The Next Chapter

Wellness experts to unite for upcoming seminar

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

Four local healers and inspirational speakers are reaching out to residents to help them face their challenges in the upcoming ‘The Next Chapter’ wellness seminar.


Self-help author and wellness columnist Lauren Elliott began spearheading the event after the wildfire evacuation took place.

“The moment we were evacuated back in May, I knew our community would have a lot of healing to do,” Elliott explained. “I spent a lot of my time away thinking about how I could help Fort McMurray upon my return.”

After meeting up with Gary John, a local holistic practitioner for 25 years in Fort McMurray, the two moved their direction forward by teaming together with health and wellness experts Heather Thomas and Pattie Dwyer.

The seminar is set to take place at the Quality Hotel in Gregoire on November 19 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Elliott said the event date was planned with a purpose.

“Waiting six months post-evacuation was important because we all needed time to readjust,” she said. “There are many phases of stress and grief. And, I feel like this is the time that people are ready to move on, to march forward, and to embrace ‘The Next Chapter’ in their lives.”

Guests can expect an event of positivity with each experts’ unique interpretation of healing and guidance.

“There will be something for everyone,” Elliott said. “You might come to see a specific speaker, but you are introduced to three others who have something wonderful to share. I expect people to walk away from this event visibly lighter, as we will be leaving a lot of old stress and baggage behind.”

John will be presenting a consultation during the seminar and plans to guide guests to take action of their life’s next steps.

He said his goal is “to reach people and show them that through the Life Path Consultation process that their dream is within reach, and sooner than they may think. My wish is that guests take home hope, and understanding that they are powerful at manifesting positive results.”

Thomas is a successful mentor, guide and facilitator of health and healing. She is motivated daily by “putting one foot in front of the other”, doing the best she can in each moment. Her presentation will focus on the ‘5 Principles of Full Body Presence, Grounding & Healthy Boundaries’.

“I hope to share that life doesn’t have to be so hard, that our best relationship is with ourselves. And when this works, everything else works too,” she said. “Healing happens in the present moment and every individual is unique in their experience and healing. Current research in the trauma field shows that present moment consciousness – and feeling sensations in the body as they arise – is more effective for healing than many other techniques. My teachings and message reflect this research.”

Dwyer, a local yoga instructor and wellness ambassador believes “one’s mental health is often overlooked and brushed under the rug.” She will be sharing the importance of connecting to one’s intuition with her seminar.

“The mind and the heart are connected, not separated, although too often we work from the mind solely. We must teach the mind and the heart the same language, so they can communicate clearly and truthfully,” she said.

Tickets are priced at $59 plus tax, and Elliott said those who purchase tickets in advance will have an opportunity to ask the presenters questions prior to the event.

“We want to hear from our audience to ensure they get the guidance they need to move forward,” she said.

To purchase tickets online, visit

– Connect Weekly –