Category Archives: Education

<3 Live Your Dream – Follow your Bliss <3

On New Year’s Eve 2013 it was exactly 14 months since I had picked up my first pair of poi and 6 months since I bought my contact staff yet here I was performing for a fee at an event attended by thousands in an outfit I designed and made on a budget of 26 quid. NYE outfit fullHere’s the story of my transformation…

I was a lonely kidLorrena as a kid
and books and music were my best friends. When I wasn’t voraciously devouring a book, I would sit alone in my room taping songs off the radio (yep, I’m that old :D), learning the lyrics off by heart and making up dance routines to them… No one ever knew I did it and I never showed anyone…

Growing up, I had some tough emotional times filled with suicidal thoughts & attempts for reasons I’ll go into another day but I was intensely private; To be the best you must handle the worstI was never one to confide in others so I would put on my headphones and sing or dance to make myself feel better.
dance your divine light

I can’t really explain it but even if I am asleep, if I hear a good tune, I will immediately start jigging away as if I am filled with a sudden burst of energy. In these moments of being bathed in spirit, everything is illuminated, I don’t know how else to explain it. I would ponder a problem (mine or someone else’s) then solutions would just appear out of nowhere… I have always known I had access to the collective consciousness but somehow I never realised the role that music played providing an entry point until writing this today. Music

AT 11, all that reading paid off when I got a scholarship to one of the top public schools in the country, Christ’s Hospital. CH

CH  grounds Lorrena@CH

They had an amazing music school there and I learnt to play the violin, piano and trumpet to a professional level and was a member of its choir, orchestra and marching band…. CH _ Lord Mayor's Show CH_Chapel

However, the time I came most alive was when I was alone… I was in a full boarding environment there so I had access to a music 24/7…It wasn’t enough for me to hear my favourite songs – I had to reproduce it and submerge myself further… so I would turn on my Walkman (for anyone under 20 that’s an old school ipod;D)  and listen to a track, then play back the song by ear on the piano… I then did the same on the other instruments.  At one point I knew all the violin solos on the Levellers (if you are under 20, Google them) albumsThe Levellers. Again, this was done in solitude, for seven years till I was 18, no one would ever know I did these things. Not my family, not my friends, just me.
But then I went to uni and without funds to buy my own instruments, I had no opportunity to continue playing so I focussed on my studies instead and for two years I played not one note…


The year before I was supposed to graduate I spent a year abroad in Russia as part of my course and there I found an underground world of dance music , a music producer boyfriend and jazz band artist… My parents had been really over-protective (I was rarely allowed out of the house nor allowed to keep friends outside of term time and  remember,  this is back in the days before internet social media) so aged 20 let loose with disposable income in a foreign land, I threw myself into the world of clubbing and pretty much was out dancing every night (suffice it to say, my Russian got pretty damn good ;D).

Russia_ Map

I ended up staying an extra year almost throwing away my degree to sing and play trumpet in my boyfriend’s jazz band… I got to hang out with famous musicians who were obsessed with ‘black’ people and music and for the first time in my life, my pigmentation was actually a bonus and the socially-awkard secret music-loving geek became ‘cool’ for the first time and began to come out of her shell…Transition - phoenix

The meaning of life is to give life a meaning

I knew that I would be going back to the UK to graduate and get a corporate job and I always wondered how my boyfriend survived as a musician… I would revel in the all-night jamming sessions, wonder at the lack of routine or certainty, watch with admiration as these creative creatures would perform on stage without a hint of nerves, and feel pain/fear during the periods when others would worry how they were going to eat the next week in a country with no social benefits system…
Do what you love It was an amazing 2 years of observing those living life at the opposite end of the spectrum to where I was headed – a claustrophobic world where money and status would be more valued than creativity and social freedom by all those around me…To be a star you must shin your light

MY TRANSITION 2008 -2011 :
So how exactly did I get to this place where I am now? Well, that’s a story with many twists and turns during a long period of inner work so I’ll leave that for another time but, in short. what initiated it was the death of my surrogate mother 6 years down the line in September 2008.Aunty I took a month out of work though stress (having never once pulled a sickie) which was a big no-no given the nature of my job but because I couldn’t express to my boss what I was going through, I would eventually be was first in line for redundancy when the credit crunch hit.
Adam Smith  - stage
things will work out who they are supposed to


