10 June 2013

Ian Gawler Blog: One remarkable man; one great lesson

Over the years, I have had the good fortune to meet and sometimes work with many remarkable people. This week, as I prepare to speak at Brisbane’s Relaxation Centre for the 30th year in a row!, along with workshops in Sydney, Coffs Harbour and Katoomba, lets go Out on a Limb once more and I will tell you about one of the most remarkable of all, Lionel Fifield, and of the one great life lessons I learnt from him.

Also, another really inspiring cancer recovery story, but first

Thought for the Day
If I were to wish for anything,
I should not wish for wealth and power,
But for the passionate sense of the potential,
An eye, which, ever young and ardent
Sees the possible.
                  Soren Kierkegaard

In the mid seventies, Fortitude Valley, adjacent to Brisbane’s CBD, had a well-earned reputation for crime, corruption, vice and sleaze. So when a new centre opened opposite the local Police Station with the then ambiguous title of The Relaxation Centre, it was not long before two burly plain-clothes detectives enquired.

All fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed, the man in charge, Lionel Fifield thought it best to introduce the said gentlemen to his best “girl”. With some anticipation, they were led upstairs to meet one Doris, champion stamp licker and letter poster at the tender age of 90 something!

This was a Relaxation Centre with a difference! Based on volunteers and an incredible ethic of service, the Centre has been providing self-help programs, personal development courses and so much good for the Brisbane community for nearly 40 Years.

In July I will celebrate with Lionel 30 years of annual presentations. In fact, Lionel was the first to ask me to present a comprehensive workshop – over a weekend in 1993. His style, enthusiasm, mentoring and on-going support for me, has, as with so many others, played a crucial role in how I work. So first, something of the man; then his great lesson.

Lionel Fifield began his working life as an accountant and made the most of the opportunity to experience many years of stress, fear, anxiety and chronic insomnia. At the tender young age of 30 he was warned that the way he was going, he could not expect to live for more than another 10 years. A range of severe illnesses rapidly followed, propelling Lionel to transform his heath and his life.

Inspired by what he found during his own recovery and now aged 34, Lionel, along with six others launched the Relaxation Centre of Queensland. Lionel has been at the helm virtually daily since and is the key person responsible for developing the Relaxation Centre’s wide-ranging programme. He has also presented numerous courses throughout Australia and in several countries overseas. I know of few who have done so much for so many others over such a long time.

One great lesson: Trust in abundance; focus on the need

Lionel first came into my life in 1983. While I had been conducting groups since ’81, the Gawler Foundation was just being established and big choices regarding how to proceed were being faced regularly.

I well remember Lionel calmly pointing out to me how many resources of every type were available in this marvellous world we live in. Logically, he pointed out how these resources were available to meet the needs of real needs. What we discussed at length were really the Laws of Abundance and Manifestation; not in some flaky New Agey way (although we both recognised much that was good in the so-called New Age) but more how these principles applied in the real world.

It was Lionel, more than anyone that convinced me to hold firm to my own belief that if in the Foundation we were to hold unwaveringly to meeting the needs of those people we set out to serve, then the finances, the people; all the resources we needed would become manifest. Focus on the service and the finances will follow.

In those early days I was often accused of flying “Faith Airlines”, believing in abundance and manifestation and expanding the work of the Foundation without any visible means of financially supporting the new service. It made for some tortured Board meetings and we certainly had our ups and downs, but the Foundation was built on this principle, the key words of which are eloquently stated in the Bible:

Ask and it will be given to you,
seek and you will find;
knock and it will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives,
and he who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks it will be opened’      
         Luke 11, 9-10

People often ask Lionel how he has retained his enthusiasm for this work for so many years. He often talks about some of the changes, and almost miracles, he has seen happen for people when they have grasped the possibilities available to them and taken responsibility for their lives.

I share Lionel’s sentiment, and so here is another letter, a great example of what is possible, and this one offered as a tribute to my great friend, inspiration and mentor, Lionel Fifield.

Details of the Brisbane events, along with Sydney, Coffs Harbour and Katoomba follow. In Sydney, I will be presenting a weekend workshop at the Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour - a wonderful venue for the occasion. Please also note, the Relaxation Centre has moved from the Valley, and is now at Alderley. See you there!


Kevin was diagnosed with kidney cancer after an operation in January of 2011 for the removal of his gall bladder. Here Kevin shares what unfolded.

On recuperating from the gall bladder operation I had scans for the spot on my kidney which revealed a 66mm cancerous tumour on my left kidney.  Within 3 weeks I had it removed. In early 2012 another scan revealed metastasized cancer to my lungs. After being referred to a lung surgeon, he told me there is nothing he can do for me and referred me to an oncologist that said the same thing.

