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Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Geestelik | Spiritual > Artikels | Features

Glenn-Douglas Haig - step by step, stone by stone

Engela Neethling - 2008-07-22

Engela Neethling talks to Glenn-Douglas Haig, writer, personal transformation coach and intuitive healer, about life, change and his new LifeStones series, which is available at Exclusive Books.

PORT ALFRED – Glenn-Douglas Haig exudes positive energy. An amputee with a bounce in his step, a man that treads lightly but with direction, is Glenn, a gentle soul who has seen the darker side of life, a side which has given him direction, but alas, also cost him his leg.

Forty-something Glenn – writer, personal transformation coach and intuitive healer – is the author of LifeStones, a series of five personal transformation tools which has just been launched at Exclusive Books.

Today life holds more than a fair amount of harmony for Glenn, but he has been around the block, mentally, physically and spiritually. He lost his leg, and almost his life, in an armed robbery in Johannesburg. From there the long battle started to reclaim his life, confidence, self-esteem and an own place in the sun.

I met Glenn long ago, in Port St Johns, two months after the incident that caused the amputation of his leg. Several years later we met again, this time in Port Alfred, with Glenn being a different man from the hurt, quiet and still shocked person that I first met.

He speaks freely of the horrific ordeal that in many ways shaped him, and the times before that. Once a copywriter and communications consultant in the corporate world of Johannesburg, Glenn embarked on a personal journey of discovery that saw him complete his training in various healing modalities. He opened one of the first true wellness centres in Johannesburg and since 2000 has helped hundreds of people regain their life purpose and improve their general well-being.

Things changed drastically, however, when, in 2003, three armed robbers stormed into his home in Fourways and shot him seven times through his stomach and legs. After dying in the back of an ambulance on the way to Sunninghill Hospital, where he miraculously came to after being declared dead on arrival by the paramedics, and spending five days in a coma, Glenn awoke to discover that his right leg had been amputated. “My parents were there, and I remember my father crying,” he says.

Due to the severe injuries to his insides and leg, doctors estimated he would need at least three months in hospital to recover, yet only nine days after the shooting, Glenn returned home walking on crutches. However, the world was not the same. He had changed, his dreams and desires had changed and he no longer knew where his happiness lay.

“Only after coming face to face with my soul in the back of that ambulance did I realise that there is no such thing as 'being on a spiritual path'. Nothing outside of us is worth striving for, and a path implies a moving towards something, or a route to becoming something. This is not what a fulfilled life is about,” he says.

So began a two-year journey of self-discovery and a dramatic adjustment to a new way of life.

He started to believe that everything he will ever be or achieve or become is already present within him, he merely needed to allow himself to unfold. “This is much simpler, yet far more difficult, than it sounds. All we have to do is let go of our mental idea of how we think things are supposed to be and allow our soul’s version of what is best for us to manifest in our lives. This usually takes an enormous amount of time and effort, yet letting go is actually such a simple action. We make letting go difficult because, as much as we tell ourselves otherwise, we are very, very attached to the way our lives are at present, or what we think our lives might become if we continue following the current rules,” he says.

Glenn is a popular motivational speaker, and is keen to share his ideas of wholeness with his audiences. “We like the idea of striving towards wholeness through suffering and tough lessons and arduous journeys, because it makes us think we have achieved something. Wrong! All we need to do is sit quietly and breathe,” he says.

After years of haphazard meditations squeezed in between “real life”, countless books on spiritual and personal development, numerous workshops, healing sessions, drumming circles and therapies, Glenn finally realised that people are their own best teachers and healers and that they should start listening to themselves.

“But unfortunately, we usually wait for a terrible trauma or crisis before waking up to our own wisdom, and this is so unnecessary. By simply spending 15 minutes a day breathing consciously, I have found that everything in my life has changed for the positive, and that the careful, suppressed parts of my character have gently begun to emerge as the bright, joyful, creative expressions of myself that they were meant to be,” says Glenn.

He developed new intuitive abilities and gained meaningful spiritual insights which prompted him to leave the corporate world and open a healing practice in Port Elizabeth. Very soon he had another in St Francis Bay and then expanded to Hout Bay in Cape Town. Due to his amazing ability to guide and encourage others to move through their own personal experience of trauma and to help discover their true potential, he was soon overwhelmed with clients. His story and how he overcame what happened to him, was also featured in Free Spirit on SABC-TV.

What he has learned and shared has helped and inspired all who meet him and he currently writes full-time for various magazines when not giving inspirational talks and working closely with the Amputee Support Group of South Africa.

Current projects

Glenn recently published his first in an ongoing series of five personal transformation tools under the banner of LifeStones. The first, called WisdomStones, consists of a box containing a booklet and a bag of 24 "stones" inscribed with different symbols. By pulling a stone, you can look up its meaning and discover a useful "thought for the day" or, more commonly, a significant personal or spiritual revelation. What makes the LifeStones series even more special, is that each insight is accompanied by African proverbs and legends, bringing their ancient wisdom to bear on the challenges of modern-day living. It is designed to awaken the inherent wisdom that each person is born with, to access their own subconscious pool of knowledge. “This is not some cerebral foray into pop psychology, but a powerful blend of ancient wisdom with hard-earned, paid-for-in-blood, first-hand experience that serves to benefit and uplift those who share in it,” says Glenn.

The second title in the LifeStones series is HealingStones, which is about to go to print and will be available in October. This transformation pack is based on a similar platform, with 24 stones and a booklet, but it focuses on bring healing to those in need of physical, emotional, spiritual or mental nurturing. It, too, is designed to help people tap into their own ability to respond with positive purpose to disease or pain.

As a result of literally thousands of requests, Glenn has decided to launch KidStones next, to help children find their truth in an ever more confusing and highly pressurised world. This will be followed by LoveStones, to help people improve all aspects of their relationships, be it with colleagues, family, friends, acquaintances or life partners. The fifth pack in the series will be titled AbundanceStones and will be designed to unblock any subconscious obstacles people may have towards creating fuller lives, richer experiences, healthier bank accounts and more of what is important in their lives.

WisdomStones has been reviewed in the June/July 2008 edition of Odyssey Magazine and is available online at www.lifestones.co.za or at Exclusive Books.