Rachel Davies is a modern, mindfulness-based hypnotherapist, facilitator, non-violent communication coach and writer.

Check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

Who or what did you want to be when you grew up?

Until I was about 5 years old, all I wanted was to wear a hooped skirt so big I couldn’t get thru the door. I eventually wore my mother down and she made me one. I wore it constantly along with a long dark wig, walking around the house like some tiny Elizabethan queen.

What is your professional background?

I worked as a film and commercials director for 20 years, got burned out, then ran away to Esalen—a legendary retreat center and residential community in Big Sur, California—with a US green card I won in the diversity lottery. There I made giant pavlovas for everyone on Saturday nights, bathed naked with all my colleagues in the most beautiful, totally un-sleazy, natural hotsprings under the stars, with whales swimming by. Everyday we sat in circles in beautiful wooden rooms named Huxley, Watts, Rolf and Maslow, talking about our feelings, laughing a lot, and “processing”, which was revolutionary for my repressed Pakeha self. I studied the healing arts as much as I could—particularly non-violent communication, meditation, creative practice and even ESP, which they call remote viewing these days, from a quantum physicist who was funded for a decade by the CIA to explore whether the US could psychically spy on Russia. (Spoiler alert: yes and no) After that I moved to Maui with my boyfriend, trained in modern, mindfulness-based hypnotherapy, and worked in boutique drug and alcohol rehab, found my passion for being of service, and helping others connect with their deeper selves and deeper truths. After big days of emotional and spiritual work I’d spend my evenings lying in the hammock watching the sun go down.

When do you feel the most creative or inspired?

When I feel safe, free from judgement, free to take risks, unconcerned with outcome, and when working with other fun, playful, creative people with similar values.

When are you happiest?

Reading a book in the sun, having a good honest talk with another human. Or when supporting someone to transform something painful. Oh, and hanging out with puppies!

What’s the best stress relief advice you’ve ever been given?

Consider the breadth and depth of time and space, like it’s bigger and older than we can even actually comprehend, like too big to even be able to think of. And my life is as small as that of an ant living in a pot plant in some garden in Pirie St, as compared to the vastness of all the other life on earth. Even smaller. And with this perspective, it’s easy for me to relax, like, you know, it’s all gonna work out just fine, I mean, I’m just a tiny speck. Ahh!

What is your most treasured possession?

I have a postcard of a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec that I carry everywhere. When I feel I’m home I pin it to the wall. Otherwise it’s people, and tho I can’t possess them, I do carry their love and care and wisdom with me. Apparently, the Greek word for the highest human good, flourishing and prosperity is eudaimonia, which means well daimoned, good spirit, which, as a hypnotherapist, I translate to mean, well guardianed—surrounded by invisible love and support.

What is the most important thing life has taught you thus far?

Do your (emotional) work, get quality support, you’ll feel a million times better. Oh, and love is the answer to most things. Like, it actually is.

What is your number one business tip for surviving (and thriving) in your industry?

Get clear about what it is your love the most and then vividly imagine yourself there, like sense it, feel it in your body. This is some powerful stuff. I feel like maybe this is too precious to write down, coz it’s like a spell that really works, and needs to be used with caution. I do a lot of this kind of work with my hypnotherapy clients and hear them speak of really profound shifts.

What is your big project or goal for 2018?

To settle back into Welli life securely.

Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?

Gee, I reckon Wellington is full of some totally incredible humans, it’s breathtaking. I find the depth, playfulness, kindness, sklll and wisdom of the people in this town astonishing. Also, in teaching non-violent communication (NVC), so inspired how by good it feels to be in a room of people who are just in their life energy, not in punishment and reward, good and bad, blame, shame, and all those life-alienating systems, but instead in connection with their true selves and life energy. It’s so much fun! There’s so much laughing! I used to walk around practicing the angry, blaming, attacking things I’d say to people I imagined had wronged me when I finally had the chance, and my body would be all tense and tight. And whenever I did actually have the chance to say it, and looked that other human in the eyes, I found that I didn’t really want to say those things at all. Something different would come out of my mouth. NVC has a premise: “None of us have ever done anything wrong, we’re just doing the best we can with what we’ve got. And maybe I might look back and wish I’d done something a different way, knowing what I know now. But that’s ok, coz I’m learning, I learned something, and that’s all life’s really about anyway.”

What do you continually ask yourself?

Honestly, sadly, I constantly ask myself, “Where’s my phone?” I mean it’s right beside me now.

Who do you collaborate with best?

People who love to play.

Who has challenged you to be better than you once were?

My dear friend and extraordinary artist Jo Randerson. She really lives her values and her heart is so big and fun. She has so much integrity. She has the courage to lovingly call me out on my bullshit. And my phenomenal writing teacher Ann Randolph too. She calls out bullshit in such a bold hilarious way and pushes me to really fearlessly tell the truth and show myself, to be wilder and braver. If you’ve got a few spare grand and feel like a creative boost in one of the most beautiful places on earth, go study with Ann on Ka’uai. She’s really something.

http://www.annrandolph.com/

How does courage manifest in your work?

Um, the courage to love each other and really actually listen. Not needing to be right. Not wanting to change or fix. Just listening. Just being present. Being actually here in my body in the present moment, right here.

When has mentorship played a role in your life?

Graeme Tetley (extraordinary NZ screenwriter) mentored me as a writer and screen writer for a few years. What a human! I think of him everyday and the stuff he taught me just keeps unfolding. He’s was like a Jedi. Like he’d tell me something and I’d get it years later, like a slow burning firework—- or planting a garden in my heart that blooms after a hundred years.