A month after my return to work (where I was treated as a pariah for having lost the company money due to my unexplained absence despite having made them millions)  a friend invited me to spend three weeks at a yoga retreat to Thailand in December – this is where I witnessed my first fire poi performance (and got a tattoo!) ThailandYoga AsanasThree months later the redundancy came as predicted so with time on my hands, The meaning of life is to give life a meaning I started to revisit topics I had begun as a child exploring spirituality, natural herbal remedies, crystal healing and other therapies and initiated a plan to help neurodivergent people like myself, especially kids… Crystal grid

Crystals and Buddha
It's the end of the world said the caterpillar SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND:
During my investigations I kept coming across stuff about the Maya and an online search  ended up with me stumbling across a Mayan themed party and there I met someone who introduced me to the squat scene full of people intent on freeing their mind.yellow lunar warrior From that moment, I started to go to illegal parties to do healing areas Cave Gallery healing room

squat party_2

Squat party and, of course, I danced my socks off. Cosmo 2011It was in this environment that I saw people doing circus stuff like poi/hoop/staff manipulation. It fascinated me but I never thought to try it


Four months before the December 21st 2012 Winter SolsticeYugas

Precession-of-the-Equinox I saw a pair of poi at a friend’s house ( I was crashing there after I left my teaching job and was homeless :/) .Transition - phoenix That night I had a dream that I was spinning poi and when I woke up I took them to the park to have a go. I didn’t know what to do but when I listened to music, I would dance and the poi would do cool stuff.. I watched a couple of tutorials but it never worked as well as when I just moved to music. I started to video myself day and night and could regularly be found spinning poi at train stations and while waiting for the Tube watching my reflection in any surface I could find (I remember how happy I was when the train was delayed or cancelled lol). There was a spinning group that met regularly in London; I went once but was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of everyone around me (and also their capacity to drink lol). They were all so confident! I also realised that I learn better when I am alone with spirit… I just somehow knew what to and contact poi

I had started a graduate teacher training programme but I was appalled by the state system and knew that it was not fit for purpose so I left, precipitating a period of homelessness. I couldn’t bring myself to squat (I need to be alone too much to share my space) and I had never lived with anyone who wasn’t my partner so when I got the opportunity to house-sit for a friend in Kent, I jumped at the opportunity even though I would be leaving everything/everyone behind. The second day after arriving, I had the urge to spin as soon as I woke up, so I found a local park. It started to rain and then there was an auspicious double rainbow.

Double Rainbow
Double Rainbow

Something told me to return to the same spot the next day and I did. Five minutes in, another spinner came over and introduced himself. He took me to a local circus club and invited me to spin with his group at a party in Essex the following weekend. I’d only been spinning for 10 months at this point and was nervous to perform with a bunch of strangers. I hadn’t spun with anyone else so I had no way to gauge if I was any good or not…I stuck my earphones in and off I went.


I started to spin in the local park and kids would come over and ask what I was doing and why so I would let them have a go.Chi Ki Kids I have always taught myself every subject I know so I am good at breaking down information and I got so much joy from watching particularly challenging kids who, no doubt, were regularly rebelling in the classroom become calm and focussed when they had poi in their hands..Naughty kids in the park
In July I decided to buy a staff and was mesmerised. I had no internet, so again, the music taught me what to do. In August, someone recommended me to a circus shop to demo the products at festivals.
Lodestar Festival_Sept 2013_ kids with my crutches

Lodestar Festival_Sept 2013

Brisfest 2013


I only went to seven events but on each occasion I got to spend time with experienced circus performers and I started to realise that I could really do this for a living but I would have to find a way to get over my shyness and get my confidence up…

