1) Tell us a bit about how you first resonated with the Openhand philosophy and how this may have developed over time?
I’m glad you used the word resonate. Because that’s what it’s always been for me. A kind of resonance. A recognition that there’s truth here. And a realisation of the authenticity of this work.
This resonance started for me around 15 years ago, when I first met Open, at a London conference on spirituality in business that I was covering for a spiritual magazine I was editing (I’ve been a journalist all my life). I had this feeling of being ‘picked up’ from the room I was sitting in and almost ‘pushed’ (by benevolence) into the room where Open was running his workshop. There was resonance then – and he hadn’t even started Openhand yet! Later on, I would link to the Openhand site from my Little White Feather site, even though I didn’t yet really know what Openhand did… I could just feel the truth in it!
2) Why did you become an Openhand facilitator and why is this different from other training programs?
Hmmm. That’s an interesting one… I think I’m unique among Openhand facilitators in that I wanted to facilitate with Openhand even before it had a facilitator programme! Having been coaching and leading workshops of my own since I was 19, I got a definite ‘inner nudge’ to ask Open that, should he ever take on facilitators, I would be honoured to be one of them.
A couple of years later, he began his first facilitator course and I was invited onto it. So I suppose I must have been one of Openhand’s very first facilitators!
How does it compare to other courses? I’m not sure really, but I would certainly recommend it for bringing out your most profound gifts as a facilitator – gifts that you perhaps didn’t even know you had!
3) How would you describe your work and what are some of the challenges you have encountered and overcome?
I have always been an intuitive and, I think, a bit of a mystic. I seem to have a role helping star souls - and anyone who feels they have a unique mission to fulfill (big or small) - to find their soul’s unique gifts and create a life that fully expresses them. I have developed the Soul Gifts Programme, an annual programme starting December 6th (and Openhanders get very special rates).
I also find myself working with men to help them birth the divine masculine on the planet – and I work closely with twin flame energy, so do quite a lot of work with couples.
4) What makes you unique as an Openhand facilitator?
I suppose it’s the way that I engage with people: first by connecting with the soul and then being shown the way through the layers.
I’m quite an interesting mix in that my energy tends to catalyse people’s spiritual path, yet at the same time I am quite empathic and a ‘sensitive’ (I can often sense or ‘read’ karmic blocks and areas of density that can be preventing the soul freely flowing as well as information on where we need to focus to clear karmic blocks, entities and implants).
I will often feel a block energetically, emotionally and sometimes even physically and, especially when my client is not yet able to fully feel it themselves, I will often process the energy that we are working with through my own body and field, which can be quite an energetic process!
5) Tell us about an event in your life that has been deeply inspirational.
It’s challenging to pick one, but if I had to, I’d choose my rather dramatic ‘transfiguration’ in 2010, synchronistically just a couple of weeks after I got involved with the Openhand work. I remember dragging myself round the house – my heart felt literally too heavy to walk! I was encouraged, within, to cancel my work commitments, close the curtains and go to bed. My whole system ‘blew’ and I became filled with light.
I remember my friend Jenny having gone away for a two week holiday knowing me as one person and when she came back it felt like I was an entirely different one! The experience changed my life and it felt at the time that it was what I had worked all my life – and perhaps many lifetimes - to experience.
6) How do you like expressing yourself?
I would say that I love to communicate through the spoken and written word. So I love giving talks – I gave a talk on living your life purpose in Berlin last month, for example. I enjoy just walking into a space and seeing what wants to move in me – what wants to be said! I love the surrender in that! I will often prepare what I feel to say beforehand, but then let it all go at the last minute and just see what wants to come.
Being an author, journalist and long-time magazine editor, of course I love to write! I wrote my first novel, Learning to Live: Because There’s No Highway Code for the Game Called Life, an inspirational love story about the journey of ascension, when I was 19 – and I hope to finally publish it next year (first-draft mock-up of front cover attached below – a work in progress).
There’s also a bit of a wild dancer in me and a soulful singer.
7) What’s your favourite film and why?
I’d go for an oldie – German filmmaker, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire – reminding us that there is always benevolent help available to us in a whisper. I’ve always loved It’s a Wonderful Life for the same reason.
The inspirational Field of Dreams has also always had a special place in my heart and also the little known Steven Spielberg film, Always – perhaps because the veils between this world and the next have always been thinner for me than the next person and they kind of fit my reality!
8) If you only had one day to live how would it be?
Just like today.
9) Is there anything else you would like to share with everyone who is reading this now?
Just a reminder that, though life is challenging for most of us right now, this is a truly magical time to be living on Planet Earth. All the resources in the universe are available to us! Let’s wake up to the opportunity!
And, if anyone is feeling powerless or downtrodden, I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper. You have all the resources you need inside you. I’d also vouch for the importance of always using our inner compass – the ‘inner tuition’ – as the reference point.
In workshops and in coaching sessions, people are often keen to ask for my direction and guidance. And I always do my best to throw it back to them: ‘What do you feel is the right way forward?’ ‘What feels true for you?’ We’re so keen to give our power away! In my way of seeing things, it is when we truly accept responsibility for our lives - and reclaim our self-sovereignty - that we truly grow and can become all that we truly are at core.
Tonya has a limited number of free ‘breakthrough sessions’ available in November and December for Openhanders interested in her Soul Gifts Programme or 1-to-1 work. Please fill in your details here.
(in interview with Openhand Community Coordinator Aspasia)
Here's what's involved in becoming an Openhand Facilitator