Dreaming of a Divine Life – Joanne Lee Philpot
“It’s incredible the strength some people can find in the most difficult circumstances. Really inspirational.” – Nigel Palmer
This is the inspirational true story of a woman’s journey towards self-discovery and realization!
Joanne dreamt of a Yoga Retreat in sunny Italy, but found herself with a half built house in the hills and struggling to bring up four children. Yet through adversity she realises that problems can be blessings in disguise as there is a reason to every relationship, and a purpose to every situation.
In the course of telling her story and baring her soul, many people from all walks of life will relate to her difficult and sometimes shocking situations that are forcing her to change! Through her awakening she gives hope to readers by using spiritual practices, eternal truths and secrets to life that teach us how to cultivate peace and love and to develop happiness and compassion.
In her engaging memoir Joanne draws from 17 years of experience teaching yoga, but this is not solely a book for readers that practice the discipline; it’s a book about fulfilling your spiritual purpose, manifesting your material goals and learning to love yourself, all beings and our magnificent Mother Earth.
Dreaming of a Divine Life is a book for all of you who want to transform yourselves, enhance your lives and create change and unity in our world.
“A wonderful journey which promises to uplift and spiritually awaken us from within…proves anything is possible even when life couldn’t get much harder and the true power of positivity and belief in yourself.” – Andrea Schoeffler
Everybody needs a dream and my dream has always been to create a yoga retreat somewhere warm and peaceful by the sea. I’d been teaching yoga in England for many years in various gyms and health clubs, but I wanted to teach in an environment where people could relax, learn about yoga and meditation, and enjoy delicious food.
They would meet a Himalayan Guru, be taught eternal truths and secrets to life and have a realisation that they are Divine Loving Beings!
My handsome Italian partner was convinced of my dream too and said it would be great for us to go on an adventure with our three young daughters. We thought Italy was the place for our retreat as Italy has ‘La Dolce Vita’ – the ‘sweet life’ – with the amazing food, history and delightful medieval castle towns.
My partner grew up in Naples in southern Italy and in his twenties he went to live in London where I met him in a fashionable, stylish nightclub. He was the charming, sexy guy behind the bar and I was the gorgeous girl with the long blonde hair. Our eyes met and we fell in love! We were such a dynamic couple, the life and soul of every party, and a pair of ‘free spirits’. I remember when we first started dating he called me up at nine thirty one morning telling me to meet him at a café in Soho. When I arrived there he was sitting outside drinking tequila, and had been awake and partying all night long! He poured me a drink, shouted for the music to begin and took my hand, leading me out into the middle of the street where we began dancing. My long, pink skirt twirled around my legs as we danced and lost ourselves in each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to all the people staring at us as they walked to work. We were causing quite a sensation with people hanging out of their office windows clapping and cheering us on!
Three months later I became pregnant and my partner took me to Italy to meet his family. First we went to Milan where I was welcomed by his extremely caring papa who cooked us up the most delicious southern Italian food and by his step-mamma, brother, sister and cousins. Next we jumped on a train to Florence to see the statue of David by Michelangelo and travelled down to Naples where we visited Pompeii to walk through its incredible streets and explore its ancient villas. We then drove along the dangerous yet breathtaking coastal road to the pretty town of Sorrento where I was introduced to my partner’s vivacious Italian mamma and on to the stunning towns of Positano and Amalfi that were precariously built into the steep hillsides. Over the next few years, as our other children were born, we went on holiday and stayed with my partner’s family many times. They were happy that we had decided to move to Italy and said they would help us out when we arrived.
My parents were also ready for a change in life. They had a little shop in our home town of Leighon-Sea, Essex called ‘Day Dream Designs’ which sold contemporary, handmade metal furniture. My mum, who is very creative, drew the designs and my dad who is brilliant with his hands made them and we thought maybe they could set up a shop in Italy. We put both our bungalows up for sale and with the combined profits we hoped we would be able to buy two houses on the same plot of land, not too far from the sea and have further accommodation for ten guests at our yoga retreat. While waiting for potential buyers my parents and I searched the internet for all the romantic Italian properties, fantasising about what the retreat would look like and willing our dream to come true!
Throughout my life I have always felt an enthralling spiritual calling which has never ceased! When I was young I craved knowledge, wisdom and meaning to life’s deeper questions and its mysteries. I believed in a higher power, yet I was endlessly searching for something to fill the emptiness I sensed within. I travelled to many New Age festivals and sacred sites all over England where I played the drums, danced around fires, and had enlightening talks with other truth seekers all night long.
I read the Tarot cards for all my friends, practised a few Wiccan rituals and knew there was a magical, spiritual side to life other than just surviving or the accumulation of money and material things! I wanted to truly live and experience it all, so I could awaken myself to the truth and be it all! For the more awakened we become, the more our energy changes inside and we give spiritually kinder vibrations outside which changes our lives, changes other people’s lives and ultimately changes the world!
During my teenage years I worked as a model and travelled to many different countries. Travelling was the best education of my life, living on my own, getting an insight into other cultures and going through many joyful and painful life lessons. I was young, beautiful, wild and impulsive, and I had a pure heart and was always sincere. But I seemed to have a constant struggle between my kind, giving nature and my selfish taking nature. I tried to escape my struggles and fill the emptiness inside by experimenting with drugs and alcohol. They expanded my mind and enhanced my personality for a while, yet allowed me to be used by others which left me feeling lost and frustrated. I had a normal loving childhood and my parents gave me everything they could afford.
However their beliefs that success is measured by how much money you have which had been conditioned into them from their parents, grandparents and our society affected me. I focused all my energy into chasing cash, becoming materialistic and confused, and perhaps saying yes to people and to negative situations when really I should have been saying no.
“This woman’s story is a blue print for the peaceful searcher. Whether you are a man or a woman this is a story that has been channeled through Joanne for the spiritual benefit of us all.” – Marco
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She has been teaching Hatha and Dynamic Hatha yoga for 18 years and Kundalini Kriya Yoga for 1 year. Joanne lives in London where she teaches yoga classes, workshops and private tuition. She published her book ‘Dreaming of a Divine Life’ in June 2017 which took nearly 9 years to write and which many people have told her is such an inspirational read, empowering and helping them to make changes in their lives!
She has created ‘The Divine Life Yoga and Wellness Video Course’ with bespoke nutrition and lifestyle programmes which helps to give positive mind, healthy body, peaceful spirit and abundant life. Joanne gives advice on the natural laws of the universe, secrets to life and eternal truths and so people may create what they want and make their dreams come true!
You can buy her book and video course on her website www.divinelifeyoga.co.uk
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