In the middle of December, I decided to go to London to attend the London Spinners Christmas cabaret…. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. I watched the performers in the cabaret and it started to dawn on me that I wasn’t there to just watch them but to realise that I had become one of them! When I got back to Kent, something told me to check the group’s posts and there was a request for spinners for a New Year’s Eve event so I offered my services. I took my fire poi and my contact staff which I had only had for five months and had never lit…LED hoop and fire staff Lorrena_2 It was the strangest point of my life… 14 months after picking up my first circus prop, I was performing. For money. In front of people. Mental! The most important part for me is that I know when you spin, you create sacred geometry/healing mandalas and the opportunity to do this consciously for so many people makes me SO EXCITED!Flower of life

When I was a kid, I used to imagine myself performing but I never imagined I would end up doing it. I had always excelled academically and had never had any importance placed on creativity but now I can’t think of doing anything else. Such is the nature of the times we are living in – the return of the divine feminine, that chaotic, dark energy which if channelled intuitively can bring magic to life and give birth to dreams.
Live in the present

My years of solitude gave me plenty of time to analyse and let go of many traumatic experiences I had endured alone and in silence and the music ensured that I could fully heal and start to welcome in these creative experiences.
Right brain left brain

As for the Right side of my brain, my academic mind will not go to waste as I know I can write down my experiences for others to benefit from 😀 I have never been in the habit of opening up to people, more interested in helping them to overcome the issues at the heart of their insecurities and find the confidence to live their dream so this post is a bit dry, but it is definitely time to share my experiences, if only to show myself how far I have come with my inner work after decades of being silent. there is work to be done inside myself and outside

I would love to hear from you if you are mid-transition/post-transition. I would also be interested if you have seen me out and about and have any constructive criticism – when you spend so much time on your own, you never really know where you are. It’s always good to know you are not alone during these times of change so please do share your stories 😀
We are building a network of enlightened beings

BTW, there are a lot of “I”s in this story but there were many people I came across who played their role in my transformation. We are all a piece of each other’s puzzle and I have lots still to learn 😀 Namaste ❤ To be a star you must shin your light

Val ball costume_2

Above – my costume for Valentine’s fire dance which I put together today 😀

More on my circus outreach youth programme here:

The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family and is associated with productivity, order and evolution...
The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family and is associated with productivity, order and evolution…

This morning the first thing I saw was a wasp – whenever I see an animal repeatedly or one catches my attention whether in my waking life or my dreams, I know it is trying to tell me something – so I guess I need to get my shi8 together as regards my summer project for kids since the wasp represents productivity, getting on with new projects and keeping one’s focus… So this week, I am going to finally print some flyers…Gulp… I have been thinking about this activity club for kids since last summer when children approached me in the Crystal Palace park and their parents asked if I was running some kind of club for kids… I love doing voluntary youth work and working as a private tutor for hyperactive kids but I know I can do more since I strongly believe that kids need to be OUTSIDE in nature, not holed up in their bedroom watching Rihanna’s antics,

Fame & money can't buy you happiness it seems...
Rihanna and the cult of celebrity which is ruining the minds of today’s youth…

discussing celebrity news, zoning out to mindless TV or searching for porn (if one believes recent research findings)…So I yesterday I started to populate my Facebook page(Isis8star), uploaded some videos and will make my flyers by the end of the week… Yes. I. Will!

It is not like I am not getting daily encouragement, mind you…I was on the train yesterday very tired after a long session with my ‘autistic’ pupil, and two kids were in front of me messing around … I looked at the dad and smiled then started pulling faces at the kids.. It turns out that the father was deaf as were his children with the daughter being mute additionally.. I thought I would struggle to communicate with them, but by the end of my train journey I was tickling one upside down and teaching the other one how to spin poi (much to the chagrin of my fellow passengers;-)) It is days like these that make me want to keep soldiering on as the dad mouthed to me that he had never seen them so happy 😀 Coincidentally, I know that this moment happened for a reason so it made me want to finish my Makaton course and start studying sign language properly

Makaton is a communication system that uses speech along with body language, signs, and pictures to represent words and names.... Every primary school should be using this, every teacher should know it!
Makaton is a communication system that uses speech along with body language, signs, and pictures to represent words and names…. Every primary school should be using this, every teacher should know it!

So, one of the questions one has to ask oneself if one sees is a wasp is, am I am in line with my goals, am I procrastinating or allowing others to get in the way of my projects?

