Newsletter #29
Winter 2013

Thank you for the wishes that you have sent by email during the holidays. Your lovely messages, your stories and your gratitude touched us.

We are fortunate to work for people like you.
I hope that this newsletter will help you with the goal that you have set for 2013.

With love,

Monica Shields


Table of contents
What's the difference...
Last Fall
Future workshops
Excerpt from Lise's new book
Joke of the month
What's the difference between being sympathetic and being compassionate and why is it so important?

Most people think being sympathetic is a positive quality. Unfortunately... being too sympathetic can come back to bite you.


Take for example a situation where a good friend wants to get together with you to talk about all the problems he's been having these days. You sympathize with his plight and you accept his invitation to meet for coffee. You listen patiently to everything he tells you. How do you feel at the end? Are you tired? Drained? Are you in a hurry to leave? This is the sort of thing I had in mind when I said that being too sympathetic could come back to bite you.


Situations like these come about when we think it is our duty to feel the pain of those who are close to us, so that we can show them that we love them and that we are willing to do whatever it takes to help them. Sympathy often means that instead of just one person crying over their problems, you end up with two. The kind of get-together I've just described usually does not have a positive outcome, because the sympathetic person is not objective enough to really help the other.


Being too sympathetic makes us forget the principle of responsibility, according to which we all have to take responsibility for our own decisions and actions. It is not our responsibility to help others at any cost and to carry their problems on our own shoulders.


Someone who is compassionate, however, will have a very different attitude. Compassion can be defined as the capacity to understand what someone else is going through, but without actually feeling what that person is feeling. This allows you to remain yourself. When we are compassionate, we neither judge others nor accuse them of anything. We observe. This allows us to keep our heart in the right place, without being taken over by our fears or emotions - which is what often happens when we are being too sympathetic.


Let's go back to the example I was talking about earlier. If you are compassionate, you will listen to your friend, but instead of wanting to help him at all costs, you will ask him questions such as these:


-      How do you feel about everything that is happening in your life these days?


-      What frightens you the most?


-      What have you done so far to solve your problems?


-      Do you need my help and if so, what kind of help?


By doing this, you are recognizing the fact that your friend's problems are his own and that you want to help him find the best solution to his problems - on his own.If, on the last question, your friend asks you for something that goes beyond what you are capable of or willing to give, you have the right to say no. This does not mean that you don't care about him. Remember that helping others by doing something that is detrimental to yourself or to your own needs is never advisable, since forgetting to take care of yourself can lead to frustration and anger.


The above questions deal with emotions and fears, because your friend needs to feel what's happening inside in order to find the solution to his problems. When we don't take the time to feel these things, we let our head rule our lives. But since our head is made up of memories, it always tries to find solutions based on things that have happened in the past. When we listen to our heart, we live an insightful life, and we live it in the present moment. This allows us to solve our current problems without having to refer to the past. Moreover, compassion opens the door to intuition. It allows those who are affected by a problem to find a solution intuitively, with positive results.


If you're wondering whether you've dealt with someone in a sympathetic or in a compassionate way, ask yourself right after meeting them if you feel tired or energized. Sympathy drains you of your energy whereas compassion helps you keep connected with your natural energy.


With Love,


Lise Bourbeau


Hello Lise,


My name is Elodie. I am 29 and I work as a teacher's assistant at a high school in France.  I am writing to testify to the importance of your books and interviews and to the help they offer.   


I read a number of your books when I started doing some work on myself in an attempt to discover, understand, accept, and love myself. Your books definitely helped me understand why I had the body that I did at the time. 


I had never understood why I was obese, since nothing in my diet seemed to account for it. But I was obese. I weighed 115 kg already at age 27. You allowed me to understand why, and to overcome this "problem". 


For a year and a half now, I feel more comfortable in my body and I've reconciled with it. Your books have been a tremendous support and a great help. I am not yet able to fully love my body, but I am already making great strides in this wonderful direction. I'll get to where I want to be, I'm sure of it.


I now believe I have achieved my ideal weight. You sometimes speak of magic, of miracles. Well, I have experienced a wonderful miracle. I lost more than 60 kilos in one year without going on a diet and I am in great shape. I've never been in such good health. I have "very simply" reconciled with my past, and, little by little, with my body, by understanding its wounds, by giving it more respect, and by making it my own. Without realizing it, my diet improved and I became more attentive to the needs of my body. I started eating what my body needed, when it needed it.


 These days, as often as I can, I eat only when I'm hungry. I have discovered chocolate, which I had banished from my diet since childhood under the pretext that I didn't like it! Nowadays I allow myself the pleasure of savouring a piece of chocolate from time to time. 


