountains in Kashmir, sailed in the Caribbean and has walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in Spain.

Ginny, who today is an executive coach and international facilitator, is co-facilitating the new online Insight I scheduled for March 2021. When I ask her about it, her response is brief but to the point. She says that not having facilitated it online before, she cannot say exactly how it will be, but she has absolute trust in the Insight process and that those who have facilitated it in the US and South America, are people whose opinion she trusts implicitly. Without exception, they were amazed at the wonderful, connected, and loving experience participants had online. And she is sure, that those who choose to participate in the UK online seminar will have an equally amazing experience.

We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.

Insight Interviews: Lorraine Stanton - Giving and Receiving

Interview By Mary Mckeone

There is a deep generosity about Lorraine Stanton which has always been my experience of her. We are speaking on the phone, late one evening, and she is telling me about her journey with Insight which started as long ago as 1989. She had just left a violent marriage and finding herself living back at her Mum’s, with two young children and no job, life was not easy. So, when a friend, who had done Insight I, offered to pay for her to do the seminar, she accepted. It was, she says, now in retrospect, “the shock of my life.”  But at the time, she was a resistant participant and laughs at the memory of how upset and indignant she was that Friday evening, waiting outside for the seminar doors to open. Looking back, she recognises how entrenched she was in victim consciousness, how her self-worth was non-existent.  And yet, something that evening provoked her into sharing. She shared how it was all well and good for others, but Insight would not work for her. She doesn’t remember what else she said but she does remember clearly, how the facilitator:

“in an insightful and incisive way dismantled every argument I put forward. He managed to suspend my belief system for long enough for me to transform from a powerless victim [of circumstance] to a fountain of possibility.”

That evening was a springboard for the rest of the training, and it would seem, the rest of her life.


She was hooked. Realising she had choices gave her a newfound power which, she says:

“was like the lid taken off a volcano. I was supercharged. Insight I, opened my eyes, opened my heart and the energy and life that came up was uncontrolled. It was, as if, there was no off button.”

It took until Insight II, which she did the following year, for her to really take charge

of that power. By allowing all of life to exist, (both the wonderful and the not so great,) she found she came more into balance, her understanding of life deepened, as did her relationships and connections. With each seminar she participated in, audited, or assisted on, she was more grounded, more aware.


But it was Insight IV that brought her the greatest gifts. A twenty-nine day seminar, which she took in Los Angeles, Lorraine remembers very little about the seminar itself. What she remembers and where the real lessons for her were, was in getting there. If she was to do the seminar she needed to pay for flights, accommodation, and tuition fees and with her kids still young, and no job or money to speak of, she knew she had a challenge on her hands. She would need to raise £5000, (almost £10,000 in today’s money.) A natural giver, Lorraine now found herself asking others to give to her. She decided if 5000 people donated £1, she would have the money to go. With that as her goal, she asked family. She asked friends. She asked people on the street. She asked people in seminars. She asked people in the post office and what she found was:

“an incredible outpouring of love and support for me. Many people said, ‘no,’ but others gave £5 or more.”

Friends started collection jars for her, some did sponsored walks and others sponsored activities but still without her deposit, she rang the Los Angeles Insight Office to register her intention to do the seminar and to ask if they would hold her a place. They agreed and when she asked if they would give a discount on her tuition fees, they said she could pay half. This incredible flow of abundance didn’t end there. Her mum agreed to look after her children. A friend, who also decided to do Insight IV, invited Lorraine to share her accommodation free of charge, whilst another friend paid for her flights. It was Lorraine says:

“An important lesson of standing in my truth, without attachment, asking will my Universe support me.”

But for this woman, who instinctively was an over-giver, receiving such a flow of abundance did not, at first, sit easily. Grateful for all the kindness shown, she found the more she received, the more her sense of worthiness was challenged, which was uncomfortable. But this discomfort proved, also, to be a gift. She began to better understand the cycle of abundance and how the more we learn to receive, the more able we are to give.

