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Reflections on a deeply connecting conference

17 Oct 2022

Alongside the print version of Issue 2 of Flourish Magazine, The Connections Issue, we are releasing weekly digital content on the Artlift and Yes to Life websites, such as music, creative writing and blog posts. See issue 2 on Connections plus our first issue with the theme Nourish at:


This week our digital piece is a blog by Liz Butler who was a key organiser of the Yes to Life conference with the theme ‘Connection’ – at which Issue 2 of Flourish was launched. Watch this space for more digital content, released each week as part of the second edition of Flourish Magazine.

To organise a conference exploring the role of spirituality in healing felt like quite a radical idea three years ago. A challenge I was up for nevertheless, but was it pushing boundaries a little too far, I wondered? Were enough people ready and willing to sign up for a whole day of information on this topic? Never one to shy away from the potentially controversial, Robin Daly, founder of cancer charity Yes to Life, was in agreement with me that spiritual connection and healing was an under-explored area of health recovery and so together we decided to make this topic the subject of the charity’s annual conference. We were inspired, motivated and getting ready to plan…. but then Covid suddenly appeared in our lives and the world shut down.

Moving ahead to early 2022, the world had largely opened up and people seemed willing, keen even, to gather again. Robin decided this would be the year for the annual conference to be in person once more. And what better topic could there be than deep connection after we had spent so long cut off and isolated? The time was right and our title took shape: ‘Finding a Deeper Connection, Exploring the essential, often forgotten, element of healing’.

There then followed six months of organisation. My vision for the day – to help people realise healing is supported when we connect to and enhance the flow of our life force (another term for spirit) was shared by Robin, but addressing this issue in an open, sensitive way, for example, making it clear such connection is available to everyone and certainly doesn’t depend on religious beliefs, is not easy. We were also keen to blend the esoteric aspect of this topic with the science to ensure we provided a comprehensive, balanced overview. Delivering all of this would require a team of insightful, thoughtful, speakers with plenty of knowledge and experience. A potential challenge.

One of the topics I wanted to address on the day was the power of surrender. And surrender was exactly what I decided to do as I went about constructing the agenda and finding speakers. My belief in letting go came in very handy as we discovered many of the best speakers on this topic live abroad and weren’t willing to travel. My ability to trust was a life saver when a keynote speaker we thought we had secured said no to our invitation late in the planning stage. In the end, letting go of the outcome and sinking into a state of surrender paid off, as it always does, and we found a wonderful mix of speakers including keynote presenter, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University Steve Taylor (Phd), more perfect for the event than we could have imagined.

As conference day approached my nerves were jangling a little but to reassure me, ticket sales were good, no rail strikes were planned, we had a room full of exhibitors organised, and all the speakers were enthusiastic and ready to go. Even the weather was set to be fair.

The day itself, 24th September, was significant for me as it was a year to the day since I’d taken a leap of faith, and together with my partner and dog, left behind a life in London to relocate to the wilds of Devon. This decision to follow my heart was the right one, but how about my heartfelt wish to organise a conference on deep connection? And what about the decision to present for the first time my research on the heart and its relationship to spirituality? Would these choices have happy outcomes too?

In the end the conference passed as if like a dream and was over too quickly, often the way following a long and intense build-up. It was everything I could have hoped for and more. The speakers were inspirational, delivering not just well thought-out, information-packed talks, but touching the audience with their personal stories and creative expressions of life force – poetry, dance and group meditations. The workshop leaders were amazing too, using their wonderful skills to gift practical, meaningful experiences to our delegates in short periods of time. The exhibitors showcased products and services that added extra interest and complemented the topic of the day, and the venue, its staff and the Yes to Life team were a fabulous backdrop holding everything together.

What stood out from the blur of the day were the connections I made. It was fantastic to finally meet, in-person, the speakers, who were all as wonderful as I’d known they would be, but the greatest pleasure was in meeting many delegates who came to me with their own insights and stories of deep connection. True to this theme, it is was the atmosphere of bonding and togetherness, the recognition that we are all on a challenging life journey, however it appears on the surface, that allowed the speakers, delegates and organisers to meet in their minds and hearts that day. And as new physical, mental, emotional and spiritual connections were forged and existing ones strengthened, we all took a step forward on our healing path, a path that for all of us has the same destination and will inevitably reveal our interconnectedness and ultimately our Oneness.

Liz Butler

 Here is link of Liz Butler being interviewed on Health Radio before the conference:

Liz interviewing keynote speaker Steve Taylor after the conference:

Plus link to purchase other conference videos:

Liz Butler has a Healing Heart Circle starting on 19th Oct:

Liz also has a blog; here is a link to one on cancer and connection:

Other content on this website featuring this person or provider:

Provider Find Liz Butler in the Life Directory
Radio Show A Deeper Connection 26 Aug 2022
Radio Show #TheBigWeekOff 29 Dec 2019
Radio Show Gut Instincts 10 Dec 2017
Radio Show CAMEXPO 2016 Keynote 9 Oct 2016
Radio Show Cancer is a Loss of Connection 8 May 2016
Radio Show Nutrition in Cancer Care 27 Dec 2015
EventNourishing Movement 30 Jul 2019