Get To Know.. Makeda Bernard

What’s your role at The Isbourne?
I’m the newly-appointed Deputy Manager. My job is to know the ins and outs of the business – the needs of the admin team, the back office and the Trustees. I have to know everything – so no pressure! My days start at 8.30am setting up all the rooms for the courses and room hirers. I then liaise with the admin team, make sure all the tutors are paid, that all the policies and procedures are up to date, work on the website, support the marketing team, as well as build relationships and partnerships. It’s such a nice, nourishing and supportive environment – it’s what makes the job enjoyable.

What inspires you?makeda
A lot of things inspire me. I’m inspired by people being just themselves and not being worried about what people may or may not be thinking or saying about them. I want to act as an example to say it’s OK to just be YOU. I call myself a ‘Heartist’ – life is better when we act from the heart.

How would you describe your journey?
I’m from a Sufi and Caribbean background, and always believed there was something more to life. I’m not especially religious but whenever any small miracle would happen I always felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude like I had an invisible side-kick looking out for me.

Later in my early twenties I was working at the Virgin Megastore on the mobile phone counter when someone came in and said that every time he touched any electrical equipment it broke down. I felt moved to ask his permission to share what had just come to me and he agreed. “Do you know anyone called Maggie or Magdelaine”? I said. His face went white! Maggie was his wife, who had just passed away, and the reason the electrical goods were breaking down is that they always used to play practical jokes on each other – she was trying to communicate with him. Magdelaine was his daughter, who had just had a baby. I’d had similar experiences and given advice to friends but this was the first time I had allowed myself to give voice to my intuition or channelled to a stranger. My supervisor sent me home and told me to take a few days to investigate my life-purpose, as she recognised that I had a special gift. This was a major turning point in my life as I gave up my job a few days later and started university, studying business entrepreneurship. I had become passionate about setting up my own business, which I called DNA – Discover New Altitudes. I also started working with a spiritual life coach who I met by chance and who I’ve remained friends with for the past ten years. My gift has developed naturally and I use it with clients and at work. I’ve met amazing people on my journey who have confirmed that the gift I have is exceptional. I’ve been apprentice to three people who’ve worked at The Isbourne, and each has put me under their wing. Being at The Isbourne is great because I’m always learning!

What did you do before you joined the Isbourne ‘family’?
I loved the theatre – I wanted to be an actress but I was never good at learning lines, so I became a qualified Lighting and Sound Technician and a Stage Manager instead, starting in Northampton. I worked at The Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, then Bristol – with sponsorship by Arts Council England. I also volunteered for a charity – National Domestic Violence, initially doing admin work then working directly with both adult and young victims of violence. My job was to act as an initial port of call, to signpost and build trust. I also volunteered in a Special Educational Needs school, but within ten days they had created a paid post for me – Co-ordinator of Alternative Learning, adapting the curriculum to individual children’s different learning styles and creating a bespoke service for them.

Later I worked at Whole Foods Market in London, learning about health and beauty and training in naturopathic medicine. I started as a demonstrator, enjoying engaging with the public as well as selling. The move to Cheltenham came after I asked the universe for a little more adventure, a better quality of life and more time to chill. A Marketing Manager position became available out of the blue at Whole Food Market in Cheltenham and I took the leap, trusting that it would work out OK, which it did.

After working there for some time I set up Halo Meditation and received Best New Business Runner Up Award 2016 and established myself as a fusion meditation guide, working with organisations and local businesses to help employees ‘reclaim their lunch break’  with guided meditation. The opportunity had arose to work at The Isbourne as reception cover last autumn and in February I was offered the post of Deputy Manager.

I’m having the ride of my life – I never know what’s next!

What are your favourite holistic practices or treatments?
It’s only now since I’ve been at The Isbourne that I’ve started exploring holistic treatments. A favourite healing modality I’ve experienced is Kaji – it comes from esoteric Buddhism and enables a connection with ‘enlightened energy’ – for healing, protection and spiritual development. After each session I come away feeling blissfully peaceful and at ease.

Tell us about your interests/hobbies
I’m all about walks and scenery! I just love things that are beautiful. I yearn to see new places, meet new people, and experience new things – anything that evokes an emotion. I love freedom, travel, and exploration. I always used to carry my passport in case something magical happened! I was always on a plane, hopping from one country to another. I can finally say now “I’ve created a joyful balance between work and freedom”.

Makeda is an Advanced Light Healer™, Meditation Guide & Intuitive Coach. She runs ‘Reclaim Your Lunchbreak’  and ‘Boost Your Day’ guided meditations and offers Intuitive Coaching and Healing sessions at The Isbourne. See or for more information.

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