“My receiving,” she says, “is not just about others giving [to me,] but how deeply I receive from myself: my own breath, my own presence, my own abundance.”   


Finding ourselves in a position of need can leave us feeling vulnerable and full of self-doubt. Lorraine understands this. She, also, understands that from time to time we all get a chance to be on both sides of the exchange and that on a deeper level, giving and receiving are companion energies.

“One of the most important and valuable lessons of my life is that I learnt how in the gift of receiving, there is also a gift of giving. When you deeply receive, a gift arises from the depth of that receiving. The gift that arises is automatically given, which may or may not be received by the other person. But it is deeply touching when we can connect and sharing our love and appreciation receive [the gift] and then give it back.’ 


That Lorraine has lived by these principles is very much an evidence through her devotion to Insight. For most of the last thirty years, she has given so much to the organisation. She has managed and trained volunteers in many different roles and shared her skills and expertise in a variety of loving ways. But this doting grandmother who recently turned sixty and who is a pillar of inspiration and generosity has one more thing to add on what giving and receiving means to her:

“Life has a way of working itself out and it is my job to stay in open flow, to keep my mind open allowing the flow of abundance to manifest fully.”

Such deep knowing along with a profound gratitude for all she has received is, I believe, why she can give with such open-hearted generosity.


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.


Insight Interviews: Gaia Vacheva

Interview by: Mary Mckeone


There is a gracefulness about Gaia Vacheva, Director of Insight Seminars, UK.  Raised in a town near the Black sea in Bulgaria, towards the end of the communist regime, she watched her country transition to democracy and its citizens adapt to a new way of being. As business opportunities opened up, her career took off: she set up an advertising agency, did an executive MBA in Madrid, had a spell touring the world working with the Financial Times before landing her dream job with one of her client’s, Walt Disney, who offered her a job in London. So, what was it, I wanted to know, that made her turn her back on the corporate world to become Director of Insight Seminars, UK? 

It started, she says, in 2012. A chance conversation in a bar, with a friend of a friend, who spoke to her about an Insight seminar she had taken and what an amazing weekend she had. As someone who meditated and practised yoga, Gaia was curious. Soon afterwards, she signed up for Insight I in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was the natural next step, she says, in self- exploration. During that weekend, she tells me she was, ‘so joyful, so peaceful.’ And although keen to emphasise her childhood was happy, the seminar provided her with the right questions to start healing childhood hurts. With incredible heart energy in the room, she was aware, too, of the close connection she felt to everyone in the group. ‘It was as if, Insight was knocking on the door, and I knew I wanted more of this.’

The following month, November 2012, she was back in Bulgaria doing Insight II.  This time, things were less straightforward. In bed, for five days before, with chronic back pain and barely able to walk, she struggled to Heathrow only to miss her flight. But something in her was determined to go and the following morning she hobbled back to the airport for what proved to be one of the most challenging and illuminating experiences of her life. Throughout that seminar, she laughed and cried in equal measure and sometimes did both together. What she got from those five days, Gaia says, was an acute awareness of ‘how our minds can block us.’ She saw how she was carrying the beliefs of her parents, society, her friends, her teachers, her partner: Beliefs handed down through generations ‘which were not necessarily hers and which may not, even, be true.’ She realised she needed to find out who she was and what was true for her. What was so amazing, she tells me, slightly tearing up at the memory of such a transformational experience, was that as she began to explore and let go of some of those limiting beliefs, her back pain began to ease. By the third day it was gone. ‘What is inside of us that is hurting us so much and stops us from flourishing and thriving?’ she asks with deep compassion but adds, ‘we have the opportunity to heal ourselves in this lifetime.’ For her, Insight’s teachings, is one of those keys and believes it is for others, too.

