Though we are often distracted by the thrill and wonders of the inner north’s local businesses, events and attractions, sometimes, the grim reminders that intercept life can get in the way, and not in the best way. We chatted to manager, Gregory Broadbent about Healing Pathways to get your mind and spirit back on track
Who are you and what kind of service/business do you offer/run?
My name is Gregory Broadbent and I manage Healing Pathways with my partner Carol and we do very different but related services. Carol is a sexual empowerment coach for women and runs sexuality workshops for women in Richmond. I am a counsellor and use both modern counselling techniques such as person to person therapy, narrative therapy and Gestalt as well as alternative or complementary therapies such as Tarot Therapy, Reiki and Massage Therapy. We are also a book shop and have a large collection of really special crystals and gems. The counselling space is called Talking Space Counselling because it offers a sacred space for clients to release, analyse or devise goals. We started off as The Golden Lamp Bookshop in the Royal Arcade and have been serving Melbournians for nearly 20 years, and were commended by the Melbourne City Council in 2017 for service to the community.
How did you find your passion for what you do?
I began as a Tarot practitioner which emerged out of my passion for symbols and writing. I ‘woke up’ to the magic of symbolic process and its connection to life process and healing processes when I was in my early twenties, and pursued the role of healer and counsellor out of a sense of calling. I am devoted to this path as I see a tremendous spiritual need with our community for the act of making peace with our own natures and finding support from those around us. Carol’s passion arose out of the same need to provide support and knowledge to women who were going through grief, change or wanted to explore their personal sexual self and find healing through community. We share a passion for human and spiritual exploration which we share through our work.
Is there something unique about the spiritual inner north?
The inner north was Wurundjeri occupied and some of the most sacred burial grounds are located in this area, especially around the Queen Victoria market. On top of that, the European settlers built their early industrial sites, including the meat works and slaughter houses, thus the nickname “shin-boners.” This has given the area a gritty appeal, although in recent years much of the historical architecture has been replaced with modern apartment living. Yet Errol St in North Melbourne is really the only major shopping precinct of any note outside the CBD in the inner north and still retains that gritty, yet unique, context and feel for residents and out of towners. The demographic is mostly hipster and old moneyed families who are either traditional in their religious affiliations or more atheist and sceptical of spiritual ‘things.’
What kind of interesting experiences have you had?
Melbourne is continuously throwing interesting experiences at anyone who lives or works here. As there are many shelters and half-way houses for socially challenged individuals, many of the days ‘events’ concern police or seem very dramatic. On a personal level, every day is interesting because of the nature of the work. Re-birth, grief counselling, release and healing are all spiritual because they involve change and self-development, and things seems to occur in a different time and dimension to the city outside.
What kind of people should use your services?
Anyone is invited to heal aspects of their life that need healing. Tarot can be used to help make the right decision when the decision is life changing or just big. It is also counselling and I have a tri-counselling session that can help to re-tell and re-analyse the story, build personal goals and measure their success. For people suffering trauma or grief, couples who need counselling or looking for ways to re-jig their relationships. For women who want to learn how to empower their sexuality and invest in their own pleasure, gain agency over their lives, Carol is the perfect professional.
What are your spiritual beliefs that some may regard as abstract or unique?
I guess you could call us humanists if you were looking to denominate or reduce our philosophy to something. Non-denominational and inclusive of the species is another way of describing it, but most of all open-minded and non-judgemental, heart to heart, unconditional rapport are all ways we work within our beliefs. Most of all I would say beliefs limit us and that an open mind doesn’t need to justify what it sees and and open heart need not justify what it feels, what is, is. If we have a belief it is that humans can attain a more aware state of being through healing and love, and that cannot be achieved alone.
Is there ever a time your job is challenging/difficult?
Work if it is done well is always challenging. Spiritual change and self development is more challenging for those that set out on the task of change than for the practitioner who guides, heals and encourages, but they are the greatest challenge, maintaining a sense of purpose when pain and suffering are evident, consoling without attachment and support without rescue and attaining the balance of these so that conditions are right for healing to occur. The most difficult thing is to know the ultimate pleasure in being free of suffering but seeing a world full of it.
476a Victoria Street, North Melbourne
Open 10am – 5:30pm
Feature Image Credit: Healing Pathways Facebook Page