It is amazing to see what our head gets away with when we believe it is acting for our own good. I now understand that it is more important to listen to one's heart than to one's head. The path towards understanding that was long and winding, as it is for everyone, but the result has really been worthwhile. Your books really helped me along my way, and it seems appropriate to share that with you.  I've managed to forgive myself for not knowing how and not being able to listen to my body for more than 27 years. I've also forgiven those who, for me, at the time, were responsible for my mental and physical blocks. Thanks to your books, I am now more attuned to my body and thus more attuned to others, and, most importantly, I am a happier person. Compassion has also been a great help. Your books have helped me awaken and develop this capacity. When you talk about the magic of love, I now understand just how much truth there is in your words. I, too, believe that love can do anything, for I think it is the reason we have been put on this earth: to love, to love ourselves, to love others, to love what surrounds us, and, especially, to understand how we are all alike. I simply wanted to thank you for offering us the opportunity and the tools to feel better in our skin, better in our lives, better about our image. Each time you help in the betterment of a person like me, it is humanity as a whole that receives this wonderful gift. I have already been able to notice the beneficial effects of my personal growth on friends and family. To have helped me become better, to have helped me live in greater harmony with my body and with humanity, is to have participated in the betterment of those close to me. 


For that I thank you. Your books and your work are important because they transmit messages of love, peace, compassion, and, above all, joy and happiness. That is what humanity needs: to reconnect to a soul and heart united. Indeed, everything around us becomes more magnificent. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making happiness simple and accessible to each and all. I also want to thank you for your generosity, your love and your kindness toward humanity. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you one day. Please accept my warmest regards, from the bottom of my heart. 


All the best, Élodie


Has your life been transformed thanks to what you learned with us? Do you want to share your story with others, like you, who want to improve their life? 

Send your story to Monica Shields at 

 Last Fall

Last fall, during Lise Bourbeau's conference tour through France and Belgium, 3150 people participated! She would like to thank all those who came to hear her and who made her feel so at home in their city. You allow her to do what she loves best: teach people who want to improve their quality of life.





We sponsored two exceptional women from Montreal for the 2012 Desert Rose Trophy! Anne Groovie and Katia Canciani crossed a part of the Moroccan desert in a bid to meet a personal challenge, but also to come to the aid of children in the desert. We congratulate them on their beautiful undertaking!


 Future workshops

The precise dates of our workshops, which will be held between January and August 2013, are available on our website.


During this period, we will have the pleasure of giving workshops in 29 cities across the globe, including the following cities, where we will be giving workshops for the very first time: Valence (France), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Altai (Russia), Halifax NS (Canada).


Click on the flag of your choice to consult the calendar for the workshops that will be given in these countries:




 Excerpt from one of Lise's books
Just listen to your body and eat -
STOP trying to control your weight
by Lise Bourbeau
ISBN: 978-2-920932-30-2

Chapter 6 - The ideal weight

To begin with, it is important to be clear about what is meant by ideal weight. I often hear the question: How do I know what my ideal weight is? Only you can determine and, especially, feel this. Only your body knows what the natural weight is for you. Natural doesn't mean normal. Certain people will have to be large all their life, if it is part of their life journey. They may need to learn to love themselves that way - and so it is their natural weight.

Your body will return to its natural weight as soon as it stops being afraid you're going to make it endure famine. Yes, that is how your body perceives the deprivations you impose on it. Even if you are not following a specific diet and you are not aware of depriving yourself or of being afraid of eating too much, your body perceives your intention. I would remind you that, on average, human beings are conscious of barely ten percent of what is going on inside them. The body hears the little voice in your head that often thinks I ate too much again; I have to discipline myself... have more self-control... I have to use more moderation. And then, when you call yourself all sorts of names because you think you have been lacking in self-control, or as you look at your body, or after indulging in too large a meal, it hears that too.

So, when you want to impose deprivation on your body, it is quite normal for it to react by stocking up on reserves. It reacts exactly the way you would in any other field. Suppose that you find out that in a few months you will have to give up your job for six months, and that there will be no alternative source of income during that time. Surely you would react by setting aside enough money to get you through those months. Wouldn't that be a normal reaction? Well, your body experiences the same thing. It is making provision.

When you transform your inner attitude and start loving yourself more, I can assure you that your body will feel it and will gently guide itself toward its natural weight, which will vary, upwards or downwards, with the individual... 

For more information, visit 


A MAN who had lost his hat decided that the simplest way to replace it was to go to church and steal one from the cloakroom. Once inside, he heard a sermon on the Ten Commandments. Coming out, he was greeted by the minister and said to him,' I want you to know, Reverend, that you saved me from crime. I came here with sin in my heart. I was going to steal a hat, but after hearing your sermon I changed my mind.'


Great! Exulted the minister. Would you tell me what I said that led you to change your mind?'

'Well, Reverend, when you got to that part about "Thou shall not commit adultery", I suddenly remembered where I had left my hat.'