''I draw my spiritual and creative wisdom from personal experience, translating it into practical accessible tools for others.''
My life began in an unusual family. We were bi-cultural and multi-lingual. I spoke Swedish with my mother, Hebrew with my dad, and English when the family was all together. I was raised in Israel, but spent my summers in Sweden. Though I endured a life with an alcoholic mother, I went on to become an international fashion model at 18. For ten years, I modeled in Europe and the United States. During those years, I was based in the fast-paced and glittery cities of Paris and New York, where I added French to the other three languages I speak.
My Spiritual Journey
When I was in my late twenties, my mother went to rehab for alcohol addiction. My Parisian life as a successful fashion model, began to be interspersed with attending12-step programs. First it was for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA), but I eventually added in Overeaters Anonymous (OA) as well, to deal with my anorexic tendencies. The meetings took place in an American church on the west bank of the river Seine.
Within a few meetings I discovered a void in me that I didn’t know existed. I realized I had a longing for meaning and purpose in my life, and a desire for connection and community. In those meetings I felt whole, and part of something greater than the material life I was leading. This was the first step on my journey towards living a conscious spiritual life. But even though the meetings talked about developing a relationship with a Higher Power, or God, I didn’t categorize my experience as spiritual at the time.
Nonetheless, they helped me start a search for new things to nourish and enrich my life. I had a burning desire to experience more than what we can rationally perceive and measure.
I didn’t tell anyone, but inside my heart, I wanted God to take the time to speak to me personally, as he did to Moses through the burning bush. I wanted to experience the bliss of transcendence in my daily life, so that like Jesus, I could live in this world, but not of it. I wanted a simple act of kindness to stop my suffering and lead me to enlightenment, as it had for the Buddha, while sitting under the Bodhi tree.
My prayers were answered through a life-changing event while attending a workshop with one of the co-founders of the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual, ecological community and education center in Northern Scotland. The workshop was about developing an unmediated relationship with a personal God or Spirit—right up my alley. The main premise was that each one of us can have direct contact with the Divine by attuning to the subtle inner dimensions of our being. This relationship is one of love, inspiration and guidance.
Until that moment, I believed only a privileged few—the best of the best in each religion, had that capacity. But I was wrong!
One particular exercise connected me to Spirit so intimately that it challenged my previously held beliefs and assumptions, which began to crumble, and a new understanding of the nature of my divinity began to emerge – You don’t have to be Moses, Jesus or the Buddha to have a personal relationship with the Divine. You could be me, or anybody else. We all have the capacity to connect with Spirit; we do it all the time in our daily life. The problem is that we don’t always recognize that it’s happening.
Following this workshop, I began studying my own experiences, and later on the spiritual experiences of others through my doctoral study. Both led me to develop a practical and effective process to create conditions for intentional spiritual experiences, as well as a life informed by inner-guidance.
My professional Journey
In 2009, I founded Towards Wholeness Ltd., to provide the structure for my life commitment to support and create environments for wholistic and spiritual transformation on an individual and group level. As life-time learner, I completed a Doctoral degree in the uncommon major of Transformative Learning, in addition to extensive learning of group facilitation, addiction studies, and facilitating groups in conflict. Also an educator, I founded a highly effective alternative elementary school based on my original education model. I call this model WE: the Whole Education Pedagogy. I have presented talks on both the Whole Education approach and my method of spiritual development at numerous conferences. I am also the Co-Founder and a Partner at Innovationship: Silicon Valley, a 3-year-old company that teaches innovation skills to companies and organizations.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to learn many different psycho-spiritual methods through a plethora of wonderful teachers. As a teacher myself, I offer practical solutions for living a meaningful and purpose-filled life through both private sessions and group workshops. My eclectic cultural, religious and overall (sometimes extreme) life experiences have given me insight into people’s daily struggles. I use these insights to help people around the world transcend individual and cultural suffering.
Gatmon, A. (2013). Creating Intentional Spiritual Experiences: The Towards Wholeness Approach. Somatics: Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body and Science, vol. XVII, no. 1, 22-26.
Gatmon, A. (2012). Education Towards Wholeness: Facilitating spiritual knowing in adult learners (Doctoral dissertation).