By the end of Insight II, there was no going back. There was, she realised, ‘a deeper game going on,’ and she was on a mission to discover her truth and how best she could live her life whole-heartedly. In April, the following year, she did Insight III and in May, Insight IV. During Insight IV, which runs for 29 consecutive days, Gaia focused on getting to know that deeper, inner truth and how she wanted to present and operate in the world. By the following year, she knew she wanted to make a greater impact and was keen to share the value of Insight with others. When approached by Insight’s CEO, Joey Hubbert, in May 2014, asking if she would like to take the licence for Insight Seminars UK, she jumped at the chance. 

‘But it has not always been plain sailing,’ Gaia says, laughing. As a direct speaking Bulgarian, she had to learn diplomacy and tact the more she operated in an English environment. There were tough times, too, more recently when she came near to burn out. However, she is learning to delegate and ask for help. ‘I’m getting better at putting into practice Insight’s guideline: Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.’ What helps keep her going through tough times is witnessing the transformation and growth of the participants, who she finds inspirational. ‘It takes great courage, you know, to be willing to find out who you are. And then there is the incredible team of volunteers who keep showing up. Insight is a jewel, a treasure that has incredible power to unlock potential on so many levels whilst nurturing the well-being of the person as unconscious hurts and patterns are unlocked.’ 

Suddenly, she is looking at the time, aware she has only two more child free hours with still so much to do. I wrap up the interview with two last questions: the impact of coronavirus on Insight and what would she say, she has learnt most from doing Insight seminars? Since the onset of the pandemic, Insight, she tells me, has been providing a lot of free online seminars and workshops both from the UK and globally, ‘so we can be of service during this difficult period.’ Ironically, the impact of the virus is that Insight has been reaching an even wider audience than before. As for what she has learnt most from doing the seminars. She thinks for a moment, ‘I have learnt to be a true leader who is no longer afraid of failure. I used to dream I was Super Woman, but I have woken up and realise I am not. And that is fine!’ 


We have free events scheduled for the next few weeks and you can find all the details and register for them here.


Why Insight Pre-Teen Seminar

The Insight Teen Advantage Seminar enables pre and early teen children acquire tools to navigate their teenage years. Wendy Churchill, our organiser, explains.

Why Insight Pre-Teen Seminar

Good parenting has no guarantee. We want our children to enjoy a safe, easy and rewarding life. Yet we all know it’s a perilous process.

In the UK, by most measures, young people's lives are improving:

  • Drinking, smoking and drug-taking are down.
  • Teenage pregnancies are at the lowest level for nearly half a century.

Technology improvements make their and our lives closer, faster and better. Young people have opportunities their parents didn't dream about.

Teenager's Challenges

Yet, there is evidence that mental-health challenges grip young teenagers. Unlike their parents,  rather than acting out, many young people turn-in on themselves. e.g.:

  • In the past twenty-five years, teenage rates of depression and anxiety increased by 70%.
  • Over the last decade, the number of children and young people admitted to hospital with a psychiatric condition has doubled.

As a parent of a pre-teenager and a teenager, I know the daily challenges young people face. As an Insight Seminars' graduate, in my work, personal and family life,  I  benefited greatly from the tools I learned. The tools helped me be a parent.

Insight Teen Seminar 2020

I'm excited:  my children will benefit from Insight's pre-teen seminar.

On the 17th and 18th October 2020,  Insight will run a special pre-teen and early teen seminar in Walthamstow, London.

The seminar is fun and engaging. It equips children with Insight's tools to use during their teen years. Children will learn about:

  • Making and keeping friends;
  • Standing up for themselves;
  • Dealing with wild emotions;
  • Peer pressure;
  • Self-confidence;  and
  • Much more, in a safe and inclusive environment.

David, a participant at a previous teen seminar said;

"Becoming a teen is not easy. Many things I faced I wasn’t really sure how to deal with.

Doing Insight really helped. It gave me a safe space to talk about my feelings and explain what I went through. It helped me grow and learn. I became happier with who I am and made so many friends.”

Good parenting has no guarantee. I believe Insight will help.

Wendy Churchill