Please share with us a little bit about you in five words. Could you describe yourself?
Compassionate, intuitive, deeply emotional, empathetic and a bit of a joker ☺
Tell us a little bit about your journey, what brought you to where you are now?
Growing up in a small town in Lancashire in the ’80s and being one of the very few brown faces I realised from a very early age that I was different, or at least different in that environment. I was extremely lucky to have a wonderful mother who taught me that my difference was my superpower and I think experiencing that has brought me to where I am today. From that moment and onwards I have always been interested in going against the grain and finding my own way in life, in this ever-changing world we live in. The spiritual world was always open to me with my mum having regular tarot readings with her friends when I was growing up and my grandma telling me tales of her grandma who used to read tea leaves and was known back then to have ‘healing hands’. I grew up very interested in music, I played the saxophone and keyboard from a young age. I started dance classes at three and continued with the classes into early adulthood, eventually, dance became my whole world. Fast-forward to 2010 and I moved to London to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional dancer. I have worked hard to be successful throughout my dancing career and enjoyed the achievements and opportunities it brought. However, as in all careers, the intensity of work begins to take its toll. Eventually, I recognised that I needed to establish a practice of my own, to improve my emotional/mental and physical wellbeing – this is when I discovered the world of energy therapy through Reiki and Sound healing. On a personal level – encountering Reiki and Sound Therapy has taught me how to recognise and work through times where I am struggling with my mental health – whether it be anxiety or depression. It has enabled me to understand that even in those low points there’s always something to be grateful for or to find love for and that it’s usually out of those low points where the real blessings occur. Ultimately its taught me that life isn’t just easy breezy all smiles, all of the time and that is kind of the beauty of it. Or at least that is the way I like to see it.
What has been your biggest inspiration with the work that you do and share?
I think my biggest inspiration in doing the work that I do now, is finding out for myself that these practices are so simple and so easily accessible to us all and wanting to share that with communities that maybe do not have the knowledge or understanding, that with a few simple holistic health or meditative skills you can regain control of your mental wellbeing. It is not just for the privileged as society generally portrays. Ultimately, all the answers you need are within yourself and all I am here to do is to facilitate people, encourage them to empower themselves and eventually heal themselves.
What sparks joy in your life? What really, truly lights you up? It can be big or small?
My quickest fix for sparking joy is still Dance. No matter where I am or how I am feeling, if I need to get myself out of a funk, then moving my body freely never fails to fill me with joy.
What are your favourite soul or self-care practices that you could share with us?
I give myself a self Reiki treatment every morning which sets me up for the day and then any kind of movement be it dance or yoga. As we are in the midst of summer and the weather is lovely (some of the time lol) I take every opportunity I can, to get into nature and walk barefoot in the grass. Living in the big smoke, any kind of connection to nature is crucially important to me. Finally, I LOVE a good bath, loads of essential oils, candles and crystals and just soaking all my cares away.
During these times that we are experiencing as a collective, in what ways are you seeing the importance of community?
I think community and wellbeing go hand in hand and you cannot really have one without the other. That is why in these current times I feel that it is immensely important for everyone to have contact with a community. There are definitely aspects to the pandemic that I feel are detrimental to peoples sense of community and division seems to be a theme, for example – the conversation over being vaccinated or not. I think now more than ever we must strive to be compassionate to everyone no matter their personal choices and try to always come from a place of understanding and most importantly LOVE!
“My quickest fix for sparking joy is still Dance. No matter where I am or how I am feeling, if I need to get myself out of a funk, then moving my body freely never fails to fill me with joy.”
Inspire our Breathe Love community, can you share with us a favourite quote, affirmation or maybe a poem or song to inspire us?
At the moment my favourite song to shake of any stagnant energy in the morning is an oldie but goodie, and if you live in Hoxton by the canal you’ll most likely hear me screaming it from the top of my lungs each morning lol. Shackles (Praise You) by Mary Mary – I defy you not to dance to this.
What was the last sign you received from the universe if ever you had one?
The last sign I received from the universe was to let go of trying to control things so much and to be more open to surrendering to the universes will. I am a bit of a control freak by nature and I think in the current climate we are surrounded by a lot of fear, I definitely slipped into old habits of striving for a bit of control. However, I was not so subtly reminded that we really never have any control a couple of weeks ago by catching covid and losing a really big gig because of that. All we can do is to stay present in each moment and move with what each moment is bringing to us. Nothing more nothing less -trust and know that no matter what, the universe is supporting you.
Share with us something that you are really proud of?
I will never take for granted the women that came before me. Particularly my Mother and Grandmother. To have been raised by such strong, independent, fiercely Scottish yet compassionate and the most nurturing women, will be something I am eternally grateful for.
What would you never take granted?
I hope I never take my breath for granted. You know, just life and…I like to think of myself as someone who appreciates life every day and just the fact that I’ve woken up, having gone through three…breast cancer three times and had a lot of brushes with mortality.
What is your favourite practice that connects you to heart-ki, hearty energy? Could you share with us a tip or tool?
My favourite tool is Reiki. Nothing gets me centred in my heart energy quite like it. For anyone that is not trained in Reiki, all you need to do is place your hands in a prayer position, or right hand on top of left over your heart area and simply breathe deeply into that space.
Laura Rylands is a Reiki and Sound therapist, founder of A.LASS. Check out Laura’s reiki and sound therapy treatments at her treatment space in East London.
We ask our interview guests to share a charity of their choice for us to learn about, support and donate. Please take time to look them up, share their information and make a donation if you feel called to. Laura has chosen https://www.sistahspace.org
For more breathe love interviews head to our blog page here