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Harmonious Living Administrator   
Thursday, 09 March 2006

Lion Heart ProjectThe Lion Heart Project was founded four years ago by Gail Kleinschmidt with two main goals in mind;

  • To empower people with the understanding of their relationship with the wilderness and to encourage them to become thoughtful, compassionate and knowledgeable global citizens.

  • To assist people to discover, through animal assisted therapy with Lions, their true power and potential as human beings, letting them experience the spirit of the lion in themselves.

About Gail
Gail Kleinschmidt's childhood years were spent on a farm in Zambia where she found herself having a natural empathy with animals. Having spent so much time in the bush, it has left its mark on her forever.

She embarked on a career in film-making hoping to make wild-life conservation oriented documentaries. After experiencing long-term severe back-pain that no-one could diagnose she consulted a Polarity Therapist who relieved the pain. Her subsequent fascination with this healing system led Gail to the UK and the States to study.

She returned to her one great love that is Africa set up a healing practice and taught yoga for 10 years. The lions started to creep back into her life and after taking many of her clients to interact with the animals she started to see very positive results.

Gail had also realised that despite conservation efforts to educate the world in the last two hundred years, mankind has not stopped its destructive behaviour. She realised that information alone wouldn't change things, what was needed was a change of heart and to awaken a passion for the wilderness.

Combining this realisation with her skill in animal assisted therapy with Lions the Lion Heart Project was born.

Why Lions

The character and behaviour of a lion lends us an arm of inspiration, a moment to pause and see something beyond ourselves.

Lions are the ambassadors of the wilderness. These majestic creatures offer powerful metaphors for how anyone can potentially begin to realise the power and beauty of his or her life. Lions have a presence that is "unmistakable" and, when in their presence, one is compelled to "wake up", become "aware" and "engage" with oneself through direct contact with that animal and the world around.

In this state of awareness, we can choose whether or not to be touched by their presence or not. Participants have described this experience as a sense of coming home and most often experience a change of heart towards themselves, the lions and their overall lives.

Who the Project work with
Gail and her team of facilitators work with private groups, communities, schools, disabled children, and corporate clients.

For individuals the Project offer an introductory morning (4hours) and a longer 4 day course.

Corporate clients are offered a one day team building experience where participants discover new inspiration and skill to meet their business objectives.

What the Project offers
Including Gail there are five facilitators in the project. Apart from developing positive human/animal interaction with their clients they also;

  • Provide accessibility to learning about wild animals and facilitate ways to connect with them in a heartfelt way (without specifically having to touch them).

  • Provide accurate scientific and research information about the animals.

  • Communities get to learn about animal sentience and intelligence (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste).

  • Encourage participants to get in touch with their own sentience and ability to feel.

  • Recognise what negative preconceived ideas and beliefs individuals and communities have inherited from their past and offer the opportunity to see and feel with new eyes and hearts.

  • Animal communication, learning how to respect, deal and take care of animals. Open up the natural intuitive abilities that all animals and humans have.

The Future
The long term goal of the project is to set up a Lion Heart sanctuary. Gail also plans to offer surrounding communities the chance to learn and interact with the Lions and turn man's fear of the wild into love.

For more information about the Lion Heart Project contact Gail Kleinschmidt on 072 562 3085 or email her This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
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