The oncologist then said to me you will have years not months so go and do your bucket list. However what the oncologist also said was there is a really good book written by Ian Gawler ‘You Can Conquer Cancer’. I said wow funny you should say that my daughter is a naturopath and she has given me that book from a friend and I am reading it now.

I read You Can Conquer Cancer by Ian Gawler and other books, then my family said you should go to the Gawler Foundation Retreat. Well I said we really can’t afford it and my wife said is your life not worth $3,000?

I did the retreat and that was the best money I ever spent in my life. I was with 30 other people who were in the same boat as me; some were more advanced. We all learnt an immense amount of knowledge of how to live with cancer and I came out of that with so much life changing experience.

I will never forget my 10 days with the Gawler Retreat, I think it is probably one of the best memories of my life. Well I must say I really enjoyed every minute, however, I just can’t believe how much information that I absorbed and took home with me, but most of all put into practice.

As well as turning my cancer around with diet and lifestyle, I have cured other ailments that I used to suffer. I actually had an attack of diverticulitis when I was on the Retreat but I haven’t had diverticulitis since, although I used to get it at least 6 times a year.

I was perpetually living with irritable bowel syndrome. I haven’t had it since.

I used to get hay fever so bad my eyes would bung up and I would have a perpetual post nasal drip, I used to have to pay to get my lawn cut. I now do it myself, no problem, no hay fever.

I have been on proton pumps for reflux for over 6 years I no longer get reflux, no more medication.

But best of all I lost 30 kilos.  By losing this weight I have lost 90% of my arthritis pain.

From the knowledge I had learnt from The Gawler Foundation Retreat and put into practice - in seven months I had turned my cancer around. The next scan showed that the two largest tumours in my lungs had decreased in size very significantly and a cluster of smaller tumours had decreased very significantly.

My oncologist said it was amazing that I have shrunk my tumours without any mainstream treatment and that in all his experience as an oncologist this had only happened once before with another patient and that was six years ago.

All the best to all of you guys you will live in my heart forever.

Kevin Baker
Student from April 2012

Parking backwards and other positive acts

This will be my 30th year presenting at the Relaxation Centre in Brisbane.

Ruth and I love these events where we get to meet up with people we know, make knew friends, to remind ourselves and others of what works and to share the latest in our field of health, healing and wellbeing.

Please do forward the details to those you may know in any of these places and if you live nearby, we hope to see you at one of the events. Bring your family (we had 5 members from the same family share a day workshop recently), come with a friend, tell your colleagues.

These workshops are interactive, a great way to review what you already know, to be re-inspired and re-enthused, and to learn exciting new things, like the latest breakthroughs in epigenetics, the neurosciences, telomeres and nutrition.

Something for everyone!

June 27; Evening Public Lecture: Health, Healing and Wellbeing
29 – 30; Weekend workshop: A New Way of Living

Coffs Harbour
July 6; Day workshop: Medicine of the Mind

July 9; Day workshop: Health, Healing and Wellbeing

July 13 - 14, Weekend workshop: A New Way of Living


BOOK: The Mind that Changes Everything – includes the principles and techniques of how to develop the Laws of Abundance and Manifestation

Lifestyle and Follicular Lymphoma (sometimes referred to as Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - NHL)

Several lifestyle factors (e.g., obesity, alcohol use, and diet) have been shown to affect the outcome of patients with NHL. A number of tumour molecular markers have been shown to predict the clinical course and overall survival  NHL.

In this study, high microenvironment expression of CD7 (a protein that can be aberrantly expressed in refractory anaemia and may confer a worse prognosis) was significantly associated with a dietary pattern high in fruits, vegetables, and starch (p=0.04), as well as more specifically a higher intake of carotene-rich vegetables (p=0.005).

To our knowledge, this represents the first report of the association of lifestyle factors on tumour markers/microenvironment in NHL and their collective impact on survival.

Evans A et al. Influence of Lifestyle Factors On Expression of Tumour-Related Microenvironment T-cells and Impact On Survival of Follicular Lymphoma. Link to the paper: CLICK HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ian... Love to hear the survivor stories... Attended the 10 day retreat in April... What an amazing experience... Your legacy is alive and well and really enjoyed meeting Ruth and all the fabulous bods that taught and supported us... A number of my NZ friends recommended we should make the effort to travel from Wellington... I've phoned them all personally to say thanks for the suggestion and recommending a visit highly to all my cancer fellows... Thanks for all your work....