About me

Carmella - About Me

I was born in England in 1958, and didn’t speak until I was six. Much of  my life has spent studying what works to help us relate more effectively with ourselves and the world.

In a nutshell, my life passions have included: photography, holistic birth; heartful relationships; continuity of consciousness; writing; awareness, presence and non-dual spirituality; resilience; and inner life mentoring.

In the 80’s, I completed a teacher training in Inner Light Consciousness, a comprehensive system of teachings including: Emotions Management, Effective Communication, Inner Life work, Universal Law, and Dynamic Meditation. I also trained in bereavement counselling, have a diploma in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, have studied Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication and am a certified TRE Provider (Tension and Trauma Release)…not to mention LIFE itself, particularly birth and death ~ my greatest teachers.

In 1986, I became the first Midlands mother to give birth in water (supported by my partner Abel), which was reported worldwide in the Press due to an amazing picture taken seconds after our water-baby son, Benjaya, emerged. They also reported our subsequent “pioneering work with waterbirth” and the shocking death of Benjaya, who ironically drowned in a local river when he was five. Two miscarriages later they were keen to report the safe birth of a second son, Asher, again in water. I have been also featured on television and radio ~ including a BBC documentary ~ and my writings on birth, death, healing and effective relationships have been published in many journals.

The tough life experiences I endured taught me the importance of living from my inner strength, and I have been sharing with others how to do this for a long time. Presently this takes the form of Grief Counselling, TRE (Tension and Trauma Release) Sessions, Heartful Relationship Coaching and occasional courses supported by the teachings from my three published books, Benjaya’s Gifts, Mourning Has Broken and Heart of Relating: Communication Beyond Ego.

I have done a lot of co-founding in my life: MetaCentre: Foundation for Human Potential in 1984; BirthWorks (now franchised) in 1987, which offers support services for holistic birth and waterbirth; The Transitus Network in 2004, which honours the sacred process of living and dying and promotes death as a transition; and the Bowden House Community in 2005, an intentional eco-community where I now live and work.

In 2002, I joined the team of The Inner Resilience Program (IRP) in New York City, a non-profit organisation founded by Linda Lantieri, which supported school personnel to connect with their inner lives and, in the early days, helped them to recover from the trauma of September 11th. As well as co-facilitating retreats with IRP for 14 years and compiling a training manual ‘Restorative Retreats for Educators’, I have copy-edited the program’s U.S. school curriculum called Building Resilience From the Inside Out.

My home, Heartwood, in the Bowden House Community on a beautiful ten-acre estate in Totnes, Devon, UK, is where I see clients in-person. About 35 adults and 15 children co-habit and ‘steward’ this land, and the community has become my playground for practicing and learning new relating skills. It is also where I sing a lot.

Water birth photo that encircled the world

With my first son, Benjaya, who died aged five

With my first son, Benjaya, who died aged five

Carmella at a Press Book Party

At a Press Book Party in London

Bowden House Community

Bowden House Community

Book Links

  • Benjaya’s Gifts

      Benjaya’s Gifts is a captivating and intimate true story, which takes us on a journey into the heart of...

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  • Mourning Has Broken

      Mourning Has Broken is filled with stories told to the author by people from many walks of life and...

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  • Heart of Relating

      HEART OF RELATING enhances relationships by providing nitty-gritty answers to these three questions… and more: 1.  How do I recognise...

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