Never feel guilty about putting yourself first...You can't help anyone if you are running on empty!
Never feel guilty about putting yourself first…You can’t help anyone if you are running on empty!

Honestly, the last year has been about trying to find someone to who understands what I am trying to do and will allow me to couch surf while I save money for this project as I no longer live in London.. But sadly these arrangements always turned into me playing life coach to the person in question by introducing them to crystals, veganism, less intoxicating lifestyle etc rather than focussing on myself… Not gonna happen this year, I have to put my foot down..I can’t blame anyone else by myself.. I have to be much firmer and unwavering in my approach to my goal but finding the alone time to do that has been rather tricky!

The children are our future - we need to get it right!
The children are our future – we need to get it right!


Very few people understand why I don’t feel the need to be in a relationship right now.. I actually gave up the love of my life and the opportunity to have my own kids two years ago when I realised that all my energy had to go into becoming a teacher and making the world a better and safer place for the hundreds of kids who don’t seem to have any adequate guidance and feel a bit lost these days… Our nation’s education system is not working and kids are feeling more and more disenfranchised and disillusioned every day. Not to mention the fact that the number of children with ‘special education needs’ is growing exponentially and very few schools are equipped with a head who gets this, let alone teachers or learning assistants who are aware of the techniques required to assist these children.. I always say, there are no learning difficulties, only learning differences..

The Scottish rebel who is responsible for England's first Alternative Free School - Summer Hill
The Scottish rebel who is responsible for England’s first Alternative Free School – Summer Hill
Steiner Schools place emphasis on movement and spirituality (click photo for more on his theory :D)
Steiner Schools place emphasis on movement and spirituality (click photo for more on his theory :D)
Maria Montessori, FIRST the education of THE SENSES , then the education of the intellect
Maria Montessori, FIRST the education of THE SENSES , then the education of the intellect

My experience of being in a state school and tutoring private pupils is that teachers always focus on what these children lack, rather than paying attention to what they CAN do.. They may have dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, not be able to focus on one thing or keep their bums on their seats BUT if you look a little deeper, you will find that they are great artists, natural musicians, are amazingly coordinated or have a deep knowledge and understanding of subjects that most adults struggle with… They are here to teach us a different way to be, if only anyone would listen to them/pay attention…

Please click here for an article/video on these revolutionary philosophies:


Hilaria Baldwin 2 INDIGO Stylized children around a rainbow

All my time should be taken up with doing research on healing modalities for kids with ADD and ADHD as well as Autism/Asberger’s (for the record, I hate these labels!) but other people’s designs on my time tend to get in the way… Every time I take an interest in an adult’s welfare and try and help them out a bit, they interpret this as love meant especially for them… Well, it is, in a way, but it’s ‘cosmic’ love, as in the same love I have for all my fellow brothers and sisters… I try to show people how to stand strong and find their hidden talents but by helping them to recognise what no other has done, they misread my efforts and intention. The point is to get them to love themselves from the inside. No one can truly love you until this happens!!! There are plenty of kids who do not love themselves, have never been shown, and will never know what it really is as they have parents who themselves did not receive enough growing up. If you get to the kids, I believe the magic works its way through the family as well as into the future of our planet 😀

indigo, crystal, rainbow


Every animal knows more than you do
Anyway, I digress… If you see a wasp, (or anything in nature), and it sticks in your mind, consider what it means for you:

“The prime season of the wasp is spring, and so it is symbolic of new beginnings, and starting new projects.

The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family. When the wasp appears in our lives it is a message for us to consider our own methods of communication. The wasp might be a sign that we may need to express ourselves more clearly.

Because the wasp is symbolic of communication, order and productivity, those who encounter the wasp may ask themselves:

  • “Are all my affairs in order?”
  • “Am I aligning myself with my goals?”
  • “Am I procrastinating about something?”
  • “Am I keeping myself from reaching my highest potential?”
  • “Am I allowing my progress to be held back by others?”

Wasps are perfect totems for those of us who need a bit of organized focus, and assistance with assertive communication.

The wasp can also help in areas of building, whether it be a new home, or building on a dream – the wasp is a master architect and can guide you with the planning of any building project you have in mind.