Come inside, welcome.

IMG_2335_Small©ChristineHewitt_w_Logo_1I’m Colleen, the director of Saliya Life Institute.

Intentional Wellness Education & Training

We offer and provide opportunities for learning, personal development and healing; engineering social change and self-reliance, through practical self-care practises, and intentional education.

Everyone has a story.

As well as being a healthcare provider and educator, I am also an artist and story keeper.

I’m a genealogy addict and love graveyards. People and their stories, both past and present, really matter to me. Much can be learned from the lives of people before us.

Nature is my inspiration. It is an environment of neutrality and balance. Social contribution is very important to me. Humans by nature do not function in isolation. Humans are also consumers by nature; therefore it is our responsibility to make positive contribution, every day.

At my core I’m a lover of natural, simplistic, refined and distinctive aesthetics. The finer details many are unaware of.

Within simplicity there are layers of complexity impossible to decipher, unless you are quiet and observant; becoming the witness.

Humans by nature do not function in isolation. Click To Tweet

Why Saliya?

I love fabric (especially raw natural fibres like calico, cotton and silk), texture, fresh crisp pages and blank canvases. For me, the clay for pottery, plain fabrics and blank canvases represent endless possibilities and New Beginnings. While the final product of a painted canvas or a woven fabric is important, the detail of what has gone into this item is fundamental.

The threads are the Essence.

Calico is a plain cotton-based unbleached fabric, originating in India, made by traditional weavers known as “chaliyans”, or “Saliyans”.

The word “Saliya” is rooted in Dravidian languages meaning “spider”, a symbol of weaving.

The traditional story is that the Saliya people were a caste of weavers, who wove clothes with sacred silk thread for a royal family in India.

Weaving and particularly calico has a rich history.

Mahatma Gandhi, an icon for peace and social change recognised the importance of self-reliance and being self-sufficient. He himself learned how to spin thread and weave his own cloth. Click To Tweet

The spider as a symbol is steeped in rich legend, seen in various traditions as representing creativity, wisdom keepers, creators and helpers.  A “sutta or “sutra” refers to threads or teachings of knowledge, in both Pali (the ancient language of Theravada Buddhism) and Sanskrit (an ancient language of India).

 

Saliya Life Institute is also based on the greatest Love story of Sri Lanka. 

Because Everyone needs a good Love story

Prince Saliya was heir to the throne being the son of King Dutugamunu, the most powerful and legendary king of Sri Lanka. Saliya fell in love with a beautiful girl named Asokamala, a commoner. He renounced the throne and all privilege of a royal Life choosing Love, marrying Asokamala.

 

The vision and creation of Saliya Life Institute is that we, as qualified service providers, integrate the threads of knowledge and experience, from both Western academic research and work experience and Eastern philosophy; for people to weave the best version of themselves with self-compassion, kindness and Love.

We support you to weave the fabric of your life into a rich tapestry of self-care.

We offer and provide opportunities for learning, personal development and healing; engineering social change and self-reliance, through practical self-care practises, and intentional education.

Live the Life your Choose to Live

The potent threads we provide within our multi-disciplinary team are from years of education and work experience within the social services industries of healthcare and education.

We walk with, and work with, people who want to work on themselves; contributing to a deeper understanding and harmony within themselves, their families and their greater communities.

LIVE WELL

 Questions & Bookings?

Contact me via Whatsapp   FB Messenger or  email info@saliyalife.com 

About Colleen

For me two things in life are important. Knowledge and experiences. Lots and lots of experiences. Learning about myself, and humanity in general has largely taken place in situations totally out of my comfort zone.  Anything in life can happen. Absolutely anything.

 

The only thing we can be sure of is Change. Nothing is ever constant or permanent.

 

My journey into health and education started in 1993. I was in high school when I took a part time job at a private hospital. From here unimaginable doors have swung open, and continue to do so.

One day a few months before completing high school the chief pharmacist commented that I had the uncanny ability to read doctors handwriting, (which can sometimes be just about impossible). She suggested that I continue studies in pharmacy as part of an internship program. What a great opportunity! Make my own money and learn at the same time? Sign me up! So I enrolled into a three year in-service training program as an institutional pharmacist assistant in a hospital in Johannesburg South Africa. As soon as I qualified I left South Africa and went to the UK.

Most people arrive in the UK and head to London. London is a melting pot for various cultures. I wanted to experience people in places where they had roots and a connection to their greater community. I found a medical agency and gave one request. Place me anywhere, except London. I wanted to go to places people don’t usually choose allowing for a sense of adventure and the unknowable. Intentionally stepping further and further out of my comfort zone; for This is where real learning takes place.

