the Mirror 1999

JULIA Stansfield, 35, first went to see personal development teacher Brandon Bays a year ago. She believes the Journey process has cured her of chronic back pain and emotional problems.
BEFORE I started using Brandon’s techniques, life was a struggle.

Although I’d been a fashion model for many years, I had zero confidence, was in an emotionally abusive relationship and had chronic back pain. I saw an osteopath every week for two and half years, which provided relief but no cure.

Then my mum saw an advert for The Journey, Brandon’s weekend seminar, which teaches you how to heal yourself from emotional and physical pain, and bought me a ticket for my birthday.
I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never [?gone?] anything like this before. A lot of the people on the workshop had been on the spiritual path for a long time, whereas I’d been at the pub, drowning my sorrows in whisky!

I liked Brandon from the start. She was extremely dynamic and compelling. She made it clear at the outset that she wasn’t a healer but a teacher. She’d give us a bag of tools, she said, with which to solve our problems and heal our physical ailments.

We split into twos that weekend and worked through The Journey Process, following a script.

You sit down, close your eyes and imagine you are sitting around a campfire with a relative or friend or anyone who has hurt you.

You visualise yourself as a child and visualise the person who has hurt you and you get to have a conversation The process can take a while.

Maybe the five-year-old you, screams at your mother for not letting you go out that time with your best friend. Or perhaps it’s a far more serious incident. But eventually you go through a forgiveness process.

Now I can cope with anything

The idea is to learn how to feel your feelings rather than cover them up.
Most of us will do anything rather than feel an emotion, especially a painful one. We’ll punch a wall, numb ourselves with TV, alcohol or cigarettes.

It was absolutely revolutionary for me to realise that I could get angry or sad without being totally overwhelmed by it.

We also did forgiveness work where you go back to your childhood and forgive people who caused you pain. This makes you feel happier and lighter, as if you’ve been washed from the inside out. You react to people differently.

As soon as I finished my first Journey workshop, I rang my parents and we communicated as adults for the first time. I could talk to them as a grown-up 35-year-old. My dad didn’t want to let me off the phone.

I left the weekend a different person. My back hasn’t hurt once since then and emotionally I am stronger and happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve left my abusive relationship, started [?my massage?] therapist business and a new life.

Before I met Brandon I would despair. The slightest problem would send me running to my friends for help. Now I have the tools to deal with it myself.