In every position I learned as much as I could, and so I very quickly found myself working as an MTO3 Pharmacist technician all over the UK for the next 3 years.  This opened opportunities in all kinds of places from Guernsey and The Isle of Man to Springfield Scotland, Manchester and a tri-service military hospital in Gosport. I took a strong interest in the treatment of infectious diseases and HIV clinics. Many of the patients in the greater Manchester area who were HIV positive were also heroin addicts. Walking through the city one day I passed by two people sitting on the stairs of the library. The first person injected himself in his arm and then handed the needle to his friend, to use for himself. It was here that my interest in the person behind the diagnosis began.

 

Regardless of the diagnosis, the patient is always primarily a person.

A human being.

The illness is only one aspect of the whole being.

We all have the ability to make choices. Some more beneficial than others.

What was behind the label “addict” and “patient”?

 

In certain hospitals I was able to go on daily ward rounds with the physician as part of the medical team. Being part of a community of healers, educators and mentors who I respected immensely opened up the doors of realisation that THIS is what I Love.

An opportunity presented itself to be involved with the preparation of chemotherapy at a large hospital. I took it, and again learned as much as I could about cancer, the preparation of the medication, and the people undergoing treatment. Sticking the name of the patient on a bag of treatment one day, made me wonder who this person was. I had prepared her treatment for months so I decided to meet her, opening up a whole other world of invaluable interactions and experiences.

 

The experience of supporting real people through this process cannot be put into words. Real life lessons. The unknowable of whether the treatment will work or not, is a true lesson in surrender and acceptance, but also one of fighting for your life.

 

Over the next few years the doors continued to swing open. I completed a Bachelor of economics, a post graduate diploma in marketing and a diploma in early childhood services. I became a teacher and taught across Asia in various settings from business English in Japanese businesses to kindergarten classes. Even though I was a teacher, I was learning just as much, if not more, than my weekly students.

Cultural lessons, which can only be learned by living in a place for an extended period of time.

Another love became apparent. My love of Asian philosophy. I travelled to China to learn Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I realised my great love of nature in Japan, seeing how the traditional Japanese culture embraces nature and chooses to live in balance with it as much as possible. I developed a deep respect and reverence for our ancestors in Korea and Japan.

I travelled to the grave of Confucius in China and walked through a cemetery over 2000 years old. A place of many untold stories, steeped in so much history the experience cannot be fully appreciated by photos or words.

I returned to South Africa briefly, for 3 years and went back to working within a pharmacy environment. Leaving again with a significant amount of Life Lessons.

I have now lived in Asia for 14 years. I’ve studied yoga in India, with B.N.S Iyengar being my pranayama teacher and have completed both a 200 hour and 500 hour yoga teacher training certification. I’ve also been incredibly privileged to complete in person training with Dr Ray Long, an orthopaedic surgeon and yoga teacher from the US, in Manila, as well as a 21 day Vipassana style meditation of Theravada Buddhism retreat under the guidance of Ven. Ajaan Tong Sirimangalo in Northern Thailand.

I honestly feel like I’ve been following bread crumbs along an unending path of opportunity. One of which was teaching yoga and Pilates as part of a corporate wellness program in Brunei for two large oil and gas companies, Shell and Brunei Liquid Natural Gas.

The importance of corporate wellness and workplace wellness programs is finally being acknowledged, with organisations embracing a culture of health. This is precisely the foundation of Asian philosophy, in many aspects.

Promoting Health and Wellness, rather than working with illness.

The West is finally entering an era of seeing the benefits of integrating what the East has been speaking of since the beginning of time. Implementing practises of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, tai chi and qi gong in your life is the most beneficial decision and choice to make.

After many years of learning and experiencing what both the West and Asia has to offer in health and wellness, I am beyond excited to integrate this knowledge and experience into Saliya Life Institute.

 

 Questions & Bookings?

Contact me via Whatsapp   FB Messenger or  email info@saliyalife.com 

 

Answering your important questions

 

Understanding loss,grief,traumatic stress & power imbalances in expat communities.

Understanding anger and dealing with conflict

Dealing with burnout

Can stress cause pain in your body?

What motivates me?

What is my opinion on using anti-depressants and Western healthcare medication?

Perspective to consider on relationships, fear, giving yourself permission, and the difference between love, sex and intimacy.

 Questions & Bookings?

Contact me via Whatsapp   FB Messenger or  email info@saliyalife.com 

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